Marketing to Radiologists: The Ultimate Guide

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Radiologist holding up a chest x-ray at a desk

As of January 2020, less than 50% of healthcare professionals were considered accessible to sales reps, down from 80% in 2008.  And radiologists are no exception. Since COVID-19, less than 20% of practices—radiology included—have resumed visits, according to Medscape. 

Accessibility to radiologist specialties has been decreasing more and more, which makes marketing to them increasingly difficult. However, thanks to digital advertising mediums, marketers can use cost-efficient, targeted, and high-impact touchpoints to nurture their prospect pool and existing client relationships. 

As an award-winning healthcare marketing agency, we’re no strangers to employing unique strategies. (We even wrote an ebook packed with ideas and tactics on the subject.) This extensive guide shares our tried-and-tested methods for reaching radiologists in our increasingly digital age. 

Current Radiology Marketing Trends To Watch

The biggest mistake we see in marketing to radiologists is treating them like robots instead of people. They want things to be more straightforward and approachable, just like the rest of us. These are some trends marketers should pay attention to.

  1. Increase in digital media consumption. Since the pandemic, 25% of medical professionals said they rely more on digital resources to obtain the information they need, according to Medscape. These digital mediums are more streamlined with their workflow, compared to traditional print or in-person materials. We also see a growth in specialty social networks such as Doximity, where doctors get a lot of their information, so the social advertising efforts need to expand beyond just Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Authenticity is key. There is a strong push for authenticity in both the professional and consumer markets. Even medical professionals are people, and they're looking for someone who is honest and truly stands behind what they market. This is going to be very important in messaging, community management, and sales support going forward. 
  1. Value their expertise. While some medical devices and technologies tout workflow efficiencies or greater precision, the threat of being replaced is very real. Showing how these products aid their work or stretch their hours further to resonate with radiologists better. 
  1. Since everything is changing, you need to test and learn. The most significant trend at this time is that all previous trends are changing. In past campaigns, we have found digital behavior is not always predictable with healthcare brands’ various audiences. Even more so now, testing and learning are critical to maximizing the efficiency of dollars and the impact of messaging. 

Understanding Radiologists and Their Needs with Research Tools

Since change is the name of the game, commissioning a research study can help marketers understand their unique audience of radiologists. Depending on your budget, many options are available. With the right team, social listening is an affordable way to gather by-the-minute information about what radiologists say online. It works by combing the internet of mentions. At Helen & Gertrude, we have in-house data analysts who process all that information and identify the most relevant insights for your brand.

Another way is to develop an online survey with a trusted medical website and organization, like Medscape. While this is a more expensive route, it provides more custom solutions. Your brand can present specific product claims, such as workflow efficiency, cost-saving, or improved patient outcomes, to a wide net of radiologists and hear from them which they care about more. This is an excellent option if you need to refine your messaging or revamp your existing brand. Our Insights and Research team has experience running such projects and can even develop custom studies for marketing pain points, from validating your audience’s motivators to measuring messaging effectiveness.

Developing a Brand That Resonates with Radiologists

Once you’re armed with insights about what radiologists care about, it’s time to develop your brand. Whether you’re launching a new medical device or looking to give an existing one a refresh, it’s important to create a detailed customer persona. 

Portraits of three different medical professionals making eye contact with the camera

Here’s why: Any brand can appeal to all radiologists; however, they fall flat, and their marketing materials feel bland. That’s because, without specificity, a brand can feel generic. Perhaps your brand is especially innovative or partners with the top oncology institutions to develop new products. Those unique details will attract radiologists with similar values and make you stand out from the competition. 

Having a firm grasp of your ideal customer can inform personalized marketing activations, such as a webinar series that features interviews with leading researchers or a sleek online tool showcasing how much practices can save with your product.

Radiologist Marketing Touchpoints You Need to Know

Marketers have many online and in-person touchpoints in which to interact with radiologists every day. We believe it’s essential to have a mix of tactics that balance high awareness and credibility. Both are important, especially when marketing to healthcare professionals. They need to know your product or service is safe and effective to use before they build trust with a new brand. 

Trade shows and medical journals are a natural fit to get in front of the radiology community. For more on-going support, consider sponsoring Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), or American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) programming. Many medical journals also have websites and email newsletters that are ripe for ad placements.

The Social Media Platforms Radiologists Use

According to Media Marketing + Media, nearly 75% of medical professionals across all generations spend up to 10 hours per week on the internet for professional use. They also consume social media similar to the rest of the population, with 61% logging between 1-4 hours per day

Doctor searching the internet on a silver smartphone

Whether they’re on or off the clock, it’s important to consider how and why radiologists use these social platforms. LinkedIn and Twitter are popular sites for staying up-to-date on professional development and networking, whereas Facebook is good for sharing news. However, in their personal lives, they may aimlessly scroll (like the rest of us) to keep up with friends and family. 

Running paid advertisements on all three—depending on your budget and objectives—have merit because it creates mass awareness for your brand. These platforms also reach a wide audience cost-effectively, with the ability to target radiologists based on their interests or self-described job titles, so you can increase the size of your audience as budgets increase.

Marketing to Radiologists on Doximity

Our in-house Media Buying team has run advertisements for many of our medical technology clients with excellent results on Doximity. While the cost is higher than mass reach social media platforms, it offers a refined list of highly engaged and verified medical professionals in various specialties. As of 2020, 4,532 radiologists were on the platform. 

We like the platform because each wave (what they call monthly campaigns) has a certain level of guaranteed engagements. Engagements are defined as anyone who clicks through to long-form content for a certain amount of time. Any additional engagements beyond the guarantee are added value. 

At the end of the month, you receive names, addresses, and activities of anyone who engaged with your post. This allows your team and sales to follow up on an individual level. 

Ad placements are also highly tailored to Doximity's healthcare professional audience. Typically marketers only run one piece of creative, which links out to a case study, white paper, or webinar. So going back to our note about research studies earlier, this is an ideal place to provide radiologists with resources and information they’re eager to read.

Marketing to Radiologists on YouTube

Since 75% of medical professionals say they utilize instructional videos, YouTube provides an opportunity for medical technology brands to show radiologists how to use their products when they’re looking to learn more. We recommend a two-pronged approach. If your marketing team created videos for your website or another initiative, upload them to YouTube along with an SEO-rich description of the video. While the reach may be small, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine next to Google, so your niche radiology audience will find it, if they’re looking for it. 

Lateral x-ray of a healthy left hand making an okay sign

Short 15-second paid advertisements on YouTube within the Google Ads network are also a great way to get in front of your target audience when they’re watching other continuing education videos. TrueView in-stream skippable ads are a cost-effective way to play on the platform because you only pay when users choose to engage with the ad after watching it for five seconds.

Many of our clients have had success commissioning longer videos using our Video and Motion Graphics capabilities, then breaking it into smaller cuts so it could be used for paid campaigns as well as long-form educational content.

Creating Long-form Marketing Materials for Radiologists

Whitepapers and webinars are another great way to provide radiologists with more context about your product or service. They are also a great source for lead generation if you put this content behind an email gate. 

To get started, think about what types of resources or information would be helpful to radiologists. This is an excellent opportunity to revisit any research studies your team has done in the past to understand their pain points. Then consider your brand’s unique solution to their problem and how to share this information.

Putting It All Together With A Strategy For Marketing To Radiologists

A marketing strategy is very individualized based on your brand’s objectives and budget. For brands that are new to market, get the most bang for your buck with cost-efficient and highly scalable platforms, like Facebook Network and LinkedIn. If you’re just dipping your toes into the paid advertising world, our team can help by creating high-impact placements with the right targeting strategy to make the most of the budget. Once you see a return on ad spend (ROAS), it’s easy to target a larger pool of radiologists with refreshed creative. 

We’ve also seen success with layering new ad placements, such as Display, Google Search, or Doximity, once brands have more recognition in the industry. 

For brands looking for more sales leads, take a full-funnel marketing approach, leading radiologists through an introduction to your brand to more education until they’re ready to schedule a demo with a rep. Facebook and LinkedIn are powerful lead generation platforms that take users on a seamless experience from viewing an ad to sharing their contact information. If you do not see the results you’re looking for with a standard “Schedule a Demo” call-to-action, try incentivizing radiologists with a gated webinar or whitepaper. Be sure to let them know what’s in it for them and align the subject matter with their pain points and interests. 

We hope this article enabled you and your team to see new possibilities with marketing to radiologists. Radiologists treat patients with the utmost care and we'll help you treat them with the most targeted, efficient advertising.

Please feel free to email us at info@hg.agency anytime.

Ashley Mason
Senior Communication Strategist

Ashley Mason is intrinsically curious and passionate about driving customer growth for her clients. By day, she develops digital content for healthcare, wine, and other premium brands. By night, she enjoys renovating her 1920s home and discovering new bottles of bubbly.