It may sound cliché, but it’s true: knowledge is power. When you equip patients with information, you empower them to make better health decisions, which can lead to finding the right treatments and healthcare providers. You also create a lasting impression in their minds—they’ll remember your hospital or healthcare organization as the resource that had the answers they needed to take control of their well-being.
One great way to deliver valuable information to your patients is through blogging.
The Internet is often where your patients start looking for information. The Pew Research Center shows that over two-thirds of Internet users conduct healthcare research online, and the majority start with a search on sites such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. To show up in search engines, your hospital needs a continual stream of high-quality, relevant content through an easily digestible reader medium: a blog... Data shows that blogs are the 5th most trusted source for information on the Internet. Plus, it’s been shown that consistent blogging creates 97% more links to a website.
But blogging isn’t just about posting information and hoping it gains some traction. It requires a thoughtful approach with the patient’s best interests in mind to see results. Our steps below will help you create the most successful blog for your healthcare audience.
1. Target the Right Online Audience & Build Trust
When you blog, you are not only driving more traffic to your hospital’s website... you are ensuring the traffic you drive is relevant. Since you choose the topics, you can keep your blog posts related to your hospital’s specific service lines and specialty areas. This allows you to capture the attention of the right audience—the types of patients you are looking to attract.
Blogging also helps you position your hospital and medical team as experts on certain topics. Hospitals that specialize in cardiology, for example, might devote blog space to educating patients about heart conditions, preventative care, the latest innovations and research in cardiovascular treatments, and more. Providing such information on a consistent basis helps a potential patient build trust with your organization, something that is critical to future patient satisfaction.
2. Feature News or Trending Topics
As a hospital marketer, you should always keep up with relevant industry news, both for healthcare content marketing ideas and for general risk management purposes. If news outlets are covering flu outbreaks, for example, a hospital could run a series of blog posts on preventing the flu, treating the flu, or FAQs for people frightened by overly sensationalized media coverage. Or, if celebrity magazines report that a certain actor has a medical condition, a hospital blog post might explain the condition.
Covering new scientific studies is another way to establish your hospital’s authority and provide relevant content that your patients are interested in. Explaining what a new study means for patients and clearing any misconceptions shows that your healthcare center is dedicated to meeting the patient where they need the most help. By clarifying a complicated study for patients, you’re providing them with the knowledge they need to make better decisions for themselves and their families. Plus, writing about the trending topics can help you to get your own hospital blog content trending!
3. (Carefully) Position Medical Professionals as Experts
Readers expect a hospital website to be professional and authoritative. Use your blog posts to position your doctors, surgeons, and other medical practitioners as experts. Post quotes or tips from your clinical staff, but do so with compliance and legal requirements in mind. And never provide specific medical advice or treatment recommendations. Instead, encourage individuals who are suffering from symptoms to seek medical attention. For example, you might discuss common symptoms of a heart attack, but you wouldn’t want to recommend a specific type of medication.
4. Blog with Your Audience in Mind
Always keep your audience in mind when posting blog content. Remember, clinicians are not your target audience. Content should be easy to read, and any medical terminology should be explained so someone who is not a healthcare professional can understand what they are reading. With the majority of people looking first to online medical information before ever reaching out to a provider, you have a unique opportunity to become a positive force for disseminating relevant medical news and information accurately and with the patient’s best interest in mind.
5. Blog Regularly
Effective thought leadership takes time and commitment. You can’t simply create a few blog posts here and there and expect to see results. To truly make an impact, your hospital should post interesting, patient-focused blog content on a consistent basis. This is the best way to get online users’ attention, establish you hospital’s industry authority, attract new patients, a retain existing ones.
Need help with your hospital blogging strategy? Contact Scorpion! Our expert hospital marketing team can provide you with engaging blog content.
About the Author:
As Director of Business Development for Healthcare at Scorpion, Jono Scott helps healthcare clients find the best online marketing strategies for growing their organizations and attracting the right patients. Before joining Scorpion, Jono played a major role in building two startup businesses, which provided him with important insight into the process of marketing organizations at various stages of their development.
Jono stays up-to-date on the latest changes in Internet marketing by reading industry news and staying closely connected with his team members. He is Google AdWords-certified and is a graduate of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in New Zealand. In his spare time, Jono enjoys traveling, surfing, snowboarding, playing rugby, and being outdoors in general.