Content marketing can seem like a complicated endeavour. But, just like anything in business, content marketing is only as daunting as you make it. I understand that may sound a little naive, but there is certainly a grain of truth to the notion that we can over-complicate any task when we lose sight of that task’s guiding principles. Content marketing is a multi-step process, but the strategies that surround content marketing are based on largely common sense and practical principles and guidelines. If nothing else, I am here to remind you of a few of those guidelines and hopefully relieve some stress surrounding content marketing strategies and applications.
Take time to think about your practice and your clients
Before you can generate actual content, take a deep breath and brainstorm about what your practice means to you and your clients. If you don’t clearly define the terms of your practice ( i.e. how you want it to be perceived, what you want it to accomplish, and how you want it to impact your clients), how can you expect to define the terms of your marketing strategy? When you are generating content, it can become very clear very quickly whether your content is being guided by a clear and concise vision. Constructing that clear practice vision can help define your goals and construct a holistic marketing strategy. In essence, treat this brainstorm time like a scientific case study; before you can conduct the study, you must define the terms and variables that will guide your study. Content marketing is no different.
Be brutally honest with yourself
When generating content, you must be brutally honest with yourself. If writing was never your strong-suit, it may not be the worst idea to look elsewhere for content generation. This might mean looking in-house for people on your team that could generate engaging content or be trained to do so, or even outsourcing your marketing to a professional in the marketing field. Either path with require some investment, but if you’re serious of generating engaging content that will bring people in the door (or are reading this post), then I’m sure you understand that. If you decide to remove yourself from the direct marketing process, do not feel that you must exclude yourself entirely. Do not discount your knowledge as a veterinary professional. Whether you decide to stay in-house or outsource your content marketing, utilize your expertise and insight.
Rough draft versus final draft
It’s like you never left college! This might seem like common sense, but the editing and optimization process is vital once you’ve generated content. Check for spelling errors, the presence and placement of keywords, content organization, plagiarism, etc. Treat your marketing content like you would the final draft of a college assignment. Glaring grammatical errors or incorrect data presentation can really detract from the strength of your content, so be sure that your content generation process includes an editing step. Bonus tip: When generating content, particularly when it relates to veterinary medicine, make sure that what you’re saying is client-friendly. More specifically, make sure that what you’re saying isn’t too bogged down in technical jargon or only accessible to other medical professionals. Your focus is on engaging clients in some form or another, so always double check that your tone and content are customer-centric.
SEO. SEO. SEO!
Search engine optimization. This is an imperative aspect to content marketing and entails a variety of aspects involved in optimizing not only the performance of your content but your website, as well. SEO entails things like optimizing your site/content through a responsive design (which can incorporate clean coding, faster load times, etc.), complying with existing web standards, strong backlinks and inbound links through promotion, meta information, as well as mobile search compatability. This last aspect – mobile search – could be argued to be the most important, if for no other reason than the ever-growing prominence of mobile usage by consumers. Search engine optimization also entails integrating your content and website with your existing social media presence. Don’t be afraid of cross-promoting your site and content across different platforms, and always including links and streams from one to the other.
The keys listed above are certainly not the end-all be-all when it comes to content marketing, but they do highlight a few of the major points and pit-stops along the way to successful content generation and marketing. If you’re ever in doubt about the success of your content marketing strategy or just want to stay on top of your marketing efforts, utilizing tools like Google Analytics or the analytics tools on Facebook and Instagram are great options. They can provide a wealth of data on your website or social media platforms, and even track the performance of individual pieces of content. They are meant to be user-friendly, so do not be intimidated by what may seem like a bunch of analytical IT jargon. Such analytical tools ultimately give you greater control and understanding of your marketing strategy, and can even help you better understand what potential and existing clients are engaging with. If you would like to go more in-depth, I have posted some links below to sites and articles that delve into topics like content generation and marketing, as well as SEO. These links are not endorsements of specific companies or entities. Rather, they are simply meant to encourage further learning and understanding.
EasyDVM Practice Software is a cloud-based veterinary practice management software system. We pride ourselves in offering a system that is user-friendly, easy to learn for new team members, full-featured and elegant in its simplicity. Best of all, all devices, multiple users, all your clients and patients, always affordable.