Getting new patients into your practice is one of the ultimate goals of any marketing campaign. But it is not step 1. If lead generation is done without the proper foundation, it will be an uphill and expensive battle to the top.
What is the proper foundation?
- Solid branding – a quality logo, color scheme, and overall brand image that is consistent from business cards to the website to signage to print materials and social media. It should be legible, high end, unique, and memorable.
However, the most important part of quality branding is not only consistency but also the ability to use your logo on various devices, websites and social media. Your logo should be adjusted to the place of exposition. The challenge is to design a logo that meets technological requirements. That’s why recently, big companies have been refreshing and redesigning logos.
Moreover, Millennials consume brands like no other generation before. They will more likely choose the brand that they feel, can experience and can be proud of. And that is the direction for high quality branding.
- Optimized and mobile friendly website – a website with custom coding (WordPress can be the front end content management systems (cms), but make sure it is not an off the shelf template). It should be 100% mobile friendly, load quickly, have clean coding, and a strong conversion funnel (Ie thought behind the conversion/call to action on each page).
Content is also crucial for a successful website (unless you have a short term landing page). You can have a fast website with the prettiest design but if there isn’t quality content showing evidence of your expertise and results (with before and after photos, thought-out blogs and articles, etc.), it becomes a beautiful picture frame without a picture.
- Active on social media – at minimum you need the basic platforms set up, which include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Local, and Yelp. Each should be branded with complete profiles and images, and have activity at least once a week.
- 4+ star rating on Yelp and Google – these platforms tank on the top of page 1 and if you don’t have 4+ stars it may deter people from clicking on your website. Therefore there is no need to spend money to rank in google search results before you have a positive star rating! Ideally you should have over 20 reviews on each platform, and over 50 on each is the goal!
- Well trained front desk – the goal of lead generation is to drive potential new patients to call or email, and if the protocol for responding and converting the lead into a patient is not handled correctly then you didn’t need to spend money driving the leads in the first place. Phone scripts with details how to respond for frequent and difficult questions( Ie how much does it cost, how many days of downtime, etc). Email inquiry templates and protocols. And basic customer service skills are vital! Think of your front desk as people in the field of hospitality – it’s an extremely important position as they are the first impression for the practice!
- Schedule availability – you should be able to get a new patient within 1 week, or you risk them losing interest or choosing to go with a competitor. This doesn’t just go for new patient consultations but also for booking procedures and surgeries!
Overall, although jumping to lead generation may sound like a good first step, it is important to have the proper foundation in place to ensure you have a successful and cost efficient marketing strategy.