8 Tips To Find New Patients
In this article, I’m looking into the increase in competition for patients and to find new patients. I’ll take a look at how we got here and what you can do to ensure you’re deriving maximum value from this important asset and ensure you stay ahead of the game.
Over the past few years, I’ve observed a steady increase in competition for patients; right now, I’d say it’s at an all-time high. No longer can you rely on the old adage; If you build it, they will come! A marketing campaign that revolves around a listing in the Yellow Pages book might as well sign off on their demise.
We surveyed 134 of our GP clinic clients and 64% indicated they had noticed a decrease in patient attendances compared to the previous year.
Find New Patients!
I should really say ‘Be found by the best…’ I use the word ‘best’ because they are the ones who will start a family and bring their kids to you, tell their friends about you, move across the city but still travel to see you. These patients are an asset to your practice.
Create a marketing plan and strategy to execute
Healthcare, like any unique industry, has very particular marketing strategies. People only need you when they’re sick! So how do you make your clinic top of mind when that time comes around?
Use your own tools (or at least make them look like your own)
These form part of your IP. 85% of people will search for you online, make sure you have your own website that means today’s modern standards. Create trust by allowing your patents to navigate around your own website.
The average person has 7 healthcare Apps on their smartphone. Make your practice standout and give your patients easy 1-click access to your clinic by having your own App.
Make sure you have someone internally that can navigate all the B.S that’s out there. Such examples include trying to be something you’re not (know who you are first!), avoid the hype and use technology you know your patients will embrace, using an agency who knows nothing about our industry and doesn’t understand your endgame.
Become a thought leader
Create your own content and share it with the world.
Is there someone in your clinic who has a passion for writing, collaborating or sharing? Use them! Get them to create content, research articles to share, or simply post relevant health related information online. It is so rare in our industry to see inside knowledge shared by professionals who know what they’re talking about, but don’t share this knowledge. Sharing is NOT giving intellectual property, quite the opposite. It’s showing the world you know what you’re talking about, that you are the central place to go for good, well research and informed medical knowledge. Patients will be drawn to your practice because you care, because you seem to know what you’re talking about!
Make Sure Your Business Listings Are Accurate & Up-to-date!
Did you know that 73% of consumers lost trust in a brand when their listings are incorrect? Furthermore, Google will down-rank you if your listings are inconsistent. If you think about, it’s seeing multiple conflicting information listed online, it won’t know which one is correct, therefore won’t want to send its users to an incorrect address, or phone number.
Make sure you’re listed consistently and correctly on (at very least) these sites:
Use social media
Despite our good friends over at APHRA creating a dark cloud over this topic, social media is an excellent and cost-effective marketing medium to utilise. Share, post & comment (from your business profile). HeartBeat Digital Marketing has conducted very successful Social Media campaigns for our healthcare clients, check out our work for Medical Hub @ RMIT for an example (follow the social media links on the site).
This comes back to my earlier point, if you’re not seen, you’re not thought of. There will always be someone louder or with deeper pockets that attracts patients. Make sure you’re in the mix and get your business out there and in front of people 24/7 without having to spend a lot of money!
Attract patients because of your skillset
Tell everyone how good you are, how good your doctors are, your staff and your management are!
If you have specific medical skills, such as women’s health, geriatric specialisations, mental health, make sure you use this to your absolute advantage and market these specific skills
Here’s my No.1 “DO NOT”
Do not use an aggregation website as your sole marketing strategy. An aggregation website brings together all clinics in one single website with a goal to direct web traffic to their website. There may be an appropriate time and place for it but understand there is absolutely no long-term value creation whatsoever. As we have seen in recently media findings, they will sell your patients data and promote the clinic down the road for a dollar. Despite what you might think, their business model is working against you, not for you. Your patients will eventually navigate their way around the site (or even worse prompted to) and find another clinic that might be in closer proximity, have better appointment availability or simply just pay more money to the aggregation site to appear higher in a search rank…all of which goes completely against continuity of care and value creation for your business. What started as an asset is now gone.
If you want help on any of the above tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to our digital marketing experts at HeartBeat Digital Marketing on calling (03) 9592 8986 or visit our website for a FREE assessment on your digital presence by clicking here!