The Intake

Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

How to focus marketing for doctors on building trust

Physician marketing is essential for practice success. These tips will help you create a doctor-focused advertising and marketing plan that attracts more patients online.

Doctors look at a tablet strategizing about their physician marketing plan

At a Glance

  • Physician marketing focuses on building trust and rapport between doctors and patients to create long-lasting relationships.
  • Creating valuable content tailored to your patient demographics and posting regularly on social media are effective low-cost digital marketing tactics for physicians.
  • Optimizing your website for search engines and mobile can also help attract new patients.
  • Responding professionally to online reviews is essential for reputation management and nurturing doctor-patient relationships.

Marketing for doctors is a bit different from traditional healthcare marketing. The marketing of your medical practice will focus on the accomplishments, qualifications, and expertise of the physicians at your practice. The goal? To strengthen awareness and trust between the physician and current and prospective patients. It should create long-lasting relationships and promote value-based care that strengthens the patient experience.

Although marketing can be expensive, there are ways to keep costs down. To do this, leverage online advertising, email marketing, and other digital strategies.

<h2>Developing an effective marketing plan

A strategic digital marketing strategy will increase the visibility of your physicians and improve brand recognition for your practice. It will position your providers and your practice as leaders in your local medical community.

  • Most marketing for doctors can create more networking opportunities for their physicians and their practice. Increased brand recognition can lead to speaking engagements and guest posting on other trustworthy websites. It can also open the door for other trusted health professionals to post on your site. Many in the healthcare industry are taking advantage of this kind of networking.
  • More brand recognition for your physicians can lead to more referrals. Healthcare consumers will think of your practice first when they are asked about healthcare providers.
  • Digital marketing services can help you to build your image as a thought leader in your field. You can establish your place in potential patients' minds as an expert in patient care. This is especially true when you use content marketing. It gives you a place to flex your specialty knowledge and to share original research and data. This, in turn, can lead to more marketing opportunities, providing the momentum you need for continued and exponential practice growth.

These are only a handful of the ways in which strong marketing can aid your medical practice. You want to be top-of-mind when potential patients are making medical decisions. Strengthening your brand and keeping people interested should be your top priority. Read on to learn more.

Patient Perspectives Report

6 steps for effective marketing for doctors

Medical practitioners are using many strategies and tools to market their healthcare services. Here are 6 effective measures to try. Each one offers you and your patients and potential patients something different.

1. Regularly post your practice on social media

Social media is a prime place to engage patients and to increase your practice’s reach. Unfortunately, many practices don’t take advantage of it. Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives survey found that only 18% of respondents said they follow their doctor’s office on social media. However, 45% of respondents reported that they would, if their doctor posted regularly.

Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives survey found that only 18% of respondents said they follow their doctor’s office on social media, but 45% said they would if their doctor posted regularly. ”

Certainly, you can pay for social media marketing. But simply posting regularly on your current social media locations can help your profile stand out and gain traction. Need ideas for content?

  • Share relevant news articles about illnesses on the rise in the area.
  • Offer tips on staying healthy during flu season.
  • Talk about a specific new healthcare technology, new medical devices, or a healthcare innovation.
  • Write a salute to your medical assistants.
  • Share your medical knowledge.

You also can use your social media page to hold contests or note that you've donated medical services to charity. These tactics showcase both physician engagement and patient engagement, and they can work in your favor.

2. Create content about your healthcare specialty

Does your practice have a blog? A blog is a strong method for sharing content that might be of interest to potential patients. Regularly posting high-quality content on your site’s blog gives you a showcase for your professional services. You can offer patient education — a way for patients to be more engaged in their own healthcare journey.

Medical marketing strategies work in other ways, too. Practices can share any original research that their physicians have completed. This can demonstrate mastery and establish physicians as thought leaders in their field. Being considered a thought leader can result in guest posting opportunities on other health-related sites. It can even open doors to speaking engagements. Each of these opportunities can help your practice attract new patients and reassure current patients that they’re with the best of the best.

When creating content, it’s important to think like a marketer: keep your audience in mind. Consider the demographics of your patients and turn to social media to see what they’re talking about.

You could check out Quora, a popular social media network that focuses on Q&As. Or look at similar physicians' Instagram profiles to see what they’re posting about and how their followers respond. Taking this approach can inform your medical content marketing strategy by helping you understand what to post. It can also provide insight into where your patients spend their time online. You can increase patient satisfaction by gearing your posts directly toward their patient journey.

3. Guest post on medical field sites

When your doctors and providers are established as thought leaders or experts in their specialty, guest posting opportunities will become easier to land. Guest posting is a strong way for physician marketers to reach new audiences. It can also help them enroll new patients.What’s more, guest posting can help your site strengthen its domain authority. This, in turn, can make it more likely that your website content will appear at the top of search engines. This translates to more traffic, and it increases your chances of landing new patients.

Optimize Operations

4. Email marketing for healthcare providers

In a Salescycle study, 59% of respondents said that marketing emails influenced their purchases. While calling or texting are common, emails allow for longer communications that are personalized, affordable, and easy to automate.

Medical practices can leverage email marketing to support patients and convert prospects. Don’t think just of promotions. Email is also a valuable tool for:

  • Welcome emails and milestone recognition (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays)
  • Newsletters and patient education
  • Lead nurturing
  • Appointment reminders (for upcoming patient visits, annual or bi-annual check-ups)
  • Surveys and referrals 
  • Follow-ups to doctor visits

Medical professionals may be acquainted with HIPAA and how it regulates the use of patient information. Some of HIPAA's directives apply to marketing. Depending on your state, you may be subject to additional guidelines as well. This article on email marketing goes into detail on these regulations. Knowing the rules ahead of time makes email campaigns much easier.

5. Make your medical site SEO-friendly

Content on your site can only do so much; your site must also be optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization is the key. Make sure that your medical site is SEO-friendly. Follow the SEO best practices shared by sites like The Moz blog, SEMRush, and SearchEngineJournal. 

You must also ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Statista found that 46% of visitors are likely to abandon a web page if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load. 

6. Engage in reputation management

For many years, physicians have avoided responding to online reviews for fear of causing inadvertent HIPAA violations. The idea seemed to be that it was better to say nothing than to worsen the situation.Today, it’s considered essential to respond to online feedback and reviews in order to effectively manage your practice’s reputation. Physician marketing centers on bolstering relationships between providers and patients. It’s also a core component of any good physician marketing strategy. 

Today it’s considered essential to respond to online feedback and reviews in order to effectively manage your practice’s reputation. ”

Responding to positive reviews online needn’t be complicated or time-consuming. Simply thank commenters for their feedback and wish them a great day. And should you receive a negative review, it’s best to move the conversation offline. Ask the commenter to reach out to the practice directly. For in-depth guidance on this, check out the Tebra post on how to handle negative online reviews with ease

Physician marketing services

Savvy practices recognize the necessity for physicians to engage in marketing. But many lack the resources, either fiscal or physical, to create and implement effective marketing strategies. If that’s the case for your practice, outsource your marketing needs to expert consultants and medical writers. Consider a company that offers a tailored physician marketing strategy for providers.

Access the free report
Tebra recently surveyed 1,200+ people nationwide to get an inside look at how patients find and pick their doctors.
Discover how patients find and choose their doctors
Download the report

You Might Also Be Interested In

How to get patients to keep coming back. Learn what influences patient choices and behaviors in the 2023 Patient Perspectives report.

Subscribe to The Intake:
A weekly check-up for your independent practice

Catherine Tansey, business writer and reporter

Catherine Tansey is a business and healthcare writer and reporter. She has close to a decade of experience writing and reporting on small business best practices, emerging technology, market trends, and more. Catherine has several family members who own private practices in mental health services, dentistry, and chiropractics, and she’s seen firsthand the pride and privilege practice owners feel to be able to support their communities.

Get expert tips, guides, and valuable insights for your healthcare practice