Now that we are over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, some practices may still be struggling with getting their patient load to where it was post pandemic. As fluctuations of COVID cases vary, so do best practices regarding rules and regulations.
So, what can you do to market your practice safely and effectively?
1. Update Your Website
Consider your website your digital billboard. Now more than ever, patients are reviewing company websites to learn your COVID-19 protocols or any new information they need to know before their appointment. This is also a good opportunity to post any additional precautions your practice is taking. For example, if you have purchased a Purity Light as additional sanitization, let your patients know! Ease their mind that your practice is offering a safe environment for them to continue receiving their foot and ankle care. If you are interested in purchasing a Purity Light for your practice, you can find them on the Talar Medical Ordering portal now!
If you read our past blog “Grow Your Business by Making Reviews Part of Your Podiatry Marketing Plan” you learned that 97% of people read reviews for local business before working with them. Think of reviews as word-of-mouth marketing for your patients. It`s important to respond to both positive and negative reviews. The first step is to claim your listing. Every reputation platform has a different process for this so start small and claim websites that are impactful to your organization. Examples include Google, Healthgrade, or Yelp.
3. Ask Patients for Referrals
Which leads us to our next topic: ask patients for referrals! No really, it`s as simple as asking your patient if they could do you a favor and leave a Google review (or whichever platform you are trying to increase your rating). You can even take advantage of our patient engagement vendors such as Swell, Demandforce, or Weave. By using this type of service, you can automate emails or text messages to go straight to your patient as soon as the appointment ends. Each of our patient engagement vendors have many additional unique features. Call us today to find out which one would be a good fit for your practice!
4. Start Blogging
If you don`t have a company blog, now is the time to start! There are so many benefits to consistently adding content to your website. Not only will you drive traffic to your website, but you will also build relationships with potential patients by becoming an authority on foot and ankle health. You can also repurpose blogs by posting them to your social media accounts.
5. Social Media
Speaking of social media…if you aren`t posting to social media regularly you should start that too. Use social media as the voice of your practice. Post blogs, COVID-19 updates, and content that your audience will find interesting or useful. Watch your KPI`s and take notice of posts or topics that your followers are engaging with and do more of that. If you received a lot of comments/likes on your bunion post, perhaps you should write a blog, host a live event, or even a webinar speaking on the topic. Don`t forget your CTA (call to action). Always provide a phone number, website, or scheduling link so your potential patients know how to schedule an appointment with you.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing is great way to keep in touch in your patients. Our patient engagement vendors Swell, Demandforce, and Weave have a vast toolbox allowing you to stay at the top of your patients’ inbox and at the forefront of their mind. Send appointment reminders, Happy Birthday emails, newsletters, or other need-to-know information. Start a recall campaign and remind your diabetic patients they are due for their annual pair of shoes. Find out more about our patient engagements vendors HERE or give us a call to see which one would be a good fit for your practice.
7. Strengthen Your Patient Experience
Strengthen your patient experience, and by this, I mean customer service. Analyze your customer journey and find ways to optimize your customer service to make your practice stand out from the rest. By creating practice SOP`s you can ensure every patient is getting the best experience at every visit. Role playing with your staff can be a fun and effective way to compare exceptional customer service with bare minimum customer service.
8. Keep in touch with your referring physicians
Stay connected with your top referring physicians. If you aren`t field marketing as a safety precaution or state rules/guidelines prevents it, you can still maintain a good relationship with your top referring physicians without visiting their office. Give them a call and ask if they would like a digital referral form, provide them with your contact number/email in case they have any questions or issues. If you aren`t already, send referring physicians the office notes of the patients they send to you, so they are in the loop on their patients care. Accompany the office note with a handwritten thank-you note or card thanking them for their referral.