What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is providing valuable information to current and potential customers to build trust, branding, awareness and positive sentiment. A successful content marketing campaign establishes you as an expert and sets the groundwork for a long-term business relationship.
Why Should I Start Content Marketing?
Content marketing is fast becoming the best way to get your message out there, create traffic and convert patients. More and more businesses, medical and otherwise, are starting to look at themselves as media and publishing companies within their niche. A big goal today is building a base of subscribers that want your info. A steady flow of high-quality content is becoming a huge search signal for Google. As more and more sites get penalized for link manipulation, a strong content strategy is what SEO is evolving toward today.
People & Search Engines Love Great Content
Google is heavily favoring sites that change frequently and update their information often. Today, we’re seeing huge benefits in a strategy based on frequent, high-quality posts that roll out across website blogs and social media. It makes sense — an active website that has strong social signals pointing to it should rise in the search engines.
Make a Website Google Can’t Ignore
There is no magic bullet for search. The best resources are rising to the top, and the less valuable and static sites are falling. Content marketing is all about creating value for your brand and creating a user base that trusts you and loves the information you deliver before, during and after the buying cycle.
Owned Versus Rented Media
In traditional marketing, you pay to “rent” advertising space in a magazine or on a website. This space allows you access to their subscribers to pass your message and branding along. Content marketing, on the other hand, focuses on building your subscriber base by publishing your own branded content. By becoming a publisher and creator, you’re building a media platform you own and control. If you can develop a subscriber base of emails, followers and repeat visitors, you’ll never have to advertise in a traditional manner again. By focusing on your owned assets (website, content, email list) rather than rented third-party advertising (print, TV, Facebook), you stand to create value that lasts far beyond the scope and duration of rented media.
The first step is to gather your owned assets into one place. These are the building blocks of your content marketing strategy, and you’ll be surprised just how much you have already. The easier it is to share your owned assets with writers, web developers and PR people, the easier your content marketing will be. This collection process centralizes your most valuable assets and makes all your content generation easier for everyone on your team.
PHOTOS – Getting all your photo assets in one place will make your content marketing easier and better-looking. Get this stuff organized into shareable folders.
- Purchased stock
- Third-party resources
- Website assets
VIDEO – Video is hugely valuable and production quality is less important than the content itself. Make sure you know what videos your vendors and product companies supply you, and organized them into easy-to-access folders. You can easily and quickly weave this content throughout your strategy, adding depth and interest.
- Patient stories
- Third-party resources
TESTIMONIAL – Strong patient testimonials are an asset in content marketing. Make sure you cut and paste all testimonials from the web into a Word document you control. It provides huge social proof, and centralizing this asset will give you the tools to create outstanding print, blogs, videos and more.
- Google +
- Letters from patients
- Patient stories
PROCEDURE INFO – The procedures you perform are a major source of content, much of which you, your web team and your vendors have already written. Organize this info in one place to be reused and reformatted throughout your content marketing strategy.
- Vendor websites
- Purchased copy
- Printed materials
- Procedure photos
- Procedure videos
- Case Studies
EVENTS – Group your yearly events, seminars and holiday ads into this folder. Strong content often hinges on events and holiday promotions that roll around every year. Holiday content is reusable, and your collection should get bigger and better each year.
- Annual promos
- Recorded webinars
- Recorded seminars
- Local geo events
- Co-branded events
- Holiday graphics
- Event graphics
- Promo graphics
- Vendor graphics
PEOPLE – Good lists of targeted people have HUGE value to your practice. Your email list should include every patient, every vocal proponent and every prospect who has ever contacted your office. All rented media should push people into this owned list.
- Email list
- Facebook likes
- Facebook friends
- LinkedIn connections
- Google + circles
- Twitter followers
1. Centralize Your Assets
Put these on Dropbox or Google Drive, somewhere easy to share with your web developers, copywriters, journalists, staff and PR team. The sooner you get all this info in one easy-to-access place, the sooner everyone will have all your tools at their fingertips at all times.
4. Make It Easy to Share and Hand Off
The easier this resource is to share with others, the more quickly you’ll be able to create cool and powerful stuff. Combining your procedure info and case results into an infographic is easy if you can give a designer access to both.
2. Pull in Third-Party Assets
Bring equipment you own, Facebook status updates and content you just like into your owned assets in a special folder. While you can’t violate copyright, you can certainly share, link to and derive from these assets. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Get good stuff from all your sources and base your marketing on things you enjoy, your vendors created or strategies that have worked for others in the past.
5. Rented Media Should Push People Into Your Owned List
If you’re buying pay-per-click or a print ad or TV space, the No. 1 goal of this rented media should be to co-opt their subscribers/viewers/searchers into your owned list. When you gain subscribers, you eliminate the need for rented media. Push people to sign up, enter contests and request special info or benefits. Once you have an email address,
3. Grow and Organize
Keep adding to this as you come across good info and elements. Just having your before-and-after photos in one place that’s easy for the team to access is wildly helpful. The larger your owned media gets, the more tools you have in your arsenal.
6. Intelligent Rollout
Make sure you use your website as a command and control center for your content marketing. Every piece of content should go live on your website, be served
1. Automate Your Blog, Email and Social Channels
This is the core of your content marketing strategy. Every piece of content you generate should go onto your website news blog, be served to your social media channels and go out to your email user base. Tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Icontact all help to automate this process. It takes too much work generating good content to squander it by not getting the widest reach possible. Make sure your blog, email and social are all connected before you spend a dime generating content for marketing purposes.
6. Webinars & Seminars
Most successful practices are already doing some kind of seminar to educate people about their services and skills. Recording this gives you a truly special piece of content that is fairly easy to produce and provide online. Recording and transcribing this content will provide you with extremely powerful long-form content to share across all your channels. Webinars are a solid tool to opt people into your email list as well. Pushing people from rented media like print and Adwords to a webinar or recorded seminar can be a great way to quickly build your email list.
2. Infographics, Charts and Diagrams
Look at your photo assets and procedure assets to build good infographics. A designer provided with these two tools should be able to build some strong infographics pretty quickly. Just combining all your B&A photos into a procedurally driven graphic with some callouts can be a very powerful, shareable and useful piece of marketing content. Make sure you build your infographics in a modular way. A well-designed infographic can work both online and in print as a flier in the office.
7. Print and Collateral
Looking to do something different? Advertising in print is having somewhat of a resurgence today. Building a brochure or document can be a great way to get to people you just can’t reach through online channels. A well-designed print piece can also be the foundation for infographics. This creates a piece of collateral for the office that you can also break into smaller chunks for social media and on your blog. The secret to this is to design in a modular way — set the expectation that the piece will work both online and as a print piece, and you’ll be surprised how much mileage you can get from it.
3. Patient Stories and Testimonials
The more you build a library of patient testimonials, the happier you’re going to be long-term. A good testimonial is a standalone piece of content that you don’t even have to write. Bringing testimonials in from third-party sites just makes sense for any practice. An infographic made up of handwritten testimonials is powerful and easy to produce. Think about these assets and how to weave them into all your marketing. Social proof is very powerful, and all copy becomes better when a testimonial is included.
Both local and practice events are great subjects for your content marketing. Community outreach is valuable on several levels. It helps tell the search engines where you’re located. It helps establish you as a pillar of the community. Photograph practice events for your blog and social channels. It’s another easy way to create content that appeals to both search engines and people alike.
4. Patient and Physician Videos
People speak at 150 words per minute. You can radically increase the scope and breadth of your website content by creating short videos and transcribing them. The smartphone in your pocket has all the tools you need to create videos that quickly showcase your expertise. You can capture stories, answer questions and talk about cases, all using your phone. This kind of content immediately connects with people and is probably the fastest content to produce in terms of bang for your buck.
9. Case Studies, Day of Surgery, Video B&A
Make videos documenting your procedures and cases. Video before-and-afters are amazingly powerful if edited together. It’s amazing how much information you can see in a video that a still photo just doesn’t capture. When recording a video, make sure you have an intro and conclusion — it makes it much easier to edit and make a coherent piece out of it. This type of content can really set your website apart and make you seem interesting, connected and human. Getting good at making short videos and embracing this technology will quickly set you apart from your competitors.
5. Whitepapers and Reports
Often, these are a reworked combo of your procedure and photo assets. Try to create a valuable piece that will compel people to subscribe to your content to get access to. This kind of premium content is a great way to get people to opt into your email list. Bring in a good writer and you can generate some strong reusable content in a couple days.
IDEAS FOR WHITEPAPERS:
– Secrets to a Successful Plastic Surgery
– Choosing the Right Doctor — Questions to Ask
– Cost of Plastic Surgery
– Teeth Whitening Secrets
– The Complete Guide to Hair Transplantation
10. Write a Book
Writing a book is the ultimate credibility booster. A real printed book is a great door opener and is the tool that often takes people to the next level in their careers. Authors can land speaking engagements and public forums. If you create your content in a smart and well-thought-out way, you may be able to create much of your book using blog posts and content you’ve written over a couple years. Think about the structure of a book you’d like to write, then start creating the sections of it using your blog, your team and your existing assets. It will come together quickly if you plan it out well.