“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.”
— Seth Godin, marketing guru
Are you out of sight, out of mind for your patients?
Do they make appointments only when in dire need of treatment?
It’s hard to work as a team toward wellness goals without patient engagement. Healthcare blogs offer them something useful and inspirational — something remarkable — and your readers will become followers, who become dedicated patients.
Why Build Healthcare Blogs?
“Companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites.”
— Optinmonster.com survey
Blogs have been rated the 5th most-trustworthy source for gathering online information — and your practice needs that kind of trust from current and future patients alike. Healthcare blogs are digital platforms where you can feature all of your knowledge and experience about your specialty, establishing your credibility as a healthcare professional and engaging current patients as well as new audiences.
By sharing what intrigues the author in a unique voice and tone, healthcare blogs expose the person behind the professional. Posting encouraging research updates, useful tips, and practice news will forge a stronger bond between you, your patients, and your future patients. It can also serve as a valuable information source for those who might not otherwise have access to professional care.
The best healthcare blogs provide interesting and timely information to visitors first — and subtly promote their own services second. That’s the only way to build trust and gain lifelong patients.
What Can Healthcare Blogs Help You Accomplish?
Healthcare professionals need to invest in marketing to grow their practice, but it’s impossible to achieve that big-picture goal without first accomplishing these objectives. Healthcare blogs can help you achieve all of them:
- Keep current patients engaged: Offer engaging, skimmable content that improves their health and knowledge without stressing them out.
- Grow online traffic and brand exposure: When your site is optimized for the right keywords and designed with the ideal reader in mind, your brand will gradually grow to be a leader in your niche.
- Nurture and convert inbound leads: Keeping in touch with and responding to the requests of your readers will win their trust — and eventually, their business.
- Build your email database: Searchers who land on your website and download a valuable assessment tool or informative content offer will become new contacts in your database to nurture through their buying stage.
- Differentiate your practice: Healthcare blogs offer an opportunity to present content in a more creative, dynamic, user-friendly, and aesthetic format to outperform competitors and attract more searchers.
- Educate and grow demand: Knowledge is power — the more they know about what you do and how you do it, the more empowered they’ll feel about their decision to request your specialized services. Healthcare marketing blogs are powerful educational tools.
How Do Healthcare Blogs Fit Into a Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing strategy is the planning, creation, delivery, optimization, and tracking of content that’s useful and user-friendly for your target audience. Healthcare blogs are an important element of any robust strategy; they make it easy for your ideal patient to find answers to questions and address concerns.
Marketing without a strategy is like healing without a care plan. When you give your patients a clear path to recovery, they’re able to take small steps every day in the right direction. The same goes for your content marketing strategy — it’s like a map to the growth of your practice via conversions and appointment bookings.
Content Marketing Tactics
Once you’ve established your strategy, start choosing the tactics that will be most effective and efficient for your specialized content and target personas. Healthcare blogs should always be at the top of your marketing tactics list, but you should also consider investing in these formats:
- Case Studies
- Digital/Print Newsletters
- Email Marketing
- Influencer Content
- Microsites or landing pages
- Live Streaming
- Social Media Content
- Video Content
- White papers
Whether you invest in the others later or not, developing a healthcare blog on your site is a must-have element of any brand-amplifying marketing strategy.
How To Produce Healthcare Blogs
“Successful blogging is not about one-time hits. It’s about building a loyal following over time.”
— David Aston, content marketing consultant and author
If you’re going to build your loyal following of people who would make the perfect patients at your practice, you’ll need to get the answer to these questions first:
Who will be reading my blog?
Have you done deep-dive research on the specific types of patients you need to attract to grow your practice? A health condition or wellness goal may be only one attribute. Depending on your specialty, reputation and even practice location may make you a perfect provider for a group of patients you still need to get better acquainted with.
What problem will I solve for them?
You may think this is an obvious one, but again, you may not be fully aware of the knowledge or treatment preferences your future patients may be visiting you with. Make sure your healthcare blogs are speaking to their problems and priorities.
What type of format will I write in?
Just a little feedback from your first few readers may help you understand what format and style your blog should feature — this will help you attract future patients to your site. Come up with a creative twist on the content presented in healthcare blogs as well as an easy-to-read structure that makes skimming your posts easier to process and more enjoyable.
How will I manage content creation and distribution?
Once you have a healthcare blog content production calendar, someone has to manage, maintain, and monitor it — make sure you’ve carefully considered who is most able and skilled for this type of commitment.
The Blogging Process
“There are tons of different factors that go into ranking well, but the biggest is high-quality content.”
— David Sinick, SEO and content marketing influencer
Sinick has tried and taught every SEO “trick” in the book, yet he continually recognizes that the easiest way to rank well for competitive keywords is simply to create high-quality content.
For over a decade, Uhuru’s strategists, copywriters, and designers have been producing healthcare industry blogs for highly specialized professionals. Our engagement and conversion rates have led us to standardize these proven, efficient steps for creating blog posts:
- Identify your audience: You probably know your target personas because you’re treating them daily, but hone in on a specific type of patient for each post. For example, people with diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnoses.
- Select a topic: Once you know who you’re writing for, you can narrow down your topic to speak directly to them. For example, addressing hormonal imbalances in middle-aged, menopausal, or andropausal people with diabetes or prediabetes — you could title it: How To Address Imbalances for Andropausal or Menopausal People With Diabetes.
- Identify the buyer’s journey stage: Decide whether you’re writing for someone who just discovered your site while doing casual research, or someone who is knowledgeable about their condition and ready to do something about it. For example, middle-aged people who have decided to manage their diabetes through diet, lifestyle changes, and insulin resistance management with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
- Do your keyword research: Find out how those personas in that buyer’s journey stage search for answers and treatment. For example, the keyword phrase with the most clearly defined searcher intent might be: “How to manage diabetes naturally.”
- Strategize: Outline each section of the post, organizing the information in the order your persona would want to consume it. For example, starting with a quick introduction that motivates them to act; followed by a brief description of diabetes in the endocrine system; followed by a section that explains what can prevent or reverse the imbalance; followed by steps they can take; followed by a case study of a patient who succeeded using this method, and finally, a dynamic call to action to get them to book an appointment.
- Write: Follow your outline, writing in clear, conversational language with images and metaphors for biological systems and processes that helps them envision both their condition and the resolution treatment can bring. Consider the intelligence of your patients and potential patients — refrain from hyperboles and late-night cable cliches (they may not buy that it’s the “#1 Secret” and you are the only provider who knows it).
- Edit: A fresh set of eyes will always catch something the writer missed — ask a colleague to check for content, spelling, grammar, or usage errors that could impede your reader.
- Create graphics: Make your content skimmable with short sections separated by bold headlines and eye-catching images. For example, a photo of a person who resembles your reader demographic overcoming a diabetes obstacle and a graphic showing how insulin is created in the body.
Freelancers vs. Content Marketing Agencies: Pros and Cons
You’re thinking: “But I’m a healthcare professional — I don’t have time to build healthcare blogs.” If you’re wondering whether to go with freelance writers or an agency, here are some pros and cons of each:
Hiring freelance writers and designers usually gives you greater flexibility to negotiate prices according to the length of each blog post. Freelancers usually make it easier to dictate the terms of your agreement and add last-minute tweaks to that agreement.
Contracting with an agency will likely be more expensive, but the breadth of services will be greater and the above steps — topic choice, strategy, planning, recommendations, writing, editing, uploading, and amplifying your content — will be executed by highly specialized professionals who have a creative synergy.
Freelance writers and designers will only create your content — all other decision-making and implementation will fall on you.
A healthcare marketing agency will have the bandwidth and services to create your blog content from start to finish, optimizing for SEO and consistently blogging so you show up in searches.
Capacity and Expertise
Freelancers may have healthcare marketing expertise but not the capacity to produce a heavy content load. An agency, on the other hand, will provide expertise in multiple industries as well as multiple writers, editors, strategists, and other specialists.
Freelancers may be able to execute last-minute topic changes and respond very quickly to requests without the restrictions an agency pivot may require. However, because the foundational strategy work is done prior to content creation, the likelihood of last-minute changes is minimized at an agency.
Best Practices for Successful Healthcare Blogs
Some of our clients have retained us to produce their healthcare blogs for years because our content converts. If you want your content to convert, follow these best practices that will soon put you into a monthly blogging groove.
- Keep up with industry trends and events: You’re already doing this, but make sure your readers know it — there’s nothing more off-putting than outdated medical information on a healthcare professional’s site.
- Include timeless topics: Along with the latest news and research, make sure to cover frequently asked questions about general wellness and about how your practice promotes it.
- Speak to your site visitors: Stay abreast of your target personas’ wants and needs — they may change quite often with newly diagnosed conditions, life stages, and wellness trends.
- Check out your competition: Be aware of your competitors’ content marketing strategies so you can always be a step ahead and a touch more creative than they are.
- Involve a strategist and copywriter: Robust content creation requires the skills of these specialists throughout the process.
- Pay attention to analytics: It’s critical to know how many people are visiting your website and for how long, which pages they’re reading and clicking on, and which content inspires them to heed your call to action.
- Note the elements of a great post: Once you discover a post that got high engagement, reread it carefully to understand what led to its success. Then, apply those elements in more upcoming posts.
- Engage your team: Make sure your staff is as knowledgeable and excited about your content as you are — they may represent the face of your brand for many patients, new and old.
Itching To Start Blogging?
Hold on. Yes, you now know what questions to ask and what steps to take to master healthcare blogs — but remember, they represent only one element of your healthcare marketing strategy. To master big-picture strategy before honing in on specific tactics, read our healthcare marketing strategist’s advice here.