websites for societies

The checklist to market your medical society

As the voice of a specialty area, a College or Society, you have an important role to play. To your members, to your industry stakeholders, to the community. In this overview, we look at the ultimate how-to when it comes to building websites for societies and medical organisations. 

websites for societies

The checklist to market your medical society

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

May 12, 2022

The quick demo: A great case study.

marketing for medical societies

Marketing for medical societies is a balance exercise. Academic reputations, public health debate topics, Government policies and business interests all merge together in the different circles and committees that make up the texture of your medical college or organisation. 

Beyond the politics, you know that you need an effective online presence that helps you fulfil your mission. So let’s first look at an inspiring example before we unpack the success factors of websites for societies and healthcare organisations.

What your members really want

membership marketing

You could say that part of your mission when you build, use or replace your medical website as a college, is to give value to your members. 

Yes, we know that many of them pay the annual fee because they want to attend your amazing conferences and in a post-covid world they are craving face-to-face meetings with peers.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Leading colleges, societies and medical organisations know that in the digital era we expect more. The society as a brand becomes the voice of the industry, representing everything that is going on, and bringing content from one group of stakeholders to another."

Your members want to know that you – as a medical college or society – represent their interests. Now of course different stakeholders have different perspectives and that is where the organisation needs guidance, to present information in an effective way. 

Membership marketing starts with mapping the key interests of your members, so you can make a content plan for the membership section, which is password protected and gives your members a sense of ‘unique value’, whether it’s education or access to relevant documents that help them do their job even better.

How your website is a sponsorship magnet

medical sponsorship marketing

If you work in medical sponsorship marketing, you will often find yourself walking a thin line.
When academia and business meet, there is still the set of Government guidelines to be aware of and then we have your members. 

In this dance between the 4 main parties, your website can become a key instrument to generate value and connect all corners of your industry.

The powerful multimedia formats you can use on your medical society website are:

  • Expert interviews: In the hybrid-events era, streaming some of your workshops, conventions or seminars on a dedicated page provides extra value. From here, you can also stream dedicated mini-events such as opinion leader interviews. Leveraging the reputation and profile of your top experts, you can distribute information to your target audience. The streams can be facilitated by an industry partner.
  • Documentary: In times when video content remains the most powerful information standard on the internet, using short documentary reels to discuss medical topics is a highly effective way to connect audiences: academics, doctors, researchers, sponsors and members.
  • eBooks & White Papers: Expert knowledge packaged in an electronic download allows you to distribute not just the information, but also creates an opportunity to add an introduction or additional documents or videos, presenting the scientific or clinical information in a package with information from an industry partner.

The key to unleashing the full power of medical sponsorship marketing is a new mindset: Rather than looking at websites for societies as digital static brochures, consider them your 24/7 live channel to the community.

websites for societies

The roadmap to effective media relations

medical media coverage

Medical media coverage is often not the ideal coverage you would want as an industry body or a medical society. The clickbait and sensationalism focus of broadcast and online media makes it easier to go for a big headline that talks about conflict or drama than to talk about progress. 

So what can you do to make your online presence work for you as a college?

Having a media section that is up-to-standards is step one. It hosts essential information, and contact details of leading experts you want to represent our industry when the news needs a spokesperson. This ‘media corner’ would also contain quick ‘fact kids’ for journos who are not typically experts in your specialty area so you can bring them up to speed in no time.

We also recommend offering a set of pre-edited high-quality video clips that can be used to assemble a story. Why? Because if you don’t do this, you have no control over the vision or footage that will be associated with the story of the day, and in this scenario, you are offering a quick and easy solution.

It’s good to have a mini-studio set up available where your most important key experts live, so in case of a media situation, you can offer good sound and light conditions, position your expert nicely and use a stable and fast internet connection and a Zoom link to stream directly into the news program. If you’re unsure about how to do this, book a free 1:1 Session and we can help you create an effective setup to be more in control of the medical media coverage that occurs in your niche.

Pitfalls to avoid as a medical society

digital assistance for medical

The biggest obstacle relates to how we perceive digital communication. Because the expansion of the internet is still very young, all things online are often just seen as IT: information technology or a technical skillset linked to programming, or setting up computers and installing software. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"The biggest for doctors and scientists is to just delegate their entire communication architecture to a technical team, without looking at the effects that are expected of this communication. In other words, don’t think about IT, think about your communication strategy."

That is why we built our whole agency around digital assistance for medical stakeholders on a number of essential skillsets that you need to achieve your goals:

  • Medical journalism: The skill to analyse, organise and publish medical information. In the case of Digital Practice, our target audience is defined by other doctors, industry stakeholders, healthcare executives or the consumer/patient.
  • Medical SEO: Search engine optimisation has long been considered a technical job that consisted of creating links from one website to another, to rank higher on Google. In 2022, the level of clarity we have about Google’s algorithms allows us to work on great content, simply because good content is Google’s highest priority.
  • Medical website design: Believe it or not, communicating with people who are looking into a health-related topic are in a totally different mood compared to when they order a new refrigerator. To cut through the noise, we want to build trust and rapport. Information is organised across the pages, the way colours, graphics, fonts and images are combined with customised copy for the specific target audience you want to reach.
Let's meet

Let’s talk about your society

medical society marketing

If you need help with medical society marketing or a communication strategy to support your healthcare organisation, why not start with an obligation-free strategy session? We can also help you with rebranding or repositioning your organisation to your members, or revamping your current website and social media channels.

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