What We’ve Learned From Marketing For Medical Practices
At Baker Labs, we’ve learned a thing or two over the years about marketing specifically for the medical and healthcare field. We’ve worked with physicians, nurses, and staff for practices and clinics of many sizes and specialties.
While it’s true that digital marketing has repeatable principles for clients across all industries, we’ve also found it to be true that clients in the medical field benefit from some expert insights when attracting new patients and growing their businesses.
Creating content and having doctors approve it also carries its own set of challenges, which we’ve learned to meet with a little extra agility. In fact, the insights we’ve gained through working with doctors and medical practice managers can, for the most part, fall into two broad categories—content creation and time management. Here’s how:
Translate Doc-Talk & Tell It To ‘Em Straight
For content creation, the key is to respect what the doctor knows, while making it easy for patients to understand. Doctors have a wealth of knowledge that typically goes well beyond what most patients can—or want—to understand. Let’s face it, most have us have been in a situation in which the expert, in this case a doctor, relays information that is so technical and detailed that we have no clue what he or she is really saying.
This is where balance is required: Doctors want their expertise showcased through the online content we create, and why not? They’ve earned it! But patients who are visiting the practice’s website are not looking for an academic explanation of their malady that’s more suitable in the American Journal of Medicine. They want to know two things: 1) Are you qualified? and 2) Can you help me?
We pride ourselves on this because we’ve had years of practice with how to show that physicians are the leading experts in their field and geographical area, while also making the online content easy enough for lay patients to understand and relate to.
To be clear, there’s no dumbing down involved here. This delicate balance is more about taking a complicated medical subject matter and presenting it in a way that feels like a friend explaining something to a friend. The goal is to create relatable, relevant content that clearly helps the patient understand what’s being offered, and simultaneously makes them feel that the particular doctor or practice will be able to understand and relate to them.
Be Like Nimble Time-Management Ninjas With Doctors
For the business of getting the online marketing tasks down in a timely manner, there are best ways to access doctors for information. Doctors are pressed for time, and trying to schedule an hour-long interview to gather information for a blog post isn’t usually feasible.
For the most accurate information and efficient communication, we’ve found success in researching topics first through recommended resources. We get a list of resource material websites that the doctors approve of so that we find accurate medical information that’s in line with their practice and philosophy. Then, we use the time talking with doctors only to ask laser-focused questions that address specific concerns patients are conducting online searches for.
For example, if a surgical group performed varicose vein procedures, we wouldn’t waste the doctor asking about the causes of varicose veins, or if home remedies are a good option. We’d research the causes, treatments offered by the practice, and then enhance that information by asking the doctors about specific cases or examples that prospective patients could relate to, or about advances in their specific procedures.
The doctors appreciate that they don’t have to go through the a-b-c’s of every medical condition and that we’re respecting their time. For some doctors, setting up time for an interview or blog post approval may mean scheduling a call for 15 or 20 minutes during their lunch break. Others choose to do a brief call on their day off. What works is to be responsive to the individual doctor so that we can capitalize on the best use of their time and expertise.
Some doctors like to review blog posts in bundles of three or four, especially if the material is related to a specific condition. Others prefer them one at a time, as we complete them. Some practices have a semi-retired doctor or medical director available to discuss and approve content such as blog posts, quizzes, eBooks, and checklists. Others rely on a trusted office manager. It all depends on the practice—the key to our success has been respectful, efficient, knowledgeable communication.
The bottom line is that by doing the majority of the research and content creation first, and then consulting with the doctor to efficiently address specific questions about their practice and skills, we’re able to create the most relevant and complete online content to address what patients really care about. And by creating relatable content that reflects the physician’s expertise and attracts the attention of prospective patients, we’ve repeatedly increased traffic to medical practice’s websites. In turn, those practices have grown beyond their expectations, such as the surgical group in this case study. And that’s why we specialize in medical marketing.
At Baker Labs, we believe in the power of content marketing and use a variety of digital strategies to help medical practices grow by attracting new and loyal patients and establishing the medical practice’s reputation as a leader in their field. We also understand that effective healthcare marketing must not only produce exceptional results, but it must remain compliant when doing so. Contact us for a free marketing assessment of your medical practice.