Content Marketing for Doctors

Blogging, Social Media Marketing, Great Content

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Content Marketing for Doctors

Many doctors state that one of the most satisfying parts of their job is interacting with patients and making a direct difference in their lives. Doctors are aware, as with any business that marketing is a crucial component for success. In other words, in order to interact and help more patients they must have a steady flow of patients who visit the practice for care. As such, today’s successful healthcare providers are tasked with the need to find more patients and also retain them. However, the marketing landscape has changed immensely as more and more people rely on the internet to make important life decisions. This is where content marketing for doctors comes into play. Today’s tech-savvy patients are less interested in traditional marketing. They don’t want a carefully crafted elevator pitch; they want high-quality online content that’s relevant to their needs. Keep reading to learn more about content marketing for doctors and how a doctor can make their practice stand out in the digital marketplace.
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Let Your ontent Do The Talking

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Why Content Marketing for Doctors

As the world continues to move towards digital solutions, today’s audiences are no longer responding as well to traditional marketing channels. This is why for a medical practice, one of the most reliable tools for spreading the word about a medical practice is through content marketing, a digital marketing strategy. Before getting into the nitty gritty, it’s important to first clarify the meanings of content marketing versus digital marketing. Marketing newcomers and veterans alike often wonder about the distinction. And to thrive in the digital marketplace, health providers must understand the difference and how to best use them as well.

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that markets a business through storytelling in many formats. While digital marketing is a catch-all term for most forms of marketing done online, content marketing is one digital marketing strategy. Content marketing is one of the oldest marketing techniques used online. Used in everything from company websites to social media posts to e-mailed newsletters, content marketing has proven to be very effective, and continues to evolve with time. It is based on a simple principle: people respond better to showing instead of telling. Instead of browbeating a potential customer with a sales pitch, content marketing uses engaging material to apply a product and/or service in a way that meets the audience’s needs (and without being overly sales-oriented).

To apply this to medical marketing, let’s say a practice has a special, experimental treatment that’s been more effective than other treatments of its kind. To properly market this treatment, the doctor could write a blog about one of their patients who was treated, and how their life was changed for the better by the use of the new treatment. In this manner, content marketing informs people and piques their interest, making them much more likely to respond than an overt sales pitch. Content marketing for doctors is a critical strategy if the medical practice is to grow.

Digital marketing is a blanket term for any kind of marketing that happens online. So many people parse information online, which of course means that marketing must be done online as well. Digital marketing covers a wide array of online subjects used to gauge an audience’s attention. Social media, properly geared websites, blogging, and search engine optimization (SEO) practices, all fall under digital marketing. As the marketplace grows more digital, digital marketing for doctors becomes a necessity for any healthcare provider running a medical practice.

Content marketing is a tool to engage the audience, while digital marketing is the medium through which it works. In order to succeed in the modern business world, any profitable practice must use both to effectively tell their stories and reach as many people as possible.

4 benefits of content marketing for doctors
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Content Serves a Larger Purpose for Medical Providers

“Content is king” is a popular phrase used within marketing circles, and it has started to catch on with medical practices as well. Choosing content wisely is a key part of content strategy. In other words, choosing the content that is most relevant to the doctor’s goals and audience will determine how successful their online marketing efforts will be. For example, an eye doctor’s content strategy would focus on stories about quality eye care and treatment since this is what a potential patient would be looking for. Much of modern marketing is built around providing strong stories to draw in potential customers and convince them that the doctor is worthy to oversee their healthcare needs.

“We are not sure that silence can save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill.” That quote is taken from a 1999 speech, from Dr. James Orbinski, the former president of the MSF International Council as he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize. He was talking about the non-profit organization’s struggle to report on medical and humanitarian crises throughout the world, and an inability to bring attention to people in need to make sure they could get the help they needed. With the onset of digital technologies, today’s brick and mortar medical practices, by their nature, still go through a similar struggle. They need to spread the word about how they can help people who need it the most. Today, most people looking for a doctor’s appointment will search online for a practice that is most relevant to them. This is why a medical practice must post relevant content online. A practice’s failure to do so doesn’t just mean failed marketing attempts; it means that people in need are not being met by a doctor who could truly provide services.

Content marketing is based on the idea that, by sharing original, intelligent content, the doctor is letting the audience know that there are medical professionals behind the business that they can trust to help them. In short, such communication starts with an online conversation. This online conversation begins with curated, marketed content that is shared online. Remember, good marketing, at its heart, is a conversation. That is the promise of content marketing: that doctors will identify with the audience’s needs and work to meet them through written and visual content. Content marketing for doctors is a matter of examining the doctor’s efforts, finding stories that anyone can relate to, and sharing them with the world. From there, it’s just a matter of choosing the right medium for maximized results.

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How to Promote Content

Content marketing is essentially about understanding the needs of the customer. Everyone relies on the internet in some way or another. For example, when someone is first looking for medical care, their first instinct will be to do an internet search for local doctors that meet their specific needs. They may search for specific information such as whether the doctor provides checkups or they may look for a specialist for more chronic conditions. Content marketing for doctors isn’t important simply because of technological trends; content marketing for doctors is important because this may be how potential patients first encounter a medical practice. Key strategies for incorporating content marketing into a formal marketing plan are:

-Social media marketing: A kind of marketing that uses social media to spread the word about the business and convey its goals. Social media networks are ideal for spreading company messages. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are all viable marketing options for a doctor’s office. Share anything on social media – a link to an interesting story, a cool picture from the doctor’s workday – and it can be a boon to the doctor’s online presence. Doctors can even have their patients do the marketing for you: something as simple as a good review on Yelp will get the doctor’s name out there and keep their brand in good graces.

-Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A specialized technique that increases the likelihood of content coming up early on search engine results, such as Google or Bing. Companies like Google use special algorithms for their search results, in order to parse through content and make sure searches only produce the best quality sites. A site’s SEO ranking, or the order in which it comes up on online searches, is critical to ensuring its place in the online marketplace. Doctors can optimize their content by using content most relevant to audience searches. SEO has proven so popular as a marketing tool that it has inspired its own marketing subset: Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

-Keyword-Enriched Websites: As a key SEM tool, search engine algorithms are built to ensure that people searching online always get high-quality content that’s relevant to their needs. A major aspect of optimizing web marketing is keywords – words that signal to search engines that this content is relevant to the needs of an audience. Even if it’s not an emergency, patients often want quick access to doctors for a medical problem. So, they’ll look for ones who most directly meet their needs. For example, a dentist’s office in New York should advertise their location, because New Yorkers needing an appointment will start looking someplace local. There’s a delicate balance to strike: too many keywords and the site is unreadable, too little keywords and the site won’t get a good ranking. Therefore, using keywords properly throughout is essential for building a thriving medical practice.

-Email Marketing: As the name implies, email-based marketing includes sending out high-quality emails to share content is a way that reaches people and engages the audience. By starting an email campaign, doctors can send content to a large number of people who have expressed interest in receiving it. If they’re impressed by the content, then a doctor may very well found themselves a new client in the near future. Again, there’s a delicate balance to strike: doctors have to provide high-quality work without being too salesy, otherwise all their hard work will end up in someone’s spam folder. But a well-run email marketing campaign can make a significant difference for the medical practice’s bottom line because it forges long-term relationships.

-Blogging: Creating a high-quality blog is a great way to promote a medical practice. Blogging lets doctors tell the business’ story directly and in a way that resonates with people, letting them know that the doctor is an expert in their field and can solve their healthcare concerns. For the best results, blogging should be done on a regular basis. This will help to keep a good SEO ranking and make sure interest doesn’t fade. The optimal blogging rate – one post a day, one post a week, and so on, varies from person to person and business to business. But a strong blog lets doctors effectively provide content and helpful information in a very consistent manner.

While all of these are good ways to market a medical practice, a strong marketing strategy is not built on a single pillar of content. If a medical practice only pursues one of these marketing vehicles, it is unlikely that they’ll find the kind of online success that that is need to grow the medical practice. Online success comes from a multidimensional approach to content marketing. To bring the medical practice the attention it deserves, a good rule of thumb is to combine most or all of these forms of marketing to produce high-quality content through the digital venues that best fit not only the practice’s needs but the needs of potential patients as well

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Final Thoughts

Seventy-two percent of internet users search for health information online, as do thirty-five percent of American adults. With so many people communicating online, traditional marketing has become less effective, and the best way to reach patients is to communicate through the mediums they are already using. This is why sales pitching medical services is not going to reach many patients. Giving them content that’s relevant to their needs and interests will. People are more likely to sign up for a practice if they’ve read their custom content first. Content marketing humanizes a practice for patients, and it lets them know the doctor is receptive to their needs. With effective and high-quality content, a doctor can build a profitable practice that provides great service to the people who need it the most.

Content marketing for doctors is an essential tool for developing a medical practice and making sure potential clients get the care they deserve. Use content marketing strategically to find success. All in all, there is much to keep in mind when marketing a medical practice. Fortunately, doctors do not have to do this alone. Since so many healthcare providers have started using content marketing and digital marketing to promote their services, professional marketers see healthcare as an important industry to assist. If the medical practice needs further guidance with content marketing, contact a marketing firm and ask about content marketing for doctors.

To learn more about marketing a medical practice, contact a professional marketer to ask them about content marketing for doctors.