Viral Marketing Ideas For Physician Offices

During SMX West 2009 Andy did a great job live blogging the sessions he attended, and a comment came through on one of the posts he did asking for ideas, or “out-of-the-box” marketing tactics that could work for physicians offices:

Creative Marketing Tactics for Physician Offices?  I would like to know of any creative “out-of-the-box” marketing tactics that anyone has used when marketing services to physician offices, medical facilities, etc.  Thanks in advance.

Here goes: The thing you must realize about viral marketing ideas in regards to any specific business is that it does not have to be a perfect match.  Services that a physician offers in itself is not the kind of content that is worthy of “going viral”.

The First Step: Research – I would suggest doing some research on some of the major social media websites like Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit and Twitter (for starters) for stories related to the industry that may have gone popular, caused some buzz, got a ton of votes or gotten a lot of re-tweets.  Let me give you an example from Digg first.  If you go to Digg and do a search for something related to physicians, you will start to see the kind of stories that do well.  Also pay attention to the arrows.  You will notice most of the stories that have done well are in the “health” category and this should give you some great ideas for what kind of stories you could come up with.  I would also pay attention to the up and coming inside the health category.  Many times you will find amazing stories that never hit the front page of Digg, but are really link worthy and can well for the over all health of your site in regards to links.

Using Digg For Research
Using Digg For Research

Lets take a look next at Stumble Upon:  You can search on Stumbe Upon the same way – you can find it through the people that have tagged sites under “Physicians” and many other variations including health, but this again, should give you a better idea about the kind of stories that are doing well on Stumble Upon.

Research on Stumble Upon
Research on Stumble Upon

You can research Reddit pretty much the same way as the above two examples, but its more important to see the kind content that has done well on Reddit.  You will start to notice as you are doing research how certain sites refer different types of content etc.  The better of a job you do getting the specific kind of content the users like and are looking for, the better your campaigns will do.

Here is how I would research for ideas on Twitter.  I would first go to Twitter Search and again, type in my keywords:  In this screenshot I did a search for Physicians and I put arrows next to the ones that Have an RT, or R/T or r/t (retweet) means they liked it so much they wanted to share it with everyone who is following them.  This gives some kind of an indication of what people may be looking for, or what may be better content.

Research on Twitter
Research on Twitter

Second Step – Figure out to make the research work for you.  You do not want to copy what other people have done, but you can take ideas and do everything you can to come up with something that will bring value and benefit readers.  So the above Twitter example showed social networking links for physicians – what if you came up with an article talking about “The Top 10 Social Networking Resources For Physicians” this would also be great for you to explore and get better because it is your industry too, so its a win-win.


I was thinking a physicians office could really take advantage of Twitter by offering “daily tips” to keep away the flu this season, or “helpful hints” on what to do to stop the common cold, or what to do to make it end quicker.  They could also use it to promote their office by having a “$10 Dollar Twitter ONLY Flu Shot Day” or something similar.  There are so many ways to take advantage of these networks its crazy!

Once you get into this, and I mean really get into this – the ideas really will start flowing.  If you are not a great writer then you can hire someone to help you out with editing etc.  Make sure you double check everything and do everything you can to make the content your own and unique.  If you are doing this, and providing something of value it will be picked up on these sites, and people will link to it.  People link to good content – its that simple.  You just had to figure out how and what kind to get in front of them.


Think about this – I have a buddy who use to be a professional rollar-blader and has shared a story with me many times about an accident on a rail, and one of his (lets call it) “boys” got smashed and swelled up to the size of a grapefruit – Can you imagine the look on the physicians face when he saw that?  Everytime my friend tells the story I am all ears and laugh my arce off – so if this does not give you even more ideas of what you could do, then I don’t know what will??

With the proper research, you will be able to find something that will work and go viral in the physicians industry.  I hope this answers the question to the person who asked it, but if you have any other questions, or if anyone else has some ideas for this industry then please feel free to comment and share with everyone!

Thoughts On StumbeUpon Advertising Program?

Stumble Upon Advertising Program
Stumble Upon Advertising Program

I got an email a few days ago (as I am sure anyone who has used the StumbleUpon Ads did) talking about features, and new enhancements to come with the SU advertising program in 2009.  Here is part of the email sent:

More Reasons to Start a New Campaign More traffic to your website

* More traffic than ever: The StumbleUpon community continues to grow—Stumbling over 4 billion times in 2008 and actively viewing Websites—including yours!

* Improved Advertiser Resources: New detailed information on how to use StumbleUpon to drive paid and organic traffic to your site, including a Top 5 tips for Advertising on StumbleUpon.

* More Advertising enhancements coming later this spring: Increased targeting capabilities, enhanced reporting and even more control in driving a targeted, pre-qualified audience to your Website.

I share this because I would like to hear from other people their thoughts on the StumbeUpon advertising program?

My Successes:

I have had great success with it as far as gaining readers and subscribers to blogs, but other then that I have not found a better use.  It also has its obvious uses for getting the word out, generating buzz and gaining links, which in turn helps out the SEO of course.  The reason I think its one of the best sources for gaining new subscribers to your blog is because it can be super targeted and you can hit just the right audience.  I can honestly say that I have made money from the SU ads to, because I have had people that have bought product tell me they first heard about the product via Stumble Upon.  Granted that does not happen a lot, but I thought it was worth sharing.

I will keep using it to get the word out about blogs I am promoting, and finding a good reader base, but other then that, my use of the program ends there.  Any other uses or ideas that you guys have experienced?  I would love to hear about them.