It’s not your advertising; it’s your content, it’s weak, so your ads fail! Learn three proven tips for creating a killer message.
Patient attraction is EVERYTHING in business! As such, you’re going to learn how to transform your clinic into a patient magnet via improved content marketing strategies!
The goal, however, isn’t to be good at content—it’s to be good at business because of your content.
Before proceeding much further, let’s define what content means from a marketing perspective. According to the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent messaging to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Like every piece of targeted communication, the only job that content marketing has is to create behaviors among target audiences that benefit the business.
Interestingly, if you research content marketing online, much of what is written is a very superficial and nebulous. This means that many who write about content marketing don’t fully understand it themselves. Hence, the lack of detail and nuance.
So, it’s no mystery that there is considerable confusion about the subject. Often you find ethereal definitions describing “content marketing” as a means of communicating that elicits emotions in your reader. For example, content marketing makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you angry, etc.
Though it is true that good communication relates to its readers on multiple levels, the purpose is to provide a more profound message that doesn’t necessarily focus on the product or service you offer but solves needs.
The ultimate goal is to attract more patients to your practice. You want to be seen as the “go-to” resource for medical answers within your discipline. To become a patient magnet, you need to understand your patients. You need to identify who, within your clinic, is your ideal target market, where do they hang out, what do they read, and so on. You need to know things, like:
- What details can you tell about your chosen target market?
- Who are the top influencers in the markets your patients seek; for example, bloggers, websites, podcasts or social media giants?
- Are you receiving email newsletters from the influencers in these markets?
- What are the latest marketing trends regarding their [your patient’s] needs?
Only when you understand their needs can you create engaging, relevant and compelling messages which speak their needs. This article is designed to teach you how to focus your practice’s message to achieve winning marketing strategies.
To achieve the goal of attracting ideal patients, you must commit to long-term discipline. This strategy is not a “one and done” activity. This type of targeted promotion is an on-going exercise of excellence and altruism. If you will, it’s like getting married (in this case to a successful strategy proven by thousands of companies). You wouldn’t have one great date, impress, and then run to the alter — would you?
As you ponder the questions above, you also need to ask yourself “What is the ideal desired outcome that your patient gets from having a working relationship with you?” By the way, don’t say “I want them to get better,” because that’s obvious; and obviously won’t turn you into a magnet. You need to go deeper!
Once you know exactly “what it is you can do” now clearly communicate that directly in your blogs, websites, books, articles in the targeted publications they read, etc.
To help further explain this lucrative marketing tactic, I refer you to an excellent article written by Michele Linn, titled How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone. She too acknowledges that “content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
However, she goes further by stating that content marketing isn’t about the brand, your products, or your services. It’s about your audience. What do they care about?
More importantly, how can you be the one to provide something no one else is delivering, which in turn elevates your brand from a commodity to something people embrace?
Content marketing is different than traditional product marketing efforts like sales collateral and other product-specific info. Content marketing includes things like educational articles, e-books, videos, entertainment, and webinars that answer specific questions people have and provide them with something they can’t get somewhere else. It’s the best way to turn your product, no matter how common, into something that is not like everyone else’s.
By becoming a credible, authoritative resource on topics that matter to potential customers, your business is more likely to get discovered by the right audience and earn their loyalty and trust – which, in turn, enables your brand to strengthen its customer relationships, grow an active and engaged subscriber base, and even increase its profits.
Finally, good content allows for increased revenue with existing customers, which has the potential to increase sales through cross-selling or up-selling. In some cases, the brand can monetize content itself.”
As you can see, what you say is immensely important and affects the success of your practice. The question then automatically goes to “How do I do it?”
On a fundamental level, all promotion consists of putting together a series of components that draw a person’s attention. You also want to keep their interests long enough to take in and connect with your entire message. In all, we’re talking about four essential elements which, when strung together correctly, can produce significant profits and separation from your competitors.
Every day there is a constant competition to acquire a finite number of available new patients. With few exceptions, most businesses are constrained, to one degree or another, by geography and demographics. Said another way, you don’t have an infinite number of possible patients from which to provide your services. For you to succeed, you need to compel and attract as many available patients in your area as possible.
As stated earlier, your promotion needs to be able to grab someone’s attention immediately (and not let go). In advertising terms, this vehicle for capturing attention is referred to as your headline.
You will notice that up to 95% of all ads have no headline. Countless numbers of marketing surveys point out this most valuable statistic, 80% of all the readers only read headlines. A properly designed headline is the main ingredient in your communication which makes it so powerful that it can increase its’ power by as much as 2000%.
The father of modern-day advertising, David Ogilvy, verifies this exact point: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Once you set up your headline, now it’s time to create your sub-headline which appears directly under the headline. The text is typically smaller, and it gives more insight into the service you are providing. The sub-head also further outlines why the patient should care enough to keep reading.
Conveying important information [content] should be a straightforward process. Sadly, people make it harder than it needs to be. So, try approaching the creation of all your content in this manner: Your patients have a problem which they don’t want; but, there is a result they want but don’t have.
All your content needs to solve these two needs. You must deliver a message so compelling it practically forces your current and future clients to turn their backs on all other doctors in town.
Your content needs to Interpret your patient’s needs, Engage to lead towards an answer, Educate them on the benefits of your service and Offer a solution.
The Interpret portion covers your headline – which means it’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your website, read any of your marketing material, or hear you speak. Your headline MUST address the problem your patients have that they don’t want.
For example, “Are you sick and tired of waking up with back pain?”
The Engage aspect is your sub-headline. It MUST address the result your patient wants but doesn’t have.
For example: “Learn proven techniques to kiss those pains goodbye!”
The Educate component is the information you provide — evidence to all patients that you and your service are superior in every way to your competition.
Your Offer denotes a solution the patient can expect. At this stage, you may consider providing a compelling offer that makes it so irresistible your patients can’t turn it down.
To conclude, this last portion of this article provides an economic benefit for better content. Vast numbers of marketing studies report that the biggest business-to-business (B2B) marketing trend will be in an increase in content marketing. The reports say that content marketing would increase because it delivers results for brands, 43 percent of respondents asserted that content marketing was one of the most effective tactics for lead generation.”
However, with this amplified emphasis on content marketing, these marketers have evolved in their approach and strategies. They are looking at the long game and realizing that although waiting 18 to 24 months for results is not ideal, it is the new reality.”
According to Robert Rose, author of Experiences: 7th Era Of Marketing, when he wrote: “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
Once you create your content marketing platform, don’t omit leading readers to action. As stated earlier, to become a patient magnet your content must grab the reader’s attention. You must connect with your patient’s interests and needs. You want them to conclude that what you have to offer is the best solution to their biggest problem.
Don’t waste this precious opportunity to provide the solutions they [your patients] want. Once you figure out what they want, what they read, and how they get their information, give it to them with your unique touch and wisdom.
Incidentally, the same information you gather from your patients, you can implement with your business relationships. In their case, your message is going to be directed toward knowledgeable business professional. Again, focus on their needs and interests and write to those interests.
Also, the most profitable segment of your market lays within your current patient base. Consider a report published by the Harvard Business School by Amy Gallo. She cites research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score). He shows increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
If you genuinely want to stand out from every other doctor in town, you need to have a memorable message. You need to be a good storyteller.
Think of your content marketing as a well-told story. You want to harness the reader’s attention and imagination; that is how you will be remembered. You want to stand out from every other doctors in town. Ideally, you want your readers standing and applauding instead of yawning and ignoring you.
We understand that being a good storyteller is a skill that not all possess. However, you need someone who is highly accomplished— your practice depends on it.
The fact is that most promotional/advertising messages fail. The problem isn’t advertising though; ads fail because of ineffective messaging. Too many doctors believe that all they need to do is deliver a laundry list of services they provide. That approach to content doesn’t work.
Multiple psychological studies show that most people don’t remember lists and bullet points. Conversely, if we can connect with and understand something (like a good story), we will remember it. So, you need to convert the complex into a relatable narrative.
You must strive to improve the quality of your communication continually. You do this through superior content told in an engaging, relevant, and compelling way.
We are very accomplished storytellers; as such, we have been directly responsible for many highly successful content marketing campaigns for several practices. These promotions include, but not limited to, their blog posts, social media campaigns, their reputation management campaigns, magazine articles, website content, patient newsletters, etc.
Therefore, we would like to extend to you, or your selected staff members, our proprietary 15-minute Content Strategy Audit session. Let’s identify those areas where you can get immediate success.
We will gladly help you too!
From the desk of Claudio Gormaz of Summit Marketing Strategies