Quick and Easy Offline Marketing Strategies for DoctorsA lot of people disassociate marketing with medical practices because they are such a necessity. The healthcare industry, however, is highly competitive when it comes to convincing patients to go to one place or another. Competition between hospitals in a city, for example, is evident in TV ads, brochures, and other campaign strategies. While having an online presence is an absolute necessity, offline marketing strategies for doctors are highly beneficial for practices.
Before diving into offline, “real world” marketing methods, let’s overview the systems you should already have in place:
- You have a website that is informative, easy to navigate, and constantly updated. The website is considered a home base for online marketing, and its importance cannot be overstated.
- Social media profiles are a must, too. On one hand, securing branded accounts prevents unwanted sabotage. They also help you share information and stay connected with existing patients while reaching out to new ones.
- Blogs are critical. Blogs are today’s news snippets and press releases, except that people actually read them. Make sure your blogs cover a variety of topics that patients want to read; create a publishing schedule and focus more on quality than quantity.
- You should also have an emailed newsletter. These are great ways to send significant information about your practice to existing patients.
- Online directories are helpful for exposing your office and contact information. Register your business on sites like Google+ Places to show up on map apps.
- Web advertising, like banner ads, are a mixed blessing. While they are surely helpful, your other efforts should make up for the benefits.
Offline marketing strategies for doctors aim to increase your exposure. Doing this properly involves a lot of networking and referral generation, though having more patients is a worthwhile result. First off, you need to physically get your name out there to other hospitals and specialty practices. If you’re a physician, you frequently accept and send out referrals to different offices. Make sure other area doctors have your info and can easily arrange appointments; referrals depend on satisfaction because other doctors are depending on your services.
Staying in touch with other healthcare professionals is a must. You can do this by attending conferences, speaking on panels, and being present in the community. Look for opportunities on a local news station and try to work yourself into a health timeslot on a program. The same applies to radio stations. Better yet, actually become the one who connects other healthcare professionals. While they are your competitors, it is the patient who selects where to go in the end. The idea is to provide the best care possible, which often means sending a patient to a specialist or another office.
You should also join local commerce groups, organizations, and professional clubs. Business-to-business relations are essential to quality offline marketing strategies for doctors. Other professionals in your local area need healthcare just as much as you do; convince them to convince others that your practice is the place to go.
Branding is also important. Make sure your practice’s name, logo, and contact info are published in every possible place. This includes newspaper ads, phonebooks, and other sources where patients can easily find and recognize your brand. Even consider large scale promotions (billboards, benches, etc.). Though most promotion is online, having a physical presence in a community is just as useful for reaching out to new and existing patients.
Other than signage, never downplay the power of brochures and direct mail. The more interesting and creative you are with these publications, the less likely people are to throw them away. The idea is to use a variety of strategies that are fresh and original. Start by finding your ideal patient and slowly expand into other demographics and groups.
Special events are other great ways to promote. Consider hosting a dinner for other healthcare professionals (i.e. referrals) or holding a community healthcare forum in your practice. The age-old business card is always effective; hand them out at every opportunity and make sure people are able to find you. Offline marketing strategies for doctors aren’t hard to master, though they do take time and effort to follow through on.
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