12 Practical Marketing Strategies for Podiatry Practices
By ProMatcher StaffUpdated: 12/18/2017
Your specialty is podiatry, not marketing. We have the tips you need to jumpstart your practice’s marketing efforts. Although online advertising is very important, we still believe that old school marketing techniques can be very effective. Learn how to be a successful podiatrist with the tips below.
1. Treat your patients well. Word of mouth recommendations are incredibly important. So, how do you get more people to recommend you to their friends and family? Be the best podiatrist you can be. Treating people with care and compassion is the best way to keep your existing patients and to attract new ones. When you alleviate someone’s foot pain, of course they will refer their friends to you.
2. Build a great website. First off, you need to have a website. If you don’t have a website already, now is the time to invest in one. Many patients want to do everything online – from scheduling an appointment to filling out the required forms. If your website is not equipped to do this, you may want to consider an upgrade. Patients should also be able to find your contact information, hours of operation, office locations, and what insurance providers you accept. There are several ways to create a new website. You can hire a web design company or you can use a DIY platform to build one on your own.
3. Give PPC Advertising a try. Pay-per-click advertising is an easy way to increase the amount of visitors to your website. If you have a great website, you’ll be able to turn these website visitors into new patients. When putting together your first campaign, think about the terms that people use to search for a local podiatrist. They don’t just type in “podiatrist near me”, they also use terms like “foot specialist”, “foot doctor”, or “foot surgeon”. PPC advertising can become expensive for smaller practices. Make sure that you set practical budget limits when you set up your first campaign.
4. Use a direct mail marketing service. Sending out a postcard or flyer in the mail is a great way for podiatrists to generate new business. As our email inboxes become more cluttered, it’s easier to reach people through traditional “snail mail”. Although it might seem “old school”, a great mailing can really make a big impact. A direct mail service can handle everything from mocking up designs to figuring out the correct postage. You can provide a list of your existing patients or they can help you target a new local audience. Make sure your mailer includes the correct contact information so people can reach you!
5. Build a brand for your business. There may be five other podiatrists in your town. What are you going to do to separate yourself from the pack? Building a strong brand is a great way to distinguish yourself. What’s your specialty? Do you specialize in pediatrics or sports injuries? Diabetic foot care? Bunions surgery? You need to show people what makes you different from other local practices and include this information on your business cards, flyers, and other promotional materials. Always keep a few business cards on hand. You never know when you are going to meet your next patient. You also want to gear your marketing efforts toward the people who are most likely to need your services. Younger people are more likely to find a podiatrist online whereas older patients might find you in the phonebook.
6. Use a pay-per-call service. Buying calls is a great way to get your phone ringing.
The pay-per-call service places advertisements on your behalf. If someone is interested in learning more or requesting an appointment, they will call your office directly. You are charged a certain amount for each incoming call. There are many reasons that someone might need to see a podiatrist, including 1) plantar fasciitis, 2) bunions, 3) diabetic foot care, 4) ingrown nails, 5) arthritis, 6) sports injuries, 7) hammertoes, or 8) heel pain.
7. Ask your patients for positive reviews. More and more patients are relying on online reviews to choose healthcare providers. They want to know that other people have had a positive experience in the past before coming into the office. Reviews can be a major key to building your online reputation. Hopefully, most of your reviews are positive. Highly-rated practices often get more visibility on these review websites, so take full advantage. If you get a few bad reviews in the process, try not to worry too much. Honestly, it’s almost impossible to avoid. If you need help recovering though, you can hire an online reputation management company to help you bounce back. When possible, do your best to rectify the situation.
8. Attend a conference. Attending a podiatry conference or seminar is great way to network with other podiatrists and sharpen your skills. During these conferences, you can learn about treatment advances, new therapies, and emerging industry trends. You can also get valuable practice management advice and podiatry marketing tips.
9. Try radio advertising. Radio advertising may be a good option to consider if your practice has several physicians and/or multiple locations. A radio ad can help you reach people spanning an entire metro area. Make sure that you include your website URL, phone number, and office locations in the ad. If you offer weekend appointments or you specialize in treating sports injuries, include that in your radio script. You will want to highlight what sets you apart from other local podiatrists.
10. Give email marketing a shot. It’s much easier to bring a past patient back into the office than to attract a brand new one. Email is a great way to re-engage with your past patients. To start, you could send them a short reminder that they are past due for their annual visit. You could also send a discount coupon or birthday card to help boost patient retention.
11. Improve your website’s SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps to improve your website’s organic search visibility. Don’t you want for your website to rank highly for important local searches? Unfortunately, finding a reputable SEO company can be difficult. Avoid working with agencies that promise results overnight. SEO is something that takes time, but positive results will be worth the wait.
12. Build relationships with other doctors. Local doctors can be a great source of referral business. If you cannot help someone with their problem, you want to have confidence when referring them to another physician. These doctors can then return the favor by referring patients to your practice. As a podiatrist, it can’t hurt to know orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, dermatologists, and other local specialists.