Digital strategy

The three distinct phases of marketing a private clinic online

I was recently talking to a new private clinic regarding their online marketing strategy.

And like everyone, they had an idea of what they wanted to have done, which revolved around social content and Facebook ads. Both social content and Facebook ads are absolutely important elements of building visibility and promoting your business online. But when I looked more closely at the project, I could see things weren’t so simple.

From what I’ve seen, when it comes to digital marketing not many clinics are doing it well.

Facebook is a great tool for connecting with your current patients and to spread awareness of your medical practice in order to gain new patients.

However, many healthcare providers are using Facebook ads before they are ready.

What I see time and time again is that there are 3 distinct phases that people need to think about when trying to market a private clinic. And whilst you might want to just think about one of them to help entice new patients, there is no point unless all 3 boxes are ticked. You see, these phases are inextricably linked and dependent on each other for overall success.

The three clear phases are

Phase 1: Launch/relaunch

This phase of work involves website design/landing pages and branding/positioning/and launching or relaunching on social content.  When people look up doctors or private medical services online, you want to be one of the first names that comes up and if your website is, ahem, cr*p and you’re asking me to run Facebook ads to your website, I’m going to say NO! Why? I’ve talked about this a lot before on my blog in relation to marketing many different kinds of business.

Facebook ads only work when everything is in place to make them work. It’s not JUST about the ad and a website is an essential ingredient to an effective digital marketing strategy in order to get more patients through your clinic door.

Phase 2: Build phase

This phase of work involves website content/social content/newsletter content including photography, video and written content forms, publicity. This is about attracting potential new clients and free reach and getting incoming interest and increasing website traffic, improve SEO and building social followers. Creating great content for your patients lets potential new patients see what your clinic has to offer and entices them into choosing your clinic over your competitors.

Write about pioneering new treatments, make videos about your opinion on topical news, post patient testimonials on social media and before and after pictures on your website so your patients can see your work. This may not be an overnight result, but the more content you post, the more organic traffic you’ll get and the more likely your readers are to convert to customers.

Obviously all private clinic want visitors to their website, and that is even more important now than ever if you are considering moving on from phase 2 to phase 3, because your website traffic will form the basis of your custom audiences who you will be showing your paid ads to, once you start running them. Don’t rush into paying for traffic at the expense of a few months in Phase 2!

Phase 3: Paying for leads/traffic

Just about every hospital, doctor, dentist or medical spa is on the lookout for new patients. If you want to up your game and get more leads into your clinic, then you’re going to want to run ads (whether Facebook or Google) and be considering attraction magnets like webinars about the treatments you offer or free downloads about aftercare. Great! But there is no point in doing that unless DEFINITELY Phase 1 and ideally Phase 2 are all underhand (unless you’ve got tons of money and are happy to spend it testing and retesting).

So there are you! All 3 phases, inextricably linked and interdependent on each other! Do not do one without the other!