The Intake

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

5 fresh marketing ideas for your new medical practice

Stand out from your competition by executing fresh marketing campaigns for your medical practice.

Group of practice staff members planning marketing campaigns

At a Glance

  • Use digital marketing strategies for your medical practice to stand out from competitors.
  • Start with a strong online presence, including a well-designed website and active social media engagement.
  • Implement fresh marketing ideas like social media challenges, empathy-driven surveys, live social media workshops, geofenced advertising, and video content to connect with your audience and enhance patient trust.

Discovering effective marketing ideas for your medical practice doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Instead of relying on the same old, outdated tactics — like mailers, local newspaper ads, and radio ads — stand out from your competition utilizing digital marketing strategies that are cost-effective and quick to execute. 

Let’s dive in. 

Start with medical marketing basics

Whether setting up your medical practice’s web presence for the first time or giving it a much-needed revamp, ensure you start with a strong foundation for marketing for clinics.

Take this cue from Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives Survey: A staggering 77% of patients in our survey turn to the internet to find their trusted healthcare providers. And 46% weigh online reviews heavily when choosing. What does this mean for you? Being present, active, and positively reviewed online doesn’t just enhance your visibility — it enhances trust.

77% of patients in our survey turn to the internet to find their trusted healthcare providers. And 46% weigh online reviews heavily when choosing. ”

Here are the foundational elements you need before you consider launching a fresh marketing campaign.

  1. Build your medical website and fill it with engaging content: This is the first place for patients to get to know you and vet your credentials, so ensure it speaks volumes about your expertise. Reinforce your authority by regularly publishing content. Some ideas include engaging blog posts, insightful podcasts, or educational videos — pick what best reflects your practice's ethos.
  1. Claim your Google Business Profile: Your Google Business Profile is your virtual business card where potential patients can find a snapshot of your services, contact details, and reviews. Being responsive and attentive, especially to feedback (both good and bad), displays your commitment to excellence. Make sure you also claim various business listings around the web, including Yelp, Facebook, and ZocDoc. Since constant monitoring is a tedious task to add to providers’ already full workloads, you can also take advantage of Tebra’s reputation monitoring services.
  1. Develop a marketing blueprint: Before any action comes planning. A solid marketing plan doesn't just tackle promotions — it delves into your plans to attract new patients and how to retain them. Include your tactics for improving the patient experience, how you’ll measure success, and benchmarks. This plan sets the stage, giving you a clear path and timeline for reaching your goals.
  1. Embrace the social media sphere: While you don’t have to be everywhere, pick a social media platform (or two) where you can commit to regular engagement. A lot of great marketing campaigns start with social media, so building and maintaining a presence is critical.

Once you’ve crafted your marketing plan, staked your claim, and started building your online audience, you’re ready to dive into fun and engaging marketing campaigns. 

Marketing idea 1: Create a social media wellness challenge

Difficulty level: Easy

Wellness challenges might have already claimed a top spot among doctors’ offices and medical practices’ marketing ideas, but there’s a good reason for that.

They’re FUN, and they WORK.

Wellness challenges typically take place on social media and get everyone involved. Think 30 days to 100 pushups or 30 days of 10,000 steps. Simply pick the platform, create a challenge, coin a hashtag (or use hashtag generators, like this TikTok one), and you’re ready to go. That’s what makes it “easy” on the difficulty level scale. It doesn’t take much to get a basic campaign going.

But it takes a little more effort if you want to make it fresh and engaging (and truly effective). Here’s how you can make your wellness challenge succeed where others might have failed.

Start with your patients

While a wellness challenge can be one-size-fits-all, it’s far more fun if you tailor it to your patients’ needs. For example, if your practice mostly serves geriatric patients, you could host a “Stretch for Success” challenge or “Gentle Movements March.” 

Then, you’re serving two purposes. You’re engaging your patients outside of the office, and you’re helping them take steps to improve their well-being. 

Make it a game

Make wellness fun by turning the challenge into a game. Incorporate different levels, create a challenge bingo card, or give people daily goals. Celebrate those victories with weekly shoutouts on social media or through your email newsletter.

Offer incentives 

Challenges aren’t nearly as fun when there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. External incentives can boost participation significantly, so consider offering rewards to top participants. Give out branded merchandise, gift cards to local restaurants, or tickets to an event. You can even use gifts your office has received from vendors or grateful patients. It’ll not only entice people to join, but it’ll help them stay committed throughout the challenge. 

Tie it to philanthropy

There's something powerful about working towards one's well-being while also making a difference in the world. Consider tying your wellness challenge to a charitable cause. For every challenge completed or milestone achieved, the practice could make a small donation to a charity. This not only amplifies the impact of your initiative but also reinforces the caring values of your practice.

Celebrate loudly and proudly

Make a big deal out of your wellness challenge. Use your practice's social media platforms to celebrate milestones, share participants' achievements, and showcase testimonials. A weekly spotlight on a participant or sharing daily progress photos can create a sense of community and encouragement. Your challenge shouldn't just be an event; it should be a celebration of health.

A wellness challenge in action: Kaiser Permanente

One large scale example of a wellness challenge in action is Kaiser Permanente’s #OwnTheCurve TikTok challenge in 2020. It encouraged social media users to stay home and share how they were taking ownership of minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. By using TikTok influencers like Addison Rae, they were able to get the word out to a younger demographic. The challenge has over 8.5 billion views to date.

While this is an extreme example, it showcases how simple social media challenges can catch like wildfire.

Ultimately, a social media wellness challenge is more than just a trend. It's an opportunity to showcase your practice's commitment to patient well-being, foster a stronger community, and elevate the overall patient experience. 

Don't just follow the herd. Reimagine, redesign, and revitalize the wellness challenge with a dose of creativity and a dash of empathy. Your patients — both present and future — will thank you for it.

Marketing idea 2: Send out empathy-driven surveys

Difficulty level: Medium

Surveys and reviews play a vital role in assessing your healthcare practice, but this is another perspective worth exploring. A large part of marketing your doctors’ office is engaging with your local community — but how do you know the best ways to serve them?

Simple: Just ask.

It’s easy to assume that patients just want standard care from their healthcare practitioners, but you might find more if you dig deeper. Create a survey to share with patients and your local community that leads with empathy, and you can unlock valuable insights. Here’s how to get started.

Craft the right questions

Which questions you ask your community and how you ask them are the hallmarks of an empathy-led survey. Ask more than “How often do you go to the doctor?” and “How would you rate your visit?” Ask questions like:

  • What health resources do you wish were more accessible in your community?
  • What health concerns keep you up at night?
  • How do you feel after a visit with one of our doctors?
  • What’s something you wish your healthcare provider understood better?
  • What challenges have you experienced when managing your health?

These are just a few examples to get you started. Keep questions open-ended to encourage more candid responses, and tailor your questions to your specialty and community. 

Take action

Receiving feedback is the first step. You need to act on that feedback and be transparent about the changes you’re making for this to act as a marketing tool for your practice. 

If the feedback you receive reveals issues your practice can solve alone, enlist other resources in the community to help. The information you get from this survey can also help inform marketing campaigns in the future. For example, if patients indicate one of their biggest challenges is remembering to take their medication, you can craft a social media campaign around it. Provide tips, such as setting phone alarms or having a “medication buddy” help you out, or offer functional but still stylish pill organizers in your next giveaway contest.

Make it an annual event

Engage your community on a regular basis and pair the annual survey with another fun activity, like a healthcare challenge or community event. 

While a survey may not seem like a traditional marketing activity, you’re making a long-lasting connection with the community. It’ll help showcase your empathy and build trust — two vital aspects of any successful healthcare practice.

Marketing idea 3: Host a live social media workshop 

Difficulty level: Medium

Many practices often find themselves giving out the same health information to many of their patients. While that may have called for in-person workshops in the past, now it’s the perfect opportunity to host a live social media workshop or digital group visit.

By tapping into social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, medical practices can bridge the gap between patient education and the digital age, all while broadening their reach.

Pick your plan

Start by picking a healthcare topic to discuss. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to your patients (either in person or on social media) and ask them what topics they’d like covered. You can also keep it more casual by hosting an ask-me-anything (AMA) or question-and-answer (Q&A) session.

Promote the session

Once your topic is set, promotion becomes key. Use countdowns, teasers, and even collaboration with health influencers to build anticipation. Partnering with well-known health figures increases reach and adds credibility to your event. Start by searching through your followers list to find fans with a following of their own, browse local hashtags (like #LAdentists), or tap into an influencer marketplace

Consider guest speakers

Inviting expert speakers to participate is one surefire way to elevate your event content. Invite other professionals and specialists to share information that can help your current and prospective patients. As a bonus, you can have them share it on their social media to expand your practice’s reach.

Engage your audience during the live session

What makes a live event impactful is its interactivity. The beauty of live sessions, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, is the potential for real-time interaction. And when viewers are part of the discussion, they're more likely to be invested. 

Facebook and Instagram Live both have engagement tools to encourage real-time interactions. You can host polls, ask questions, and share links.

Embrace feedback

One of the standout features of live sessions is the instantaneous feedback. Viewer comments can offer a goldmine of insights. Addressing these comments, whether they're questions, appreciations, or constructive criticisms, can make viewers feel seen and heard. It's this sense of personal connection and acknowledgment that can set your live events apart. Making sure every participant feels valued will enhance their experience and bolster the chances of them attending future events and engaging with your medical practice outside the virtual space.

Marketing idea 4: Create a social media campaign using geofencing

Difficulty level: Hard

While paid social media advertising isn’t a novel idea, how you use it can make all the difference. Instead of creating a generic ad and sharing it with your local audience, create a targeted campaign strategy with Facebook and Instagram.

What is geofencing?

Employing a geofencing tactic is especially effective for healthcare marketing. Geofencing is a location-based tool that allows you to define a geographical boundary around who sees your ad. You can show paid ads to people who enter that boundary.

The basic way to employ geofencing is to use it as a boundary for your ads. Since healthcare marketing primarily focuses on location, it makes sense to limit ads to that specific area. Depending on the size of your market, you can put a geofence around a zip code, a city, or even a one-mile radius.

To make it fresh and new, use geofencing to engage with potential patients creatively. Here are some examples of these more unique tactics.

Fitness centers and yoga studios

Regular attendees of gyms, Pilates centers, or yoga studies tend to be health-conscious, and their frequent physical activity can lead to some common concerns. They may be more likely to ask for posture correction, spinal alignments, or muscle recovery treatments. Chiropractors can advertise these services to people who frequent gyms near their offices. 

Alternatively, nutritionists and registered dieticians can create ads offering personalized dietary advice to those who are living an active lifestyle.

Retirement communities and senior centers

As Baby Boomers continue to retire and frequent these locations, they may need additional health services. Geriatric specialists or home healthcare providers can offer services and emphasize the importance of regular health checkups for this demographic.

Sports events and marathons

Attendees to these events are either athletes or enthusiasts who may be prone to injuries or looking to improve their performance. Orthopedic clinics or sports medicine specialists can geofence these events and schedule ads to run during them to improve local brand recognition. They can run ads that talk about injury prevention, share tips for post-event recovery, or even offer special consultation rates for participants.

Marketing idea 5: Create video content for social media and your healthcare practice website

Difficulty level: Medium  

Video content wins on almost every social media platform. If you want to build an engaged audience using social media, video content is the way to do it.

But they don’t just have to live online. It’s also effective to post videos on your healthcare practice website. It humanizes your practice and allows people to get to know you and your staff before booking an appointment. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Personal stories and patient testimonials

Share success stories from patients (with their permission, of course) about their recovery journey or interviews with patients who have overcome significant health challenges. These narratives build trust, create a relatable atmosphere, and showcase the tangible benefits of your care.

Day in the life, or get to know your healthcare team

Provide a behind-the-scenes look at a day in your healthcare facility. Whether it's showcasing your doctors’ morning routines, capturing team meetings, or even sharing snippets from medical procedures, this transparent approach humanizes your staff and makes the medical experience less intimidating.

Medical myth busting

There’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation on the interwebs, and video content is a great way to get your patients to take your information to heart. Address common misconceptions about overall health, treatments, or even getting into the healthcare field. 

You’ll build audience trust and help educate them while you’re at it.

Go forth and market your medical practice

Navigating the world of healthcare marketing is no small feat — especially as a new medical practice. It’s an overwhelming topic filled with redundant advice and less-than-creative options. But you wanted something different.

Instead of getting lost in the noise, take these suggestions to heart. Stand out, be authentic, and always remember: at the core of every successful marketing effort is a genuine intent to improve the lives of your patients.

Patient Perspectives Report
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Rebecca Slawter, freelance healthcare writer

Rebecca Slawter is a seasoned freelance content and copywriter focusing on healthcare and B2B SaaS. Rebecca has first-hand knowledge of the importance of connections between patients and their providers — connections that are easier to build in independent practices. Her passion for writing about healthcare is rooted in wanting to spotlight healthcare professionals and their tireless efforts, and to do what she can to improve the industry as a whole.

Reviewed by

Lauren Wheeler, BCPA, MD

Dr. Lauren Wheeler, MD, BCPA, is a former family medicine physician who currently works as an independent healthcare advocate as well as a medical editor and writer. You can get in touch with her about anything writing or advocacy at her website

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