Practitioners frequently ask, “What marketing effort is worth spending time and money on?” While that answer differs depending on the stage of your practice, the starting point is always the same: produce valuable content. Valuable content tells your patients who you are and why they need you to help them have a better, healthier life.
In order to create valuable, relevant and compelling content, start by learning what your current patients find valuable. What questions are they asking? What health problems are they experiencing most often? What are their nutritional needs? What products or services are they loving and why? What conditions or problems have you been able to treat effectively? What makes them trust and love you and keep them coming back?
Next, determine the platform on which you’ll present valuable content. Two factors to consider when choosing the a platform are 1) Who is your ideal patient? and 2) How do you plan to use this platform?
Here are some content platforms to consider:
Blogs allow prospective patients to get to know who you are and the services you provide. You can share blog posts on your practice website or share your work as a guest for other publications. Blogs are typically informal in tone and may include informative text, compelling images, infographics and videos.
eBooks are an electronic book publication made available in digital form, often as a printable PDF file. They allow you to delve more deeply than you would for a blog, demonstrating your knowledge on a specific subject. eBooks typically consist of text, images or both and can be downloaded at a low cost or even for free. eBooks are often used as lead magnets for acquiring prospective patients’ email addresses for future campaigns and nurturing relationships.
White papers are more formal than a blog or eBook. Their purpose is to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. They establish you as a subject expert by educating patients concisely about a complex issue. White papers can also be used as lead magnets to build your patient base and readership.
Newsletters build relationships with both current and prospective patients. Delivering valuable information on a consistent basis reminds patients of who you are and how you can help them. Regular communication encourages them to return to your office and refer friends and family.
Webinars are seminars you conduct over the internet. The format is generally a video or audio presentation, discussion, demonstration or instructional session. They should be interactive, informative and educational, and like white papers, they help establish you as an expert on a topic. Webinars can be a source of revenue or you can offer them for free, using them as lead magnets and building an audience.
Video content is used by 63% of businesses in their marketing. Why? Because video is a powerful way to build trust with viewers. Imagine how it might feel for a prospective patient to see who will be treating them, how that treatment might look and feel, and what the support team and environment are like all before their first appointment.
Once you’ve determined your valuable content and platform, follow these criteria to make it the most effective at building your practice so you can help more people:
- Searchable – Use keywords and visual elements (images, graphs, infographics, video, interactive content) to make sure your valuable content shows up in search engines like Google and Bing.
- Readable – Valuable content should be long enough to be informative but not so long that your prospective patient grows bored or overwhelmed. Leave them wanting more.
- Understandable – Your content may be professional or technical, but it should be broken down in a clear and concise way that easily conveys your message and does not confuse your readers.
- Actionable – Tell prospective patients what they should do next: “Book an appointment today, download our eBook, call our office to schedule an evaluation, order your supply of ___ here, sign up for our email list to stay informed.” These calls-to-action keep current and prospective patients coming back.
- Shareable – Make it easy for patients to share your valuable content with the people they love and encourage them to do so. Be confident in the value of your content and simply say, “Please share this article with the people you care about.”
To get started, make a list of possible topics. Next, choose a platform to create your content. Finally, evaluate your post to ensure it meets the criteria above. Just one piece of content each week can add up. Start creating valuable content today!
Don’t have time to create valuable content? We can do it for you. A well-researched, keyword-rich 1,000-word blog is $40. If you already have great content and need a strategy to maximize your return, schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.