It’s hard to believe that Halloween is already here. Traditionally, the holidays can be a little bit of a slow time for healthcare practices (as patients are off partying instead of visiting the doctor). But this also makes it the perfect time to showcase the festive side of your practice. Patients are much more likely to engage during the holidays when you are joining in with the fun!
To get your holiday wheels spinning, we’ve compiled some fun marketing ideas. So check our list once (or twice!) and you’ll be sure to find ways to bring in those patients over the coming months.
- Create a video—The holidays are a great time to channel your inner movie star. Patients love to receive fun, unexpected videos from their practices. You can create something as simple as the office staff wearing Santa hats and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to a complete acting out of the first Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for easy ways to share a video, try imposing the faces of staff members into a pre-made video like the ones on jibjab. Get creative and don't forget to put your video up on your Youtube page.
- Photo contest— Wondering how to get some social buzz going? Hosting a holiday-themed photo contest is your answer. Pick a theme (some of my favorites include an ugly Christmas sweater contest, holiday animal pics, favorite holiday foods, best/worst wrapping, Christmas lights, snow pictures, etc) and get going. On Facebook, ask patients to post their pictures as a comment on the contest post. On Instagram ask them to tag you in their post and use a hashtag you’ve created for the contest (try something like #ChristmasPets) Tip: make sure to remind users to make their pictures public. You could invite viewers to vote on their favorite image (by liking it) or have your staff choose a favorite. Give away a fun prize to the winner.
- “12 Days” Email Series—Email is a powerful (but often overlooked) marketing tool for healthcare practices. During the holidays, there are a variety of series you could use to reach out to patients via email. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- 12 Days of Holiday Health—ideas for staying healthy over the holidays
- 12 Days of Stress-free Holiday—tips to avoid stress
- 12 Days of Patient Appreciation—emails highlighting different patients each day
- Holiday Giving Campaign--What’s the holiday season without giving? Partner with a local or national charity and open the floodgates of holiday cheer. One of the best ways for healthcare offices is to sponsor needy families through a Holiday Angel Tree. This program is created by the Salvation Army. Learn more about the Holiday Angel Tree program and along with other ways to give back here.
- Bring the holiday into the office – Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Schedule an hour or two to actually sit down and plan how you want to decorate your office for each holiday. Find simple ways that help welcome patients during this special time of year. Quick idea: Ask patients to write down something they are grateful for and put it up on a “Gratitude Wall” for Thanksgiving (this is one of my favorites!).
Tip: As with all practice marketing/patient engagement campaigns, make sure you share on your blog, social media, and email marketing as well. Holidays can be hectic, but they can also be the ideal time to engage patients. We’d love to hear about your holiday plans. Share in the comments!
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