Managers and Healthcare PR usually compare marketing and advertising, leading to standardizing of marketing as only ads in television and newspaper ads, billboards, etc. The best way to attract new patients is not only through publicizing, promoting and newsletters, but also 'Word of Mouth' publicity, which is often overlooked.
'Word of Mouth' marketing is a very substantial and significant tactic to improve your response rates and patient conversion ratios. Several medical practices today gain their patients through a solid word of mouth marketing strategy. There are online forums for patients, where they can express their judgments and views about your practices. These forums, if used properly, have the potential to make or break your reputation.
Below are a few basic points to ponder to build a brand for your practice:
1. Building a brand is very similar to building a personal reputation. Make sure to align your services with what you say about your brand. The key here is 'Consistency'.Focus on consistency in your interactions and build a strong visual impression with your brand. Being consistent in your approach will help patients to easily identify your practice and the information received through it.
2. One of the next crucial steps is to make yourself online with the help of a website. Almost 80% of the U.S. population search online for health-related information before going to the doctor. Develop a mobile-friendly website with proper SEO strategies and quality content. Your website is a virtual extension of your practice and so it is important to keep it up-to-date by regularly flushing out the unwanted content. Always request for honest feedback to ensure that your brand matches with your goals.
3. Referrals are a prominent and easily available marketing method. Connect with your colleagues and physicians from other specialties and collect information on how to collect referrals. For better results, claim and verify your local listing in various search engines. Once you get verified, optimize your listing by adding all the necessary information about your practice.
There are various other marketing tactics such as monthly newsletters (emails, print, etc), direct mail, pamphlets, and brochures, offline ads or even press releases. It is also advised to conduct patient surveys related to patient experience for a better track of things. In conclusion, for best return on your investment, try different marketing methods instead of holding on to just one strategy.