Why Your Experts are Key to Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Coming up with innovative PR campaign ideas and swanky link building strategies for a healthcare brand is a pretty daunting task, especially given that some healthcare industries are not the most naturally entertaining. What’s more, these campaigns can often be a significant investment, and perhaps not the most cost-effective in this niche.

The good news is these show-stopping campaigns really don’t need to be integral to the healthcare digital marketing strategy. So, whether it’s a national pharmacy group with locations all over the country, a small dental surgery based in Leeds or a global head lice treatment provider, brands can finally stop scratching their heads (excuse the pun) thinking of the best way to go about a digital PR strategy.

How can healthcare professionals be involved in a digital marketing strategy?

Whether part of a healthcare company’s marketing team or representing one in the industry, the healthcare professionals themselves can often be a secret weapon.  Every day in the UK and overseas, Healthcare journalists are looking for experts to comment on topics they’re publishing stories about. This could be to corroborate or reflect on new data published in the field, give advice on a new internet trend claiming to cure an illness, or help increase awareness of lesser-known symptoms of certain conditions.

All a brand’s expert has to do is provide their expert opinion.

How do expert comments improve performance of healthcare company websites?

Open Google News and search for the name of any condition, medicine or symptom, followed by “expert”, and take a look at the articles that appear. As you’ll see, any time a journalist uses a quote from a medical professional, they provide credit. This can take a few different forms, all of which are excellent for increasing brand awareness.

If a journalist uses an expert’s quote, they’ll credit it by providing their name, role and often, the company they’re part of. These are what’s known as a brand mentions and are something we know Google recognises as an important factor in their algorithm. Meaning the more of these your brand has, the better.

Here’s an example of a healthcare expert comment featured in a Daily Express article on the topic of Swine Flu:

Another excellent outcome when it comes to expert comments, is journalists and publications providing a link to the brand’s website in order to properly cite the expert and show that they’re a reputable source of information. This backlink may point to either the brand’s homepage, or a dedicated bio page that’s been created for the expert (we would always recommend creating bio pages for any experts whose comments you pitch out).

Backlinks from reputable sources are highly regarded by search engines, contributing significantly to a website’s ranking. These links will not only help drive direct traffic to a healthcare company’s website, but also signal to search engines that the site is a reliable and authoritative source within the niche.

Which industries or experts would this be suitable for?

The great thing about expert comments in healthcare is that there’s so much opportunity. Most days, Space & Time will receive requests from journalists looking for a wide range of medical professionals. Here are just a few:

• Nutritionists and dieticians
• Pharmacists
• GPs
• Dentists, Audiologists, Opticians
• Dermatologists
• Sexual health professionals
• Beauticians, hairstylists, cosmetic surgeons
• Other specialists – infectious disease specialists, oncologists, cardiologists, neurologists, gynaecologists, etc

Here’s an example of a Qwoted request from Men’s Health magazine:

How to get a brand’s healthcare professionals featured in the news

One of the best ways of finding out about new expert comment opportunities is to subscribe to a journalist enquiry service. I’ve used many of these over the years, and found them all to be useful in different ways. Some are more suited to US-based brands, whilst others are more heavily focussed on lifestyle press, etc. But overall, these are some of my favourites

• Response Source
• Qwoted
• Editorielle
• Dot Star Media

One Thing to Note

A really important thing to note with this type of reactive PR is that it’s extremely competitive and fast paced. For every single request a journalist puts out, they’ll likely receive 10s or 100s of responses, and they don’t have time to open every single one, never mind reply to them. That’s why you’ll need to craft high-quality, tailored subject lines, and pitch your response ASAP to successfully grab a journalist’s attention. Deadlines are extremely tight when it comes to these types of requests, and they can come in at any time of day – so it’s very much an ‘always-on’ type of activity.

Healthcare SEO and Digital PR experts

Reactive PR such as this is a whirlwind, but the good news is, we do it every day. At Space & Time we have a dedicated Expert Comment Team on hand at all times to monitor incoming expert comment requests, craft high quality responses and liaise with the relevant clients and journalists to get our brands featured in the press.

If you’re not quite ready to pay for these services just yet or are worried about missing out on opportunities from platforms other than the one you’re subscribed to, our Digital PR and Expert Comment Team can help.

If you’d like to find out more or see some examples of our work on expert comments, email [email protected]