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Why Your Medical Practice Needs a Blog

By Cedric Jackson, December 12, 2017
Why Your Medical Practice Needs a Blog

Remember when doctors made house calls? Most of us only vaguely remember seeing it on TV. Rewind about 40 years or so, and it was still standard practice in many areas.

Remember when people had a trusted and multigenerational relationship with their doctor? “Dr. Andrews took great care of me when I was a kid. He'll take good care of you, too.”

Sadly, not many of us remember these things because we're just old enough to have heard about them but not old enough to have experienced them. The medical profession has become a lot less personal and the way patients interact with their doctors has changed considerably.

Oddly enough, though, it's that impersonal edge that gives modern medical practices a considerable advantage when it comes to attracting new patients. Today's consumer is looking to establish meaningful relationships with anyone with whom they do business.

As a medical professional or someone who runs a medical practice, it is important to understand how these changes affect you and how to deal with the changing climate of the medical industry. Yes, I said industry, not profession. Let's face it – medicine is far more a business than a vocation these days. People today select doctors for far different reasons – and based on far different criteria – than their parents or grandparents did.

Now, if reading that raised your hackles a little bit, it is that much more important that you take the advice I'm about to give you to heart. I know plenty of doctors and medical professionals who wish there was a way to bring that personal, vocational feel back in a way that helps patients trust and respect their doctors more.

This is why I recommend, as part of a responsible marketing and engagement initiative, having a professional blog as part of your company's website. Here are a few more reasons.

#1 – The Trust Factor

The people who remember house calls simply aren't your target demo anymore. If you continue catering to that segment of your patient population, your practice will not last longer than your oldest patients.

Very few people see nowadays the same doctor their parents did. Insurance companies make the selection process very impersonal, and they even prohibit some people from seeing their “family's physician” because that physician doesn't take the same insurance as their parents’. In short, you have to attract patients yourself. That means – for want of a better description – selling your practice to new patients.

So how does blogging accomplish this? Simply put, a well-presented, regularly updated blog speaks volumes about your expertise, your understanding of your profession, and your understanding of the patient. That last bit is THE most important part of the equation.

#2 – Perception Is Everything

People choose doctors the same way they choose cell phones these days. They look at their doctor's medical practice as a business and will take their business elsewhere if you don't establish trust in both your ability to treat them and know them on a personal level.

Your blog provides the patient with a window into areas of your practice that either touch them right now or could in the future. You want those patients to see how your practice fits their needs long term. Even if you blog about conditions and treatments that don't concern them now, someday they probably will.

Now, I'm not suggesting that 10 years from now a patient will be thinking about what they read in a blog when deciding to seek treatment. What I am suggesting is that if you keep your expertise in front of them in perpetuity, it will help them feel confident about working with you to maintain good health and to treat and improve areas of their health where there is a greater need in the future.

...and, by the way, 10 years from now, this is going to be even more important – exponentially more.

#3 – Mass Communication

Think of your blog as a continuous FAQ. Steer the blog toward topics that come up often in conversations with patients. You can discuss medical issues, billing issues, etc.

Zero in on the things that patients seem to understand the least or that bother them the most. These are the types of pain points that you can soothe by simply answering questions before they're asked or by having a concrete resource to refer patients to when those questions arise. Anticipate their needs and you will win and maintain their trust.

The key advantages here are simple: The answers already exist, and you don't have to use your existing resources to deal with them in depth. “We have a blog that explains all of that. I'll send you a link and, if you have further questions, you can always give a call back.” Thorough, long-form copy is your best friend in those situations (as any professional blog-writing service will attest) – it really helps keep the phone from ringing twice.

Gaining the Professional Edge Through Blogging

Now comes the part where I pitch the advantages of working with a professional copywriting service and offer some advice on how to choose the right one. Whether you decide to work with Beez or not, please keep these few points in mind:

• Always work with an agency that can demonstrate experience and understanding of medical topics – ask to see samples and demand to see where their work lives online.

• Thoroughly vet any copywriter you choose to manage your blog and be sure he or she has the experience and knowledge you need to get your message across.

• Be sure that the copy in your blog is a worthy reflection of your practice – people will judge you based on it and will share those opinions with friends and family in your market.

All of these things together are an effective prescription for success when developing your medical blog. Have more questions? Need help getting started? Contact us right now to learn more!

 

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