How to get your content marketing in front of potential patients

Content marketing for doctors | Private Practice Surgery

By Chris Rogers

Healthcare marketer with over 14 years experience, and co-founder of the Private Practice Surgery.

January 2021

In my first guest post for Doctify, 3 ways to come up with blog & content marketing topics that your patients will love, I defined content marketing as:

“…the creation, publication and distribution of ‘content’ online to a defined audience.”

I described how to come up with ideas in the ‘creation’ stage. You know you need content that your patients actually want to read or watch – and this is the first big challenge to overcome in delivering a successful content marketing strategy.

After you’ve created your content, it’s on to the next stage of “publication”. So you upload it onto your blog or YouTube, sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

But then… crickets. You start to wonder why you’re not getting lots of traction online and, as it’s not bringing you any new enquiries, decide content marketing doesn’t work for your specialty.

So why is your content marketing still not working?

The answer is simple.

You see, creating useful and relevant content that answers your potential patients’ questions is only one part of the puzzle.

If you’ve done that but aren’t seeing results, it’s probably because you’re not following all the steps I mentioned in the definition.

We create and publish our content. But all too often, we forget to distribute it.

But don’t be hard on yourself – this is a trap almost everyone falls into, even seasoned marketers!

How can you distribute your content so patients will see it?

There are lots of different ways to get your content in front of your audience, but here are my top three to start with:

Social Media

Thanks to its large reach, social media is a great channel for sharing your content so it’s seen by potential patients.

But there’s one crucial thing to remember – and it’s a mistake I’ve seen a few consultants make.

The social networks want their users to stay on their sites for as long as possible, without navigating elsewhere. This means their algorithms favour content that’s created specifically for their platform, rather than content that tries to take their users away from it.

For example, if my piece of content is a YouTube video, I wouldn’t just share the YouTube link on LinkedIn. Instead, I’d directly upload the video to LinkedIn itself so users don’t have to navigate away to YouTube to watch it. Similarly, I wouldn’t share an Instagram post on Twitter, or vice versa. You get the point.

Sure, it’s extra effort to adapt your content for each platform. But it’ll increase the exposure of your content hugely (because the platforms will be more inclined to put it in people’s feeds, rather than bury it), so the payoff is worth it.

Online communities and forums

Not only are online communities like Quora and Reddit a fantastic source of ideas for your content, they’re also a good place to promote it. That’s because they have a great bank of questions from people asking about your specialist subject.

When you find a question that relates to your content, give your answer (as a reply to the question) and add a link to your content as an extra resource. This will drive traffic to your content.

Quora reportedly had 300 million unique visitors a month throughout 2019, so I can almost guarantee some of them will have asked questions about your specialty. And going back to the example from my last article, Reddit has hundreds of conversations about frozen shoulder so there are bound to be some relevant to your clinical areas too.

Paid Ads

Finally, paid ads can help you get your content in front of your audience instantly. The two easiest options are:

  • Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads: These are the top results on a search results page, preceded with the word “Ad”. As you can start with small budgets and turn ads on and off quickly, they can be a good, low-risk place to start if you want to promote blog content. If you choose your keywords wisely, you’ll be reaching patients just as they’re looking for information.
  • Social ads: Social media ads allow you to promote your content exactly where your potential patients “hang out” online. They’re similar to Google PPC ads in that you can start small and turn them off quickly if they’re not driving the traffic you need, so again you won’t have much to lose.

Get distributing your content!

In summary, to really get the most out of content marketing the hard work starts after you’ve created your content – not before.

To make some of this extra effort a little easier for you, I’ve created a list of 7 tools to help you with your content distribution.

Good luck – your website traffic and appointments diary will thank you for it!

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