How Healthcare Content Marketing Can Boost Your Practice and Attract New Patients
Consumers are driving changes in healthcare. They’re searching online for everything from restaurants and clothing to vacation spots and employers (and everything in between). And yes, healthcare providers are one of the top searches conducted online. Beyond the traditional content on your website like info about your providers and services, contact info, and location, what other content do you have to help Google serve up info to your target audience members?
This is where content marketing comes in. By creating valuable content and then promoting it on your website, social media and elsewhere, you give search engines more info to highlight in SERPS (search engine results pages).
So, how should your organization be using this high impact tactic to grab the attention of new patients and grow your practice?
Start by understanding your audience
It’s important that you first develop a strong understanding of your patients. What drives them? What problems are they facing that you can solve? Create buyer personas that provide overviews of your different audience segments. This will help you really understand them and then craft content to meet the needs of each segment.
Great types of content to present are things like lists of tips, blog articles on conditions relevant to your patients, bio videos of your doctors and testimonials from your patients. The key is to create content that helps both current and prospective patients learn more about your practice, build a relationship with you through your content and gain insights that actually help them.
Be authentic, not academic
As you build out your content, make sure your messaging is authentic and not too academic or jargon-filled. Don’t forget that your patients aren’t doctors (the majority anyway). They are looking to you to solve whatever issue is impacting their lives at the time, and they want to be spoken to in way that’s easy-to-digest for the average person. Terminology understood only by your colleagues in the healthcare profession will cancel out any connect you’re trying to make with your content.
Use social media for distribution
Many people will find your website and look for information there. Others prefer different channels. Social media is another great channel to promote your content and stay in touch with your patients and recruit prospective patients.
During the buyer persona stage, try to dig into what social media channels your target audience prefers. Those are the ones you where you want to have a presence. Social media is highly valuable, but it’s also time-consuming. So, the best way to make an impact is to narrow down the channels to the few that your audience prefers most and focus there.
Adhere to HIPAA laws
I think this goes without saying, but I’m compelled to add a mention in here. A HIPAA violation can have a significantly negative impact on a practice or organization, so it’s important to keep this last bit in mind as you begin the content creation process.
Here are a few simple rules to remember when creating content:
- Don’t identify patients
- Be general if referring to specific cases (no details that give anything away)
- Get consent from patients (this applies to things like patient testimonials)
- Secure data and ensure privacy
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. My goal is simply to bring up the importance of adhering to HIPAA guidelines, so follow these steps, but dig in and do your research to ensure you are covering all your HIPAA-related bases before diving into content marketing.
Final thoughts on content marketing in healthcare
Content marketing is a highly effective tactic to drive new business. It works across virtually all industries if done properly (healthcare included). So, start with a strategy and plan how your practice or organization can tackle content marketing to bring in new patients. If you have any questions or insights into how content marketing has worked (or not worked) for you, please leave them in the comments.