Healthcare Marketing

A smart healthcare marketing blog
19
June 2013

6 tips for beginner hospital bloggers

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Starting a blog can seem overwhelming, but in truth, it’s one of the simplest ways to build an online community with your patients and physicians. Follow these tips to ensure your hospital bloggers are positioned for success.

[1] Define your hospitals blog goals ::
Before you start a blog it is essential that you define your goals for it. Your blog has a greater chance of success if you know from the beginning what you hope to accomplish. Make a plan on what you would like to gain from the hospital blogs in time intervals of 6 months, 1 year and 3 years. Then take some time to write content and dont forget to market your blog to meet the goals.

[2] Know your audience ::
The design of your blog and its content should mirror what your audience expects.
Example :: If you intended target audience is teenagers, the design and content would be very different than that of a blog targeting academic researchers.  Your audience will have certain expectation for your blog – dont confuse them. Try to meet and exceed the users requirements and build reader loyalty.

[3] Be Consistent ::
Your blog is your hospital brand. Just like McDonalds or Bank of America, your blog represents a specific message and image to your audience. The blog design and content should consistently communicate your hospitals overall brand image and message. Beingn consistent allows you to meet your audiences expectations and create a secure place for them to visit on an ongoing basis. Your consistency will be rewarded with patient and reader loyalty.

[4] Be Persistent ::
A busy blog is a usefull blog. Blogs that are not updated frequently are percieved by their audience as static web pages. The usefulness of blogs comes from their timeliness. Its essential to update your blog frequently with relevant  information.  The best way to keep readers coming back is to always have something new for them.

[5] Be Visible ::
Your blogs success relies on your efforts outside the blog. These efforts include finding like-minded bloggers and commenting on their blogs, participating in social bookmarketing through Digg, StumbleUpon and joining social networking sites [Facebook, Linkedin, etc.] Developing a successful blog requires hard work. You must create interesting content as well as promoting and developing a community around it.

[6] Be True to your Hospital
Remember your blog is an extension of you and your hospital. Your loyal readers will come back to hear what you have to say. Inject personality into your blog and adapt a consistent tone for your posts. Determine whether your blog and brand will be more effective with a corporate tone, a youthful tone or a snarky tone. Then stay consistent with that tone in all your blog communications.

Based on health and e-commerce industry research, hospital’s that have just 10 website visitors per day can lose up to $34,000 of annual patient revenue opportunity per day.

Hospital’s that have just 10 website visitors a day can lose up to $34,000 of annual patient revenue opportunity per day

 

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13 Comments

Great tips, but I need to add one more; be honest. People know when they’re being snowed, especially if yours is the only hospital in town.

    Great advice Mitch. Transparency is very important in dealing with people [or patients!].
    Thank you for your feedback. Kind regards, Nicola

Fantastic article and great advice! Thanks for emphasizing consistency and taking risks (appropriate risks). Sam

One key obstacle for many hospitals I’m sure is staff resources. Since blogs require frequent care and feeding you have to be certain to spec out internal editorial processes and define roles before launch.

Just came across your blog, and I’m eager to read more! As a hospital blogger, myself, I’ve learned how difficult it is to convince physicians that writing in a conversational voice (vs. academic voice) is often more appropriate for blogs. One of my client hospitals has put their blog on hold until they can come up with a way to balance their need to post engaging/punchy content with medical experts’ desire to sound academic/”professional.”

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