If you’ve ever wondered how to market your practice in 2022, it involves more than just maintaining a website and a social media account. Today, consumers are savvier and more sensitive to marketing messages. There’s also much more content online – and not all of it is good. Even if you speak in a way that your audience finds relatable, they might not even get a chance to see your post – especially if you don’t know how to maximize your posts’ visibility.
Still, you’re probably raring to go full steam ahead with finding more clients, and understandably so—the world’s just beginning to recover from the tumultuous events of the past couple of years, and companies need to position themselves for success right out of the gate.
Here are things you can do to get ahead of the game in marketing your practice in 2022 and aim for success in the coming year:
1. Get Clear on Your Target Market
Having no branding for your group practice, especially in today’s digital-first marketing landscape, is like going into a session without first reading your client’s file. You won’t know how to frame your statements if you don’t know the patient; similarly, you can’t position your offerings in a compelling way if you don’t know your target market.
Creating a Brand Strategy to Market Your Practice in 2022
The first thing you should know when creating a brand strategy is who your services are primarily for—if you haven’t thought of this, you’re selling to anyone and everyone, which means you’ll end up with weak copy. Ever tried to be everything to all people, all the time? You can’t do that, and neither can your group practice. Even if you do serve a range of clients, choose two to three demographics that will be your focus, especially for marketing materials.
Some Notes on Branding
If you have your target market, it is much easier to figure out everything else about your brand, from your collateral’s tone of voice to the online content platforms you’ll prioritize, and even the brand colors you’ll use for your posts. Your branding should set you apart from the competition and help the target audience relate to you and what you say.
Don’t Just Compete on Being “Better;” Be Different
Most people focus on becoming the better option for customers. It’s a sound strategy, but it isn’t as effective in an industry with many providers. First of all, it’s hard to determine “better” when there are so many players in a niche. What’s more, “better” is not easy to quantify, especially for group practices. Does that mean having professionals with longer office hours? Is it about how many fields of specialization you serve? Does it mean getting more 5-star ratings from clients?
If you only compete with others by striving to be the better option, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage, because there will always be another practice that will try to do more (and they might even succeed). If your clinicians are available for three hours every day, there’ll surely be another practice offering five hours, and another offering eight. Compete on price, and you’ll find dozens of practices with lower rates than yours. It’s a losing battle.
Niching Down to Market Your Practice in 2022
Instead of concentrating on what you do better, think of what you can deliver differently. What is unique about your practice? Does your group have a distinct point of view, heritage, mission, or origin that you can incorporate into your brand identity? These things will help you discover niches that only you (or few other practitioners) can serve.
By marketing your practice through a smaller niche, and one aligned with your practice’s identity, it’s easier to identify what traits or qualities the better option should have. When you know your niche or the specific types of clients you serve, you can create branding that doubles down on that!
Target the types of clients you want more of. For example, if your practice has several primary care physicians, you could establish a baby wellness clinic, as well as a family planning and reproductive health center. You could still treat older children or adults, but differentiating yourself as a go-to practice for new mothers and families makes your marketing focused.
If you figure out what’s different about your practice, you can turn that into a selling point. People seek out stories they resonate with, and if you share a heritage, origin, or point of view with a prospective client, they’ll be more likely to book a call with you.
Often, group practices adopt a buttoned-up approach to their marketing materials. Showing a little bit of your identity while maintaining a polished demeanor will go a long way in humanizing your brand. What’s more, people find it easier to engage with “human” brands, and they’ll be more open to messages from these businesses.
Admittedly, it can take a while to craft compelling copy. We are so used to speaking corporate, and it’s not easy to find the balance between relatable and professional. One way to speed this process up would be to hire virtual marketing assistants from platforms like Wing. Their managed, skilled VAs can handle brand building support and other marketing functions.
Use Authentic Messaging in Your Materials
Since consumers are very familiar with marketing messaging, they’ll likely know when a business is trying to sell them on its offerings. Depending on their needs, this could either be annoying or helpful. If they’re just looking through their options, they might not appreciate a hard sell from your practice just yet. They’ll likely want more information on the services they need.
Taking the example from earlier, a new mother will be likely to research what kinds of shots her baby needs, or what behavioral milestones to look for in her child. She might or might not be in the market for a baby clinic—if she isn’t, and you provide top-quality information, it’ll put you on her radar. If she is looking for a clinic, she just might book an appointment!
If customers are looking for a clinic and have done their research, they’ll want to know the finer points of your services. Marketing your group practice in 2022, then, would involve knowing what messages they should hear at each phase, and how you can shape your copy accordingly.
Note that this doesn’t mean you should deceive readers or misrepresent your services. Shaping your messaging involves knowing what angle to take and when to do that. For example, if your clinic provides general well-being advice to asthmatics, diabetics, and hypertensives, a social media post about taking better care of one’s health when being with family could be perfect for the holiday season.
Research shows that 1-in-4 Americans say they want to be better at dieting and exercising, and that these are part of their new year’s resolutions. A post that shows people how they can stick to their resolutions would be a great way to connect with your audience around New Year’s.
You could even follow up with advice on how people with chronic conditions can keep a diet and exercise regimen. Your messages should help your audience live better, feel good about themselves, or improve their day in some way. These messages should make the transition smoother from online reader to patient, which should help your clinicians build better relationships with your clients.
Cascade Your Branding to All Clinicians
Cohesiveness is another crucial factor in marketing your practice. Today, people are good at spotting contradictory information—if they see inconsistencies among your online marketing materials, they’ll be more critical of what you have to say. So, everyone in your group should know your brand identity and how their professional brand complements that.
Brand Identity as a Tool to Market Your Practice in 2o22
Maintaining a unified brand identity is easier for professionals who have been working with each other for a while. It’s more challenging for group practices with new members. If you’re taking on new clinicians, make sure they have an “elevator pitch” about your brand. They should understand what makes your brand unique and why you’re the best option in your niche.
Cascading your branding to new members serves 2 purposes. First, it makes integration easier, and second, it lets them develop a marketing strategy that fits in with your team’s. For instance, your physicians might give out take-aways like pamphlets or brochures detailing aftercare, participate in health fairs, establish a social media presence, or provide initial free consultations that showcase their expertise, all while keeping your group’s branding in mind.
Focus on Mission-Critical Tasks
Finally, marketing your practice in 2022 involves much more than coming up with your group’s identity or putting together a strategy for promoting your brand. There’s a laundry list of to-do’s in digital marketing—from building and maintaining a website, to cultivating a social media presence, leading prospects through your sales funnel, and keeping them engaged online.
What’s more, all of these tasks consist of subtasks—mostly time-consuming yet necessary things like lead generation, writing and scheduling posts for your blog, and encouraging clients to leave reviews of your services.
You’d be more effective at running your practice if you outsource most of these tasks. You and your fellow clinicians will be more productive if you can focus on your practice and on high-level decisions regarding business development.
It’s easy to find excellent virtual assistants and professionals to whom you can delegate these to-do’s. Besides managed service providers like Wing Assistant, you could try finding a freelance VA on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, or asking your network for recommendations.
Wrapping Up: How to Market Your Practice in 2022
The transition period between two years is always a great time for reflection. It acts as a mental break from the year, perfect for reflecting on how you run things at your practice. This time also serves as a great starting point for goals, whether personal or work-related.
If you want to get ahead of your competition, you should know who you are and what you do best. Once you have that down, optimize your workflows by finding an assistant to whom you can offload non-core yet necessary tasks. All these things should help you walk into 2022 with the best gameplan for your group practice!
Piash Alam is Wing Assistant’s Growth Marketer. He has extensive experience in scaling early-stage businesses in challenging industries. Piash specializes in marketing automations and technologies, particularly in programmatic/non-programmatic ads, performance marketing, and analytics, among others. Prior to joining Wing, he founded and has worked for multiple businesses, including Honest Paws and the NASA Langley Research Center.