In a previous post, we emphasized reputation management is critical to your online presence. In this internet era, marketing is primarily digital.
Marketing is essential for new practices and practices with new providers/services.
Even for practices that cannot handle the current volume of patients, practice marketing is essential to long-term success and provides critical leverage with insurance carrier contract negotiations.
The following elements are fundamental to your practice marketing efforts:
Patient experience inside your office. It starts with phone/website contact and continues with signage, waiting room experience, staff attitude, waiting times, exam room experience, and above all - physician interaction. All small things matter - look and feel, technology, cleanliness, etc.
Referring provider relationships. For specialty practices, referrals are critical to practice success. It is crucial to develop and nurture relationships with referring providers by treating their referrals professionally and updating them on your plans for their patients. You can also update your referring providers on your practice developments, new clinical information, etc., via periodic email newsletters. Occasional calls/thank you notes also go a long way in developing relationships.
Search engine optimization. In this digital era, new patients begin their search on the web. Having your website rank over your local competition is preferable. Search engines rank your site based on site visits, informativeness, ratings, back-links from other pages, etc. A professional, attractive, up-to-date, informative website is critical. Blogs play an essential role in keeping your site current and informative. Blogs can be about your practice developments, current media conversations on relevant topics, new developments in your specialty, and educational information on health conditions/procedures you specialize in. Blogs need to be periodic and pertinent to be effective. These blogs can also be distributed to your current patients by email (with opt-ins). Any touch point created with patients helps in retaining their attention and also helps in compliance with follow-up appointments.
Google listing and ratings are important factors in search results. Ratings must be responded to and information listed must be current and updated.
The above information is not exhaustive. But it is an essential checklist in your practice administration.