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inboundMed Blog

Medical Marketing Tips: How to Choose Your First Blog Topics

Aug 25, 2015 3:28:00 PM / by Kevin Phillips

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So you're ready to start blogging and get more organic traffic to your medical website? Writing at least one to two blog article a week can do wonders for your practice when it comes to getting found online. 

But what should you write about? How do you figure out your first 10 blog topics to share with your intended audience?

All too often we hear companies talk about wanting to start a blog, but aren't sure exactly where to start. But really, coming up with topics is incredibly easy once you realize that the topics you're looking for, you hear them everyday.

5 Medical Marketing Tips for Getting Your Blog Started

1. Draft up your most frequently asked patient questions

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Answering pateint questions should be the backbone of your entire inbound medical marketing campaign. The whole concept behind inbound marketing relies on the fundamental principles of making your website get found easily by potential new patients. And the easiest way to attract new patients is by paying attention to what your current patients have already asked you.

Every single question patients ask is a potential article.

For example, when I first started bogging for a sleep clinic in Alaska, I didn't know anything about sleep medicine. So how could I possibly write compelling articles about a field I knew absolute zip about? The answer: I talked with all of the staff members from the administrative assistants, to the doctors and technologists, to the billing department. I had them each write down the top 25 questions they they got asked most frequently by patients.

In less than an hour I had dozens of topics to pursue. Many of the questions each person wrote down were similar, but because I asked a variety of people from different departments and professions, I amassed a ton of questions unique to each part of the company's business.

In fact, my first article answered the most commonly asked question heard in just about any sleep clinic: Why am I so tired all the time?

That article alone now has over 225,000 views (and counting). All I had to do was keep my ears open (as well as pester my new coworkers a bit) and listen to what was being asked by our patients.

2. Review products and services

A really easy way to start answering patient questions is to write product/service reviews. Make a list all of the products your business sells, or services they offer, and write detailed articles about them. But don't just tell patients everything that is great about a product, or what they'll love about a service, as it will start to look too much like an advertisement.

Get in-depth with the articles and give people the answers they want to know, not just what you want them to know. Try and put yourself in the shoes of the patient rather than as a representative of the company.

One of the best ways to do this is by giving both the pros and the cons of a particular product. Don't just upsell the positives, tell them about its downsides as well, or who the product/service may not be best for.

If you're open and honest in your reviews, you will gain trust from your readers, and when they decide to finally purchase a product or schedule a service, they'll be more likely to get it from you, because they trust your honesty.

3. Compare products or services

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Piggybacking off reviews, other great topics to discuss are comparisons of products and services. If a particular product isn't for everybody, give them an alternative, even if it's one you don't offer.

For example, early on when writing articles for Alaska Sleep Clinic, I noticed that there were tons of articles about CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, but not much information about the alternatives to that form of treatment. While CPAP is the most common type of positive airway pressure treatment, it is by no means the only type. There are APAP, BiPAP, ASV, and a few other devices with confusing acronyms as well that may be more beneficial for some patients, but nobody was really talking about them ( or at least not very well).

My second most popular article is "What is BiPAP Therapy? The Difference Between BiPAP and CPAP." All too often, other articles simply lumped all PAP devices under the header "CPAP," and apparently I was the first to really go in-depth at explaining the difference between the two types of machines. And best of all, Google rewarded my article by making it number one in nearly all keywords related to "BiPAP." I was also given the same reward for articles on APAP and ASV machines, as well as ranking highly for an article offering all of the possible alternatives.

4. Solve Problems with "How To" articles

One of the most common reasons people go to the internet is to look for solutions to problems they're having, and if you're wanting to get traffic to your site, be the first (and/or the best) to answer those questions.

This is also a great opportunity to use video for your articles as many people are either visual learners or are looking for solutions that are best presented in the visual medium.

Once again, some of my most popular articles were those that solved problems patients at my sleep clinic were having. I wrote articles about how to choose CPAP masks, how to clean and maintain equipment, gave tips and tricks for adjusting to therapy, and advice on how to best use a product.

5. Don't shy away from articles about price

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For some reasons many companies that start off answering their patients' most frequently asked questions shy away from one very important topic: COST. Is it so strange that one of the most important questions people may have about a product or service is how much that product/service will cost them?

So why is your business not talking about prices? You may be saying "well...it's a little complicated." Which is true, especially when talking about services instead of products. There are many factors that influence the price a patient may end up paying.

So how do you deal with the topics that are "complicated?" You tell the patient that it's complicated. Explain to them the various factors and circumstances that may impact the final dollar amount they will end up paying. You may not be able to give them an exact monetary figure, but at least show them what the ballpark rates may be.

And because so many others in your field may have the same reservations about discussing rates as you once did, you will quickly see your keyword rankings regarding costs and prices skyrocket until you're on the first page of search results. Trust me. Here's what happened when I decided to answer that question for a little sleep clinic in Alaska:

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When you start listening to your patients, you will find an endless trove of amazing blog topics for you to write about. And by focusing on answering their most common questions you will see your website traffic (and patient leads) transformed almost over night.

If you are interested in learning more about how content marketing done right can skyrocket your medical practice, call us today at (907) 602-3438

 

 

 

 

Topics: blogging

Kevin Phillips

Written by Kevin Phillips

Alaska HubSpot Partner Certified Agency