As a healthcare administrator, you know that marketing your medical practice can be a major challenge with a limited budget and resources. By getting creative and utilizing modern technology, however, you may be surprised by the effectiveness of some cost-effective or even free methods for promoting your medical practice.
Today, we’ll outline 8 effective strategies for boosting patient engagement without having to break the bank on ad budgets. While not all strategies will work for every practice, you can review them and consider which ones might work best for you!
Ad Budget-Free Marketing Strategies for Medical Practices:
1. Social Media
One of the best and simplest organic marketing strategies for growing a medical practice is to use social media. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are free to use and can serve as excellent channels to showcase your credibility and knowledge about relevant medical topics.
By creating quality content and using relevant trending hashtags, you can also reach a large number of people who may be interested in your services. Additionally, you can use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with other healthcare providers in your community and build referral relationships.
2. Patient Referrals
Another great method to grow your medical practice without an ad budget is to focus on patient referrals. When patients have a positive experience at your practice, they are likely to tell their friends and family about it.
You can encourage patient referrals by providing excellent customer service and offering incentives for patients who refer new patients to your practice. Remember, patients may not remember the specific details of a procedure performed on them, but they will remember how they were treated and how they felt after leaving your office.
3. Community Outreach
Medical practices serve their local communities. One of the most effective strategies to raise awareness for your organization is to introduce yourself to the same people who would schedule appointments with you. This can be accomplished through community outreach.
By participating in local events, donating to local charities, and partnering with other businesses in your community, you can increase awareness of your practice and attract new patients. Additionally, outreach initiatives can also help you build and nurture relationships with referring physicians and other healthcare providers in your area.
4. Public Relations
Unlike digital marketing or advertising, public relations focuses on generating positive press coverage for a business or organization. Securing coverage with local media outlets can help to increase your brand awareness and create a positive perception with members of the community.
Generating press coverage can be accomplished through multiple strategies. Some in-house options could include hosting events, participating in charitable activities, and winning awards. If you do not have time to manage all of this on your own, you could also hire a local public relations agency in your area to assist you.
5. Search Engine Optimization
When potential patients are searching for medical treatment online, they are likely starting with a search engine like Google or Bing. A search like “Emergency department near me” can generate listings of local EDs in someone’s area within seconds.
Though Google does offer paid advertising options to help your organization appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), many users view organic listings as more authoritative. By ranking higher in SERPs, you can increase your website visibility and draw more visitors to your site. Additionally, you can use SEO to target specific keywords that potential patients are searching for online.
In practice, though, SEO encompasses multiple strategies and not just a single tactic. From introducing new keyword-rich content to your website to obtaining high-quality backlinks, optimizing the technical elements of your site, and more, you can start to compete for desirable keywords in your area.
6. Content Marketing
While content marketing can serve as part of an SEO strategy in the form of blog posts and updates to core pages of your website, it can also prove an effective standalone tactic as well. With assets like eBooks, whitepapers, and brochures, you can demonstrate your knowledge of important topics while also providing a valuable reference for your patients.
No matter what type of content you’re producing, the most important tip to keep in mind is to be helpful first. Offer real information that can satisfy the person reading it instead of simply using it to promote your own practice.
7. YouTube Channels
YouTube has become a powerful platform for medical practices to market themselves. Not only can a medical practice create videos discussing the latest treatments and technologies, but it can also create content that educates viewers on other important aspects of health, such as nutrition, exercise, and preventative care.
Videos on YouTube provide an opportunity for medical practitioners to present information in an engaging and entertaining way. Once uploaded onto a YouTube channel, this content will also become available to a much wider potential patient base than just local referrals alone. A well-curated YouTube channel is an invaluable asset for any medical practice looking to reach potential patients outside its immediate area.
8. Google Reviews
Google reviews are an invaluable tool in the medical field, both for patients and practices. Reviews provide a way for medical providers to interact with current and potential patients on an online platform while also advertising their services. Positive reviews send a message of reliability and trustworthiness to potential patients, who often rely on feedback from other patients when selecting a healthcare facility.
The collected data also provides valuable insight into how clients feel about particular services or even individual staff members, helping medical practices make adjustments and focus their efforts accordingly. Utilizing Google reviews not only allows medical offices to interact with clients but can allow them to market themselves in an extremely effective way.
To start generating more Google reviews, consider placing a QR code on a sheet of paper near your office’s entryway, exit, and at the front desk. Users can simply scan it with their phone camera and follow the link to leave a review of their experience.
9. Invest in the Patient Experience
Most importantly, once a patient arrives at your practice, the expectations you promote in your marketing materials should match reality. Providing an excellent experience can help generate more return visits and referrals more than any other strategy.
One of the simplest, most efficient, and cost-effective ways to do this is to invest in patient engagement software that allows your patients to interact with your practice prior to their visit. For example, tools like a virtual queuing system, digital intake, and ePrescribing all help patients save time and create more bandwidth for your staff to spend with them.
Get a Custom Marketing Strategy for Your Medical Organization
At ER Express, we are dedicated to innovating the ways that urgent cares, emergency departments, and veterinary practices can engage with their patients and elevate their experience. To help accomplish our mission, we also provide in-depth, personalized marketing strategies to help you reach your goals.
To learn more about our patient engagement software and how we can help you craft a marketing strategy to grow your practice, contact us today.