Today, when healthcare consumers have questions about their health, the internet is the first place they turn for answers. Physicians must increase their digital presence if they want to stand out online — and medical blogging is a great place to start.
As more and more healthcare consumers turn to the web in order to find their best options for medical care, online marketing strategies are fast becoming a non-negotiable requirement for physicians looking to keep their heads above water in the digital age. Simply put, if people can’t find you online, you’re probably going to have a hard time generating new business and holding onto your existing patients.
Maintaining a solid digital presence can seem like a lot of work, especially for small to medium practices that don’t necessarily have big marketing budgets. One of the most cost-effective and impactful ways to engage online audiences and bolster your internet lead generation efforts is with a solid content marketing strategy — and at the core of any solid content marketing strategy is regular blog publishing.
Why Do Blogs Matter?
From a strategic digital marketing perspective, blog publishing is all about online search engines. For example, when customers search Google for local health services — and believe me, they do — the platform’s search algorithms automatically filter the results by their pre-determined relevancy to that specific user’s query.
Sites with the most relevant and highest-quality content will end up ranking at the top of the list results. In other words, if you regularly blog on topics that your target audience is searching for, the ranking of your posts will increase exponentially.
It’s no coincidence that 82% of marketers who publish daily earn customers directly from their blog, or that 79% of marketers who maintain a blog have a positive ROI for inbound marketing, according to HubSpot. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute writes that 72% of B2C marketers across all industries have already incorporated content marketing into their digital strategies.
Addressing Their Situation
That said, simply setting up your blog doesn’t necessarily guarantee success — in order to make a genuine impact, your blog posts must be credible, relevant, and genuinely informative, especially in the highly-competitive healthcare space.
Content should be written with the patient’s perspective and needs in mind, which means that you should try to avoid the “hard sell” — it’s an instant turn off. Instead, offer your readers genuinely helpful and insightful advice, and watch your readership grow. Moreover, demonstrating your medical expertise and compassion will enhance consumer trust in your brand, which in turn will bolster peer referrals as well as web traffic to your practice’s site.
Generating Maximum Impact
It’s no secret that for medical practices, this kind of rapport is critical. According to Nielsen, “earned media,” or information shared by family or friends, is by far the most trustworthy — in fact, people are up to 300% more likely to purchase a service when referred by someone they know and trust.
For physicians, creating high-quality content can be as simple as listening. What are your patient’s most common concerns/questions? What kinds of things do patients want to know more about, but might be difficult to track down information on?What are some simple tips that might keep them more healthy and informed?
Using digital analytics tools can provide answers some of these questions — organic search query reports let you know exactly what your target audience is searching for, and you can tailor your content accordingly with highly-targeted keywords and subject matter.
While optimizing your posts to rank high in search results is obviously key to any successful campaign, at the end of the day, your content has to be worth reading. Draw on your daily experiences with patients to keep your content relevant and useful, and you’ll quickly discover that a blog post a day keeps your patients (and their friends) coming back for more.
(Main image credit: Pexels; Christian Schnettelker/flickr; Chris Potter/flickr)