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.

Examples:

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.

Finally:

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!

Viral Marketing Creative Ideas – Pet Carriers

This could not have worked out more perfectly for what I am about to post.  I was just checking my email and received a viral marketing question from a reader who sells Pet Carriers.  She was asking me what she could come up with that would be a good viral marketing post and wanted some ideas for some good content that would do well.  heh

Here is why I am so giddy about this.  Just before I left for my trip to Disneyland, my son was out in our garage and he was messing around with our cats pet carrier.  I went ahead and took out the old iPhone and snapped some shots knowing that it would be good material for a later date.  Remember this is me, the guy who can’t think about anything without trying to find a way to turn int viral.  Here are the pictures I snapped:

Here he is investigating (you can see the wheels turning huh)
Here he is investigating (you can see the wheels turning huh)
Hmm, this looks like a cool place
Hmm, this looks like a cool place
As you can see he was quite pleased with himself
As you can see he was quite pleased with himself

Now you can see why I was so happy to get asked this question!  When I took these pictures I was thinking to myself – These would do well for a person who wanted a viral marketing idea for pet carriers, and the title I would give it is:  “Well Thats One Use Of A Pet Carrier“, or “What To Do With Your Kids When They Are Out Of Control” and my favorite is you could find other funny things that people have done with Pet Carriers and title it “10 Uses Of Pet Carriers The Manufacturer Never Intended”

Some other funny ideas that I had came from my other experienced with Cats and pet carriers.  I would love to see crazy insaine Cats that don’t like to be put in carriers.  I had this one Cat that was like the Tasmanian Devil when you tried to get her into one of them carriers – it seriously was the only time I liked that Cat.  It was so funny to watch that thing freak out.  I would love a top 10 video post including videos like that with the title: “10 Of The Craziest Cats You Will Ever See Caught On Video” or “10 Cats You Never Want To Get Near”

I think you see where I would take this, but hopefully this gives you some more ideas where you could go with content.  With all the talk more and more about quality content and information on your site in order to get links instead of having to buy them, this would be your ticket to great content, leading lots of people talking and linking to your site.   That is the whole point of a viral marketing campagin in getting people talking about your site, sharing it with others and linking.  Generating that buzz that you need to help make your site more popular.

I think one of the most important keys to creating quality content, as well as viral campaigns is to make sure you are always thinking and paying attention to things around you.  What kind of information would you like to read, what kind of stories would make you laugh and make you want to share with others.  That is why I take a picture of anything that strikes me as funny, or why I am always writing my ideas down when I think I have some good ideas for content.  You have to think about it and be creative and make it happen.  It is not just going to fall into your lap.