Attract more patients to your practice by understanding what marketing channels consumers trust to find and select a new healthcare provider. When building your practice, knowing what factors influence how patients find you and ultimately choose to be treated by you is critical.  As a healthcare provider, you focus on treating patients and providing the best care possible. The business side of healthcare may be of less interest to you.  However, to effectively grow your practice, it’s essential to know how new patients find you and why they chose to see you for care versus another provider. This is true whether you own your practice or are a provider in a larger practice or hospital.

Your long-term professional success relies on your ability to attract more patients to your practice.

What are the best ways to attract more patients to your practice?

Healthcare marketing is a big business. The US healthcare advertising market reached a value of US$ 21.3 Billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach US$ 28.1 Billion by 2027.

As a healthcare provider and perhaps a practice owner, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the marketing channels being utilized to market to potential patients, including websites, social media, paid advertising, SEO, email marketing, video, TV, radio, direct mail, billboards, and many more mediums.

Unless you have unlimited time and resources, which most of us do not, utilizing the proper marketing channels is essential for getting the greatest return on your marketing investment.

What are the optimal marketing channels to attract more patients? 

Depending on the source, you will discover varying results.  A reputation management company will tell you it’s all about patient reviews.  A social media company will make you believe it’s about your social presence.  A website development company will recommend a robust online presence.  An established provider might credit a strong referral network. You might consider your expertise in your field to be the determining factor. 

In reality, it’s a mix of all these elements alongside your credentials, training, practice location, and, most importantly, your ability to foster strong relationships with your patients. Without concrete data, it’s hard to know the most crucial marketing channels.

According to the 2021 RepuGen Patient Review Survey, the top three most important factors when a patient selects a healthcare provider were:

  1. Online reviews
  2. Referrals from another trusted healthcare provider
  3. Referral from family or friend
Top 3 Most Important Factors When Selecting a Healthcare Provider
Source: 2021 RepuGen Patient Review Survey

Given that RepuGen is a healthcare reputation and review management platform, these survey results could be considered biased, or the study could be regarded as flawed as they had a vested interest in the results. However, there is much-supporting evidence from various sources that support these findings.

A 2020 report by Kyrus surveyed one thousand participants to discover how consumers conducted research to find and select their healthcare provider. Their findings were very much in line with the findings of the RepuGen suvery.

Kyrus Patient Access Journey Report Results 2020

Attract more patients to your practice by being found where your patients look for you.

In order to attract more patients to your practice, it’s crucial to market your practice where patients are actively looking for you.

First and foremost, you need to have a strong online presence. The internet is the first place patients go to research healthcare providers. Prospective patients need to be able to find you and your practice online easily.

Second, you need to establish a strong referral network. Patients place a lot of trust in the recommendations of their current healthcare providers. So, it’s important to have a robust referral network sending patients your way.

Last, consumers rely heavily on the recommendations of family and friends when selecting a new healthcare provider. Your current patients are your best referral source, so be sure to leverage Word-of-Mouth Marketing to attract more patients.

How do patients find and ultimately choose their healthcare providers?

As a healthcare consumer yourself, how do you find your providers?  Do your selection criteria align with the results of the RepuGen and Kyrus surveys? 

Action Item:  For the next three months, ask each patient you treat how they found you and why they chose you as their provider. This can be done in just a few minutes during a regular visit – either in an informal conversation or via a quick patient survey.  

Track the results, and look at the end of the three months to see what patterns emerge.  Determine the top three factors that influence new patients to be treated by you and then focus your marketing efforts on those channels. This is a simple and effective technique to achieve the greatest return on your marketing investment because you target channels your patient population has identified. 

Want to learn more cost-effective ways to grow your practice exponentially?

Become a practiceGRO Insider, where we share exclusive content and free training that we don’t share anywhere else.  Our mission is to educate healthcare providers on practice growth strategies to attract and retain more of their ideal patients. If you found this article helpful, consider broadening your marketing knowledge by taking the practiceGRO Marketing 101 course.