22 Nov, 2016
Doctors don’t always have an opportunity to make a face-to-face first impression. Patients walk through the door with a predetermined perception of the healthcare provider, using sourced information gathered via:
  • Referrals, 
  • Social media marketing, 
  • Paid-for advertising, 
  • Online Directories, or
  • A practice website. 
Patients can also learn about the practitioner via several other digital sources over and above the indispensable website and those trusty referrals.
  • Facebook page, 
  • LinkedIn profile, 
  • Twitter stream, 
  • Online reviews, 
  • Newsworthy mentions, 
  • Journals, or 
  • Digital Newsletters.
For Health Practitioners who are looking for a steady stream of patients, the challenge (and the opportunity) lies in proactively shaping new patient opinions with quality online content. The goal being to attract, retain and interact with as many of these patients as possible, whether they be current, prospective or otherwise.

Heads up: The winning strategy has to be multi-faceted.

Here are the impression-forming ideas, tips, and techniques to make what you put online… creative, engaging and shareable.

1. Feed the needs of your target audience. 

The operative words being “valuable and relevant,” with a backdrop of “authoritative.” Strive to deliver value (information) that can be used and shared.

2. Inform. Don’t promote. 

The value of information is high when it is perceived as beneficial to the reader. But pushing a service which can be perceived as a sales promotion (and benefiting the seller) destroys reader trust and confidence.

3. Go for “ah-ha” moments. 

“When ideas communicate, there’s a breakthrough of inspiration, comprehension or realization.”

Communicate your ideas – or those valuable enough worth sharing – through the use of relevant analogies, imagery, or even a touch of humor in order to boost engagement and interest. However, remember to keep it professional at all times; without coming across as stiff or dull.

4. Add the spice of variety into the mix. 

Incorporate diversity in the ways that information is presented. Where they fit, consider using these:

  • Authoritative Quotes,
  • Charts and Graphs,
  • Guest Authors,
  • Infographics,
  • Interviews and Podcasts,
  • Lists, rankings
  • Photos, Illustrations, Images
  • Videos, Animation, and so forth.
5. Inspire interaction. 

We’ve mentioned this already but it’s worth touching on again. When possible, ask questions, encourage dialog and discussion, make comments, ask for reactions or prompt reader input.

6. Be timely, fresh and relevant.

Don’t be afraid to hitchhike content by connecting useful information to news headlines or popular topics. Try your best to share, present, or report about what’s new, little known, or even surprising. Hunt for those gems you know people may find interesting to read and share themselves.

7. Don’t be boring.

Readers disappear in waves when they are confused, or when information simply isn’t interesting and useful. Highly effective and interesting content that you publish will capture attention, be thought-provoking and inspire a reaction.

“If these tips sound like a serious challenge… make a point of not letting the fear of being mediocre with your marketing stop you; and you are bound to improve and you will eventually surprise yourself!”

Make a concerted effort to have a good think about what you are posting and how it affects the reader’s impression of you and your practice, and your marketing efforts will get better with each article, image, blog, and every tweet from here on in.

If you’re in need of a little help to get going or improve your current campaigns, connect with a trusted company like Avily via any of their communications channels and they will help get you to get started.

The information that you present online is what forms the all-important first impression. Plus, it can reflect on your personality, extend brand (practice or clinic) awareness, add credibility to your online presence, build trust, and, ultimately engage and attract new patients over time. It’s pretty much guaranteed.

For more on why online marketing is the way forward, read this post on, Why Referral Based Dental Practices Need Internet Marketing.

#marketing #onlinemarketing #digitalmarketing #internetmarketing #socialmedia #healthindustry #avily #avilyhealth #kentreloar

About the Author @kentreloar

Ken graduated with a BTech degree, majoring in design; currently completing his MBA part-time.

Ken is part of a fantastic team at Avily, helping them to provide bespoke websites and other digital solutions for amazing health professionals, clinics, and hospitals from all over Southern Africa.

Connect with Ken directly via email: ken@avily.co.za