By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
It seems like a large measure of healthcare marketing is digital-driven for doctors. It’s standard practice for providers, medical groups and hospitals to have a website. OK, check. And creating a Facebook page is simple fare. OK, check again. Then there’s Twitter. We’ll that’s only 140-characters; so that’s easy enough. Someone in the office can do that. So check-off “social media.” All done? Right?
What about a doctor-driven blog? You know…that free-form palette that’s kinda like an old school, leather wrapped physician’s journal. With the other Internet elements in place, busy doctors will often object, “I don’t have time to start a blog.” Besides, they protest, “What’s my payback (or benefits)?”
Benefits of why you should start a medical practice blog…[bctt tweet=”A doctor blog engages prospective patients, builds trust and relationships, and inspires referrals and attracts new patients for the practice mix you want.”]
The physicians and surgeons who are among the best-known doctor bloggers will tell you that they truly enjoy the mental discipline, intellectual exercise and public/patient interaction. They will also point to the educational benefits for both physician and for the patient/readers. For some quick samples—clinical and otherwise—click through here to KevinMD.com (physician voice rockstar), 33 Charts (Brian Vartabedian, MD), or Dr. Grumpy (medical office insanity).
The best reasons to start a practice blog include:
- It’s a foundation block for our online presence (think Google search results and SEO);
- Blogs communicate authoritatively, demonstrate expertise and maintain reputation;
- About 70 percent of consumers discover businesses by way of a blog;
- Blog content inspires patient engagement, instills trust and builds relationships; and ultimately,
- A doctor blog helps inspire referrals, attract new patients and the practice mix you want.
And eight useful tips for the birth of a great blog…
- Commitment. Begin with resolve to create interesting content on a regular basis.
- Consistency. Blogs blossom with regular care and feeding…but nothing happens overnight.
- Create content that is shareable. Interesting and useful information attracts and retains readers. Plus, attention-getting, timely and useful information inspires sharing your words with others.
- Express yourself. Give opinions, ask questions and start discussions.
- Make it easy (not a chore). Many blogging tools are practical and readily available. WordPress, for example, is free and easy to learn and use. Ask us about other resources.
- Spread the word. Online, eNewsletter and in person, let your patients know about the blog; use your website and social media to promote what you do.
- Use outside help if necessary. A blog should have your voice and knowledge base. But experienced healthcare writers can supplement or support what you originate.
- Write about patient questions or topics. It’s not about you, it’s about what your audience wants to know.
We can help with a jumpstart…
If you’re serious about creating a blog and an online voice that successfully connects your practice with patients and website visitors, please reach out to us today. And to help you get started, read more on this topic here: 25 Reasons Doctors Invest in the Business of Blog.