Content marketing is defined as promoting a business or service by sharing useful and engaging information. In comparison to conventional outbound marketing, which pushes unwanted messages on audiences, content marketing engages audiences by delivering value that they seek out on their own.
According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates more than three times as many leads (e.g. prospective patients) as outbound marketing — but it costs 62 percent less. This makes it an ideal practice marketing strategy for independent healthcare providers.
Read on to learn how to get started with content marketing at your practice.
1. Set your communication channels
Before you create content, you should first determine the channels you will use to share that content.
Begin by setting up profiles on social media sites that your target audiences use, which might include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although your target audiences might not be as active on Google+, having a Google+ profile can give you a boost in search rankings, so set up a profile on this social site, too.
In addition to setting up your social profiles, set up a blog on your website. Blogging is the best way to add fresh content to your website on a regular basis, which will help attract new patients.
2. Identify content topics
Think about the subjects new and current patients will enjoy. This can range from a focus on your services, to frequently asked questions about your specialty or conditions you treat.
Educate your patients on symptoms, help patients understand possible treatments, and offer healthy living encouragement. This will not only help engage your current patients, but is also a way to get new patients.
3. Format and create content
After deciding what topics you’ll be discussing, choose the most appropriate format. Think about the content formats that could work for you, which might include short lists, FAQs, how-tos, or personal essays. In addition to traditional written content, video and audio can be used, so feel free to get creative.
A common content marketing strategy is to repurpose content into multiple formats. This allows you to share information more than once.
4. Create an editorial calendar
Healthcare content marketing will only prove to be an effective practice marketing strategy if you publish content consistently. The best way to stick to a publishing schedule is to create an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is a visual space where you can plan out when and where you will publish content. This can be a list, an excel sheet, or calendar — whatever works best for you.
Consistency can be more important than frequency, and the amount of posts can be different per social platform. For instance, it is more common to post on Twitter multiple times per day, as opposed to Facebook, where people typically post once every day or once every few days.
Check out: How to reach new patients using social media
5. Maximize website links to your content
Building links to your practice website is an important part of content marketing. When other websites link back to yours, that tells Google you have important content, and can help increase your search rankings. Maximizing your web links will increase your chances of people finding your practice, and can be a good source for how to get new patients.
Link all of your social media sites to your website. If you have partnerships, associations, or accreditations, link them as well. Vice versa, if they are mentioning you in their content, request they link to your website.
For more information about how medical content marketing can be key for healthcare marketing, check out the webinar “Boost search engine rankings with content marketing.” In the webinar, you will get more information about how to utilize medical content marketing to boost website traffic and patient engagement.