When was the last time a patient went to you first for advice? Increasingly, patients use the internet as a resource before seeing a physician. Roughly 72% of internet users have looked up health information on the internet in the past year, and 35% of U.S. adults have specifically used the internet to try to diagnose a medical condition themselves.
As a healthcare provider, you need to be there for your patients. One way to do that is to create helpful content online. Content marketing creates three times as many leads as ads per dollar, and 80 percent of decision-makers prefer to read articles over ads to get information about a company. With so many people searching for medical information online, you can build your relationship with potential patients before they even step through the door.
Set a Guideline
Content marketing isn’t simply about adding words to the internet. It’s about strategy. Creating stellar content marketing starts with a plan. Develop a measurable goal for why you want to start. Figure out what you want from content marketing, and set a due date for when you want it by. You might aim to increase web traffic by 20 percent in the next 60 days, or increase new patients by 10 percent by November. The goal is up to you.
The next step is to create your content. Develop an open and honest dialogue with your patients. You don’t need to post daily, but have a regular schedule for when you are posting. Give your insight into relevant news about healthcare and what matters to patients. Patients know when you put them first, and seeing your content could convince them to visit you when they are in need of care.
Measure the Results
Periodically measure how your content is performing compared to your goal. Take note of the time of posting, the post topic and the target audience. As you increase your repertoire of custom content, figure out what gets the best results. Look for trends. Does posting at 8:00 a.m. get you more web traffic? Do you see a spike in appointment requests when you write about heart attacks? If you surpass your goal, see what you can do to make your content even more effective. If your results don’t live up to expectations, experiment with something you haven’t done before. It could be exactly what your patients are looking for.