The Content Connection
Courting the consumer with unique content
Roper Public Affairs recently reported that 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to get information about a company from a series of articles rather than an ad, and 70 percent say that content marketing creates more of a connection.
The first reported modern-day content marketing campaign was launched by the American tractor company John Deere. Instead of focusing on product sales, the company introduced a magazine called The Furrow. The magazine focused on how farmers (Deere’s customers) could attain larger profits. Its articles discussed issues that affected individuals who used tractors, but did not discuss the tractors per se. And it worked. The Furrow helped John Deere become an extremely profitable company and ensured its place in American popular culture.
What Is Content Marketing?
At its heart, content marketing is the creation and distribution of unique, valuable and relevant content. The goal is to subtly encourage your prospective patients to think or act differently.
This approach touches on all facets of an Internet marketing campaign. On social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, the goal is to gently encourage fans to read, like, comment on and share your posts. From a search engine optimization perspective, Google, Yahoo! and Bing like educational content more than obvious sales pitches. Content+ reports that blogs give websites 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links. Press releases, too, are more likely to get noticed if the copy is informative and not overly self-congratulatory or a thinly veiled advertisement. Online patient reviews are perhaps the definitive form of content marketing because consumers learn about you without being sold.
Reviews should be genuine, not artificial or contrived. Is it really possible for any surgeon to have 1,000 five-star reviews? Unlikely. Everyone, including surgeons, has a bad day or a really difficult patient. No practice avoids negative reviews altogether.
Surprisingly, this is to a practice’s benefit. According to studies from Stanford Business School, “When consumers get mild doses of negative information about a product or service, news about the blemish may actually strengthen their positive impression.” This is valuable counsel. It applies to all forms of content marketing — not just to reviews. If something sounds too good to be true, consumers won’t believe the positive information they obtain.
Content Marketing for Your Practice
To get started, think about your patients, and then try to think like your patients. What issues and
topics appeal to your target demographic? What magazines do they read in your waiting room?
From here, you can select a theme and develop articles around that theme. For example, outdoor activities that are more enjoyable with great vision may be of interest to your patients. So, you might develop articles on great sunglasses for skiing, golf and other sports. Importantly, these articles don’t sell anything to anyone. They just educate or entertain.
Connecting the Consumer
The content connects the consumer to your practice, and in doing so it makes the next leap an easy one to take. It’s not a bait and switch – it’s more of a courtship. It is also not a one-and-done endeavor. To be successful, a content marketing campaign must include a steady stream of well-written articles on various themes.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to start that blog you always meant to.
Ask the experts
Q Why is it important to have an analytics package such as Google Analytics for my website?
A A strong analytics package is an essential tool that allows you to measure how many prospective patients your Internet marketing company is bringing to your website. You are able to track a wide range of metrics, including overall website traffic, new visitors, site engagement, organic vs. paid traffic and visitor demographics. Traffic should be going up if the company is doing a good job.
Events: Maximize Your Internet Strategy
Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!
Hyatt Regency Hotel
February 13-15, 2014
Meet us at this year’s 48th Annual Baker Gordon symposium in Miami, Florida! This meeting will explore ways to enhance the aesthetic outcomes of various technical approaches. Come by booth 14 to discover how Ceatus can bring more patients to your practice!
McCormick Place West Building
February 20-22, 2014
Give your Internet strategy a smile makeover. Visit the Ceatus team at Booth 4035 to learn how, and start maximizing your Internet marketing ROI!
Westin Galleria Dallas
March 7-9, 2014
Everything is bigger in Texas! Find out how to grow your practice and increase conversion from your online presence. Stop by our table to talk to a Ceatus Internet marketing expert and get a FREE Internet Strategy Review!
CEATUS Case Study of the Month
Ceatus helps Tampa dental practice grow from 30 to 50 new patients per monthBackground: North Pointe Dental is a multi-dentist practice in the Tampa, FL, area. The practice offers a full range of services, from Invisalign to sleep apnea treatment, veneers and Botox. They wanted to grow the practice with more new patients each month.
Solution: Ceatus provided a new website design, a listing in the Consumer Guide to Dentistry and search engine optimization for the website.
Outcome: Within months of the new website’s completion, rankings and traffic began to soar. The improved website design also improved conversion of prospective patients visiting the website. The practice quickly went from 30 patients a month to 50. In one two-week period, the practice brought in 45 new patients.
“We’ve been very happy with the results we’ve gotten from Ceatus. The difference has been night and day! With Ceatus improving our rankings in Google and other search engines, we’ve been seeing many more new patients each month. We’re glad we chose Ceatus for our SEO and website design and are excited of what’s still to come!”
– Haydee Davidson, North Pointe Dental.
Ballet on skis? What could be more exciting than that!? Ski Ballet graced our screens in 1988 at the winter games in Calgary and at the 1992 games in Albertville. Though graceful and artistic with spins, flips and rolls, this sport was taken out of the Olympics.
Following in the footsteps of synchronized swimming is synchronized skating. This popular figure skating event features eight to 20 skaters performing together, often in parallel lines and circular formations. Though it has been reviewed for Olympic eligibility, it has yet to join the ranks of individual and pairs skating.
Mix one part soccer and one part hockey and what do you get? Bandy. This sport is popular in wintry places such as Russia and Scandinavia – not to mention right here in the U.S., in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The soccer-field-sized rink, faster pace and use of a ball instead of a puck differentiates Bandy from its cousin, hockey. The last time it appeared in the Winter Olympics was 1952, in Oslo, Norway, and it won’t be a part of Sochi this year. However, the 2014 World Championships are currently taking place in Irkutsk, Russia.
With speeds up to 124 mph, no wonder speed skiing is the fastest non-motorized sport on Earth. Skiers ski straight downhill, and whomever reaches the finish line first wins. Though there was a fatality in the warm-ups at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, overall there are more injuries in alpine skiing. The fastest speed ever recorded was 156 mph – 30 mph more terminal velocity than that reached by the fastest skydiver – by world record holder Simone Origone.
Strap on your skis, tie yourself to a horse and let it rip. No, this isn’t some sort of prank; it’s a sport widely enjoyed in Wisconsin, Canada, Scandinavia and anywhere else you can get your hands on a horse and some skis. Don’t have a horse? No problem. Snowmobiles and dogs work just as well. Skijoring hasn’t been in the Olympics since 1928, but after watching this video we think the Olympic committee should consider reinstating it.