And How to Use These Things to Better Market Your Practice
Have you ever wondered what you can do to get more and more patients coming through those office doors? Well, if you haven’t then you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog. The fact is, more consumers are simply better for business – so really, you can never have too many of them. After all, we are always being asked about what a physician can do to bring in more patients, never the other way around.
Knowing how to attract these potential patients begins with knowing who they are. The average cosmetic surgery patients are women in their late twenties through their early sixties. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), women accounted for 91 percent of all cosmetic procedures in 2013 – a fact that you are likely aware of already.
Once you have determined your market, the next step is knowing how to connect with them. A recent study by the Lady’s Home Journal surveyed more than 1,100 women and discovered key information about how they go about making their decisions as consumers.
Pull out those pens and papers, because here are the top three most trusted forms of advertising for women:
#1 Peer Recommendations
Advertising Solution: Emphasize Patient Reviews
You’ve probably heard us talk about the importance of your practice being on review sites such as Yelp, Google+ and RealSelf. Having your patients share their experiences will help to develop trust with others as well. In fact, getting these patient reviews may be more important than you think.
The Lady’s Home Journal study showed that 74 percent of women regularly base their purchase decisions on the reports of their peers. For example, if they read a positive review of your practice online, they are far more likely to choose you for their own procedure as well. In fact, 82 percent even stated that they often are willing to share their opinions on various services and products. This is amazing news for your practice!
The great thing about getting patient reviews is that you are able to dramatically improve patient-trust without having to do much at all yourself. We have found that including a separate “Share Your Experiences” page on a practice’s website increases the amount of traffic to their review pages. In turn, this encourages patients to write more reviews, giving your practice a stronger influence on sites like Google or Yelp. Studies show that 72 percent of people trust these online reviews as much as the recommendations of their peers.
If you’re having trouble getting patients to write reviews:
- Consider offering a discount on a future treatment for those who have written a review of your practice.
- Send patients home with information about how they can share their experiences following their procedure (either in email or print form).
- We can write a custom “Share Your Experiences” page for your website
- Be more active over social media. Having a patient share your page with their friends can help bring in new faces.
#2 Well-Branded Websites
Advertising Solution: Updated Web Design and Content
When women find out about your practice, either online or through a friend, one of the very first things they will do is visit your website. Consider this a first impression of sorts. A good looking website can mean the difference between a patient calling in for their consultation and clicking the back button within less than a minute.
Did you know that 48 percent of people say that the design of a website is the topmost factor in deciding a business’ credibility? You could be losing patients before they so much as even read a single page of your website.
A professional, sleek looking website will help patients to see your practice in the same way – as innovative, trustworthy and up-to-date. If your website is old and outdated, it may not send the right idea to the viewer. Also, having custom, patient-targeted content can better make a connection with patients than standard, boring copy.
Just as important is the functionality of your website. If it is glitchy or difficult to use, patients will likely bounce right out. This also means it is becoming increasingly important to have a responsive website so that those visiting your site through their tablet or smartphone will have as pleasant an experience as those on their desktop or laptop.
Some key steps you can take to creating a more branded website are:
- Redesign of your website
- Update logo design
- Have custom content for procedure pages rather than ASPS content
- Make your website fully responsive
#3 Magazine Advertisements
Advertising Solution: Invest in More Print Material
With the emphasis that we put on the digital world today, we often forget about the importance of print material as well. Attracting patients from all different forms – print, digital and social – will help you to maximize the reach of your marketing campaigns. Magazines are still widely read across the country – whether it is in its traditional paper form, or on the screen of a tablet.
Advertising your practice in a magazine can dramatically increase your practice’s legitimacy and brand image. However, it is important to know what magazines to advertise in. Our doctors often have success in local magazines, attracting the attention of patients in their vicinity.
Some other print materials that have proven successful include:
- Pocket folders
- Mail campaigns
Increasing the Effect of Your Marketing in 2014
Consider these things when determining how to advertise your practice this year. You may just be a few reviews or one redesign away from taking your practice to a whole new level. Our experience in medical marketing has given us the necessary knowledge and tools to help your practice stand out and be successful.