Content marketing has become virtually indispensable in healthcare marketing. Online content marketing reaches potential patients much more quickly and at lower costs than conventional direct mail or other dated traditional marketing techniques like YellowPages ads and expensive television commercials.
However, online content marketing is difficult to master, and its efficacy is due in part to that difficulty. Content marketing, by its very definition, requires a steady output of content, yet most organizations don’t have the capacity, talent, or focus to author enough content to fuel their marketing efforts on a consistent basis. Search engines look at the frequency, quality and interaction with this content, and when done well, rank your website highly; when done poorly, your efforts can be counterproductive or simply lackluster.
With this in mind, there are still some physicians and practice principals who will feel like they should control all aspects of content marketing in house. If you’re one of them, you may feel like you’re the only one qualified to write about your practice or specialty. While you may be a font of knowledge in your field, you should reconsider relying solely on your own efforts to generate content to market your practice- here’re three compelling reasons why:
1.) You don’t have time: Let’s face facts- if you’ve ever considered outsourcing your marketing, chances are it’s because you recognize that it’s time consuming. However, if you think you can fit it into your busy work week, keep in mind all the various aspects of marketing that you’ll need to address: article creation, white papers, research papers, booklets, newsletters, email campaigns, and press releases. Think you can skimp on it and get by? Perhaps, but even if you’re skimping on content creation you’ll need to spend time on data mining, campaign performance tracking, as well as social channel interaction. Between managing your practice and seeing patients, you likely won’t have enough time to devote to this, and it’ll get pushed to the backburner for “another day”. Ever notice how “another day” rarely ever comes? By outsourcing your content marketing you’ll ensure that you keep your online and offline visibility high and aligned with the rest of your marketing strategy.
2.) You’re not a writer: You’re a physician or practice manager, not a writer. Do you know how to write engaging copy? Have any clue how which keywords you should include in your online copy for the best possible visibility? A professional content marketing agency will have writers and editors on staff to proof work before it becomes available to the public, and they’ll know the best strategies to make sure the public takes notice.
3.) You know your topics TOO well: We often hear that those best qualified to write about a topic are the experts of that topic. However, when a specialist with decades of knowledge and experience begins writing about their specialty, they often present information that engages THEM, rather than new patients or potential referral sources. When you’re marketing, you need to know and speak to your audience. For example: a podiatrist may write in depth on bunionectomy, hallux valgus, overpronation, etc. Your average patient or internet searcher looking for the services of a podiatrist WON’T look for those terms, instead opting to search for bunion surgery, bunion pain, flat feet, and so on.
If you’re interested in building content to support the marketing efforts of your practice, I urge you to seek out the help of an outside company to assess your marketing strategy and advise you on the best practices in content marketing for your specialty. If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, there are many companies that abound that will make your content shine.