Marketing Tips & Tricks for Your Practice
Just like any other business, if you want your practice to grow, you must implement a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help achieve your practice goals – whether this means filling your waiting room with more of the patients you want to see, or you just want to increase some of that cash flow.
And the truth is, marketing a podiatry practice doesn’t have to be all that hard! In fact, in many ways, marketing your practice will be similar to marketing any other type of business:
- You’ll need a website with good SEO
- You’ll need to work on your social media presence
- You’ll need to create well-written, compelling content
- You’ll need to engage your target audience with visually appealing graphics …
Well, we don’t want to give the secret sauce away right off the bat. But you get the point – marketing any type of business will often incorporate the same strategic components.
Now, of course you will need to consider some of the differences as well. After all, providing foot care is not exactly the same as selling lingerie or slinging drinks. The same marketing approach that would work for a restaurant, music venue, or retailer might not be the right choice for someone working in healthcare. And the business of “fixing feet” will naturally call for a different type of interaction between you and your customers.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences is the fact that most podiatrists get into the business primarily to help people. Since your first goal is to provide services that get patients back on their feet, you may not be as focused on marketing – who has time for that when you’re caring for the health of the community, right?
We get it! And that’s why we are here to point you in the right direction. So let’s get to it…
Create an Awesome Website
To start, you will want to build a stunning, functional, and effective website for your podiatry practice.
Preferably, your design will be unique to your practice (though you can also use a template to build your site, having your very own “look” will make sure your practice stands out). So use original, search engine optimized content, and consistent branding throughout your site.
You should also build a website that looks great on both desktop and mobile devices, with integrated scheduling calendars, patient portals, etc.
Don’t Skip SEO
Simply having an awesome website won’t do you much good if your patients can’t find it when they search for podiatry practices in their area, though!
That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important, and you should use it to get your practice to the top of the search rankings and stay there. That includes regular analytics tracking, keyword research, managing third-party listings (Google, Yelp, RateMDs, etc.) for your practice and physicians, encouraging positive patient reviews, etc.
It may sound like a lot (we know), but SEO is one the most important aspects of successfully marketing your business.
Put Out Good Content
Informative, engaging, and entertaining content is critical if you want to draw visitors to your website and convince them to become your patients.
You should write unique and original content for all your webpages, blog posts, newsletters, etc. – this will help avoid Google duplicate content penalties, as well as showcase your practice’s unique services and treatment recommendations in your very own personal style.
Build a Brand with Visually Appealing Graphics
You will also need to build a “brand” that your patients will easily recognize, identify, and trust.
How do you get that done? By designing an effective logo, choosing official colors for your practice, and including visually appealing graphics in your website. And these decisions should never be made carelessly – if your design is boring, cluttered, or confusing, you’re not going to keep your “customer’s” attention and you’re probably not going to make that “sale.” More often than not, they’ll find a local competitor with a more professional-looking digital presence.
Regardless of the demographics of your target audience, chances are the patients you’re trying to reach will have one form or another of social media. And if your practice isn’t there too, then you are missing out on connecting with your audience through one of the easiest methods available – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like.
You can use one (or more) of these social media platforms to inform, appeal, and sometimes even entertain your target audience. You can share the blogs and webpages in your website to promote your brand, as well as “humanize” your practice by sharing fun pictures, tips, and ideas.
Of course, take some time to make sure what you are posting is appropriate and accurately represents your practice.
Stay Connected with Your Patients
Without a doubt, your patient list is one of the most important marketing tools already available to your practice – it’s hard to imagine a group of people more squarely in your target demographic than the people who have already seen you at least once! So use your patient database to stay in touch with your audience and on top of your patients’ minds.
This can easily be done by sending out periodic emails with relevant, valuable information, like recall reminders for diabetic or orthotics patients, feedback forms and review requests, new patient welcomes, and even birthday congratulations.
All you need is an email address and you’re good to go!
Video is one of the most engaging formats for relaying information – and when done right, videos can provide significant value to patients, drive search traffic, and even get shared on social media channels.
Is there a question your patients often ask during appointments? Does your practice provide a unique treatment approach for heel pain? Think about recording a video and sharing it throughout your social media platforms.
Of course, you should make sure to carefully pick a topic, create a script and storyline, as well as edit the footage to ensure the material is of high quality – remember, we’re talking about the image of your practice here.
Now Put it All into Practice
The bottom line is: In this day and age, you can no longer simply rely on word of mouth or traditional marketing to grow your practice. And, since more and more patients are now making their medical decisions online, you need to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape so your marketing efforts meet their expectations and needs.
And we’ve just scratched the surface here on all the things that go into developing stellar marketing for your practice. If your head is already spinning, there are a couple of things you can do.
The first is sign up for the next AAPPM meeting. During these short but action-packed conferences, you’ll get to talk shop with podiatric marketing experts in interactive group sessions, and you’ll even have the opportunity to sign up for free 1-on-1 consultations with our presenters and partners.
We are also proud to have a few full service digital marketing firms that specialize in podiatry included in our list of AAPPM corporate partners if you’re looking for some recommendations on who can help with your marketing!
Any other questions or concerns? Give our office a call at (517) 484-1930 today. You can also fill out our online request form to have a member of our staff reach out to you.