First Aid Marketing: Why Your Hospital Needs A Blog

First Aid Marketing: Why Your Hospital Needs A Blog

When a business decides to start a blog it’s because they want to boost their marketing, build their brand, offer their customers some super-duper valuable information for free, be seen as a ruddy wonderful thought-leader in their niche and convert content into better business. It’s that secret weapon that’s transformed so many businesses, from those that sell bespoke jewelry to those offering digital learning platforms, those that have a lawn care business to those with a wedding venue, and everything in between.

But there is still one area of business – one massive market that operates the world over – that still hasn’t cottoned onto the magic of a blog – hospitals.

Don’t worry; we get it. We get that hospitals and healthcare providers tend to be massive entities that are made up of dozens of different departments, each one offering dozens of different services and, with marketing budgets tending to be limited, they try and spend what they have on things that will cover everything they do as an organization. They try and find that parachute solution. They try and find a marketing option that will boost the overall brand. At least, this was the traditional thought-process.

Nowadays, though, there has been a change in the tides. Yeah, that’s right, more and more success stories are cropping up from the realms of healthcare content marketing; from blogging. This is because medical marketers have finally accepted content marketing can achieve the same results. They can develop a brand, boost a reputation and, best of all, improve the patient experience which, let’s be honest, needs some sprucing up.

What we are saying in a roundabout way is, well, your hospital or healthcare service needs to include a blog as part of your marketing strategy. You just have to. Of course, us slapping you with a quick plea is hardly going to make you jump to attention, hire a super experienced business blogger and get this side of your branding up and running. We know that. As such, we have pulled together five comprehensive, critical, mega-important and irresistible reasons you need to hit the ground running with a blog. Trust us, it will be the best thing you have done with your marketing since you decided to put your business on Google.

1.    Become More Visible Than A High-Vis Jacket

The simplest way to put it is: having a blog will help patients find you, which is important because, with a lot of medical conditions, patients have time to actually do some research before picking a provider. It’s like when you go online to buy anything; you probably read about four or five reviews before you actually make a decision. The same goes for this niche. People use the internet for a very specific purpose, which means having a blog makes sense from both an SEO and an SEM point of view. Having a blog, one that is regularly refreshed, updated and kept relevant, is a fantastic way of improving the friendship between you and Google.

Of course, this is an art. It’s not just a matter of loading blog after blog with your relevant keywords in order to beat the system; it’s about offering genuinely useful content because that’s what Google rewards. Essentially, if you have a hospital called ‘North Benjamin Cardiology’, don’t start each blog with that. Don’t have blogs with titles like, ‘North Benjamin Cardiology’s Top 5 Healthy Foods’. Google will catch up and penalise you.

Instead, what we would advise from a professional blogging point of view is, asking the questions your patients would ask, and do it in your headlines. “What exercises are best for bad knees?” and “What super foods help with arthritis?” and that sort of thing. This is the soundest approach to adopt, especially if you start using your SEO keywords within the main body of your text. That’s the middle ground you want.

2.    Become A Place People Want To Work

75% of hospitals have a competitor located within 15 miles. That’s a hell of a statistic to wrap your head around. But that doesn’t just mean you have to up your game to get patients through your doors (and not one of the many competitors), it means you’ve got to think about how you can attract the best doctors, nurses and medical staff possible too.

That’s something a blog can do, so long as you get the topics right. That means writing blogs about the work perks you give your staff, it means writing blogs that detail the fact you offer disability insurance through, writing blogs that detail the things nurses wish they knew before they started and the things that nurses love most about their job, what makes life in a hospital the most fulfilling career in the world, how to enjoy the long days and the best ways to spend days off in your local area. It may not seem much to you, but for someone in the medical profession, these little moments of thoughtfulness could be the very thing that has the best of the best people working for your hospital and not somewhere else.

3.    Everyone Has A Story To Tell

Nothing hits a nerve quite like a story. Nothing. It’s that one thing that resonates with the reader. So, use this to your advantage and tell the stories of your doctors and nurses and their practices and what got them here, what they love, the memory that most warms their hearts and everything else of that ilk. But don’t stop there. Tell the story of your hospitals, of your heads of departments, and of your patients. Relay stories about your community. Tell the story of different health concerns, how certain medications and cures came to be and anything else that coincides with the service you are offering. Most people use blogs as generic storehouses, but there is too much information out there for this to have an impact, unlike a story.

If people want to get into the nitty-gritty facts about a condition, they can go to Wikipedia or WebMD. That’s why we urge to write with a little bit of personality and humour and pizzazz. Make your content stand out from the crowd by being personal, which can be done easily by spelling out your experience with certain conditions. Don’t just rely on words though. Throw in some imagery where possible and video content if you have anything. Make it connect in whatever way possible.

4.    Give Your Expertise A Human-Vibe

We’ve mulled it over and we don’t think there is an industry where being a thought-leader matters quite as much as in the medical profession. Think about it for a moment. When a patient is choosing a healthcare provider, doctor or hospital, they want assurances that they are picking the best of the best; the one that really knows their stuff. That said, they don’t want to feel like they are just picking a robot that knows everything; they want to feel comfortable too, and they want this because medical care is a pretty intimidating subject; just look at the terminology and language used.

That’s where a blog swoops in wearing a bright red cape. It is your chance to relay your expertise but in a more casual way, in a way that puts people more at ease, more relaxed. It’s a way to take a pretty complex subject and make it more, well, conversational. Don’t just run a blog all about medical conditions, have a blog that shows the human side of doctors by having them write human posts, things like, “what they miss about the little ones being little” and “10 Things They Love About Your Local Area”. That’s how to make a patient feel comfortable and informed. That’s how to make a patient come through your doors.

5.    The Most Important Thing Is Your Relationships

Ask any successful entrepreneur or businessperson what the secret to success is and they will tell, right off the bat, it’s building and maintaining relationships. And they would be right. That’s what a blog is really good at, especially if you write them from the first person. Let’s say you are writing a blog about maintaining a healthy heart, Instead of writing reasons why it is important or how you can do it, build a relationship by writing about how “food was always big part of your childhood because your dear old granny had a healthy obsession with nutritious and delicious foods.” Something like that automatically relates to the reader. It automatically makes them warm to you.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until your readers actually click on a blog to build a relationship. You can do it on your blog’s homepage by having some gorgeous approachable copy that makes them know and feels that your whole blog is focussed on the patient community. It lets them know this is something warm and cosy and friendly that is well worth them signing up to follow.

Here’s the best part, though, all of these pieces of advice are linked together by one subtle common denominator: they will boost your bottom line. They will convert readers into customers, and customers that will be loyal.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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