Continued medical education (CME) can be a challenge for physicians experiencing burnout. The idea of tackling one more commitment sounds like an impossible task. From the perspective of an association offering CME, there are also unique challenges. With so many options on the market, it can be hard for you to stand out. A strong marketing strategy must have a good product behind it, get your course in front of the right doctors and add real value to physicians' knowledge base.
So, how do you effectively market CME to physicians? Here are five ways to reinvent your marketing plan to meet modern demands and attract the right physicians your way.
1. Reassess Your Course Offerings
The first step to marketing your product is giving it an honest assessment. If you're not offering what physicians need, you'll have a much harder time selling it to them. Do surveys via newsletter or dive into research about industry trends. Could your programs be revamped to make them more appealing? Are you offering CME that relates to the year's hottest topics or ignoring trends?
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2. Cultivate a Strong Profile of Your Target Market
If you're not putting your course descriptions in front of the right eyes, all of your work is for naught. That's why creating defined profiles of who you're targeting is so important. For instance, programs aimed at local physicians will get most mileage when marketed to family physicians. Two-day programs should be marketed to specialists who are willing to invest more time in their training. Market segmentation is key to any strategy.
3. Develop a Content Marketing Plan
Use white papers and other meaningful content to sell your CME offerings. Good content can't be produced on the fly; develop a content calendar and an editorial strategy. Good content also leads to good SEO, which in turn earns your website organic traffic. A necessary element of any marketing plan is figuring out how you'll get your audience to trust you, and a solid canon of informative content goes a long way toward that goal.
4. Tap Into the Power of Social Media
Encourage physicians to follow you on social media for deadlines, industry news and other important information. Social media is a good place to connect with doctors because they often check their profiles during down time when they have time to click around. Not sure where to begin with a social media strategy? The content options are nearly endless. Create an editorial calendar filled with quizzes, CME questions pulled from your own product, industry news, photos of previous trainings and more.
5. Utilize Mobile Methods
If your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're in trouble. Mobile marketing is a must. Seventy-four percent of doctors not only have a smartphone or tablet, but use it for professional purposes. Offering mobile CME signup and/or course completion will attract modern physicians. Once your mobile site is up and running, use mobile ads to target your ideal physicians.
Doctors need CME to maintain their license, but that doesn't mean you have a captive audience to sell your course to. Physicians have options and they expect convenience. Any marketing plan with a chance of succeeding must use mobile channels, incorporate social media and rely on quality content over dry sales pitches.