You don’t want to be the doctor with bench headshots and billboards, do you? These help for exposure purposes and as conversation starters, but modern techniques for medical marketing extend beyond traditional outlets and directly to patients. Most likely, you already understand that having a website, social media presence, and directory listings are helpful for marketing your practice. However, there are plenty of common mistakes in medical marketing you want to actively avoid in order to maximize referrals, patient traffic, and your image.Medical Marketing

It starts and ends with a message. A doctor’s office needs to find an angle on competition that attracts patients who want to schedule an appointment. It’s up to you to decide how best to campaign your business, though there several factors that work into the equation. Here are a few ways to shape a messaging platform around your practice:

  • Find out what makes your business different. Do you have several RNs? Low wait times? Insurance options?
  • Stick to your founding values and mission statements. Every publication or campaign you contribute to needs to maintain these ideas.
  • Stay positive and avoid entangling competitors.

Medical Jargon

For specialists, it is especially important to cut down on clinical language. Saying you specialize in xerosis treatments, prescribing medication for borboygmi, and administering physical therapy for bradykinesia will go right over a patient’s head. Use plain English to explain your practice and what you can do for the patient.

When you’re publishing press releases, articles, or posting on Facebook, have a layperson edit your work to check for confusing medical jargon. Publications, however, need to have a focus. A chiropractor, for example, should publish different information that pertains to a certain group. Baby boomers, for instance, make up a lot of foot traffic for practices.

The “Me, Me, Me” Mistake

Common mistakes in medical marketing are avoidable, and the best way to get around them is to elude writing for “you” from a “me” perspective. Heavy promo content isn’t interesting to readers. You should include a little bit of info on your practice, but a message’s focus should center around a treatment, condition, or some other topic. Save the “me” for Web-based bios and the backs of brochures.

The reader, then, needs to learn something from whatever he or she reads. It is useful to market content that is direct and specific. If it’s flu season, pick a topic that wrangles in patients and list top symptoms and ways to avoid getting sick. People don’t like wasting time, especially if a practice’s publication is too generalized or doesn’t pertain to them.

Call to Inaction

Almost every piece of content you’ll market with (websites, flyers, ads, whitepapers, etc.) will have some form of a “call to action.” These messages at the end of pieces direct readers on what to do next. “Visit our website,” “schedule a visit,” and “call us now” are common. These are important to add, but among the common mistakes in medical marketing promoters tend to overdo it. As mentioned, save your “me” information for the end and have plenty of details on how to find out more, what your contact info is, and what to do next outside of the body of the piece.


The best campaigns are accessible. This means they are easy to find, read, and share. Almost everything you publish will end up on the Internet, and not doing this is a complete mistake. Make sure you’re adding PDF versions of brochures and other medical information on your website and social media platforms. Make them easy to find with keywords (your practice’s name) and hashtags and keep yourself active when marketing. Often, promoters will struggle to publish more than one piece of a campaign per month. Set up a schedule and stick to it. Still stuck? Find a professional.

Money Matching

Another mistake doctors make is when they cut back on marketing when “the economy is down.” There are obvious reasons for doing so, but when there is a recession or slight slip in business you need to market like never before. Stay ahead of the competition by consistent marketing and ramping things up when the market is down. Common mistakes in medical marketing can lead to closed practices and poor reviews, so do your best to avoid them.

Photo by: Adrian Clark