Being visible as a health professional isn't any less important than it is for any other profession or business. In order to be successful and attract patients in the industry, like any business - you must use marketing and public relations to gain visibility.
As the title gives away: there are many ways that you can use public relations to help get your name out there. Many doctors, dentists, pharmacists (to name a few), have already adopted these strategies which have enabled them to actively grow their business and visibility in the industry.
Of course, being visible provides some obvious benefits like reaching more customers and generating more traffic to your website and online platforms; but it does not stop there... increasing your visibility can allow you to gain credibility, stand out from competitors and attract affiliates.
1. Create a quality website that reflects you
Whether you like them or not, online search engines like Google have become a primary destination for users to scope out businesses, research services and find answers to almost any query you might have.
So (if you haven't already), representing your business online through a high-quality website is a key way of increasing your business' visibility.
In fact, by not having a website that exhibits you and your services, you are actually significantly reducing your chances of being found and accessed by existing and potential customers - therefore soiling the opportunity of gaining that all-needed visibility.
However, that does not mean you can just create a bland page with your name on and call it a quality website...
Retail Next states that you need to create a website that is a perfect, professional reflection of your brand. This is because your website will dictate the first impression that many people create about your business.
As a media professional, you may want to feature your place of work more heavily by including pictures, location details and service demonstrations.
2. Creating a blog
So you now have a winning website up and running, that's a great start...now it's time to start writing unique content that will attract and engage your target audience.
Creating expert blogs about your profession will help you to gain visibility, while positioning your brand as knowledgeable, reputable and an expert in the field. Who knows who you could catch the eye of - potential customers, prospective affiliates - the opportunities are endless!
The Doctena Blog explains that when your knowledgable articles are paired with the correct knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) and search keywords, this can be highly effective in increasing your online presence.
3. Social Media
As the social networking world has evolved, the medically focused professional communities have been established. This leaves you with a perfectly rounded environment to promote your businesses health behaviours, engage and interact with patients, and educate the community with essential health information.
Take the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, for example; with the majority of stores and health practises closing, customers are more inclined to turn to platforms like social media to find essential information such as store-reopening info, regulations, or they might turn to doctors for information on the virus itself.
But, in order to attain visitors and readers to your platforms, you must boost the visibility of your social media. Weidert Group provides a few easy ways that you can do this:
👀 Make your social media icons easily visible on your website
🖋️ Have employees include social media icons in their email signatures
🌟 Optimise your social media profiles
# Use hashtags
⌨️ Embed social media posts in your blog articles
🥇 Hold an online competition
After increasing your visibility, your next step should be putting efforts toward increasing engagement on your social media. A previous blog article 5 Ways For Health Professionals To Increase Social Media Engagement provides several ways of how to do this.
4. Business review sites
I am certain that every one of you has completed your share of background research on a business, before putting your money where your mouth is.
Just like you, your potential customers are doing the same when viewing your services. This is done with the aim of establishing a better idea of who you are and to decide whether you are the right business for them. Or, if they would rather continue shopping with your competitors.
Setting up a profile on a business review site like Yelp, Google Business or Trustpilot will help potential customers make a more informed decision when choosing a service provider. It will also contribute to building an online presence and reputation for your brand that will attract new patients.
Hubspot identifies two major reasons why customer reviews are so important:
👉 They provide you with opportunities to learn and develop
Enabling past customers to write about your business and leave feedback on your services gives you a clear image of how well you are doing, and where you might be failing to meet customer needs; giving you the clarification to remove common roadblocks along the customer journey.
👉 Obtaining reviews provide you with content that you can share with potential customers
Positive reviews are a key PR tool that, when shared correctly, can stimulate positive purchase decisions and give your brand the credibility and reputation it needs to stand out in the industry.
So, setting up a profile on a business review site can be quick and easy but can boost effective long term effects on your business and its visibility. It is important to take note that these profiles might need to be monitored closely in case of any misunderstandings or questions need to be answered.
5. An easily accessible online booking platform
This might seem like an incredibly simplistic feature for your business - but it can make all the difference when aiming to increase your accessibility and online presence.
It is quite obvious that an online booking platform is useful for patients. They can easily book their appointments online, allowing them to avoid the time-consuming former methods of sitting on hold to a receptionist team or visiting the practice in person (which with the social distancing methods of 2020, is not very ideal).
On the other hand, bookings, re-bookings, cancellations, reminders, follow-ups and various other functionalities can be organised with the use of one convenient tool, allowing medical professionals to efficiently practice manage their appointments.
6. Connect with journalists in the industry
PR practitioners and journalists need each other!
Communique PR acknowledges that to some extent, PR practitioners and journalists are dependent on each other, "Without reporters, PR pros would not be able to do their job of spreading awareness of their clients’ activities. Without PR pros, reporters would be less in tune with the internal news and buzz of the beat they cover."
Connecting and building relationships with journalists is hugely important for any business, as these relationships can act as a gateway to being published which (if you haven't already guessed...) can raise your visibility.
Forbes emphasises that is it important to start small and local - by taking advantage of publications and TV shows that have a "buy local" feature which publishes local businesses. As well as this, you can look for journalists who focus on product reviews in the health industry and attempt to reach out to them!
7. Press release
In my last blog post, 7 Ways Public Relations Can Help Tech Start-ups Stand Out From Competitors, I provided the brief definition: a press release is a short, compelling news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media.
The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of a journalist, with the aim of being published.
A press release can go hand in hand with the above point - 'Connecting with journalists', as they both ultimately aim for the result of being featured. And what better way to gain visibility, than being featured by a leading publication with a huge audience?
This sums up my 7 ways of increasing visibility for health professionals. I hope these points will help you to raise your brand's profile and begin to grow and succeed.
Please leave me a comment below, I would love to find out what you enjoyed about this post 😃
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About the author
Jasmine is a Public Relations assistant at the High Profile Club. She is currently completing a BA degree in Marketing with Public Relations at London South Bank University and has a keen interest in PR and the fashion and communications industry.
After growing up in Hampshire, Jasmine decided to move to London in order to pursue her career aspirations and work amongst some of the most established thought-leaders in the world of public relations and communications.
Find Jasmine on LinkedIn here.