When you work in healthcare, you spend a lot of time caring for others — often one-on-one. But marketing your practice requires finding a strategy that speaks to many people at once while demonstrating your expertise. One great approach is to set up a blog and share recent health articles written by you or someone else in your practice, covering recent advancements in your field or issues that are common among your patients.
But who has the time to write all of this content? Is there another way to share educational, recent health articles with your patients and improve your content marketing impact at the same time? You bet there is.
At Mingl Marketing, we’ve worked with a number of healthcare practices and we’ve started sharing articles written by others on Facebook (with commentary as appropriate) — such as those from public health groups like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or published journals by other practitioners from around the globe.
By curating useful and reliable information for our patients, we’ve seen an increase in overall engagement with our Facebook posts.
Curating these articles has also provided us with ideas for relevant, original blog topics, which helps us further streamline our content creation process — a common, and often the largest, barrier to a great content marketing strategy.
It provides new, relevant information that can actually help patients with an immediate need or identify a need they may not have considered.
For example, we helped an urgent care center with their marketing. They wanted to attract additional patients who needed exams for commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), so by tweeting and posting articles about recent changes in CDL regulations, we managed to educate potential patients about needs they might have while showcasing the practice’s expertise. We served patients and, at the same time, provided — through curation — valuable educational materials that drove additional office visits. That’s the heart of content marketing strategy success!
4 steps for successful content curation
How do we help our healthcare practitioner clients provide great education to their patients while driving business results? Here’s how:
1. Set up Google Alerts for topics of interest.
By setting up Google Alerts for relevant topics and keywords, you can get a list of relevant articles sent to you every morning. In a few minutes, you can almost always find at least one or two decent articles to share on your social media platforms, or topics worth creating your own content about.
For example, when Prince passed away, one of the issues that came up was about chronic pain and whether conditions like his could lead to abuse of opiate pain medications. The physical therapists we work with wrote an original blog post about how physical therapy can help manage chronic pain and even improve strength to eliminate pain in some cases. We posted this article on their blog and shared it through social media channels.
It lead to a dramatic increase from a typical post, which might get six clicks, to 350 clicks, with additional likes and reshares. The performance of this post surpassed any of our medical client’s prior efforts.
This offered proof that sharing useful information timed with news events was a successful strategy to drive additional engagement — and we have seen their overall engagement grow steadily since starting this strategy.
2. Use Flipboard to curate recent health articles to share on social media.
Flipboard, which displays articles in a magazine-like format, allows you to follow different topics. Our social media manager has created a mini-magazine in which she saves all of the articles she thinks might make interesting Facebook or Twitter posts for different clients just a few times a week, and then uses that curated mini-magazine as source material for potential blog topics or social sharing.
We eventually want to move to a shared magazine that our clients will be able to share with their patients — much like an ongoing email newsletter with interesting must-reads posted a few times a week.
3. Be sure to Include a local element.
Even when you are sharing a national news story, be sure to add information that’s relevant to your own community. Add a sentence or two about the article before sharing on Facebook, or talk about the article in a blog post that incorporates how you deal with this problem in your own practice.
The recent health articles you link to provide great information for your patients, but by adding your own spin to the topic, you become the local expert in the field and, in healthcare, being the best local resource is critical.
The post below is a Twitter post from the CDC about the Zika virus and how it might impact local school officials. By bringing this to the attention of your local community through your own social media feeds and your website, you can be seen as a valuable resource, which is one of the main goals of content marketing.
4. Make sure the information you share is high-quality and readable.
One of the most important aspects to sharing recent health articles is to make sure they are from trusted resources. However, articles in medical journals are often dry and leave many of us scratching our heads, wondering what it all means. While you can share an article from the latest issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, it will be more useful for your patients if you can distill the complicated stuff down to simple take-home points that are meaningful to them.
For example, an article that discusses “CPAP for Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Obstructive Sleep Apnea” is going to be hard for most people to digest, but a couple of takeaways about how important diagnosing and treating sleep apnea is to prevent heart attacks is information almost everyone who has a snoring spouse might want to read about.
A few minutes of making the complicated information a little more digestible goes a long way toward helping your patients (and potential patients) understand the importance of dealing with problems they might otherwise ignore while boosting the chance they will come into your practice to address the problem.
Share recent health articles to build your practice
Whether you decide to share recent health articles with your patients through social media, an email newsletter or as part of a blog post, everyone benefits. As a healthcare practitioner, you are:
- Serving patients beyond those you can see in your office
- Providing needed information
- Discovering additional patients who could use your care
- Building your reputation as the go-to resource for health information.
Curating relevant content is one of the best ways to boost your content marketing results — give it a try today!