In today’s intergenerational world, people obtain and retain information differently, so it’s important to promote your practice in a variety of ways.
In today’s intergenerational world, people obtain and retain information differently. In order for a neurologist to reach his or her full potential patient population, a practice needs to be promoted in a variety of ways. “While social media may attract millennials, a face-to-face encounter is more apt to draw baby boomers,” says Katrina Slavey, network executive, Halley Consulting Group, Westerville, Ohio.
In today’s high-tech age, every neurologist’s practice should have a website. A successful website will both impress and educate, as well as be user friendly and interactive. “Your website promotes your brand and image,” says Slavey. “It should be consistent with all of your other practice materials.”
Include basic information regarding how to schedule an appointment, location, directions, services provided, insurance plans accepted, and physician bios. Patient testimonials can be a powerful tool, but be sure not to violate any HIPPA regulations. You can include these as simple quotes or as video statements.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is key. If necessary, hire an SEO company to increase the amount of visitors to your website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine, Slavey says.
Social media is another way to promote your practice by building a following. Among the most common sites are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. “Make sure that you speak to your following while attracting new followers,” Slavey says. “Be professional and share relevant content, but avoid sharing too much information. Above all, be careful that verbiage doesn’t offend anyone.”
Print, television and radio advertising, and billboards are other ways to engage customers and potential patients as well as provide educational opportunities. Above that, they can be successful in building and promoting your brand. “Healthcare consumers love to see the faces of doctors who treat them,” Slavey says.
While technology affords lots of marketing opportunities, Slavey says word of mouth is by far the best referral tool. “Get involved-participate in health fairs and offer to give health talks to community organizations, primary care physicians, and local employers. Sponsor a local sporting event or a local team. Reach out to the media or your hospital’s public relations department to promote these events. You can also let the local media know that you’re available to do health segments or contribute to articles.
Slavey says mailings continue to be a worthwhile endeavor. Mail brochures-which should be consistent with the information on your website-to local primary care physicians and other referral sources. Take this effort one step further and send thank you cards to new patients as well as to referral sources.
Other marketing methods worth a try include hosting an open house and inviting potential referral sources and the public. “This gives people the opportunity to see your setting firsthand and gives you the chance to educate them on the services you provide,” Slavey says.
Once you have a patient in the door, it is imperative that you, your office, and your staff reflect the image that was presented in all of your promotional efforts. “Getting a patient to walk through your door is one thing, keeping them there is another matter entirely,” Slavey says. “Ensure the highest level of customer service and that patient will become your best advertisement.”