Content is one of the most important ways to connect with your current patients and reach new ones.
Whether you provide high-quality content via email, e-newsletter, a practice website or social media, you need to make sure you’re presenting the highest-quality content possible.
To illustrate how to apply the rules of great content in today’s competitive landscape, Chiropractic Economics interviewed Keith Vislay, SEO and content marketing specialist, Red Egg Marketing; Sherry McAllister, DC, MS, CCSP, president of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP); and Alexis Lignos, marketing director, F4CP.
This is part 1 of a two-part series.
For quite some time, SEO was mainly focused on including buzzwords, i.e., words picked up by algorithms and then search engines. However, in today’s climate, the most important SEO rule is to provide relevant, high-quality content.
What’s the first step in most marketing initiatives?
Step 1 in marketing: Think about who you’re talking to. Vislay explains, “Analyzing your target audience is the first step in most marketing initiatives. It is the guiding compass for tone of voice, content creation and keyword strategy. For example, an audience of medical professionals will expect professional writing aimed at improving the efficiency and profitability of their practices, whereas patients would be more interested in everyday health tips written with easy-to-understand language.
“Targeting your audience allows you to tailor your communication strategies to effectively reach and engage specific groups,” he continued. “By understanding the language, cultural nuances and communication preferences of different audiences, health care providers can deliver information in a way that is easily understandable and relatable. This enhances patient education, promotes adherence to treatment plans and fosters better patient-provider relationships.”
When marketing chiropractic in particular, don’t forget your younger adult audiences. “According to a Harris Poll F4CP commissioned in Nov. 2021, Gen Z and young millennials are a great target for chiropractic because they are more willing to choose a chiropractor for treatment of neck or back pain instead of a medical doctor,” said McAllister. “Gen Z and millennials are digital natives, so the best way to reach them is online.”
How do you determine the type of high-quality content to offer?
High-quality content comes in a variety of formats, and some formats are more appealing to one audience than another; video, for example, is much more likely to garner clicks from younger audiences than older ones. Before you determine your format, Vislay recommended, look at what you already have available to you.
“Once the audience has been established, the content creator should then perform a competitive analysis of existing content,” offered Vislay. “This helps identify information gaps and illuminates opportunities to provide original, helpful content.”
Likewise, think about how you’ll distribute the content; different social sites shine at being channels for different types of media. “The avenue of distribution influences how high-quality content should be structured, as each social media platform has unique consumption patterns. LinkedIn is ideal for marketing blogs or informative articles, and Instagram’s visual presence lends itself particularly well to demonstrations and how-to content,” offered Vislay.
Since different sites serve different purposes and audiences, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the major social media platforms your target audience uses. Avoid redundancy and simply “dumping” content across all channels. For example, you’ll be more successful on Instagram if you use photos versus text. Concentrate on the platforms where you have the highest chance to engage with your target audience. Best to start with one channel until you feel confident to move to the next, as your time is limited.
“For example, start with Facebook first, then move on to Instagram and so on,” said Vislay. “Try not to take on more than you can handle as you need to not only post, but also engage with your audiences, which means replying to comments or at the very least, acknowledging them with a like or a heart.”
F4CP uses three tactics, including keywords, links/syndication and content promotion to balance high-quality writing and high-quality SEO.
Keywords are what search engines pick up. This is where you should write your content for your target audience. Think about what words someone would type into Google, Bing, etc., when looking for chiropractic care. Think it through: Will they perform a Google search under “spinal manipulation” or “spinal adjustment”? A baby boomer might use those terms, but a millennial may search using “back pain relief.” Take the list of core ways your prospects describe what you do and input those into keyword tools like Google’s own keyword tool to determine which ones will perform better in search.
Links and syndication
Page links and back links are the building blocks of your website and are very important. Examples of page links and syndications are industry research, third-party articles, valuable content like white papers, blogs and e-books, and articles supporting wellness through chiropractic care. These give your website and practice credibility.
Authentic, compelling and unique content are not enough by themselves to bring in web visitors. You can’t just press “publish” and call it a day. You must inform people about your valuable content through the right channels. There are a few strategic ways to promote your content and extend your reach.
Promoting your content just once on social media is an excellent start. But, according to Lignos, “if you want to generate leads and drive more potential patients to your website or content, you need a proactive, consistent promotion plan. Most social media posts only last around eight hours, so post content regularly for the most impact. On Facebook, posting seven times a week or once per day is ideal.”
To make content seem both timely and fresh, leverage national health care observances, such as National Correct Posture Month in May. How about a how-to video demonstrating proper sleep posture that you post on YouTube? Another good example is September: National Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise public awareness about chiropractic as a first-line pain management approach before potentially dangerous prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. Lignos adds, “Try posting quotes, facts or striking questions and intrigue to drive tons more social media traffic without seeming spammy.”
Look for more rules for generating high-quality content in part 2 of this article.