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Note: This is the third and final post in our series about content marketing for medical practices. Click here for Part I and Part II. This post covers the topic of how to make content marketing work for your practice.

One of the keys to content marketing is consistency.

And the key to consistency is planning ahead of time.

One of the best ways to make sure you publish regularly is to create a monthly or quarterly content calendar to keep your content marketing on target.

Content Calendar

Your calendar can include social media posts, email blasts, blog posts, and other types of content you think your audience would find valuable.

To start with, find a calendar that works for you. If you’re a paper and pen person, an old school desk calendar works just as well as online calendars.

We’re fans of the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin which offers a more integrated approach, allowing you to draft articles directly on your calendar.

As a side note, an online editorial calendar is part of the InboundMD platform and something that we provide for our clients to help them get a quick overview of upcoming projects and to stay on track.

Content Marketing Mission Statement

Once you’ve found a good calendar, determine what your content marketing will look like.

It may be helpful to craft a mission statement that defines what types of content you’ll publish and some of your goals.

Goals that are attainable and measurable work well, like scheduling a certain number of appointments through your website per month.

Brainstorm Content Topics

Next, brainstorm a list of topics. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to help you come up with topics.

For instance, the keywords “hand pain” generates other topics like “surgery carpal” and “symptoms carpal”.

Some of those would have to be broken down into subtopics, but you could write a good blog post on different types of surgery to treat carpal tunnel or on common symptoms of carpal tunnel.

Another way to brainstorm topics is to recall questions patients have asked in your office.

Frequently asked question articles would be helpful to all your patients. Once they’re written, you can refer patients to your online articles to help answer their questions.

After you’ve created a topic list, assign those topics a publish date on your content calendar. Remember to put seasonal or holiday-related topics in the appropriate months.

Posting Frequency

Don’t overload yourself by trying to schedule a post every single day unless you’re sure you can do it.

Writing thorough blog posts is hard work and may take more time than you have.

Start off by scheduling posts once a week or even once a month. If you have more time, you can always ramp up the number of posts you publish later.

Why Is Content Marketing Important?

Consumers (i.e. your patients) have gotten pretty good at tuning out advertising noise.

They only see content they consider valuable, ignoring magazine and newspaper ads, billboards, yellow pages, and online advertising.

With 80% of Americans searching online for medical information and 20% of those searching for a specific doctor, it’s more vital than ever for your content marketing to be up to par.

Reasons why content marketing is important:

  • Content marketing gives patients what they’re looking for — valuable, helpful information that helps them feel comfortable coming into your office when they’re suffering symptoms of carpal tunnel or another condition you write content for.
  • Adding content marketing to your overall marketing strategy helps your patient turn to you for medical information instead of to generic websites.
  • Publishing regular articles on your website establishes you as an expert in your field.
  • Regularly updating your website’s content increases your Google rankings which means more people are exposed to your practice.

In Short

Content marketing is here to stay in healthcare.

Your customers are looking for you online. Thirty-five percent of service-related searches online are for health services. And if you aren’t showing up in their Google searches, you can be sure another healthcare provider is.

Your content marketing strategy could be the difference between finding new patients and expanding or losing patients and stagnating.

The investment you make in online content will make a difference.

Are you ready to start attracting new clients? Get started with InboundMD today.

Garrett Smith

Garrett is the Founder, and Chief Marketer at InboundMD. Garrett has been successfully leading internet marketing campaigns for health care practices across the US for almost a decade. He's a frequent speaker at events, and author of "Book Now! Internet Marketing for Healthcare Practices", and the host of The Practice Marketing Podcast that details how successful practices are winning online.

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