Diagnostic Imaging Marketing Strategies & How to Make Them Work for Your Practice
The healthcare scene is constantly changing, and diagnostic imaging is no different. To put your business ahead of other local facilities, you need to be in front of your referring providers, patients, and employers in ways that your competitors aren’t.
Did you know? Healthcare is second only to hotels and restaurants as the industry with the most read online reviews.
One of the fastest and most effective ways to market an imaging center is to have excellent reviews and community trust and that means being proactive about your reputation. Even with 10 or 20 good reviews, your average star rating could plummet with just a couple of unhappy patients.
Here’s how to generate more 5-star patient reviews.
With these simple strategies, your diagnostic imaging center can rise above the competition and automate a lot of that work!
1. Get Ranked on Google to Grow Your Radiology Marketing
From a digital perspective, one of the MOST important things for your diagnostics center’s online marketing is to be ranked on Google Places when people search for you or for diagnostic imaging in your area. Remember, patients, providers, and employers don’t think about the technical terminology the same way you do. Make sure to help them by using layman’s terms on your website so you rank for what they are searching for. For more information on how to set up your Google Places for a diagnostic imaging center take a look at this article.
If you want to know if you are showing up properly, just go to Google and search for the following terms:
- MRI exam
- CT exam
- Cat Scan
- MRI in my area
- Best MRI near me
At the top of the page, you should see a map of local companies providing imaging services. Getting to the top of this list can be the difference between success and failure. Remember, Google is going to show what is most RELEVANT, so make sure you have the right content on your site to get to the top.
If you’re not at the top, make sure to click the ‘More Places’ link at the bottom and see if you’re on the full list. There are a lot of resources online to show you how to reach the top of this list.
Contact us if you’re interested in getting to the top of Google Places and growing your referrals!
2. Keep Your Radiology Marketing Focus Local
Make the biggest impact on your medical imaging marketing by focusing on what you can impact the most. We all know that diagnostic centers support their regions. By tracking exactly what zip codes people are coming from, you can tailor your marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness.
The big question we so often hear is, “How do I do that?”
Here is a little bit of the secret sauce:
- Connect your RIS system to a HIPAA compliant visual analytics tool where you can create customized reports.
- Create a map report that shows the zip code or address of each of your patients.
- Find the specific neighborhoods, schools, and businesses in these areas.
- For your target neighborhoods, post specials and coupons on private Facebook neighborhood groups or the NextDoor website.
- Sponsor after-school events for the top school or schools in the area.
- Run Facebook ads to the businesses in the specified locations.
There are tons of ways to target the right people once you know who they are. If you’re interested in learning about new ways to do this, some of our other blog articles go into specifics.
Grow Your Diagnostic Imaging Referrals
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Of course I should grow my referrals! That’s why I’m here reading your article!” So let’s get right into it! Here are a few of the many methods of growing your imaging center’s referrals:
3. Consistent Diagnostics Patient Outreach
The easiest way to get new sales is to sell to existing customers. So why are you letting your customers go to another diagnostics facility? Keeping in front of customers is simple. Sign up for an email marketing tool such as MailChimp or Drip.co, put together an automated set of emails that go out to new customers or patients starting a week after their visit and STAY IN FRONT OF THEM!
4. Educate Your Patients
A lot of people won’t come back for another exam because they won’t need one. But their friends will. So send them important information about their health, interesting articles about what is going on with the amazing technology involved in diagnostic imaging, as well as specials and coupons to be shared with friends, and you could be looking at a pretty substantial ROI pretty fast.
Another simple tactic is to send a canned email out to each new patient with a link to a video about their exam. Use videos that other diagnostics facilities have done that are not in your region. No one is going to notice a logo from a company in California if you are in Georgia. But if they have great videos, your patients, and your company should benefit.
5. Make the Rounds
One of the very best and most important things you can do to promote your diagnostics center and grow your referrals is to make the rounds to your referring providers.
Maintaining and improving relationships with referring providers is probably the number one way to keep your diagnostics center growing. While you’re out saying hello, make sure you remember the Stark Laws and know what you can and can’t do!
If you’re nervous about giving something physical to a provider or their office at all, how about just something intangible, like knowledge? Education such as emails, links to Youtube videos, and emailed PDFs. to help providers learn how to grow their practices is never illegal as far as we know.
6. Stay in front of your diagnostics customers
Another simple way to improve your diagnostics marketing is to stay in front of your diagnostics customers with some simple modern technology. If customers have opted in and agree to receive educational emails from you, then you can send out:
- Surveys – find out what you did right and wrong, but also use these to stay in front of patients!
- Educational Emails – Instead of talking about radiology and promoting your diagnostic marketing, how about going into your customer’s day to day lives? Education on how to avoid injuries could be more helpful than learning how to scan for injuries that they have.
- Let your patients refer one another – There are no laws against patients referring one another, and there are a ton of ways to do that. Just reach out to patients online or in person and ask if they know anyone that needs help.
7. Stay relevant by showing your personality
Your business isn’t made up of robots. The people at your diagnostics center or centers are loving, kind, good people that want to help. So many companies do group lunches, the Thanksgiving pie making contest (Julie won last year, but I was in a close second), learning events, and training.
Showing your customer base that you are real people creates a story and personality. The easiest way to show everyone is through social media, and particularly through Facebook and Instagram.
Adding to Facebook is super simple. Just create a business page on Facebook, log in, and start adding posts. Some things that you may want to show the world:
- Customer testimonials as text and pictures or as videos.
- Employee of The Month
- Office events or parties
- Provider testimonials
- A diagnostics center walkthrough, showing all the rooms with all the modalities. You can just do this on your iPhone or Android, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.
While you’re setting everything up, make sure to add to your Facebook page:
- Address – it will automatically show a map to your location for your audience here.
- Website Link
- Hours – A lot of people look at Facebook first to check business hours
- A picture of your facility – Showing the front of your facility as the main image can make it a lot easier for people to find you.
- Links to other important information such as pricing, other locations, the patient and provider portals, pre-exam forms, etc.
8. Know your neighbors!
You have the greatest impact in your immediate area. The easiest way to start drawing in new patients and referring providers is to get out and knock on some doors or send direct mail to your neighborhood businesses and residents. Forming relationships with people is key to keeping your business running, and who better to start with than the business next door?
9. Majority of referrals comes from 20% of providers
If you haven’t already, know who the top 20% of referring providers are, and KEEP THEM HAPPY! We don’t have to tell you the best ways to do that. But is easy to forget who keeps the business running and treat someone sending you a lot of patients the same as someone sending in just a few per month or year.
Not everyone is the same, and some providers deserve more attention than others. So, how do you do that?
- Know who they are – if you don’t already, you should be able to look into your RIS system and check the top providers right away.
- Make a list of your top providers and post it up for your team to see.
- At your team meetings go through this list and read off the list to everyone.
- Make sure that if a provider on this list is having some difficulty, you can get them special treatment or a higher level person to handle their needs.
- Consider a concierge-level service team just for these providers that calls regularly to check in with everyone, makes sure they are always ordering the right exams, and caters to their needs.
10. Don’t tell, ASK!
So often, marketing reps making calls on referring providers want to talk all about the facility, the new magnet they just installed, and what they can do for the providers’ offices. What these reps so often forget to do is ask the right questions then let the office manager or provider talk.
If you ask the right questions, they will tell you how you can meet their needs. Remember, the one thing that everyone wants to talk about is themselves. So, ask open-ended questions and let them talk!
Some questions to consider asking:
- How is business going?
- Any issues with getting your exams recently?
- What can we do better?
- How are things changing in your practice?
- What are some of your biggest problems right now?
If they don’t feel like talking, that’s another story. But most people do.
11. Find your strengths, know your weaknesses
Some questions you may want to ask yourself and your team:
- What advantages does your diagnostics center have over your competition?
- What makes your team unique?
- What are the major areas you can improve upon?
- What are your biggest obstacles to growth now? In the future?
These are all part of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Putting together a bi-yearly SWOT analysis for your diagnostic center marketing plan as well as for your company and team as a whole, then comparing it against the previous analysis can provide great insight into your team’s growth and failures.
Here is some more info on how to set up a SWOT analysis and employing fundamental marketing and research for your center.
Use These Techniques to become a Diagnostic Imaging Marketing Pro
In the face of lowering reimbursements, Stark Law, dropping industry profits, and an overall difficult business environment, reaching out to your providers, customers/patients, and local employers is absolutely key to success.
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Now that you’ve got some marketing ideas on how to grow your diagnostics imaging marketing plan and business, we would love to know what you liked and didn’t like from our list.
What did we miss? Are there any tactics you want to share that have worked well for you? How about some advertising methods? Post what you’ve got in the discussion below.