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5 Content Marketing Best Practices

By on January 24, 2013 • 313 Comments

Content Marketing seems to be the latest Buzz Word in Digital Marketing circles, but we here at CareNetworks have been practicing Content Marketing from the beginning. And if you don’t think Content Marketing applies to healthcare, check out this post where I write about how Griswold Home Care is hiring a Content Marketing Manager. So what is Content Marketing? Well, here’s how WikiPedia defines it:

“…an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content Marketing’s basic premise is to provide some valuable information or entertainment – ‘content’– that stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to positively influence a customer in some way.”

Much of what Content Marketing is about is creating content for humans to love and share (vs. creating content for search engine robots to detect via SEO). The general theory is that if you create awesome content (well-written website copy, helpful blog posts, entertaining videos, informative infographics , images of your actual staff vs. stock images of fake models, etc.) your current and potential clients/customers/patients will dig it and share with it their friends. All of this loving and sharing is detected by new search algorithms, making your company more relevant on the web. See image below courtesy of Mashable.

seo-content-marketing

So how can senior living, home care, LTC, hospice and other healthcare providers create content that humans love and want to share while at the same time making it search friendly?

Here are five tips:

  1. Be authentic, real, and ethical. Create content that honestly showcases your company culture, expertise, and strengths. Nobody likes stock images these days. People can see right through that. Instead, invest in a decent digital camera, take pics of your actual staff doing the amazing stuff they do every day (HIPAA compliant, of course) and publish those to your site with SEO optimized titles and ALT tags. Fake images and canned marketing messages turn people off. Be yourself. Check out how Halcyon Hospice does it.
  2. Create great SEO-enriched copy with good grammar. Writing, and doing it well, is a serious art form. I’m frankly shocked at how many people simply don’t know good grammar. Weaving SEO into your writing makes it even more complex. Make sure whoever is writing your copy is good at it and knows how to write for human consumption with a touch of SEO added in for the robots. Check out Grammar Goofs for Healthcare Bloggers for a great infographic on the subject.
  3. Know relevant keywords. Before authoring a new post or writing copy for a new webpage, do some keyword research to see what terms people are searching for. Are more people interested in “home health care” or “elderly care at home”? Keyword research will help you find the sweet spot for your next post and help you avoid writing about stuff nobody searches for. Google’s free Keyword Tool can help.
  4. Syndicate to Amplify. Once you have a good piece of content, put it out on relevant channels. If you’ve created a great blog post, add it to your Facebook Page, Linkedin Profile, Newsletter, or Twitter feed. You might even put it up on Reddit or add it to a specific group on LinkedIn. The key is to place the content in appropriate places based on who will benefit from it.
  5. Monitor and engage. Once your content is out on the social web, make sure you monitor likes, comments, discussions, link-backs, and mentions. Engage in the dialog that your content creates and keep the conversation going. The more engaged people are around your content, the more important it becomes to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

To learn more about Content Marketing or other Digital Media Solutions for your company, contact us. It’s what we’re all about.

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