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When it comes to marketing—especially the online variety—“content” seems to be the word of the moment. And just like any other business trying to market its services in the digital age, your clinic can boost its reach and visibility by producing and publishing content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. Unlike a lot of business people, however, you have somewhat of a secret weapon when it comes to creating meaningful content: your expertise as a medical professional.
People are constantly searching the web for health advice. In fact, according to this Pew Research Center report, 72% of Internet users have looked up health information online within the past year. And when people search for medical-related content, they want it to come from a reputable source. That’s where you come in.
As a musculoskeletal expert, you can leverage your clinical knowledge to get more “screen time” with potential patients. How? Well, first you’ve got to identify potential platforms for the content you’re going to create. If you have not yet entered the blogosphere, then that’s an excellent place to start. Look into adding a blog to your clinic’s website, or make one using a free service like Blogger or WordPress.
You might also consider reaching out to local news outlets—like newspapers, magazines, and radio stations—to see about contributing a monthly column or blog post to their websites. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that smaller news sources are constantly on the lookout for quality content to fill their pages, so don’t be shy about asking. And if you really want to get creative, try partnering with a non-therapy business whose target audience overlaps with yours. For instance, if you treat a lot of sports injuries, you could write an article about injury prevention for the blog or e-newsletter of a local specialty running store. (Here’s a great example).
Having trouble thinking of topics to write about? Check out popular PT blogs—like this one—for ideas. Eventually, you’ll begin to identify post ideas as you go through your daily routine. If it’s the beginning of winter and you’re seeing an influx of skiers looking to reduce knee pain—boom! That right there is the subject of your next blog post or contributed article: “Three Ways Skiers Can Reduce Knee Pain.” If you can somehow work in a line about an area ski hill to give your piece a little local flair, all the better. In addition to helping you optimize your clinic’s local search rankings (i.e., visibility in search results for inquiries specific to a certain city or geographic area), “localized” articles will resonate more with your target audience, thus increasing the chances that they will think of you when they run into aches and pains of their own.
If you’re still not sure about this whole writing thing—after all, you’re a rehab therapist, not a novelist—check out this blog post, where you’ll find tons of tips to help you whip your copy into shape in no time. Remember, your clinical knowledge is what really matters—that’s what will draw readers in. Once you get your thoughts down, you can always tweak them—or enlist someone with a keen editing eye to tweak them for you—until they sound just right. Also, keep in mind that your content doesn’t always have to be of the written variety. Videos can be equally effective content items, and they only take a few minutes to record and upload. For a good example, take a look at this video post.
There are a lot of potential patients out there in cyberspace just waiting to find you, and a meaningful piece of content could be the beacon of light that guides them to your clinic. Do you use content to market your practice? If so, is it effective? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.