The internet has changed the way people find health professionals who can help them with their medical issues.
As a result, health professionals have to change the way they present themselves to the public and to their fellow health professionals. They have to become digital.
Before the World Went Digital
In the pre-Internet days, health professionals would establish themselves as specialists or domain experts in their treatment area.
They would rely up referrals from other health professionals to generate clients. Periodically, clients, via word-of-mouth, would refer their friends to the health professional.
Some enterprising clinicians would take one step further and create a course based on their work, organize a training event at a local hotel, and teach their fellow health professionals.
Each of these marketing tactics worked and they were very effective – for their day. But their reach was limited and the time-to-market-traction was slow. Plus, organizing training events is cumbersome and labour intensive.
Things have changed. Now, everything is digital and health professionals can reach more clients and fellow professionals at a much faster rate and lower cost.
Everything is Digital
Today, these marketing activities are digital.
A health professional can reach more clients than before with new publishing platforms – a WordPress blog, a YouTube ‘how-to’ channel, or even self-publishing print or electronic books on Amazon.
Further, a health professional can enlarge their referral network by offering online continuing education training courses (in their domain area) to fellow health professionals. They can either self-host the courses on their site or publish on educational sites.
Digital Marketing for Health Professionals
My wife is a Physical Therapist and a perfect example of the digital health professional. Her digital health focus is on women ages 50 and older who have osteoporosis and need an exercise program to manage their condition.
She uses a combination of blogging, guest blogging, YouTube, social media, email marketing, and publishing (on Amazon) to generate client traffic.
When people are searching for a health professional, they want someone who is a domain expert and has dealt with their medical condition many times. They also want want someone who they like and feel comfortable with.
This marketing mix has allowed her to meet these requirements and establish an online relationship with her clients.
She has also broadened her reach with other health professionals (who refer client traffic) through her online professional development courses for her fellow Physical Therapists.
How to Establish Your Digital Footprint
The key for many health professionals is to specialize and create content that is deep and demonstrates their domain knowledge and expertise.
Because many of the general health topics are overcrowded, the best strategy for the health professional is to rely upon ‘long tail’ topics in their area of expertise to attract clients.
Original content on different treatments options, side effects, and special circumstances associated with specific medical conditions allows the digital health professional to demonstrate their expertise and create content that is unique and liked by Google.
Understand your Client
Finally, make sure you understand your client very well. Find out who they are, what they value, and understand completely what will motivate them to contact you.
For example, a unique digital health client is the Health CEO. She may not be the type of client you service but she is worth consideration because they are more proactive than other prospective clients.
This article is part of my Digital Health guide.