So you’ve done it, you’ve followed the advice of many social marketers and expanded your web presence to include a blog section. 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 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 your audience is and you are talking to-- potential patients! Follow the KISS method and keep it simple, that means not getting caught up in jargon or clinic-ese. A blog is not a white paper and, for the most part, you are not talking to other clinicians but the general public. Be sure to speak the language of your audience. Write your blog post in a way that offers meaning and appeals to potential referral sources and clients.
2. Highlight key points
We are bombarded with vast amounts of web-ready content every day. You have to assume your readers won’t have the time to dive into every article you write with the intention or dedication to read it word for word. So, offer them shortcuts, 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
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 is shared through social channels, and the words that will either pull your readers in or not. There are great tools available to help you generate winning blog titles, like this blog title generator.
4. Offer true value, not a sales pitch
Your blog is where you inform your readers, build credibility, and ultimately earn their trust. So steer clear of overly sales-y pitches and focus on the value your services. 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 we say leverage? Make sure that you are sharing what you’ve written through your most popular social channels: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and the list goes on. Use your blogs as the basis for a small marketing campaign. Or 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.
7. Engage your audience
No one likes a one-sided conversation. Use your blog and social sites to increase engagement and get people to weigh in. An excellent way to do this is to end your posts with a question for your readers, ask the same question through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to keep the conversation going. 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 cold call.
You may be surprised to find that content marketing comes naturally to you. This makes sense as the main goal of content marketing is to be a helpful source of information; something that's second nature to clinicians right? So, 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!