Between large patient panels, electronic medical records and other administrative tasks, doctors are short on time. Even if you’ve convinced them of the need for inbound marketing, it can be tough to nail them down and create content for your healthcare organization.
Yet with some simple strategies, it’s possible to write amazing content that converts, gets you more patients and saves you time.
Create stories, not topics.
Instead of sending your physicians a list of topics and asking them which ones they want to claim, assign them story ideas like you’re the editor and they’re the reporter.
Before you can do that however, you need to make sure you have a content marketing strategy and an editorial calendar in place. Without it, it’s like throwing your ideas at the wall and hoping they’ll stick.
Do an interview.
For most doctors email is preferable, but an email is not an interview. Email will never capture the entire story or your physician’s voice.
I’ve found that a brief phone interview is the best—and fastest—way to get everything you need and ensure your content is great. Although your physician may only have 15 minutes to spare, a 50-minute interview, when possible, can generate enough information to write up to 6 blog posts.
Work ahead of time.
Content marketing isn’t breaking news. And asking a physician to be available within 24 hours because you haven’t planned ahead is a recipe for disaster. Send your physicians a few options for interview times and let them know your deadline, which should always be days before your actual deadline. This way, if your physician gets called into emergency surgery, you’ll still have enough time to make the deadline.
To maximize your interview, send your questions ahead of time so the physician can prepare if she wants to. Also, do most of your research ahead of time so you won’t waste time asking questions about things you can find on your own. If you ask things like why omega-3’s are essential or how common breast cancer is, your physician will wonder why you’re wasting his time. The interview is meant to fill-in, clarify or add information that only he can provide.
Your hours in the office might be 9 to 5 but when it comes to doctors, they’re usually available in the early morning or in the evening. Plus, even if you schedule a call, the physician may get held up with a patient or get called into surgery.
So be flexible, or hire a freelance healthcare writer to help you out. And always remember that when it comes to your content, your physicians are your best creative partners.