Growing competition makes urgent care marketing all the more challenging. Competition brings the risk of losing patients or getting fewer new patients than in the past. But successfully meeting this challenge can be rewarding given the continued growth of the urgent care sector.
Urgent Care Marketing
In today’s complex market, you probably need to pursue a number of techniques in order to reach different types of patients. These include the following:
These days every business needs a website. It could be as simple as a one-page marketing website with general information, or it can have features such as scheduling, reports downloading, seasonal health tips, and more. These elements can enhance the patient experience and help with brand retention. When thinking of how to market your urgent care clinic, the website will probably be the main tool, so make it good.
With websites, content is KING. If you have a website you have probably heard of the term Search Engine Optimization, which revolves around how your website will rank for organic searches online. The best way to improve SEO is with relative content. Create blogs, patient information centers, or any page that provide meaningful content. Above all, make sure your content is unique. Do not just copy and paste articles to your site. You can,
Another very important factor is backlinks. These are simply links to your website that are placed on other websites. These websites could be partner companies, blogs, professional message boards and more. Make sure that you create backlinks to improve your organic search rankings.
After the website, probably the most important tool for urgent care marketing is to register with Google, especially Google Maps. Provide correct address and contact information, as well as operating hours and links to your website. The number of people searching for businesses on Google Maps is growing every day, so make sure they see you when they search.
Also, be sure to use Google AdWords to create paid ads online. We recommend that you do your research to make sure you know how everything works, but here are a few tips:
- Make sure you target your specific geographic region. Don’t waste money marketing to people that live on the other side of the country.
- Use callout extensions. This allows potential patients to see your office phone number and immediately call you from their mobile device.
- Use targeted keywords. Google AdWords can be expensive, especially if you are using broad keywords that capture an overly large audience. Make sure to read about keyword modifiers that can make your keywords more targeted to the phrases your patients would be searching for.
- For each of your Ad groups, you should have at least three ads and no more than 30 keywords. But don’t use the same keywords for multiple Ad groups. You want to create targeted ads with keywords that are relevant to the content of your ads.
- Make sure the keywords you use are on your website. This will improve your ad/keyword quality scores and save you money.
- Create image ads, also known as display ads, for Google AdWords. In the settings, you can select which networks you want to show ads, either Search Network or Display Network. Your ads will show up on a number of different websites that are part of Google’s network. If you want to show display ads make sure you create unique picture ads as opposed to traditional text ads.
Along with AdWords, consider using Google AdSense: This isn’t exactly marketing, but it could possibly be easy money for your clinic. If you are already driving a lot of traffic to your website, sign up for Google AdSense to become a part of Google’s display networks. Google will actually place ads on your website and pay you for it. But, be sure to exclude any ads that could be off-putting to your patients.
As a side note: don’t forget about Bing. You should be able to repeat all of the marketing you do on Google on Bing. It may not be as widely used, but it is still effective and not nearly as expensive.
Facebook is a great place to do marketing. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other channels, and also allow you to create extremely targeted ads. Make sure to post engaging content such as videos or pictures. They will have better response rates than text ads. Also always remember to include links to your website.
In addition, Instagram is another great channel for marketing. Here you can post photos and videos related to your practice. Think outside of the box with this one. What do you think your potential patients would want to see on your Instagram?
Business-related social media is also important, and LinkedIn is the main tool here. If you have a specialty clinic, you can increase your referrals by networking with professionals whose patients may need your services. You can use LinkedIn for free or with a paid subscription, but the latter will let you email people who are not connected to you.
Make sure your business is registered with Yelp with up to date information such as addresses, phone numbers, and operating hours.
Remember, bad reviews aren’t always bad. When most people see nothing but 5-star reviews they can be a little skeptical. It’s actually ok to get a bad review every now and then, as long as you take the time to respond to the review and provide a solution. Many Yelpers would like to see how you handle issues, and responding to criticism can show professionalism and fairness.
The digital age has provided us with a range of new marketing platforms, but don’t forget the old school basics. If you are capturing an older audience you most likely will struggle to reach them online, but more traditional methods might work. Some options include the following:
- Local Magazines are a good option when it comes to capturing the market in your specific location. Make sure to do your due diligence to learn how many subscribers they magazine has and how often they publish new editions. Magazines have a wide range of pricing for advertising, but you should be able to find some that have the right balance between pricing and subscribers.
- Billboards are another traditional marketing tactic that will work if done right. They certainly are expensive but if they are strategically placed they can give you a great return on your investment.
- Local Radio Stations are great at providing detailed demographics on their viewers and can be a great platform to target your marketing efforts with a more traditional approach. The key with radio advertising is not to give up too soon. It can take up to three months for you to really see a return on your investment.
- Mailers can be a great way to introduce yourself to a neighborhood or remind your neighbors that you are nearby. They typically have very low conversion rates but are cost-effective and when done right can definitely produce solid results.
- The Yellow Pages may be super old school but there is still a portion of the population that still uses them. If you are targeting an older audience you can still capture them with the Yellow Pages.
Rules to Remember
The first and most important rule of marketing is to know your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would want to see in an ad. It’s not about sales pitches, but relating to them. Think about what are their fears, what makes them happy, what kind of activities do they like. The more you can think like a customer, the more you can relate to them.
The next rule is that people need to see your ad three times before they can commit it to memory. Research indicates the average person needs to repeat something at least three times before they can say they’ve learned it. The same applies to marketing.
There’s a lot of options to consider as you think about how to market your urgent care clinic, so don’t limit yourself to just one. At the same time, try not to overextend yourself. You need to calculate your return on investment to determine which marketing sources are working best for you. This can be challenging, but there are numbers of resources online that can help. There are also a large number of third-party companies that can manage your online or offline advertising campaigns, but keep in mind this means that less of your budget will go to ads.
As you think about how to market your urgent care clinic, the key is to be willing to try different techniques and find what works for you. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, since the trial and error process can help you learn more about how to market your urgent care clinic. This will help you continue to succeed in what will continue to be an important sector of health care.