After Bliss’s great interview with Marianne Ryan, PT, I thought it was the right time to talk about content marketing.
We’re pretty blog-centric around here. We love helping medical practices build their blogs for a number of reasons:
- The barrier to entry is very low. You want to start blogging? You can do it today.
- Blogging is a great way to demonstrate your expertise to your patients and potential patients.
- Blogging offers great benefits in search engine rankings.
- And my favorite benefit of blogging is it’s impact on the world. When honest doctors add evidence-based content to the internet, it helps balance out some of the, ahem, less evidence-based stuff that seems to be everywhere.
But, there are a ton of great ways to get excellent, evidence-based content out to the people who can benefit from it. And not a single one of them involves a cat video (unless you really want it to). Let’s take a quick look at some of the other approaches you can take to content marketing.
Write a Book
The great thing about the internet is that it levels the playing field a little bit. You don’t have to sign with a major publisher to get your thoughts out there. You can self-publish print or digital books. Or you can offer them as free downloads on your website.
There’s always a but. Just because you can publish it, doesn’t mean you should. The ease of self-publishing has opened the door for a lot of junk. If you are going the DIY route, don’t compromise quality. Hire an editor, someone to format the book professionally, and maybe invest in a little graphic design work.
Writing a book is an excellent path to choose if you feel strongly about your topic and you see an information gap you can fill. If you are a dermatologist, maybe you can write a book that debunks marketing claims for certain anti-aging products, and outlines the strategies that are known to work. I would totally read that.
If you perform elective procedures of any kind, a free ebook can answer many of the questions you might otherwise spend office time answering. You can spend more time actually doing procedures instead of explaining them.
Start a Podcast or Videocast
Podcasting is on the rise, and for good reason. With a podcast, you can address many of the same topics a blog would address. Common health concerns, medical news, public health messages, and more. If you want to take it to the next level you can do it with video.
There is a little bit more work involved than starting a blog. You’ll have to master a little technology and figure out how to get your podcast publicized. But once you get over the initial start-up, routine can kick-in.
Podcasting allows you to share both your thoughts and your personality. Listeners connect with podcast hosts and that can be good for the patient-physician relationship.
The other great thing about podcasting is that you don’t have to do it alone. Blogging is by necessity a fairly solitary project. But with a podcast, you can interview guests or just have a conversation with a colleague about current health news. For a lot of people, that makes the project fun to engage in and therefore easier to keep at it.
Create an Infographic
Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and information keeps coming at us in massive volumes. An infographic is a great way to distill the important concepts about a topic into one easy to ingest piece of content.
You need to have a little graphic know how. Not a lot. Bliss describes how she created her Why Content Marketing for Medical Practices infographic using a free generator.
When an infographic is done right, your reader will be able to quickly scan it to get the pertinent information. But good infographics include their sources, so readers can also dig into the evidence if that’s what they are all about. So an infographic serves both kinds of audiences.
Also, infographics are easily shareable across social media platforms. This makes them a great way to get your content in front of a wider audience.
If you want to really go nuts, you can take it to the next level and create a gifographic.
Create a Music Video
I know. It sounds crazy. But you can do it. Check out ZDoggMD, and tell me that’s not fantastic.
You need a little production value here, so get ready to dig into technology or spend real money for people who can handle that piece for you.
Also, talent. There is a reason there aren’t music videos on Coffee Break Medical Marketing.
It’s entertaining and educational. If you have the personality to do something like this, this is a phenomenal way to connect with the patients that will respond to your personality. I’m pretty sure my dad would not have wanted ZDoggMD as his personal physician, but I would probably like him a lot.
Content Marketing can be more than blogging.
We believe every medical practice should have a blog. But there is no reason not to try some of these other channels. Think about your own personality and the needs of your patient population when you consider these methods. Then give it a try. If you need a little help, get in touch.
Help us achieve our mission to fill the web with useful, evidence-based content. Get your free medical blog recipes and start blogging the easy way.
Photo Credit: © unclepodger/ Dollar Photo Club