Innovative healthcare marketing ideas are crucial because the need for doctors, surgeons, and pharmaceuticals is always there and the public has to know where to get quality medical help.
Just like the world of healthcare, marketing is always evolving, so it’s going to be beneficial for your healthcare organization to spruce things up a bit. While that may sound intimidating, incorporating new ideas into your marketing plan will ultimately bring more patients or customers.
But, how will you know which strategies are best for you? I’ve uncovered 8 innovative healthcare marketing ideas that will put you on the right track, and help you stand out from your competitors.
1. Know your business
I am going to help you market your health and wellness business with the information in this article, but you have to actually do the marketing in order to bring about positive results.
Your patients are your customers, and you are the product they are buying. They choose you over everyone else to trust with their health, so how can you continuously show them you’re worth it?
You need to know your business like the back of your hand. Be familiar with your staff, procedures, services, products, systems, and inventory.
To ensure you are familiar with your business, I would suggest to perform an annual audit of your products, services, mission, vision, and values.
This might seem like common sense, but knowing these variables will improve the way you run your organization, increase your number of patients, and the amount of money flowing into your business.
2. Know your target demographic
You have to know your patients in order to appeal to new ones.
For example, if you are a pediatrician, you aren’t going to advertise in a nursing home or rehabilitation center. You need to appeal to the correct potential patients, and consider their age, gender, and location. This is going to ensure that your marketing strategy doesn’t hit a dead end by advertising to the wrong demographic.
Once you have determined the broad idea of who your patients or customers are, find ways to appeal to them specifically.
If they are younger, focus mostly on social media marketing. If they are older, don’t give up on social media marketing entirely, as according to the Pew Research Center, over 40 percent of people over the age of 65 are using Facebook. That number isn’t huge, so I would recommend implementing printed ads, referrals, emails, and direct mail along with social media when appealing to older patients.
3. Utilize social media platforms
Social media plays such an important role when advertising a business. The number of people who use social media is mind-blowing. So, it’s no surprise that it’s an ideal outlet to advertise or promote your services.
Another great benefit of social media is that it creates a whole new world to promote your business to potential patients without you ever having to step foot out of the office. And you’ll no longer depend on referrals from current patients (which are awesome) or insurance companies You’ll be forming new relationships!
Instagram and Facebook are two of the most popular social media platforms in America, so the chances of generating revenue and exposure is high. In order to market on social media effectively, you’ll need to know what patients/customers are looking for on your page.
- Create a bio that tells everything someone would need to know about your business — what you specialize in, where you are located, and your hours of operation are great ideas for this.
- This may be understood, but be professional when creating a page. Keep the same energy on social media as you would keep in the office. Patients want to see that you’re the best at what you do, not that you love memes about cats.
- Create videos or posts introducing you and your staff. While you want to be as professional as you can, patients want to know who they’re entrusting with their health and well-being. I suggest doing a ‘get to know me’ and tell them a little bit about yourself (how long you’ve been practicing, family, hobbies, and fun facts).
- Use creative images that are relevant to your business, not just stock photos.
- Make sure you post regularly, and respond to comments and messages in a timely manner.
Running ads on Facebook is another thing that we have found to be beneficial for healthcare organizations. One of my favorite things about Facebook ads is that you can advertise on Instagram as well! My article Facebook Boosted Post vs Ad: A Study on the Best Facebook Strategy will give you all of the information you need to choose which type of Facebook advertising is best for you.
4. Create a great website
Website creation isn’t hard, you just have to know what other people are looking for. Along with what other people are looking for, Google looks for specifics in websites as well (with mobile-friendliness being on the top of the list).
When creating a website, article, or blog post, Google’s algorithm automatically searches the page for keywords. The purpose of the keywords is to determine how Google will categorize and rank your page. Ideally, you want to use keywords that are relevant to your business, but that set you apart from other similar businesses/practices.
For example, if you own a family medical practice, you could use words such as ‘family doctor’. But in order to rank higher on a google search you will want to be more specific, such as ‘family doctor in Atlanta.’ Even if your office is 30 minutes outside of Atlanta, you will appeal to more potential patients because Atlanta is a large city with hundreds of thousands of people. Since you remain within a reasonable driving distance, potential patients/customers will make the drive.
The choice of specific keywords ensures that your page is seen by those who are searching specifically for those services.
Choosing the right keywords to incorporate can be tricky, but there are so many tools to help, so don’t get discouraged. I would recommend websites such as Moz or SEMRush. Both of these keyword research software-as-a-service options pull data from Google and use internal formulas that express what specific keyword traffic looks like. Their formulas give you information like keyword difficulty and the popularity of websites and individual pages.
Software and information like this is useful because it is designed to bring more traffic and improve your website performance.
5. Start a YouTube channel
Like Facebook and Instagram, YouTube is a great way to get the exposure for your health and wellness business.
It’s a great platform for informative videos that can be viewed by anyone, local or not.
When creating your YouTube account, make sure you are creating content that’s relevant to your medical practice.
Feature your physicians in your videos. This will allow viewers and potential patients to get to know you better and they will get a better feel for your personality and bedside manner.
Some other video ideas:
- Give viewers a virtual tour of the office using a camera or cell phone. This will show them what to expect before they ever step foot inside.
- Film patient interactions and their positive feedback and experiences at the office. Power Tip: Make sure to get approval/clearance from any patient that you film and always remember to keep patient privacy and HIPAA compliance in mind.
- Create ‘before and after’ videos showing real life results of patients you have helped.
- Question and answer videos- use your patients’ most asked questions, explain them, and then answer them.
YouTube is the second largest social media and search platform, with a whopping one billion (yes- billion with a B) viewers each year. So, how will you ensure your videos will be watched?
I recommend featuring links or videos from your channel on your website, sending emails to current patients letting them know about your channel, and promote your videos on your other social media platforms.
6. Online appointments
In the fast-paced world we live in, no one wants to be on hold with their doctor’s office to book an appointment.
If you don’t offer an option to book online already, it’s time to start!
Giving the option to book appointments online would eliminate the waiting and be much more efficient.
This will benefit both you and your patients because you would have all of the details in front of you, and this would decrease the chance of overbooking or loss of appointments.
I suggest adding a ‘book an appointment’ tab on your website. Then, let patients select a date and time and reason they need to be seen. Then, once they fill out the questions and submit the form, a confirmation email or text would be sent to them as a reminder. Promote this feature. This is simply good marketing.
Nothing about going to the doctor is easy, but you can do small things like this to improve your patient’s experience.
7. Host an open house
Hosting an open house is an amazing opportunity to drive patients, current or potential, into your business.
Not only are open houses great for socializing with patients, but you could use this as an outlet to network by inviting other physicians, liaisons, drug reps, or other healthcare specialists.
An open house gives you an opportunity to interact with patients and colleagues outside of the typical work setting. This will give them a chance to see a personal side of you and your office staff.
Including other healthcare professionals in your open house will give them the opportunity to discuss tips and tricks to improve your performance. This will also introduce you to a whole new network of connections and personnel for referral opportunities.
A great way to encourage attendance at your open house is to promote on your social media accounts. Have your employees and current patients share the posts to increase the number of people who will see it, so more will be interested in coming. And be sure to take videos and photos during the event for sharing on social media.
Some other helpful tips in a successful turnout are:
- Give plenty of notice (6-8 weeks in advance)
- Offer snacks and beverages
- Host giveaways or games to keep guests involved (this is also a great way to get contact information)
- Collaborate with a similar local business or a local restaurant/catering service. This will help promote both your business and theirs!
8. Encourage patient reviews
The best way to get your name out there is by positive word of mouth. The downside of this is that word of mouth can only reach so far. The internet however, can reach thousands of people in no time. We leave reviews for restaurants we eat at, our dog groomers, and dry cleaners. Why not for our doctors and healthcare professionals as well?
As patients are leaving the office after their visit, encourage them to go online and leave reviews.
Google will give you an option to leave a review on a page directly through Google’s website. This alleviates the need to scroll through countless websites in order to find which office or doctor best suit your needs. Make sure your business is setup with Google My Business.
A great way to encourage reviews is to send an email out to patients after their visit. I would recommend one to two days after their appointment. If you wait too long to generate a review, the review might not be as accurate as it would have been if it were composed right away.
Patient reviews might not seem like a big deal, but this is probably one of the most impactful variables for you and your health and wellness business. Whether the reviews are negative or positive, it’s still useful information for potential patients and your internal purposes.
According to Pew Research, 72 percent of internet users searched for health information over the past year. They also explained that 47 percent of people searched for information about doctors or other healthcare professionals before engaging in their business.
Patient reviews will give raw feedback and advice from current or old patients to potential ones, which tell them how you and your office performs. This will also create a great opportunity for you to see what you are doing well and what you can improve on.
To wrap things up
Healthcare is a vast competitive field, but there are ways to stand out from your competitors while still being the best you can be for your patients.
I’ve given you 8 innovative healthcare marketing ideas to implement in your business practices. I hope these tips have helped you, and have given you ideas to create stronger patient relationships and to reach new patients.
If you have any questions about figuring out what marketing strategies are best for you, feel free to contact us today.