This Will Kill Any Online Marketing Efforts for Your Medical Practice

June 18, 2015

Your patients are the heart and lifeblood of your medical practice, no? Successful marketing only works if you define and target a particular audience; you can’t market to everyone.

Similarly, online marketing for doctors starts with your patients. If you don’t know them how can you craft a message for them? With countless modern technology tools available to capture patient information, there is no excuse for mass marketing.

As a medical practitioner, you need to ask yourself: “who is my ideal patient?”

Think beyond demographics, income level and job description and really dig deep into who your patients really are and create a fully fleshed out character description. Use the steps below to help!

1. Who Are Your Current Patients?

Start with your current patients to gather the basic information. Since these patients already see you and come back to you, it’s a reliable springboard.

  • How old are they?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Are the married? For how long?
  • How many children do they have?
  • Where do they live?

Consider the below questions to help dig below the surface…

2. What Are Their Primary Health Concerns?

If you’re a specialist, most of your patients come to you for explicit medical concerns and conditions.

Listen and document your current patients’ frequently asked questions. Chances are, other prospective patients have similar concerns.

Take note of the following questions:

  • Why did a new patient decide to see you?
  • Why does an old patient continue to see you?
  • What symptoms were they experiencing before they saw you?

Begin to sketch a fictional representation of your ideal patients; it doesn’t need to be exact. Online marketing for doctors is more of an art than a science.

3. What Are Their Pain Points?

“At the most basic level, people typically spend money on two things: First, they readily spend money to combat pain. Second, they spend money to pursue pleasure.” (fastcompany)

Patients’ pain points can be perceived or real problems, and it’s your job to tell them how you can help solve their problem.

For instance…

  • Orthopedic surgeons fix everything that allows people to move, work and be active.
  • Dermatologists treat skin related ailments and diseases.
  • Plastic surgeons help to improve personal appearances.

As a medical practitioner, you’re in the business of making people realize their full wellness potential. Again, ask yourself, why do my current patients come to me? What do they want and need?

To help discover patient’s pain points, think of things that patients find urgent, awkward, wearisome, or annoying.

You’ll find that your best patients are the ones who see the most value in relieving their “pain points.”

4. What Are Their Goals?

Let’s pivot 180 degrees and discuss why you should also understand your patient’s aspirations and goals.

  • Do they want to live to see their great-grandchildren?
  • Do they want to play golf every day?
  • Are they trying to compete in a marathon at age 65?
  • Do they want to make their love life more exciting?

Find a few common denominators, and then your medical practice can develop marketing messages and content that speaks to why people could use your services.

5. How Do They Like to Consume Information?

The types of content options are endless…

Blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, white papers, case studies, eBooks, guides, email, texts, mobile apps, etc.

What do they prefer? Your ideal patient will most likely favor one or two particular forms of media to consume information.

Take Away

If you can’t define your target audience, it will kill any online marketing efforts for your medical practice.

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