Do you twitter? Do you Facebook? Do you blog? As the world becomes more connected through social media, healthcare professionals are finding a huge gateway to reaching more potential patients and interested readers. Content curation is at the forefront of the movement to get more ideas and information out to the computer screens of more people.
What is content curation?
Content curation is the art and business of collecting relevant content and displaying it in one convenient place, allowing easy and timely access for readers and patients. This content can include new research, studies, fresh findings, updates on healthcare innovations, opinion pieces on the state of healthcare, examples of new procedures, treatment options, interesting notes on diagnosing patients, and so much more. All of this content is then gathered into a format that is easy to read and engaging to those who seek out the information.
Content curation can be done in many different ways. There are several platforms that offer the service, such as Paper.li and Scoop.it. These curation programs offer suggestions for relevant content, then help you display it on a blog, social media platform or your personal or company website. Some platforms offer free services, but “pay to play” services are also taking hold, with promises of expert content that can’t be found anywhere else.
Content curation versus content creation
Why curate content instead of creating your own? There are pros and cons to both. Though content creation can be a good way to get your fresh ideas and opinions out there, it is rather time consuming. If you create multimedia content such as videos and audio, you might be looking at an expensive proposition. In addition, you can soon feel significant pressure to create regular content. This can be especially bothersome for those who are extremely busy.
But most importantly, content creation provides your patients and readers with only one perspective on a certain subject. In the world of healthcare, second opinions and even third opinions are highly valued by patients, and so it is the same with the content they find online. Readers who want to learn more about a particular health issue, for instance, are likely to seek out several sources for their peace of mind.
Content curation allows you to gather together many pertinent materials, viewpoints, studies and resources in one place without spending too much time or money in doing so. Today’s tools for content curation provide a very efficient way to present all that information in one place. You can also post with much more regularity, making your social media efforts truly social by connecting more often with those who value the information you bring them.
An approach that combines both created and curated content might allow for the best of both worlds. Not only are several perspectives represented and a wide variety of media offered to readers, you are also given the opportunity to present your point of view through regularly created content. This mixture gives readers what they are hoping to see on a regular basis, but also gives you a way to connect with them in a more personal way.
Why it matters to healthcare professionals
A 2013 report by Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 59 percent of U.S. adults had turned to the Internet to find health information in the past year. Thirty-five percent of those specifically searched for conditions that they or a loved one might have. The most common topics? Diseases and conditions made the top of the list, followed by treatment options or procedures. Healthcare professionals were also a common topic of Internet interest.
By offering a website filled with useful, informative content, you can tap into that vast number of health-conscious readers. Content curation allows you to gather the information your patients want in order to give them a sense of community, peace of mind and the answers they seek. This in turn boosts your own brand and business, attaching your name to the things that matter most to readers. By having your name associated with high-quality, relevant and desirable content, social media can help drive your business and reputation to an even higher plane. (Read about how hospitals are using social media to reach their patients, healthcare professionals and the public.)
In the digital world, content is king. In the healthcare world, accurate and timely information is king. Blend them together with content curation, and you will provide a service that benefits everyone — you, your company, and the many readers and potential patients who need informative, reassuring answers.
About the Author:
Shannon Dauphin Lee has been writing professionally for two decades on a wide variety of topics, including medical and health issues, education, home repair, and relationships.
Featured image credit: raphaelle_ridarch via cc