Right now people don’t know the true value of integrative health services —that’s where you as a healthcare practitioner have the opportunity to come in and educate!
There is enormous, untapped marketing potential in reframing traditional healthcare experiences in a more holistic way. If you are part of an integrative, complementary, holistic, or alternative health and wellness community, educational marketing is one of the most effective tactics you can use to help grow your business. Looking for creative healthcare marketing ideas to spread your integrative message and educate consumers? There are so many different ways to market a medical practice, including search engine optimization (SEO) marketing, localized facebook ads, timely newsletters, podcasts, social media posts, blog content, direct mail, and more. So how do you know which marketing tactics are worthwhile — and more specifically — what are the best healthcare marketing approaches for an integrative health practitioner?
We’ve made it easy and outlined 12 of the most effective, affordable, and easy-to-implement marketing strategies and tips out there. By following these marketing tactics you too can create a successful integrative health practice.
As an integrative healthcare practitioner, education is your best marketing strategy.
Creative marketing tactics for integrative healthcare practitioners
Define your audience and patient avatar
When you are looking to take your message to the people, it’s essential to narrow your focus and know your target audience— especially if you are operating on a lean budget. Have you defined your target audience? Focus on the ideal type of client you want to work with. It can be helpful to build a patient avatar or persona. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to building a patient avatar here.
Did you know? Written articles, videos, and images are the three most engaging types of content on social media. (1)
Build a bright and welcoming SEO website
Fill your website with clear, concise copy that explains how your integrative center complements conventional treatments. The regular updates you make to your site with SEO blog posts and other content will also work to increase your visibility to potential patients. And remember, when it comes to images and visual aids on your site, be sure to fill your website with original photos (even videos) of staff! Giving a prospective patient a sneak peek into your practice can make all the difference in marketing your practice to your community.
Try out podcasting
Not into writing? You don’t have to be! Churn out quality audio content to build your brand online. Podcasts are booming in popularity. Right now, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million podcast episodes. Around 90 million Americans listen to a podcast monthly, which is approximately the same ratio of Americans who regularly go to church. (2)(3) As an integrative healthcare practitioner, you can build fast and deep connections that foster a higher level of trust with potential and current clients by podcasting.
Did you know? Podcast listeners are 45% more likely to have $250,000 + annual income, making them more likely candidates to pay out-of-pocket for integrative health services. (3)
Advertise locally on Instagram & Facebook
When it comes to marketing a local business and marketing to the community, Facebook ads work! With over 69% of American adults on Facebook, local businesses say Facebook is the most effective form of advertising available to a small business. This is in regards to both cost and result. Facebook is a critical marketing channel for integrative healthcare. Combining the right engaging tone and content for social setting will allow you to stand out from the crowd and engage potential patients. (4)
Did you know? Instagram has over 500 million active users daily, with users spending an average of 53 minutes per day on the platform. (5)
Start a patient referral program
How do new patients find out about your practice? With referrals and word of mouth largely driven by loyalty, patient satisfaction, and happiness, you will get high-quality patients from these sources. Implementing a patient referral program in your holistic practice is extremely affordable and a great way to help grow your practice.
Before starting, it’s essential to identify any applicable laws or provider ethics that dictate whether you can offer gift cards or incentive to referring patients.
Team up and promote your practice with a local business
Ever thought about partnering up with another local business? It could be a massive employer in your community to just your go-to coffee shop down the street. Teaming up with a favorite local business in your community is an excellent opportunity to grow your practice. Developing the right partnerships with local businesses will give you direct access to potential patients.
- Make an appointment to meet with local business owners
- Discuss opportunities to do talks to employees
- Write informative articles for the corporate newsletter
- Participate in health fairs or employee lunches
- Place brochures in common areas
Send out timely newsletters with healthy tips
Email marketing may have been one of the first digital marketing tactics, but it continues to be one of the most cost-effective advertising strategies out there for healthcare. It’s a great way to connect with current and potential patients and increase your overall brand awareness. Is it cold or flu season? A norovirus outbreak? Different email marketing platforms help you determine which content resonates best with your potential customers and which days have the highest open rates.
For practitioners who want to customize email templates, there are various DIY email tools that make it easy to edit layouts with drag-and-drop technology, and the ability to specify specific brand colors and fonts.
Did you know? For every dollar spent on email marketing, you have the potential to earn $44! (6)
Even if you don’t get contacted right away, email marketing is a great way to stay on someone’s radar. It’s a nice reminder for patients to come in for regular appointments.
Mail out promotional postcards
Try mailing letters to advertise new treatments, potential deals around the holidays, remind patients about recommended wellness checks, or to let patients know you offer free flu shots in the winter.
If you are unsure of who to target or are just starting a practice, there are different companies worth checking out that provide targeted mailing lists using demographics, lifestyles, buying habits, and personal interests that can help bring new patients to your practice.
Share a wellness or fitness challenge on social media
At first, it may be hard to see the value of having a business Facebook page. However, a Facebook or Instagram page is a great way to promote your practice with a wellness or fitness challenge. It is also a great way to harness the power of community and grow your patient base. Start a wellness challenge among your patients and encourage them to share progress through social media by tagging your organization and using a branded hashtag.
Establish yourself as an expert in media
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a great marketing tool for integrative medical practices. HARO is a platform where journalists can reach out to practitioners and other experts in a given field to add validity to a story. By answering HARO queries or teaming up with local news sources as an integrative health expert, you can gain credibility from a trusted source. You can also then take the content published and blast it out across your personal and professional social media platforms.
Let your clients or patients book appointments online
As simple as it may seem, one of the biggest challenges a potential new patient faces is merely picking up the phone to make an appointment. You can streamline this process by using a free online scheduling tool. In most cases, you can automatically send out friendly reminders, which saves you the hassle of confirmation calls or emails.
Optimize your site for mobile users
Mobile phones are with us wherever we go these days. Patients are continually using their phones to search for information. In fact, according to Statistica, 60 percent of all searches are now happening on mobile devices. (7) For this reason, it’s essential to make your site responsive, or mobile-friendly, so you don’t miss out on this potential traffic.
Why integrative health practitioners need to educate consumers through marketing
Many of the integrative healthcare services you offer are unfortunately not covered by insurance, and most consumers would rather avoid paying out-of-pocket than not. This is truer than ever before as insurance costs and co-pays continue to rise in a difficult economy.
Healthcare consumers want to be educated and learn about the benefits of integrative medical services not covered by most insurance companies. And by communicating how your integrative approach to medicine works, you are more likely to bring in new patients across all channels.
Think outside the box when promoting your practice
The combination of personalization, convenience, and access in marketing creates a wellness consumer experience that becomes well worth the cost of integrative health services.
Whether you’re focused on patient acquisition or trying to grow your private practice, employing a creative and integrative marketing strategy will be the key to your success.
Which tips do you think you are going to try out first?
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