A Beginners Guide to Content Marketing for Your Weight Loss Practice
— By By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
Content marketing is one of the best ways to effectively reach your ideal weight loss patients and grow your weight loss practice.
Have you ever agreed to an elaborate marketing plan that involved TV, radio, billboards, banner ads, social media advertisements, print advertisements, fancy video ads, a splashy magazine spread, community event (or any combination of the aforementioned items) and had very little or no return on your investment? If so, you are not alone. In fact, this is the very reason why you (like me) may fall in love with content marketing. It’s one of the best ways to effectively reach your ideal weight loss patients and grow your weight loss practice. As an added enticement, many leading companies use it to drive 6x more ROI from their marketing while spending 62 percent less.1
What is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”2 In the simplest of terms: It is a way for you and your team to consistently share your knowledge and experience in an authentic way to attract and engage the type(s) of patients you enjoy helping the most.
Content marketing is a way for you to build a path to your door so patients actually seek you out as their choice for helping them improve their health instead of you constantly feeling like you have to “sell” them on what you have to offer. It is a way for you to create assets that serve you and your patients now and for years to come since these assets do not disappear as soon as your ad spend ends. Content marketing is a way to stop feeling like you are the best kept secret in town.
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
If you take the time to create, share and distribute quality, pertinent content that is optimized with the keywords your patients are searching for online, you can experience many benefits such as:
- Attract your ideal patients
- Increase your brand awareness
- Engage prospective and existing patients
- Generate more patient leads that know and trust you resulting in an easier sales process
- Allow you to reach your ideal patients with little or no cost
- Allows you to test topics of interest so that if you decide to pay for advertising, you have already done some split testing for added assurance it is worthwhile
- Build SEO for your website when done properly
- Increase your organic (non-paid) online reach
- Provide benefits for years to come (almost takes on a life of its own)
- Low/minimal cost marketing strategy
- It’s fun!
How do you Implement Content Marketing into your Weight Loss Practice?
Now to the details of how to make this marketing strategy work for you and your practice:
- Determine what your goal(s) are and how you are going to measure it. These could include building brand awareness, increasing authority in your community, patient education, more referrals, more patients, more procedures/surgeries and even direct online sales such as turnkey programs or products you from Robard to name a few — or a combination of goals.
- Complete an assessment of your established online channels and assets. List out everything you have in place already such as your website, social media channels (such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter), podcasts, published book, Google listing or a blog. While I list these, you do not have to be present on all of them. In fact, that tends to create overwhelm which can result in inaction. As a part of your assessment, document if it is set-up correctly with your information, how many posts, which have the most engagement, how many followers, reviews, shares and the like.
- Clearly identify your ideal patient and where they ‘hang out’ online. List everything you know about them as well as what their biggest pain points and problems are that you help solve or improve. You can also implement a quick survey for your existing patients to help you clarify this information. This information is critical because it will guide your content creation and what platforms you will likely have the most success.
- Plan a process for your content marketing “system.” Systems simplify your life and ensure that important actions get accomplished in an efficient way. For content marketing, this includes determining the desired content, what resources you need for content creation, how frequently you are going to post and on what platforms, who has final content approval, what keywords and hashtags are best, who will post and developing a reasonable work flow. There are many ways to streamline this such as batching content creation and making sure to leverage one piece of content on multiple platforms. It is amazing how easy this becomes over time.
- Measure, adjust and implement growth strategies. Measure outcomes related to your goals. Then adjust your content based upon what is resonating with your current and prospective patients. Finally, expand your reach further via other channels or types of content that also grow your e-mail list. Finally, always make sure that all roads lead back to a platform you own such as your website.
While this may sound a bit overwhelming, I encourage you to start small and simplify your process. Use the creative energy and talents of your team and be sure to have someone internal and/or external overseeing the process and measuring results.
About the Author: Karol Clark, MSN, RN, is a best-selling author who has a passion for helping physicians integrate effective, profitable weight loss services and retail sales into their practice while improving patient outcomes and enjoying the journey along the way. Her use of non-traditional (easy to implement) medical marketing strategies, along with her dedication to a positive ROI makes her a uniquely different and sought after weight loss business consultant. Karol is the CEO of Weight Loss Practice Builder and the exclusive membership program for weight loss practitioners, www.BariatricBusinessBoss.com. She has more than 20 years of experience working with surgical and medical weight loss patients and assisting physicians build an enjoyable bariatric practice.