There is no doubting that your practice’s online presence, both in search engines and on social media, is now an essential part of attracting new patients and keeping up with the competition. However, old school marketing methods shouldn’t be thrown by the wayside just yet. Marrying your online and offline efforts will boost your visibility within your local community and help to grow your online following.
Keep reading for ideas on how to boost your digital strategy with offline efforts:
There’s no greater feeling than when a happy patient refers a friend or family member to your practice. In the afterglow of that confidence boost, be sure to pay attention to who is being referred to you and keep track of this information. Offline, referrals should give you some insight into what kind of patient our local population thinks you would be appropriate for. Pay attention to age, location, employer or job, and particular health history or concerns. Online, referral insights can help identify and clarify your digital audience. Use your offline findings to determine your audience and then use that information to target your ideal prospective patients.
Local Paper or Community Bulletin
Patients for most medical practices are almost entirely made from their local communities. People tend to gravitate toward doctors that are close to them and whom are trustworthy. In addition to your online presence, become a familiar presence to your community by getting your practice on paper. Place ads (with a photo!) in local newspapers and community bulletins. Also consider mailings of postcards or brochures. Provide the usual phone number and physical address but also make sure to list your website and social media handles. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to access information and contact your practice.
Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Offering little tokens of appreciation to your patients provides a better visit experience and makes you more memorable. In addition to traditional objects such as pens or magnets, find something that speaks directly to your expertise. If you are a dentist, give each patient a toothbrush with your practice information right on the handle. If you are an optometrist, offer each patient a lens wipe with your information imprinted. You are not only providing your patients with something useful but also keeping your practice at top of mind. This will make it easier and more likely for people to find you online and give recommendations to others.
Branding is an important detail that practices may overlook. People subconsciously hold onto visuals in their memory and your brand (logo, font, colors, slogan) is your calling card. Be sure to have consistent and cohesive visuals in all of your presence – both on and offline. When someone sees your practice name and logo in a newspaper ad, it absolutely needs to be the same on your website and social media accounts. Do not leave room for any guess work or confusion.
Offline marketing is not dead! The efforts you make outside of your online strategy help to drive patients (current and potential) to the internet and boost your digital presence. Remember to engage your local community, provide a memorable patient experience and utilize consistent branding in all places that your practice is present.
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