Did you know that searching the web for health-related information ranked right alongside checking email for one of the most popular online activities? This is according to a Pew Internet Survey.
Why is this statistic important to urgent care centers? Because it means there are a whole lotta people looking for information that you can provide them with. Providing accurate and thoughtful content is one of the most effective ways urgent care centers can build brand awareness and engage with their local community.
Content Marketing– What is It Anyway?
Content marketing can be tricky to grasp at first, simply because the concept of what constitutes content has changed over the past five to ten years. Thanks to mobile usage and social media, content today means a whole lot more than just a textual article posted online.
Today’s online marketing includes a variety of content including:
- In-house research
- How-to posts
- Ebooks/white papers
- Case studies
- Basic health information
To keep things simple, let’s think of content marketing as creating valuable information and presenting it to your prospects in an engaging way that reflects their preferences and needs.
The Awesomeness of Repurposing
Now, you may be thinking that developing effective, quality content takes time, effort, and an initial financial investment. And you would be correct, it most certainly does. But what you may not know is that once you produce that content, you have multiple ways to repurpose it.
This content marketing approach leverages and integrated content distribution strategy that will boost the value and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Let’s look at an example…
Let’s say you write (or hire someone to write) an informative blog post on type 2 diabetes complications. That post can be repurposed and parts of it used in a newsletter that you use to engage existing patients. It can also be broken down into shorter social media posts that get shared.
In other words, what may take you time and money up front will keep paying you days, months and even years down the road.
Why Should Urgent Care Centers Focus Their Efforts on Content Marketing?
As I mentioned up top, there is a great need for helpful health information online. This gives urgent care centers a tremendous opportunity to help their community by offering answers to common health-related questions. Your content marketing strategy then becomes much more than a way to get foot traffic in your door, it becomes a way to build trust and be seen as experts.
What Kind of Content Should Urgent Care Centers Create?
What kind of content should urgent care centers create and what kind of information should it include? Every piece of content you create should be developed with one goal in mind: to help your patients by answering their questions.
How do you know what kind of questions they have? Well, you can either use a keyword tool to look at what kind of health-related information people are searching for --
You could take note of the kinds of questions the people who walk into your clinic have on a daily basis and create content around those.
It’s important that urgent care centers create content that shows they are an authority, yet remain empathetic, credible, and always informative. When you speak to your audience members in these tones while answering their questions, you instantly build a connection.
Content Marketing and Compliance Restrictions
Content marketing in the health industry can be a bit tricky because of the stringent compliance requirements that HIPAA imposes. It’s common in other industries to see businesses use customer reviews and testimonials in their marketing material, but protection of patient data and identity can prevent urgent care centers from following suit. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney to be sure your content is always compliant.
A Few Ideas for Creating and Distributing Content
Are you ready to begin creating great content? Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
Tell Your Story
You may have heard this phrase used in marketing but weren’t sure how it applied to your care center. Every business and organization has a company story: why they were founded, what their values are, and how they intend to help people.
Your story should also include what makes your service offerings unique. Depending on where your urgent care center is located, there may be three or more other competing centers. Determine what makes you unique and share that information with your prospects through your content.
Put a Face to Your Organization
People look for help and answers when they are unwell or suspect something is wrong with them. This makes them feel very vulnerable. At times like these they want to come across content created by an organization that feels human.
How can urgent care centers best humanize themselves? In a variety of ways:
Make sure you use images and videos of your facility and staff. This will make people feel much more comfortable choosing you when a health crisis arises. Discuss any benefits or charities you support and think about having one of your docs or nurses be the face and voice behind your blog.
Stay Top-of-Mind Via Social Media
Did you know 41 percent of patients say social media affects their choice of medical facility? If you don’t currently have a social media presence, it’s important to get one STAT. This is where you will share all of the great content you’ve created, take part in discussions your community members are having, and search for content topics. Social media is where you can also get quick, honest feedback about the services you are providing. If there are any complaints about your organization, you must address them and quickly.
Content marketing can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be! As long as you focus on helping your patients and look for ways to repurpose the content you develop, you’ll be able to engage your audience in the best and most cost-effective ways.
Jack Roberts is an expert marketer who specializes in promoting and growing physician practices. He currently works with UrgentWay to help improve their online footprint and garner interest in their Urgent Care, Occupational Health and Health services.