Why most doctors should never advertise
In short: Most doctors should never have to spend money on advertising, because there is a smarter way to develop your private practice. Let’s go over the main reasons why medical marketing in particular offers the potential to do things differently. The outcome? Ongoing business growth without breaking the bank in terms of ongoing advertising costs.
Why most doctors should never advertise
April 27, 2022
Do you need an advertising agency?
ad agency for doctors
"Advertising can also be seen as a broker service to sell advertising space in newspapers, broadcast programs, on billboards and in a specialised magazine. As such, the starting point is always the space that you rent, not the business goal you have as a doctor."
To a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
The ideal ad agency for doctors looks at the bigger picture and first enquires about your business goals. If your goal is to increase your patient numbers for a specific treatment or procedure and to build your practice around a real leadership status for a sub-specialty… then perhaps advertising is not the first thing to look at.
Let’s investigate what content marketing does for leading doctors and clinics, and then you will be in a better position to assess which advertising solutions you may still need to support your business growth as a private practice owner.
Content: the investment in long-term value
content strategies for doctors
"In the context of digital marketing, quality content is defined by information that is contained in a combination of formats: copy, styling elements, graphics, images, videos, headers, titles and meta information for the search engines, and meta information about the website the content is contained by."
I know. What a boring definition of content. What is worth mentioning – and I would even say necessary at the start of every conversation between a marketing expert and a doctor – is this:
- Content is more than just what you write. It’s how it’s presented.
- Google is smart and scans the content, the writing style, the structure, the images, the readability, the headers and titles and the loading speed of the website.
- Great content serves the audience and flags to Google that it is doing so.
That is why here at Digital Practice, we choose content marketing over healthcare advertising. Content can give you organic authority and visibility, often in places that no advertising space can buy you: in the part of the consumer’s brain where trust and rapport, credibility and leadership authority all come together to assist the decision making process. A process that – every day while you are seeing patients – defines whether you will grow a more successful private practice or not.
The marketing tool that allows you to stretch your dollar
sustainable medical marketing
The careful advice not to jump onto advertising
"Dentistry, plastic surgery and obesity surgery tend to be the typical elective treatments and procedures that support advertising, because there is a strong shopping component to the process that involves choosing a specialist. The pitfall is that you might be perceived as someone who offers attractive packages, not as someone the patient would trust with their health."
Healthcare advertising in mainstream media can be justified if your additional 5 or 10 patients bring in much more than the advertising budget. Google Ads can be a good add-on but may deliver low conversion rates if the pages the ad connects to are not convincing…or only focusing on the offer, not on building rapport and establishing credibility.
The main reason why healthcare advertising is not the most sustainable business investment is its volatile nature. Compared to content marketing, it is renting the most expensive luxury home for a month, while you could have used the money as a deposit toward a reasonably priced dwelling.
The solid advice to start doing content marketing
Let’s talk about advertising or marketing
should doctors advertise
There are situations where some healthcare advertising is useful to drive additional traffic to your practice. But in most situations, your practice is in a position to create ongoing growth with a strong focus on content marketing, avoiding the pitfalls of pay-per-click (they click but I don’t see any new patients because of it) or other types of mainstream advertising. Every situation is different, so book a free 1:1 Strategy Session to discuss your patient lead generation and practice growth.