The following is a guest blog post by Alex Membrillo
While the phrase “content is king” has surely worn out its welcome, there’s no denying that one of the most effective ways to get noticed, build an audience and grow your practice is to produce high-quality content.
The “blog” is still the most thought-of content type out there, but in more recent years, healthcare practitioners are testing out new waters, such as video marketing and podcasting.
Regardless of your preferred form of content, one of the biggest struggles the busy healthcare professional encounters when trying to market his/her practice is finding ideas to talk about.
These 5 tips should help you create awesome, high-quality content that will demonstrate your expertise and expand your reach to new prospects.
1. Look no further than your calendar
Each month marks at least one – if not a handful of – observances related to the healthcare industry. October, for example, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. November is American Diabetes Month. June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.
Each of these observances provides a foundation and direction for you to create content around. For October, for example, you could create four blog posts (scheduled once per week) that discusses a different perspective of breast cancer. For June 27, you could create an infographic that outlines what to expect when getting tested for HIV.
The benefit of turning to your calendar for content ideas is two-fold:
- You can plan your content well in advance, so that you’re never left scrambling at the last minute
- You can take advantage of the social conversations going on in places like Twitter and Facebook (using hashtags or tagging key influencers helps immensely)
You can turn to Healthfinder.gov to get a list of the observances taking place each year.
2. Tap into the existing news trends
One thing you can always count on is that health and sciences will always be covered in the news. Whether it’s a breakthrough drug, a new form of alternative care, a controversial surgery or statistics that demonstrate a trend in human health (such as obesity), health is always on the front-page, so to speak, of news.
This is a tremendous opportunity for you to create relative, real-time content that folks are talking about at this very moment.
If, for example, Good Morning America just aired a segment on the latest development on the Zika virus, you can be certain that millions of folks will be searching online – and on social media – for terms related to Zika.
By producing your own commentary or perspective on the matter, you can win over some of this traffic and come across as an expert and influencer.
3. Find out what your audiences want to know about
The whole purpose of creating quality content is to provide something of value for folks who conduct online searches.
What better way to produce relative content people actually care about than to go straight to the source?
You can do this a few different ways:
- Conduct a survey on your blog or through email, asking your readers what topics they’re most concerned about or would like for you to cover. Survey Monkey is a good free tool to use.
- Look at the blogs and social profiles of your local and national counterparts. What are they writing about that seems to have garnered audience response?
- Use keyword research. If you know who your audiences are, then you can figure out what search terms they use on Google. These key terms will serve as the subject matter of your content.
4. Don’t resist the list
One of the most effective types of blog posts is the “list.”
5 Ways to Reduce Stress at Home. 10 Reasons to Lower Your Salt Intake.
These types of articles speak directly to the human mind, which likes to group and classify things. A list article tells the reader: This is what you’re going to get, nothing more, nothing less. Readers like this, because they know they’ll be able to skim the list and absorb its value without having to commit to a ton of reading.
Just by thinking in “list” form, you’ll likely come away with a few story ideas. If, for example, you’re an orthopedic surgeon, think to yourself, what would my readers want to know? Perhaps you might come away with ideas such as:
- Five Ways Runners Can Reduce Joint Pain
- 7 Reasons Why You Don’t Need Back Surgery
- The 3 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Strengthen Your Bones
5. Go ahead – reuse, recycle, repurpose!
If you’ve actively been producing content, then there’s no need to reinvent the wheel each and every time. Why not go back over your existing content and figure out a way to spin it into something new?
Is there a new angle you can focus on? Hospitals, for example, could take an article that highlights one field and rewrite it to focus on another one.
Perhaps an article you wrote last year is outdated and could benefit from the inclusion of the latest study or statistics. Create that new post, and link to the original one.
Let’s say, for example, you’re a plastic surgeon who wrote a popular blog post last year about the use of Botox for patients suffering from excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Since then, you’ve had a few clients see remarkable benefits from this procedure. You can then update your blog post with patient testimonials and promote it again across your digital channels.
Billions of content is produced daily – getting noticed can be a challenge
As a healthcare professional, your time is already extremely limited, but you know the importance of marketing in order to grow your practice.
Use these 5 tips above to help you quickly come up with high-quality pieces of content that’ll attract your prospects and demonstrate your expertise.
About Alex Membrillo
Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal Web Solutions, an award winning healthcare marketing agency based in Atlanta, GA. His innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. Visit www.CardinalWebSolutions.com to find out more about Cardinal Web Solutions.
Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Membrillo