Blogging is a very well respected and effective form of marketing that resonates with today’s internet-savvy, relationship-based consumers (i.e. patients). Here's why you should be blogging and how to get started.
You might wonder why anyone would recommend a busy physician take up writing on a regular basis â for free. Truth be told, blogging is a very well respected and effective form of marketing that resonates with todayâs internet-savvy, relationship-based consumers (i.e. patients).
If youâre unfamiliar with the terminology, a blog is a regularly updated website page âoften written in a casual, conversational style with the purpose of bringing valuable information to readers (in this case, potential and existing patients). Blog posts are like short articles added on a regular basis; this can be daily, weekly or even monthly. The desired result would be increased website hits through improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and ultimately more patients and improved loyalty among existing patients. By regularly updating your website and increasing content, your website search-ability increases. All of this boils down to a marketing strategy that can strengthen your position in the marketplace.
Not many specialties, if any, are a better fit for this kind of marketing than dermatology. Aesthetic and medical dermatology patients are likely searching for information online to preserve and improve the health and appearance of their skin. Itâs also likely you either sell products or make product recommendations to patients regularly (what kind of sunscreen should I use?). That means a lot of blogging content ideas for your practice or physician blog. Before we get ahead of ourselves, letâs talk about why, and then we can tackle how.
Though practice leaders may already be feeling maxed, successful blogging can provide powerful marketing benefits to your dermatology practice. Below are some of the top benefits:
Without a doubt your first concern is time. There are a few solutions to the time crunch physicians feel when considering starting a practice blog. But first, let me say that many physicians find they really enjoy the regular public/patient connection and mental discipline and exercise of blogging. When this happens, time is not an obstacle. Itâs easy to find time for what we enjoy â especially if itâs benefiting your practice and patients!
It might take several posts before you find your groove, but some physicians have found it so invigorating they have practically built a second career on it (KevinMD.com). Kristi Angevine, M.D., an OBGYN in private practice in Tennessee speaks of the balance and satisfaction that blogging provides her, âBlogging has allowed me to efficiently get information to my community of patients and do something more creative than my usual daily grindâ.
With that said, time is still an issue and itâs important to keep in mind that blogging must be done in a way that you can commit. Consistency is a key ingredient for a successful blog. If that means you write once a week or twice a month, so be it.
One way to keep your blog changing up for patients and full of interesting, relevant advice and information is to have multiple contributors who write from their âdeskâ and their particular expertise. For instance, an aesthetician can write once a month highlighting the benefits of products and procedures provided through her service in your practice.
Another way to tackle the time crunch is to write several blogs at once and schedule them to post throughout the month. Some physicians hire a ghostwriter. This can be someone inside or outside the practice. If this method is used, itâs important that they work carefully with physicians they are representing and all work is approved before itâs published.
A disclaimer should accompany every post, regardless of the author, stating that the post is in no way intended to replace medical advice from a physician.
If youâre struggling to think of what you might write in a blog, consider the information you find yourself repeating all day with patients â thatâs a great guide to what others are searching for online.
Another way to use your blog to attract ideal patients is to think of the issues your ideal patient is struggling with or searching. By providing credible information and helpful tips, you can gain new patients seeking more of that same good advice and win the loyalty and referrals of your existing patients!