Ten Things to Consider when Marketing a New Healthcare Practice
Here at Eleanor Creative we have a knack for Healthcare Marketing. You can chalk it up to many years in the industry or maybe we are just really talented at pronouncing all things that end in -ology. Collectively we have over 80 years of healthcare experience so we know a thing or ten about the industry. When developing a marketing plan for a healthcare practice, you must understand what services they provide and the client’s goals before you can begin to hammer out the details of a strategy.
Real talk here, we truly are believers in context, compassion, and creativity:
Three things that every practice needs for success.
Before you start, identify the moving parts
Before Eleanor Creative could develop a marketing plan, we needed to understand the unique aspects of the Piedmont Clinic. First, this was a new family medicine clinic and the providers were new to the Lincoln community. Second, the clinic would be located in a space where another family practice had been providing care for years before it closed. Third, Bluestem Health was expanding into a neighborhood that was not traditionally its targeted demographic. Once we identified all of the moving parts to marketing this particular healthcare practice, we were able to begin strategizing about which marketing tactics would be best at communicating Bluestem Health’s messages and have the greatest reach in the Lincoln area.
1. Understand Targeted Demographic
Bluestem Health was looking for ways to connect with the residents living in the Piedmont community, an area centrally located in Lincoln. Given the fact that there had been another primary care provider located in the area for years, Bluestem Health wanted to reassure the Piedmont residents that they would be able to continue receiving high-quality, family medicine care at Bluestem Health Piedmont Clinic. In addition, the messaging would encompass information about additional services that residents would be able to access through Bluestem Health as patients, including dental, mental health, and pharmaceutical services.
2. Create Awareness about Providers
For the Piedmont Clinic, Bluestem Health hired a new physician and a nurse practitioner to provide family medicine services. It was critical for us to establish name recognition with residents of the Piedmont neighborhood and throughout Lincoln prior to the opening of the clinic. We did this through direct mail, by running radio spots to introduce the providers to our targeted audiences, billboards, and utilized some TV advertising. In addition, we created a digital ad campaign to target social media users within a 20 mile radius of the new clinic to all to show the faces of the new providers and attract new patients.
3. Keep Current Employees in the Know
Communicating changes with employees and patients is critical to ensure they are aware in advance of the new clinic opening. Our goal is to always communicate with current employees first. By providing employees with details in advance of the opening, they are able to answer questions that existing patients or potential new patients may have. It also allows employees to feel involved in the organization’s growth.
4. Get that Google My Business Verification
If you’ve followed along with Eleanor for any length of time, you’ve probably heard us talking about Google My Business – something every business or healthcare practice needs. This is your home base for location (maps), hours, reviews, GMB posts, and location photos. If you need to get your Google My Business skills in shape, check out this recent blog.
5. Be Like Mr. Rogers and Talk to Your Neighbors
At Eleanor Creative, we are all about community. We firmly believe that all of our clients should connect with their neighbors and be good to one another. To do this on a mass scale we used targeted digital ads, direct mail pieces, and local neighborhood newsletters. When COVID-19 takes its place in history, we will encourage Bluestem Health to be a part of neighborhood organizations and outreach events.
6. Don’t Forget to Update Your Website
Home page, locations page, blog page, announcement bar, and the footer are all places that should be updated with new clinic information. Don’t forget about your SEO strategy while you are bonding with your website. Keywords are still a thing and blog posts should be done with some SEO in mind.
7. Design Billboards that Feature Providers
We still like to go old school, and billboards are one of the fastest ways to gain brand recognition in a targeted area of the community. Bluestem Health has used billboards in the past to introduce new providers and the Piedmont Clinic was no exception. The outdoor signs were identified in key locations near the Piedmont neighborhood to help create awareness for the new clinic and its providers. P.S. Don’t forget how important billboard designs are to representing your brand. Trust the Eleanor team for excellent design standards.
8. Talk to Your Current Patients
With the opening of a healthcare practice, it’s important to start communicating with your current patients well in advance of the opening date. For the Piedmont Clinic, a series of communication tactics were used to inform patients of the new clinic.
9. Targeted Social Media Ad Campaign
Social Media Ads can be used strategically in a healthcare marketing plan. Eleanor included this tactic to use a series of ads to boost awareness about the new providers and the Piedmont Clinic location, hours, and services, by targeting a specific demographic in the Lincoln area. These ads were used to create leads and grow the patient base, alerting people in the neighborhood that they were accepting new patients.
10. Create a Welcoming Environment through Interior Signage
Creating a brand doesn’t end with direct mail, billboards, radio, and other marketing tactics. Don’t forget that the clinic waiting area is a blank slate that you can use as another marketing tool to promote providers and services to patients and families while they wait. Eleanor designed several graphics to be on display in the Piedmont Clinic. This will go a long way in showcasing Bluestem Health and removing any reminders of a previous clinic being located in the same space.
Let Us Help You
The Eleanor team is proud to be able to assist Bluestem Health in opening another healthcare practice in the Lincoln community. If you are thinking about opening a medical practice, we would love the opportunity to work with you. Check out some of the clients we have worked with at weareeleanor.com.