3 Digital Marketing Goals for Your Medical Practice
Goals give us a vision of what we want to achieve and why we want to achieve it. Goals give us focus and clarity to help strategize a plan. Goals give us motivation to take action.
Surprisingly, many clinicians do not know their goals. They think they need a better website; they think they need to start blogging; or they think they need to show up for their practice on social media. BUT THEY DON'T KNOW WHY. They have not defined what they want to achieve.
You can only be successful in digital marketing if you have a target you want to reach. This article is written for all of you who feel like you should be doing digital marketing but don't know why.
Below are 3 overarching goals that you might have for your practice—goals that can be achieved with digital marketing strategies. Read the article and then go for a walk, meditate, or do whatever it is that helps you clear your mind. Allow yourself the time to contemplate where you currently are with your practice and where you want to be.
Goal #1: Increase Sales
The most obvious goal of any marketing strategy it to increase sales. For a naturopathic medical practice, that often means more patient appointments. You may want to show up on Monday morning to see your schedule booked. You may want to have a wait-listed practice.
More patient appointments is not the only way to increase sales. Other sales goals might include dispensing more dietary supplements, enrolling more patients into group programs, or selling seasonal promotions (like gift cards for the holidays).
If your goal is to increase sales, get specific. Do you want to attract menopausal patients, patients with digestive problems, or patients with autoimmune disease for new-patient appointments? Do you want to enroll young adults, busy moms, or people interested in anti-aging for your group programs? What exactly do you want to sell?
Goal #2: Add Value to the Patient Experience
Patients choose naturopathic physicians and other integrative practitioners because they want a different type of care. Your patients likely pay out-of-pocket for things like supplements, specialty lab testing, and even appointments. Naturopathic and integrative medicine is inherently a specialty service, which means your patients expect more.
One way that you can add value to your patients’ experience is by providing free information online. You could write a blog describing the benefits of wet sock therapy and exactly how to do it. That single blog could educate hundreds of patients. You could record a quick video on YouTube to explain how to recognize hidden MSG in foods. That video could connect you with patients between visits.
Delivering free and valuable information online is a way for you to add value to the exceptional service you already provide. Also, it leverages your time and money. You create content once and then share it indefinitely.
If your goal is to add value to the patient experience, get specific. What questions do you hear from patient after patient? What controversial topic do you find yourself explaining again and again? What health recommendations take too much time to explain during routine office visits? Make a list of valuable information your patients want or need to know. These details will get you on track to turn your practice goals into digital marketing strategies.
Goal #3: Publicize Your Expertise
Whether you feel like it or not, you are an expert. You have knowledge and skills that many other medical professionals do not. You may feel like the world’s best-kept secret today, but you have the capacity to become a thought-leader in your niche of expertise.
The goal of publicizing your expertise and becoming a thought leader makes sense if you have long-term plans to do bigger things with your practice and your career. Maybe you plan to write a book, launch a line of dietary supplements, or create an online patient program. These ventures will be multiple times more successful if you have already established yourself as an expert and if you already have an engaged, online audience.
If your goal is to publicize your expertise, get specific. What is your niche? What do you want to be known for? Do you come across best in writing, audio, or video? Brainstorm a list of people and organizations you can connect with in order to show up more consistently and to larger audiences.
From Goals to Results
Digital marketing strategies are born out of goals. Once you have clearly defined goals, you can consider which strategies will get you there. Here are just a few examples...
- If you want more new patients, consider asking current patients for online reviews or offering an incentive for referring friends and family to your practice.
- If you want to sell more dietary supplements, consider creating an email campaign to re-engage your current and former patients.
- If you want to provide valuable content to your patients between visits, consider starting a blog or a YouTube channel.
- If you want to build an email list to have a foundational audience when you launch your new book, consider showing up as a guest on podcasts and offering a free download in exchange for an email address.
Digital marketing strategies can help you increase sales, add value to your services, and set you up as a thought leader in your area of expertise. How do you choose the best strategy for you? Begin by defining your goals.
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