Random ideas aren't strategic, however. You'll want some sort of content strategy from the beginning.
One possible approach is to compose your opening blog posts following a content marketing theme.
HubSpot likes to promote a content strategy that takes on the form of a funnel (it's no coincidence that this content funnel is modeled on the more commonly understood sales funnel). Broad and informational posts comprise the wide top of a funnel in this content marketing plan.
After you develop these broad topics, you set yourself up for opportunities to further diversify these topics in more-targeted content in future posts.
The goal here is for readers to fall inside this "funnel" of content and end up at the bottom, where they will be more likely to take action and become a new lead or customer. They may even end up becoming someone who shares their positive experiences with your practice live or online in the ultimate marketing tool, word of mouth.
The following top 5 topics create a strong "top of the funnel" strategy. They are broad and informative categories of information of expressed interest to consumers, and as an added bonus, they also function as a way for you to quietly build patient trust.
The critical top 5 topics your medical website needs to address
If you have no other content on your blog but posts that continue, time and again, to address these issues, you'll have a solid start in inbound marketing, something every medical practice should strive for.
The reason why patients go online for healthcare concerns in the first place is because they have a problem to solve and they are looking for solutions.
The more posts you can publish that help them explore answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, the better. And answering questions is a great way for a medical blog to "be found."
In order to identify your patient problems, draft your most frequently asked patient questions. Why?
The answers to your patients’ questions should drive all blog content
By answering patients’ questions at your blog, you are more likely to be “found” online (through keyword optimization)
Listening for and using the words your patients actually use will result in choosing the best keywords and keyword phrases
A recent Gallup poll shows that public perception of the healthcare industry is on a significant downward spiral.
For whatever reasons, people are less trusting of healthcare; for one thing, it's expensive and they don't always feel they are getting the best service for the price they pay. As consumers, they surf the web to find pricing information about tests, visits, equipment, and treatments.
Patients will harbor more trust in businesses which practice transparency
Taking the time to explain the difference between cash only and billables educates (and empowers) patients
Blogging about the insurance process, breaking it into steps, can favorably improve patient understanding
Patients who feel informed will be more empowered to take positive action toward making healthy lifestyle changes.
The presence of your medical practice on the Internet can be reassuring if you populate your blog with solid information about what you can offer them.
Review your practice's products, procedures, and services. Why?
Writing about what you offer—using brand names, images, and other media—can give patients much-desired information which they'll be grateful for; this can build their trust in your practice
Patients are more open to positive change if they feel they can make informed decisions
If you approach your services in a way that is strictly informational, and avoid upselling or glossing over risks, patients will appreciate your honesty
Similarly, patients need to know what is considered the best of the best when it comes to products, services, and procedures... even when you don't offer them.
Discuss the "best of" products, procedures, and service currently available on your blog. Why?
Patients, like consumers, are always looking for the best options; this is why they are shopping around for healthcare information on the web
Even if you don't offer what they are looking for, if you offer quality content, they might eventually come to see you as a benevolent thought leader
By doing so, this gives you the perfect opportunity to break down medical acronyms so patients won’t feel lost... another way to establish mutual respect with them
In our information-saturated world, any help they can get from your blog with comparing "apples to apples" is going to reflect well on your practice.
Give patients solutions through “how to” content conveyed in a variety of media. Why?
Clear, concise, accessible “how to” content at your blog—whether as text, video, infographic, podcast file, animation, or slideshow—is precisely what they are looking for
"Pro & con” comparisons help patients make more informed decisions
Patients love lists of tips, tricks, and general advice about specific concerns
Our goal at inboundMed is to build trust with our medical marketing clients by providing educational content for them; we know from experience that this is the way meaningful connections are made between businesses and their customers.
We also know that following this funnel-shaped content strategy is a sure way to not only provide quality, information-rich content readers will value, but it will also help you shape your future posts and improve your website optimization.
It's truly a win-win situation for both your medical practice and your current and potential new patients.
If you'd like to learn more about content marketing for your medical practice, you may wish to download the free e-book below, which offers a broad array of inbound marketing strategies you can use right away.