Content marketing is a type of marketing that uses high-quality content assets such as articles, videos, or infographics to attract interest. Unlike traditional marketing, it does not often advertise directly. Instead, the content is meant to create interest or leave an impression of the brand.
Medical practices can achieve great results with content marketing. In this short guide, you’ll learn how to plan a content marketing strategy and some of the types of content that can help you achieve your goals. Before we go any further, let’s look at why medical practices should consider content marketing.
Why Should Medical Practices Use Content Marketing?
Medical practices should use content marketing because it’s effective at helping them create an impression of knowledge and trustworthiness. Advanced medical and cosmetic treatments can be difficult to understand. Content that helps to answer all of a potential client’s questions can be more effective than ads. If your content helps a reader understand a procedure, they’re more inclined to choose you to handle their operation.
Content can also help you earn trust. A series of posts or videos that highlight your clinic, your modern equipment, or the healthcare professionals who work there can create a sense of familiarity. Now that you understand what content marketing can offer you let’s look at how to plan one.
How to Plan a Content Marketing Strategy
It’s important to keep the purpose of content marketing in mind as you begin to plan your strategy. Remember, you’re trying to avoid promotional language. Your content will be most effective if it provides value without looking like advertising. Your plan will need to consider three elements: research, budget, and goals.
You need to know who you’re targeting and what impressions they have about your brand, which is why research is so essential. If you don’t have a marketing team to handle this part, you can try doing the following:
- Compare your patient records to discover demographics: It’s important to understand clients’ ages and spending habits to market to them properly. Review your patient records to determine if there are any simple patterns.
- Ask past patients to complete a survey: Ask satisfied clients if they’re willing to complete a small survey on how they found your clinic and what impressions they have of it. They may give you hints on how your other marketing has fallen short.
- Consider your competitors: You may not be the first one to consider content marketing in your field. Check out your local competitors’ websites and find out if they’ve created content that is attracting attention.
When you’ve finished your research, develop a budget so that you can decide what’s possible.
Your budget will determine the scope of your marketing plan. Content can be surprisingly expensive. To develop excellent written or video content — and to promote it effectively — you should expect to spend between $500-$1000 per item. These expenses will cover the cost of:
- Producing the content (writers, experts, videographers)
- Creating graphics that enhance either written or video content
- Promoting content (paying influencers to promote content or social media managers to create effective posts)
You may only have the budget to produce a few content pieces. If that’s the case, you should have a goal that’s as narrow as possible.
You should choose specific goals that you want to meet before you plan out any of your content. Many content strategies have been developed around simple ideas like:
- Drawing more users to your site
- Selling more of a specific procedure
- Raising awareness about a new service
Remember, you need to develop content that addresses these goals indirectly. For example, if you want to make people aware of a new treatment, you would build content that does one of the following:
- Educates them about what the treatment accomplishes
- Summarizes the results of research about the treatment
- Showcases a gallery of results
These examples don’t directly promote the treatment, but they do create positive impressions and raise awareness. No matter what goal you choose, you should apply metrics to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. This is why it’s best to choose goals that can be measured in real numbers. For example, if you want to attract more users to your site, you should be tracking your visitors several months in advance. Now that you understand how to set goals let’s look at some content you could build.
Examples of Effective Medical Marketing Content
Medical content marketing pieces can take many forms. Here are some examples of content that has proven successful for clinics in the past.
- Large, written guides that broadly cover a topic, such as:
- The treatments for the signs of aging
- The causes of high blood pressure
- How to identify allergic reactions
- Videos that answer essential questions, such as:
- How can I tell if a mole is cancerous?
- What are the symptoms of ______?
- What are the newest treatments for _____?
You have many more options than written content and videos. You can also make great use of:
- Infographics that break down complex information
- Podcasts where you discuss important topics with experts
- Ebooks where you provide full introductions to topics
Achieve More for Your Practice With Content Marketing
Content marketing can be a powerful tool, and this guide should help you understand why medical practices should take advantage of this type of marketing. You also know how to get started with a plan and what types of content you can develop to earn attention. Use what you’ve learned to start developing content that will leave a lasting impression of your clinic’s attitude and expertise.