The office is furnished. The staff is ready. An announcement letter has been sent. You’ve been on meet and greets. You maybe even started to create a marketing campaign. But now it’s time to get the patients. Traditional ways work but can bog down the excitement of the new doctor you’re trying to promote.
The truth is, as we market our physicians, we need to help them generate referrals and deepen relationships with medical staff through a physician-focused campaign featuring high-quality clinical content that spotlights your skilled specialists and state-of-the-art technology. But those traditional ways are running thin and we need a new way to market them in an effective way.
Here are a few ways to make sure you’re taking your physician campaigns to the next level:
1) Create a physician profile online.
Think for a moment about how you create and develop your physician intro ads right now. Just as you develop the ad with a photo, bio, specialties, office address, phone number and website; create that same profile online and spruce it up with a personal touch. Remember, health care marketing is more about connecting your physicians and staff with your patients on a more personal level. Add their favorite hobbies, sport or even a story about why they got in to health care. Bring out their warm and fuzzy side if you can.
2) Advertise the physician’s availability through social media.
Do you have a new plastic surgeon who performs a unique skin surgery that you know your competitors aren’t doing? Great. Look into discount sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial or even Facebook ads to create buzz (and bring money to the system) about that service or procedure. Offer a unique discount on a service exclusively offered by your physician.
Also note, social media brings in solid leads. Dr. Natasha Burgert, pediatrician in Kansas City says after 12 months of committing to social media, she received an average of one new patient family a week. “I know this because they tell me, ‘I am here to see you today because I found you on Facebook,’ or ‘I found your blog,” Dr. Burgert said in a blog. “Fifty-two patients a year (times) $2,700 (average pediatric care for 0-24 months) = $140,000 of average billable income over two years.”
For her practice, Dr. Burgert says social media has increased new patient traffic and created revenue for the medical group she works for.
3) Start a physician blog or create an intro video.
As mentioned above, content is king. Think about doing a short video about his or her practice, as well as blogging. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children’s Hospital blogs as Seattle Mama Doc and has recently been using Seattle Mama Doc 101 videos to deliver important messages on things parents want or need to know.
If you need some inspiration, watch some of Seattle Mama Doc’s videos to see how it’s done.
Now, of course, this may not work for every physician campaign. Not every doc is in to social media, media savvy or even good on camera.
4) Think of your physicians’ practice as a business.
As health care marketers, we tend to forget that—doctors have a hard time doing that as well.
In a recent blog post, former international sales executive Christ Westfall listed “The 12 Most Important New Sales Strategies.” The post was intended for sales professionals, but I find several of these work in physician practice marketing and advertising as well.
5) Be patient and persistent.
This last tip is not considered so nontraditional, but it’s darn important. Building a practice takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a medical practice. A new physician can get discouraged with the slow and steady build of a new practice. Encourage him or her to use the downtime wisely – to keep visible with referral sources, make presentations in the community, and get involved with community support groups. The visibility, along with outstanding service to patients and referral sources, will result in increased patient volume.
Have you implemented any of the above strategies? What nontraditional ways have you used to market your new and existing physicians? Share below and join the conversation.