Marketing is a vital part of operating a medical practice. Marketing, as a component of your overall digital strategy, establishes you as knowledgeable and trustworthy, makes you more relatable and accessible, and makes it easier for new patients to find you. Someone unfamiliar with be benefits of digital strategy may think “I don’t need marketing as long as I’m a good doctor.” Word-of-mouth reputation will only get you so far. You need the digital presence to back it up.
Here are just some of the misconceptions that hold physicians and practices back from committing to a strong marketing strategy:
“I already have enough patients. Marketing isn’t necessary.”
You may very well have a good number of patients right now who call you their doctor. You may assume that most of those patients will continue to return to you for care for years to come. That’s all wonderful but you cannot ignore the fact that changes occur and nothing is an absolute guarantee. There are a number of reasons for a patient to seek out a new physician – unsatisfactory experience, change in insurance provider, move to a new workplace or home, and more. You need to be prepared for patient drop off. That’s why marketing your practice to bring in new patients is so important. Be proactive about it NOW and not when you patient base is getting close to zero.
“People know us in our community.”
Simply because people know that your practice exists does not necessarily mean that they will actively choose to come to you. Your online community needs to be regularly reminded of the excellent physicians at your practice, the services that you provide, and the glowing reviews that you recieve. This rings especially true in a culture is increasingly digital. Word of mouth was the norm for older generations in search of a physician recommendation. However, the younger generations today are looking to Yelp, Facebook and ZocDoc to help them make the decision. More and more of these younger patients are searching for physicians on their own and you need to meet them where they will go.
“Advertising is too expensive.”
You have to spend money to make money. Remember that saying? This basic philosophy can apply to the money that you may consider spending on online advertising for your practice. Marketing needs to be thought of as an investment – because it is. The cost that you put out for ads comes back to you in the form of patients. Not a bad return, right? Digital marketers pay attention to the data and analytics to ensure that advertisements are being targeted toward the best possible audience. Contrary to what some may believe, advertising does not need to be expensive. Twenty or thirty dollars over a few weeks is plenty to give your social content a nice boost and get it in front of as many eyes as possible.
A medical practice does itself a disservice by ignoring the power, impact and benefits of digital marketing. Times are changing and the old tactics of acquiring and keeping patients are becoming less reliable. Physicians need to embrace a digital strategy to keep their practice modern, relevant and in the minds of their audience.
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