Whether you’re opening a new plastic surgery private practice or own a multi-location med spa, medical marketing is a beast you need to know.
To help you get started figuring out where to start (and what you don’t even know you don’t know), we’ve put together this guide to marketing a medical practice.
It’s split into 3 phases based on where your practice is in your medical marketing journey. These phases are modeled on the layers of work we often do with the medical aesthetics practices we work with, but these can be adapted to suit almost any practice model and ideal patient type.
Your 3-phase medical marketing strategy:
Let’s get started.
Before you can launch into marketing your medical practice, researching the cost of social media ad campaigns and hiring a social media manager, you need to set up the basics.
Namely, you need to make sure you have a functioning (and effective) website and social media profiles.
That way, once you launch into your content strategy, paid ad campaigns, and marketing optimization efforts (more on that in Phase 2), you’ll be ready to roll.
You can have stunning ad graphics and viral social media content. But if your website is confusing to navigate (or worse: makes your prospective patient question your legitimacy), they’re not going to book an appointment.
That’s why a strategically-designed website is key to any medical practice’s success—and why it should be one of your first priorities in setting up your medical practice marketing.
To fully support your practice’s (and patients’) needs, your website must:
And all of that starts with web design.
Check out our web design services to learn more.
Of course, having a pretty and well-designed website isn’t all you need to launch your practice online.
You’ve got to fill it with the words, images, and videos that’ll bring your patients in and build their trust in you.
That’s why figuring out your brand voice and visuals with strategic copywriting and content production is key to the early phases of any medical marketing strategy.
With strategic medical copywriting, your ideal patients will hear their needs and concerns addressed in your website content (and all your other marketing materials going forward).
Your copywriting should show them…
(A potentially tough pill to swallow: Unfortunately, filling your site with medical jargon to prove you’re legit doesn’t really do that trick.)
The same thing goes for your visual content—think website images, ad photography, and social media posts.
Free stock photos of smiling people in scrubs can be great, but not when every competitor is using the same ones.
If you want to stand out (and, for the sake of your practice, you definitely do!), your visual content needs to be cohesive and clearly reflect the rest of your brand.
We’re all about nailing your words and images. Read more about our medical copywriting and content production offerings.
One of the best ways to get your practice’s medical marketing off the ground ASAP? Bring a dedicated medical marketer onto your leadership team.
For some practices, hiring an agency for certain parts of your marketing and DIY-ing the rest can be a good fit (Hey, that’s why we’ve put together this guide!).
But it can end up creating more work and unnecessary back-and-forth than you have the time to stay on top of.
That’s where a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) comes in.
Your partner in marketing crime success, a fractional CMO operates as a permanent member of your leadership team, while not carrying the expenses of a full-time executive hire. They bring the C-suite direction and expertise—on-demand.
So you (and the rest of your practice’s leaders) can focus on what you do best. And leave the medical marketing to the pro.
Interested in bringing on your own pro fractional CMO? Our fractional leadership services may be the perfect fit.
So you’ve set up your website and gotten clear on your brand visuals and voice. Congrats, you’re done! Your marketing is going to bring in all your ideal patients now without you needing to lift another finger.
Just kidding. If only it were that easy (we’d be out of a job!)
To make the most of your practice’s medical marketing investments thus far, you have to continue creating new content, optimizing your existing collateral, and keeping a finger on the pulse of your lead generation strategy.
Marketing trends and how consumers (even medical patients) react to them are changing all the time. To stay top of mind and ahead of the pack, your practice needs to be nimble in its continuous marketing efforts.
Let’s dive into why and how to do just that.
Unfortunately, your ideal patients won’t just book with you because you offer the perfect treatments for them (and list them on your website).
You need to know where they hang out online, what kind of content they consume and respond to, and bring them in to your practice’s online brand.
(Note: With the research you’ll be doing on your ideal patients’ behavior, needs, and concerns, this step pairs well with the work you do in Phase 1 to nail your brand voice in your medical copywriting.)
With that information, you can devise strategic lead funnels that start with your prospective patients learning about your practice and end with them booking their first appointment.
Your lead generation strategy can include:
Or even all of the above.
Learn more about our bespoke approach to medical practice lead generation.
As you created your website, you probably began loading it with tons of valuable information for your prospective patients.
Prioritizing your SEO ensures that the people already searching for that information online find your website—and end up meeting your practice in the process.
Like the other medical marketing strategies outlined in this Phase, SEO isn't a one-and-done quick fix. It can take a while to see results as the search engine processes your site.
Plus, to keep showing up high on Google’s search engine results, you need to continue creating strategic (and informative) content.
That’s why having a solid SEO content strategy in place (and tracking your keyword metrics) is key to nailing this aspect of your digital marketing.
And so you don’t wake up in a cold sweat realizing, “Oh god, I haven’t updated my practice’s blog in 6 months!”
Learn more about the power of medical SEO services.
PPC advertising is one of the most popular forms of marketing in the medical field. But it can be tricky to nail—and expensive
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your PPC investment by taking a strategic, experimental approach to your ads. Don’t just set them and forget them—and then wonder why your offer is hearing crickets.
The key to successfully using PPC to market your medical practice is A/B testing as many different aspects of your ads. And then altering your campaign’s strategy according to your analytics.
Seems simple enough, right? Not quite.
Many marketing agencies offer PPC services, but they may not understand the best practices of running ad campaigns for medical aesthetics practices (aka what you can and should include).
Luckily, that’s our bread and butter. See how we can collaborate to nail your PPC strategy services.
Having a huge social media presence or a bulky email list is awesome. Kudos to the work you’ve done to accomplish that!
But if those leads aren’t actually resulting in more of your ideal patients coming into your medical practice… well, what’s the point?
The amount of bookings you get versus your online engagement or website traffic is what’s called your conversion rate. Growing your patient roster is all about strategically increasing that number.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is all about using marketing science to learn from your ideal prospects’ behaviors and altering your marketing to encourage them to book.
It can look like strategic storytelling in your copywriting or using technical CRO tools like heat maps to track where/how your leads are interacting with your online presence.
Learn more about how CRO strategies can work for your medical practice.
Medical marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
In fact, some of the most important aspects of how prospective and repeat patients perceive your practice—and how they decide whether or not to book a visit—isn’t directly related to your medical marketing at all.
That’s why we believe a comprehensive medical practice marketing approach is a holistic one.
The rest of the business needs to be running like a well-oiled machine for your marketing investment to be maximally effective.
Your sales process, onboarding and operations, and online reputation are all part of why your patients choose you—or your competitor. It’s imperative to nail them (along with your formal marketing).
As your practice reaps the rewards of all the medical marketing work you set up in Phases 1 and 2, it’s time to answer an important question:
What are you doing with all those patients calling to book appointments?
Or, more directly: Is your medical practice equipped to handle all the leads you’re getting?
We encourage the medical practices we work with to hire dedicated sales staff (and train existing personnel) for this very reason.
Turning a lead into a patient doesn’t stop when they click “Book now.” In fact, that onboarding process is a key part of the patient experience your practice offers—and a huge part of what patients discuss in their reviews (but more on that later).
See why else we focus on sales enablement as part of our medical marketing services.
Your treatment and bedside manner are a huge part of why patients come to you.
But it’s also how everything else works: how streamlined your check-in is, how easy it is to book a follow-up, etc.
Making your front-office operations seamless will boost how patients see (and review) you. But for that to happen, you also need to optimize back-office operations.
In fact, to grow your patient roster without your practice splitting apart at the seams, you need to get serious about workflows and ops. All the dry business stuff: that’s where we see a lot of practices struggle to scale (and create unnecessary friction for their patients).
Let us help you discover the best way to manage your medical practice operations—for your marketing to work best and for your peace of mind.
As your practice’s medical marketing does its job and new patients start coming through your office, you’ll want to start gathering their feedback.
But you need to be intentional about it.
In fact, as you probably already know, feedback in the form of positive online reviews can be one of the most effective ways to encourage leads to book appointments.
The key to turning wonderful patient experiences (which you undoubtedly provide) into pages of raving Google reviews is strategically requesting those reviews.
Plus, following up with your reviewers—both positive and (the rare) negative—will further show your leads how responsive and caring your practice is.
After all, medicine is a trust-based field. Your reputation is everything.
See how else we can help optimize your practice’s online reputation.
Now that you’ve read through this guide, you probably have a good idea for where to start with growing your practice’s marketing strategy (or a good idea of what you’ve been letting slip).
If trial-and-error DIY-ing through these phases doesn’t sound like the best use of your precious time, we agree.
You deserve to work with a medical marketing agency who understands your industry and can help you book more of your ideal patients. So you (and your staff) can get back to doing what you do best: serving those patients.
So, give us a shout. We can’t wait to start brainstorming with you.