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6 Steps to Effectively Market Primary Care

Katie Sorce

doctor holding hands with patient

Use physician expertise and content to promote your brand

Primary care is so important to marketing because it is the largest part of the customer journey funnel. Bring someone in to primary care, and they could end up using your specialty services down the road, potentially becoming a lifelong customer.

However, more and more people are opting out of primary care. From 2012 to 2016, primary care visits dropped 18% nationwide. Because more people are choosing to manage their health themselves, marketing needs to take on an educational role. Smart marketers can help consumers searching for information, and make sure your organization will be their first choice when they do decide they need your services.

Here are six steps to effectively market your primary care services:

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Develop a Brand Promise

The first step to attract patients to your primary care office is to develop a brand promise that differentiates your office from others. Why should a prospective patient pick your office instead of one down the block? Why should a patient continue to visit your office instead of seeking care at a local pharmacy? What are the benefits to the care at your office? Figure out what you can reasonably promise and deliver on it.

Create an Online Presence for Each Physician

Within the hospital or health network website, create a webpage for each physician. On the page, include a detailed bio, photo, bio video and a calendar with participation in community events, appearances and speaking engagements. This will allow prospective patients to get to know the physicians better before scheduling an appointment and may deter them from visiting Google to gather more information. It’s also a good idea to list content and videos once that is developed for each physician (see next).

Leverage Engaging Content and Video Marketing

Content and video marketing do two things:

  • Establish physicians and practices as thought leaders and experts in the field

  • Allow patients to get to know the physicians’ care style and areas of expertise

Different topics for content can be based on each physician’s specialty and seasonal or newsworthy subjects. Content marketing is especially great for wellness and patient education because it provides tools and resources to patients who are looking to take their health into their own hands.

Tighten Up Your Online Scheduling Capabilities

If a prospective patient is searching through pages of physicians and carefully reading through all of their content, wouldn’t it be great if they could schedule an appointment right on the page? Don’t create an extra step by making them pick up a phone. Convenience is key for busy patients on-the-go.

Get Found with Search Advertising

Search ads for specific practices are convenient for patients seeking a physician in a specific location, such as near their home or work. Dynamic search ads that insert the consumer’s search query into the ad headline are very effective, especially when searching for specific conditions or locations.

Make It Social

Newsfeed ads are a great way to reach patients, especially when using retargeting. For example, if a prospective patient was searching through physicians on your hospital’s website, retarget them on Facebook or Instagram with related content they might find interesting or with a direct call to action to schedule an appointment now. Bonus points if you set up online scheduling within your practice Facebook page.

These six steps can help build awareness for your practice and turn online searches into lifelong customers.

Katie Sorce is a marketing coordinator for Smith & Jones. She contributes to research and strategy projects, manages social media and digital marketing accounts, and assists with content creation, account management, finance and operations. Smith & Jones is where health care brands come to get better. They help clients create meaningful and desirable health care brands, align their internal teams, engage new and existing patients and drive downstream revenue.