Marketing to Moms: Opportunities for Niche Blogs in Healthcare
August 3, 2009 § 3 Comments
Thanks to Google Reader, my full to overflowing email inbox, Twitter and several other tools, I read a lot of blogs. There are a few of them that reach audiences the size of a cable television show (500,000 to a million unique views), and then there are others that don’t have the immense reach but have a dedicated following – the niche blogs.
My interests are many so I read niche blogs about branding, advertising, online marketing, restaurants, hospitality, food, religion, social causes and healthcare. And all this reading is time consuming.
My guess is that I spend 30-60 minutes a day, researching and reading blogs and websites. My firm recently conducted research on a client’s website, talking to 18-34 year olds, who suggested that they were spending at least 30 minutes a day checking their favorite blogs and news sites. We know one-third of all Moms read blogs regularly.
Healthcare is a really personal business, yet most providers have not yet identified the importance of starting real authentic conversations with their patients and their families. These conversations would go a long way in personalizing the care healthcare systems provide.
Think hospitals. Jamie Lyons of Beth Israel Deaconness in Boston in one of the healthcare blog pioneers. She recently related their experiences in launching a new website, new medical center marketing campaign and related blogs to establish more personal patient relationships.
The hospital has several blogs focused on narrow topics – See them here.
One is Living with Breast Cancer, written by a two-time survivor and experienced oncology social worker. Another is Trials and Tribulations of a New Mom. And one is a blog that has been maintained for four years by the CEO of the medical center. Each one of these has a very different niche audience, but the power of the message to each one of these groups is immense. If I was referred to their services as a cancer patient or new mom, I would voraciously read everything I could find in blogs written by people who have had similar experiences.
But blogs must be marketed to find their following. Advertising in certainly one way to let your audiences know about your blog. Search marketing is important. Social media helps. Facebook and MySpace are certainly ways to connect groups Also, Twitter’s search functions and hashtags have definitely added to the ability to get your topic in front of large audiences seeking information. Twitter is very democratic, allowing large and small bloggers the same access to niche communities.
Also, bloggers can get identified in communities by commenting, participating in forums and reviewing topics or products.
How do you identify bloggers in your group? Find out those who are already active, writing and speaking in their field, or find those that are particularly passionate about their topic.
Since women make many of the healthcare decisions for their families, healthcare providers would be smart to start cultivating blog readers with real and meaningful conversations.