Patient attraction is EVERYTHING in business! As such, you’re going to learn how to transform your clinic into a patient magnet via improved content marketing strategies!
The medical profession is no different than any other business. Part of your job, as a condition of keeping the doors open, is to attract as many patients as possible. In this piece, you will learn how you can achieve your goals and separate from your competitors through your messaging. In other words, you will learn how to become a patient magnets via content. Specifically, we will discuss every promotional piece that you send your patients.
You become a patient magnet by understanding the latest news marketing trends and understanding what your patients want. This article is designed to teach you how to focus to achieve winning marketing strategies.
So, how do you pass along the greatest news?
You will curate the information that you receive from various sources. You will pass that information along your patients. A wonderful resource, and by no means the only source, for topics that are trending is Google Trends. Google Alerts also lets you know when something is written about’ on a specific subject.
In a recent article written by Jinger Jarrett, for the Inquisitor, she lays out Mobilemarketingwatch.com‘s 2016 marketing trends. They believe that for this year, content marketing is the name of the game for becoming a patient magnet. Note, this article was originally written in eMarketer on January 13, 2016.
The article goes on to say, Mobile Marketing Watch reported that the biggest Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing trend in 2016 will be an increase in content marketing. In a report released by eMarketer as stated above, the report said that content marketing will increase because it delivers results for brands.
Ms. Jarrett’s article states that: “No matter the reason, content marketing delivers results, especially when it comes to the more traditional end goal: generating leads to feed the sales funnel. In a July 2015 Ascend2 study of B2B marketing professionals, 43% of respondents asserted that content marketing was one of the most effective tactics for lead generation.”
However, according to eMarketer, “The amount of content B2B marketers are creating is expected to drastically increase in 2016. With this amplified emphasis on content marketing, these marketers have evolved in their approach and strategies—they are looking at the long game and realizing that although waiting 18 to 24 months for results is not ideal, it is the new reality.”
Too often the term content marketing is bantered about without any real explanation of what it actually means. Let’s face it, advertising professionals and media personnel are getting caught in the trap of speaking in “mediaeez;” you know, the kind of talk that everyone in the company know, but no one outside understands.
Therefore, if eMarketer is correct (and there is no indication they’re not a highly reliable source), then how are we going to spend our eighteen months, or even shorten that timeline?
Thus, you must understand what the term means, then alter your current message in order to make a full frontal assault on the project narrative! Perhaps this will help; the best explanation for content marketing that I have come across was written by Robert Rose, author of Experiences: 7th Era Of Marketing, when he wrote: “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
What most content fails to do is lead people to action. In order to become a patient magnet via content you must grab the reader by the throat and instantly convince them that what you have to offer is the best solution to their biggest problem.
Why would anyone want to waste precious time? Pretend that you have only one chance ever to speak directly to your prospect. What exactly are you going to say?
All this leads us to the most important ingredient of the entire formula, your message (aka your content).
At its core, that’s what promotional campaigns are all about, the ability to take the complex and turn it into something that your reader can relate to and remember.
Fact, there are mounds of psychological research and client satisfaction studies that point out that people simply don’t retain laundry lists of information for very long (if at all). Furthermore, it is becoming nearly impossible not to see website after website that doesn’t throw avalanches of data at its readers.
People can relate to a good story told in an interesting, compelling, and relevant way (something like Jaws, Brave Heart, or Titanic). A story told from the perspective of the patient, and not you as the healthcare professional. A story told in everyday language, and not in medical jargon.
The reason that a better story is so important to your practices’ success (and capturing your biggest competitors best patients) is that you’re creating a relationship with your reader. You are literally acknowledging that they have a problem that they don’t want, and that you have a solution they want but don’t have.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, a great story gets shared (otherwise known as referrals). Also, proper brand storytelling goes a long way to making sure that your patients don’t leave via the back door as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
So, how do you tell a good story?
There are three primary ingredients that make good stories work.
• A Protagonist – Who your story is centered on, who embodies the themes that your story is meant to promote. In many cases, this will be your brand or practice, or it can also be an agent that represents your brand.
• A Goal – Your brand (you) pursues things. On the business side, this might just be buying clients, but built on top of this are layers that weave together your services, vision, values, and audience into a relationship.
o When your brand makes a concerted effort towards furthering a vision, promoting one of your values, or reaching a milestone regarding a service, you have a tangible goal.
• Story Development – If your brand/protagonist is point A and your goal is point B, development is how you move from one to the next. There’s a reason that good stories don’t just tell a character’s backstory or the details of their victory lap at the end. People want to see protagonists struggle, change, and eventually overcome or succumb in pursuit of their goal. While there are ways to turn stories of failure into something good, we’ll focus on overcoming for your brand in most cases.
If you do most of your promoting through social media, there’s an important thing you need to know. Marketers are really comfortable with presenting a protagonist and occasionally presenting goals, but for the most part we completely forget development.
If you approach your marketing this way, you will be leaving a significant component out of your message (the hook). It’s like baking a cake, you can short-change the ingredients that are in the instructions, but sooner or later what comes out of the oven won’t resemble the picture on the box. Likewise, if you don’t use all of the pieces to write a better story, your promotional message will fail.
Your marketing is designed to promote and enhance your brand platform. Social media is, by its nature, built around people and brands talking about themselves. But with just a bit of preparation, it doesn’t take much to grow these protagonist portraits into more developed stories.
Still not convinced? In a paper that will be published in the Harvard Business Review in the Fall 2014 issue of The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Keith Quesenberry and research partner Michael Coolsen focused on brands’ use of specific strategies to sell products, such as featuring cute animals or sexy celebrities. But they also coded the commercials for plot development.
They found that, regardless of the content of the ad, the structure of that content predicted its success. “People are attracted to stories,” Quesenberry states that “because we’re social creatures and we relate to other people.”
Storytelling evokes a strong neurological response. Neuroeconomist Paul Zak‘s research indicates that our brains produce the stress hormone cortisol during the tense moments in a story, which allows us to focus, while a cute factor of the animals, for example, releases oxytocin, the feel-good chemical that promotes connection and empathy. Other neurological research tells us that a happy ending to a story triggers the limbic system, our brain’s reward center, to release dopamine which makes us feel more hopeful and optimistic.
Widely recognized as the leading trial lawyer of his time, Moe Levine often used the “whole man” theory to successfully influence juries to empathize with his clients.
Seeking compensation for a client who had lost both arms in an accident, Levine surprised the court and jury, who were accustomed to long closing arguments, by painting a brief and emotionally devastating picture instead:
• As you know, about an hour ago we broke for lunch. I saw the bailiff come and take you all as a group to have lunch in the jury room. Then I saw the defense attorney, Mr. Horowitz. He and his client decided to go to lunch together. The judge and court clerk went to lunch. So, I turned to my client, Harold, and said “Why don’t you and I go to lunch together?” We went across the street to that little restaurant and had lunch. (Significant pause.) Ladies and gentlemen, I just had lunch with my client. He has no arms. He has to eat like a dog. Thank you very much.
Levine reportedly won one of the largest settlements in the history of the state of New York.
Maybe Harrison Monarth said it best when he wrote “Life happens in the narratives we tell one another. A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.”
Whether you’re growing your business through direct contact with patients (a.k.a. business-to-client [B2B]), or you also business-to-business (B2B) marketing, your message needs to be directed toward telling a proper and compelling story.
The only way that you will be able to attract patients, you must provide them with the highest quality information about those things that are most important to them.
As we discussed, the foundation of all promotion is the ability to communicate. The content of that messaging will determine if you can attract a steady stream of patients. solid and informative data that draw them closer to you when they make their buying decision.
We have been directly responsible for many highly successful content marketing campaigns for several professional practices. Also, we would like to extend to you or your selected staff members, our proprietary 10-minute Content Strategy Audit Session (i.e. blog posts, social media campaigns, magazine articles, website content, patient newsletters etc.).