How to Display Thought Leadership in Healthcare: Website Edition
Thought leadership in healthcare is essential to maintaining the trust of your patients. To truly be a thought leader, you must prove to be an authority in your specific field. This means you offer your peers well-informed guidance based on your past and current experiences. In an interview for Business News Daily, Josh Dunlap said “Rather than chime in on every topic, set the pace for the industry, and offer intelligent insights and informed opinions.”
Most people have a more positive and trusting view of doctors when they are more familiar with them. Whether it is for someone who needs urgent care, or someone who needs yearly check-ins, it is essential to show your patients that they are investing in high-quality services they can trust. Having a reputation as a thought leader in healthcare shows that you care deeply for your patients and are always striving to provide the best healthcare.
Why is it important to be seen as a thought leader in the healthcare industry?
Due to the increasing competition in the healthcare industry, it is critical for healthcare organizations to be recognized as the authority in their field. This means being aware of relevant trends and advancing new healthcare innovations. Healthcare patients seek out healthcare practices with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enhance patient care, which in return creates trust and credibility for your organization. Through more recent developments in artificial intelligence in healthcare, virtual appointments, and more, it has become crucial to stay informed on healthcare website trends so that you are providing optimal care for your patients. Healthcare businesses need to understand generational differences and trends in patient engagement to remain relevant and trustworthy across a variety of patients. Stephen Gandolf said that specifically for millennials,”Branding-related information needs to deliver authoritative answers that are quick/immediate, helpful, and resonate with the individual’s value system.”
Patients often have ideas about how they want their treatment. It is vital to use up-to-date healthcare solutions to meet and exceed patient needs and wants. In 2018, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions shared over a third of consumers are interested in virtual care, at-home testing, and wearable fitness trackers. Your healthcare facility should provide a robust healthcare experience that your patients will want to learn about and use.
Thought leadership content on your website
Now that you’ve entered a digital era, your website is oftentimes the first impression your patients have of you. 68% of consumers use mobile search engines to find healthcare-related information, according to Hitwise. Since so many people rely on the internet to find important health information, you need clear messaging and a user-friendly website to build a good relationship with them and keep them interested. These three elements should be displayed for peak user engagement if you want to demonstrate thought leadership in healthcare:
- Desire to learn and grow
- Long term results
You’ll want to cultivate a personal relationship with your patients from the start to the end. Trustworthiness can be seen in patient testimonials, imagery, and concise messaging.
Patient testimonials that go into detail (without revealing information) on how your services helped them will draw an emotional appeal from a more relatable standpoint. Whether you are showing quick quotes or interactive video testimonials, cater reviews to your target audience.
Each aspect of your healthcare website’s content should reflect how you are an industry leader.
Check out how naviHealth.com separates different types of testimonials on their homepage.
Patients are on your site looking for answers: keep contact information, hours of operations, and any FAQ page easily accessible from any webpage.
Use concise paragraphs with icons and images that convey the information you need without using industry jargon.
Don’t forget to remain HIPAA compliant! Patient information is highly sensitive, and with many services moving to a digital space, it is important to keep this information protected. If your site deals with PHI, you need to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to this information. Use storage encryption on your site and in your healthcare email marketing to guarantee that your patients’ information is protected.
Desire to learn and grow
Your staff’s desire to learn and grow can be communicated through additional online resources, the addition of an updated facility, or the new resources your staff is utilizing. Showing your patients that your team stays up to date with the latest healthcare trends will give them peace of mind that they are in good hands.
Long term results
Case studies, patient testimonials, and data storytelling all can show positive long-term results and the investment you make in your patients. People read case studies to find an element of relatability so it is important to provide your current and future patients with as much information as possible, as they may be in a similar situation. The more people can identify with the data or testimonial, the more confident they are that your company can create a positive experience for them.
Case studies, testimonials, and data storytelling are all valuable features but they need to:
- Be truthful
- Not share protected information
- Serve a purpose
Consider your long-term results as reviews and audits. This will ensure you continue to deliver your best work and share your level of expertise with others in your field. Being open and honest will create more loyalty with your patients who know they can trust someone who has proven results.
Creating a user-centric site
For a healthcare website to be truly user-centric and useful it must bring real value and benefits. Your site should save patients time and effort, simplify their research and provide valuable features.
When thinking about where your healthcare website is now, does it answer the questions your patients have? What might you want to see on a website that would make it feel like it caters to you? Does it take a while to understand the logistics of the website? Although it may look great, it may not bring people true value. Answer patients’ questions quickly by having popular topics readily available. Look up some keywords and topics about your industry to find out what your audience is searching for, and use that information on your website.
Don’t forget that healthcare websites don’t just cater to patients. The information you provide must be in-depth to attract different types of audiences, whether it’s patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, or family members. This doesn’t mean including industry jargon and things that “sound smart.” Instead use inclusive and concise language throughout your website content to make sure all users feel comfortable navigating your site and can easily understand what exactly your healthcare business is offering.
Use a blog for thought leadership content
You can create a deeper level of trust and loyalty in your patients by demonstrating your team knows a variety of topics. Did you know, Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering online information? Users go to blogs for an extra opinion from a well-informed source. There is already an element of trust in that! Give your patients a valuable healthcare blog experience by implementing a light, informative and diverse tone. Most importantly, keep your blog simple, personal, and current!
Best practices for healthcare blogs
Cedars-Sinai offers a structured blog that takes an inclusive and well-organized approach for patients to find the information they’re looking for. By adding diverse imagery and topics to your blog posts, you can give your readers information they can trust while also showcasing what your healthcare business stands for in content and knowledge.
Healthcare blog content
Healthcare blogs offer a great opportunity to showcase your skills, knowledge, and innovative ideas. Your patients may not know your jargon, but your blog will help your patients with questions and answers they want to know quickly. Your blogs should be at a 6th-8th grade level and should include examples and images to explain a variety of topics. Include information and resources so that patients can continue their education on your site and beyond.
Social media access on your website
To be truly user-centric, it’s important to meet users where they are. In 2020, people spent an average of 154 minutes on social media a day. That’s almost 2 and a half hours! Social media is a new way to show thought leadership in healthcare and is one of the key ways to establish a relationship with patients in a more personal setting. Accessible social media on your website allows you to create that connection while your users are on your site.
Best practices for social media in healthcare
About 20% of U.S adults get their news from social media. Whether good or bad, not everything goes double-checked. By meeting your audience where they are you can use your social media pages as a way to spread correct information as a reputable source. You set the standard of thought leadership in healthcare by understanding your audience and presenting reliable information in a relatable way.
Best practices in social media for healthcare include educating your audience, providing content and resources for support, and fighting against misinformation. Educate your audience about your site, the times you’re available, and the different ways they can connect with you, but also include the current health topics your audience is showing interest in. Your social platforms are another resource for creating a connection with your future and current patients on a more personal level. Sharing supporting resources on social media provides your patients with budget-friendly care outside of your facility. Whether it be sharing educational webinars, mental health check-ins, or vaccination reminders, an extra push to show you care about your patients will boost their confidence in your care.
Best practices for social media accessibility on your website
Here, with the AddThis extension to WordPress, there is a sharing option through different platforms, as well as floating social media icons that take users directly to your social pages This creates an opportunity for the conversation to continue beyond what’s on your website. The more opportunities for shared guidance and information, the more your healthcare business will be seen as an industry leader.
Add social media icons in your footer
Users intentionally scroll to the footer for high-value content in a hurry. The footer is a dedicated area for concise, important information, such as job opportunities, contact information, FAQs, and social media links. Having social media icons in the footer is also important because your footer is consistent throughout the entire website and on every webpage and allows your users to easily access your social media from any page
Answer common questions
Your site should be filled with content that answers questions your patients may have. To show thought leadership in healthcare, you anticipate patient needs before they arrive at the site. This is important so patients can easily find answers to their questions on the site without having to dig for it. Healthcare is difficult to understand already, so be sure to make it easy for them to find their answers to help provide a great user experience
Best practices for answering common questions on your site
Make sure to include accessible information about staff, available telehealth services, and any other common practices that end users may be curious about. Your site should be easy to understand no matter the topic—that means staying away from industry jargon.
Add common FAQs about that page’s topic to each page for easy access. This can always lead to a more in-depth FAQ page somewhere else on the website, but it is an accessible way to show you know what their questions might be for that specific page.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to build an FAQ page.
Partner with Pyxl
Your website is the first place where you can prove you are a thought leader in the healthcare industry. Thought leadership in healthcare is much more than meets the eye. You must support the information you provide with past achievements and current trends, displayed through your website accessibility, social media channels, and blogs. This, in turn, should inspire future understanding from consumers and foster a trusting relationship between them and you. Remember that your website must show trustworthiness, a desire to learn and grow, and long-term results to prove thought leadership in healthcare.
Partner with Pyxl if you need help creating content, or designing and developing a website that showcases your healthcare business as thought leaders in the industry. Pyxl has specialized in healthcare marketing and websites since 2008 with content to show for it (check out egnitehealth—we did that!). Our award-winning developers and content creators know how to leverage your healthcare business needs to promote your thought leadership in the industry. Contact us today to get started!
Updated: May 21, 2021