Depending on your age, you may remember a time when healthcare providers could thrive with a simple, static website – or even when they could be successful with no digital presence at all. Times have changed, and blogs are frequently regarded as critical for any business. For academic healthcare providers, your institution likely puts significant resources into their – and your - digital presence, including regular, frequent updating of web content. However, while the digital activity of your institution can benefit you, your own blog can also help set you apart and achieve several of the same things that those in private practice achieve by blogging. Healthcare providers in private practice must take much of the responsibility on themselves to produce digital content, which is vital to a healthy practice.
Here are four key reason reasons that as a healthcare provider, you simply must be blogging in 2020.
- To establish your credibility and build trust within your community.
Everyone practicing medicine has earned the required credentials, so what helps you differentiate yourself from others in your area? While you may think that where you trained helps set you apart, the average patient does not generally value healthcare providers differently based on where they went to school. Instead, they care about how trustworthy a provider seems. Healthcare providers that demonstrate their knowledge of their medical specialty as well as their commitment to their patients by providing valuable blog content are more likely to be viewed as authorities or thought leaders that deserve trust from the members of their communities.
- To provide people near and far with critical health information.
There is an unbelievable amount of inaccurate health information on the web, which is associated with several adverse outcomes. Healthcare providers are well-positioned to help combat this serious problem. While talking to your patients or engaging with your community can help educate those around you, your digital contributions can reach much further – across the country and across the globe. Without evidence-based information from healthcare providers and other knowledgeable professionals, it will be difficult to crowd out problematic misinformation.
- To get more patients.
Billboards don’t bring in patients the way they once did. Patients do not want to be advertised to as much as they want to be educated. A healthcare blog can serve as a content marketing vehicle that shows your audience what you may have previously just tried to tell them through ads – e.g. “I am a trustworthy orthopedic surgeon who can help you overcome your knee pain.” By covering the latest news and research in your medical specialty, you can convince people much more effectively of your skill and knowledge. This approach will also help you to rank higher on search engines, which will make you more findable online and increase the chances that you get more patients.
- To develop professionally.
Regardless of your professional goals, your blog content will show colleagues, potential employers, and the public the same things it will show your patients – i.e. that you are knowledgeable, hard-working, and dedicated. It also provides an easy way to initiate conversations online, such as through social media, where you can provide links to your blog or individual articles and use these articles to engage in relevant conversations.
Takeaway: Patients now expect from healthcare providers what they get from service providers in other industries, which includes much more than the relevant service itself. It also involves constantly demonstrating your dedication to the consumer, staying in touch with them even while not performing services, and providing them with valuable information related to the services you provide. Blogging is becoming a powerful way to connect with healthcare consumers and give them what they want.