Blogs help create and develop your brand equity in the vast market of healthcare, where patients look for quality services from healthcare professionals. Even though your practice is doing well in your community, it’s still like a business. Needless to say, it requires constant monitoring and a regular SWOT analysis to survive in the market of healthcare, which is teeming with competition.
Digital has changed the economics of the healthcare sector and has brought about radical reforms in the way patients now choose their physicians. The Internet and social media are now the first stop for patients seeking information about a physician recommendation, service quality and patient experiences.
For influencing patient decisions and making them aware of your presence in the vast healthcare market, you need to be where your patients make their decisions, i.e. the Internet. When we talk about Internet marketing, blogging can be channeled as a low-cost and long-term strategy to develop a positive online reputation. Blogs are also a simple, informal yet effective way to connect to your patients. There are several ways that healthcare providers can benefit from creating their own blogs. Below are some of the most important.
Americans are increasingly going online to research their health solutions
Stat watch: A recent report by the National Research Corporation states, “Americans are ‘always on’: nearly nine in ten consumers (87 percent) access the Internet regularly (PEW American Life, 2014). Within the context of healthcare, two in five consumers (39 percent) (Market Insights consumer study, 2015) visited WebMD.com in the past year and one in five consumers (22 percent) stopped at a local hospital or health system website.”
Americans are turning to the Internet like never before to make their health decisions and to self-diagnose their medical conditions. Blogs offer an excellent platform for physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers to take a more active and engaged role in managing patient health. Patients aren’t just adopting a search approach to find out a physician for them, they are also Googling disease symptoms and treatment options. Well-written, educative and informative blogs establish trust and credibility among those benefitting from the information. They can also share this information on various social media platforms. Once this flow of information starts, it enhances your online visibility and hence, provides you a golden chance of building a positive online reputation.
Blogging helps establish your practice authority
The digital times are such that everyone wants to be sure about their choices before investing their time and money. Before booking an appointment with you, patients will want to know and be sure about the healthcare services offered at your practice. After all, they want to entrust their health to a well-established healthcare authority. If you post regular blogs on various topics related to your area of specialization and on frequently asked patient questions, you can position your practice as a reliable and credible option among various others. People who have yet to visit you will more likely be able to trust you prior to booking an appointment.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Additional exposure to your brand
“Brand building” actually means building a potential customer’s trust in your company or product. Regular blogging helps build your brand as your hospital stands out from the crowd. It provides an opportunity to reach new people and get more exposure in the virtual world, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible by just relying on traditional word-of-mouth marketing.
Answer the questions your patients have
Though the search engines are full of information, users seek reliable, scientific and up-to-date medical knowledge. Your blog can quench this thirst for credible information and serve the purpose of answering patient queries.
Build a personal connection with blogs
Most healthcare business success comes from strong relationships with patients as they become your brand advocates when satisfied. Though you focus on putting consistent efforts for marketing your practice over the Internet and social media, there is one underlying, fundamental aspect to marketing your practice that should permeate all your efforts: relationship building by touching human emotions. Blogging is one of the most effective platforms to form a connection with patients and potential prospects. If they like the content that is posted in blogs, they are likely to develop a feeling of trust and credibility and may consider booking an appointment next time.
In the healthcare industry, the most essential aspect is credibility and trust. For physicians, developing positive relationship with patients along with a strong foundation of trust is imperative. If your blogs provide well-written valuable information, readers will definitely appreciate it. Internet marketing industry experts suggest that blogging and business growth are directly proportional. So for better visibility, positive online reputation, a stronger digital footprint and attracting new patients to your practice, start your practice blog — now!