What is Content Marketing Actually?
Content Marketing Institute explains:
“content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.”
Providing fresh content consistently updates your website and improves your Google, Yahoo and Bing rankings. The better your search engine rankings, the more likely patients are to find you in an online search. After all, patients are likely only to read you on page one or maybe page 2. Let’s face it, if you are only on page 15, you might as well not exist online. Consider producing a page for every condition you treat and every service you offer.
The more that people find you online and read your content, the more apt they will be to visit your practice. These new patients translate into practice growth but in addition to these prospective patients coming, they become a referral source for you as they recommend your practice to friends and family.
With 80% of Americans searching online for medical information and one out of every five seeking a specific doctor, it’s more crucial than ever for content marketing.
Additional benefits of content marketing:
- Provides valuable, helpful information
- Encourages patients to seek you out for medical information instead of websites.
- Establishes you as an expert in your field.
- Increases your Google rankings which means more people are exposed to your practice.
It’s not easy to be consistent with content marketing when there are so many other obligations and duties one has each day. In order to accomplish regular content publishing, create a content calendar which designates the day for the content (rich in keywords for optimization) and whether it will be the physician or staff creating it. The calendar can include social media posts, blog posts, Ezines, email campaigns and other types of content that your patients feel is relevant. Don’t forget to add holidays to the calendar so that you can personalize it with seasonal or holiday wishes.
The key is consistency. It does not matter whether it is twice a month (which is where you may want to start) or daily. The key is what you can commit to so that you publish your messages the same day each month.
Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to help you come up with topics that are in sync with your services and that your patients are interested in. Another way to derive content is to think of all the questions patients have asked in your office. You can write an article or post that answers each one of them since many of your patients would be interested in the same topics or struggling with the same problems. Then when patients ask the same questions, you can refer them to your articles for additional in-depth information.
There is no right answer for how many times that you put out your content. The answer is how often you can be consistent with it. If you always put out information on Tuesday, make sure that there is something there when Tuesday rolls around so that you don’t disappoint the readers that come to your site on that day specifically to see the fresh content. If it’s not there, they will just go elsewhere.
Start out with once each week and increase if the time allows and you become more proficient.
Consider the editorial calendar. This is a schedule where you take a list of topics or keywords that you want to cover over the month as well as how you will cover them (i.e. newsletter, press release, article marketing, YouTube, Facebook, or other social channels). You can assign members of your staff to cover areas that they are familiar and work with regularly. This way, you do not miss coverage and consistency.
Thirty-five percent of service-related searches online are for health. If you’re not there, you can bet that your competing colleagues are. Implementing a content marketing strategy will mean the difference between attracting prospective patients and growing your practice versus losing patients and eventually your practice as it dwindles down and no longer becomes financially viable.
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