You spend a lot of time and resources creating the best CME courses and events that you can. However, all of this effort goes to waste if you don't know how to reach your audience correctly. Marketing is one of the most important skills you can have as a CME provider.
Use this ultimate guide and get more medical professionals to register for your courses and show up to your events.
What Value Do You Bring to the Table?
You need to answer this question with a more thorough answer than, "Because the medical professionals need to stay on top of their CME credits." While that's the motivating factor for many participants, it doesn't help you stand out from other CME providers.
Think about what you do differently, how that improves the lives of medical professionals, and the messaging you can use to convey this in your marketing materials.
Do you use innovative training methods that help doctors retain more information while reducing the time in class? Do you provide extras that your competition overlooks? These questions and others will help you address this area.
You should use these differential variables in your marketing tactics. Make sure you point out these differences in your emails, graphics, blogs, and other content.
What are Your Goals?
Secondly, determine your goals. Do you want more conference attendees? Do you want more product downloads? Or, maybe it's simply more people getting to your website. For each goal, determine a list of tactics you'll need to take to reach that goal and assign them to a timeline. Check in periodically to ensure your tactics are working and how they relate to your end goal.
Whom are You Trying to Reach?
You don't want to get the attention of every single medical professional in the world. Make a list of characteristics that you commonly see in your audience. What are their average ages, the position they hold at their practices, and the challenges they face?
Put that together in a profile and keep these ideal clients in mind for every campaign. We call these things, personas. As you get more information about your current and past clients, make sure to flesh this document out further.
Invest in and Repurpose Content
One of the easiest and most cost effective marketing tactics is creating content. Content builds trust and relationships with your audience. If written well and consistently, it establishes you as an industry expert. Relationships are extremely important for CME providers.
The typical customer-company relationship is not present for CME companies. You have a different connection to the medical professionals that work with you to fulfill their CME requirements. A long-term, positive relationship must be your primary focus, as your clients have the potential to come back every year for the life of their career.
Once you have your audience, goals, and other key topics defined, apply this information to all areas of your marketing collateral. Make sure all of your messaging reflects your goals and desired audience.
Concentrate first on being helpful rather than pushing for course or event sign-ups. Get to know them and provide value through resources and other input. Once you have a few pieces of content, determine multiple ways to use it.
Here are a few ideas for how to create and reuse content throughout the year:
- Start a blog with interesting stories from your membership or organization.
- Use questions from old course assessments as trivia questions on social media.
- Research fun facts about your specific industry for social media or blog posts.
- Reuse information from your newsletter on your blog.
- Reuse information on your blog in an email campaign.
- Use your committee members as resources for blog posts, social media ideas, enewsletters, email campaigns, and more.
- Use content from workshops on your blog or email campaigns.
- Use abstracts, and with permission, turn them into a slideshare to promote an upcoming meeting.
- Reuse educational material from a past meeting, course, or other CME activity.
- Fun facts and travel information on the next meeting site.
- The list goes on-and-on!
Use Multi-Channel Marketing
In today's digital age, your marketing strategies are going to need to span a few different channels. This doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. Again, use the content you already have on a few different marketing platforms. For example, if you send out a newsletter, break it apart into bite-sized pieces and use that on your social media channels.
Look for ways to mix in other avenues, such as social profiles, retargeted ads, collaborations, and more. Not every channel is going to work out for you, but this testing period helps you hone in on the right combination.
The One Golden Rule: Consistency
No matter what you include in your CME marketing campaigns, you have one element that's universal: consistency. Consistency helps you build those valuable relationships and prove yourself as a reliable CME provider. You create the necessary trust to bring medical professionals back to your courses year after year.
Scaling Your CME Marketing Efforts
Once you find the CME marketing options that work best for your organization, it's time to scale. Go through your existing strategy and look for opportunities to get rid of inefficiency. Marketing automation tools offer an excellent way to help you build up your audience without requiring more resources than you have to spare.
NEXT STEPS: 8 Marketing Ideas for Promoting CME Events
Let medical professionals see exactly what you have to offer when you make marketing work for you. Your classes will fill up, and your events will sell out once you optimize your efforts.