Just as the practice of medicine itself is morphing from what it was just a few short years ago, health marketing is evolving rapidly with newsletters, email marketing, Social media, SEO, video production, and content marketing as a part of it. If you are a physician in your own practice or a small business owner, trying to get a handle on these techniques is overwhelming – let alone actually implementing them effectively.
Despite rapid change, it’s important to understand that online marketing, really just means having a conversation with your audience and prospective patients. Technologies and strategies may change, but they are simply providing a platform for you to interact.
It’s crucial that you’re guiding this conversation effectively. So today as the Tuesday Tips, we’ll focus on an important aspect of your message: the language you’re speaking to your audience- the one they speak and can relate to as opposed to technical jargon and “medicaleese” that can be misunderstood.
When you’re talking to prospective patients, if they can’t understand you, they won’t listen and your message will be lost. You might as well place yourself in their junk box because you certainly will be deleted! It’s important that you speak in your patient’s language – that you boil down complicated technology and terminology into words and concepts that make sense to them.
7 Ways to Effectively Engage Your Audience
1) Elicit emotions
What keeps your patients up at night in fear? What are they dreaming about? It is important that you understand their emotional needs and seek to address them – ideally the benefits of your services will be in sync with their emotional needs. Don’t focus on dry details – focus on the emotional needs and desires of your audience.
2) Speak simply from the heart
Ditch the technical jargon. You don’t want them to have eyes glazing over. As Ms. Angelou stated, long after they have forgotten what you’ve said, they will remember how you made them feel. You can’t talk to your prospective patients the same way that you talk to other professionals. Speaking in “medicalese” is going to leave potential patients confused and intimidated – and most likely looking for help from someone else.
3) Forget the Stats- they certainly will!
Focus on the benefits patients will get with you rather than just listing your services. If a service or product doesn’t relate to them, the fact that you provide it is meaningless.
4) Add in Case studies
Share stories of success. People love stories and your patients are no different. (just make sure that there is nothing that would pinpoint to anyone specific so as to violate HIPAA codes). One great way to help them understand the advantages of working with you is to share success stories with them. They’ll quickly substitute themselves for the individual who the story is about and will then have a clear picture of how you can help. Make sure that these stories line up with the benefits you provide and the emotional needs of your audience.
5) Be entertaining
In order to hold the attention of your audience, it’s important that you’re engaging and entertaining. Platforms like social media, in particular, offer an opportunity to communicate in a very conversational, down-to-earth style. But even on your website and other marketing channels, read through your content and look for opportunities to make it more engaging. If you bore your audience, they’re not going to stick around. Consider tying your messages into stories that are trending.
6) Be attractive
Make your website and social media profiles visually engaging. They say that a picture tells a thousand words and videos more like ten thousand so pictures and images that surround your content have an important role. If the visuals are dull and boring, there is a chance that prospective patients won’t even bother to read what you have to say. Do your best to create a website and a social media presence that is visually appealing and engaging.
7) Provide an opportunity for idea exchange
Allow for comments, questions and interaction between yourself and your audience (and each other). Be known as the one who can provide the solutions to questions and problems that they struggle with. Interactions and engagement also validate their concerns and makes them feel that they are important to you as individuals, not just for the reimbursements.
Don’t just talk AT people, but to them. If you aren’t speaking the language of your audience, they’re not going to understand or care about what you have to say and you will turn them off. Take some time right now to evaluate the content on your website, your posts and information on social media, and the content elsewhere in your marketing presence. Is there too much technical jargon that won’t make sense to readers? Are you appealing to their emotions and clearly communicating how you can improve their lives? Are you telling stories and keeping your audience entertained? Are your visuals engaging?
These are key questions when it comes to the strength of your marketing message. The bottom line is very simple: it doesn’t matter how technologically advanced you are, or how “cutting edge” your marketing presence… if you’re not speaking your audience’s language, they’re not going to get it. Consider what your goal is in the first place. Isn’t it to get your messages across, engage more people, get more patients and grow your practice with involved, compliant people?
Please get in touch with me today if you’d like to learn more! Contact Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com or click on the contact page.