WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MARKET YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE
Medical practices have a unique challenge when it comes to marketing your business during COVID-19, some fall under the “essential services” category while others may shut their doors completely or only see patients on an emergency basis.
Keep in mind, being a medical professional, regardless of your medical specialty, you’ll have credibility with patients. If your specialty can relate to COVID-19 FAQ’s, use messages that will provide truth and value. There is so much misinformation online, you have an opportunity to become a resource to patients as a medical professional.
Where to start
Tell your patients, keep them informed. They want to know what’s going on with the practice and your current operation status. Don’t think one mass email will do it, you’ll need to make multiple contacts.
Engage with your patients. There are things you can be doing right now to put your brand in front of those that are familiar with you. People are bored, lighten the mood and their day with updates from the practice and what you and your team is doing to get through the days.
Get creative, think of ways to provide value to patients and most importantly be memorable. Here are few ideas:
- Find online tools people can use to do a “self test” at home
- Things people can do at home that pertain to your area of practice
- Send updates of what you and your staff is doing a the office
- If you’re temporarily closed, ask your staff to send you a photo of what they’re doing to pass the time, share it
- Offer virtual consultations, you’ll need an in person one eventually but for now you can build rapport with them
- If you sell products, offer discounts / deals on them and shipping
- Run a contest, give away a gift card. Something that will engage users and entertain them
- Share resourceful information you come across from your network
HOW TO USE DIFFERENT OUTLETS TO MARKET YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE
Use your list. More importantly, take your list and divide it into these sections:
- Those that have inquired with you but never visited your location. Send them a specific message that is going to give you credibility. Re-introduce yourself, let them know why you’d be the right fit for them when they’re ready. Do not push during this time, you simply want to re-introduce and let them know you are offering telemedicine or virtual consults.
- This group is someone who hasn’t been in for a while or never took the next step in moving forward with a procedure or service. Here you’re simply dropping them a note about what you’re doing during COVID-19, how you’re working with patients, what’s new with the practice and how your team is passing the time.
Happy Current or Recent Patient
- Here you’re thanking them for being a patient. Why you value them and reminding them about resources of postop procedure care, checking on their procedure/results. These are the patients that keep you going during a time like this, if doesn’t matter if your business routinely see’s the same patient or is a one off like LASIK. They’ll either spend money with you or they’ll sing your praises to family and friends. Use this opportunity to either connect with them in a unique way and relate to them during this time.
- Do not request reviews at this time. Google and Yelp have placed restrictions on reviews, wait until this is over until you solicit new reviews. Do take notes of any patient feedback as these will be patients you’ll want to reach out after this to request an online review.
Let’s face it, this is where everyone is. Help break up the monotony of their day. Provide useful information about the practice, updates on COVID-19 and resources for them to refer to about what’s going on in the health and medical field during COVID-19. Don’t be shy in using medical resources and your association resources to share on your social channels.
Don’t run the same ads. Post organically, boost those posts and use remarketing to reach back out to them. This gives you multiple opportunities to reach different groups with different messages more often. Don’t drown yourself with the same ad.
Post frequently but post different topics that will engage and entertain patients.
Look to forums and medical specific websites such as RealSelf, start engaging with patients looking for answers. This effort will allow you position yourself as a leading authority.
Depending on your market, local news outlets are offering deals for digital marketing. This is an opportunity to reach new groups of people to introduce the brand to people. Local news outlets are a very popular outlet for people when there’s too much misinformation on social media about COVID-19.
Remember – Those that are out there providing valuable information during this time while not looking opportunistic will greatly benefit. When others pull back with their marketing & advertising during COVID-19, you should push ahead strategically so you come out ahead when we get past our current situation. This is a great time for brand awareness when no one else is advertising and putting the extra effort in.