5 Reasons Why Content is King for Growing Integrative Medicine Services

By Glenn Sabin

h5. Does your center have a content creation and distribution strategy?

h5. Consumers interested in a patient-centered approach to their healthcare spend a lot of time learning about preventive medicine and general wellness.  When they or a family member face a health challenge, they are quick to consult the Web for their health information needs.  So when it comes to evidence-based integrative medicine, your center or clinic has a valuable opportunity to become that trusted source of information.

Here are five reasons why:

h4. 1. Original Web content creation drives significant search engine optimization.

If your Web site features static pages created long ago and you have no blog program, news features or other fresh content, search engines such as Google will not place your site high on their search pages, thus organic traffic driven by SEO (search engine optimization) will be miniscule at best.  Search engine algorithms recognize new, original content and track how many sites are linked to yours.

h4. 2. Providing live “experiential content” in the community shows leadership.

Offering hands-on experiential “sample” services in the form of community education outreach in the areas of prevention, wellness and evidence-based integrative health, is a great way to inform current and prospective customers (consumers) while positioning your center and its providers as thought leaders.  There are myriad topics around which to create quality programming.  This is an excellent way to build relationships, develop trust and drive word-of-mouth patronage.

If your center is hospital-based and relies   on referrals, make sure to offer relevant and, hopefully, compelling content, that appeals to both the practitioners and administrators within your organization.  This will surely increase your internal referrals. The Marino Center for Integrative Health offers a number of paid group educational/experiential classes through their Programs for Healthy Living.  Duke Integrative Medicine at Durham offers complimentary classes on mindfulness-based stress reduction and nutrition.

Get the community—consumers and medical professionals alike— involved with experiential acupuncture, mind-body exercises, yoga and Pilates sessions.  Each one provides a fantastic opportunity to explain the research base, demonstrate the various interventions and to build trust and patient volume for your integrative services.  Consider starting with no-fee programming leading up to paid group classes in the future!

h4. 3. Content is the foundation and glue for all meaningful, sustainable social media strategy.

Has your center worked through the HIPAA privacy issues and nuances related to social media?  If so, perhaps you now have  a presence on several networks and have smartly tasked one person as the social media manager—someone who is checking in a couple times a day, posting tweets, making status updates and interacting with folks.  But if your center is not creating original content surrounding the bevy of integrative services you provide, you are missing the benefits of social media.

Creating online promotions and discounts are important. So is posting relevant news items pertaining to your center as well as retweeting and reposting interesting content and information created by sources outside of your business.  An effective and original content strategy creates true engagement and engenders trust around your brand.  Over time, the consistent growth of your social media program will greatly contribute to your center’s overall success.

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h4. 4. A newsletter chock-full of relevant, informative content, delivered with consistency, reminds both current and prospective customers that your organization cares.

Topic examples include: New advances in personalized allopathic medicine; The discovery of another vegetable showing anticancer properties;   An update on the dangers of diet soda; A botanical study at Mayo reducing white blood cells in leukemia patients; A phase II study on acupuncture showing positive outcomes for lower back pain; News around the center; Recent TV or radio interviews with your dietician.  Remember, if your center doesn’t write about this stuff, another center will. That’s a fact.   Why not take ownership of this space by creating the content and driving the conversation?

Create a newsletter subscription sign-up form and place it prominently on your site.  Start collecting interesting news and information—some of which can be repurposed from content you’ve already created for your site or other efforts detailed above.  Get folks to sign up for your newsletter when signing in for clinic appointments.  Consider delivering a print version in addition to an e-version.

h4. 5. Create and deliver great content to build trust around your center’s brand.

Your center has a unique ethos made possible by interesting, accomplished practitioners and a dedicated support team.   What makes your clinic different?  What’s your organization’s story?!   What are your patients’ stories?  Perhaps they can discuss their experiences working with your center—or, newfound health outcomes made possible by your center’s lifestyle modification recommendations.  From textual and video testimonials to Q&A features to “before and after” stories and more, patient-driven content is a terrific way to humanize your organization.  The same approach to content creation and storytelling can be applied to highlighting/showcasing your various practitioners and staff.

You will be surprised by how engaging carefully crafted, meaningful content can be.  Imagine short Q&As attached to your practitioner’s bios.  Or even a two-minute video with the practitioner explaining her integrative health philosophy and passion. This approach is more dynamic than the important however dry traditional emphasis placed on a practitioner’s education and CV.   By all means highlight their resume and link to their CV, just spice it up with more creative engagement.

The consistent creation and delivery of informative content not only drives recognition of your organization and builds traffic—both physically and virtually—it also engenders trust around your brand. Consumers will come to know and expect that when they receive your emails, reference your site or review your newsletter, you have interesting, relevant and often compelling information to share—you aren’t simply pitching your center’s products or services.  This is the power of compelling content!

About FON

FON is a leading integrative health and medicine business development and strategy consulting firm. FON specializes in custom solutions for growing patient volume, developing programs, and increasing product sales. Our practical business models are driven by innovative marketing, clear messaging, and customer engagement via branded storytelling.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your business development or personal brand needs.

Glenn Sabin Author: Glenn Sabin

FON’s founder, Glenn Sabin, is a nationally recognized thought leader with a reputation for successfully positioning integrative health organizations for sustainable growth. Combining media, marketing and business development expertise with an extensive professional and personal integrative health and medicine narrative, Glenn is deeply passionate about advancing the field as the new standard of care—accessible to all.
Read Glenn's story.

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