Like many occupants of the marketing world, we were struck by a recent leaked report about the state of the New York Times. As many loyal readers were clued in to with 2011’s introduction of an online paywall, the Times has struggled to remain relevant in a landscape of immediately-available, individual-specific web content. Sites like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed excel in this arena – but they do so with far less well-crafted content, prioritizing .gif lists and celebrity gossip that is engineered to attract clicks. In order to engage readers, your content needs to strike a fine line between the Times’ more challenging offerings, and Buzzfeed/HuffPo’s blatant pandering to the denizens of the web.
This is true for all content creators, including your own healthcare practice. Taking a measured approach to content marketing is key. Don’t just educate – entertain. Your patients, both prospective and current, will take notice, and respond positively.
Content marketing is a brainchild borne of necessity, and shaped by Google’s ever-changing SEO preferences. The choices the search engine giant makes with regard to which content and pages “matter” on the web have changed the way Internet advertising functions. Long gone are the days of pop up ads, spammy pages, and meta keyword exploitation. What matters now are well-written, appealing, and valuable pieces of content. Google appreciates creators who make the web a better place, and it boosts their websites’ rankings in response.
In short, content marketing is drawing in new clients/patients/customers with the aid of compelling content. This can mean information about your practice, newsworthy blog posts, or case studies: whatever works for you. The important part is that the content gets made, gets out there, and gets seen. We can help with all three parts of that content equation.
What patients (and search engines) really value is content that speaks to your specific practice. Getting detailed and getting personal is just more interesting than writing about vague, industry-wide topics. For this reason, it’s vital that you play a role in your website’s content creation. If you’re writing pages or blog posts yourself, pack in plenty of details about what the office is up to, recent cases, and even information about staff members. If you have a content developer, share updates on office news, specials, and unique cases. The more applicable to your practice the content, the better patients will respond.
In addition to crafting excellent content, you need to show patients that content is something they’ll benefit from consuming. These days, that means sharing on social media. This is where the “entertain” portion of content marketing often comes in. Frame the content in a way that’s going to get patients clicking on the link, and learning more about your practice. Social media is an incredible outlet for all kinds of content sharing – it doesn’t even necessarily have to be written (Facebook users often prefer educational content that’s either heavy with or contained within images).
In order to create the ideal patient experience, you’ll need to take a step back and decide exactly what it is that your patients want. It’s possible to build content that accomplishes what you want (bringing in new patients) by giving site visitors what they want (an informative but entertaining time spent on your site). Ready to unlock your practice website’s full potential? Get in touch with Doctor Web Solution for a complimentary website evaluation. We’ll help you find the best place to get started.