Creating content, blogging, posting to social media… all are digital marketing strategies used to build a practice just as they’re used to build a business.
Now here’s the question.
Do you have a blog? If so, do you use it to help market and grow your practice?
Website Or Blog?
But before I continue, let me address a common question. There seems to be confusion between what is a website vs. a blog.
Additionally, some Nurse Practitioners wonder why they would need a blog in addition to their website. But as you’ll see below, a website and a blog serve different functions.
A traditional website is a collection of individual, static web pages. Typically, the content on the site doesn’t change much, if all.
Usually, websites feature basic information about the business, such as:
- contact information
- directions to the company
- background information about the business
- products or services provided
These sites contain a few pages used to communicate the same information you’d find in a print brochure. You may think of them as the digital equivalent to the traditional print brochure, used to advertise products and services of a business.
Now let’s compare the traditional website to the blog.
A blog also consists of individual pages and lives on the world wide web. But it’s a web site that’s updated frequently with content, most often articles and videos. Usually, readers of the blog have the option to leave comments in the comment section or to share content.
Blogs may be owned and operated by individuals or by businesses. As I mentioned earlier, content gets published to the blog in the form of articles or blog posts; most of them are informational or educational by nature.
Blogs provide people with the opportunity to communicate with their readers. And if your business runs a blog, you have the chance to talk with site visitors and tell them about your business, more than the traditional brochure site ever could.
Blogs make the following possible:
- Since updated ongoing, blogs keep readers interested, coming back for more information.
- Having a blog allows you to talk about your business, informing your readers about what sets up apart from your competition.
- Publishing content to your blog, allows you to establish yourself as a trustworthy authority.
- It provides you with the opportunity to engage with your readers in different ways: surveys, asking for comments or feedback, asking for input, or collecting contact information in exchange for a small report.
- You are keeping your readers informed of changes, updates, or special events happening in your practice.
None of the above you could do with the traditional, static website.
Traditional Website Or Blog?
Now if you’re wondering if you should ditch your static website for a blog, I have good news for you.
Luckily, you don’t have to choose one or the other; you can go for a combination of the two; it’s what many websites do today. If you have a static website, you have the option to add a blog component.
Some sites are traditional blogs; others have a separate blog component on their site. I believe most practices would do best by opting for the combined website and blog model.
Your Practice Blog
Now we’re back to my earlier question: how do you use your blog to help you market and grow your practice?
- Do you have processes in place to collect email addresses?
- Do you write articles and publish them to your blog?
- Do you frequently publish, on a regular schedule?
- Do you know what your audience is interested in learning?
- Do you use keywords in your blog posts to bring more traffic to your site?
- Do you utilize a content plan?
- Do you have a publishing schedule?
- How do your blog and content fit into your overall marketing efforts?
It’s a lot to think about; I know!
But here’s the thing, blogs can take a lot of work. And if you put forth the effort, you might as well do it so it will help you grow your practice.
So here are a few things to keep in mind when tapping into the power of your blog.
- Know what type of information your audience wants.
- Determine how your posts fit with your marketing activities and goals.
- If you’re going to publish to your blog, commit to doing it on a schedule.
- Publish with consistency, not every blue moon.
- Put processes in place that make writing and publishing easier.
- Don’t write formal, but in a conversational tone.
- Tell stories; people relate to them.
- Let your personality shine through.
If you are not using a blog currently, it may be something to consider.
But keep in mind, maintaining a blog requires time, effort, and commitment. And if you’re not willing or can’t commit to it, you may want to think twice before you start.
Do you maintain a blog? Join the conversation by leaving a comment or question below
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.”