The name of the marketing game is not to attract every patient to your practice. The name of the marketing game is to attract your ideal patients into the practice.
To start, it is imperative to document an ideal patient profile. A basic potential patient profile includes demographic information like:
- Zip code
What else defines your best patients? I once encountered a dental practice that attracts droves of divorced mothers. That’s critical demographic information for the practice to understand in order to market effectively. Though you may be unaware of it, you likely have segments of patients and potential patients similar to this. That said, a solid ideal patient profile takes it a step further, articulating data like:
- Marital status
- Employment status
- Political preference
And an extraordinary ideal patient profile mimics the strategy that Facebook Ads use. There are more than a billion people worldwide using Facebook, posting to their own timelines and reading their newsfeeds. On the newsfeed, each user sees the things that interest them, and the Facebook algorithm can see that. (Source: http://bit.ly/1Y9A0hG)
For example, Facebook knows that I am the mother of a daughter in elementary school because I post about her all the time. Facebook knows that I work in the dental industry because I am Facebook friends with a lot of dentists and I often post about dental marketing. And Facebook even knows that I am the daughter of an avid sailor because I have my father connected to my profile, and he often posts about his adventures as a U.S. Coast Guard captain.
In fact, Facebook has me pegged for 263 preferences based upon my activity on their website. Beyond family and occupation, here are a few more things that Facebook knows about me:
- Enjoys running
- Has TMJ disorder
- Buys organic food
- Watches Ellen
- Interested in martial arts
- Loves visiting The Outer Banks of North Carolina
Curious? See what they know about you here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences
They know all of this about each of your potential patients, too! Imagine how useful that data would be to you. Imagine how powerful your marketing would be if you got as granular as Facebook does.
It’s not hard.
Sure, Facebook Ads are a great way to get in front of your ideal patient, but even more, the Facebook algorithm is a terrific tool to help you explore all the possibilities when you create your ideal patient profile. To explore the algorithm, go to Facebook. In the upper right corner, you will see a section called “Your Pages,” and your practice page will appear below. Right below that, you will see a blue button that says, “Promote Local Business.” When you click that button, a tool will appear that is meant to help you build your Facebook Ad. Within that tool is an area marked “Interests.” Inside, there will be about five interest categories already populated. Those interests are just the beginning. Start typing in that area, and you will see that there are several possibilities. From those possibilities, list the interests that your patients and potential patients likely have. Then whittle the list down to the top five to ten that qualify an ideal patient.
Your ideal patient profile is now nearly complete.
Lastly, list anything that is a must-have for an ideal patient when it comes to the relationship and business transaction. For example:
- Accepts treatment
- Shows up to appointments on time
- Refers friends and family
- Pays out of pocket
Now you’re ready to attract your ideal patients!
Why spend time and money on attracting everyone in the five-mile radius around your practice when you can invest less time and money attracting exactly the right people who will become loyal to you and your practice?