New (And Foolproof) Marketing Strategies For Doctors (2021)

Sliman M. Baghouri
Sliman M. Baghouri
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8 minute read

This article outlines proven and strategic ways to catapult your practice profitability to the next level.


If you’re bored with the usual “be on social media” advice, You’ll find this list refreshing. I’m going to share with you new and ridiculously powerful marketing ideas you can use to market your practice.

This article covers:

  • Personal Brand Strategy
  • Storytelling Strategy
  • Launching your medical podcast
  • Podcast Tours Strategy
  • Sales funnel for medical professionals
  • Online marketing
  • Doctor office advertising
  • Email Autoresponder strategy
  • Positioning Strategy
  • Generating patients using published articles
  • How much should you spend on marketing?
  • The best way to market your practice
  • How to develop a marketing plan
  • The secret to result-driven medical practice marketing

Best Marketing Strategies for doctors

The below strategies consist of little different but effective ways to market your practice.

Personal Brand Strategy for doctors

Illustrations of personal branding for doctors

An overabundance of “me too” care services and DIY products are commoditizing the healthcare industry. And as of 2021, the competition is surging faster than it ever has been. For these reasons and many others, not having a unique personal brand is the same as being invisible.

#~So, What is a Personal Brand Strategy?

Personal Brand Strategy is a strategy that is focused on positioning you as an authority in your field and highlighting your unique attributes. The goal is to establish a grounded and differentiated brand for you or your practice.

#~Common Myths about Personal Branding

Myth 1: Personal branding is about creating fake personage

Having a personal brand is not about creating a manufactured image or inauthentic persona, indeed, personal branding cuts through the lookalike and provides you with unfair advantages over your peers. It adds your personal touch on how you deliver care and distinguish you from the rest.

A common misconception is that by building brand awareness (expanding your sphere of influence) you can form a brand, however, being “well-known” is partial to what makes up a brand. You can be popular, but brandless-ly so.

Building a personal brand is not about harvesting social media followers and tracking vanity metrics. Your brand is not tied to how many people know you but to what makes you different.

#~Benefits of a Personal Brand Strategy:

  • Having a personal brand creates an unbreachable wall against the competition
  • Having a strong brand reduces your marketing expenses: When you have recognized a brand, you’re less dependent on marketing and you can cut the costs of ads/promotional efforts.
  • It attracts high-value patients
  • Skyrockets your practice growth and profitability
  • Makes your care services premium and modern

Storytelling strategy

A diagram of storytelling strategy in healthcare

Imagine what you want to say to your ideal patient goes through intact - crystal clear and potent? What if your messages are perceived straight into people’s brains without distortion, noise, or the need to think too much about it? Brand Storytelling Strategy shrinks the “psychic distance” between your medical business and your ideal patient so that a relationship can begin to develop.

These gap-crossing, distance-shrinking messages are the building blocks of a great storytelling campaign.

Brand Storytelling is a strategy used to communicate with your target patient in a novel, digestible, and more trustworthy way. The strategy focuses on creating inspiring stories around your practice, its services, and your patients.

Best part? You don’t need a massive budget or film studio for it to work. Here at unnus, we developed this strategy to make it as attainable as it can be.

If you’d like to see examples and step-by-step processes for this strategy, visit our guide on storytelling in healthcare .

Launching your medical podcast show

An illustrations that shows podcasting strategy for medical doctors

Podcasting is booming right now. With 1 out of every 5 adults in the USA listening to podcasts regularly:

A podcast graph
Launching your medical show will take your medical business to the next level. According to Dr. Ernesto , Founder of PGFormula, podcasting is the easiest medium for doctors to start marketing their practice and attract new patients.

#~Advantages of launching your medical podcast

  • It’s a quick marketing strategy and easy to outsource
  • It’s a great way to increase your outreach and educate your patients
  • It expands your network and nurture relationships with industry leaders
  • It increases your referrals: since podcasting is a great way to meet podcast guests from other fields, it is natural your referral rates will soar after a couple of interviews with other medical professionals.
  • Podcasting is easy to syndicate: the beauty of this medium is that you can convert your episode into other mediums like blog articles, social media posts, Youtube videos just with one recording
  • Podcasting will work as a flywheel that attracts new patient consistently
  • Establish you as an authority in the field

Podcast Tours Strategy

illustrations that shows guest podcasting for doctors

Another alternative to creating your show is to be a guest on other podcasts. It takes little to no time to get a great amount of exposure to you and your business.

With 20-30 minutes each day, you’ll sit in front of a large audience without too much effort on your part. This can be an option for you if you’re too busy to create a show or if you can’t outsource podcasting.

#~The benefits of being a guest on a podcast are:

  • The podcast might be on medical-related issues and the audience might be interested in the care service. If you can pitch your episode to a podcast where the audience is receptive to your services, it’ll be a great way to start building consistent leads.
  • It increases your professional network and can be a great referral source.
  • It expands the exposure of your practice brand and gets more people interested in it.
  • Since you’ll be on the show as a guest, you can promote your website or social media handles in the podcast. This is a great way to increase your online presence.

If you’d like a step-by-step guide on how to pitch your episode to other medical podcasts, you can check our guide here .

Sales funnel for doctors

An illustrations of a sales funnel for medical doctors

A Sale funnel is a potent strategy for passive patient acquisition . The strategy optimizes the journey potential patients go through on the way to purchase your services.

The journey this strategy tracks and optimizes for are:

  1. awareness stage
    • The first contact would-be patients have with you and are aware of your services
  2. → Interest stage
    • At this stage, people are intrigued by what you have to say and how can you deliver care
  3. → evaluation
    • This is the stage where potential patients are evaluating their choices and making their buying decision
  4. → purchase
    • This is the final stage where they become patients and purchase your services

Here’s basic example of sales funnel:

An example of a sales funnel for doctors

Advantages of Creating a sales funnel

There are countless benefits from creating a sales funnel but the most beneficial points are:

  1. Sales funnel automate patient acquisition process
    • Once the funnel has been established, it will be a passive stream of leads for your practice. You won’t have to worry about how to acquire new patients because this system works for you 24/7.
  2. Makes your annual revenue more predictable
    • Since your sales funnel will work on autopilot, your revenue stream is more stable and predictable.
  3. It makes your marketing simple
    • Sales funnels remove all the complex and finer details you have to do when you’re actively marketing your medical business. Having a systematic approach makes your medical marketing stress-free.

If you’d like to see another example of this strategy in action, jump to this section .

Online marketing for doctors (inbound marketing)

An illustration that shows online marketing for doctors

Inbound marketing is a strategy for drawing patients to your services via content marketing, social media, and search traffic. The goal of this strategy is to educate your patients through your online content and build rapport from the get-go.

Considering 83% of adult internet users look online for health information, creating a strong online presence where you can share tips on health-related topics can be a competitive edge for your practice.

There are multiple inbound marketing strategies you can take but the most effective ones are:

  • SEO and search traffic from Google
  • Authoring books/print media
  • Public Speaking
  • Video Content
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers
  • Webinars/online events
  • E-books and online guides
  • Social Media Posts
  • Podcasting
  • Email Newsletters
  • Publishing Articles

The great news is that you only have to pick one and stick to it. Staying consistent with one can yield fruitful results to your medical business.

If you’re wondering which one is best for you, here’s a diagram that categorizes all strategies depending on impact/difficulty

Doctor office advertising (outbound marketing)

Illustration that shows advertising strategy

Outbound marketing is any effort that aims to market your medical office using paid advertising and promotional ads. Unlike the previous strategy, this one is more geared towards paid ads.

This strategy takes less time than inbound marketing and it’s also ridiculously cheap compared to traditional advertising methods. Services like PPC (pay per click) ads and Facebook ads are affordable and yield high ROI for your business.

The following is a list of advertising methods you can choose to promote your office:

  • Social media advertising
  • PPC Advertising
  • Email blasts newsletters
  • Print and Radio Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook Ads
  • Banner Ads
  • Retargeting Ads

Again, we’ve made a diagram for you to make it easy to choose between all these options:

Creating an email autoresponder strategy

illustration that shows email marketing strategy for doctors

This strategy revolves around creating an email course by sending a premade sequence of emails to your email subscribers as a form of lessons.

The premise is that your potential patients will sign up for your free email series from your website and start receiving automated emails.

These emails are then delivered as educational lessons. Each lesson holds valuable exercise or useful tips about their health-issues.

After your subscribers finish your course, they’ll receive an email pitch that directs them to your online booking page to book you.

At this point, you helped them with useful information and built trust with them. So they will be more receptive to your bigger offer (one-on-one care service).

The following is an illustration that shows how your potential patients move through this mini-sales funnel:

Advantages of the email autoresponder strategy

  • It builds trust and rapport with your potential patients before you even meet them
  • It establishes you as an authority in your field and increases your credibility
  • It “lubricate” your bigger offer (your medical consulting service) and make would-be patients more receptive to your offers
  • It helps educate your patients about you and your brand. This is a great chance for you to feed patients your values and messages
  • It works on autopilot. Once the email course is shipped, you can rely on it to be a flywheel of patient acquisition

If you want to start applying this strategy, here’s a great video to start:

Positioning strategy for doctors

Illustration that shows positioning for doctors

Positioning strategy aims to single your practice out of the sea of sameness. It’s a strategy based on differentiation and breaking through the clutter.

The effectiveness of this strategy lies in our biological structure. Our brain acts as a filter to protect us from the vast amount of irrelevant information and we are wired to notice what’s different.

The Positioning Strategy is all about focusing on your brand and finding a differentiator for your medical business. It’s about creating new perceptions in the eyes of your patient.

If you’d like to get the step-by-step process for positioning in healthcare, check our positioning guide here. We give an example for a chiropractic practice but it works just the same for any medical field.

Generate patients with published articles

Illustration shows generating patients with blogging for doctors

This strategy focuses on writing health-related articles in your field and publishing them in high traffic healthcare digital magazines. After your article is published on these websites, the goal is to redirect their readers (would-be patients) to your website where they can book an appointment with you. With just one article, you’ve managed to drive thousands of potential patients to your websites.

A simple step-by-step process goes like this:

  1. Target High Traffic healthcare-related websites
  2. Write an article that patients might be interested in
  3. Pitch your article to multiple websites
  4. After your article is accepted, link to your website from the article
  5. Wait for the traffic to come in

Examples of this strategy come from Dr. Marchbanks and his published article on The Blogging Doctors.

Picture of guest blogging for doctors

That links lead to a page where readers can book an appointment

Picture of a booking page

#~Advantages of publishing articles in digital magazines

  • Instant exposure to a targeted audience
  • Improve your online authority
  • Generate qualified leads and attracts patients on autopilot
  • Improves your Google ranking: When authoritative websites link to your website, Google sees this as an indication that your website is also valuable and should be ranked higher (thus more traffic)
  • Generate social media shares
  • It expands your network

Common questions

If you still have questions regarding marketing for medical practitioners, this section answers commonly asked questions by physicians.

How much should a medical practice spend on marketing?

Spending must be considered in terms of annual revenues and goals. Experts recommend 2% to 3% at a minimum to keep a consistent level of patient flow. 4% to 5% when you are struggling or growth is starting to stall (especially in this covid-19 situation).

What is the best way to market a doctor’s office?

If you’re a small to midsize medical business, we recommend that you adopt strategies that are affordable and easy to outsource like Developing a brand strategy, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Search Traffic, Or Podcasting. For larger organizations like hospitals and medical centers, we recommend approaches like developing a sales funnel, storytelling, and positioning strategy.

How to build a marketing plan for medical practice?

A medical marketing plan should start with your brand. Marketing your medical practice is as good as the brand behind it. If you don’t have a grounded and differentiated brand, your marketing effort won’t be as fruitful.

So the first thing to initiate a marketing plan is to start with brand development and then proceed to marketing. Here’s a free guide on how branding in healthcare works and its unmatched advantages.

Why is marketing important for doctors?

Marketing for doctors is important because it makes the patient flow more stable. Marketing your medical business helps you achieve consistent and predictable profit each quarter. If you’d like to run a successful medical business, it should be a priority for you to market it actively.

The secret to medical practice marketing

Your marketing effort is as good as the branding behind it. If your marketing is not directed by a concrete brand strategy , it becomes a tactic that comes with an expiration date.

Marketing should solidify and create a strong brand name for your medical business so it will be less dependent on marketing spend and more reliant on strong brand recognition.

If you’re looking to create a strong personal strategy or a charismatic brand for your practice, we’d like to help you out .