Personal health and wellness is something we all care about, so it’s no surprise that more and more people now go online to look for health information. In fact, at least 8 out of 10 people refer to search engines as their first source for health information, according to Pew Research.
And even though sites like WebMD cover almost everything related to healthcare, they’re not entirely accurate. But more to the point, for doctors, potential patients are always looking for answers which they should find on the doctor’s website.
Paid advertising is something that’s pretty popular in the healthcare industry, but let’s take a look at content. When someone searches online for information, they’re interested in genuinely helpful content.
Having content that is tailored specifically to your target patients gives you a chance to establish authority and a reputation. This in turn, increases your chances of turning them into new patients.
This is why doctors need to realize that it’s worthwhile to invest in creating helpful, targeted content for acquiring more patients. Within healthcare niches, there is tremendous opportunity to attract patients by creating content and gaining visibility on search engines through it. Learn more about Search Engine Optimization in our “SEO for Doctors” guide.
Creating Engaging Doctor and Medical Practice Content
Content is more engaging when it’s written by someone who is truly an expert on the subject. In the same way, doctors have a real advantage when it comes to creating content based around health advice, treatments and therapies.
Why? Because doctors have real experience to aid in the content creation process. Their own experience will help them distinguish content from the competition through unique touches.
Outlining and Documenting a Content Strategy
Knowing how your content strategy is going to pan out and progress before you start executing it can really help you set performance benchmarks.
For example, what sort of people will constitute as key audience for you? What topics do you want to use to establish authority? What platforms are you going to use to share your content? What platforms will you use to promote the content?
Answers to these questions will form the basis of your content strategy. A good tip here would be to document these answers and share them with others at your medical practice. Explain why the practice needs the content strategy and the goals behind it.
Tips for Medical Practice Content
Use The Right Words
Every industry has a unique way of wording content, and the same goes for healthcare. The language you use to describe your practice and the treatments and services it offers will play an important role in creating trust with potential patients.
Being in healthcare, you must ensure the use of words that resonate with people who are looking for help. So before you start creating content, develop buyer personas to help you better understand who your audience is.
Many medical practices like to brag about their ‘advanced’ or ‘leading edge’ treatments. But the thing is, this isn’t a technology-centric sector. What it should be, and what your customers want it to be, is patient-centric.
Thus, the right words to use throughout your messaging are ‘compassion’, ‘caring’, ‘non-invasive’, ‘patient-centric’, ‘gentle’, and so on. Also, give your content some much-needed authenticity by writing from the heart and not by simply copying from competitors. If you truly care about making your patients’ lives better, have that reflect in your content and brand messaging.
Potential patients aren’t looking for advanced or cutting edge treatments, they just want something that will work with minimal pain and side effects. Talk about how you’ll help them achieve their health desires, and how your solutions stand out from other practices.
Talk About Treatments and Procedures Offered
The best ideas for content for your medical practice will revolve around the services and treatments offered to patients. Brainstorm topics regarding the pain points of your patients, the treatment plans you offer and the health conditions you treat as well.
Patient Success Stories
Another great idea for content is to publish success stories involving real patients and the lifestyle changes they experienced after undergoing treatment with you. These stories should offer insight into the health condition of the patient, and how it adversely impacted their routine life.
And a tip here would be not to focus too much on the treatment or the procedure, but the outcome and benefits. Explain how a patient went from having limited mobility to being able to ride a bicycle.
This sort of content is not only interesting, but it’s quite share-worthy as well. Everyone likes to share feel-good stories, and this type of content certainly evokes the same emotions.
Create Content About Your Audience, Not You
The end goal of your content strategy should be to get new patients, or at least capture the attention of people and make them speak well of you.
But guess what? You can only truly capture someone’s attention if the content is about them, and not you. If your content appears self-promotional, your audience will quickly start avoiding it.
Content that doesn’t bring any value to the audience is wasted effort.
To gauge the type of content your audience is looking for, simply look at the types of conversations they’re having on social media.
Are they looking for professional opinions? Or maybe they want to know more details about the treatments and procedures offered at your practice. Take these questions, and create topics around them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Into the Nitty-Gritty
Health conditions can be confusing, so why not make them easier to understand through content marketing?
You might think, writing content that will reach a broad audience is a good idea. What’s better and more valuable however, is writing in-depth content on specific health conditions, taking a deeper dive and explaining what patients can do to improve.
This content is not only very helpful for your target patients, it’s also very beneficial for SEO reasons. Google loves content that is in-depth and very targeted, so don’t be afraid of writing long articles on specific topics.
Writing on specific topics will also help you become an authority on the subject, and readers (potential patients) will start relying on your content to gain more information about their ailments.
Healthcare is a deeply personal industry, and patients are keen to understand their health problems in detail. They’ll go to great lengths to understand their illnesses and the related effects on their body and everyday life.
Gauge Content ROI
Creating good content is great but if you’re not getting any business results from it, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy. Keyword here is business results, and you should have a system to measure how well (or poorly) your content is performing.
A few ways of tracking content performance is by looking at:
- New traffic to the practice website
- Number of organic searches for your practice
- New patient leads / contact form submissions / booked appointments
It is absolutely essential for you to keep track of these metrics. If they show no signs of improvement, then your content strategy isn’t working very well.
Or, you’re not doing enough to promote and optimize your content (which we’ll talk about in a later section!).
Treat Content as an Integral Part of Marketing
Medical practices should strive to help people who’re going through a confusing and complicated time in their lives. The focus of creating content shouldn’t be just SEO – treat it as an added bonus.
The purpose of your practice’s content should be to offer educational resources that empower patients into what’s really going on with their health. You may have gone years without writing anything more than just your practice’s service descriptions.
But it’s not too late to start creating helpful content that is tailored specifically to your target audience.