As a healthcare provider and business owner, you likely lack the time and resources to create a new marketing strategy from scratch. Pinpointing the channels, audiences, and branding to attract new patients and build awareness of your services is a full-time job in itself. Luckily, NexHealth can help with a 15-minute marketing plan to help meet (and exceed) your individual practice goals.
Before we get started, let’s ask the hard questions. It’s important to know where your business stands so you can tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
Step 1: Take your practice’s pulse
- “What is the state of my business?”
Whether you just opened your practice or you’ve been seeing patients for years, you’ll need to assess your business health and take a deep dive into your strengths and weaknesses. This work focuses on the facts, and it may be uncomfortable if you’re struggling to meet your revenue goals or lack the proper resources to grow. Be upfront and honest about your business’s state so you can pinpoint areas of opportunity and see where you can improve.
- What is my practice, and what services do I offer?
- Are there any opportunities for me to grow in my local area?
- What are some challenges I face?
- “Who are my patients?”
If you’re in private practice, your patients are likely those in a defined geographical area. So who are they? Take inventory of your patient demographics and their most significant health concerns. Put yourselves in their shoes and ask the prying questions. Once you come up with good answers, it will help familiarize yourself with your target patient and make it easier to market to them.
- “Who are my competitors?”
Every practice has a local competitor or several that keep them up at night. So ask yourself:
- What services do they offer, and how do they market them?
- Are they doing something that you may want to replicate or build upon?
- Do they come up with new ideas regularly or inspire you to create new campaigns?
When you know your competition, you can come up with ways to beat them.
- “What makes your practice special?”
So far, you’ve determined what your practice does best and who you’re trying to market to. You also know who your competitors are and how they deal with their patients. Now you have to discover what makes you unique. If you’re not sure, ask yourself two questions:
- What makes you different?
- What differentiates my practice from my local competitors?
Step 2: Create a plan for success
To ensure the success of your practice marketing plan, you need to establish tangible business goals. A good template to create goals is the SMART framework – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Some good examples would be “to increase new patient appointments by at least 50 each month” or “achieve more than $1.5 million in practice revenues by the end of 2021.” You may discover that specific actions are necessary to achieve these goals — such as hiring more staff or investing in marketing services. Set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals and timelines.
Step 3: Create your marketing plan
Now it’s time to sit down and draft your marketing plan to help you achieve your goals. There are various marketing tactics and tools you can use to market to patients and keep them coming back. Some of these include:
- Practice website: Having a modern website with online scheduling enabled helps you attract new patients to your practice and get more appointments.
- Referral marketing: Incentivizing current patients to refer their friends is a great way to increase your appointment volume. You can also use your provider network to amplify your efforts.
- Social media marketing: Meet patients where they spent the most time online. Create your posts and spend some money on social media advertising.
- Email marketing: Email is a cost-effective way to market your practice to patients and tailor your messaging to target audiences.
Determine which methods work best for you and help attract the most patients. It’s a good idea to use all of the marketing tactics running to maximize your efforts in reaching your practice goals. To get started, break down the tasks and necessary steps to shape your marketing plan, and then write down who will own the specific job and what they will do to maintain and sustain the program.
Step 4: Measure your progress
To measure the effectiveness of your marketing plan, you need to measure your performance. Whether it’s an analytics dashboard or an Excel sheet with data inputs, determining a way to reveal valuable insights that indicate if your efforts work or not. Create reports on an ongoing basis so you can identify opportunities to invest more marketing dollars or optimize your current efforts.
Also, regularly check in with patients to see how they found your practice and why they chose you over a competitor. Double down on investing in channels that are converting the most patients and growing your business. Also, be sure to ask for feedback from them regularly. Your patients want to know you care, so making actionable changes for their benefit will not go unnoticed.