Blogging is a great way to engage audiences and to get your message out. However, like all social media, your blog needs to have a purpose and a plan in order to bring in new patients to your organization.
Here are some tips to make your healthcare organization’s blog more valuable:
- Give useful tips. You want people to come to your organization for their healthcare needs, but even before they arrive, you can offer them tips and information they can use before they see you. Articles on home remedies for common conditions or on specific conditions written by a clinician offer value to your audience and help them to see that you are available with the help they need. Advice from a trusted clinician can go a long way in making and keeping your organization relevant.
- Use images and videos. It has been well documented that videos increase engagement significantly. An article about joint replacement is useful, but to really draw interest, it should include pertinent anatomical images to help the blog reader understand what’s involved with the procedure.
- Engage with comments and reviews. Be sure to allow comments on your blog posts. This gives your blog readers a voice – a way to add their input to the conversation. You’ll need to respond to each comment, good or bad. Not only will you learn more about the interests and concerns of your audience, you’ll provide a good experience for your actual and potential patients.
- Repurpose your blogs. It’s hard to continuously produce fresh, new blog articles. Take advantage of your existing content and reuse it. Perhaps an article from a year ago outlining a new service line could be updated to highlight the program’s successes over the past year, for example. An article that received a high level of interest and engagement in the past that is still topical could be refreshed and reused.
- Spotlight your people. Is one of your physicians a media rock star? Did the staff of a department successfully take on a community service project? Write a blog featuring these people. Not only will your audience learn more about the people who work at your organization, they’ll be more likely to form a positive opinion about it.
- Stay topical. There is always a hot health topic capturing the public’s attention – a particularly nasty flu season, a break-through treatment or medication, new research results about a condition, etc. Your clinicians can provide valuable, trusted information to the community. Enlist them to either write a blog article or provide information to include in the article.
- Take responsibility. Remember, what you post reflects on your organization. Provide accurate information that doesn't include generalizations or any medications or therapies that are not supported by scientific evidence. And be mindful of HIPAA implications.
- Be consistent. People want fresh, new content on a frequent basis. Blogging infrequently or on a haphazard schedule diminishes the credibility of your organization. In addition, you should add new content often to help with SEO.
- Be mindful of your audience. Your blog won’t be very useful if you’re not writing about the topics of interest to your audience. What are they searching for online?
If your organization has a blog, how do you keep it appealing?