One of the biggest obstacles in any medical practice in Kenya is getting and maintaining customers.
With so many medical practices coming up in the country, your potential client base may be too small even if you have excellent services because you are not visible to many people.
In the past, marketing medical practices in Kenya was almost taboo.
The question was: why would a doctor or a hospital need to market their products? Do they want society to get sick so that they can profit from it?
But the reality is simple, hospitals just like any other institution or business in Kenya, it need clients.
And it is almost impossible to get customers in any industry without marketing, and hospitals or medical practices are no exception.
How do many medical practices market today?
The truth of the matter many medical practices still market their institution using traditional methods today.
There is nothing wrong with this.
I mean, it has worked so far.
The question is, are these institutions ready to transition into more modern ways to market?
I have talked to several medical institutions, and the most common question they ask is, “the methods I am using to market are working; why should I change them?”
This reasoning is a very true assertion; who would want to change a working business strategy?
Therefore, first, let us look at some more traditional medical practices’ marketing strategies and see why they work, how they work and how a modern and more digital approach can help in these situations.
The oldest and, indeed, the most effective way of marketing medical practices was finding a prime and well-populated area and set up there.
We can see this strategy all over the country.
The belief is, a well-placed hospital or medical practice has more potential for walk-in clients.
But sadly, this is changing.
First, it is not as easy to get a prime area anymore. And if you do, it might be quite costly.
Think about it, mostly when you have something wrong with you, you consult the internet first.
Yes, having a great physical location is excellent, but the need and availability are twiddling quickly.
Hire a reputable doctor
This is a PR stunt that works excellent for doctors and lawyers.
The whole premise of this is a medical institution hires a well-known doctor hoping that the doctor brings in his or her clients with them.
In most cases, this is true.
What if the new doctor’s clients live far from where the doctor moves?
Then they will change doctors.
What if they liked the doctor because of where he worked?
Many medical institutions often gamble with this, and it does not always pay off.
This is a marketing technique that will stay relevant even in today’s society.
The whole idea is to give your current patient excellent service in the hope that they will tell other people about it, drumming up business for you.
It does work, and I will always recommend this.
But it is essential to know that the reverse is also true.
If you give poor service, then your customers will talk about it, and instead of bringing in more customers, they might make you lose clients.
Billboards, newspaper, and TV ads
These are perhaps the most taboo traditional marketing tools for Kenya’s medical practices.
However, many institutions still use it.
The biggest problem with billboards, newspapers, and TV ads for medical companies in Kenya is that it is hard to measure your investment.
There is no simple way of measuring how many clients saw the ad or came in because of the ad.
Simply put, there is no way to measure the return on investment(ROI) accurately.
To top all this off, it can be costly.
Now that we have seen a few traditional ways of marketing medical practices in Kenya, you can see the problems that come with them.
However, I am not saying that you should not use them, quite the contrary.
These methods are tried and tested. They would not have stayed relevant for so long if they did not work.
However, with technology advancements, you can market your medical practices more effectively and at lower prices.
Before we start discussing digital marketing, there are a few things you need to do as an institution to ensure that the marketing is more effective.
What to do as a medical practice in Kenya before digital marketing
As you can imagine, data collection is essential for any marketing.
If you are an existing practice, this can be very easy for you.
Look at your records and identify your current patients’ age, location, gender, profession, and any other info you can get.
The reason for this is to identify your target market.
Numbers do not lie.
Therefore, by looking at your current client base, you can identify potential clients better.
This information can be used for digital campaigns and call or email potential clients through outreach campaigns.
Train your staff
First, you need to get the basics in check.
Your staff will be the first people that interact with your patients.
Even though we do not say it often, hospitals are still a service industry; therefore, service is important.
By giving your clients better service, you can be sure that they will be happier once they leave.
This strategy is also an excellent way of trying to get referrals.
But most importantly, with excellent customer care in the medical field in Kenya, you will leave the customer happy.
You will be surprised by something as simple as your staff being polite does to retaining customers and getting new ones through referrals.
Clean, organized, and tidy
Many people, including myself, are not big fans of the hospital.
The main reason for this is how hospitals feel and smell.
You get there, and the place is disorganized, people running up and down, patience seated in pain, and the hospital smell is suffocating you.
Odds are you may feel worse than you did before walking in.
Keeping the hospital clean, tidy, and organized will make people feel more at home every time they visit you.
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How to attract more customers
Now that you have all the basics down, it is time to look at a way to drive up business for your medical institution in Kenya.
Build a great website
Many hospitals in Kenya sadly overlook the importance of an excellent website.
The reality is a great website today is just as important as a good physical location.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, people often search for their symptoms or hospitals online before making the trip.
If you have a great website, the potential client will pick up that you are professional.
A good website gives them the same feeling of having a clean, tidy, and organized practice, and they feel more comfortable.
An excellent website also helps in ranking your business better on google.
Besides, the important thing about a good google ranking is that people feel you are more trustworthy.
“They are ranked first on google; they must be doing something right.”
But what does a good medical website in Kenya have:
With a scheduling-capable website, your potential clients can set up an appointment from the comfort of their phone.
Even if they do not make the appointment, you have their contact details, and you can still follow up and maybe turn them into a client down the line.
You also need to add a page that shows your team members.
Remember, you are using the website as a tool to introduce your medical practice to a potential client.
Treat it the same way you would a physical location.
In any physical location, introductions are important to make the institution look more professional and friendly.
Why not for your online location?
Your website should contain photos of your actual physical location.
They need to be real photos; otherwise, the client will be disappointed when they come there physically.
Being actual photos does not mean you put up poor pictures. Instead, get someone to create beautiful pictures for you to put up.
A blog is one of the most critical features of any medical institution in Kenya.
I will discuss more on this in the article.
However, this should be one of the first things you set up when you create a website.
Get a free consultation on how to design your online presence here.
Build blog socials and a youtube channel
Like I have just mentioned, having a blog connected to your website is very important.
Let me explain:
Content is king, especially in an industry like the medical field in Kenya, where people are continually looking for information.
The blog will act as a bridge of information for the client and a tool to reel them in for you.
“But how do I use a blog to get more clients?”
I hear you ask.
Well, Like I have mentioned severally already, people today will often Google or search on their symptoms.
A Site like WebMD has become famous and often infamous because of this.
By creating meaningful posts on a blog and ranking them properly on google, you can be sure that people will land on your blog.
Once they read your well-written content, they will think of you as an expert in the field, making it more likely that they may become your patient.
The key is ranking your posts. But the best thing about this is you can see what people are searching for through the most popular keywords in your niche.
Through SEO, you can “wove” content around the keywords, making it easier for Google to rank your content and people to find your website.
Facebook is one of the country’s most prominent social platforms and would be a great place to start.
However, today, there are so many social sites, and you can use each of them to drive your business.
With new social platforms comes new ways to market.
Take Doctor Mike, for instance, who posts regularly on socials doing reaction videos and debunking medical myths.
He is not marketing himself in the sense of the word, but his technique is incredibly effective, having a following of over 1.6 million people on Facebook and 4 million on Instagram.
As you can see, with social sites, medical institutions in Kenya should look to answer questions and interact with patients and potential patients rather than the direct market.
This is because, as a medical practice, there are claims you cannot make.
Therefore, the interaction approach acts as a buffer to the market.
Let me explain
many people have so many questions about their health and medical problems.
You can use this to your advantage by answering questions they have and asking them to visit you at your office to get a diagnosis.
I see some doctors online insisting that they do not do “charity work online,” and if you want their opinions, make an appointment.
But sadly, this method of thinking is getting outdated.
Most of the time, these doctors do not get new clients after these statements, even if they are revered in their field of expertise.
This is because a social platform’s whole idea is to interact.
The doctor insisting they place an appointment first breaks the social platform’s entire premise.
Again, by simply interacting with the people, you have given no diagnosis, and they still need to be checked.
Since they have already interacted with you and you have shown that you are knowledgeable and kind, the odds are they will place an appointment with you.
YouTube is now the second biggest search engine on the planet after Google, even though it is not a search engine.
As data and Wi-Fi costs go lower in Kenya, more people are using YouTube than ever before.
You can use google and other social platforms to create informative content either around a medical topic or your institution.
By making such content, you look more credible and professional and help you connect with your audience.
PR: Online reviews and outreach campaigns
Now that you have talked about yourself and your business, it is now time to get other people talking about you.
The first thing you need to do is offer excellent services and, after that, encourage your current clients to leave reviews about your business online.
Something as small as a Facebook comment can lead to more business or clients running away.
Most of the time, companies in Kenya will often offer discounts and other rewards for reviews online.
However, the best types of reviews are found organically.
Plus, many people can spot reviews that have been paid for easily today, which may damage your reputation and brand.
If you offer wonderful services, most people would be happy and give you a positive review.
Therefore, the best way of getting excellent reviews is by providing exemplary services.
Outreach campaigns are another great way to get more eyeballs on your medical business in Kenya.
All you need to do is get blogs, news outlets, Vlogs, or social media influencers to talk about your business.
Sometimes this comes organically when one of these individuals visits your medical practice and talks about your company because of the service.
However, many times you have to reach out. Some may ask you to pay them to post the review.
However, others simply want content for their audience.
You should reach out to both, especially if you have a budget to work with.
Such reviews can do wonders for your business.
The reason for this is, these blogs, influencers, or Vlogs already have a following that trusts them.
Therefore they are more willing to try something recommended by them.
At the end of the day, your reputation and brand may grow, but most importantly, you may be able to drum up more business for this.
As you can see, the potential of marketing your medical practice in Kenya is enormous.
Many companies in Kenya are only scratching the surface when it comes to proper and effective marketing.
The best thing about these methods is that they are cheaper than many traditional methods.
Suppose you are not fully conformed with these new marketing methods.
In that case, you can always use what you have at present and get advice on how to introduce these digital marketing practices integrating them as you go.
With that said, it’s time to help more people in the medical space in Kenya while growing your business affordably and feasibly.