Reflective products for practice promotions…

The majority of healthcare offices utilize very basic promotional materials in order to stimulate their patients so they don’t miss appointments and refer others.

One way of marketing your practice to your patients actually involves keeping them safe during the early morning and late at night.

Most of you, encourage an active lifestyle for your patients so they can obtain the physical and mental benefits but did you know when they are walking, jogging or riding a bike they are doing so in the early morning and late and night when visible light is at it’s lowest availability.

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics…15% of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians or cyclists.  In larger cities they account for nearly 50% of all traffic fatalities.

When you think about it…That’s a staggering fact.

Using a reflective safety item as a promotional product give-away for your patients regardless of what type of healthcare provider you are makes sure they can keep coming back.

When you demonstrate you care not only about their health but also the safety of them and their family, it pays dividends in the long run for the health of your practice and the lives of your patients.

Four Ideas for Any Practice…

Here are four “tried and true” ideas that can help attract more patients and increase your practice’s profit…

1) Focus on your prospective patients, not on you.

Your marketing should focus on your patients’ “hot buttons,” or what they really care about when choosing a dentist. All of the problems, frustrations, annoyances, and confusion that patients and prospects typically have when dealing with the dental profession are considered their hot buttons.

These include such items as the level of pain they experience during procedures, how long they have to wait during appointments, and what results they receive. Your marketing copy should address these hot buttons rather than just listing the services and products your practice offers. A good rule of thumb is that “you” and “your” should appear at least twice as many times in your marketing pieces as “we” and “our.”  This could easily be accomplished by incorporating that into an appointment remainder magnet

2) Don’t begin an ad, postcard or other marketing piece with your name or logo.

The most important part of any marketing piece is the headline. Unless your name is Microsoft, Starbucks or Nike, your practice’s name and logo will not attract prospective patients. So make sure to use bold headlines that hit your prospects’ hot buttons, grab their attention, and make them want to keep reading.  Sometimes, people just want to know you really care their health and safety first…It build street credibility with them.  Utilizing personal safety reflectors shows you care not only about their health…But also their safety.

3) Educate both current and prospective patients.

Provide educational information that will be of interest to prospective patients is key but more important is educating your current patients. Give them tips and ideas they can benefit from immediately such as a patient education magnet instead of just a list of your services or credentials.  If your a dentist, tell prospective patients what to look for when choosing a dentist, how to take care of their teeth, the benefits of using an electric toothbrush, or how flossing will affect their health.  Education-based marketing will ensure that your marketing is perceived as valuable rather than as just more annoying advertising and that will make all the difference in the world.

4) Market to prospective patients consistently.

The average customer will not buy until after the seventh contact with a business, so it’s critical that you market consistently and frequently to the same audience.  If you are launching a direct mail campaign, commit to doing it at least once a month for 10 months.  Research shows that response rates go up exponentially when you speak to prospects consistently over time.

 

Regardless of your practice type, basic ‘tried and true’ marketing still pays dividends and in any health practice results in a steady stream of new patients.

3 Free Ways to Market Your Therapy Practice…

Thanks to technology, there are many free ways to effectively market your private therapy practice. Since these free strategies do take time to implement, focusing on the ones that sound interesting, fun, fulfilling, and a little challenging make the most sense so you get something back personally from your time investment.

It can take some time until you actually see the benefits of marketing your therapy practice in terms of clients appearing. Part of effective practice marketing is simply raising awareness of your practice and your specialties, which will bring in clients over time.

The most effective strategies for building your practice use what you already know as a therapist about building relationships: building rapport, using your authentic self, starting where the “client” is, to name a few, and translating those skills into a new format that reaches larger audiences.

Sound easy…Actually it is.

Here are 3 ways to draw clients to your therapy practice

First…Speak to your ideal clients : Once you’ve identified who you’d like to see in your private practice, ask yourself, “Where are my ideal clients gathering?” or “Where are groups who work with my ideal clients already gathering?” If your ideal clients are families with young children who have behavior problems, then you may want to focus on speaking to groups of parents or teachers in the schools, for example. Or if you’re wanting to focus on working with couples in crisis, then speaking to clergy who regularly meet with distressed couples, or speaking to local religious groups on marriage issues might be something to consider.

 

Second…Interview on local radio.  Did you know that radio stations provide a certain number of public service hours each week? Producers are often looking for helpful topics and interesting people to interview that will benefit their listeners. Call or email the top local radio stations in your area, ask for the producer of their public service show, and offer a couple of topics that are related to your basic message.

 

Last…Write for local newspaper or magazine articles.  Which magazines or newspapers are your potential clients reading on a regular basis? Do some research on the demographic of the periodical and contact the editor to offer your writing services.   Always lead with information on how your article/column/expertise will serve their readers, not how you hope to get hundreds of clients by writing for them. Since most news outlets and local magazines have websites, offering to blog for their site is a great idea, too.

Continue reading “3 Free Ways to Market Your Therapy Practice…”

7 Medical Marketing and Dental Media Strategies That Really Work – Part III

6. Mobile Marketing for Dentists and Doctors

Mobile devices aren’t only great for checking emails, but researching information across the internet as well. More and more practices are becoming mobile savvy to support the dynamic shift in how internet users consume content (via their mobile device), so that they can better reach their target market.

 

For example, this Sk:n Clinics case study explains how Sk:n was able to reach their target audience through a mobile marketing campaign that resulted in a 42% increase in calls from people enquiring about their products. They did this by creating a click-to-call mobile campaign that drove potential customers to their website to fill out a form requesting a free consultation with someone at their call center. Sk:n understood that their audience was constantly on-the-go, so the best way to reach them was by having a consultant call them directly after they filled out the free consultation form.

However, mobile marketing isn’t only for selling health products. The Pew Research Center Mobile Health 2012 Report affirms that 52% of smart phone owners have used their phone to look up medical information. Obviously, not all of them are searching for hair removal treatments, but other health information like doctors and specialists in their area/network as well. So whether want to increase product sales or doctor referrals, you should go mobile.

Mobile isn’t the only way that you can get creative with your medical marketing strategy. Online videos on channels like YouTube are very effective as well. One of my favorite Videos:

Brilliant right? They took video marketing to another level by choreographing a dance sequence that their staff learned to Pharrel Williams’ song “Happy” as their entry to the Pink Glove Dance contest, which started in 2009 to raise funds for breast cancer research. And guess who the winner of the contest in 2014 was? Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center! For many hospitals like Pomona Valley, online video is a pivotal component of hospital research and awareness. Shockingly, the 2012 Google & Compete Hospital Study (mentioned at the start of this post), reports that  53% of patients who didn’t watch hospital videos were unaware they existed.

So if you’re not marketing your practice online, how will your audience know you exist?

 

7 Medical Marketing and Dental Media Strategies That Really Work – Part II

4. Cost-Effective Paid Advertising aka PPC Campaigns 

The challenge for a lot of medical practices when it comes to marketing, is that they simply don’t have the time. There’s patients to be seen and paperwork to be done, and you’re already working over 8 hours. So how could you possibly find the time to blog and be active on social media? I get it. As a healthcare marketer, I understand the challenges of time all too well when it comes to online marketing. That’s why I also rely on Paid Advertising, aka Pay-Per-Click (PPC), a form of Search Engine Marketing. Paid Ads through Google Adwords, LinkedIn Ads, and Facebook Local Awareness Ads are a time-saving and cost-effective way to gain more patients, referrals, and recognition for your practice. That’s why one of the benefits of Paid Ads or PPC campaigns – is being able to control your budget by setting a maximum spend. Depending on your marketing strategy, costs can range as low as $0.30 per click using Adwords, or $1 per day with Facebook.

 

That’s why more and more doctors are turning towards PPC. Because it works! In 2012, Geocentric’s How Health Consumers Engage Online Infographic reported that Google processes over 1 billion search requests daily. Of those people sending those requests,

  • 44% of users searched for doctors, and
  • 81% of people click on a sponsored link when looking for health information.

 

Therefore, if you’re looking for a fast and affordable way to generate more business, consider implementing a PPC campaign. This Now Care Dental case study demonstrates how by using PPC they were able to generate 25.5% conversion rates from clicks to phone calls, which led to 86 tracked calls in just 45 days! If you received 86 more calls in 45 days that led to higher profits, would it be worth investing a few dollars in a PPC campaign?

5. Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns

Phone and Social Media aren’t the only way that doctors communicate with one another or their patients either. Actually, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email in comparison to direct mail, phone calls, and in-person visits, said a MedData Medical Technology Marketing Industry Trends Report. So if you’re trying to generate more referrals, then I hope you’ve implemented an email marketing campaign. If you haven’t, then you’re probably part of the 40% of healthcare companies mentioned in that report who have not implemented an email marketing strategy. Also, don’t forget to optimize your emails for mobile web devices so they’re easily readable. No one likes to squint to have to read what you wrote. It’s bad for the eyes, right? Regardless of eye health, my point is that people use their mobile devices for lots of reasons including reading emails from their phone. MedData says, 75% of physicians use smartphones and tablets for professional reasons, and that checking email is the top reason for using these mobile devices in the workplace. So if you’ve been trying to reach another doctor and they haven’t responded to your voicemail messages, try an email instead.

7 Medical Marketing and Dental Media Strategies That Really Work

Today we are going to discuss the top 7 marketing strategies for 2017/2018 and since this post will be rather extensive, We’ll be breaking it up into a few parts.

In today’s modern age, marketing and media has becoming an essential part of organizational growth – even for medical practices. The truth is, more and more people have transitioned to seeking information on the web, including health information. A 2013 Pew Research Center Report states that “72% of internet users said they looked online for health information within the past year”. That means doctors, practices, and hospitals need to “get with the times” and establish an online web presence. If not, you might be out of a job in no time.  Marketing platforms like referralMD can generate exposure  to your healthcare facility and what services you offer by allowing patients and other referring doctors to find you on the top pages of Google and other search engines.

According to a 2008 survey of over 12,000 physicians, only 17% of physicians rated the financial position of their practices as “healthy and profitable”. 17 percent! Yes, that means that 83% of those physicians aren’t making money. In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal article by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar reports that the “return on educational investment for primary-care physicians, adjusted for differences in number of hours worked, is just under $6 per hour”. That’s less than the average federal minimum wage!

So what medical marketing and media strategies can doctors and practices apply that really work in order to increase profits and salaries?

1. Emotionally-Compelling Offline Media

Why is it that TV, print, and outdoor media still works for the healthcare industry? It’s because everyone has different media preferences, and oftentimes consume both offline and online media before making a decision. In a 2012 Google/Compete Hospital Study, 84% of patients use both online and offline sources for research. Of those patients who used offline media:

  • 32% of patients use TV for research.
  • 20% of patients use magazines for research.
  • 18% of patients use newspapers for research.

So it seems that offline media is still effective after all. In fact, with the right approach, it can be just as powerful as online media. Take Saint Francis Hospital’s Orthopedic Center as an example. They hired an agency to help them run emotionally compelling TV, print, and outdoor ads that resulted in 75% market penetration in Saint Francis’s primary and secondary markets. To make this campaign compelling, the agency identified who their target audience was, what their pain/problem was, and then spun it in a way that was positive, informative, and resonated with that target audience. Furthermore, they included a clear call-to-action (“call us”) and a way to take that action by including their phone number.

However, I’m not so sure that mentioning that they’re listed in the NYNEX Yellow Pages was necessary. Who even uses the Yellow Pages anymore? (No offense to you if you do.)

2. Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Blogs & Websites

Speaking of advertising in the Yellow Pages, say hello to Google – the new Yellow Pages. Today, Pew Internet Research says 77% of online health seekers began their last session at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Search engines, like Google, have become so sophisticated for helping people find what they’re looking for, that now you can literally type medical specialists or medical specialists near me into their search box and it will populate a list of the most authoritative medical specialists in your geographic area.

But wait…what do you mean by “authoritative”? Well you see, Google ranks pages based on two primary metrics: Authority, which is a measure of how many people share or link back to your content, and Relevancy, which is a measure of how well you create content that relates to the keywords users type into search engines (like Google) to find your website or blog. Websites and blogs who create relevant content that gets found by internet users, and then gets shared across the web, is deemed as being authoritative.

A great example of a doctor who’s marketing herself by creating highly relevant and authoritative content is Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson MD, MBE of Seattle Children’s Hospital. She started the “Seattle Mama Doc” blog to share her story of being a physician and to give moms childcare health advice. As a result, she was able to establish a social media network of over 26,000 Twitter followers, and was even featured as TIME’s Best Twitter Feeds of 2013. I can only imagine what having a social network like that must be doing for business.

3. Engaging Social Media and Referral Marketing

With that being said, Social Media and networks like Twitter, should not be neglected. DC Interactive Group’s Rising Use of Social Media and Mobile in Healthcare Infographic depicts that 41% of people would choose a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation. Of those surveyed, one-third of them now use social media sites like such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and online forums for health-related matters. The types of content that they were most likely to engage with or share on those networks included care received at a hospital or medical facility, and a specific doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider that they had a positive or negative experience with.

Social Media, however, can be used in many ways other than engaging with patients online. This Philips Healthcare LinkedIn case study is a great example of a healthcare organization who used LinkedIn to establish “thought leadership” and expertise in their respective field of healthcare and lighting. Philips created the Innovation in Health LinkedIn group to create discussions and build their credibility by directly connecting with their target audience – medical, healthcare, and technology professionals. The group now has over 100,000 members globally! Imagine how that kind of marketing could affect small medical practices…

3 can’t miss Dental Office marketing ideas

Are you looking for a new and innovative idea to bring new patients to your practice? Here are three can’t-miss dental marketing ideas that work!

(1) Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program

You can pay local kids $1 per pound of candy brought in to your practice, then make a matching donation to a local cause that you’re passionate about. You might even be able to donate the candy to troops overseas.  What makes this such a great dental marketing idea?  You show your commitment to the health of your community, and you can gain potential new patients visiting your office.

(2) Patient Appreciation Day

Happy patients come back.  They tell their friends about your amazing service. Happy patients are the key to a healthy (and growing) practice!  But how can you really show your patients that you care?  Many dentists see amazing results from an annual patient appreciation day. It could be a BBQ in a local park, an afternoon at the beach, or a day renting out a local water park.

Want to max out the marketing effectiveness?   Schedule it during the summer.  Kids and families will be more likely to attend in the warm weather. It’s a great way to attract new patients in what is otherwise a slow season for many dentists.  Mail and email invitations to patients.  Encourage them to bring a friend.  Raffle off prizes like electric toothbrushes.  Ask for an email address to contact winners and offer to add entrants to your email list.  Take plenty of pictures and videos to share on social media.

You are using social media as well to promote your practice right?

(3) Start a Scholarship Program

Young people who are committed to their education should be rewarded and celebrated.  A scholarship program is a powerful marketing tool that impacts your community, too.  A $1,000 scholarship can pay for a semester of books, supplies for an internship, or a new computer.  Use your scholarship program as an extension of your own practice’s philosophy.

Your scholarship program can increase awareness of your practice in the community, bring in news and media coverage, and introduce you to students who might become new patients, or even future interns and employees.

Healthcare Marketing a Necessity

If you haven’t noticed, times are changing for the healthcare industry. Insurance policies, costs, and reimbursements have changed; large corporate hospital-management firms have arisen; and the economy has shrunk. Doctors are finding that medical practices aren’t exactly recession-proof like we once thought.  At the same time, patients are seeking less care, either because they don’t have insurance that will adequately cover it or because they can’t afford their deductibles.

This means that healthcare marketing strategy is crucially important and the revenue models that have been in place for years won’t work anymore.

Doctors, Counselors and health service professionals…For your practice to grow, you must have a coherent strategy in place to attract patients, retain the patients you have, and maintain the relationships between your staff and your patients.

A changing climate demands you take a brand-new look at your marketing strategy. A truly effective, integrated strategy creates efficient ways for your target audience to find what they need, to make an informed decision and provides new information and insights – not just promotional hype.

Filling your schedule with patients then making sure those patients show up for their visit is the first step.