Think that content marketing and social media are for every other type of service provider except you? Think again! An ever increasing number of medical and healthcare professionals are changing their relationship with the public by embracing the power of social media. Strategic social media helps to increase medical literacy and amplifies the interest in your services and research programs.
Why More Healthcare Professionals Are Using Social Media And How To Get Started
A recent article in Maclean’s Magazine highlighted that the current President of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Chris Simpson, has used the power of social media to get out his message and he encourages other physicians to give it a try. Even highly respected medical and research institutions like the Mayo Clinic have realized and acted on the power of a blog that is pushed through their social media feeds. The blog represents a way for the Mayo Clinic to connect with patients, the broader community and their staff.
The Healthcare Industry Is Starting To Embrace Online Marketing Like A Business
While it is true that healthcare is a complex industry and that patient issues are also complex, that is no reason to avoid creating and launching a strategic content and social media plan. Hospitals, clinics and research institutes still share the challenges of other businesses such as finding and implementing efficiencies, managing on a limited yearly budget and maintaining quality services and products.
Another aspect that is shared is the need for marketing to increase public awareness and support. This short video prepared by the Schulich School Health Industry Management Program highlights the changing needs of the health industry as we prepare to bring healthcare into the next era.
How To Get Started?
The most important part of the plan is effective knowledge transfer. Communicating your unique expertise, services and products to all the groups that make up your total audience:
- current and future clients
- strategic partners
- peers and influencers
- internal stakeholders
- the media
A single piece of content, such as a press release or blog posting on your website, will not speak directly and effectively to each of these groups. Creating content for your website or blog gives you the opportunity to speak with each of these groups and push the original content out through your social media feeds to further amplify the impact of your content.
Take the time to consider the impact you have on each one of these groups. What are the pains, challenges and problems you can help them overcome. Now consider which platforms these groups are using to collect and share information. Is it LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+? Don’t try to rush the process. Take the time to collect this data so you can create and launch a strategy that is tailored to your online marketing goals.
One last suggestion before you get started, use your own voice. Don’t try to copy anyone else’s writing style or go overboard using SEO keywords to increase your blog traffic. SEO is a wonderful tool when used correctly but will quickly result in unreadable content that gains no audience when used too liberally. The best way to engage and retain an audience is to let your personality come through.
Good luck and let us know how your strategy is unfolding.
Jennifer Arnold, Founder at InnovaMap, Ph.D. in Neuroscience
Looking for ways to connect with your clients and potential clients? Contact us to learn more on our strategic approach to content marketing and social media. The Science of Content Marketing – helping you capture and build the unique expertise of your business and brand.