Content marketing aims to get more clients for businesses by publishing content online that piques the interests of the target audience. In the context of content marketing for allied health, this means increasing your reach online to potential clients.
In today’s world most people go online to find resources and information. It’s important to get in front of this robust audience. Content marketing enables you to do this by developing accessible, helpful information which is optimised for search engines. For example, a physiotherapy practice offering ante-natal services might post blog articles and other information about exercise and fitness during pregnancy. When potential clients Google for information and advice about ante-natal physiotherapy services, up pop these information resources. This attracts the searchers to the physiotherapy website – increasing the likelihood that searcher will become a client.
Why Is Content Marketing Important for Allied Health Practices?
As an Allied Health practice your goal is to get clients in front of expert professionals who provide services to improve their health and wellbeing. The first step in achieving this goal is to attract clients to your practice. Since most people now go online to find resources and information, allied health practices need an online presence. It’s a competitive environment. So how do you inform potential clients that you have just the services they need?
This is where content marketing comes in.
Using content marketing to provide helpful information that is both targeted to your identified client group and optimised for search engines will build your online presence. Publishing quality information on the web will enable your practice to attract new clients, advise and educate current and potential clients and inform readers of available treatments and services. A podiatry practice providing services to people with diabetes might offer online education sessions and a range of in-house or external support options, including links to other events and services. This presents the practice as knowledgeable, approachable and trustworthy, encouraging casual visitors to become new clients.
Thus, content marketing can help allied health practices to expand their business and help more people!
Getting Started with Content Marketing
Having decided that content marketing will help your allied health practice grow to new heights, the next question is where do you start? You can begin here!
Content marketing is a long term strategy that requires detailed planning to ensure consistency and reliability in both the quality and frequency of posting. Key components include understanding your target audience, identifying and creating relevant information, specifying desired outcomes and creating and publishing content using a rage of content types.
While planning can initially be time-consuming, when done properly it is incredibly effective.
Content marketing is about providing information that is relevant to the needs and interests of your targeted client groups. If you don’t know who makes up your target group, your content will be less likely to reach them. Therefore you need to understand the demographics of your audience. Demographics are characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability status, health status, even location and access to technology. A great way to understand your audience is to create a customer avatar.
For a practice specialising in ante-natal physiotherapy, women of child-bearing age, particularly soon-to-be mothers, would be part of one target demographic. An exercise physiology practice seeking to help casual runners to improve their fitness level and performance might include fun-runners as part of their demographic. For the podiatry practice individuals diagnosed with diabetes would be part of the target demographic.
Knowing who your target audience by creating your customer avatar means you can focus your content marketing strategy on reaching them, engaging with them and developing a positive relationship that you can nurture over time, to establish and build trust for your brand.
Finding Content Ideas
Once you have identified your target audience you can begin to explore appropriate content. It is important to determine the issues and problems that your audience is trying to solve. and what they are looking for online. Based on your customer avatar, you should have a strong understanding of the types of content topics that would be of interest to them — consider the types of problems you’re consistently treating your existing clients with.
This doesn’t have to be complicated!
For example, potential clients of ante-natal physiotherapy services may be looking for information relating to back and pelvic pain management. The physiotherapy practice could post videos about pain relief and relaxation together with Information about the specialised, tailored antenatal services it offers. The podiatry practice seeking to support people with diabetes might offer online education sessions and a range of in-house or external support options, including links to other services.
Allied health practices could also include recent accomplishments of the practice, participation in professional events and personal bios about your allied health practitioners. For example, the exercise physiology practice might have practitioners who themselves have successful athletic careers. This information would be relatively simple to create and easy to maintain but would reinforce that the practice is informed and competent.
Once you have profiled your target audience, you can consider what content types will work best for the information you wish to provide. Content types you could consider include:
- Blog articles: A great place to start for any Allied Health practice is a blog on your website. Informative blog posts help to engage your target groups. Since it will be under your business domain, it makes it more likely that blog readers will visit your practice’s main page and additional content. This is good, since not everyone may be interested in reading your blog posts.
- Social media: active and informative social media accounts for your Allied Health practice can boost awareness of your practice among your target community. Social media posts also show that your business is engaged and approachable.
- Informative videos: YouTube is a good platform for informative videos as it will show up in general search engine results.
- Traditional communication: You may also choose to go a traditional route, sending professionally designed flyers and pamphlets to local addresses.
While content marketing is client-focussed, the needs and capabilities of the practice and its therapists should also be considered. The content type will be influenced by the target audience, but also by what’s feasible for your practice.
Clearly stated outcomes will enable you to ensure that your proposed content and presentation formats are relevant and appropriate. Once you identify your desired outcomes and a date by which to achieve them, you will have a way to measure the success of your strategy.
Desired outcomes should be specific. While your ultimate goal may be to attract more patients, this does not clearly identify the outcomes in relation to your content marketing strategy. Examples of specific outcomes include:
- Seeing an increase in site traffic and engagement with your onsite content
- Getting a certain number of new email subscribers
- Improving the search ranking of some of your key pages to help boost traffic
- Being invited to participate in certain key industry events
Creating and Publishing Content
You know your target audience and what types of content they are interested in. You’ve set goals, identified a number of ideas for relevant content and noted which content types are both manageable for your practice and appropriate for your target groups. Now the process of creating and publishing content begins. This too requires planning to ensure that content items are being published regularly. A content plan will enable you to structure regular information around specific topics. It will also identify what items for each topic will developed and shared via what media over the specified planning period.
Lack of planning is a key content marketing mistake which can result in a disorganised fragmented assortment of unrelated articles, videos, infographics, etc. with little relation to each other or an established theme.
The AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) has a set of specific guidelines that allied healthcare practices must follow when advertising their services and business online. These guidelines apply to online content marketing.
AHPRA has worked with other boards to pass national laws on the dos and don’ts of advertising for healthcare practices. The laws establishes the limits for advertising and these limits are important to protect the public. The law also focuses on ensuring information published is truthful and accurate.
Allied health practices with an online presence should already be aware of the guidelines and legislation.
For more information about allied healthcare advertising, click here.
There are numerous benefits to content marketing for Allied Health practices. Content marketing can get your allied health services in front of a larger audience and lead to more new clients. In addition, content marketing is a great way for practices to engage with their community on important topics. This can be integral to the success of allied health practices in today’s competitive online market. Content marketing is well worth the investment of time it takes, as it yields wonderful results!
Need help with your content marketing? Book your discovery call now to take the first step towards taking your practice to the next level.