For the longest time, hospital marketers have been focused on marketing to consumers. But as referral patterns continue to shift, doctors will be our focus.
In the 11 years I’ve spent in healthcare marketing, I have seen hospitals shrink or even eliminate their physician liaison programs. But, I think they’re going to resurrect them. Physicians need information about the services that local and national facilities offer. Plus, your reputation depends on how referring doctors perceive you, particularly if they receive the U.S. News & World Report survey.
You need to start thinking like a business-to-business (B2B) marketer. How do you do that?
B2B Healthcare Marketing
The overall rule is to use content marketing. Content marketing is designed to establish your thought leadership in a specific area. Referring doctors need expert opinions on diagnosis and treatments. They’re also going to want your point of view, so they can decide if they should send patients to you.
Great content will also give your physician liaison staff material to bring with them when they set up those important face-to-face meetings.
Content fuels the most important parts of B2B:
- Search: It’s naïve to think doctors aren’t searching for information. In fact, more than 2 in 5 physicians go online during patient consultations [JPG]. When you have online content that talks about your services and approach to care, there’s a better chance of referring physicians finding you. A bonus: You’ll also be more easily found by reporters who write for the trade publications that doctors read.
- Social media: There are plenty of social media sites designed just for doctors: Sermo, Doximity and DailyRounds are among some of them. If you create content specifically for them, you’ll have fuel to burn your social fire.
- Outreach: Once those physician liaison offices are back up and running, you’ll need content to nurture new leads. Make sure you have content marketing that’s specific to those doctors’ needs. (How do you know if it is? Ask them before creating it.)
Make good choices when you write content targeted for physicians.