What Is The Best Way To Market A Medical Practice And How Much Does It Cost?

medical practice marketing costs

What is the best way to market a medical practice?

We believe that inbound marketing is one of the best ways to market a medical practice selling high-value healthcare services to a niche-within-a-niche target patient audience.

Inbound marketing is a form of medical practice marketing that contains numerous elements, such as creating valuable content around questions your ideal new patients are asking online and then matching your content with your potential patients through search engine optimization. However, it is best to look at this unique form of healthcare marketing strategy as what it really is: an investment in your medical practice.

Of course, your medical practice marketing costs will be significant if you wish to take advantage of the various inbound marketing strategies. So it is important to know what these will cost. The costs of inbound medical practice marketing vary depending on the services you use and how much the workload will be. However, with the right inbound medical practice marketing strategy, you can expect a satisfying return on investment and a solid competitive advantage to predictably attract and convert more patients every month.

How can inbound marketing help my medical practice convert new potential patients?

Inbound marketing can be a very powerful tool when you are designing it properly. We view it as a full-service medical clinic marketing strategy to help healthcare businesses attract their desired target audience and consistently convert qualified new patients every month.

There are a lot of moving pieces involved that you have to consider, as well as a variety of tactics. These tend to all come with different costs. Because of this, you have to establish a substantial monthly budget and then determine the best inbound medical practice marketing strategies for your practice growth.

Since the costs are certainly ambiguous upfront without an in-depth discovery session, one thing is constantly true and this is that some costs are a one-time thing and others will be recurring, depending on the marketing strategies that you take advantage of.

Remember that your digital marketing strategy for medical practices is something that you have to establish over the long term so that it is constantly working for you. Due to this, the costs will also be something to anticipate over the long term.

How fast you want to experience a flurry of new patients, the types of medical practice marketing services you want to use and whether you are insourcing or outsourcing will all play a role in determining the total costs.

Here you will learn about the costs of inbound marketing for medical practices so that you can better establish a healthcare marketing budget and determine which services are right for you.

You will learn more about:

  • What is factored in when determining inbound marketing costs for medical practices?
  • How much can you expect to pay when you are working with an agency that does inbound marketing to help you convert more new patients?
  • Why should you consider it a worthwhile investment to use inbound marketing for your medical practice?
  • Understanding the different types of implementation options and the cost differences between them.

Is inbound marketing a worthwhile medical marketing strategy?

Exploring some statistics can shed some light on why inbound marketing is so important in today’s digital world:

  • There was a CMO Survey that explored the importance of marketing strategies. It found that 72% of chief marketing executives stated that over the last year, the overall importance of marketing has grown.
  • Responsify states that about 2.5% of the annual income of a business is devoted to inbound marketing strategies.
  • HubSpot says that an estimated 70% of professional marketers invest in this type of marketing themselves. Another estimated 60% of the same marketers state that for their business inbound marketing was considered either very important.
  • Mashable shared some data regarding inbound leads. When compared to outbound and traditional leads, the cost of inbound leads is 62% less and they also convert better and more new patient leads.

The data shows that compared to outbound marketing, inbound marketing has a better long-term return on investment, is more cost-effective and builds better customer relationships.

Due to these facts and figures, it is not surprising to learn that companies are steadily increasing their spending on inbound marketing strategies.

Before the internet turned our entire world into a global village, a lot of business owners thought digital marketing was just a fad. They doubted all of the internet marketing strategies that companies use today for advertising success, such as SEO, email marketing, social media marketing and paid ads.

Social media platforms are responsible for the winning and losing of political candidates. People are making millions of dollars using TikTok and YouTube. Also, blogs are considered to be staples in the marketing world.

Various inbound marketing strategies are proving to be effective marketing strategies driving the highest ROI in generating predictable and consistent new client acquisition. This is what helps to justify the costs to thousands of businesses throughout the world.

As a healthcare leader, what should you consider when determining your medical practice marketing costs?

Now it is time to explore the specifics regarding inbound marketing costs for medical practices.

You now know that the costs vary widely, but here you will get the price averages so that you can get a better idea about how much you might need to spend as part of your overall healthcare marketing. The prices that will be discussed here are based on the assumption that you are seeking out the highest-quality work possible.

Anyone can head over to websites like Fiverr and grab a quick blog post for $5 or $10. However, at this price, you are taking a gamble on whether or not it will be up to the quality standards that you require.

Remember that content is king and it needs to be something that your readers and the search engines want to appreciate as valuable content serving their specific needs and demands. The same is true when it comes to every type of inbound marketing activity.

With that information, the estimates that will be discussed in this article are based on services that are high quality and will produce solid business results. You will also learn more about inbound marketing labour costs.

When it comes to labour costs, you will learn about the following areas:

  • Time
  • Research and analysis
  • Software
  • Video and written content creation
  • Paid media and advertisements
  • Strategy and planning
  • Website design or re-design
  • Social media
  • Training and Coaching

Time

Time is priceless. Because of this, it will be the first labour cost discussed in this article. A lot of time is invested in inbound medical practice marketing.

This is due to several factors, such as it not being the best idea to outsource activities like the creation of content. As a medical provider, you want to ensure that all of the content is professional and accurate since it is a direct reflection of your healthcare brand and practice.

You also have to remember that inbound marketing as a medical practice marketing strategy does not produce results overnight. This is another factor to think about when considering time as a labour cost.

To get substantial leads and traffic from inbound medical practice marketing, it usually takes several months. You have to give people time to see your efforts and respond accordingly.

It is also important to note that building your online presence and new patient pipeline through healthcare marketing takes time. It also takes time for Google to index all of the content that you post. All of this can take several months to happen.

However, in the sales process, you can start to use different inbound marketing materials right away. So, while the building of intent-driven targeted organic traffic takes longer, you can start to use assignment selling immediately.

Overall, if you do not have time to spare and cannot be patient, inbound marketing is not the route that you want to go.

Research and analysis

Digital strategy and good research are the foundational cornerstones behind a successful inbound marketing campaign. It is very easy to under-estimate how much time and effort will go towards studying your particular healthcare industry niche and then understanding the various patient search intent behind all your various high-niche medical services.

Nearly all inbound marketing campaigns start off with a full audit of your medical website and then preparing an in-depth data-driven inbound marketing blueprint.

A one-off basic audit will cost you about $500. A comprehensive audit of your medical website underlying all technical issues and with a blueprint of critical inbound marketing steps to execute upon will cost between $5,000 – $7,500.

Software

There are various types of tools and software for marketing automation. It is not mandatory to use this type of software in your medical practice, but it will make the ability to analyze and execute your inbound marketing efforts much simpler.

Many companies use HubSpot for this purpose. This is because this software makes it possible to control all marketing funnel elements, such as email, landing pages, blogging, social media and forms, on a single platform. Additionally, you can see how each of these performs and interacts. While HubSpot is probably the most popular, there are other options on the market.

For any of these software options, the lower-end cost averages about $200 per month. However, some can cost thousands. Ultimately, the cost depends on factors, such as how complex of a service your practice requires, the plan that you choose and the size of your practice.

The top choices are typically Pardot and HubSpot.

You might also consider taking advantage of a CRM, or customer relationship management system in addition to healthcare marketing automation software. You can use the CRM from HubSpot for free. However, for $25 a month, you can take advantage of Salesforce, which is the industry standard.

Make sure that you are looking closely at the different price points when it comes to this type of software. You also want to examine how they are charging, such as once a year or monthly.

Creative software might also be handy. For example, if you want to create videos to teach patients about certain health conditions, this could come in handy. Like the above software options, these too vary greatly in price.

Video and Written Content Creation

When it comes to the process, content creation takes the most time, but it is also one of the most critical components. Content should be published regularly once you have established your inbound strategy.

The two primary types of content include written and video. Many people will outsource content creation, but this is something that you should reconsider, especially for a medical practice.

As niche-specific experts within the healthcare industry, it is more authentic and will always drive the highest conversions when you develop and create your own content with your unique insight and personal voice behind it. You can also get it done faster since you will not have to wait for generic writers and editors to complete the content.

Overall, you have more control over the content when you do not outsource it. Ideally, you will use someone at your practice to be the one person to tackle your content needs. This will ensure that all of the content has the same voice which makes it better for your readers.

Your content should be able to drive leads, sales and highly targeted traffic to your website. A good content manager will accomplish this with everything that they create.

A good content creator will do the following:

  • Make sure that the voice of your practice is present in all content that is created
  • Work with your sales team to ensure that your inbound sales process and content creation are on the same page
  • Ensure that all content stays effective and relevant with regular updates.
  • Interview the medical professionals at your practice to get their insights so that it can be incorporated into the content.
  • Improve traffic results and ranking by keeping an eye on organic search performance.
  • Oversee all marketing and sales efforts that have content as part of the strategy.
  • Work with all of the departments to keep everything on the same page.
  • Ensure that all related deadlines are met.
  • For high-quality content, you can expect to pay per post at an average of $75 to $150 each. If you choose to hire a content manager, their salary averages about $61,000 annually.

Video is the next type of content. When people are looking at content, an average of 84% of internet users say that they were persuaded to use a service or product based on a video. In essence, you could be losing potential patients by not adding video content to your website.

When it comes to video marketers, an estimated 92% state that competition and internet in such content has gone up over the last year. You could be giving up potential patients to competing practices if you do not add this type of content to your website. Just like with written content, it is best to use a videographer in-house.

With a medical practice, you could do educational videos to educate patients about the conditions and lifestyle activities related to your practice. This is more engaging than just reading written articles. You could also choose to create videos that complement the written content on your website.

A videographer can create content that allows you to directly address the common questions that your patients ask. They will ensure that all videos are easy to understand and engaging for those watching them.

An in-house videographer is the best choice and their annual salaries average about $46,000. However, if you choose to outsource, you can expect to pay about $750 per video. However, if the video is more complex, it could cost more.

Paid Media and Advertisements

Paid media is another option to enhance your inbound marketing strategy. It can be especially helpful on platforms like Facebook and Google. You will typically be using PPC ads as part of this effort. If you do not have experience working with PPC ad campaigns, you should consider hiring an experienced agency or consultant to take care of this work for you.

For a medical practice, having someone in-house full-time for this is generally not necessary. However, if another one of the in-house marketing experts in your practice has some PPC experience, you can probably utilize their skills for this.

If you need to hire an agency to do this type of work, it can become a bit pricey. Your goals and the size of your campaign will dictate the total costs. They average $10,000 on the low end to over $100,000 for highly complex paid media and advertising campaigns.

Strategy and Planning

You have to have a strategic approach to ensure successful inbound marketing. When you are working on your game plan for inbound marketing, there are a variety of factors that you need to consider:

  • Research to determine who your target audience is
  • Messaging and brand identity
  • Your market position and value proposition
  • The marketing objectives of your practice

On average, the annual salary is $86,000 for an experienced marketing strategy consultant, according to PayScale. If you opt to use a freelancer, the costs may be a little lower depending on how much work they need to do. On the Upwork platform, a freelancer in this industry charges an average of $50 to $125 per hour.

If your medical practice does not already have an inbound marketing strategy in place that is solid, expect to pay consulting fees averaging $1,000 to $10,000. How much experience the consultant has and the overall workload will have the greatest impact on what you can expect them to charge you.

Website Design

Bringing visitors to your website is the goal of inbound marketing. This is so that you can turn these visitors into patients for your practice.

You want to make sure that your medical practice website has certain specific elements, such as landing pages, a blog and calls-to-action. These, along with other important elements, will heavily influence your success. If these are already a part of your practice’s website, then make sure to look at them to ensure that they are in good shape. If they are not present, it is time to add them.

When your website is performing poorly or not designed well, people will click that back button and go back to the search results to find what they are looking for. Even if your site has what they want, if there are design issues or the site is hard to navigate, it will deter visitors from staying or coming back.

It is possible that your website will only require some basic updates or tweaks to be successful. This is especially true if it is already mobile-friendly and has a clean design. However, if it is outdated or has issues, you might want to consider a website redesign.

You can choose to design your website by yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

If you choose to do it yourself, you will likely be able to do it for the least amount of money. You can use a template to get the job done. You can buy a theme for WordPress for about $30 to $100. However, if you do not have experience with this, it could become very tedious and you may not be able to get the website how you want it.

There are many freelancers that specialize in designing and building websites. For something simple, you can expect to pay $2,000 to $5,000. However, for a bigger and more complex website, the costs can be as much as $20,000 or more.

An agency that designs and builds websites is another option. They are also the most expensive with a basic redesign costing an average of $15,000 to $30,000. However, highly sophisticated websites can cost $75,000 or more.

Remember that websites are never actually ever finished either. They require regular upkeep to ensure success.

As your practice changes and grows, you will need to make website updates that complement this. Another thing to consider when doing updates is user data.

Social Media

Social media is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience when you use it properly. Just about everyone spends at least some time on a social media platform each day. There are numerous platforms that people use today. Ideally, you want to have a presence on the most popular platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

However, if you want to target younger patients, platforms like TikTok might also be a good idea.

You do not want just anyone working on your social media pages either. Social media marketing is a skill and you want someone good at it to get the best results for your medical marketing campaigns.

Ideally, you will have someone in-house to take care of your social media presence for you. However, if you want to use an experienced freelancer, you can expect to pay them about $30 to $50 per hour.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It is important that current and potential patients can find the content on your website and this is where SEO comes into play. You can expect to pay a salary of about $52,000 annually for an in-house SEO expert.

While SEO is something that you can learn to do on your own, you may want to hire an expert initially who has experience securing search engine rankings for highly competitive keywords serving healthcare providers. They can help to ensure that your content ranks high in the results and help you to learn how to best optimize your content and website to drive higher conversions.

If you are wanting to use more complicated SEO strategies and use an expert on a per-project basis, the costs average about $5,500 per project.

Training and Coaching

It can be overwhelming to tackle inbound marketing efforts. You will need to learn new software, hire people to take on different jobs and consider the costs of the services.

Now, there is a different want to tackle all of this if you want to put the effort into learning how to do it yourself. You could also hire one person to take care of the marketing efforts at your practice and pay to get them the needed training.

You can find agencies, and even some freelancers, that offer comprehensive training programs for inbound marketing. You can choose to build expertise over time or do a comprehensive course at once that tackles all of the inbound marketing efforts that you are planning to use in your practice.

Trainers and coaches will assess your knowledge and the types of inbound marketing that you want to learn. From here, they can develop a course that fits your needs exactly. This will ensure that you are only paying for what you need and getting all of the knowledge necessary to properly market your medical practice.

Depending on the complexity of the program, you can expect it to take 12 to 18 months to complete. However, once you are done, you will know everything needed to successfully market your medical practice.

These courses range from $8,500 to $15,000 per month. While this is no small cost, think about the money that you will be able to save over time when you are able to tackle your own inbound marketing in the future without needing to hire any professionals.

Hiring a good inbound marketing agency

A lot of time is needed for inbound marketing, so most medical practices will hire an agency to help them. While this does cost money, you are getting help from experienced professionals who can help you custom-design the ideal patient referral program that you desire by harnessing the power of revenue-generating organic traffic via search engines, social media and online directories (but mainly, Google).

There are many benefits associated with hiring an inbound marketing agency, including:

  • The ability to work with multiple inbound marketing experts with different areas of expertise
  • You can get results faster since they know what they are doing and will get your campaign off the ground quicker
  • It can be less expensive compared to creating and hiring an in-house team specifically or your practice
  • The ROI is calculated in terms of actual business outcomes (new appointments scheduled by converting more patients) as opposed to search engine ranking.

What you want your efforts to accomplish will ultimately determine the overall cost.

The price of an inbound marketing agency

For a very large healthcare practice with aggressive goals, the costs can range from $10,000 to $20,000 each month for a minimum of 12 months. Of course, the more you want to accomplish, the more you can expect to pay for the services. For a local healthcare service, the minimum cost you can expect is $5,500 a month recurring for 12 months minimum.

It is important to examine your return on investment to determine how successful your inbound marketing efforts are.

First, figure out how much you can afford to spend on inbound marketing for your healthcare practice. Next, think about the types of inbound marketing you want to utilize in your practice. This will help you to determine how much you should be spending to meet your goals.

You get what you invest in when it comes to your inbound marketing efforts

When inbound medical marketing efforts are executed properly, you can build a connection that is based on transparency, expertise and trust. And this connection is not merely with potential new patients, but also with your current patients.

While word-of-mouth marketing and patient referrals are great ways to initially build your book of business, these offer no guarantee or predictability in terms of securing a consistent opportunity volume of highly qualified future patients.

You do not want to target random broad populations, but a target audience composed of the local patients that would most benefit from establishing a relationship with you and other local physicians at your medical practice.

Remember that inbound marketing efforts do not make a difference in one day. This is a long game that you constantly have to nurture to gain and maintain the benefits. Since it does take time, it is important to get started as soon as possible so that you can start working toward attracting and converting more of your target patients.

Having someone in-house who can tackle at least some of your efforts is always a good idea. However, if you are a smaller practice with limited employees, hiring an agency can be the best option for you.

A medical practice marketing strategy delivering tangible business results

What is most important is that you are using the best methods for your practice. Because of this, even if you decide to use an in-house team, it is a good idea to at least consult with experienced professionals first. They can help you lay the groundwork and develop an inbound marketing strategy that will work best for your practice.

With the right approach, your efforts will pay off faster and better. The time to start is now to ensure that you start to reap the results as soon as possible.

At Inbound Medic, we have a transparent and results-driven approach to our inbound marketing services for healthcare practices.

Schedule a strategy session with us so we can custom design your inbound marketing blueprint.

medical practice marketing costs to get more new patients

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