New patients are the lifeblood of any medical clinic or office. To create a healthy flow of new patient, it’s important to conduct a quick check-up of your marketing practices and create an effective treatment plan.
From detailing effective social media strategies to helping you think through patient referral programs, we’ll provide you with 6 effective medical marketing ideas guaranteed to get prospective patients in your door including the following steps:
- Managing the medical clinic's website
- Managing official social media accounts
- Utilizing your local network
- Starting a patient referral program
- Implementing an email marketing strategy
- Developing a digital marketing strategy with Nextdoor
1. Maintain a creative and engaging website
Research shows most internet users have searched for medical information online. That means there’s a good chance your website is the first place prospective patients will learn about your clinic. Make that first meeting both engaging and informative by creating an easily navigable website.
Although medical clinic websites vary based on clinic type and location, the most effective websites generally contain the following:
- Mission statement – Having your own website is the very first step when creating your medical clinic marketing strategy. Also called a value proposition statement, this statement informs the ethos of your medical practice and your website. As a result, your statement should succinctly state your clinic’s specialty, as well as your values, and be infused throughout your site. For example, a small addiction services clinic located in Johnson City, TN, East Tennessee Recovery emphasizes their mission, “A Fresh Approach to Treatment,” right on their homepage and goes on to describe how their holistic approach is a new way to care for healthcare patients.
- Clear headers - If potential patients can’t find important information such as location and business hours on your website, chances are they’ll look for other clinics. Give new patients the information they’re looking for by including headings for “Services,” “Contact Info,” and “About Us” at the top of your website. You should also make these headers stand out from the rest of the website’s text by bolding them and making them a bigger font than the rest of your text.
- Images – Sure, your mobile clinic website could just list information about services and operating hours, but that would make for a boring website. Instead, bring your website to life by including pictures of your mobile clinic and medical professionals. If a picture speaks a thousand words, let your doctors’ smiling faces do the talking.
- Telehealth options – Adding a telehealth option to your website is a smart way to attract new patients—especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has limited the ability of some healthcare patients to leave their homes. According to Dr. Brian Hasselfeld, “Health organizations are providing virtual appointments and are expanding their telehealth options, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.” By adding a telehealth option to your website, you can potentially attract patients who otherwise wouldn’t visit your clinic.
- Blog posts – Fun and informational, blog posts are fantastic ways to educate and inspire new and current clients. Use blog posts to let your community know about the importance of annual physicals. Or, emphasize the good you’re doing in the community by describing all the locations your mobile clinic visited last month. Additionally, creating blog posts is a great content marketing strategy and you can include healthcare keywords to target top-of-funnel users.
- Testimonials – Word of mouth remains the best way to invite potential patients to make an appointment. Add a testimonials page to your website where long term patients can share the news of your wonderful care. Ask your patients if you can include a photo (of their choosing) in the review to give it that personal touch.
- Mobile Friendly - There is a high chance for new patients to do their research through mobile devices. In this case, it is equally important to polish the mobile version of your website and make it easy to navigate. Additionally, investing a small budget in online ads such as Facebook ads or Google ads as part of your marketing campaign could also increase the impression and awareness of your business.
2. Give your social media a "check-up"
Just because you run a medical clinic doesn’t mean your online presence should be barebones. In fact, maintaining an engaging social media presence is a wise strategy to attract new patients.
Consider the following social media platforms when thinking of marketing ideas for your doctor’s office:
- Facebook – More than just a platform to connect with colleagues you met in residency, Facebook is an amazing place to market your medical clinic. Create a business-specific Facebook page where you can post pictures of your clinic, as well as important information, such as operating hours, directions, and updates.
- Instagram – Instagram is the platform for sharing pictures of everything—from cute puppies to delicious puttanesca sauce. However, medical professionals have used their Instagram pages to promote healthy habits, provide updates on their services, and share health news their patients can benefit from. A few pictures and a brief but insightful caption can do wonders for promoting your business.
- Twitter – If Twitter lacks the image-sharing capabilities of Facebook and Instagram, it makes up for it through its ability to quickly share information. By creating a Twitter business profile, you’ll be able to alert your followers of any last-minute changes. You can also bring your clinic to life by tweeting “humerus” posts, announcing special offers, and spotlighting the work a staff member is doing in the community.
- Yelp - Yelp is more than just searching for restaurants, in fact, Yelp has become a social media platform for people to search for local services and share their thoughts about the business. It is a useful platform to use, especially when doing local SEO. You can make your healthcare services visible on your account for prospective patients. Yelp also allows customers to engage with you directly through the chat box to make appointments or simply ask questions.
3. Utilize networking services
Similar to social media platforms, business networking services allow you to engage with your community by posting pictures, sharing services and contact info, and responding to questions.
However, unlike traditional social media platforms, business networking services allow you to hone in on your specific community. This means you can better reach the people that matter most: the patients in your immediate neighborhood.
While there are a few networking services to choose from such as Google My Business, when it comes to making connections with your community and your future patients, Nextdoor stands apart from the competition.
Nextdoor allows you to create a Business Page where you can build your medical clinic’s brand while building community trust. Take advantage of Nextdoor by including the following on your business page:
- Posts that share updates and entice new customers
- Contact info and business hours
- A mission statement and values
- Local offers
Expand your medical clinic marketing campaign and increase your brand awareness by setting up a Nextdoor business page. Chances are new patients are (literally) right around the corner.
4. Start a patient referral program
When devising their healthcare marketing strategy, many medical clinics forget they already have a powerful marketing tool: their current patients.
Starting a patient referral program comes with many benefits. Not only can you cut overall marketing costs by simply asking current patients to refer their friends and family, but you can also greatly expand your brand’s reach through word-of-mouth marketing.
Incentivize current patients to bring in their friends and family by offering a small monetary token or discount on yearly checkups for each new patient. You might even consider hosting a party or small banquet at the end of the year for the patients who bring in the most new patients.
And the best part about this type of healthcare marketing strategy? Patients who are referred to you by their friends and family are more likely to trust you.
“Physicians can benefit from patient referrals,” writes medical marketing expert Kaitlyn Houseman, “because that doctor/patient relationship has already been somewhat built by the referring patient. The patient feels like they already know you because their friend, family member, and/or coworker is your biggest advocate.”
5. Harness the power of email
Using email to market your medical clinic is an effective way to attract new patients.
To strengthen your online marketing campaign, consider doing the following:
- Send out a newsletter – Sending out a monthly, quarterly, or even yearly newsletter is a great way to keep new and current patients apprised of the awesome things happening at your clinic. You can even include discounts or special offers in each newsletter, enticing clients to subscribe.
- Make emails exciting – In a world of cluttered inboxes, make your emails stand out by making them creative. For instance, rather than send an email with a dry subject line, captivate your audience with inspiring, witty writing. To this extent, be sure to also personalize your messages. Nothing makes a potential patient feel more like a cog in the wheel than a depersonalized, automated email.
- Set up different campaigns – The best way to attract new clients, and keep current clients engaged, is to diversify your campaigns. For instance, if your primary clinic screens for diabetes, an email campaign focused on promoting diabetes awareness highlights the work your clinic is doing while educating your patients on diabetes treatments. You might also consider sending out emails that include information about local events—everything from volunteer opportunities at the local hospital to Christmas tree lightings in the park—to strengthen the relationship between your clinic and your community.
- Tailor emails to your audience – Similar to setting up different email campaigns, tailoring emails to specific audiences ensures your messages reach the right ears. This is especially important when it comes to attracting new patients. For instance, accidentally sending a new patient a standard email rather than a “Welcome” email containing a new promotion may get the relationship off on the wrong foot.
6. Nurse your marketing strategy back to health with Nextdoor
From bandaging scraped knees to providing vaccinations, treatments, and surgeries, medical clinics are essential to most communities.
That said, it’s still important for medical clinics and healthcare providers to invest in small business marketing strategies. Luckily, Nextdoor makes it easy to market your medical clinic. By setting up a Business Page, you can reach hyperlocal audiences through posts and updates. You can also highlight important information such as business hours, location, and services.
Set up a Business Page with Nextdoor today and start caring for your community one (new) patient at a time.