A medical tourism content marketing strategy includes a planning and synthesis process to help you scale content and marketing across regions. Content is created, not to profit from the content, but to attract and retain customers.
Eighty percent of buyers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Seventy percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, and sixty percent say that company content helps them make better product decisions.
– Roper Public Affairs
Physicians, clinics, dialysis centers that can service medical tourism patients, and others who want to maximize their chances for a successful medical tourism pilot project must plan and implement a strategy for cross-regional content marketing. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered many doctors, hospitals, and clinic executives that are so out of touch with reality or the culture of their medical tourism prospect base that they don’t know just how broken some of their business processes and marketing efforts are.
When you have a question or a problem, where do you go for the answer?
Probably Google or some other search engine.
A touch or swipe of a handheld device is now an instant gateway to human knowledge and interaction that expands your medical tourism business outside of your country. To market medical tourism services, think more about telling your unique story, and less about selling empty beds for cheaper prices, idle technology, excess capacity and surgical procedures.
Content – In medical tourism content marketing, content includes videos, blogs, images, white papers, coupons, PDF pamphlets and brochures, forms, flyers, and newsletters. It includes anything that transfers meaningful information to humans.
To deploy a global medical tourism content strategy with any hope of effectiveness requires editing for language, culture, and idiomatic translation and must be written in a way that is relevant and adjusted to how consumers in the targeted source market process information.
Maria K Todd, MHA PhD
“Student Lecture on Medical Tourism Marketing”
Seoul National University – Korea (2009)
Global Medical Tourism Content Marketing – The process of developing and sharing that which is relevant, valuable, and engages your targeted audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing and past customers.
Your medical tourism content marketing strategy must include a plan of action to use content to continually engage your audience, from first content, and continuing on throughout the entire customer life cycle. The medical tourism content marketer’s job is to create passionate subscribers to your medical tourism brand, not to create “customers”. Once the audience is built and captured, the magic begins.
Cutting through the clutter
Your potential medical tourism patients are exposed to more than 5,000 marketing messages per day. Are your messages cutting through the clutter and making an impact? How do you know?
Over 50% of cell phone owners engage in content on their cell phones while they watch video or television content. this means that even though your customers are being inundated with content 24/7, the can and do let messages through that they want and need.
– Pew Internet Survey
Most medical tourism providers market their services and products through social media and the Internet. In social media marketing, the center of gravity is located within the social networks themselves. They place their advertisements and blog posts within the social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other similar networks. Medical tourism sales facilitators attempt to do the same thing. So if this is the best way to proceed, why hasn’t it worked?
The centers of gravity for content marketing are the medical tourism suppliers’ websites, whether it is a branded website (MercuryAdvisoryGroup.com) or a micro site (like this one) for a brand’s specific product. Social networks are vital to the success of your medical tourism content marketing, but they serve as a distributor of links back to the content on your website, not as containers of the content itself. This mistake in strategy and execution is repeated time and time again by medical tourism suppliers who have not developed content or a website or micro site designed specifically for this purpose.
Content marketing is a natural winner for medical tourism doctors, clinics and hospitals, and national or regional tourism boards. Integrated efforts that combine social media marketing and content marketing are a revolutionary way for every stakeholder and each medical tourism brand to communicate directly with prospects and nurture them toward a lead conversion or purchase without the need or cost of media industry and facilitator sales agencies. In short, the winners in medical tourism are those suppliers and destinations that can quickly launch an effective medical tourism content marketing strategy aimed at communicating with an engaged, targeted audience.
If you don’t know enough about your global medical tourism target audience, its personas, interests, and cultural norms, your global medical tourism content marketing efforts will produce poor results or none at all, despite all the effort and expense you put forth to create it. Medical tourism suppliers and stakeholders must complete the required internal and field research before rushing to market content across the Internet.
Maria K Todd, MHA PhD
“Development a Medical Tourism Marketing Plan”
EMTEC, Venice Italy (2010)
While there is an appropriate time for informative and beautifully designed sales collateral, feature and benefit marketing, and customer testimonials about why your medical tourism services are so awesome, Those should be used when prospects are ready to buy. For the other 99% of the time, when your customers are curious about you, you must have a well-developed and effective content marketing strategy.
Why bother with content marketing?
Your customers and prospects don’t care about you, your accreditation status, your fancy technology, and your world-renowned doctors. They care about themselves, their fears, their desires, and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.
Maria K Todd, MHA PhD
Marketing Tips & Techniques for Medical Tourism
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2012)
Most people don’t want to feel like they are being “sold” on your medical tourism services. Instead of pitching your products and services, tourism attractions, and your cheaper price comparisons, deliver the kind of information that the prospective patients, employers, insurers, the media, and referral sources more intelligent decisions or entertain them to build an emotional connection with your brand. Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers, prospects, and referral sources without selling.
You can use four medical tourism content marketing techniques to accomplish this:
- You can inform and help your customers and prospects live healthier lives, ameliorate pain and suffering, calm their fears, and help them find answers.
- You can also choose to entertain them and build emotional connections with heartwarming videos, stories, anecdotes about the outcomes of your treatments and services.
- You can develop self-serving or promotional content that is lackluster and doesn’t move the needle in your favor or create any distinction with a high likelihood that it will be ignored by your customers and referral sources because it doesn’t meet their needs.
- You can spend money on traditional marketing and paid advertising, traditional direct mail, conference stands and public relations agencies. While there’s nothing wrong with these activities, an effective medical tourism content marketing strategy will bring you better results and higher turnover.