Most health care providers we work with and/or interact with understand they need a digital presence. They get it – their patients are online, they are researching providers before making a decision and yes, they read the reviews on Google and Facebook.
The question isn’t, “Should you have a digital marketing campaign?” it’s, “How do you create one and manage it while running your practice?” They key is creating a process that works for you and using it.
First and foremost, you must be strategic.Tossing an article on your website, putting a few Facebook posts out weekly and sending out an email blast once per month with some canned content used to be enough. Today, it isn’t going to cut it. You will be lost in a sea of competitors.
1. Create Your Narrative Statement
What’s your secret sauce? Your super power? We aren’t being literal – or maybe we are! You need to be able to articulate your unique value proposition (USP) to your current patients, referral sources and potential patients. What is important to them? What value are you bringing them?
2. Create Your Content “Buckets”
List 5-7 things you want to focus on in the next 12 months. All your content will be driven from these buckets. Make sure to include: core services, specialty services, you and your team, community, patient education, as well as items such as events and seminars (if you are in that space).
3. Create Your Channel Plan
Where will you share your content and who is the targeted audience? Include blog, email, social media and your website.
4. Develop a Master Sheet
Use the master sheet as a dumping ground for content ideas. It can be a Google doc, Slack team, or a spreadsheet in Dropbox – we recommend using shared sites so other people on your team can add ideas. Have sections for blog ideas, email ideas, inspirational quotes, third-party content, hashtag ideas and anything you think might be useful in creating your content.
5. Create an Editorial Calendar
Use a spreadsheet to determine what you will be talking about each month. If you have a webinar on lasers in June, then at least 50 percent of your content on your blog, Facebook and emails should tie into that theme / focus. The remaining 50 percent should be spread among your other buckets.
6. Create a Content Calendar
The content calendar is more defined. List the actual posts you will put on social media with a date and time. What are your blog titles and when will you post – who will author them and what assets do you need for graphics and photos? What will your emails be about and who will be the target audience? As with your editorial calendar, we suggest using a spreadsheet.
7. Ensure Your Website Matters
We are fans of open-source software such as WordPress so you can easily update your site with new content. Have a professional design and a responsive site with dynamic search-engine optimization (SEO). Include a blog section, team section, and ensure your patients can easily connect with you!
You can add pages as you grow your practice to include sign-ups for seminars and webinars, press pages, video, white paper and e-book downloads. It is a worthwhile investment to hire a web professional to get you started and train you on how to update the content yourself.
Editor’s Note: Part 2 of this article appears in the May issue.
Rob Berman is a partner at Berman Partners, LLC, a medical device sales, service and marketing company. He has held a variety of marketing roles during his career. Rob can be contacted by phone at 860-707-4220 or by email at [email protected]. His company website for new lasers is www.bermanpartners.com and for used lasers www.usedlasercenter.com.