What Leading Hospitals Know About Custom Content (You Should Too)

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 80 percent of Internet-using adult respondents go online for answers to their health questions. And a Google study indicated that the reputation of a facility was important to 94 percent of patients when it came to choosing where to seek healthcare.

In healthcare, creating custom content is imperative if you want to distinguish your brand from the rest. Content that is too broad or too similar to competitors’ offerings limits an institution’s ability to differentiate itself in the market. Custom content, on the other hand, resonates with people because it is tailored to their needs and interests.

When people need information, any information, they turn to digital sources for immediate answers and suggestions for next steps. This is increasingly true for those seeking answers to questions about their health – from what a symptom means to what they can expect in the course of an illness to where they should seek care. Hospitals’ and healthcare systems’ marketing strategies should emphasize custom content to stand out in a crowded industry and position themselves as thought leaders.

Building your brand through custom content (up-to-date medical web content, blogs featuring patient stories, physician advice pertaining to timely health topics, a social media presence, mobile health applications and more) is essential.

Custom content how-to for hospitals

Here are some tips for creating custom content that resonates with your audience and keeps them coming back – both digitally as a health resource and in person when they need care:

  • Tell compelling stories – Your patients’ experiences and satisfaction are the basis for your brand. But word-of-mouth marketing can only go so far. Work with your staff to identify patients who’ve experienced remarkable recoveries, found hope and healing through new treatments and technologies or established a special connection with one of your providers. Then highlight those stories through videos you can share on your website and social media, articles and blogs or even as components of radio, TV or print advertising campaigns.
  • Monitor the news and social media for topics – When a big health story hits the news (think the Zika virus or superbugs), people turn to healthcare providers and established medical experts to find out the facts. They may want to know whether they should worry about infection risk in their region, what they can do to protect themselves and their families and what treatments are available. When you stay on top of these stories and the buzz they’re generating on social media, you find opportunities to release Q&A videos or blogs with well-versed physicians, highlight fact vs. fiction on your website and more.
  • Use internal data to guide your content – Using website analytics tools that gauge what pages your visitors frequent (diabetes management, cancer prevention, depression, prenatal care) can help you create content that speaks to your largest audiences. Social media posts offering lifestyle advice for balancing blood sugar, a video of physicians discussing how quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet can lower cancer risks and blogs about signs of depression or essential medical care during pregnancy will help address your patients’ unique needs. Pay attention to conversations that develop from your posts to hone your topics further.
  • Keep reader attention with infographics – People are busy and are often seek top-line information that will guide their next medical steps. Infographics are a great way to break up copy, quickly get your point across and give people a visual set of directions for recognizing symptoms, seeking care or taking steps to improve their health.
  • Create seasonal content – In the summer, people are more likely to search for sun safety tips and first-aid for heat stroke and dehydration. In the fall and winter, they may seek information on preventing and treating the flu. And during designated awareness months, they may want to know more about mammograms, heart-healthy habits or colon cancer screenings. Providing timely content that addresses these topics will position you as a trusted source to which readers are more likely to return and patients are more likely to pursue.

Questions about custom content for your hospital? Reach out and ask us.

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