3 Ways to Promote Your Physicians (With or Without Them)
JUNE 3, 2011:
Jen Joly, Director of Marketing and Communications
Content Marketing Integrated Marketing Marketing Strategy Online Marketing Search Engine Optimization
A colleague here at Priority Integrated Marketing recently mentioned a visit with their physician who was lamenting the many marketing duties they were now expected to contribute. The physician longed for the days of old when they weren't required to promote themselves. I'm certain most healthcare marketers don't have it easy when it comes to engaging their physicians in the marketing of them as practitioners. Here are 3 ways you can promote physicians in your practice - and most of these ideas can be employed without those busy Docs!
1. Custom Content
If you're not already producing a newsletter for your community, this is a great practice. Think print is dead? I don't think so! I just received the first edition of a magazine geared toward women from my personal health system. And today's print technology makes it easier than ever to insert personalized information - such as an article featured in your orthopedics newsletter from each patients' primary orthopedist. Custom newsletters can provide great email and blog content as well - and don't forget to consider releasing some of that great content as feature news through newswires to get links back to your site - and help with tip #2 (optimize your physicians for SEO).
Struggling to get your physicians to write custom content? Consider sending them easy-to-answer questions via email, recording a phone interview with them on their morning commute - or inviting them for a healthy living-inspired walk around the campus (with a digital audio recorder of course)!
2. Optimize Your Physicians for SEO (seriously!)
Like most other points I'm covering, this could be its own post. Those who are already know how to implement SEO for their sites at least know the basics - from providing lots of relevant keyword-rich text to using proper information, site architecture and page layouts to getting quality backlinks. (Want to learn more about SEO? Here's some homework: The 73 Question SEO Training Worksheet, which is not as daunting as it sounds.)
But, have you optimized your actual physicians' names for search? I did a few Google searches for doctors I use and in only ONE case did the clinic that a particular physician work for show up in the first page of results. Now there is an opportunity! Already have a page dedicated to each of your physicians? You've already got a great start! Now get to optimizing that page for organic search results.
3. Make It Easy
I think you should make it easy on yourself (not just the physicians). The easiest way to make it easy? Find your stars. Inevitably some physicians will embrace promoting themselves more than others. Check out ZDoggMD, Dr. Harry and Doc Quixote on Slightly Funnier Than Placebo for some hilarious physician outreach! I'm not sure what the story is here (feel free to fill me in), but it appears as if ZDoggMD and associates haven't been embraced by their own health systems (ZDoggMD in particular only mentions that he is an "adjunct faculty at a large academic institution" in Silicon Valley). This is probably a topic for another post (How to Get Your Hospital Board to Buy Into Non-traditional Interactive Marketing). Still afraid of going this far? That's what disclaimers are for ... or in ZDoggMD's case, a dizclaimer.
Here's a little video inspiration.
This is certainly not comprehensive. Progressive health organizations certainly embrace a variety of mediums in their physician promotion, including social media. Have you been involved with or have you seen any unique ways physician are being promoted lately? Please share!
This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at priorityresults.com/blog. Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.