3 Engagement Trends in Health Care Content

Anne Moss Rogers
Marketing Health Services
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Key Takeaways

WHAT? If the content you are publishing is not getting much traction, you need to do something about it.

SO WHAT? While the blog is a good staple, you can and should move beyond it.

NOW WHAT? Start by repurposing that content to be more interactive and engage patients.

Patients are taking charge of many aspects of their own health. If you want to be the go-to brand, you have to serve up the content they’d like to see.

If the content you are publishing is not getting much traction, you need to do something about it. Get creative. Rethink your content strategy. Change it up.

While the blog is a good staple, you can and should move beyond it. The good news is you can repurpose that content to be more interactive and engage patients. Here are three hot content areas that can boost the engagement for your health care facility or practice:

1. The Quiz. Since so many people are looking up health information online, this is a natural engagement tool for potential patients. Even better, it can prequalify patients or be used to build a niche mailing list.

You can create a quiz with a series of questions that helps people identify their symptoms. For example, a quiz about the signs and symptoms of kidney stones might have questions such as "Do you have severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs?" And "Do you have pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin?" Or you can do an “awareness quiz” that tests knowledge or simply entertains.

We did a humorous quiz for a group of colon doctors about colonoscopies and it was a huge hit. One question was: “Where can patients experience a “Kinder Colonoscopy?” a. Facebook; b. Colon & Rectal Specialists; c. Disney World; d. Walmart. The wrong answers were obviously wrong but people liked it so it helped build awareness for the topic.

Make sure you add a disclaimer, as well as a call to action at the end such as “make an appointment,” “subscribe to our blog,” “post your results on Facebook.” Then share or advertise your quiz in social media.

2. A Good Story. Content that gets shared is content that makes people feel good. Telling a success story or showing a video where someone made a difference in the life of another is particularly engaging. It can be as simple as showing the reaction of patients to therapy dogs that visit the hospital rooms or telling the story of how someone found a kidney donor and the difference that made in the life of another.

Everybody has a story! And that’s what people want to see. You don’t know if you don’t ask. They are right there in front of you if you take the time to seek them out. And when you or the medical staff does ask, you learn more about the patients you are serving. That makes health care naturally more personal and patient centered. Give it a try and see what happens. You’ll be surprised and     rewarded with results you never expected.

3. Mobile tools. Consumers are using mobile phones to take their health into their own hands. They have been using mobile devices to monitor their weight, fitness, heart rate, and other vital signs for chronic disease management or just for fun. Mobile also has the potential to help doctors diagnose patients virtually, help patients manage conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and even offer ways that specialists can get referrals from primary care physicians. Engaged patients that partner in their own healthcare are the ones you want since their outcomes are usually better. App-enabled patient portals, telehealth, text communications and remote patient monitoring are some of the top ways to engage patients via mobile.

This article was originally published in the November 2015 issue of the Marketing Health Services e-newsletter.

Author Bio:

Anne Moss Rogers
Anne Moss Rogers, a former copywriter with 15 years of health care marketing experience, is cofounder and creative director of Impression Marketing, a digital marketing agency that focuses on marketing strategy, inbound marketing, results and providing ROI data. You can find her at @ImpressionM on Twitter and at Impression-Marketing.com.
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