In the grand scope of time, Internet marketing has existed for only a blink of the eye. However, like the epics and myths passed down through generations for millennia, stories are one of the most surviving and noticeable aspects of a culture. The same holds true for online marketers and businesses hoping to get their name, expertise, and overall awesomeness into the modern Web culture. Before we dive into story-driven marketing tips for doctors with their own practices, let’s take a look at the everyday customer.Marketing tips for doctors

While launching a campaign to up your exposure, you need to tap into the brains of those who keep your doors open. For doctors, these consumers are considered patients, or people in need of some kind of ailment recovery or medical procedure. From a non-doctor’s perspective, patients often have a muddled response when asked, “Why do you go to this practice and not that one?” Sure, a lot of it has to do with location and how many competitors are in the area. However, nothing is more powerful than old-fashioned marketing. But how do you market flu shots, vaccines, and dislocated shoulder setting?

Story Power

The idea of a powerful story is not lost in the vast realm of marketing. Most industries struggle with this and rely on brief customer reviews and forced testimonials, but there are plenty of story-driven marketing tips for doctors that can keep a practice above that wily bottom line. The medical profession, like every industry, has to tap into different consumer neurons in order to attract people in pain and discomfort, and few doctors have the time to hunt down and publish patient stories. But that doesn’t mean you, the doctor, have to tell them.

Look for a marketer or writer to share the experiences of a patient. These are confidential, in-depth testimonials and on-site reports that help people decide, “Yes, I want to go to this practice because this patient had a similar condition and a great experience.” A story has power because they are memorable, interesting, and don’t come across as über-promotional. Here are a few qualities of remarkable marketing storytellers:

  • They understand the pros and cons of different forms of media. These include video, text, images, and collaborative platforms.
  • They are able to include analytical information in a story in a creative manner. This strategy enforces the authenticity of a story while providing cold hard facts and accurate information.
  • A good storyteller knows your brand and what your company is about. This is important when a writer is adapting a long-form testimonial story into different formats.
  • The best stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t fight eons of accepted storytelling by breaking the mold.

Standing Out

Storytelling goals for doctors range from harvesting referrals to selling a product. The idea is to combine the power of a story in a piece of marketing content in order to increase positive exposure, but having a good story doesn’t have that power alone. Here are a few goals to go for when marketing a story:

  • Differentiation: When a story is out there, does it differentiate your practice from healthcare competitors? One way to differentiate is to tell a recovery or treatment story that is focused around a certain condition or illness. The “one at a time” strategy holds water here, because mixing in too many elements and practice features mucks the core story and objective. Find a focus and stick to it.
  • Referrals: Story-driven marketing tips for doctors usually reach for referrals. Referrals are common for specialists (chiropractors, dermatologists, etc.), but they are difficult to generate. In a story-related marketing piece, you want to make sure the content draws in a new client while informing them of your practice and approach to patient-centered care.
  • Exposure: Politicians are expert storytellers — the best ones garner millions of votes because of these stories. Get out into the community and share a patient’s story at charity events, healthcare conventions, meetings, and at every opportunity. Exposure increases the chance you’ll get a referral. Most importantly, make sure these stories are visible online through websites and social media.
  • Promotion: Promotion is a dangerous game. When you’re telling (or someone is reading) your story, don’t pad the piece with contact info, office hours, and promo-heavy content. Let the story do the work for you, which is one of the best story-driven marketing tips for doctors out there.

Photo by: Johann Maria Farina