It can be tough for a small business to compete with major marketing efforts this time of year, but there are still some creative approaches your office can employ that remind your patients of your presence as well as building good will throughout the year. The following are some simple techniques you can use to capitalize on the spirit of the season while keeping your name in front of current and prospective patients:
#1 Sponsor a Food Drive
Of all the activities that go on during the holidays, a demonstration of goodwill perhaps is most influential. A food drive is easy to organize, and the donations are guaranteed to help those most in need. You can post flyers, send out email or text messages, and put signs in your windows to advertise your collection. Coordinate with your local food bank (many will deliver boxes for collection and then pick up your donations for you), and then promote your collection dates and times.
#2 The Cost of a Stamp
Greeting cards during the holiday season are a friendly reminder of your services for your patients, your vendors and suppliers. You can include a coupon for a discount or a card to refer friends or family to your office. Not only are you creating a personal connection at an important time of year, but you are keeping your office at the forefront of your patients’ minds. If the holidays are too chaotic, consider sending a New Year’s card to remind patients of their New Year’s resolutions to take better care of themselves. Of course you can also choose to send a holiday e-Newsletter to stay connected to your patients at this time of year instead.
#3 Get Your Patients to Market for You
Nothing beats a great patient testimonial, and at the holidays, patients generally feel generous and giving, so encourage your patients to provide their feedback on your Healthgrades or other profile. To encourage participation, offer a discount to those who provide feedback through a patient survey, or enter the names of those who give a review into a drawing. And thank patients for referrals they give you online as well.
#4 Get or Update Your Facebook
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are all easy, effective, and economical promotional tools you can use. Offer a discount, ask for referrals, and keep your name and image in front of your clients, their relatives, and their friends over the holidays. Posting pictures of your staff can add a friendly face and show thanks for your hardworking employees. Or create a Pinterest contest where customers can pin photos of donations they gave, or with staff members, and be entered to win a gift. Let social media keep your name at the top of the “Good” list.
#5 Sub for Santa
Get your office and your patients in on spreading the holiday cheer by adopting a family to provide a holiday for. Your local food pantry or social services office can provide you with the name of a family in need. Ask your staff and clients to pick a tag from a tree or other decoration with an item listed to be given as a gift. Have all gifts returned by a designated date, and consider hosting an open house for patients and staff to wrap the gifts in preparation for delivery. A quick press release to local media could even add some newspaper or television coverage as well. You’ll foster goodwill among your staff, your patients, and in the community.
No matter which holiday marketing activity you choose, you’ll be putting a good face on your practice and building relationships that will last for years to come.