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Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

How to attract patients with your medical practice blog and social media channels

Having an online presence is vital for a successful medical practice. Discover proven strategies for reaching your target patient demographic.

Determine how to attract patients to a medical practice with a blog and social media

At a Glance

  • Identify your ideal patient demographics and create content tailored to them that answers common patient questions
  • Optimize your blog and website for search engines and readers and ensure your site is mobile-friendly
  • Promote your content across platforms and track results to see what content resonates best

Having an online presence is no longer just a fun way to reach younger audiences and showcase your availability online — it has become a necessity in order to run a successful medical practice. Practices depend on social media and website management as much as any other industry in this highly competitive modern market. Building an online presence and distributing content that catches your potential patient’s eye is necessary in order to set your medical practice apart from your competition.

What makes social media and content marketing so valuable to modern medical practices is the ability to tailor content toward specific patient demographics. In this article, we will discuss how content distribution allows medical practices to reach their audience more quickly than other forms of marketing and how different platforms can be geared toward different audiences for maximum outreach. 

Identify your ideal patient persona

Understanding your audience is the first step to building an effective content marketing plan. Here are 3 points to consider:

  1. Who is your ideal patient demographic? For example, younger patients may prefer social channels such as TikTok and Instagram while older patients may prefer Facebook.
  2. Where can they be reached best online? While social channels play a big role in visibility, consider other ways to distribute or share your blogs, such as on AARP for older demographic groups or with influencers for younger audiences.
  3. What type of content is most likely to appeal to them? Videos, text, quick clips? All have their place and knowing what your particular patients prefer is worth researching. 

Once you know exactly who you’re trying to market to, creating the content that they will see will become much more obvious.

Identifying patient demographics

Successful medical practices know the demographic of their patients and how to reach them. There are a few key indicators to look at and create content for that help to determine your audience demographic

While age plays a major role in determining where you can best locate your audience, it’s not the only demographic to account for. Humans are complex, so understanding them and where they can be reached will change from person to person. With a full understanding of who your target audience is, what they like, what they do, and where they interact online, you can create better content to reach them.

Here are some key demographics that play need to be considered when trying to understand and reach your target audience:

  • Age 
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Parent/Non-Parent
  • Ability/Disability
  • Language 
  • Location 

There are countless demographics that you can seek to engage through compelling content, so branch out and be creative in your approach to finding your ideal patient persona.

Create valuable and engaging patient-first content

While algorithms and marketing tactics change over time, one thing that remains consistent in social media and SEO is the importance of quality content. Developing materials that offer valuable, relevant content to your practice specialty is pivotal in any successful marketing campaign. Creating blog posts, videos, and infographics that address concerns and questions your potential patients care about will not only build you up as an authority in your field of practice, but you’ll also reap the benefits of higher search engine rankings. 

So, how do you determine what topics your audience will care about? 

First, ask relevant questions that you would want to know if you were a patient seeking your medical practice. Answer the most common questions that arise from your current patients. Analyze the search trends that come up when Googling your industry. Understanding what questions people have about your practice will help you determine what answers you’ll need to address with your content.

Creating blog posts, videos, and infographics that address concerns and questions your potential patients care about will not only build you up as an authority in your field of practice, but you’ll also reap the benefits of higher search engine rankings. ”

The type of content you distribute will also significantly impact the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign. Different audiences will benefit from different styles of content. Some audiences prefer to read the information themselves and view the sources provided. Others rely on short-form videos and interesting infographics to present information. 

Reputation matters for medical practices, and your information should reflect that. Google values content that showcases experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness — affectionately known as EEAT. When your content becomes recognized as an EEAT source, your search result ranking will begin to increase.

The platform you’re through which you distribute your content will also determine the most effective content style. Social media platforms are great for viral video marketing and short-form content, whereas long-form blog content is best reserved for your blog.

Optimize your blog for search engines (and readers)

Medical practice SEO can be difficult but it is necessary. In the dynamic landscape of medical information, ensuring your practice's blog is both discoverable by search engines and resonant with readers is paramount. As healthcare seekers increasingly turn to the internet for answers, optimizing your blog isn't just about securing a digital presence — it's about providing reliable, accessible, and patient-centric information. 

Balancing the intricacies of search engine optimization with the nuances of patient care can seem challenging. However, with the right strategies, your blog can become a beacon of trust and expertise in the vast sea of online medical content. 

Keyword research

In the competitive realm of medical practice, standing out in the digital landscape is more crucial than ever. Keyword research, a cornerstone of SEO, plays an indispensable role in this context. 

By understanding and implementing relevant keywords, medical professionals can ensure that their online content aligns with what potential patients are actively searching for. It's not just about driving traffic — it's about attracting the right audience seeking specific medical services or insights. 

Moreover, effective keyword research helps medical practices stay attuned to evolving patient concerns, emerging treatments, or frequently asked questions. In essence, it bridges the gap between medical expertise and patient needs, fostering an online environment where informed decision-making thrives.

Titles and headers

Titles and headers are crucial to SEO for several reasons. First, the title tags of a page are typically the first thing users see in search engine result pages. Since first impressions matter, having a clear, relevant, and compelling title tag can entice users to click on your page over others. 

Not only do title and header tags let readers quickly understand what your content is about, it also gives a search engine’s crawlers a quick overview of your content’s main topics so it can understand your page and rank it according to searcher queries. 

Title and header tags also help structure your content into easily digestible sections, which is important for both readers and search engine crawlers. Breaking up text into well defined sections helps readers find the specific information they came to your page for, making them less likely to bounce, signaling to search engines that your page contains quality content that answers users' queries. 

Mobile responsiveness 

A growing number of users access the web via mobile devices. In fact, adults in the United States spend an average of 5 hours daily on their phones, meaning that in 2022, an estimated 60% of website traffic was generated on a mobile device. 

In 2022, an estimated 60% of website traffic was generated on a mobile device. ”

Additionally, some search engines, including Google, have adopted mobile-first website indexing. This ensures that search engines will primarily use the mobile version of a sites’s content for indexing and ranking purposes. 

Naturally, if your site’s mobile version is subpar, non-functional, or non-existent, you will see the impact on search engine rankings. 

Website health

Website health encompasses various factors that ensure a website runs efficiently, securely, and is optimized for both users and search engines. Monitoring these indicators can help diagnose potential issues, preventing decreased performance or search ranking penalties.

Broken links, slow-loading pages, or technical errors can disrupt the user experience, leading them to potentially leave your site, and seek better information elsewhere. 

Some of the key indicators of poor website health include:

  • Slow page load speed
  • Poor mobile page performance
  • 404 Errors/Broken Links
  • Redirect Issues
  • Sitemaps that are out of date
  • Site security issues
  • Duplicate content
  • Crawl errors

Outsourcing help

Maintaining a functional website is a full-time job, and one that most healthcare practitioners are too busy to effectively manage on top of all of their other daily responsibilities. Luckily there are companies that specialize in healthcare marketing to help you navigate the complexities of maintaining a functional website that can help you reach your core audience. 

Promote your practice’s content on social media

Content posted to social media has a better chance of reaching a broad audience. The goal of social media is to spread your content and grow your audience with the right platform. Social media hosts an already-present audience — people are already on the app, so there’s no need to drive them to where your content is posted. All you have to worry about is creating content that spreads. When people encounter your content on social media, they may start to recognize your brand; eventually, your brand may become a valued source of information.

The trick with social media marketing for medical practices is finding the right content and knowing where to post it. As mentioned previously, certain content performs better on specific platforms. Going viral is difficult unless you know how the platform works. Promoting your content on social media is best done when you understand which platform will value your content the most.

Catchy titles and headers that capitalize on trends will help boost interactions with your content, so utilize eye-catching statistics and phrases. ”

Catchy titles and headers that capitalize on trends will help boost interactions with your content, so utilize eye-catching statistics and phrases. The more generally appealing your content and graphics are, the more likely an audience will form around it.

The ultimate goal of posting your content on social media is to gather an audience interested in the information and medical practices you offer. However, you must grab their attention first.

Collaborate with partners and other practitioners

Collaboration with others in the medical field is a great way to build a reputation and access already-established audiences. Identify partners within the medical area with whom your services are adjacent (e.g., chiropractors and physical therapists).

By co-creating content and cross-promoting each others’ content, you can quickly establish a reputation and further your reach online. Utilize this collaboration to leverage their audience and expand your own reach.

Utilize email marketing

It’s so much easier to get clients to return than it is to get them through the door. The same goes for driving traffic to your blog or social media. It's much simpler to encourage someone to revisit your website than to attract them for their initial visit.

One way to drive returning traffic is through an email subscription list. You can easily build a list of potential returning traffic by asking for permission to send newsletters and company updates directly to them.

Here are a few ways to get visitors to sign up for your email subscription list:

  • Deals and benefits: Offer something of value for subscribers that can be earned through entering an email address.
  • Exit intent pop-ups: Right before someone is about to leave the site, a popup appears with a call to action and email submission form.
  • Commenting redirect: Whenever someone comments, a form will popup with a call to join the mailing list.
  • Call-to-action placement: After users read a blog post, offer a sign up box for those interested in more content and updates.

Send updates and newsletters that include long-form blog content and social media posts for subscribers to access easily. Email marketing is a strong way to showcase your content to people you know are already interested in your offer.

Monitor your results

Not every content marketing strategy will be an immediate home run. Content distribution takes time and effort — plenty of A/B testing will be done before you strike gold with your outreach. Monitoring your results enables you to see what works and what doesn’t so that you can make changes and evolve your marketing strategy.

The Google business suite and various marketing tools like Optimizely or TapClicks will enable you to analyze interactions with a social media post or to see how many people have been visiting specific pages. See what pages and keywords are the most visited and make changes to ensure search engines continue highlighting your information.

Content distribution is an integral part of marketing for medical practices and clinics. Knowing who your audience is and how to reach them will help you grow your digital presence and expand your reach as a medical source of information. By building this online audience, you’re growing your potential clients and outperforming your competitors.

Find the right content to share — and the right platform

Content marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy and will require experimentation and implementation in different approaches. Testing what works and what doesn’t takes time and effort. Once you find the content and platform that works best for your audience, you’ll see drastic improvements in traffic — both digital and in-person.

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Jean Lee, managing editor at The Intake

Jean Lee is a content expert with years of journalism and marketing experience — along with a constant passion to help and engage others through storytelling. She is the managing editor at The Intake, and is excited to support independent practices with content, insights, and resources that help them thrive.

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