4 Ways to Stay Up To Date with Medical Practice Marketing Trends
As a medical professional, you know the importance of staying up to date with developments in technology, patient care management and other mainstays of healthcare. With the ongoing pressure to do so, an area that’s often overlooked is medical practice marketing, which is essential to ensure ongoing patient acquisition, growth and success. This carries the challenge of keeping up to date with constantly–changing marketing trends - a necessary process if your practice is to survive and thrive.
Follow the Competition
It’s always good to know what your competitors are up to. While “competition” may not be the actual word used in the medical profession, there’s no question that it exists. Any other practices offering the same services within a 25-mile radius of yours are competition, in that your patients could leave and go to them instead. Knowing what they are doing – and how well they do it – helps you to identify gaps in your own medical practice marketing.
Conduct regular competitor analysis by:
- Setting up Google alerts on the name of the practice and the physician or treatment professionals
- Signing up for their email newsletter, if one exists
- Following their profiles on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter
- Seeking out and connecting with the principal physician or healthcare provider on LinkedIn. That way you’ll know what their areas of interest are, and you can try to establish a collaborative relationship.
Don’t just read the information you get through these methods. Record it so you have statistical intelligence to refer to when you need to shift your own marketing in a new direction.
Trends in medical practice marketing often closely resemble those of other professional services in the B2C environment, so subscribe to blogs, updates and RSS Feeds from providers involved in this type of marketing. Follow developments in the digital marketing world, make sure your practice has a strong Internet presence and keep up with changes in the environment. For example, email marketing is currently a popular method of sending out special promotional offers, but research shows hard copy, direct mail is still a more effective method of reaching patients.
Find ways to engage your existing patients regularly to stay updated on their needs and habits. If your patient profile is mostly seniors, there’s little benefit in marketing to them online unless you know they have Internet access and use it regularly. If your specialty is sports injuries, however, you’ll probably find the majority of your patients very active in the mobile online sphere. Engage with them through online surveys and in-practice questionnaires, and publish content that invites comment. Create social media profiles where you can participate in the online community, and get involved in discussions around your practice’s specialty areas.
Keep track of the amount of traffic generated by your website and social networking activities with a tool such as Google analytics. This helps you to monitor the success of your medical practice marketing. Use Google AdWords to promote your practice in search, and check the reports weekly to see which keywords are drawing the most traffic, then optimize your ads for those keywords. Ask new patients when they sign up where they heard about you and record their responses. This will help you stay up to date on the marketing trends that are working.
If your practice needs help in compiling a creative marketing strategy, contact us for a free, 60-minute consultation.