Healthcare marketing doesn't have to be difficult.
This article is second in a series of blog articles produced by NueMD focused on healthcare marketing.
You've heard marketing your practice means more money, but you're busy providing patient care and navigating administrative burden. Luckily, healthcare marketing isn't a race. It's the small consistent strides that provide big returns down the line.
Over the next 7 weeks, we'll discuss important medical marketing tips for healthcare professionals who are understandably busy.
How to Market Your Practice Tip #2
Blogging can improve your health and your website's health.
As a doctor or healthcare professional, you know your time is best spent seeing patients. After trudging through administrative burden, maintaining a blog seems like another pointless task thrown into your workflow.
Before writing it off completely (pun intended), here are two reason to consider blogging as a healthcare professional:
Blogging supports overall mental health
50% of bloggers in the U.S. keep a blog because it serves as a form of therapy - AOL study, 2005
In the article Expressive Writing: Connections to Physical and Mental Health, authors James W. Pennebaker and Cindy K. Chung cite several studies concluding that expressive writing about emotional experiences can lead to biological responses similar to those when a person attempts to relax, such as lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure, enhancing immune function, and elevating cortisol levels. Additionally, those studies indicate that expressive writing can lead to psychological and behavioral changes, as well as long-term improvements in mood.
Recently, we reached out to family physician and blogger Dr. Pamela Wible of Ideal Medical Care to ask what motivated her to start a physician blog. Dr. Wible replied that her goals were to show how much fun doctors can have in Ideal Clinics and to expose the physician suicide crisis.
Dr. Wible asserts that "physician burnout" is not an accurate representation of the crisis because it actively blames and shames the victim. "There are so many depressed and suicidal doctors who are suffering in silence," says Dr. Wible. Blogging is one method for doctors to come to terms with their experiences and realize that they are, in fact, not "burned out."
In this sense, expressive writing about emotional experiences could greatly benefit doctors and healthcare professionals who are processing trauma. According to Pennebaker and Chung, expressive writing causes an individual to think about their social world differently:
Writing forces people to stop and reevaluate their life circumstance. The mere act of writing also demands a certain degree of structure, as well as the basic labeling or acknowledging of their emotions. A particularly rich feature of the process is that these inchoate emotions and emotional experiences are translated into words.
If working in healthcare has the capacity to lead to mental or emotional trauma, blogging could be a necessary step in helping industry professionals process their feelings and receive support from their community.
According to WordPress, there are 77 million new blog posts each month. Instead of thinking about blogging as a burden, consider it a healthy, necessary activity, much like going to the gym.
For more information on suicide prevention, please visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Blogging supports overall website health
Content is the lifeblood of digital marketing - Jason Rhoades, Founder of Toolbox No. 9
In addition to therapeutic benefits, blogs are a great resource for your website's search engine optimization, or SEO, health.
Blogging regularly can increase the awareness of your practice, as well as help your website rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs) thereby increasing its organic traffic.
According to Life Learn Animal Health, blogging influences the algorithms that decide how your website ranks by:
- Keeping your website updated with recent time stamps
- Increasing the number of pages
- Inspiring longer visits
- Promoting inbound links
Plus, adding a blog to your website is a great source of new content. After all, you're an expert in your field, so people will want to read what you have to write. Plus, creating engaging content is a marketing best practice for increasing organic traffic.
According to Jason Rhoades, compelling reading material draws people to your site through SEO and keeps them engaged. Rhoades argues that a savvy web design company will have a plan to generate content which is compelling to your end users, but a savvier design company will have a plan to work with you to create ongoing content, such as resource articles or blogs.
Want to start a blog? It's a good idea to hire a web agency or SEO expert at first to maximize your blog's impact on SERPs. Let an expert set everything up so that you can avoid thinking about marketing problems like the old subfolders vs. subdomains debate.
Try a company like fix8, who can design a Sqaurespace website with a blog for around $1999.
Pennebaker, James W., and Cindy K. Chung. "Expressive Writing: Connections to Physical and Mental Health." The Oxford Handbook of Health and Psychology. Sep 2010, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195342819.013.0018. Accessed 27 May 2018.