So you’ve done it. You followed the advice of many social marketers and expanded your web presence to include a blog. Ok great, so now what? How do you use this new Blog feature to drive traffic to your site, or better yet, to your clinic? How do you ensure that you are using your blog effectively and that people will actually take the time to read what you’ve written? Below are a few tips and guidelines to get you started:
1. Be audience-centered.
Always remember who you are talking to. Don’t get caught up in the use of jargon, or Clinic-ese. A blog is not a white paper, be sure to speak the language of your audience. Write your blog post in a way that offers meaning and appeals to both potential referral sources and clients.
2. Highlight key points.
In the world of content marketing, we are bombarded with vast amounts of web-ready content everyday. Chances are we won’t have the time to dive into every article we come across with the intention or dedication to read it word for word. Be sure to highlight the main points of your post, keeping in mind that your audience may only have time to give what you’ve written a ‘once over.’
3. Your title is worth $0.80 of your dollar.
David Ogilvy once said, “80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines.” The title of your article is the single most important aspect of what you are writing. It is the selling point of your article, it is the line that will be shared through social channels, and the words that will either pull your readers in, or send them immediately to the next thing on their to-do list.
4. Offer true value, not a sales pitch.
Your blog tab is no place to deliberately try and sell your product or services. Rather, it is a place to earn the trust of your reader and build credibility as a resource for valuable, useful and meaningful information. For example, talk about how you can use home remedies to treat plantar fasciitis, and not how your clinic offers the best plantar fasciitis treatment facility in town.
5. Be a thought leader.
Pave the way for your clients and colleagues. Don’t hold your trade secrets close to your chest. Social marketing is all about sharing. If you are trying out a new treatment modality, let the world know. Be the first to praise or reject it, and explain why. Educate your readers, no one really likes to read content that states the obvious.
6. Leverage, leverage, leverage.
Did I say leverage? Make sure that you are sharing what you’ve written through your most popular social channels: facebook, linkedin, twitter, google plus, youtube. Ask your fellow clinicians, clients and community stakeholders to give it a read, and share it through their social channels if they are compelled by what you have written. (If they are not, take this as constructive feedback and try again). It never hurts to include reference to credible or influential individuals within your articles, chances are, if they are being mentioned or credited, they will mention it and share it with their following as well.
7. Engage your audience.
Not too many people enjoy partaking in a one-sided conversation. Every Blog site and social channel offers the opportunity to allow others to weigh in. Finish up your blog post with a question to your readers, ask the same question through LinkedIn, twitter and facebook to keep the conversation going. “What do you find works best for treating your plantar fasciitis at home?” Before you know it, your whole community will be adding their two cents, and well, pennies make dollars. You will become the talk of the town, without ever having pitched a single sale or lifting the phone for a single (cringe) cold call.
As client-centered professionals, the realm of social or content marketing comes naturally to us. We entered the healthcare industry because we want to help people, not because we have a knack for sales or generating referrals. Allow yourself to get back to your roots as a clinician, be generous and helpful with your knowledge, engage with your community, use your social networks to keep the conversation going, and you will soon see, clinicians were meant to blog.
To learn more about what every clinician in private practice should know, download our free ebook 30 Things Every Clinician Should Know.