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10 fun and festive holiday marketing ideas for doctors

These healthcare marketing tips can help you connect with new and current patients during the holiday season.

Holiday marketing for doctors

The holidays are around the corner, which means now’s the time to try holiday-themed marketing campaigns that show the festive and personal side of your practice. It’s important to create timely content to bring more patients to your practice or keep you top-of-mind as your patients book appointments in the new year.

Holiday marketing for doctors can be as simple as putting a seasonal touch on some tried-and-true marketing strategies. Check this list of ideas once — or twice! — to help you create fun, attention-getting holiday healthcare marketing campaigns this season.

Holiday marketing for doctors: 10 ideas to try

1. Film a holiday video

When it comes to digital content, consumers can’t get enough of video. According to HubSpot, 54 percent of people want to see more video content from businesses. Videos allow you to showcase your personality, and the holidays are a great time to send your patients a warm, heartfelt message. Just set up a digital camera or use your mobile phone.

According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of U.S. adults use YouTube, and more than half of all users log on daily. Upload your video to YouTube, and then share it in an email message or a blog post on your website. Add your video to your social media channels, and watch patient engagement go up.

Video marketing is great holiday marketing for doctors because it helps build your relationships with patients, and can also bring more patients through the door. According to Wyzowl, 83 percent of marketers believe video gives them a good return on investment.

Watch: YouTube 101: An introduction to video marketing for doctors

2. Create a 2020 patient calendar

Creating a calendar is an easy holiday healthcare marketing idea to execute that keeps patients aware of you and your practice all year long. There are several companies like Shutterfly that print custom calendars for you using your own photos.

In addition to using your own photos, fill the calendar with helpful information related to your specialty. For example, you might add monthly health tips for runners if you’re a podiatrist, healthy teeth tips if you’re a dentist, or injury prevention tips if you’re an orthopedic surgeon.

3. Hold a social media photo contest

Healthcare social media is one of the easiest places to foster an authentic connection with your patients, and people love a chance to win something. Invite people to share a holiday-themed photo related to your specialty. For example, if you’re a dentist, host a photo contest for good dental hygiene habits with a holiday spin. Make sure the rules for entering the contest are made clear: 

  • Let people know when entries will close.
  • Designate a hashtag so you can keep track of entries.
  • Note that people must have a public profile and be following your account to win.

If you offer out-of-pocket services or products, give those as a prize. This also helps showcase your practice offerings at this time of year when gift-giving is a patient priority. If you don’t offer out-of-pocket services, you may consider partnering with a company that aligns with your specialty or core values. You could also consider offering a gift card as a prize.

Try these: 15 ideas to increase healthcare social media reach 

4. Host a holiday Q&A

People have health-related questions year-round and aren’t shy about going online to look for answers. In fact, 74.6 percent of people have looked online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. Because the holidays can be a particularly hectic time for many people — from dealing with flu season to seasonal food choices to increased travel — this is a great time to give patients the opportunity to ask you timely questions by hosting a Q&A on your healthcare social media channels.

You can use Facebook Live or Instagram Live to answer questions on the spot or use Instagram Stories for a more curated experience. According to Instagram, one-third of the most-viewed Stories come from business accounts, so this presents an easy opportunity to reach more patients. Simply use the “Questions” sticker on your Instagram stories to collect questions from your followers. You can invite your followers to ask you anything or set a specific holiday theme. The sticker collects the questions, and you can later decide which ones to answer. This way you only answer the most relevant questions.

Read more: Best practices for using Stories for healthcare social media

5. Invite patients to submit New Year’s resolutions

The end of the year can be a reflective time, and people are more likely to be thinking about improving their health habits. According to a poll by Branded, 25 percent of consumers said they would make a New Years’ resolution in 2019.

As a trusted source and invested party in your patients’ health, invite your patients to share their resolutions with you via social media or even an email campaign. Start the conversation by sharing your own resolutions. If possible, use patient feedback to develop blog posts or videos containing tips aimed at helping patients keep their resolutions.

Check out: 3 easy ways to engage patients online during the holidays

6. Write holiday-related blog posts

Use the holidays as inspiration for your blog. Creating timely content makes your blog more relevant to patients. It also increases the likelihood that your blogs will be shared, which may help you get on new patients’ radar.

You can blog about any number of topics depending on your practice location or specialty. For example, if you’re a dermatologist, you can offer skincare tips for colder weather or maybe emphasize the importance of wearing sunscreen year-round. If you treat patients with diabetes, your patients may appreciate a guide to healthy eating during the holidays.

Learn more: Getting started with blogging for healthcare marketing

7. Send a holiday marketing email

Nearly six in 10 people say they prefer email communications from brands above any other channel, including text, phone, and social media, according to the Data and Marketing Association. Send healthcare marketing emails to your patients this season that:

  • Offer tips for staying healthy through the holidays
  • Contain a “Happy Holidays!” message
  • Share healthy holiday recipes
  • Remind people to book an appointment before the end of the year

If you like the idea of sharing healthy tips with your patients this season, put your tips into a series of emails. Create a “12 Days of Health” email campaign to send for 12 days during the holiday season.

Get started: Healthcare email marketing best practices for doctors

8. Offer gifts or promotional discounts

The holidays can be an expensive time of year. A great way to fill up your patient schedule is to offer promotional discounts on services. If you sell retail products, position them as last-minute gift ideas or encourage your patients to buy for themselves.

According to the 2019 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report, 68 percent of shoppers report having gotten a gift idea after seeing an advertisement, and selfish shopping is expected to grow 70 percent from 2018. Offering discounts can help influence patient shopping decisions.

Read: How to get patients engaged during the holidays

9. Send patients a holiday greeting card

The holidays are a popular time for old-fashioned greeting cards. Design a holiday card featuring you and your practice staff and a heartfelt message.

Including a thoughtful note can strengthen your relationship with your patients, and they’ll receive a nice surprise when they open their mail. Let them know you are happy to be taking care of them.

10. Get charitable

Use this time of year to boost holiday cheer by sponsoring a holiday giving campaign. You can offer your patients a place to drop off food donations that you’ll take to a local shelter, or you could host a toy drive.

Aligning with a charitable cause reflects well on your brand, and people want to give back. More than one in 10 people will give a charitable or social giving gift this year, according to the 2019 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report.

Spread some seasonal cheer by implementing some of the tips on this guide to holiday marketing for doctors. You’ll stand out among healthcare or dental practices and can help mitigate against a slower season. 

For more on this topic, listen to the podcast episode “Holiday patient marketing ideas for doctors.”

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