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What do Star Wars, zombies, and medical doctors have in common? Unless the topic is science fiction, not much — until Dr. Zubin Damania (aka ZDoggMD) came along and started a buzz from his YouTube channel.

Dr. Damania has received hundreds of thousands of visits to his YouTube channel, where he blends his knowledge of medicine and patient care with clever pop culture parodies, songs, and monologues. His video about the physical evaluation and its place in modern medicine was also a great opportunity to showcase his Yoda impression.

It’s infotainment! And it’s also smart marketing.

Finding a Voice

Traditionally, formal industries such as healthcare have offered little opportunity to incorporate humor, satire, and other effective tools to advocate a brand. This may be for good reason; matters of health and wellness are not often considered humorous to either patients or the doctors treating them. Still, when analyzing the online popularity of Dr. Damania, it becomes apparent that there is room for creativity, even in serious industries. The question at this point becomes, is this kind of popularity useful?

If I were considering a new general practitioner, and I stumbled across a video of a physician doing a rap parody about life as a hospital doctor — I’m probably giving this guy a call to schedule a physical exam. A patient considering physicians for a rhinoplasty or breast augmentation surgery might not find the same value from these forms of promotion. Finding the right balance for your medical practice is important.

Be Part of the Conversation

The point of Dr. Damania’s efforts are to make a personal connection in a more sterile space. Engaging in social media does not have to be limited to those with editing tools and punchy scripts, however. Sometimes a simple blog extension can go a long way to help a doctor make a personal connection with a visitor. Another useful content strategy is addressing common concerns potential patients might have upon visiting the brand’s website.

A person generally expects a certain level of promotional content from a brand website. But there are ways to make a brand stand out among the others, even if the assets amount to a single website. One option for surgeons in the elective healthcare niche is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. These pages can feature real questions asked by patients and provide the brand with an opportunity to engage with their audience in a way that is both informative and authentic.

Conclusions

Online promotion and generating buzz about a brand is a process that is unique to each practice. It should also be unique to the key personalities behind the brand. For ZDoggMD, leveraging his playful and creative persona has helped him achieve a certain level of “e-fame.” For Dr. Mahmood Kara, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, an informative FAQ page has helped keep his consultation schedule busy. Medicine may not be the sexiest industry, but Lindsey Plocek, marketing manager at Crowdtap, has 3 core principles that can help those who are seeking to generate brand advocates:

  • Develop participatory systems.
  • Give people a mission beyond a product or service.
  • Join in on the conversation.

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