Marketing a healthcare practice can be a challenge. You want to gain recognition in your community, but at the same time, you need to be helpful, authoritative, and informative.
Additionally, paid ads from Google are extremely expensive for healthcare providers. In fact, according to data from Plerdy healthcare services keywords are in the top 20 most expensive keywords at an incredible $52.60 per click average.
Thankfully, there are a number of other healthcare marketing ideas that can promote your practice without excessive costs. From social media to video content, follow along as we go through the best marketing ideas for healthcare providers.
Table of contents
- Build trust with your community using social media
- Publish articles or get quote placements in local and online publications
- Use SEO to improve your online presence and optimize for mobile traffic
- Create and maintain a Google My Business profile
- Secure citations from general and industry directories
- Start a referral program
- Try content marketing with a blog
- Use video content to increase organic website traffic
- Use consistent branding
- Focus on user experience
- Display reviews on your website
11 Healthcare Marketing Ideas
These 11 healthcare marketing ideas are sure to boost your practice’s business. From healthcare SEO to social media, we cover many different medical practice marketing methods. Read on to learn about some proven ways you can promote your practice.
1. Build trust with your community using social media
Improving your social media presence to better connect with your community and patients is a no-brainer these days. You should never miss an opportunity to promote your practice and educate your patients for free. Social media platforms allow you to do just that.
Plus, patients want to be able to trust their physicians, and improving contact through social media posts is one of the best ways to make that happen. Social media is an amazing marketing idea for doctors because it allows them to form an approachable image for potential patients.
Psychiatrist Jessi Gold is the perfect example. She’s been able to amass 36.3K followers on Twitter using her platform to dish out mental health advice, advocate for mental health best practices, and even discuss her personal opinions. This makes her more relatable to potential patients and places her as an authoritative thought leader in the field of mental health.
Having a presence like this has made Dr. Gold incredibly successful because it provides a consistent pipeline of new patients. Out of over 36,000 followers, you are bound to capture a few new patients through this healthcare marketing idea. If that’s the case, imagine what having over 350,000 Twitter followers can do.
That’s the position OB/GYN, and now bestselling author, Jennifer Gunter finds herself in after debunking myths about actress Gweneth Paltrow’s “Goop” product.
Dr. Gunter still practices and her social media is the ultimate inbound marketing technique. This outlier example might not be possible for every doctor, but even building a small social media presence can help attract more patients, build trust, and humanize your practice.
2. Publish articles or get quote placements in local and online publications
Doctors have immense expertise and knowledge formed over years of specialized training and education. Sharing a little bit of that knowledge in articles for local publications and online journals is a powerful marketing strategy in healthcare that most doctors aren’t taking advantage of.
We aren’t talking about a sales piece here. Rather, these articles are meant to be informative articles that position your practice as a top industry authority.
The exposure from articles like these is great for business, and beyond that, it will help your practice secure a few valuable white hat backlinks.
What are backlinks? They’re hyperlinks from an external site back to yours. The more relevant, authoritative backlinks your website has, the better in the eyes of search engines. This will help your website rank higher on search engine results pages and be found more often by users.
Given the value of search engine results pages, taking the time to share your knowledge with the community can be a win-win. You create value for local and online publications while providing your practice with exposure and improved rankings for important keywords in results pages.
If you need help finding a place to get published, Digital PR services are your best bet. From getting articles published to securing backlinks, quotes, and brand mentions, digital PR can work wonders for medical practices.
3. Use SEO to improve your online presence and optimize for mobile traffic
Getting to the top ten positions in search engine results pages is critical to securing organic traffic because, according to Ahrefs, 90.88% of pages get zero organic search traffic from Google.
The only way to get to those top ten positions as a healthcare practice without paying for expensive advertising is with search engine optimization (SEO).
Healthcare SEO works to increase your website’s visibility in search engines through a number of methods. From building backlinks and brand awareness with articles in industry associations and online publications to creating quality content for physician sites, SEO can help bring in the type of organic traffic that leads to new patients.
Want to get started with SEO? Here are a few of the DIY SEO basics, but sometimes it makes more sense for healthcare providers to reach out to SEO experts for help. The SEO process can be complex and time-consuming.
- Create an SEO strategy backed by keyword research from Google Trends, Google Suggest, and Google Keyword Planner.
- Optimize title and header tags for SEO.
- Remember to include internal links and build an authoritative, relevant external link profile.
- Track your KPIs with free tools like Google Analytics.
- Correct duplicate content issues to ensure mobile site speed.
- Improve desktop and mobile site speed with Google PageSpeed Insights.
4. Create and maintain a Google My Business profile for local SEO
It’s no secret that Google dominates search engine usage, but some might be surprised by how entirely they dominate.
According to HubSpot, Google represents over 70% of the search market share. Google is easily the most popular search engine. In fact, it gets nearly 85% of all mobile searches.
That makes the results in Google extremely important for any business. When it comes to physicians, local results in Google are especially key.
If you want to increase your medical practice’s visibility in local search results in Google and on Google Maps you’ll need top medical marketing ideas like Local SEO. Local SEO starts with a properly optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile.
GMB profiles feature your business in local search results, which appear above organic results and just below paid ads.
Plus, your profile will appear in Google Maps searches by potential patients. Here’s an example from the search query “best family medicine doctors in phoenix.”
You can imagine how valuable results in Google’s local results and on Google Maps can be if your practice shows up in those tops spots. Reviews help patients trust you before even walking through your door. They make local SEO necessary for any healthcare provider with a physical location or even multiple locations.
Of course, your practice has competition when it comes to appearing in local results and on Google Maps. That’s where Local SEO services come in and ensure you appear at the top of search results, drawing in all the local patients your practice needs to thrive.
5. Secure citations from general and industry directories to improve local SEO
A simple healthcare marketing idea involves leveraging a tactic that you’re probably already doing — directory listings, or citations.
Citations are online references to a business. They usually include a name, address, and phone number (NAP), but also sometimes include a backlink, a map, reviews, and other business information. Securing these citations is a critical component of search engine optimization.
You can secure citations from general directories or review sites like Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, or Yahoo’s Local Pages. But the best places to secure citations for a healthcare provider are industry-specific directories like this one, Healthgrades.com.
Patients can search for doctors on Healthgrades, making it the perfect place to gain exposure for your practice.
You can even pay for a featured spot at the top of search results in the directory like Dr. Stephen Lynch has below.
The real value, of course, is the citation. Here’s an example of Dr. Lynch’s citation which contains NAP, a map, a link to his site, and reviews.
Getting featured in directories across the net takes time, but it is well worth it for the business exposure and search engine optimization benefits.
Want to learn more? Check out our article on How to Use Doctor Directories for Local SEO!
6. Start a referral program to capitalize on your quality service
Starting a referral program that asks your current patients to recommend your services to friends and family is one of the best ways to draw in new patients. This healthcare marketing idea is relatively simple to implement and is highly effective.
However, you should remember the federal Anti-Kickback Statute says doctors cannot give anything of value in exchange for referrals when federal insurance programs are involved (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid). And you’ll need to review any applicable state laws in your area on offering incentives for referrals.
If it’s a legal option, giving small discounts or special offers can greatly incentivize patients to refer to your practice. According to Xana Winans, the CEO of Golden Proportions Marketing, “Over 50 percent of new patients should be coming from referrals. If not, then you’re losing them (patients) to other practices.”
7. Try content marketing with a blog
Have you heard that old saying, ”If you can’t beat em, join em?”
Well, in a world where patients largely get information from WebMD and other online sources, a good marketing strategy in healthcare is to publish quality content on a blog. Healthcare content marketing produces valuable content that deals with real issues that patients commonly have.
You can create blogs that target traffic currently covered by WebMD, for example. Then, with a focus on conversion optimization, your content marketing works to build your website’s organic traffic and bring more patients to your practice.
There’s a reason 84% of companies in a 2020 SEMrush survey said they use content marketing — it works.
Blogging especially is a great way to build trust with patients before you even meet them. Of course, blogging isn’t easy and it just seems to keep getting more difficult. SEMrush’s 2021 survey found that articles with over 7,000 words get 4x the traffic and 43% more shares than articles of average length (900-1200 words).
Still, blogging can drastically improve your online presence and increase your patient count.
If you want to learn more, read our article on 5 Healthcare Blog Topics to Educate Patients.
8. Use video content to increase organic website traffic
Video content is exploding of late. From the growth of YouTube to the growing use of video in blogs, video content is everywhere. In fact, according to HubSpot, video is the most commonly used form in content marketing surpassing blogs and infographics.
Video connects with people on a level that blogging can’t compete with. So consider starting a medical YouTube channel to market your practice, or just put some videos up on your website to clarify FAQs for a start.
According to data from a 2020 Wyzowl survey on the state of video marketing, 84% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a product or service. That’s a pretty impressive statistic that shows the power of this healthcare marketing idea.
Taking advantage of stats like these by creating videos for your medical website, YouTube channel, or Facebook is a no-brainer for doctors looking to stand out from the crowd in a competitive industry.
Don’t believe us? Just look at the success of Dr. Pimple Popper. Dr. Sandra Lee was just an ordinary dermatologist who thought putting up some videos on Youtube might help her draw in more clients.
Today she has over 7.25 million subscribers on the platform and makes more from Youtube than she ever did as a dermatologist.
It may be one of the more unusual marketing strategies in healthcare, but it’s working. For more information about this medical practice marketing idea and running a successful channel, read our YouTube SEO blog post.
9. Use consistent branding
As a healthcare provider, you will want to maintain consistency across your brand. This means using specific words and phrases repeatedly, having brand colors, fonts, and more. Think about your brand and what your messaging strategy is.
What do you want people to remember about your brand? What makes your team or practice unique? Use the answers to these questions to focus on shaping your healthcare brand. This will also need to be translated into your healthcare SEO efforts. Your practice’s website should follow your branding guidelines and your SEO content should reflect it as well.
10. Focus on user experience
Your website might look aesthetically pleasing, but what about the site speed, responsiveness, and ease of use. Patients and potential patients will value a smooth running healthcare website more than you might think.
Take a good look at your website and evaluate areas that could be improved for user experience. Run a site speed test using Google PageSpeed Insights, check for any broken links, ensure there’s good internal linking, and that the site structure makes sense.
If you have an appointment scheduling feature, make sure you regularly test it for any issues that may arise for patients. Focusing on user experience will give your brand a professional look and show users you value their visits to your website.
11. Display reviews on your website
There’s nothing more effective than a boatload of good reviews as medical professional. The last healthcare marketing idea on our list is displaying reviews prominently on your website. This could be in the form of a full testimonials page or as short review blurbs at the bottom of your home page.
Either way, it’s a smart idea to automate the review process by sending a follow up email after each patient’s appointment asking them to leave a review of their experience. This will encourage and remind your patients to leave reviews of your practice.
When people are searching for a medical professional, reviews from patients are the first things they look at. They can make or break a potential patient choosing your practice so don’t neglect this doctor marketing idea.
Want more healthcare marketing ideas? We’ve got you covered.
Like these marketing ideas for medical practices? Do you want more?
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