Content marketing: writing and sharing

Massimo GaetaniIn a world where any company in any sector should consider themselves a media company it’s becoming more and more relevant the need for constant and consistent production of good content. During the last few years we have been seeing an increase in agencies and freelancers specialising in copy writing and content marketing.

Here at Salus Wellness we advise the majority of our practitioners about how to create an online presence which starts from having a website and an account of various social media platforms and then it continues with a regular production of content. Content can indeed be in written format, such as blog posts.However in 2016 most people have in their pocket a smart phone which is powerful enough to create and upload photos and videos on the go so the type of content to produce and publish should not be limited to written words and it can indeed be a combination of several media.

The question that comes often is: what shall I write/take pictures/shoot video about?  Before answering this question let’s briefly analyse why it’s important to produce content.

Creation of content puts you in the position of being visible as an expert of your sector.  Search engines love fresh (and good) content so they are likely to serve a search request with websites which contain good, relevant and fresh content rather than pages which were not updated in years.

So if you are constantly producing relevant and good content which is published on your website then the average punter will have to decide, usually deciding within a few seconds, whether your website with good content is more relevant than your competition  who haven’t bothered to update their website in years. Guess what the result is likely to be.

Are you already busy and finding new clients is not your main priority? Perhaps all of your business comes from word of mouth; even in this case you should not ignore the importance of producing new content and think again. If your name gets recommended from one of your clients’ to their friends or colleagues there is a high probability they will do a web search on you. This will be in the form of Google search (or other search engines) using just your name and what you offer, maybe adding the City you are in: e.g. “joe blogs physiotherapy”.  If they easily find you and your website then you’ll be one step closer to an enquiry which may result in a new client.

Within a relatively short time your website will become an authority within your sector and gain visibility, depending on how often you are publishing new content; minimum should be once per week on average, better if every day. Sometimes it can become difficult to keep producing content as often as required. The good news is that nowadays much content could be found readily from other authors and it can be simply republished with permission, as long as the content is kept intact and the author’s copyright is acknowledged.

Some of you might ask: what’s the point of sharing and re-posting other people’s content?  Well it’s pretty simple. If you are a physiotherapist and write about physiotherapy you could look for more content about physiotherapy and related subjects, e.g. lifestyle changes which reduce the need for physiotherapy and so on. If you are good at collecting and republishing other authors’ content then your readers will appreciate your work of finding relevant articles which of course they could find by themselves but you are saving them the work as you are doing it for them.

Content marketing has been the buzzword for many businesses over the last few years; whether you publish just your content or republish others’ or a mix of the two you will provide relevant content for a particular audience.  The question is: when are you going to start?

How to get an MRI – The 3 ways to get an MRI

Before we get to how you get an MRI, first lets go over what they and why you might want one in the first place!

What is an MRI?

MRIScanMRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI uses magnetism and radio waves to detailed pictures of the inside of the body.

The images show cross sections of the body. An MRI can show up soft tissues in the body very clearly (compared to an X-Ray which looks at bony structures). MRI can be used on most areas of the body. It is an expensive scan to take, and should only be considered when the diagnostics of an MRI are needed. Depending on your symptoms you may be offered an X-Ray or ultrasound first instead of an MRI.

What can be diagnosed on an MRI?

A wide range of conditions can be diagnosed using an MRI:

  • most ailments of the brain, including tumours and dementias
  • sports injuries
  • musculoskeletal problems
  • most spinal conditions/injuries
  • vascular abnormalities
  • female pelvic problems
  • prostate problems
  • some gastrointestinal tract conditions
  • certain ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions
  • soft tissue and bone pathology/conditions

Who can’t have an MRI scan?

Because of the MASSIVE magnets used in an MRI there are a number of contraindications, situations where it’s not safe to get an MRI:

  • a cardiac (heart) pacemaker
  • certain clips in your head from brain operations, i.e. aneurysm clips
  • a cochlear (ear) implant
  • a metallic foreign body in your eye
  • had surgery in the last 8 weeks
  • a programmable shunt for hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)
  • if you are pregnant

How to get an MRI?

When it comes to getting an MRI, there are three main options:

  1. A referral through an NHS consultant for free
  2. A referral through private consultant which costs £600+
  3. An immediate MRI, but with no consultant appt from £200+

The most popular, and safest, options are the first two. You are under the care of a specialist consultant meaning that if anything is found on your MRI they are best placed to advise on your treatment. Although the two private options are perhaps more reliable – as you are self-funding/paying – remember that in both instances, an MRI is not guaranteed; if your consultant doesn’t deem it necessary or appropriate, they have the authority to say no.

Funnel marketing and health care

Massimo GaetaniI was recently chatting to a therapist who, quite unusually and interestingly enough, had proper marketing training as part of  her therapy course.  In fact it was an add-on course for an extra whopping £2,000 but nonetheless she had been exposed to the practicalities of marketing her business rather than being wrongly reassured that the phone will start ringing as soon as she qualifies as it happens in many cases.

I decided to write this post once I heard the approach that was taught to her in this expensive course where, instead of focussing specifically on marketing her health care business, they trained her in general marketing using a funnel approach which is usually applied to online marketing for e-books and other information products.

In a few simple words a funnel approach is where you have a combination of marketing tools to reach a large number of unqualified or semi qualified leads which you keep Emailing with information about your business and slowly move down into the funnel until they come out at the bottom as customers.  This is great for generic products which can be sold to generic people to address generic issues and across a wide geographical area, ideally the whole world.

I always predicate using blogging and social media to create and maintain a solid presence online which, if adequate in quality and frequency, will be found by search engines and connecting your content to the right audience which eventually can become your clients. When a therapist works in a specific geographical area offering therapy to the local community she/he will soon realise that using a funnel approach to attract clients toward her or their business will be very hard.  Main reasons are:

  • People are either shopping around for a specific solution to a health problem or they are not; so if the advert appears in front of the second category of people they naturally ignore it
  • People will not be looking to share their contact details now and get caught into the funnel expecting to be using a therapy later

While funnel marketing can be used to market and sell products or services which can be progressively pushed toward customers I would not suggest to use this approach to market and promote therapies which are usually requested as remedial treatments rather than preventive actions.

Delays in reaction for marketing actions and campaigns

Massimo GaetaniI was having a conversation with a therapist a few days ago and I was explaining to him various marketing techniques he could use to attract new clients.  The surprise came when he replied to my question about when to start as he essentially said that he is now “kind of ok in terms of clients” and will start some marketing actions in the New Year when he will need new clients.

At that point I realised that while it is obvious for me that to any (decision about) action there is a delay in reaction which is definitely not obvious for many.  Let’s see what the delays are which will be incurred when you decide to start a marketing campaign:

  • Development delays: anything that needs to be designed and developed, from a new leaflet or website, will take days, weeks or even months to be ready, checked, printed or published.  This is depending on what is already there, or not there, in this case.  Even a simple variation to an existing page or piece of marketing will take some time.
  • Deployment delays: as soon as the brochure is ready or the website is published it’s not going to happen that, similarly to the next episode of Harry Potter, all prospects are there waiting for it and to book appointments with you.
  • Reaction delays: yes perhaps some people see your new website or advertisement and ring you straight away, most of them will have to see it quite a few times and think about it. By this token when everything is in place and ready to go it will take a while before things are really going at the speed or intensity you expect.

Best suggestion for all people with little or no knowledge of marketing out there is to start today, now, and keep doing something every day.  You can be absolutely sure that there will be delays and things will not happen exactly when you expect but after some time everything will be in place and you will have your own marketing machine working for you.