Attract new customers, drive sales and set your practice apart from the competition.
Maybe your team spent the last few days or weeks managing a tough case. The outcome was good, and the client is ecstatic. Sharing that story may do more for your practice growth than advertising ever could.
Content marketing—crafting valuable and relevant articles, emails, blog posts, videos, etc., or interacting on social media—can build relationships, trust, loyalty and, ultimately, profits.
“Knowing your story is more important than ever before,” says brand strategist Maria Ross, founder of Red Slice, a marketing firm, and author of Branding Basics for Small Business. “It has to permeate everything you do.” Get started with her six-step plan:
1. Develop your strategy. Content marketing hinges on your brand strategy, Ross notes. What are your marketing objectives? Think about:
- What does our audience want? What do they need to know?
- Will we have monthly themes and seasonal topics?
- Which content vehicles will we use?
Tip: Measure your success by creating milestones, such as “increasing client inquiries by x amount each month,” Ross suggests.
2. Build your email list. Email is still the best way to build a following, Ross says. “Offer a newsletter that’s so valuable, people will want to sign up,” she suggests. Provide an “opt-in” option on your website.
Tip: Give clients a small incentive to sign up or a simple, “Find out the latest news, information and tips to help your pet thrive!”
3. Choose your tactics. “Pick up to three content vehicles or social media networks and do them really, really well,” suggests Ross.
Tip: Blogging is a top way to build traffic to your website. “Even if you blog once a week or once a month, you’re going to see benefits,” says Ross.
4. Create an editorial calendar. Plan your content three to six months in advance, and pick monthly themes or seasonal topics.
Tip: Divide the workload. Consider hiring a full- or part-time content marketing professional or a college intern studying marketing or journalism.
5. Create and curate your content. Story ideas can come from your clients and your experiences. Consider answering common questions or surveying your clients. On social media, “curate” content by commenting on current news. “Be a source of information,” says Ross.
Tip: Brainstorming content ideas? “Find top searches on social media and Google and create topics around what people are searching for,” Ross advises.
6. Share your content. It’s not enough to just write a blog post or post a video on YouTube. “You need to let people know it’s there,” says Ross. Blast an email, promote through social media or highlight it on your website.
Tip: Use an email marketing platform such as MailChimp or Emma. “Don’t use your business domain,” says Ross, “or your emails may get blocked [as spam].”