Inexpensive healthcare marketing ideas that won’t break the bank
As the warm summer weather winds down and vacation breaks are wrapping up, now is a good time to implement some healthcare marketing ideas for the fall. Making plans for a marketing strategy for the upcoming months can provide you with a head start on building your brand and attracting new patients (while keeping your existing patients engaged), and without breaking the bank. Here are 5 budget-friendly healthcare marketing ideas for fall:
1. Refresh your website
If you haven’t paid attention to your website lately, now may be a good time to give it a refresh. Always keep in mind that your website is like a business card or brochure and is the first impression many prospective patients will see before making the decision to contact your practice for an appointment. If your website is outdated or difficult to navigate, has broken links, or takes a long time to load, it could be perceived as a direct reflection on the care you take in your business.
Also, be sure that your website is mobile responsive. According to Google, 70% of website traffic comes from mobile phones. A non-responsive website will also rank lower in search engine results.
Website development doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are many budget-friendly website builders on the market that make website creation easy and affordable. This resource provides some of the most popular budget-friendly website builders.
2. Create valuable content
If you listen to your patients, you’ll discover a wealth of information that can be converted into valuable content. For example, if your specialty is treating patients with sports injuries, you could create content around techniques, stretches and recommended exercises for a wide range of sports-related injuries such as ACL tears, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, or shin splints.
Health tips, exercise programs, weight training tips and healthy recipes focused on the types of patients you treat can all become valuable content.
Content comes in many forms. If you create a blog post, it could also become a flyer, a downloadable report, a social media post, or even a video.
If you don’t have time to produce content yourself, there are budget-friendly freelance services that can help. Online platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork offer content producers – from writers to videographers to graphic designers – at various price levels. Or, find freelance content production candidates on LinkedIn ProFinder, which is a free member tool on LinkedIn to find talent. In addition, this resource lists other content writing services for business owners.
3. Get social
If you’re not posting regularly on social media platforms you’re missing out on an inexpensive and budget-friendly healthcare marketing idea. By spending a little time on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ll be able to see the types of content and the types of patients who are engaging with that content. Choose a couple of social media platforms that are popular with your target patient to begin with, and start posting valuable content. This resource from Social Media Examiner outlines social media basics for small businesses.
Don’t forget about LinkedIn! LinkedIn is an effective business promotion tool. Signing up for LinkedIn is free and you can promote your practice by creating a LinkedIn company page and posting to it regularly. You can attract patients as well as professional referral sources by utilizing this budget-friendly healthcare marketing idea.
4. Host an online patient event
Hosting an online patient event is another budget-friendly healthcare marketing idea. Online events can help educate your patients on a particular health-related topic. For example, if you treat seniors, an online event focused on balance and how to avoid falls could be valuable to your existing patients and potential patients. The topics you choose should be focused on your target patient and should be straightforward and engaging. This resource explains how to host a patient event.
5. Practice patient engagement
An inexpensive but effective way to market your practice is by maintaining strong relationships with your existing patients. Word-of-mouth advertising still works and is one of the best ways to gain new patients to your practice.
Make a habit of practicing patient engagement. This could include thanking your patients for their loyalty or following up by phone or email to be sure that they’re satisfied with your services. A simple thank you note or email can show that you value their trust in your services.
Other patient engagement strategies could include convenient online appointment scheduling, streamlining patient paperwork, sending appointment reminders by text, email or phone depending on patient preference, or sending monthly email newsletters to patients with tips to keep them healthy.
Incorporate positive patient engagement strategies into your practice and be sure that your entire staff – from the front office to clinicians – are trained in patient engagement. Satisfied patients are happy to refer other relatives and friends to a healthcare practice that appreciates their business.
Stay consistent! Staying consistent is key to marketing your practice. Don’t become overwhelmed by attempting to maintain too many healthcare marketing ideas all at once. Listen to your patients and what their specific needs or concerns are, and then choose 2 or 3 appropriate ideas to start with. You can gradually increase your marketing as your time and budget permit. Doing a few marketing tasks well is far better than doing too many poorly, or not at all.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.