With increasing competition in the medical field, practices need to adopt strategies that will give them a competitive edge over their competition. Content represents one of the best ways to improve your reach online, providing a reliable source of new engagement. It’s a low-cost strategy that will set your practice apart, help you achieve better Google rankings, and even build trust in your existing patient base.
Most companies, including healthcare organizations, already have content marketing plans in place. While 84% report implementing content strategies, only 65% of these companies have a dedicated content marketing team on staff. This shows that even smaller practices without content writers still implement many of the same strategies larger companies use to engage patients online. The truth is that even a small amount of content can have an outsized impact on your marketing efforts and serve as a reliable resource that will attract potential patients over time.
Learning about the different types of content and how they work will help you focus your approach, allowing you to use limited resources to the greatest advantage of your practice.
How can your organization make use of content? What types of content should you be focusing on? Should you be producing content regularly?
These questions can be intimidating. To answer them and help you get started, we’ve outlined five of the most effective content marketing strategies for 2023.
What Are the Best Forms of Healthcare Content for 2023?
Since we’ve entered the digital era, patients have become increasingly reliant on online resources to inform their healthcare decision. Patients use the internet to look up information about your practice and to research healthcare topics that concern them. For this reason alone, all of your content resources should be available to patients online.
When they encounter your website, your content should keep them engaged, providing useful information that directs them to use your services.
The latest data shows us that:
- 7% of all daily Google searches are healthcare-related
- 71% of marketers say content marketing is more important than ever to reaching customers
- 43% of Millennials say they will likely switch their healthcare provider in the next few years
We know that larger healthcare organizations plan to increase their advertising spend in 2023. Smaller practices can use the following lower-cost content marketing techniques to stay relevant and competitive next year.
Blogs offer a powerful tool for practices to engage patients. As medical professionals, you already know what your customers are worried about. Using your knowledge of your client base, you can produce content that answers their concerns about your services and lead them to services you offer that address their particular issues.
Great content is relevant content and you have the advantage of knowing exactly why a potential patient would come to your practice. While 94% of businesses use this form of content marketing, only 9% say they are effective at it. Here, the disconnect arises from the quality of the content and its relevance to the end-user reading it.
Medical practices should not suffer from this problem—however, they often do because they fail to write content from the patient’s perspective.
Your content strategy must be clear and incorporate nuggets of information that matter to your patients. Ask yourself what drives a patient to your office and you’ll quickly begin to develop a formula for the kinds of blogs that will get your practice noticed online. Your goal should be to take a complex healthcare topic, simplify it, and use it to answer the series of questions you hear most often in your practice:
- What is wrong with me?
- Why did this happen to me?
- Can this condition be treated and how?
The secret is simpler than you might think:
- Determine the typical health questions your patients ask
- Develop blog topics around those questions
- Write the blog content answering those questions
This FAQ formula will help you rank well with search engines since many patients Google these questions regularly. Providing reliable information also creates trust between a potential patient and your practice. It does this by providing practical information that demystifies topics that patients often feel are overwhelming or overly complex.
These types of blogs will not only increase your visibility with new patients but will help retain existing clients, who may also have similar questions.
Personalized emails drive patient engagement. Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for reaching customers. There is no downside to using emails, as long as you follow the appropriate rules of email conduct:
- Allow patients to opt out of the list
- Be consistent in your communications (send them on the same day each month/week)
- Follow the 80/20 rule—80% helpful information and 20% (or less) marketing
- Stay HIPAA-compliant
Email showed us just how impactful it could be during COVID when patients were scared, worried, and oftentimes misinformed. Ask yourself if your practice communicated changes to safety protocols, hours, and more during that crisis. The practices that received the greatest engagement were the ones that responded quickly by email and amended their websites to increase communication with patients and their community.
However, email is just as effective now as it was then. Regular newsletters and emails can:
- Build trust by educating patients
- Drive traffic to your practice or website/blogs
- Promote products/services
- Seasonal alerts for flu shots, back-to-school health exams, wellness care
- Invite patients after their visit to review your practice
- Ask them to follow your Facebook page
- Welcome new patients to your practice
- Send new patient forms in advance