Blog Ideas for Patient Engagement
Successful healthcare organizations understand how a blog can act as a driving force in their healthcare marketing strategy. Blogs allow medical professionals to produce fresh content, boost the site’s visibility in searches, provide meaningful, relevant answers, and to position physicians, facility or practice as an authority.
More than likely, you’re not going to acquire patients because you published an article that lists which vegetables have the most fiber. However, there are several benefits to continually updating your blog with fresh content:
- Keep current patients informed and in a health-centric state-of-mind
- Develop a reputation as a trustworthy, proactive healthcare brand
- Involve physicians to share their expertise and build awareness
- Promote events, brand achievements, and staff additions
- Share patient stories and spread support
Content Ideas for Engagement
It’s important to first create an editorial plan that includes blog content ideas. We recommend varying the type of post to avoid being overly self-promotional or lacking brand-specific information. Informational posts should inform patients of key details about procedures, medical conditions, and innovations. Make your blog the go-to place for patients seeking cosmetic procedures, solutions to fertility problems, and support for chronic diseases. This is an excellent opportunity to feature posts written by your hospital’s physicians. If patients can find knowledgeable, authoritative, easy-to-digest information on your blog, they’ll be encouraged to seek you out as the solution. Incorporate case studies, videos, and lists to vary the content and appeal to a wide audience.
Narrative posts: One of the most obvious reasons people enjoy perusing hospital blogs is the less-intimidating nature of the posts. Blogs serve as an exceptional platform for sharing stories that take place within the walls of the organization. For instance, a patient willing to share her experience through a heart valve replacement surgery can not only validate the capabilities of the doctors but can also provide support to others in need of a similar procedure.
Trust-building posts: While a steady stream of blog content raises your authority level in the eyes of patients, a robust healthcare marketing strategy should include posts that detail your expertise, as patients looking for medical services must place their trust in providers. Include posts that feature cutting-edge equipment used to diagnose and treat conditions, physicians’ commitment to health, and brand recognition.
Day-to-day details: Use blog (and website) content to inform potential patients about the more frustrating aspects of getting good care. Include articles that show patients how to make an appointment, fill out the paperwork ahead of time, and ensure a smooth, quick appointment. Talk to patients about insurance reimbursements, and put their minds at ease when describing your practiceas emphasis on ensuring coverage.
General health tips: Regardless of the brand, the posts I most enjoy and take time to share are usually focused on general health. These can also be the most fun to write. Articles like “10 Ways to Sneak Veggies into Your Toddler’s Dinner” or “Tips for Avoiding Seasonal Affective Disorder” are able to resonate with a wide audience and potentially go viral. I’m a fan of the infographics from Cleveland Clinic.
Finding Specific Topics
With broad categories sketched out, you’re ready to delve into specific blog ideas. We generally advise organizations to flesh out at least six months’ worth of blog ideas. Look at the influencers. Review their blogs and make a list of the services, stories, and general information covered. As yourself, “How can my hospital follow these examples? What stories can we share? How can we explain this information more effectively?” Use Google Adwords. While you’re now required to log in to an AdWords account, you can still use the Keyword Planner tool without purchasing a campaign to determine the success rate of various search terms. Simply enter search terms based on research that shows what patients look for, and the program will gather commonly used search terms that relate to your query terms. Employ standard SEO practices. Once youave decided on keywords, use them sparingly. By most standards, experts agree that overstuffing a post with keywords alerts Google’s bots, who will mark your post as spam and downgrade your search standings. Make sure your infographics are SEO-friendly and URLs are structured properly. For healthcare systems, hospitals, and specialized physicians, a blog is an essential component of a dynamic healthcare marketing strategy. Blogs provide fresh content for your site and help to position your practice as the leading source of medical services in the area.