By Dr. Gregg Allen
A question that a lot of medical business owners have is how do I market my private practice? You may have medical know-how and a team of the best healthcare staff. However, if you’re not reaching the right people, you’re going to struggle to achieve success. Visibility and branding are both imperative. With that being said, in this blog post, we will talk you through where a lot of private practices are going wrong with marketing, so you can make sure you get it right.
Why is marketing so important for private practices?
As a business in a competitive sphere, you need to make sure you are ahead of the game when it comes to innovative and effective private practice ideas that will give your business more exposure. After all, there are over 780,000 businesses in the US healthcare sector, which you are going to be competing against. At the same time, though, there has been a five percent decrease in the number of patient care physicians working privately, meaning now is the perfect time to set yourself apart. You need to make sure that potential patients choose your business over the rest, and this is where marketing comes into play. Marketing not only puts you in front of patients but reassures them that you are the best choice for them, leading to conversions. Of course, this will only be the case if you get private practice advertising right.
Medical marketing statistics
To help you understand why private practice advertising is so important, and also why improvements need to be made, let’s look at some statistics:
- Seven percent of all searches on Google are related to health (source)
- 47 percent of Internet users look for information online about health professionals (source)
- Search drives three times the number of visitors to private practice websites (source)
- Healthcare businesses have an average conversion rate of 3.2 percent – yet the top performers convert as much as 21.1 percent (source)
These statistics show that a lot of people are looking for healthcare assistance online. They also show that there is plenty of room for medical practices to improve on this front.
Five of the most common private practice advertising mistakes
There are a number of different mistakes that business owners are making when it comes to marketing private practice brands. So, let’s take a look at some of the most significant below:
Not putting yourself in the patient’s shoes
There is only one place to begin, and this is by failing to think like a patient when approaching your marketing efforts. How do private practices get clients? By making sure that their business is present in the places that their clients are going to be looking. Therefore, you need to understand the customer journey when they have a healthcare issue or require a doctor. What sort of search terms do they use? Where do they look online? Only by understanding this can you then put together an effective marketing strategy.
A lack of social proof
When looking for healthcare professionals online, patients want to know that the individual they are considering has a good reputation. This is why reviews are so critical. Aside from this, you need to make sure you are present on Doctor’s search tools, like Doc360. Tools like this have ratings and doctor information, which is why they are often the first port of call whenever someone needs a GP or a specialist.
Not having a website that is optimized for mobile use
Did you know that 90 percent of the global population uses mobile Internet? Mobile devices overtook desktops in terms of Internet use several years ago. Despite this, there are so many websites that have been optimized for website use but not mobile use. Big mistake! If a potential patient tries to view your website on a smartphone and it is difficult and frustrating to use, it will only result in them clicking the back button and heading to another private practice, which is the last thing you want!
Contracting too many outside marketing vendors
It is understandable that you may need to hire some outside assistance to help with your marketing efforts. However, you need to remember that what makes people choose certain doctors is their level of experience and degree of specialization. Most marketing professionals won’t know this. So, you need to make sure you pertain some control and input so that you come across as genuine and trusted.
Not measuring your marketing efforts
Last but not least, if you do not measure your marketing efforts, how are you going to improve on them? Consequently, you need to understand what marketing metrics matter. For example in terms of your online reputation, you may want to measure the number of patient reviews you receive, review sentiment, and the frequency of reviews posted. Understanding this will help you to figure out what areas of your marketing are working and where you need to improve.
Time to start marketing your medical business the right way
So there you have it: everything you need to know on marketing private practice businesses. If you have noticed any of the errors we have mentioned above, there is no need to panic. However, you do need to take steps to make sure that you rectify these errors so that you can market your medical business more successfully.
Dr. Allen’s success in the healthcare industry spans from his time as a board-certified family physician, emergency room physician to the founding Chief Medical Officer of Medsolutions and now as an Advisor at Doc360°, a highly trusted doctor search platform powered by careNext. He also sat as the Senior Medical Officer of Coventry Corporation and is a long-time member of the editorial board of the Journal of Population Health.