With so many holidays coming up a marketing calendar can help provide guidelines and dates for when marketing tasks need to be performed. They help you plan for the future and are vital for the success of any business, whether it’s a small medical practice or a global corporation. Not only will it keep you on track of promotions and communication, it will ensure you are utilising every opportunity to remain up to date and relevant with your patients. They have been used for years and have a proven effect on business growth, because they work!
The First Step
They are easy to create and maintain but every marketing calendar is different and needs to be customised to suit your clinic. Feel free to download our template or create your own, there are also many templates available online that will get you in the right direction. Making them more specific and detailed will provide better results. A couple of things to include are:
- Event Title: This is pretty straight forward, what event are you preparing for? Christmas, School Holidays, Monthly Newsletter, Social Media Updates
- Activity: What activity will you be running? Decorate waiting room and hall with Christmas tree and tinsel, Turn on AdWords for Free Kids Check Up promotion, Write and email November newsletter. Again, the more detail the better.
- Channel:This is where the activity will be taking place, whether it’s online (Social Media or Website) or physically in the clinic.
- Assigned: Assign the task to someone. When you hold someone accountable for the activity they’re more likely to be complete. It probably makes more sense that your clinical assistant/receptionist decorate the waiting rooms rather than you.
- Tracking: Tracking is important because you want to measure the results but also ensure that too much time isn’t spent on the wrong activities. There are different ways to track activities, whether it’s your social media reach and engagement, how much time is being spent completing activities (this apply to activities which aren’t measured by direct results, such as decorating for Christmas) or how many clicks are made on AdWords campaign.
Okay now you understand the layout and have a template! It’s now time add them into your calendar, the first dates to start off with are holidays, because they’re generalised and relevant to everyone. Holidays are a great way to engage with your existing patients, attract new patients and guide promotional activities.
Examples and Ideas
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS December 19th – January 26th: There are many great ways for your clinic to prepare for school holidays. For example, improve the children’s play area to include new toys or colouring competitions and communicate this using your social media channels or website banners. Chiropractors can write blogs on how to choose the right backpack for children and post it on their website before school starts again. In fact, you can also provide printed copies of these blogs for your patients to read while in the waiting room.Enter your content here.
CHRISTMAS December 25th. With Christmas just around the corner ensure you get into the festive spirit and decorate your waiting rooms, it’s great for building morale and creates a great atmosphere for patients. Also remember to update and notify your patients of your opening times during Christmas!
NEW YEAR’S DAY January 1st: This is a great time to write a wrap of 2015. Include the year’s successes and achievements and thank the patients for their continued support.
Once you have noted the holidays it’s time to expand your calendar. Dates and tasks to include are:
- Monthly newsletters to your patients
- If you have a list of blog ideas, add that to your calendar! Too often we notice irregular and long durations between blog posts, we suggest you try aiming for one blog a month.
- Does your clinic have a social media presence? Add the frequency of posts you’d like to achieve. (Perhaps 2 – 3 posts per week)
- Remind yourself to turn your AdWords promotions on/off.
- Are their local, medical or personal events? Staff birthdays? AMA workshops? Local fundraisers? Add those too! They’re great for connecting with different groups and communities.
- Make time to review website and print content. This only needs to be done once every 6 months but it ensures your content remains fresh.
You now have the start of a great marketing calendar, it’s time to start implementing! If you have any further questions or would like some more advice please feel free to contact us!