Between the need to see more and more patients and the increasing demands of paperwork, the idea of setting aside time to write educational information for patients or professional content for colleagues may seem ludicrous. Lack of time may truly be the biggest roadblock for the neurologist who wants to create digital content to help build their neurology practice. But in today’s online world, digital content is marketing currency. It can be shared on your website, and on social media channels to connect with potential patients and referring physicians. Marketing simply doesn’t happen without digital content any more.
The good news is there is a secret you can use to help you create content without consuming too much of that precious time. That secret is repurposing content.
Why Should You Repurpose Content?
Even if you love creating all-new content, don’t overlook the treasure trove of existing material you can use and reuse.
When you repurpose content, you are extending all of your hard work and allowing it to do a second job—market your medical practice. Whether content is new or repurposed it serves two important functions:
First, it helps those who are looking for what you offer. Whether your audience consists of patients looking for a new physician, or other physicians looking for a specialist to refer their patients to, your content sends a message about who you are and why they want to connect with you in some way.
Second, it helps Google figure out who you are and what you do. Like it or not, the reality of growing a medical practice today includes search engines. When you create new content or repurpose old content, Google and other search engines see it. That content helps their algorithms figure out who you are so you show up in the proper Google search results.
No Content to Repurpose? Think Again
You are probably thinking that since you haven’t found time to create content, you certainly can’t repurpose what you don’t have. The trick here is to realize that you actually have created content already. You do it every single day.
Have you written up a case report? That’s content. Take that content and edit it for a new audience. Or create an introduction and share it on social media with a link to the published report.
Have you presented at a medical society or specialty meeting? That’s a gold mine of content you can use. Have your talk transcribed and use it to create a series on LinkedIn, or tweet key takeaway points for your Twitter followers.
One of the best sources of content is available to you all day every day. When you find yourself explaining a diagnosis or treatment to a patient, hit record on your phone. Have your explanation transcribed, and after a few edits you’ve got excellent patient education content to share on your website.
In short, simply think about all the times you’ve written or talked about cases, studies, conditions, treatments, or symptoms. Over the course of your career you’ve probably already created quite a collection of excellent medical content. You just have to start thinking about it that way so you can use it to help build your practice.
Repurposed Content Can be Much More Than a Blog Post
Blog posts are valuable ways of publishing content that you have created. They keep your content in a central location that you own. But don’t overlook other opportunities to publish your great ideas.
Podcasting is experiencing tremendous growth right now, but it’s still relatively simple to get a podcast up and running. Make a quick recording, upload it and you’ve got a podcast. Of course podcasting can be much more elaborate, but it doesn’t have to be.
YouTube is everyone’s favorite go-to to learn just about anything. Why not help people learn about their health condition by recording the very explanation you give to your patients when they come to see you?
Specialty publications lend authority and credibility to your work. If you’ve already written something, it doesn’t take a lot more effort to submit it for publication.
There is really no limit to the creative ways you can repurpose your content, and no one is stopping you from doing it. Just a little strategic thinking, and the work you’ve already done can keep providing a return for you.
Once You’ve Repurposed, Share it!
Now that you’ve created the content, get it out there so it’s consumed. The best way to figure out which channels are best for sharing your content is to think about where your audience is. Are you looking to get attention from patients, referring physicians, or someone else altogether? Think about where they might consume content:
- Fellow physicians are most likely to find content on LinkedIn or through certain healthcare hashtags on Twitter. Write a short introduction and share a link on these platforms.
- Patients, like it or not, are probably on Facebook. So be sure you are sharing on your Facebook page. But don’t overlook other avenues for reaching patients. For example, local publications often need writers, and many of them send their magazines out to every home in the area.
Marketing a neurology practice requires a lot more today than simply hanging out a shingle. Being strategic about how you do it will allow you to protect your time to use it where it really matters—caring for your patients.