"Ed-Med-- which includes everyone from community college instructors to proprietors of test prep companies and from genetic counselors to registered nurses--is now, by far, the largest job sector in the U.S. economy, as well as a fast-growing sector in the rest of the world...And over the next decate, forecasters project, health care jobs alone will grow at double the rate of any other sector" - Daniel H. Pink, To Sell Is Human
The education and medical fields are growing and intermingling. How are you using this to your advantage?
Key Ideas From This Post (KIFTP):
Not many physicians have heard of content marketing.
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of acquiring customers. It is the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling.
Having so much technology and so many channels of influence today, consumers are now less motivated by promotional marketing than they were in the past. They routinely ignore advertisements- whether those are online, on the radio or television, or even in magazines and newspapers, unless those ads have immediate relevance and/or are catchy.
So, how does content marketing work?
Instead of pitching your products or services, you deliver information that makes your patient more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if you (as a medical practice) deliver consistent, ongoing, and valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward you with their business and loyalty.
Large consumer companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, John Deere, and even Weber Grills have embraced this option. Small businesses and independent entrepreneurs are benefiting from it too.
Still, the boom in the public’s dependence on social media, the Internet, and smart phones has given content marketing a major boost. It is now easier than ever to develop relationships with existing and prospective patients. It also happens to be one of the least expensive techniques. Conversely, it can quickly prove detrimental and costly if done unprofessionally or if done with a poorly configured strategy.
With reference to Daniel Pink's quote, Ed-Med's growth means [to me] that healthcare is one of the greatest fields for reaping the most benefits from content marketing. Practices that seek to become established or those that have a plan for meaningful growth most certainly should have a strategy that includes allocation for content marketing activities.
While executing a good content marketing plan for healthcare may seem simple: caveat emptor (Buyer beware). Interacting with prospective, new, and existing patients is different and often more delicate than a typical retail or commercial environment. Not only is every one of your patients unique in how they listen, learn, and respond, the regulatory environment (for example, HIPAA requirements, etc.) is unique as well. Most marketing agencies can (and will) claim they provide content marketing solutions for their clients, but few can confidently share when it involves healthcare and medical practice marketing. That's where Ascendance Medical Marketing comes in ;) .
That said, how can physicians use content marketing? Perhaps the easiest place to start: develop content (preferably creative content) that is valuable and relevant to your patients and add it to your web site, blog, or social media. There are many additional and more effective approaches as well that we’d welcome discussing with you directly. While not all content marketing applications are a fit for every practice or healthcare system, you might find the following examples interesting and worthy of further consideration.
Practice changes: Keep your patients updated on any practice changes, such as adding a new physician, change in office hours, new practice services added, etc.
What you do: If you are a family physician and you offer sport physicals for students, explain what you look for during a sports physical. If you offer travel medicine exams and immunizations, explain why these are important.
FAQs: Keep track of the questions your patients ask and answer those in-depth.
Video: People read less and watch more. YouTube is now the number two search engine, after Google. Patients are searching for videos to answer specific questions, such as “What can I expect after my ____ surgery?” or “Should I have a ____ screening?”
Health in the news: Trump is here. What does this mean for healthcare?
Health topics relevant to your patient base: Think about your patients and what most concerns them. What top 10 patient conditions do you treat? Write a short blog post about each of them and encourage patients to seek treatment for these conditions from you.
Importance of immunizations: There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines. Explain to your patients why vaccines are important and how they should discuss their concerns with you. Provide links to reputable web sites and credible information about immunizations.
There are a variety of ways to contribute to your patients' well-being and luckily, content marketing happens to be an incredibly creative and simple method for doing so.
~Always eager to share the knowledge