The marketing funnel is a staple for sales-based businesses, but you can make it work for your practice too. In fact, your patients go through similar steps when choosing a doctor as they do when deciding to purchase an item.
Let’s look at the marketing funnel and how it applies to your practice.
Top of the Funnel
At this phase, a patient is just beginning the process. For example, if Mr. Smith is suffering from hip pain, he is aware that he has a problem and knows he needs to find a solution. He goes online and types in “hip pain” to find possible causes of his pain. He reads about various conditions that cause hip pain, and based on the symptoms, he thinks he might have arthritis. What does he do? He has researched his problem on a broad level and knows that he needs to take action.
Middle of the Funnel
Now that Mr. Smith believes arthritis may be causing his hip pain, he needs to find a doctor that can treat it. He will likely research several doctors before making his decision. This is where you need to make sure that your practice stands out amid all of the other options.
How do you do this? By providing information. Think of it from the perspective of the patient–if you were looking for a doctor, what information would you want to know?
At this point in the marketing funnel, it is not enough for a patient to simply know that you treat a particular condition. If you want a patient to choose you as his doctor, you will have to provide more information.
This is where your website comes in. Instead of just listing out the conditions you treat, create content detailing how you treat each condition. This gives you the opportunity to answer some of their questions before they even walk through your office door. Potential patients will want to feel as though they can trust you as their doctor, and providing them with this information assures them that you are an expert in their condition and you will be able to help.
Bottom of the Funnel
Now that Mr. Smith has researched the doctors that treat his condition, he has narrowed it down to a few options. How does he choose? More than likely, location is an important factor. Patients want to choose a doctor that is nearby, if at all possible. This is why it is important to target your marketing efforts locally. Make sure your location and contact information is easily accessible so that patients will be able to find and contact your office with no problem. If you have done a good job with your content, you have assured potential patients that you can help them. By targeting your marketing locally and making your contact information easily available, you increase the likelihood that patients will continue through the funnel and schedule an appointment.
Getting patients through the marketing funnel comes down to standing out from your local competitors. Do some research on your competitors, and see what they are doing. Is there anything you could improve upon? Most importantly, keep your patients in mind. If you can provide them with the information that they need in a straightforward manner, you make it that much easier for them to schedule an appointment. At the end of the day, that is the biggest sign that your marketing efforts are working.
Want more practice marketing tips? View our 50 Ways to Market Your Practice guide!