This is the second installment in the series Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices. Read part one here.
In my last post I explained what content marketing is, and how it is being used to market to an ever increasing number of people online. In this post I am going to explain why this matters in healthcare.
Why it Matters
The biggest reason is that, not only are nearly 90% of Americans regularly going online, they are doing so to look up health information.
According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of internet users search for health information online.
Among senior citizens–who make up the largest growing group of online users–their preferred source of health information is the internet (source).
Of all the health searches performed, 77% began at a search engine like Google or Bing (source).
This means, if you are in the healthcare business and you want to be found, you need to have a presence (website) online. And you need to optimize your site so that the search engines can find you.
This optimization is a whole field in itself aptly named Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Amy has done a terrific job breaking this subject down in her series What You Need to Know About Medical SEO. Though SEO can get complicated, and there are people who make a living just optimizing websites, the most important thing to know is that content marketing is one of the best, cheapest and easiest ways to get good SEO.
Each time you post some good quality content, you are calling attention to your site and letting the search engines know that you are legitimate. The aim of the search engine is to return a listing of quality sites that will meet the needs of their user. Your site is more likely to be on that list if you have a lot of good information that people are looking for.
One great way for a medical practice to do this is by posting answers to commonly asked questions. If patients are asking these questions in the clinic, they are most certainly asking them online.
Who Uses it?
If you have done any medical searches online, and chances are you have, you know about big sites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic. But, it is important to know that content marketing is not only for businesses with huge marketing departments. Bigger institutions likely got hip to content marketing sooner because they have marketing professionals on board who told them about it. But content marketing is accessible to anyone–all you really need is a website.
Amy and I have done content marketing for solo practitioners and large medical groups alike. We’ve even done some work for a medical equipment company. One of my favorite examples of content marketing is the blog published by StriveLabs--they provide customer management software for physical therapy practices.
Anyone in healthcare can use content marketing to attract customers. See the graphic below for more examples:
In my next post I’ll get into the meat of content marketing and what you need to know to get started.
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 1: What is Content Marketing?
Photo Credit: © frinz / Dollar Photo Club
Image Credit: adapted from PaperShapes template/ Amy Stafford of Blixa 6 Studios