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In this world of information overflow, especially when it comes to online, it might seem redundant to encourage doctors, specialists or practices to build their business using content marketing.

But to put it simply, you need people to know you, to like you and to trust you. And content marketing is a great way to move forward and achieve that.

What is content marketing?
Content marketing means creating, sharing and posting information for your current patients or to gain referrals to your practice.  The type of content that you share will relate to your practice or speciality. Put simply, you are educating people so they trust you enough to come and see you about something very important to them - their health.

It...

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Whether we want to accept it or not, we now live in a world where nearly all information we seek is literally at the click of a button. 

The impact for medical specialists is that not only has Google changed the world we live in (and Google knows it), it has changed how people seek diagnoses of a medical symptom. 

It has now become commonplace that when people have a health concern they search online to get an array of different answers. And that’s the kicker - anyone who has had a ‘consultation’ with Doctor Google is familiar with the diverse and sometimes unsettling range of results that they receive.

Finding what they need

But being bombarded with varied information on these searches may be a thing of the past. 

In an attempt to come up with better search results to specific health questions, Google has decided to upgrade and improve its health results and has now joined forces with the Mayo Clinic. 

The upgrade by Google will provide better advice upfront, and even list possible treatment options. 

For example, a search for arthritis will show, beside the resulting links, a few basic facts about arthritis and include a definition. To ensure quality and accuracy, all of the gathered facts have been confirmed by medical doctors, which have then been checked for accuracy by Mayo Clinic clinicians.

“The goal of this new feature is to provide medical information in a digestible way and to get basic answers quickly. Using Mayo Clinic as a primary source, Google provides information about symptoms and treatments, whether or not it's critical or contagious, what ages it typically affects, and more,” a spokesman said.

Google is intended for informational purposes only

Should Doctor Google be considered competition - No.

Google is not going to replace the need for Doctors. Google does not give patient care. It does not think in terms of age, sex, or ethnicity. It does not know the patient history, if the person smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol or has been in contact with someone who is contagious.

For medical professionals conducting a diagnosis and subsequent treatment, the improvement of Doctor Google is not something to be concerned about.

But it is a reason why your practice/business needs to have a technically sound website that looks professional, has sound quality “Google” ranking content about your practice and your services, and is updated regularly.

Why? So you are seen as the authority and not your competitors.

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Going online and searching for information is now a part of most of our daily lives.

There are now over 1 billion websites worldwide. Google is still king –with 78% of market share google handles 40,000 search enquiries per minute equalling over 3.5 billion searches per day.

Here’s some more quick facts:

  • 85.1% of Australians access the internet daily
  • 80% of internet users look for health information online – including 44% who search for information on medical professionals or healthcare facilities (data Nov 15)

We've also seen the power of mobile...

Latest data from the US shows that mobile media time is higher at 51% compared to desktop searches at 42%; and 62% of smartphone owners have used their phone in the past year to look up information about a health condition.

With the power to access information so readily available, a medical website now needs to be a standard part of all doctors’ key foundation marketing pieces. It is your electronic business card and yellow pages entry that allows people to find out about you, check out details of your service, and feel confident that you are a trusted and legitimate service provider.

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hiring medical staff

LET’S START BY COVERING WHAT A BRAND IS

We mostly think of a brand as being a logo – but that’sjust a small part of it.

Your brand is much greater than that.

It is the embodiment of your practice – yourcustomer’s first experience from their initial contactwith your medical business to the last interaction theyhave with your service. It covers every step of their journey.

What does that include?

It includes the way the phone is answered, how apatient is treated at reception, what information they are given and how they are given it, how the reception looks and feels including the décor.

So your “brand delivery” and the “brand experience” is well underway before you have even met the patient.

Then we have our specialist-referrer, doctor-patient, provider-user relationship experience. This is a whole subject on its own and we won’t cover it in this discussion –suffice it to say that your communication with your clients, whether referrers, influencers or patients needs to be in keeping with what brand values you are telling them. ie – if you are telling them you are there to be of assistance and partner with them for better outcomes, be sure to be pro-active, take time to listen and give them your attention.

LET’S GO INTO THE MARKETING COLLATERAL AND ACTIVITY ITEMS THAT MAKE UP A BRAND…

These include:

Your logo, signage, website, social media, stationery, brochures, newsletters, education seminars.

The cornerstone of all these items is the logo. It sets and guides every aspect of your brand delivery through your different collateral.

A logo is not just a pretty picture (or it shouldn’t be)

A logo should resonate with your clients, be relevant in its graphical representation of your service and set an expectation. So how does it do that?

There are a number of elements that are used in a well-conceived logo to properly and cleverly convey the characteristics of your business. They are mostly subliminal, but are used to great effect.

These elements include:

Font

The Style of font will convey anything from Professional to whimsical .

UPPER CASE, lower case, Mixed CASE, bold. Each has its own message ie UPPER CASE IS SAYING VERY LOUDLY TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME and BOLD EVEN MORE SO.

Colour

Different colours subliminally express emotions ie blue is the colour of trust and integrity which is why we see many medical logos featuring this colour. Doctors themselves feel attracted to blue.

Imagery

The use or non-use of imagery is one of the most important considerations of a logo. If used, it needs to be in keeping with the brand values. Sometimes an image use is not appropriate and can “weaken” the brand.

Complexity

The simplicity or complexity of a logo needs to be in line with the brand values. A great example is the Nike logo.

Tagline

Can be the most powerful element of a brand. It can succinctly articulate the core values and mission statement.

There is no getting away from brand power.

BEWARE OF BRANDWAGONS

A strong brand stands on its own principles. Be careful not to jump on board because others are doing something and you like it. You want your brand to be memorable and unique.

Make sure you look at every element of your brand and check that it is a true representation of your service.

Go through this checklist and ask yourself – what does my brand say about me?

Are you…

  • Trustworthy
  • Professional
  • Ethical
  • Provide a quality service
  • Do you care
  • Are you an expert
  • Do you have high standards
  • Are you invested in your patients/referrers

Or…. Are you….

  • Sloppy
  • Cut corners
  • Can’t really be bothered to try
  • Don’t really care

HOW CAN WE HELP?

CJU will assist you with a strategy that will properly articulate your brand through all channels of your medical business from reviewing of your patient experience at your practice to the design of your logo and collateral.

Call us and find out how we can help you get your own “brand power”.

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What’s a SWOT - and how does it help me to build and grow my medical business?

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats – and is a basic business tool that can be applied to any business.

It looks at all elements of your business from top to bottom. From a marketing perspective it is used to help us formulate a relevant strategic marketing plan that’s based on you and the unique elements of your business.

A SWOT looks at the good, the bad and the ugly elements of a business.

A marketing SWOT takes into account each of your target markets and will include identifying elements that will affect your ability to market to them including:

  • Experience
  • Cash flow
  • Brand power
  • Unique elements of your medical business
  • Marketing to date
  • Staff
  • Location
  • Service mix
  • Specialisation
  • Access
  • Competition
  • Saturation
  • Price
  • Messaging
  • Industry changes
  • Legislation
  • Resources – internal and external

A SWOT has the greatest opportunity of achieving results when it includes contribution from different elements of your internal business and impartial direction that drives the SWOT. It’s often hard to conduct an effective SWOT without an external facilitator as you and your staff are too close to the business.

SWOT’s are one of the most powerful business tools we can have. It makes us take time out from the day to day running of our business and look at it through the eyes of our customer as well as giving us the chance to identify previously untapped opportunities.

Take the time out to do a SWOT – it will be worthwhile.

How can CJU help? We work with all our clients as part of our strategy development to conduct a SWOT analysis of their business, call us today to find out more.

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