A quality healthcare marketing strategy requires investments of both time and money. Of course, it’s worth it – but not every aspect of your marketing strategy necessitates spending big bucks. You can generate new leads and prove your expertise without parting ways with a single penny, and we’re going to show you five ways it can be done.
1. Create Viral Content – and Set It Free!
You know those inescapable, enthralling infographics and videos that keep popping up in your Facebook feed? Yeah, that stuff is all viral content. Go ahead and create your own! Listen, you may not accumulate a million views, but you can still create something remarkable that’s worth your online audience’s time.
Neil Patel, online marketing guru, suggests we ask ourselves two questions prior to creating viral content:
- Is the content I’m creating worthy of a share?
- Will the content ever be shared profusely enough to provide my company with any real benefits?
To put it simply, you cannot expect your FAQ piece on the flu vaccine to go viral. That form of content will only interest those who already have questions about the topic. You need to find a way to hook your audience – to scare or excite them into reading your piece.
It may sound morbid, but try an infographic that demonstrates the unnecessary flu-related deaths recorded each year. Now that’s something worth sharing! Research the stats provided by the CDC and design your infographic. Provide your content with a catchy title that reminds readers to get their flu shots. Then share it on social media with an appropriate hashtag.
This type of great healthcare marketing accomplishes two things. First, it gets your name out there. Secondly, and more importantly, it disseminates valuable information that saves lives.
2. Literally, Help a Reporter Out
Ever heard of HARO? It stands for Help a Reporter Out. The website functions as a popular listserv that connects reporters in need of sources to experts looking to share their strengths. Media outlets, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, utilize HARO – and so should you.
A basic subscription is free and can help you grow your press kit and strengthen your reputation as a bona fide thought leader.
Even experts struggle to value media coverage. How much trouble is it worth? That’s up for you to decide. For some physicians, media coverage is more about filling up walls than actually generating new leads. Great press, if nothing else, helps establish value and build a strong reputation – especially in ultra-competitive, out-of-pocket specialties like cosmetic surgery and fertility treatment.
3. Make Yourself an Asset to Local Media
Ideally, you’ll provide strong and valuable information to your new media contacts, and they’ll keep coming back for more. But even if you don’t turn into the national media’s go-to physician, there’s plenty you can do to grow your media presence locally.
Start with your local newspaper. Most reporters freely provide their contact information. Find the person who runs the health beat desk and introduce yourself. Let them know you’re there to answer any questions they may have about local and global health stories alike.
Bonus points: Pitch stories. You may have a pulse on some subjects before reporters do. Clue them in, and let them know your thoughts, too. They may reward you with a few quotes.
FYI: A big joke in the reporter community is “don’t ever call me.” Reporters are writers, and they are glued to their computers and phones. Email them. Follow up a week later – not by phone! If you don’t hear back, let it go. They’ll find you if they need you.
Don’t forget to include links to your features, whether local or national, on your website, blog, and all relevant social media platforms.
4. Team Up With Local Businesses
Finding potential patients where they already live, eat, and play makes total sense. Some local establishments allow healthcare practitioners into their places of business to promote their practices. In return, they’ll often ask you to feature their products and services at your office.
Now, this may sound funny, but you can’t use the internet to make local magic happen here. Get out there and network – in person! Consider these businesses for co-marketing opportunities:
Gyms – especially smaller, locally-owned gyms that don’t require corporate permission to partner with you.
Health food stores whose target market likely lines up perfectly with yours.
Trendy dessert and sandwich shops that attract millennials who often desperately need doctors and don’t know where to start their search.
Interested in a partnership, but a little concerned with the details? Read more about the pros and cons of community partnership marketing.
5. Show Off Your Best Work – Push for Organic Plugs
Not everything about a physician’s work is, well, cool. Being a doctor is hard work. But sometimes, when our results really impress and dazzle, it’s worth seeking out a bit of media attention.
Did your fertility clinic celebrate the birth of its 1,000th miracle baby? Did your dental practice rescue and re-design a dozen decimated smiles? The internet loves mind-blowing results and before-and-after pictures. And if your audience is really impressed, then you’ll find the phone might ring a bit more often, too.
Got something worthwhile to share? Reach out to a wide-reaching website – or your local news – and show off your skills. Local news stations are always searching for a feel-good story.
Because your stories and collections of pictures appeal to human interests, you need not restrict your pitches to medical websites and publications. Reach out to Bustle, Refinery29, PopSugar, or the Huffington Post. You may want to consider finding the online editors for well-circulated magazines, too: Women’s Health, SELF, and Forbes all publish digital content prolifically, and reach a large audience.
Just Remember to Showcase Your Expertise!
With so many ways to generate buzz at little to no cost, it’s up to you to decide which avenues of coverage to pursue. Maybe you want to improve your press kit – or maybe you want to go viral. Consider your long-term marketing goals, and put a plan into action.