social proof

The Importance of Social Proof

As we think about our role in the world around us, we can easily identify that we are all unique individuals. However, when you take humans as a collective group, we have some patterning throughout our global society that can be decidedly predictable. While the surface of social proof looks like it may be a marketing tactic deployed to get customers to buy traditional products, social proof can also influence your patients! So let’s dive into some of the details of social proof and how you can use it to leverage your practice. 

Social Proof 101

Now that you understand that we can predict and somehow influence people’s behavior to choose certain products (or, in your case, practices) over others, let’s take the next step. Social proof is a form of marketing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re actively pursuing customers. If you’ve ever been looking for a restaurant for dinner, but drive past an empty parking lot and think, “Wow, that place is dead, they must serve terrible food.” and then continued driving? Well, that’s a negative social proof experience. However, the inverse is also true. When you see everybody flocking to a single location, you may experience a fear of missing out (FOMO)! 

While there are different scales of social proof, it is important to recognize that different marketing measures have different levels of success. Social proof can be thought of in almost the same vein as a personal recommendation — and those are more valuable than gold! 

In the online world, we can think of social proof as to your reviews across all platforms. So, just how valuable are your reviews? Let’s break it down by ranking categories from highest to lowest. 

  • If your practice targets younger individuals (18-34), then recent studies suggest that 91% of these individuals trust online social proof as much as personal recommendations.
  • 82% of people say that they value the opinion of someone close to them before they make a purchase. 
  • 70% of individuals look at online product reviews before they make a purchase. 

All of these studies suggest that the people around them play a role in any purchase that they are making. How valuable do those recommendations become when your health plays a role? 

Capitalize on Your Social Proof

Now that you have a general understanding of how social proof plays a role in your business, it’s time to figure out how to put social proof to work for your medical practice. 

Break out the Reviews

If people value others’ opinions so readily, it’s pretty apparent to see that you need to be increasing the number of people that tell others just how great your business is. Many medical practices can do this by simply asking their patients to leave them reviews in key areas. You can e-mail the link, create custom QR codes that lead to that page, or offer specialized incentives or promotions to reward your patients for leaving you high-quality reviews. 

Create a Blog

If you have a website, you’ve likely heard that you should create a blog. While you also recognize terms like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), that isn’t the primary focus of increasing your social proof via your blog. Instead, social proof is all about getting actual people (not search engines) to connect with your content. That means that your content connects with your audience and that it is easy to share. You can add buttons to quickly allow for social media sharing across a variety of different social media platforms. That includes Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other areas that your clients might use. 

Improve Your Online Presence

This means that somebody within your organization is going to have to get down into the weeds. Interacting across social media can help keep your practice at the forefront of your current and potential patient’s minds. Keep regular posts that connect with your current patient’s needs. Podiatrists may consider specialized footwear to avoid slips and falls during the winter months. No matter what your specific industry is, you can find a following on social media that directly benefits your practice. 

Finding the Time

Of course, not every practice has the staff or the expertise to optimize your online strategy. If you’re considering becoming more relevant in your community, consider collaborating with McDonald Content Solutions. We have the expert staff that you need to help create health content that connects with your future patients. Call us today! 

 

healthcare content

4 Ways to Tell that Your Healthcare Content Needs an Update

If you have been looking over your website recently, you might think that your website’s overall appearance is outdated. While you may see design issues that look worn out, do you give your healthcare content the same focus? While a website redesign does not automatically mean that you need to rewrite everything, it can be a great time to bolster your existing content. At the same time, your website might look fantastic, and you’ll still need to add some fresh content. 

Of course, if you aren’t sure that you need to emphasize your content, here are a few ways that you can see through the fog. 

Low or Decreasing Organic Traffic

While your content should be informative and engaging for your audience, it needs to do double duty. One of the purposes of having content on your website is to help search engines find the most relevant websites based on search terms. 

Google and other search engines are continually tweaking and refining the algorithms to identify the best sites to meet the user’s needs. If your website has never had significant organic traffic, or you’ve seen a decline in website visitors, it may be time for a rewrite. While you can attempt to tackle this work independently, you may be better suited to work with a professional that understands the current trends. 

Your Competitors Have More Healthcare Content

Go online and type in search terms that you think are relevant to your industry. Take a look at the first few websites that populate in your search. Compare the length of their medical content (blogs, landing pages, white papers, press releases). See how frequently they post blogs. How full is their content library? These are all clues to how you can improve your approach. It is likely that competitors that rank higher than you have full websites, post regularly, and have been doing it for a while. 

Many professionals suggest that content can take between 6 and 18 months to begin working, much less to dominate your field. 

Shifting Tone

Building a library of healthcare content is hard work. It doesn’t just take time, but dedication and an ability to understand and relay complex healthcare information to general audiences. Unfortunately, that is frequently completed by many different people. While a team approach can often be helpful to accomplish such big tasks, it can also affect the flow of your overall message. 

People tend to use different writing approaches, and having several voices appearing on your website can leave your readers feeling confused and frantic. In contrast, a consistent and flowing message can help to build trust and rapport with your audience. 

You Only Write Something to Solve a Past Problem

When we conduct an initial review of our client’s websites, we often see that their posts are reactive. Your patients want you to understand what they need before they do. Creating regular content on topics that are pertinent to your community is critical. If you’ve just completed a new training or acquired a cutting-edge piece of equipment, make sure that your patients know! In this way, they’ll see that you can take care of all of their existing problems and even prevent issues. 

Repairing Your Healthcare Content

Being able to produce content that fits all of these requirements can feel daunting. Fortunately, McDonald Content Solutions offers a full staff of professional writers that can help you. If you’ve been considering revamping your current medical content, call, email, or text today! We’d love to help you get your content working, so you can focus on what matters – your patients

How to Structure Your Medical Content for 2021

As we begin to put 2020 in the rearview mirror, healthcare professionals may be feeling apprehensive about transitioning their medical content for 2021. While the past year may leave us feeling a bit traumatized and in need of a (well-earned!) vacation, you may also be looking at how to adapt to the upcoming year. 

2020 changed the healthcare landscape and how people look to get information from and about their personalized care. One of the most important lessons that we take from the COVID-19 pandemic is messaging issues.  We’d like to help you regain the authoritative voice that your patients need. 

Themes for Medical Content 2021

Healthcare Spending and the Economy

One of the dominant issues that we’ll face going into 2021 is the economic landscape. While the 2008 recession was caused by housing and investment issues, the healthcare industry experienced effects, too. Looking behind the 2008 recession, the National Health Expenditure Accounts, or NHEA, showed that accounts dropped from 6.5% to 3.9% or a 2.6% drop. However, that reduction was also influenced by a 1.6% reduction in inflation. The realized percentage drop was closer to 1%. While that can affect a family’s ability to seek the same medical attention, it’s a less stark outlook than many had expected; welcome news when you view other economy sectors during the recession. Structures experienced around a 10% reduction. 

Additionally, while there was a slight reduction in healthcare spending, many offices continued to remain understaffed. This puts stress on hiring and training appropriate medical professionals. 

The 2008 recession wasn’t caused or related to health issues, and there wasn’t much of a dip in the healthcare market. Coming out of the Coronavirus pandemic, the healthcare industry is poised to have an upswing, regardless of the economic situation. Patients who have postponed regular appointments or elective procedures will be seeking to have their needs met. 

Elective Procedures

When you look at the upcoming year, there is certainly room to be optimistic. During the global pandemic, many institutions stopped offering elective procedures. However, this didn’t eliminate the need for those procedures but just postponed them. Healthcare professionals should expect an increase in the number of procedures and visits from their patients. 

Electronic Resources

COVID-19 expanded the patient’s use of telehealth services, and many healthcare practitioners found themselves having to purchase specialized equipment and software to handle this new need. Of course, following the pandemic, maintaining telehealth options has benefits for your patients. People recognize the benefits of telehealth for the following reasons:

  • Reducing travel
  • Limiting exposure to illness
  • Easing time restraints on their busy schedules. 

A study before the pandemic shows that many family physicians spend only 27% of their time with patients, and almost half (49%) of their time is spent on administrative duties! 

More than 60% of the surveyed family physicians felt that the increase in administrative duties was the biggest issue facing their practice. One of the big factors in running any medical practice is updating and maintaining your online presence. These efforts continue to chip away at already tight schedules and further reduce your ability to focus on your patient’s care. 

Strategizing for 2021

Just getting through 2020 is a major accomplishment, but you need to prepare to enter a busy year for the health industry. You should continue to utilize and promote your digital services, maintain an online presence, and invest in continued training, education, and hiring for your practice. 

If one of the main issues your healthcare practice is facing is reducing the administrative workload, consider bringing McDonald Content Solutions to your team. With a fully-vetted and functioning content team, we can help create the content that your practice needs. Our skills include newsletters, email campaigns, press releases, and ebooks. Additionally, we provide content for your website, including landing pages, articles, blogs, and staff biographies. 

Our approach allows you to have a single point of contact while gaining a full staff of writers, editors, and project managers to ensure that your 2021 is the best year yet! 

How to Improve Your Website Content

In today’s global market, the first look potential patients might get, is through your website. It’s important to understand the role that your content plays in giving off the right first impression. 

Many patients depend on medical professionals to keep abreast of the latest trends in medical technology, but if you’re using an outdated website, with old, and stale content, people might think twice about scheduling an appointment. Whether it’s fair or not, it is important to look at your competition and see how they are managing their websites. 

While the overall website appearance is important, you must ensure that your website is sending the right message. While having old content on your website isn’t necessarily a strike against you, not having fresh content suggests that you’re not able to focus on the little details. 

Additionally, having content that does not connect with your audience will leave people thinking twice about how well you understand their needs. 

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to improve your content today! 

Tone 

The medical profession has struggled talking to their patients in an authoritative and educated manner, while connecting with patients to ensure they understand the message. We suggest that medical practices maintain professional language and style throughout their content. However, incorporating verbose language should come with simple descriptions to ensure your audience understands your message. 

Stay Relevant (Most of the time)

For many health and wellness professionals, we suggest listening to their patients. If you are hearing the same questions, consider creating content on that topic. This shows that you understand what’s happening in your community in real time. 

While most of your content should be pertinent to your practice, it’s also okay to stray away from strictly medical topics. People searching for medical services are often looking to find somebody they feel like they can connect with and trust. 

Innovative bios allow people to get to know you and your staff. Incorporating personal and family photos can also allow your patients to build a relationship with you before they ever step into the office. 

Diversity

It’s important to mix up the different ways that you’re connecting with your patients. Some people are drawn to blogs, while other patients want newsletters and emails. Many potential patients can first come to your site because they are looking for specific articles that cover health topics. Adding multiple forms of written content can help keep you connecting with the widest audience in your community. This approach can help keep your practice growing and thriving in any season.

Wrapping Up

Of course, you’re busy running and maintaining your practice. If you’re finding it difficult to post regularly and keep your content fresh, consider hiring an agency that can write creative and engaging medical content for your website. At McDonald Content Solutions, we focus on creating the best medical content that captures your voice to connect you to your community. Message or call us today and see how we can help you transform your online image.

3 Things to Include in Your Staff Bios

As you look through medical sites, you will find that other practices have similar content intended to drive traffic and inform patients. Often, countless hours are poured into a medical blog, newsletters, landing pages, and contact pages, but they are frequently missing a great opportunity: staff bios.

Customers that search for your website are looking for a professional that offers the services they need, but also someone that they trust. You and ALL of your competitors are probably offering roughly the same services, at least at face value. However, it’s your relatability that will play a huge role in attracting your next patient.

If you cannot get patients into your waiting room, you miss your opportunity to demonstrate what makes you different from the rest. You have to answer the question: What makes you the best choice?

Staff biographies allow you an opportunity to connect with your patients on a personal level. As your future patients look through your website, they may find a personal connection with your staff to immediately build trust and rapport.

At McDonald Content Solutions, it’s our goal to help you connect with your audience. We’ve put together some of the most effective topics to cover when creating staff biographies.

Have a Quality Picture 

We all know the saying, “You only get one shot at a first impression.” The initial impression that a great photo can have on your visitors can swing them into action from the beginning.

While any picture is going to improve the appearance of a staff bio, there are some key things that you should consider.

Make sure it’s a photo that is of high quality. Blurry photos, over or underexposed photos, or pictures that are just too small can make it more difficult for your reader to identify the message you are trying to send. Consider bringing in a professional photographer to snap photos of your entire office staff.

Give the image character. While professional headshots are a safe play for many medical professionals, they often lack context. Scour the medical community, and you’ll find that many of your colleagues have an almost identical photo.

Instead, think about expressing yourself through a photo. Do you enjoy running? Can you use a picture from your last event? Consider including a photo of yourself doing something that you love.

Use Staff Bios to Tell a Story

This is an opportunity for patients to see what inspired you and your staff to start your practice. What makes you passionate about caring for other people, and how will your passion improve their patient care if they come to you?

As part of your story, you can weave in your background, where you grew up, where you went to school, if you have a family, or extracurricular activities. Personal stories generally allow patients to feel that they can look behind the curtain. Doing so may encourage them to discuss difficult issues, or select your office because you’ll have the personal insight they need.

Be Silly and Fun 

While your field often requires dedicated focus, concern, and professionalism, you can look for opportunities to lighten the mood. This is critical for professionals that work with children, but has a profound positive impact on most other fields.

Some examples of topics that you can use include topics such as:

  • Your favorite joke (clean and G-rated of course)
  • Your favorite ice cream flavor (and how many scoops!)
  • The favorite superhero
  • What superpower you would like to have
  • Your favorite song

Getting it Right

Staff bios can be difficult to write. Many staff members may feel uncomfortable writing about themselves. It can also sometimes be uncomfortable to talk to new staff members about their personal stories.

McDonald Content Solutions offers staff biographies as one of the cornerstones of our content. We conduct thorough interviews with staff members to ensure that we capture the stories that will inspire them and their patients to schedule their initial appointment.

Contact us today for your free quote and let us help you connect with your patients.