When I discovered that I would soon need to undergo a spinal tap for multiple sclerosis, I immediately went into a fresh research mode to allay as much of my anxiety as possible before the appointment. Luckily as a person residing in New York, I had multiple options for hospitals and healthcare clinics specializing in spinal tap procedures. In fact, I didn’t find the information from a directory that listed specialties or through referrals from a trusted physician. Instead, a content marketing trail led me to a discussion about spinal tap procedure that a specialist gave for a hospital website. Not only did this help me know about the procedure in detail, but it also gave information about other elements that are crucial in the patient decision-making process. Health content marketing is a well-formed marketing strategy that provides an excellent platform for hospitals, physician offices and other healthcare organizations to educate people, build awareness in the community, and generate leads for new patients in the process thereby shaping the entire patient experience.
Why Medical Content Writing Matters?
Over the past years, content marketing budgets have increased steadily and the year 2019 is no exception. As per reports from the Content Marketing Institute, about 55 percent of the most successful content marketers it surveyed in 2018 expected their content budget to increase the following year. These soaring figures signify the fact that content writing is all set to become an even more vital ingredient in any comprehensive marketing plans in the coming years.Whether you are a general physician, chiropractor, dentist or marketing expert in the healthcare domain, paying close attention to these statistics can directly influence your approach towards marketing your practice.
Reports suggest that about 83 percent of healthcare organizations (2018 statistics) are using medical content writing to drive growth. Companies within the medical space can significantly benefit from well-written, informative content. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 people turn to search engines as their first source for health information and those providers who offer the answers will stand head and shoulders above the rest. When researching for healthcare options, consumers are continuously seeking out valuable content in the form of blog posts, eBooks, videos, images, infographics, email newsletters, social media posts, and more. When you provide the right content at the right time, you strengthen your credibility and are more likely to gain loyal customers.
Here are some top content marketing ideas that help healthcare facilities to better engage with patients –
- Focus on High-quality, Interactive Content – Focusing on top quality, interactive content may help to reach out to more number of potential customers online. Interactive content encourages the user to take specific action as part of experiencing the content – something more than what is involved in reading, watching and scrolling away. It can also include calculators, games, quizzes or interactive forms of other content you may already be creating, like eBooks and infographics. People search online for information about a specific health problem and expect answers to the issues they search for. Create content that addresses specific health issues, and link to sources that support your content.
- Survey Patient Groups and Publish Results – Receiving constant feedback from patients is crucial for the continued, successful operation (both online and offline). Online surveys can measure the level of patient satisfaction, find out the top concerns of health among a survey group, understand how patients know about your healthcare facility and help with medical research across different patient groups. Patient group surveys help obtain enough data to publish on your blog, for infographic and to post on social media platforms.
- Make Blog Posts on Relevant Health Conditions – Blogs improve your medical SEO and position you as a subject matter expert in your industry. Publishing constant blog content (with relevant medical information) is one of the best ways to attract new visitors to your healthcare website. Focus on topics that are related to your healthcare website. For instance, a multi-specialty healthcare center dealing with a wide range of pain conditions may publish blogs on such topics at regular intervals in their website. Blog content may include the symptoms, causes and treatment modalities for effectively managing the condition.
However, people can spot disingenuous content from a mile away. Hence, if you don’t have adequate educational content to share, it is better not to publish blogs. Copying and pasting information from other sources may lead to content duplication.
- Health Assessments and Symptom Checkers – One specific area where hospitals and doctors’ offices are standing out with interactive content is – online symptom checkers and health assessments. Content plays a critical role in an area where physicians are busier than ever and patients are making tough decisions about their healthcare access and other related expenses. While searching about health topics online, people want quick and relevant answers. Helplines, chatbots, telehealth systems (like Call-a-Doc), symptom checking tools and quizzes – that can be accessed anywhere, at any time are becoming standard in the managed healthcare world. A pain quiz or assessment allows people to take inventory of all their individual symptoms and get a professional opinion on the level of care required. While online health assessments cannot be regarded as a replacement for in-person care, they act as conversation starters or informal introductions to the hospital or practice. By choosing the type of tool, people can obtain custom responses based on the information they have entered. For instance, if a patient’s answer indicates a high level of pain, the message will prompt him or her to contact the clinic for an in-person evaluation.
- “Meet the Physician” Intro Videos – According to an article (about healthcare marketing trends for 2018) published in Becker’s Hospital Review, health-related video content is in demand. By the end of 2019, videos will account for around 85 percent of all internet traffic in the United States. Video content is one of the most effective ways of conveying a story to your audience that can help build instant credibility. Physician profiles and intro videos allow healthcare practices to widen their network to find users who may be searching for individual providers instead of just symptoms or facilities. Sharing information about the team of experienced physicians in diverse specialties helps patients to better access your healthcare facility and prompt them to take a better decision.
- Patient Testimonials – In healthcare, it is quite impossible to try before you buy or to return services for a refund. Getting referrals and paying attention to first-hand patient experiences can help. Displaying patient testimonials on your website is a great idea for the same reason. Contact a group of loyal patients where they happen to share their name, problem diagnosed, type of treatment and service experiences, (if they feel comfortable). These patient testimonials can be reposted or shared via various social media platforms as videos, on billboards, in magazines, and more to catch the attention of new patients. But, never ever use a testimonial without the patient’s consent, and make it clear how and where it will be used.
- Social Media Campaigns – To promote your content, find out where healthcare conversations are happening on social platforms. Popular social media channels like Face book, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter offer a relatively low cost option for reaching a large number of people within a short span of time. The most effective social media campaigns promote user participation through stories, pictures, videos, and sharing. Campaigns associated with a recurring hash tag in some way have proven highly effective in garnering awareness. In addition, using social media shows potential patients that your healthcare facility is technologically savvy and in touch with the community.
Presently, one of the top benefits of healthcare content marketing is that it is based on the needs of patients. Nowadays, patients are more engaged and empowered than ever before. Multi-channel content marketing strategies offers a new platform to connect with patients during the research phase, support them during treatment, and help them stay informed between visits. With the right healthcare marketing strategy in place, hospitals and physician offices can find it easy to achieve a wide range of goals.Transforming the way you promote content can bring more organic search traffic and with the help of a strong SEO team you can renovate your existing content marketing strategies for your business. A professional Long Island SEO Company can help you formulate an innovative content marketing plan for your healthcare business.