DOs and DON’Ts of content marketing for medical practitioners
Customers have gone digital – people search for brands online before they make a decision to purchase a product or service.
As a medical practitioner, you are no different. You are a brand which exists to provide individuals with the best healthcare solutions possible.
And as such, you need to indulge in content marketing with a similar approach while keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the services you provide.
New to content marketing? Read all about it here:
Understanding Content marketing [A simple guide for beginners]
But before we get into the dos and don’ts of content marketing for medical practitioners, let’s look, in a little more detail, at why you need content marketing in the first place.
Why content marketing is essential for a healthcare professional
Did you know that, according to Pew Research, 80% of internet users have searched the web for a topic related to health?
But wait, there’s more:
44% of people who use the internet search for medical practitioners online.
That’s right, nearly half of the internet users will look online for a doctor or other professional. And the top of those search results is where you need to be.
Which is why a top-notch content marketing strategy is the way to go.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into some healthcare content marketing do’s and don’ts!
Content marketing DOs for a medical practitioner
Do have an up-to-date website
A business website is basically a hub of all the information your audience may need from you.
Whether it details your services and where you are located or mentions tips to make a patient’s post-surgery recovery journey easier on your blog, for example, your website has it all.
Make sure that your website is always updated with the latest information and content. Also ensure that is easy to use and navigate so that people from all walks of life have easy access to it.
Another very important thing to do is to optimize your website to appear in the SERPs. You can achieve this through a number of SEO techniques which will help you drive traffic to your site.
Find some great content optimization tips here.
Do post useful, relevant content
Whether you are creating content for your blog or are coming up with a post for social media, you need to provide value to your audience.
Seeing as your readers are mostly patients or people struggling with certain medical conditions, your focus should be to facilitate them as much as possible.
This could include anything from tips to lead a healthier lifestyle to post-op care routines and which drugs to stay away from, for example.
At the end of the day, whichever platform you are posting on, the content should provide value to the audience. And for this, you need to understand your target demographic inside and out.
Do be creative
You may think that, as a doctor or pharmacist, for example, the information that interests you and that you have to share with others is mostly boring.
But that is not the case. The truth is that you can share even mundane information in an engaging way if you put those creative gears into play.
Let’s say you are a dentist, for example. You realize that people with cavity-prone teeth don’t always know how to ensure utmost oral hygiene to protect their teeth from damage.
Instead of sharing a long paragraph of instructions, you can create an animated video that SHOWS your audience how to care for cavity-prone teeth, something they will find extremely useful.
Do have a social media presence
According to The Spark Report, 41% of people are influenced by social media when it comes to making a choice regarding a doctor or hospital.
You must have a social media presence if you are to attract these people – just a website or a blog aren’t going to cut it.
That said, you should follow all the general guidelines of social media engagement such as the following:
- Publish fresh, unique, relevant content.
- Post regularly.
- Link back to your website.
- Have interactive posts so your audience remains involved.
- Be responsive – your audience mainly consists of patients who may need your immediate help.
- Have a presence on multiple social media channels.
Want to read some fascinating statistics about how social media impacts healthcare? Give this blog post a read!
Do create a community
People who are going through a medical situation find comfort in the fact that there are others around them who are experiencing something similar.
You can facilitate healthy interactions between patients and other members of your audience by building a community online, such as a Facebook group.
Be mindful, though, that the conversations would have to be monitored and mediated to ensure false information isn’t being shared as this can possibly be detrimental to someone’s health.
Do encourage your patients/clients to review you positively
Did you know that 68% of potential customers only need to read one to six reviews before they form an opinion about a brand/product/service?
This means that by the sixth review, your potential patients have already made up their minds about what kind of doctor you are and whether they would like to come to you.
Can you imagine if multiple of these reviews were negative? Worse yet, can you imagine if there are no reviews at all for people to go by? Neither reflects too well on you.
For this reason, always ask people you have treated to post a review, if they are willing, about their experience with you.
Content marketing DON’Ts for a medical practitioner
Don’t post inaccurate information
You have to realize that you are a certified medical professional and will be seen by your audience as an authority in the field.
This makes it absolutely vital for you to authenticate all information that you share on your channels – and we mean ALL information.
While the result of being inaccurate for experts in other fields may be restricted to some negative publicity or a drop in popularity, your negligence can cause much direr consequences. And that is not acceptable.
So make sure you get your facts straight before you publish anything on the web.
Don’t sound salesy
Selling yourself may be an end goal of your online marketing efforts but you don’t want your posts to sound promotional or “salesy.”
Instead, you want to establish yourself as an expert within a particular niche. There are a number of ways in which you can do this, including the following:
- Sharing patient success stories (with their consent)
- Sharing useful information revolving around that niche
- Getting positive reviews
- Providing value to the audience or potential patients
All this and more, at the end of the day, will result in people coming to you for relief from their medical struggles.
Don’t get too technical
Remember that your readers do not belong to the field.
So as much as you may want to share some really technical findings from the most recent research you read or why a certain medication is being banned, try to keep it simple.
Don’t get us wrong – you can still the information you feel is important. But you can do it in a way that is relevant to your audience and easy for them to understand.
So basically, tell them about the implications of the research on their lives and that a particular medicine is being banned because it is dangerous – that will be more useful for them.
Don’t underestimate the power of a blog
We have established just how many people take to the internet to search about medical problems.
When they type their keywords into a search engine and hit enter, it will do you good if your blog, which has the answers to their questions, appears in the list.
Your blog is basically a platform for you to share all kinds of content of value to your consumers. Use it to your advantage.
Don’t trivialize issues or laugh them off
Humor and informal conversation is good – it often lets you get your message across in a better way. But there is a very thin line between funny and insensitive. That is a line you do not want to cross.
Medical jokes may have your colleagues in stitches but they may not sit too well with patients or other members of your audience who may be suffering from a related problem.
Similarly, if an individual gets in touch with a concern, do not brush them off or make them feel like they are dumb for having a particular belief or opinion. Help them if you can or refer them to someone who can.
Always be tactful and considerate to the feelings of the people who are going to be consuming your content.
We hope that within this list of do’s and don’ts, you have found useful content marketing tips for medical practitioners like yourself.
The key is to provide value to your potential patients and other audience members based on your unique circumstances.
Best of luck!
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