It is a universally accepted truth these days that you need to proactively market your practice to grow.
And while many in our industry think of "marketing" as a somewhat scary and "dirty" word, there's a type of marketing your patients want to receive from you, and that you're already doing without realizing it. The kind of marketing we're referring to is "content marketing." As the name implies, it's about delivering content that is useful to your patients in order to promote your practice. It's the same thing that you're doing every day by speaking to patients at your office – but doing it more frequently and with more patients. Here are the three elements you need to understand in order to make a content marketing strategy work for your practice.
Of course, it goes without saying that content marketing cannot exist without meaningful and valuable content. Yet what many of our customers are surprised by is how many shapes it can take in the context of their relationship with their patients.
Here are some examples based on the sort of content patients like and benefit from getting:
No doubt, you're familiar with the idea that it takes a certain number of "impressions" for a message to be noticed. The numbers are all over the map: from three, to five, to Thomas Smith's famous bulleted list in 1885 for advertisers that suggested 20 was the magic number. The takeaway is you've got to repeat your message again and again for it to be heard and acted upon.
There is evidence of this everywhere. Think back to your days as a student. How many times did you need to read and re-read your course material to truly understand it? Or, how many times do your loved ones need to ask you to complete chores, or write a thank you card, before you do actually pick up the pen? We all need reminding, so don't be afraid to do it in your practice. Your patients expect it and welcome it.
We see the effectiveness of these reminders every day at RevenueWell in our work with over 30 million patients around the country. Overwhelmingly, offices that send multiple messages of varying themes (items like recall and reactivation emails, insurance reminder notices, birthday cards and newsletters) see an increase in booked appointments over those practices that communicate less frequently.
Reach is the final piece of the puzzle. You may have great content and can repeat it often, but unless you're speaking to a large enough audience, the impact will be limited at best. Marketing in general (and this applies to content marketing too) is a numbers game. You have to reach more people – and there are many ways for you to do it:
If you want to grow and maintain your practice, you cannot operate under the false belief that you're communicating effectively and enough, if you're only talking with patients who come into the office. Doing so will leave you stuck in a dreaded Catch-22 situation: you can't talk with your patients unless they come in, and many won't come in unless you talk to them. A tool like RevenueWell can help you extend your reach by using a variety of media, making it easy to send the message out and helping you control your outreach costs through effective patient segmentation.
The largest hurdle to achieving success with content marketing is often mindset. Find peace with the fact that no matter how much consternation the idea of marketing may cause you, employing a repeatable, effective marketing system is the surest way to steady, predictable growth.