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What Is Addiction Content Marketing And Why Is It Important?
Content Marketing is the best way to reach your best customers and help them to find you.
What makes content marketing such a brilliant solution to the challenge of advertising a small business to build brand awareness? Here’s why: it is simultaneously the best form of advertising and, at the same time, it is not advertising. Content marketing provides valuable content to your audience, creating a connection between you and your ideal prospective client.
If you have a limited marketing budget, then a content marketing strategy will be your best option. You will discover that it is possible to compete with even the largest healthcare facilities and rehab centers.
Content marketing and addiction treatment marketing is information and education.
Why does a prominent psychiatrist write a book about addiction treatment? What does he hope to gain from writing a long, well-researched book on this topic? Does he expect to sell many books?
Does he hope that readers in his area might call to make an appointment and become a patient? Could the doctor’s reason for writing the book be to educate the public on an important topic?
To some extent, it is most likely that all of these reasons motivated the psychiatrist to spend months, even years, researching and writing the book. If only one or two people read the book and benefit significantly from the contents, it will have been worth the effort.
Yet, the doctor’s intention is also to increase his primary business of seeing more patients. People who read the book may call to make an appointment if they live in the area. Some prospective patients may be willing to travel far to have a visit with the doctor.
If people call the office to ask questions about the doctor’s practice philosophy, the doctor’s staff may refer the caller to read the book. Rather than getting a quick response in a few minutes on the phone, the caller can sit with the book and read for hours to learn more about how the doctor treats patients.
But, is writing a book the most efficient way to advertise? Why not put an ad in the newspaper, phone directory, or local magazines? What about various online listings for psychiatrists?
The doctor can afford to pay for advertising, so why write a book that takes a massive commitment of time and effort? Is writing a book the best use of content marketing efforts?
Why climb to the top of Mount Everest?
Why do people climb the highest mountains in the world? Often, the answer is, “because it was there.” You may not agree with that reasoning. There are considerable investments of time, effort, and risk required to get to the top.
Another excellent answer might be that there is not a lot of competition to get there. There are never large crowds at the peaks of the highest mountains.
Is it worth the effort?
Writing online blog posts, articles, and even books is not easy. Still, it is possible to do it and get good at it with consistent effort and practice. By having the willingness and commitment to write every day and improve your writing skills, you join an elite group. You will be surprised how easy and natural it will be to write hundreds, and even thousands of words daily with practice.
You can leave the competition behind.
In the business of healthcare, and especially addiction treatment, most administrators and owners of treatment programs will never be able to keep up with you in content marketing. First, they don’t get it. Providing free information and value to the public with a significant investment of time and no immediate return on that investment is an alien concept to them.
They want to pay someone to do the work for them, and they want instant results. Old-fashioned, dinosaur rehab marketing strategies include paying marketers to do what it takes to fill the beds of a rehabilitation center. These old-school, corrupt practices are no longer effective.
Do you have what it takes?
Are you prepared to provide helpful content to the public with the possibility of no return benefit from much of your work? Will you be able to wait long periods to see the fruits of your labor? If you would rather pay someone to run ads for you, that’s fine, and it will work. But, you will not get many of the benefits of content marketing.
Own your platform.
When you pay for advertising, you get the benefits of your paid ad as long as you continue paying for it. When you decide to stop paying for an advertisement, the benefits of visibility and new client leads dries up immediately. While paid advertising can be an essential part of your marketing campaign, it builds nothing. It turns off like a faucet as soon as you discontinue the service.
Alternatively, content marketing builds an ever-growing library of reusable content. Additionally, when it comes to search engine ranking, as your content collection grows and improves in ranking and traffic, your overall visibility starts to snowball.
The bigger you are, the faster you grow. Content marketing is the act of building a platform that belongs to you. Creating a content platform is like owning real estate, whereas paying for ads is similar to renting.
Identify with your ideal clients and patients.
Another downside of paid advertising is that many of the calls and emails that come in will be from people who are not a good match for your program. Some advertisers may promise a certain number of phone calls or contacts per month. Getting a lot of calls sounds great until you realize that most or all of these calls are not suitable matches or ideal clients.
On the other hand, when you build a robust content marketing platform, you will discover that the callers who have consumed your content before calling will become your best clients. These people have benefited from the information you have provided. They understand your program, and what it is about, and they are aware of your unique benefits.
Content Marketing is funnel-free marketing.
You may have heard of the importance of building a funnel for marketing your business. Either way, you are undoubtedly familiar with sales funnels. If you have clicked on an online ad, leading to a long web page of bold print, compelling text with photos and videos, you have been in a funnel.
If you give your email address or buy a product, you will now be taken further down the sales funnel, getting a series of emails to keep you engaged, leading to an eventual first sale or followup sale.
While funnels are highly effective for selling books, courses, and products or services, they are not necessarily suited for marketing a medical practice or addiction treatment centers. Content marketing does have some elements in common with sales funnels, but there are significant differences.
A funnel is a manipulative instrument that uses psychology to sway the conscious and subconscious decision-making process. The goal is to draw you in, sell, upsell, and repeat. Funnels do not provide value before the sale. And, they do not form the same kind of identifying bond between you and your prospective client.
How do I get started?
The first step is to get in the habit of writing every day. I recommend setting up a blog on your business website or even a separate blog site. You are going to start by writing one blog post every single day.
Start with a goal of writing at least 300-500 words per post. As you get used to this length, increase it, setting a new, higher word count goal. If you find that you have a lot to say about a topic, by all means, keep writing! As you progress, raise your target to 800-1000 words.
Ultimately, you will want to reach 2,000 words or more. Experts in search engine optimization and content marketing have noted that Google is developing a preference for longer pieces. To rank at the top of search results, you may do better with longer articles.
Of course, it is never only about pleasing Google and its artificial intelligence. By writing longer articles, you will convey more helpful information to your audience.
In some cases, you may find yourself repeating common themes, writing about similar subtopics in your articles. Reiterating particular material is fine, as long as it ties into the current content. Remember, Google will index your blog posts individually so that readers may reach your site through any individual page, depending on their search. It is not a bad idea that you present your essential themes in some form in more than one post.
How do you come up with new writing topics?
If you are currently working with patients or clients, think about common questions, issues, and concerns throughout the day. Imagine answering a question in detail in written form. Another good source of inspiration is discussions on social media. You may want to join various related groups on Facebook.
For example, if you provide Vivitrol injections in a clinic for patients with alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder, you can join a Vivitrol group. You will see the posts of concerned mothers and spouses. Think about how you would answer their questions. You may also see patients receiving the treatment comparing notes on things such as side effects and experiences going to their clinics.
Question and answer sites can also be helpful. For example, Quora is an excellent source of topics for writing. You can join Quora and subscribe, so new questions and answers in your areas of interest go to your email.
Keep in mind when you are writing that you are providing a service to your target audience searching for vital information. The purpose of your blog is not to write about your issues and problems. Readers are not going to be interested in topics that affect your business, and they do not want to read about what happened in your day.
Your content marketing platform is not the place to post restaurant food pictures. Readers will not care about you playing with your kids or dogs in the yard. They don’t want to hear you complain about a fight you had with your cable or cellphone company.
Another critical focus of content marketing is keyword research and judicious use of relevant keywords. By keyword, we generally refer to phrases and not only individual words. Keywords are the phrases that people type into Google to search.
Keywords are essential in that they provide a reference for Google’s AI to determine if your article is relevant for a particular search. At this point, you cannot fool Google into ranking your post with artificial use of keywords.
In the past, there was a practice known as “keyword stuffing.” Bad SEO practitioners would fill an article with the desired keyword. They would even repeat it hundreds of times at the bottom of a white page with white font so that the text would be invisible to readers, but available to Google web crawlers.
Today, such practices fail to produce results, and they will also get a website penalized. We have seen search engines evolve to the level of reading text in a very human manner, attempting to make the best decisions in which articles to rank higher for various keywords.
So, you must use keywords, but in the most natural manner possible. Do not overuse them. You may want to research multiple related keywords connected to your topic and integrate them into your text.
Beyond writing the content, there are a series of technical issues that are important to consider. These tasks fall more in the category of SEO than Content Marketing, but they are essential to get the best ranking possible for crucial searches.
Headers before paragraphs, meta titles, meta descriptions, mobile responsiveness, and fast loading time, are some technical details that help a website have higher visibility in search.
For these technical details, you may want to consider highering an SEO expert for the ongoing maintenance of your website. This expert can work to optimize your articles for search as well as help you to research keywords and topics.
What about long-tail keywords?
Another interesting approach to climb over time in the rankings is to target what are known as “long-tail keywords.” These phrases are unique phrases that people search for to find the information they want. While each long-tail keyword rarely gets typed into a search engine, it is interesting to note that long-tail keywords make up the majority of searches.
In the world of keyword research, you will learn that certain keywords are the subject of considerable competition. For example, if you treat opioid addiction with Suboxone, you will be up against big players trying to rank for the word “Suboxone.” However, if you write an article about “dealing with buprenorphine-caused constipation in pregnancy,” you may find yourself ranking at or near number one in no time.
Over time, as your website develops a higher level of authority with your ongoing writing and ranking articles, you will find that you may start ranking for some of those more competitive keywords.
What about backlinks?
Besides keywords and well-written content, another ranking factor (or “signal” in the world of SEO), is the backlink. A backlink is a link from another website to a page on your website.
If the website linking to you is one of high authority, it will bestow a higher level of authority on the page on your website. How did the original site get to be so authoritative? By having high-quality links pointing to its pages!
The original Google search algorithm was purely based on links from one site to another, calculating rank by the number and value of the links. Before Google was a search engine, the founders wrote a thesis at Stanford titled, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.” In this paper, they described the significance of mathematically evaluating links to determine the relative authority of various websites.
Over time, Google has had to adapt to the evolution of the World Wide Web and the explosion of websites and online content. An exciting development is that backlinks, while still an important signal, are not as relevant as previously. Blog authors are noticing that when they produce unique and compelling content, it can rank without significant backlinks.
If you have ever engaged in a link-building campaign, you will understand how significant this is. It is not easy to get other website managers to agree to link to your pages. There are techniques for reaching out to website administrators to ask for links or to offer to write guest posts, but most tend to prefer not to get involved in helping you to build your platform.
However, if you write highly relevant, useful, and compelling content, you may find that people want to link to your pages. Even if they don’t provide links to your site, Google will likely rank your website pages high for relevant keywords.
While backlinks are not as vitally important as they once were, they are still significant. There are ways to legitimately and reliably build high-quality backlinks to your website pages.
Start building your content marketing platform now.
The best time to start your business blog website was about fifteen to twenty years ago. The second best time is right now. So, please, do not delay. Get your website set up and start posting your content to the blog today.
You don’t have to worry too much about design. Google’s web crawlers do not care about flashy websites with fancy, trendy designs.
Your primary focus should be on writing and ensuring that your writing is accessible to Google. If you are nervous about putting yourself out there by writing online, keep in mind that few people will come across your content early on. In the beginning, you are writing primarily to have a computer read your work. Write for humans, but do not be afraid of humans reading your first blog posts.
If you are concerned about making factual mistakes, you do not have to worry too much about this. Do your research and fact check carefully.
However, if you make incorrect or controversial statements, you may have feedback from your readers about your mistakes. That’s great. You know that people are reading your articles. You can make corrections or discuss with your readers why you wrote it the way you did.
Moving beyond blogging and writing.
As you develop more and more content, you will want to move more into social media marketing. You can set up various services to auto-post links to your articles all over social media. Video content is another possibility. You can leverage your blog content in the production of your videos.
Enjoy getting started in your content marketing career. There is nothing wrong with getting started and taking a small first step. You will find that you enjoy the process and, before you know it, you will begin to see positive results that will encourage you to keep going and never look back.