Content marketing is big business. Why? Mainly because it’s a proven way to attract new customers to your practice without making them feel like they’ve just been hit with a “sleazy” car salesman speech. It’s a noninvasive way to say “Here I am and this is how I can help”, and a marketing gift that keeps on giving. Left to simmer on your website day and night, your content is hard at work attracting new visitors 24 hours a day.
Of course, this only works if you’re doing content marketing the right way, which isn’t the case with most practices. Common, easily correctable mistakes keep many doctors from experiencing success in this area. Let’s look at five of these common mistakes and how you can correct them.
Whether you are a large practice with thousands of patients or a small practice with a few dozen customers, one thing remains the same; inconsistency in content marketing can kill any results that you expect to accomplish. Readers will quickly seek information elsewhere if you prove to be an unreliable source.
If you’re planning to use content as an inbound marketing method, you have to do it on a regular basis. This means publishing helpful blog posts and other forms of content at least weekly.
The number one reason that doctors have so much trouble keeping up with their content marketing efforts is because they fail to plan ahead of time. You can’t just expect to think of a great topic, write it up perfectly, publish, and share it all on the same day; especially with the million other things going on with your practice. Planning your content ahead of time gives you the opportunity to carefully craft your words and make sure it’s ready to be published on time.
Tip: Handing this task over to a staff member or freelancer may be best if you’re pressed for time. This way, you can read and approve the final copy without having to write the actual piece. A content calendar is highly useful with this.
Problem: Not Speaking the Patient’s Language
Think about the way that you interact with patients face-to-face. Do you use medical terms that they probably have never heard, or do you try to break things down for them so that they’ll understand? When creating and sharing content, you should always keep this in mind. If you’re not speaking the reader’s language, then you’re not really saying anything.
Solution: Know Your Target Audience
Before you put any content online, research the type of patient that you want to reach. What’s important to them? Why do they normally visit the doctor’s office? What’s their education level? Do they have children? What’s their occupation? The more you know about the person you’re trying to reach, the better chance you have of getting their attention with content that truly resonates with them. Defining your target audience is an important step in reaching the right people and ensuring that you always speak their language.
Tip: Create a marketing persona to help tailor content to a specific type of patient.
Problem: The Dreaded “Sea of Words”
You can offer the most insightful and educational content on the web, but if it’s not properly formatted and easy on the reader’s eyes, it won’t convert a single visitor. This is commonly referred to as a “sea of words”, where blog posts contain long paragraphs with very few if any breaks between thoughts. It’s unattractive and scares people away as soon as they hit the landing page.
Solution: Short Paragraphs and Sub-Headers
Each paragraph should contain no more than 5-6 sentences. This is just enough to get the idea across and prep the reader for the next small chunk of information. When you’re moving to a different idea, use a subheader to say “here’s what this paragraph is about”. This format makes the content “skimmable” and welcoming to most readers.
Tip: Ask a friend or family member to look over the content layout before you publish it. Also, spend time browsing online and find a few sites with the dreaded “sea of words”. Compare it to your layout to ensure that you’re on the right track.
Problem: Lack of Promotion
Without proper promotion, your content can’t yield the results that you want. How can you expect to drive more traffic to your practice if hardly anyone knows about it? Proper promotion doesn’t mean sharing the content one time on your favorite social media channel. Getting the word out there will require much more effort than that. Forget about solely depending on Facebook and Twitter to reach potential customers. There’s a whole slew of other networks to reach people online, and you have to tap into them.
Solution: Promote, Promote, and Promote Some More
Some of your potential customers hang out in forum posts, others are Reddit fans. The internet is large and you have to search far and wide reach the people that you wish to target. Take time each week to learn about a different network that may house potential clients, and learn how to use it. When you do share content, don’t expect much on the first try. Share it several times to ensure that you’ve cast a wide net in terms of readers.
Tip: When you find a new social network to share content, spend a few weeks with it before deciding whether or not it’s worth the time and effort.
Problem: No Variety in Content Type
Blog posts, whitepapers and case studies are nice, but not everyone enjoys long form text. Some people prefer to watch a video, and others learn better with simple graphics. If you’re depending on one type of content to convert visitors, then you’re bound to lose someone along the way. This is something that most practice owners don’t really think about, but in the world of content marketing, the type of material that you put out is just as important as getting the word out in general.
Solution: Publish Different Forms of Content
Use blog posts and other long-form text as a basis to create a variety of material like videos and infographics. This ensures that each topic has a greater chance of reaching an array of visitors and keeping their interest longer. You should make videos no longer than 3 minutes, and use infographics that focus on stats and facts. By catering to the different ways that visitors prefer to consume content, your conversion rates will flourish.
Tip: When publishing long-form content, add links and buttons to take the reader to the video or infographic version of the content. Be sure these links are clear and easily accessible.
If you need a comprehensive and effective social media marketing strategy to attract and keep more patients, we can bring your practice to the next level. Call my team, invigoMEDIA at 1-844-ROI-GUYS.