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The day after Halloween, we’ve all come to expect it—holiday marketing campaigns everywhere. Businesses of all kinds pour huge budgets into marketing on TV, radio, and print publications with hopes of cashing in on the frenzied Christmas shoppers.

For urgent care clinics, the holiday season is cold and flu season. Frenzied Christmas shoppers have worn themselves ragged, and they (and their families) are more prone to illness. They need you. Without a good marketing plan and follow through, they won’t know anything about you. Marketing your services before and during cold and flu season can make you the go-to clinic when sickness strikes. Better yet, with extended hours, you make appointments super-convenient during the hectic holidays.

But marketing can be expensive. You can put yourself top-of-mind without overspending. Instead of paying higher ad rates (and having your name get lost in the shuffle on mainstream media), think of unique marketing tactics during the holidays. Below are a few ideas that will keep your urgent care front and center while conserving your marketing budget.

1. Make an Appearance

Now through Christmas, shoppers are out in droves and families are visiting Santa. Set up a time with your local shopping center to rent a booth and make an appearance there on a weekend or during their extended shopping hours. At your booth, hand out branded items like bottles of water or tubes of hand sanitizer with your logo on them. As you’re giving out your promotional items, talk with them about your clinic location, services, hours, and ways they can stay healthy during the holidays. And ask for their business.

2. Sponsor a Community Event

Think of all the community events that take place during the holidays: the annual Turkey Trot 5K, the Festival of Trees, the Parade of Lights, or the Coats for Kids charitable drive. Contact event organizers and see if you can have a presence at their event. Would it be possible to insert a flyer in the registration packets? Could you host a special giveaway or man a water stop at the 5K? Could your clinic location be a drop-off point for Coats for Kids or Toys for Tots? Get creative with how your clinic could get involved.

3. Partner with a Local News Station

News stations are always searching for timely and relevant stories, and now is the time for them to report on self-care and ways to stay healthy. Get in touch with the editor or station news desk, and pitch a story on holiday health tips. Offer them your time and clinic location where they could interview you and get some great action shots for their segment. You can sometimes even turn these opportunities into recurring segments with the station. Not only does this get you some precious airtime during the holidays, but it also doesn’t cost you anything but your time.

4. Become the Expert on Social Media

If you have an active social media account, post helpful content like weekly holiday health tips. This content gives your audience a break from all the hard-hitting promotions and sales other retail outlets are constantly pushing out. Posing yourself as the subject matter expert will keep your audience engaged and will ultimately build loyalty and trust among your contact base.

5. Develop New, Eye-Catching Signage

Location is everything. If your clinic is located in a high-traffic area, or near a shopping center, capitalize on this and develop new, eye-catching signage. Have a print shop help design and install unique window clings for your facility. Stake fun cutouts or signs in your landscaping or play around with Christmas lights to help draw attention. If you have a LED sign, this would also be a great time to update the messaging. Ideas for messages may be: “Stay well over the holidays!” or “Be safe on the snow and ice.”

Find ways to get creative with marketing this holiday season. You will see and feel the benefits! If you have any great non-traditional marketing ideas to share, please head on over to our Facebook page and tell us about them.

This resource was first published prior to the 2019 merger between DocuTAP and Practice Velocity. The content reflects our legacy brands.

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