Besides referrals, online marketing is one of the best ways to attract new patients. However before you start implementing, it is vital that you take some time to plan out what your goals are and determine the best way to achieve those.

Many clinics set off with a vague goal of just wanting to attract more new patients. This can work however you are placing yourself at a big disadvantage and limiting the results you can achieve. Below are 8 points you need to consider before undertaking any marketing, but particularly online marketing.

Define Your Goals.

When starting out with any marketing it is very important to first of all come up with some realistic goals. Now when I say realistic I don’t mean limit your potential growth, I mean be realistic with how you’re going to generate these new patients. So sit down and define what your goals are. Do you have a particular revenue target for your practice? If so how many patients a week would you need to achieve that revenue target? How many new patients a month will you need to attract in order to meet your desired patient numbers? Working these figures out is important.

Know Your Figures.

At this point it’s important to know some figures about your practice. What is your patient visit average? What is the average fee that you charge? How much revenue does a new patient bringing to your practice on average? If an average new patient brings in $3000 dollars to your practice then can afford to spend a lot more to acquire that new patient than if they only bring $500 into the practice.

Now that you know how many new patients you need your practice to achieve your goals, and approximately how much you can afford to spend to acquire that patient you are in a strong position to define an effective marketing plan.

Know Your Market.

Now you need to define exactly who you want to target. The best way to get in touch with people will vary considerably from group to group. If you want to reach triathletes, then marketing on Facebook may well be the best approach for you. The Facebook platform allows very specific targeting people by interest and you can get very good returns on your investment as a result.

Alternatively pregnant mums may require a different strategy. Attracting more children with ADHD into your practice would probably require that you direct your marketing at their mothers in order to be effective. So take some time to map out exactly who is your target audience.

Reaching Your Market.

Next take some time to think about where these people can be reached. Like we mentioned triathletes can be very effectively reached on Facebook, similarly pregnant mothers are also group did you can reach on Facebook. You may find that your local golf club has a website or newsletter that you can advertise on.

Define Their Problems (and Your Solution).

Once you’ve defined the group you want to reach, take some time to think about what are the big pain points for that group. For example golfers are often obsessed with reducing their score and increasing the distance that they can drive. If you feel that your treatment can help them with this, then that should be the primary benefit that your ad conveys.

Create Your Message.

Once you have the pain point that you can address, and the benefits of your approach, you can create an ad to appeal to your target group. The purpose of this ad should be to compel the reader to get in touch with your practice.

Implement.

Now that you know are you going to target, what the pain points are, where you can reach them, and how much you can effectively afford to spend to reach them, you’re in a very strong position. At this point, go ahead and start marketing.

Testing.

You might be tempted to think that implementing is the last step in this process. It’s not. Effective marketing campaigns should always be testing variations of the ads and other aspects the campaign in order to get the best possible results. Always test two variations of the ad, particularly if you are doing online marketing. When you find ad that is more effective, test another variation against it to see if you can find one that is even better.

If you will run through this process in developing marketing for your practice you’ll have a strong foundation and be much better placed to generate the results you’re after.

Getting Help

If you’re a small practice with a limited marketing budget, go to www.practiceunleashed.com. It’s an initiative we’re putting together that will be full of resources to help you market your practice online.  Register your interest now and get an exclusive, strictly limited early access rate.

If you’re a larger practice looking to bring in outside help to scale your marketing efforts book a strategy session now.