How to Grow Your Practice with Content Marketing

Growing your practice means investing in content marketing- investing time, attention, money.  You really can’t turn a blind eye to it any longer.

Content marketing 

Content marketing is one of the key techniques to establishing your brand, showing your personality and compassion, getting your message out and distinguishing yourself  from your competition.

I get that marketing is not your forte; medicine is your concern.  It’s not always easy to figure out where to begin, especially if this is new to you.

I would like to share with you an article from Forbes which puts out an easy to understand, actionable tip sheet.

Tip 1: Be a better writer; tell better stories

People won’t remember your advice, they certainly won’t remember your statistics but most people will remember your stories- the ones that elicit emotions, whether it is fear, happiness, sadness.

Tip 2: Answer the questions your prospects and customers ask

Let’s face it, people are only going to be receptive to information that is relevant to them.

Tip 3: Tell a consistent narrative campaign to keep your audience moving through the marketing funnel.

Present the problem, the history of the problem and the solution you present as well as the success of your solution.  Then present the action steps that you want your readers to take.

Tip 4: Make an appointment with your audience

“Instead of inviting people to sign up for your email newsletter or blog posts, invite them to sign up for a specific piece of content delivered at a specific time”- Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships

Tip 5: Think about content promotion first

“Think of who would help amplify your content and why.  If you can’t answer this question first, don’t bother creating it.”

Tip 6: Invest in Participation Marketing

“Look beyond our own subject matter expertise to the wisdom of your community for content ideas, content co-creation and promotion.”

Go into forums and chat rooms dealing with conversations that are in sync with what you do, your specialty or niche.  What are their problems?  What is trending?  What are the questions that they want answers to?  You could be that guru that supplies it.

Tip 7: Build out your content funnel with EGC- Employee Generated Content

“Content is an ongoing activity, never a one-off campaign”.  Think of your staff.  What can they discuss?  They certainly can talk about the process that patients go through when coming to your office for a particular procedure or how to navigate through their health insurance.

Tip 8: Collect and create “content chunks”

“We are becoming more systematic with the way we collect and create ‘content chunks’.”  Your information can be repurposed in several ways from your published articles to your podcasts, videos, teleseminars, blogs.

“Not only do we have examples at our fingertips for our Facebook content example of week, but becaue of the way we are collecting the data, we can now look at examples by segment (e.g. by tactic type, industry, etc.) The information is all ready for any future formats or projects as well.”- Michele Linn, Vice Prsident, Content Marketing Institute.

Tip 9: Learn the skill of writing headlines

85% of readers will make a decision as to whether to read your information based solely by your headline.  This is the sensational or relevant points that scream out at you by newspapers, magazines, media news and ropes you in.  Having a boring headline will surely get your article deleted as quickly as the finger can hit the key.

So, are you weak in the knees at the prospect of attempting these steps?  No worries.  Let’s discuss your needs.

Get a free consultation.  Give me a call – 561-325-9664.  Speak to you soon!



How to Schedule your Health Media Posts in Advance

There are two main tools that enable you to write your posts in your spare time and then schedule them when you would like them to appear, saving you massive amounts of time.  What are they and which better meets your needs?

Hootsuite vs. Social Oomph

There are similarities between the services. Both:

  • Enable posts on multiple platforms
  • Enable posts on multiple accounts
  • Supplies URL shorteners
  • Have free versions and upgrade monthly pay services



  • Provides interfacing with Google + and LinkedIn which other servers do not.
  • Visibility of live post feeds to Twitter or Facebook is provided by Hootsuit but not Social Oomph.
  • Allows usage of media icons to more easily see where your message is being posted
  • Has an app that communicates with smart phones and smart devices

On the other hand, Social Oomph allows you to:

  • Post direct from Word which is not possible with Hootsuit.
  • Permits set up of autoresponders, autofollows, autodirect messages
  • Provides “Replies Digest” which sends you email notifications of all the RT (retweets) and @mentions of you by name or your health site (enables specific traffic  tracking for your medical practice)

Seeing the differences, the one to use will depend on the types of services that you rely on and where your target market can be found.  In either case, they are both effective at what they offer and either way, you can’t go wrong.

Need to set up your account?  Contact me for a free consultation:


How to get Followers for Your Instagram Site in Medical Marketing

Okay, you’ve just set up your Instagram account. Now you want people to actually view it. These viewers are your potential clients and a great way to build your practice as well as strengthening your brand.

5 Tips to Captivate Your Audience

  • 1) Captions

Though most of us think of Instagram as a site for sharing photos, one is able to post a caption with as many as 2,000 characters. This is a great opportunity to tell a story, touching emotions and showing how the image can help the potential patient.

  • 2) Call to Action

Include the action you would like the viewer to take such as tagging the person in the photo, adding comments, going to website for free bonus, subscribing to practice newsletter. You can also suggest viewers go to the “link in our profile” to be featured.

  • 3) Benefit by Incorporating Hashtags

Using hashtags is a great way to attract people who are looking for you and your brand. In enables you to sort and categorize photo content for discovery on topic searches. Remember to use hashtags that make sense for your brand and are relevant to the images you’re posting. Hashtags will attract the type of viewer that will be prospective patients for you.

  • 4) Mingle with Like-minded users

Use hashtags to search for other Instagram users who have similar brands and post in the same industry. By engaging with them, their wide-spread audience is viewing your posts too. This increases your visibility. By liking or commenting on other sites, the users are notified that you have done so along with your name and avatar. Typically, the users check out your profile and if they like your posts, they will follow you too!

  • 5) Publicize your Instagram site on other networks

Once you have content in your account that you are satisfied with, start sharing your content on other social media channels. Choices available from Instagram are:

  • Tag People
  • Add to Photo Map
  • Name this location
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Foursquare

Currently more than four out of every ten Fortune 100 companies are incorporating Instagram into their marketing. With the right health marketing strategy, you can reap a large number of interested and engaged patients, both current and new ones to strengthen your brand, increase your visibility and grow your practice!

If you need help getting started, I would be happy to consult with you.


How to Use Instagram for Your Health Marketing

Have you thought of using instagram as part of your medical marketing and wondered whether it is worth your while?

Like any other strategy in medical marketing, you must have a plan. The images need to be collected and posted with meaningful intent and true to your branding.

Here are 5 tips to help with your strategy

  • 1) Catch eyes with an alluring design

Take care that the image compliments the medical device or office rooms. If additional props will convey the message better, place them in the background of the shots. If you have a special effect like sepia, black and white or color,or an artsy angle, be consistent with all the images on your posts. There is a variety of filters in Instagram that help present your image in the best light.

  • 2) Add a caption to the image

The most effective ones are those that let patients and prospective patients know how the device or subject in the image will help them. Giving examples of usage as opposed to a mere description is very helpful for the patients to understand the value of the image.

  • 3) Add a Call to Action

Add an action that you would like your viewer to perform (e.g. like a page, become a follower, call the office for a consultation, sign up for medical office newsletter, visit website)

  • 4) Use #hashtags with your posts

Having relevant hashtags help viewers find your photos by the topics they are searching. Three hashtags can be used for each one if they are relevant. Providing a brand-centric hashtag enables viewers to follow you and strengthens your brand.

  • 5) Apply analytic measures

Measure which images perform best so that you know the content that engages your viewers and expand upon them to drive traffic. Those that bring no likes will be ones that you don’t create again.

As instagram becomes more and more popular, it speaks to the marketplace as being visual. If you can be found, Instagram can be a potent driver to your medical practice. Planning your brand strategically and how you want to present it on Instagram has the power to generate more prospective patients and grow your practice more than any other social medium.

Interested in getting started with Instagram but have questions as to what would best represent your practice?  Contact me for a free consultation and we can discuss your needs at 561-325-9664.

Your Practice Website Can Make or Break You

 (Do you have the 12 crucial key elements?)

PracticeComputerWEBVisualize the experience that viewers have when visiting your website.

Designing a website is one that is planned in an optimal manner with precise sequencing.  While every site needs fresh content, throwing it all up on the screen, hoping that some resonates, will only serve to create needless clutter and anxiety.

Ideally, your site includes the 3 I’s:

  • Inviting
  • Informative
  • Interactive

When a viewer lands on your site, it should be clear as to:

1. How to contact the practice

Telephone number, fax number, email addresses and location are crucial bits of information.  Providing aContact Us page gathers all this data in one place.

The telephone number of the practice is so important that not only should it be very visible, it should also appear prominently on every page of the site.  When prospective patients want to make an appointment, don’t make them hunt or frustrate them into remembering where the only number appears.

2. Who you are

Prospective patients are researching online all about physicians within a practice nowadays before an appointment is even made.

Include a bio page that names each physician along with medical school diplomas, and hospital trainings.  Be sure to include fellowships and additional certifications.

Most importantly, if you are certified in a specific area of medicine, this should be prominently displayed.

3.  Services you provide

List the procedures that you provide with descriptions that are understandable to patients including specification as to which ones are performed in the office, and which ones are done in the hospital or surgicenter.  Links to videos showing techniques in depth are quite helpful.

4.  Insurance plans and Billing

List which insurance plans that your office accepts along with how payment is received including which credit cards you take, checks, PayPal or any payment plans.  Invite prospective patients to call about any coverage they have that is not listed.

5. Hospital Affiliations

List all hospital affiliations that your practice works with along with location information and any links to them.

 6. Coverage

Inform viewers whether your practice is covered by associated physicians or strictly with doctors within the practice.  Inform them what they should do after office hours or in an emergency.

7.  Office and Staff

Prominently display office hours and days of the week that the practice sees patients (including any special call hours if there is such a policy).

Include photos of nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and other office staff along with a description of their function and their bios.  This way, new patients are already familiar generic zithromax 250mg with the flow of the office even before the first visit which decreases stress and tension.

8. Website Navigation

Include a tab bar with titles and links to various pages so that viewers can transition between pages they are seeking with only one or two clicks.

9. Instructional Forms

Include links to various instructional forms written in PDF format.  These would include:

  • Preoperative and Postoperative instructions
  • How to prepare for an examination or procedure
  • What to bring to the hospital or office
  • What to expect prior to a procedure
  • What recovery periods look like including duration
  • Most popular F and Q sheets

Having these sheets available make patients more informed and more comfortable while cutting down on frantic calls to the office.

10. Online Services

More and more patients are tech savvy and want an instant connection to your practice so that they can connect on their own time.  Delineate what you offer such as:

  • Online appointment requests
  • Patient personal history
  • Prescription refills
  • Questions
  • Lab results
  • Connection with their smart devices
  • Telemedicine/ e-visits

11. Web Portal Services

To meet the criteria of meaningful use, a minimum of 5% of your patients must be interactive with your practice through a patient portal although it is a good idea that all your patients have access to one.

Provide a link on the home page to the web portal and have a portal area, complete with log in and password for security.  When patients make entries, responses should be forthcoming.

12. Blogs and Social Media Interactions

Having a link to your blog posts enables you to let your viewers know about the latest medical breakthroughs, latest medical trends, and any ongoing information that you would like to let your patients know about.

You can add entertaining stories and case studies related to your practice.  Let your personality shine through so patients feel that they know you.  This is a place where fresh content can be constantly added which helps patients, keeps viewers returning to your site and increases your ranking on various search engines like Google.

YouTube is a great place to showcase medical and surgical procedures (taking care not to disclose a specific patient in any way).

Instagram, which is growing in popularity, allows you to add photos of equipment and various techniques.

Your website will determine how successful your practice is at attracting prospective patients and converting them from mere lookers into active, engaged and happy patients.

Contact me for a free consultation at  I would be happy to discuss your needs and how to successfully get you there.

By Barbara Hales, M.D.