Do you create content for a healthcare organization? If your only content marketing efforts are a website, blog and some social media posts, then you could already be falling behind. Here are the top content marketing trends for healthcare that are changing the way these organizations are communicating with their audiences. Read on if you want to learn how to gain an instant edge over the competition.
1. Live videos
Live video streaming and chat sessions increase engagement and create rapport and trust. Think of it as opening your clinic doors to the world. Patients can ask questions, get a feel of a clinic’s atmosphere, and more importantly, encourage them to come in for a real visit.
How can you make this happen? Start with scheduling Twitter or Facebook chats with your doctors. You could even show demos of procedures – patients are fascinated by treatments, especially once they see how simple and painless they really are.
2.Use social media – ethically
While social media can’t be ignored, most physicians are wary of throwing themselves at the mercy of Twitter trolls. Physicians Weekly gives these social media tips for doctors: focus on Facebook, LinkedIn and physicians-only groups like Sermo. If you are on Twitter, share links to credible medical sources.
Larger physicians’ groups and medical companies can get a professional agency to manage their content marketing and social media needs. However, constant communication and approval is important – medical industries have to consider medical regulations for advertising and patient privacy. Use a content management and collaboration tool like Mintent to make this process more efficient and transparent.
3.Focus on share-worthy stories
Customers shy away from hard sell sites and posts that just push a clinic’s services. Give them content they need and can relate to. Look for:
- Heartwarming patient success stories
- Infographics that compare the pros, cons and costs of different treatments
- Medical commentary on breaking news or top concerns
Listicles that can help save or improve someone’s life (ex: 5 things you can do today to lower your risk for a heart attack)
4.Optimize your website for mobile interaction
More people are using smartphones and tablets for personal browsing. Check how your website looks on different devices and search engines. Be sure to consider:
- Loading time
- Image size
- Horizontal and vertical views
- Scroll down length
- Number of clicks needed to get to critical information
- Visibility of call-to-action buttons
Features like chat, location-based notifications, and booking
The goal of any content marketing campaign is to get patients into your clinic, but telemedicine provides multiple points of interaction that can build rapport before and after the actual appointment. Consider these trends in “virtual care”:
- Health quizzes and self-diagnostic tests
- Apps that allow daily monitoring of sugar, heartbeat, diet, and exercise – and push notifications that remind them about tests and appointments
- Messaging platforms that let them send questions to their doctor, or any specialist in a clinic
- Automated emails that provide after-treatment tips or share wellness articles
Telemedicine doesn’t replace face-to-face appointments; it augments it. It engages customers who are still weighing their options – and makes you top-of-mind when they’re finally ready for a treatment. It also then builds a relationship with them between visits.
Telemedicine also helps your patients feel that you’re accompanying them on their health journey. Any doctor can give a test and sign a prescription, but you can distinguish yourself as a company that cares.
Medical practices are seeing the business potential of text, email, and other internet-based services. Time-poor patients are hesitant to step into a clinic for a “routine” checkup or a “minor” pain. Internet technology offers ways to do online consultations – with enough waivers and disclaimers that this does not replace a face-to-face visit.
Telemedicine can play a powerful role in establishing the first appointment (when patients are more interested in costs or asking questions) or follow-up appointments. Clinics and physicians will need to manage risk and what they can realistically achieve through a video chat, but for many consumers, just the option for an Internet call is enough to swing them towards a health provider.
Doctors receive tons of questions from patients. Any question that starts with “How do I….” or “When do I…” can translate into ideal content for a tutorial. Whether it’s a mother asking a pediatrician how to relieve colic, or a cancer patient’s family wondering how to germ-proof a home to prevent infection during chemo, you know that if one person asked it, then millions of the web will want to know, too.
Collect these practical, specific and very real questions. They’re valuable for blog posts, videos, infographics and social media posts. Use a collaboration and content management tool like Mintent to store the ideas and drag them into an editorial calendar.
8.Join social messaging platforms
While most health care companies know the importance of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the new playground is social messaging applications like Snapchat, Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber. A social media or customer relations manager can field queries and push them to book an appointment. This is an excellent way of providing real-time, customized advice.
Smartphones allow marketers to target patients and alert them to nearby facilities. Facebook ads can also target audience by city, so every cent of your budget is spent on the people who are most likely to go to a clinic or hospital.
10.Reviews and customer feedback
Customers want transparency and authenticity, and they are more likely to believe other patients. Reviews, testimonials and patient success stories can do more for your website than hundreds of articles on medical information.
Wary of including hard-sell testimonials on your website? There are other subtle but equally powerful ways of telling your customer’s story.
- Document a patient’s story – including their daily struggles, fears, and milestones.
- Interview a doctor about the top challenges her patients face, or the hardest questions she’s ever been asked.
- Do a “Day in the Life” of a patient, doctor, nurse or therapist.
- Show time lapse videos of a patient who has gone through several months of treatment or rehabilitation.
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