Physicians are important ambassadors for your healthcare brand. When it comes to new business, your physicians’ expertise is what brings new patients through the door.
But with more competition and a changing healthcare landscape, how can you get your physicians up front? Sending out another postcard mailer may not do the trick.
Instead, think digital. Think social. Here are three ways you can freshen up your physician marketing strategy:
- Increase presence on social media.
If you have physicians who are new to social media, LinkedIn is a good place to start. Because it’s mainly a network of professionals, your physicians may already be familiar with the platform. Encourage them to create a profile so they can share articles about new treatment options, clinical trials, trends in their field, awards and achievements, and other interesting news that comes across their desk.
If you have physicians who are already active on LinkedIn, see if they’re interested in using LinkedIn’s publishing platform. This tool allows members to share their own industry ideas and opinions in blog-style posts, which can get your physicians noticed and position them as thought leaders.
Getting your physicians on Twitter may take some convincing, but it’s worth it. Many academics, physicians and researchers are using Twitter to connect and promote their work.
One great example is the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, which used the platform to recruit clinical trial patients. “Using social media to engage patients to become our partners makes research more accessible to people,” Nikhil Wagle, MD, told the ASCO Post, a publication of the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Wagle is the lead author of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project study.
If your physicians are tentative about launching a Twitter profile, recommend having an assistant help them manage the account. You can also get them started by regularly sending suggested Tweets or articles to share.
And with healthcare in the news so much these days, social media can help physicians be a part of the conversation. If they need some inspiration, STAT News has put together a great list of clinicians to follow on Twitter.
- Film short video profiles.
Looking for a doctor is a daunting task. If potential patients can see and hear from a physician, it may ease their concerns and convince them to go with your hospital or practice.
Video profiles should be short; experts recommend sticking to 2 minutes if you’re planning to post the video on YouTube.
The videos should also show a personal side to the physician. Consider these questions:
- Where are you from?
- What is your favorite part about being a physician?
- What is something you tell your patients that surprises them?
And remember, your video shouldn’t only live on YouTube or your website. Consider breaking these video profiles into small chunks and posting them on other channels, like Facebook or Instagram.
- Get them blogging.
Encourage your physicians to author guest posts on your organization’s blog. A blog post can be a good opportunity for a physician to talk about new and exciting research, or a way to offer an opinion on recent medical news.
You can pitch topics to your physicians, or ask them for their own ideas. Consider scheduling regular meetings (quarterly or monthly) where you can discuss and brainstorm possible stories.
If time or writing confidence is an issue, ghost writing can be a good solution. A writer can interview the physician about a certain topic or story and author it in the physician’s voice – just remember to have the physician review the blog post before publishing.
If your organization is blog-less, that’s OK. You can reach out to other industry blogs and see if they would be willing to publish a guest post from one of your physicians.
What are some new and creative ways you have promoted your physicians? Share with us in the comments section below!