Not many physicians have heard of content marketing. But it’s a new way to keep current patients engaged and to attract new patients.
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of acquiring customers. It is the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling.
“Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”
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According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing works. Companies like Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere have embraced this new way to attract customers. Small businesses and independent entrepreneurs are also using it.
“Consumers have simply shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own a DVR to skip television advertising, often ignore magazine advertising, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information without a care for banners or buttons (making them irrelevant).”
So, how can physicians use content marketing? It starts with creating content that is valuable and relevant to your patients and adding that to your web site, blog, or patient newsletters. Here are seven ideas for content to help get you started.
Practice changes: keep your patients updated on any practice changes, such as adding a new physician, change in office hours, new practice services added, etc.
What you do: if you are a family physician and you offer sport physicals for students, explain what you look for during a sports physical. If you offer travel medicine exams and immunizations, explain why these are important.
FAQs: keep track of the questions your patients ask and answer those in-depth.
Video: people read less and watch more. YouTube is now the number two search engine, after Google. And patients are searching for videos to answer specific questions, such as “What can I expect after my colonoscopy” or “Should I have a PSA screening?”
Adding video to you site is not complicated. Use a flip camera to create a video introduction of yourself and your practice. Is there a health topic you feel strongly about? Create a video explaining why the topic is important and what steps you want your patients to take.
Health in the news: Let’s say a new study has been published on colon cancer screening, and the study has been misconstrued by the media. Set the record straight for your patients by posting the correct information about the study on your web site and encouraging your patients to see you if they have any concerns about colon cancer.
Health topics relevant to your patient base: Think about your patients and what most concerns them. What top 10 patient conditions do you treat? Write a short blog post about each of them and encourage patients to seek treatment for these conditions from you.
Importance of immunizations: there is a lot misinformation out there about vaccinations. Explain to your patients why vaccines are important and how they should discuss their concerns with you. Provide links to reputable web sites and credible information about immunizations.
A version of this article appeared on Affynity Web Solution s blog.