Have a vision and strategy
While it sounds obvious, most practices fail for lack of a vision and strategy. Start by defining what type of patients your practice serves. A clear vision and strategy ensure your target audience in a more personalized and authentic manner. The four main ways to define your target audience are behavior, demographics, geography, and psychographics. The more specific your target audience is, the better you can tailor your marketing campaigns to provoke a positive response.
Next, answer a few introspective questions such as:
· Where do you envision your practice in five years?
· What form of marketing will get you there?
· Who will be on the marketing team? What will their roles be?
A good strategic medical marketing strategy will help you evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, prospects, and risks. It should not only focus on implementing laid-out plans but also track results.
Have a budget
Now that you’ve established who your audience is and what strategy will reach them, you’ll need to set a realistic budget.
Your budget will depend on the size of your practice and whether you have in-house or outsourced marketers. You can use the widespread rule of thumb for medical facilities and allocate between 2-5% of your gross revenues for marketing.
Alternatively, you can wing it and use your gut to set the budget. If you are starting from scratch, a good way to nail down a budget is to consider how much your competition is spending and match or exceed their marketing efforts.
Have a mobile-first mindset
According to recent research, about97% of Americans own a cell phone, 85% of which are smartphones. As is the case with other industries, patients need access to care providers without having to make calls. A mobile-friendly site makes it possible for patients to schedule an appointment or fill prescriptions from anywhere.
Be truthful and honest
The information you share on your website or social media pages should be factual. You should use reliable sources of information, giving facts or statistics. Other than creating and sharing your content only, your audience may be interested in articles on industry news, new technologies, medical breakthroughs, and important research.
It is advisable that you avoid examples or testimonials that guarantee or promise specific results. Instead, use disclaimers such as “results may vary.” Avoid all forms of competitive superiority.
Never offer discounts
You could be heavily penalized for offering discounts or coupons to entice new patients. Avoid using social media contests to offer free doctor visits. Besides this being a legal issue, offering such could create the illusion that you are unprofessional.
Do not reveal patients’ information
HIPAA requires that medical facilities do not disclose patients’ health information. You might want to discourage patients from taking photos in your facility as they might accidentally disclose such information should they post it online.
Do not view marketing as an expense
Your marketing plan should be a comprehensive game plan that is based on proven tactics and strategies. Your tactics need to be geared towards helping you develop a firm and long-lasting brand identity.
Don’t talk only about yourself and your practice
Although it is important to highlight your expertise, experience, and skills, these will not set you apart as an authority in the industry. Marketing in the medical field is invaluable. However, it needs to take place within strict legal confines. Adapting your healthcare practice to the modern patient is mandatory if you are to remain relevant.