Common Medical Marketing Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
Mistakes Medical Practices Commit When Implementing A Medical Marketing Plan
Your medical practice needs patients to grow and survive. Marketing your business is going to be the only way you can get people in through your door to be served by your providers and staff. Your medical practice is not a lemonade stand where you are open and hoping someone walks in off the street, curious about why the lights are in a building. While most medical practice owners agree that marketing is needed, there are some common mistakes they make that can hurt their overall medical marketing plan.
1. Not Making A Legitimate Effort To Market Your Medical Practice
Take a step back and look at every effort you are making to market your medical practice. Are you doing everything you could be doing? If your marketing effort consists of some business cards, a stand of pamphlets in your waiting room, and a listing in the phone book, you may not be doing enough. A big mistake that medical practices make is assuming they are doing enough to market their medical practice.
Take time to look at your competitors and explore where they are advertising. If you are not sure how patients reach out and find healthcare choices, ask the friends and family of your employees to tell you how they do their searches. If your competitors appear in those searches, but you do not, then you need to reevaluate your current medical marketing plan.
2. The Marketing Budget For Your Medical Marketing Plan Is Wrong
An underfunded marketing plan is another big mistake many medical practices make. If there is not enough money in the budget to properly do something, it may be best to redirect that money towards a more successful marketing campaign. For example, if your budget for a TV Commercial results in a great commercial, but only one plays once a week or a low-quality ad that plays daily, then maybe this isn’t for your business.
The budget for any of your marketing campaigns needs to be realistic to try to achieve its goals. If you set a budget too low, you probably will not see the results you want. For example, if your paid search ad budget is so small that it runs out of money within an hour, it will be hard to determine how effective it is. Your budget needs to be competitive with your competitors. If your rival is spending $120 a day in online ads and you are only spending $20, their ads will be seen far more often than yours. This is going to result in more clicks to their website than yours and probably more patients.
So, what should you set your marketing budget too? That is not an easy question to answer. Every area is different, so there is no set number to suggest. This should be something you are regularly evaluating to find the best budget that works for you. Keep in mind that a budget this year might not be enough next year.
3. Your Marketing Campaigns Are Sending Potential Patients To An Out Of Date Website
Your website is part of your medical marketing plan. It needs as much attention as the rest of your medical marketing plan. If neglected, you will have a tough time converting website visitors to patients. While your marketing campaign metrics may show click after click going to your website, if you are not getting anyone walking through your front door or calling with questions, your site may need some improvement. While your website may look great, consider what the user experience is like. Ask yourself:
• How long does it take to find contact information?
• How many clicks does it take to get information about a service?
• How long does it take for the website to load?
• What is the experience like on the desktop and a mobile device?
• Compared to competitors, does it “look” like an old website?
• Is the content on my website up to date? Does it use the same phrases my marketing campaigns use?
A website that is not performing well can make your ads perform poorly as well. A search engine will detect if someone clicks on an ad and then immediately returns for more results. To a search engine, this indicates they provided a lousy result. If this happens enough times, you can expect your overall ad quality score to drop. This will make it more expensive to advertise, and your ads will be less likely to show. Spend time keeping your website up to date and make it easy for potential patients to navigate it on a computer or a mobile device.
4. Untrained Staff Answering The Phones
While almost all new patients are going to visit your website and read your online reviews, most will also call your medical clinic for more information. Whoever answers that phone, needs to be trained to answer as many questions as possible with a cheery disposition. Someone who sounds grumpy doesn’t know anything, and doesn’t take down any contact information is not going to serve your medical practice well.
Many medical practices use HIPPA-compliant call recording systems for training purposes. Owners can listen to patient and staff interaction to make sure staff are doing their best to answer questions and convert phone calls into loyal patients. You should check to make sure your team is answering questions correctly, giving accurate information, and not doing anything that hurts your chances to increase your patient count. Staff training is always a good idea. Instead of playing back calls that are bad to embarrass a staff member, highlight good ones and use that to model excellent phone skills with your team.
5. Claiming All Listings and Thinking You Have Conquered SEO For Your Medical Website
You probably know that you need to create a listing on Google, Bing, Yelp, Facebook and Foursquare. You also understand that the information on these listings all needs to be accurate and up to date. However, many medical clinics office managers think that updating listings on dozens of websites is equal to high SEO for your medical practice. This is not accurate. Go to the extra mile and focus on the content of your website for high SEO rankings. The most important business listings are
- Google My Business
- Facebook Business page
- Yelp Business page
All others will help you marginally. Focus on these three first and of course, if you have time and money, spend on all others. It is not hard to create a listing for a business as a patient or customer.
These mistakes are common, but they can be easily avoided with some planning and some analysis. Don’t hold down the potential growth of your medical practice and make sure you are not committing any of these mistakes at your business. PatientGain.com can help you determine a reasonable advertising budget, get your website up to speed, and many other things to build your patient count. Call and make an appointment today!