Everyday, consumers are bombarded with more advertising messages than ever before – from billboards and magazine advertisements to Facebook and pop-up ads online. This has resulted in consumers becoming resistant to mass advertising, in many cases simply blocking it out.
In response, marketers are turning to more effective ways to attract and retain customers, such as content marketing.
This type of approach is particularly valuable for medical practice internet marketing. It’s a strategic approach, and has already proven successful for every type of business, from small to big, local to multinational.
The basis of content marketing is the delivery of relevant and valuable content to customers – that means putting the customer first and focusing on tailored, targeted messages through the entire spectrum of your marketing channels – your website, blog, social media channels and so on.
Content marketing is an ongoing process – it’s a continuous conversation and communication with current and potential customers; it should benefit the reader in some way, providing them with useful information related to your medical practice. It should educate, inspire or inform, and in return patients will reward you with their business and loyalty. As such, content marketing has the potential to influence and enhance consumer behavior in a much more subtle way that the traditional ‘selling’ method.
Content marketing can help your patients feel closer to your practice, and most importantly, help establish your organization as a trusted, reliable source of information and position your practitioners as experts in their field.
Tips for Creating High-Quality Content
Customers take into account many different factors when selecting a medical practice. Physician expertise plays a key role, but location and financial considerations are also important, so use your content to differentiate your business and help customers. Don’t be afraid to show off your strengths – talk about any recent events or trainings you have attended, how your practice can assist with healthcare and insurance, answer any common questions or share tips for preventative care.
Optimize your keywords
Creating content that includes your keywords helps patients find your business. Include them as much as you can (where it makes sense) to improve medical SEO.
If someone has received a recommendation or referral of your business, the majority of these will still conduct an internet search to cross check details – your website helps them verify if the recommendation is valid or prepare them for a visit – so make sure they can find you easily.
Make it easy to read
Remember that the customers you are speaking to aren’t medical practitioners. Make your content easy to read, and in layman terms. That often means translating scientific and technical information into more general text. Keep your content short – no more than around 500 words for a web page or blog post. Any more, and your audience will start to tune out. This length of content also helps search engines filter your web pages for keywords and rank your website better.
Be the authority
Customers seek out medical practitioners for guidance, education and reliable information, so position yourself as an authority in your field. Use your content to teach and help customers learn and you will become a trusted source of information, helping customers to distinguish why you are different from other practices.
Highlight your best information
Put your best information where customers can see it. Include the most relevant and important information on your homepage, and then build more in-depth information into less frequented pages.
The power of images
Content isn’t just words. It’s images as well, and in many cases, photographs can have a far greater impact than words alone. Consider before and after photos for any surgeries or treatments that you specialize in, staff photographs (these are an excellent tool to help ‘humanize’ your medical practice), or showcase the interior of your medical practice. Images can help create an emotional bond between your customers and your services.
Consider your content paramount when it comes to influencing customer perception of your business. A good website (and other related marketing channels such as a blog or social media) will communicate your proficiencies and expertise while demonstrating understanding and care for patient experience.
Medical practice internet marketing stands to gain enormously from employing the basics of content marketing. As marketing continues to grow and evolve, and competition continues to increase, content marketing can elevate your practice above the rest.