Content marketing is vital to online healthcare success. Many hospitals, clinics, and private practices jump in on this trend, making getting a good foothold difficult. Do not think you are too late to the game, though.
Healthcare’s sensitive nature makes content marketing an industry niche. Content cannot recklessly rely on proven ways to drive website traffic. Instead, healthcare content marketing should meet guidelines like those set by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
This article dives into some rules in healthcare content marketing: connect with patients, seek to provide help first, and consider patients’ well-being.
Let us begin!
1. Understand Your Patients
Patients in the Digital Age have a world of knowledge at their fingertips. More often than not, they use it to their advantage when looking for healthcare providers. One of the things potential patients want most is to read reviews before they consider scheduling an appointment.
Therefore, trust in your hospital or private practice is integral to success in healthcare content marketing. Patients want to know and feel safe with their chosen doctor. You make yourself dependable and invaluable by showing your expertise and knowledge of their concerns.
Understanding your patients leads to better content that boosts your marketing strategy.
Here are three ideas to help you accomplish that:
- Research your target market: Conduct surveys and interviews to understand their needs and how you can create content that supports them. What do they look for in a healthcare provider? What services are in demand for your field of medicine?
- Write down common issues: Your patients undoubtedly have common and recurring concerns about their health. Write these down and see how you can address them better. For example, visuals such as charts and infographics are highly marketable.
- Interact on social media: Patients who want immediate answers may try contacting you through chat or social media apps instead of calling. They are a great way to receive valuable feedback and ideas for future content and marketing.
The goal of content marketing is to deliver what your target market needs. The more you understand these needs, the better you become at producing the type of content that drives engagement and organic traffic to your website.
2. Seek to Provide Help First
As healthcare providers, staying true to your commitment to helping people is crucial. Being genuine is one of the best ways to connect with potential patients. Treat content as an extension of your medical practice and plan your content strategy accordingly.
In other words:
- Educate your readers on common healthcare problems and solutions
- Focus on how content can help the patient and address their needs
- Be mindful of the quality and accuracy of the information you provide
Follow ethical marketing practices and be socially conscious when creating content. Rather than creating content to sell products or services, offer solutions to the patient’s problems. Be aware of how misleading strategies can negatively impact your patients’ lives.
For example, instead of overt selling and sensationalized titles such as:
- Why Dr. Smith is the Best Dentist
- Top 5 Reasons to Use Tylenol
- These Health Supplements Changed My Life
Use benefit-rich and authentic ones such as:
- How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?
- 5 Natural Remedies to Headaches
- Should You Use Health Supplements?
When researching optimal keywords and making content, seek to inform, educate, and clarify healthcare concerns and issues. Use this opportunity to convince patients of your expertise and authority without overselling yourself.
For example, a practical SEO strategy for beginners is to use ‘tips’ in your keywords. It signals to people who find your content that they can gain something from visiting your web page.
Another excellent way to do this is by producing simplified visual guides that patients can easily understand. Think back to when establishments everywhere posted handwashing guides. Apply that to your practice by focusing on what you can make that benefits your patients.
Here are a few ideas to get you on the right track:
- Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid Eye Strain
- 5 Foods to Avoid if You have Sensitive Teeth
- 10 Foods that Give You a Natural Boost
3. Think of Patients’ Well-Being
According to Digital Authority Partners, your patients are essential to healthcare content marketing, so their needs and well-being should always come first.
Simply put, you need to make many serious considerations when creating healthcare content.
- Have you done your due diligence in researching and referencing the claims you made?
- Did you include an explicit disclaimer that patients should see a healthcare professional?
- Were you careful to avoid information that may be misleading or harmful to your patient?
- Are your sources reputable or experts in their field? Can this be verified in any way?
- Do your claims fall in line with expert opinions? Are there studies that have tested them?
Search engines care about users and want to provide them with a smooth online search journey. They oppose content with poor user experience (UX) and dangerous claims.
It is hard enough to compete with the multitude of other healthcare content creators. When you add being penalized for poorly-made blogs, your entire marketing strategy falls apart.
Here are what you need to do to boost your content while avoiding penalties:
- Ensure that your content shows your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) in healthcare. Prioritize winning over the confidence of patients and search engines.
- Prioritize your patients’ health and safety. Always remember that they do not have the knowledge and expertise you do, so it is your job to guide them through your content.
- Follow HIPAA rules when creating content. Write generalized topics rather than ones that can potentially expose patients’ personally identifiable information (PII).
Healthcare content marketing can be complicated. However, with time, patience, and this guide, you should be on the right track.
If there is one thing that you should take away from here, it is that hospitals and clinics must be extra careful. Seek to help your patients first, and everything else should fall into place.