Dear Health Care providers:
We make magazines. Media and communications – that’s our thing. Even so, what I’ll always remember most about this job is the day that patient called me for medical advice.
“Sir, I am not qualified to help you,” I said and tried to direct him toward the qualified resources, but the truth is I was shocked. Something really big had just happened. A member of the public was calling me, a magazine publisher – okay, a medical magazine publisher – but the public was calling me to get the scoop on the doctors in our magazine.
A dozen questions bounced around my head. How did he get my number? What did he really hope to get from me? MD-UPDATE is read by doctors in Kentucky’s referral networks – a network not exactly brimming with laypeople. So, how did he find us?
“He must have googled one of our doctors and found a story in our archives,” I thought. He must of dialed the number published in the masthead. He certainly wasn’t looking for me, and maybe he wasn’t even looking for a particular doctor. He probably just wanted help with a condition or symptom he was experiencing – but he asked Google and Google only knows how to find answers from other experts. Media experts in particular. And that’s when I had it. The Big Aha.
I realized that local folks were googling their medical conditions, and they were getting served up our back issues as answers. I looked up the data on our web server, where I published back issues for our readers’ convenience, and the confirmation was absolute. Over 80% of our site traffic came from organic search (people asking Google for answers), and almost no one bounced (meaning they liked what they found). They needed medical care, and we had the doctors. It was exhilarating, like I had discovered tides. On the spot, I turned my attention to making the most of this amazing power and directing it toward the benefit of our readers, our doctors and their patients. What was happening was good, but it could really be something great. It could be a real service to our community -getting MD-UPDATE out to the public so they could know what we know about finding great doctors and navigating healthcare.
You know good things don’t happen overnight, and for me it has been a two year journey to match the right technology with our size and capacity as independent media. There are also the high ethical and aesthetic standards to meet. But it has finally happened. We have developed a brand new MD-UPDATE.COM to make sure that you are there when patients are looking.
Doctors always ask us: How can I get patients to see the story MD-UPDATE did on my practice? The reprint, the classic in business media, is exceedingly popular with grateful patients. But I think doctors are asking for more. I think the question is “How can MD-UPDATE perform to the standards of inbound marketing that gets doctors discovered on the Internet?”
This is a great time for media. Our dreams of just a few years ago – of being there when patients searched – those dreams where shaped by the technologies witnessed in big media, and in just a few short years they have become available to independent publishers like us. Not yet “standard,” it is still an exclusive club to manage the resourses and reputation required to succeed online. But we’ve never compromised there.
Over the next several issues, we will introduce you to MD-UPDATE ONLINE MARKETING, a dedicated inbound marketing service for physicians who want to be there when Google calls. A service to simplify physician-to-consumer marketing. Watch these pages for info on how to get started.
Before I sign off, I have an important favor to ask of you. If you want to reach highly-qualified healthcare consumers online and you choose to use our services at MD-UPDATE.COM, then please sign up early! We have an October launch date, and you will want your story there when we promote the new site to the public.
Until then! Yours in cyberspace,
DOCTORS ALWAYS ASK US: HOW CAN I GET PATIENTS TO SEE THE STORY MD-UPDATE DID ON MY PRACTICE?
Megan Campbell Smith, MD-UpDate Digital publisher firstname.lastname@example.org