Your blog is your professional voice — a reflection of your healthcare expertise. Your blog creates the big first impression that you need to make with prospective patients and customers. With your blog, you help readers understand the conditions that require your expertise, and you educate them on the best treatments, the technology involved, and other nuances of the topic.
The goal is to convert readers into patients or customers — and retain those you currently treat. However, blogging is much more than writing an essay. To be effective, your blog must meet certain standards. Let’s review best practices for a healthcare blog:
#1 - Relevant topics
What interests your readers? What are they most concerned about? What risks should you inform them about? New treatments available? Do they really understand the details of those risks, those treatments?
These are good starting points for a regular weekly blog that ties into your healthcare practice and expertise. For example, if you run a dental or radiology practice, your blog could explain the latest treatments or imaging techniques, as well as conditions when they’re used. If you have a sleep apnea service, your blog can explain symptoms, treatments, and risks of avoiding treatment.
Jot down lists of topics related to your specialty and your patients; research consumer sites to see how they approach your specialty. Learn to think like a patient; talk to family members and patients about topics they feel are relevant. Keep mental notes when patients ask questions; these are great clues to effective blogs.
The more you can share about your healthcare services, the greater chance you’ll be recognised as an authority by search engines– and by prospective patients. The more you “get inside the head” of your prospective patient/customer, the more effective your blog will be.
#2 - Use the right keywords
Try Google’s keyword planner tool to identify keywords that your healthcare blog must contain, so it can be found in an online search. The best keywords have low competition, but action is likely. Focus on topics that set you apart from the competition; if you have specific technology that’s new in your community, focus on that. You could develop a series of blog posts related to that one technology and the condition it treats.
Use these relevant keywords in your headlines and the text; this is critical for search engines to index your blog.
#3 - Create a schedule and make it a priority
Posting regularly is key to gaining followers and patients. An editorial calendar will keep you on track, so you have a plan for the week’s topic, with 1000 words as your weekly goal. Longer blog posts get more search engine traction; however, shorter 300-word pieces, posted regularly, will boost your social media presence.
#4 - Analyze results
When you track your blog posts, you’ll learn which healthcare topics resonate most with your healthcare patients and customers. Whatever your specialty — dental, sleep, radiology, counseling — expand on those topics. Find new angles on the same topic; keep researching the topics online to find good consumer information. Your staff may be helpful in this regard.
#5 - Use social media to share posts
Research shows 3 of 4 people use at least one social media platform regularly. Healthcare is especially popular on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. In today’s world, you must use social media in your healthcare marketing to promote your practice.
Advertising and broadcasting are simply more expensive than social media. And social media can be highly targeted, then carefully tracked and measured. Social media is also very interactive; each platform engages prospective patients/customers. They get to know you, your brand, your services.
#6 - Choose social media platforms wisely
Your healthcare niche will help define the social platforms best suited to your marketing. If you run a cosmetic dentistry or aesthetics practice, Instagram is a great place to post photos and engage an audience visually. Facebook may be a better option for a local dental practice, as you can create an on-line community that’s composed of patients and prospects. If you have a sleep apnea business or practice, you might establish a YouTube channel or Facebook group, to attract patients with sleep problems.
#7 - Be consistent
As with blog posts, you must maintain a routine presence in social media. This keeps your social media audience engaged and actively reading your healthcare posts. The rule of thumb is to post to each platform 3-4 times per week, adjusting to the best practices of each. A Twitter account requires more frequency than that, a YouTube channel, less.
The bulk of your blogs should be educational, but occasionally you might post a staff birthday party photo, or discuss a new piece of technology, or profile a new staff member. If you publish too often about your healthcare practice, you’ll risk losing followers.
#8 - Be an active participant
Social media provides the opportunity for a two-way conversation, so it’s important to track activity, respond to comments, share thoughts, and follow others. Whenever possible, add links or invitations to participate. Most importantly, treat every person you engage with like a new patient lead. When they show interest in your content, they’re more likely to show interest in you or your healthcare practice/company, too.
Overwhelmed? We can create (and promote) your blog
Creating a weekly blog takes time, with the research and writing involved. The social media involved to promote the blog also takes time — and you must follow all social media rules. For example, Facebook can refuse to publish your blog if the teaser or photo doesn’t follow their rules.
Somnowell Marketing has a team in place to develop blogs that will attract and convert prospective patients. Our professional writers and social media experts have worked with healthcare practices like yours that need a weekly blog.
We can create a plan to best enhance your SEO keywords, your Google ranking, your social media, and your content. We know social media best practices, and ensure your blogs appear where your potential patients will see them. You deserve a blog that projects your voice, your brand, in a professional manner — and our Somnowell team will do that.