If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably heard us say that producing the kind of content aesthetic consumers are looking for is crucial in today’s competitive environment.
But don’t take our word for it. As business manager for David B. Reath, MD, a plastic surgeon in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lisa Reath probably says it better than we ever could:
It’s basic Inbound Marketing 101; it’s the way you get found. Content is the best way to bring patients to your practice. Period.
It’s a message she shares in “Creating Content That Matters,” a presentation that she gave with her husband, Dr. David Reath, at the recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) meeting in New Orleans. (Dr. Reath serves as Chairman of ASPS’s Public Education Committee. Embedded below, it offers compelling (and entertaining) evidence that if you’re not sharing fresh content on a regular basis, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with today’s online consumers.
We know what you’re thinking: I’m a busy doctor; I don’t have time to write blog posts, update our Facebook page or answer questions from people who may or may not be potential patients. But, as Lisa Reath notes, there’s no shortage of available content (repurposed press releases, staff profiles, current events) and the consequences of not having a content management strategy can be extreme:
People will find what they need. If it’s not on your website, they’ll find it somewhere else.
Fortunately, the Reaths are happy to share what they’ve learned. Among their tips for creating great content:
More is better than less
When the Reaths launched their website, says Lisa, it had a total of 16 pages; it now has more than 2,000, including dedicated pages for different aspects of particular procedures. Those pages correlate well with how today’s web-savvy consumers search — think “breast augmentation over the muscle” vs. “breast augmentation” — which means those pages often top local search rankings.
Involve your employees
Your office staff probably hears more questions on a daily basis than Alex Trebek. That’s not only a huge pool of potential content; it’s also speaks directly to what aesthetic consumers care about. Reath suggests getting your office staff together to brainstorm over the questions patients ask. “Silicone vs. saline, Botox vs. Dysport — in 20 minutes, you’ll probably have 60 questions. Answering one a week is very doable and that’s a year’s worth of blog posts.”
Two pictures are worth a thousand words
One of the easiest and most effective ways to post new content is to regularly update your gallery of before & after photos. (Dr. Reath’s website has 230!) Add a set a week, suggests Reath; tell a story to go with them and you’ll provide the keyword-rich content that appeals to both consumers and search-engine algorithms.
Assign a task manager
Given the daily pressures and time constraints of the average aesthetic practice, it’s all too easy to let your content efforts slip. To avoid that, Reath suggests giving someone in your office the responsibility — and the power — to keep you on task: “They’re there to remind you to post, to feed you ideas, to help inspire you because it’s really easy to forget in the busy-ness of the everyday.”
Content management is also reputation management
It’s easily overlooked but creating content can also be a powerful tool for reputation management. From blog posts to answering questions, you not only introduce yourself to potential patients; you also establish yourself as an authority. As a board-certified physician, you already have the knowledge and expertise; by sharing it on your website and via social media, you create the connections that allow potential patients to feel they’re making informed decisions as they conduct their aesthetic research. As Reath says,
The overarching goal is that people are finding plastic surgery information online — we want them to find it from board-certified plastic surgeons. Creating great content is a good, proactive way to manage your reputation.
Of course, you could ignore all of the above and carry on with traditional advertising and other old-school methods. On the other hand, when you consider that Dr. Reath’s website typically tops the rankings in all key search terms, referrals and conversions are up, and his surgery schedule is completely full, it’s safe to say the numbers don’t lie. We’ll take a look at some of those numbers in a subsequent post.