About two decades ago, when the internet was still developing, one of the common doubts in the mind of small businesses was whether a website should be included as a part of their marketing strategy. However, now a website has become a prime requisite for any business.
The new doubt in the minds of marketers is whether one should have a blog or not, to promote a business. A blog will play a vital role when you strive to build an online relationship to motivate existing dental patients and attract the attention of the prospective ones and create a positive influence in their minds about your dental practice.
To write a blog, you should have sound knowledge to create, write and/or contribute valuable information to a specific segment of your dental patients (target audience). In case you do not possess these attributes or the time, you can take help of a professional writer to keep updating your blog and make posts of valued information that patients would find interesting and useful to read.
Benefits of a Blog
1. Positioning you as a dental expert: A blog would always focus on particularly informative topics or niche zones of your profession, and present you as the expert in that area.
2. Blogs are low in cost: Blogs don’t cost much, particularly if you are writing them yourself. A tiny investment in hosting a website and creating a domain name could take you a long way in your business marketing journey.
3. Blogs are used to make announcements and communicate news promptly: Existing and prospective clients show interest in the news that you announce or share.
4. Building communities with blogs: Marketing to a specific audience has given rise to a new trend called communities. Popular blogs often lead to being profitable for a business when they address the needs of a local community. With consistent effort, blogs can be locally popular and effective for a business.
5. Develop personal relationships as a community extension: It is always best to talk to your target audience on one-to-one basis. Comments section in a blog provides that opportunity.
6. A blog has more value: Clients want, need and invest in value. One of the valuable things that they like to get is information. If you don’t get carried away while blogging and maintain focus on delivering useful information, your readers will keep coming back to get more value. Create the curiosity in the audience and feed that curiosity with current and relevant information. Keep delivering value all through your blogging activity to win potential clients.
7. Enjoy the blogging experience while establishing your expertise, sharing your knowledge and providing advice and solutions through your blog.
Another way to make a favorable impact on your audience is by the distribution of audio files online. This process, known as podcasting, has taken off in a way like no other. Podcasting enables the existing clients and prospects to access information when they want it, where they want it and the way they want it.
Podcasts can be downloaded and saved for listening later or while on the move. Whenever new content is produced, podcasts will usually show up surrounding that content. You can receive the podcasts instantly in your Inbox, if you are a subscriber.
The word Podcasting comes from the idea of listening to an audio file through an iPod (or any kind of MP3 player). The first digital audio revolution happened in the form of an iPod when people could take their music to the park or beach with them and listen to it on the move or wherever they wanted to. They could listen to what was playing on the radio stations. Nowadays, with podcasting, people can download files from online sites and listen to it in their car or wherever they go and whenever they want.
Choose Topics and Content Carefully for your Podcast
People keep adding podcasts to websites and blogs on a regular basis. Many businesses are utilizing this medium for marketing and general communication. Your podcast content should be direct, to-the-point, and concise. This is the same case as written or electronic communication. In the world of business, most people do not have the time for long-winded conversations, which can be repetitive and cause the listener to tune out.
Content should be created keeping the listener in mind. It has been proved that a listener has less patience when it comes to recorded content in comparison to live content. You need to think like a radio producer in order to create a podcast content with value. The radio producers know well that the listener may change stations at any point of time for any reason. This is why they focus on delivering nonstop value through their programs to retain the interest of their audience.
When a listener is not entertained, informed or satisfied, your podcast will fail to serve its purpose of achieving engagement and a long-term relationship with a prospective client.
Tips on Podcasting
- Provide valuable information: Value can be in the form of entertainment, education, motivation, information, and inspiration. There is no need to just broadcast advertisements.
- Speak out: Conversations work best when it comes to podcasting. This can be done by getting someone to interview you or even by being a part of a panel discussion. Podcasts by one person are not as dynamic compared with the conversation form.
- 3 Ps about podcasting to keep in mind: Promote, Promote, Promote.
- Periodic updates: The best way to encourage subscribers is by automated periodic updates. This way you are assured to get more sign-ups and raging fans too. You can then post the podcast availability in the website with a link, add it to your email signature and make sure to list it in the directory of podcasts.
- Marketing tool: Podcasting can be considered as a marketing weapon in your cache. You can market it like a product or a service.
Audio Blogs as your Podcasts
A podcast can serve as an audio blog. You can optimize it like your text blog. Use targeted keywords in the meta descriptions and meta titles. Provide images and text that will attract people’s attention.
These audio blogs can be used as an addition to your existing text blogs or can be a standalone product. You can engage the services of a professional podcast developer, or do your own audio blogs, or invite guests for interviews on your podcast show. You can even do live podcast shows on Facebook and other social channels.
Easy and Affordable
Podcasting helps in sharing your expertise with prospective clients, just like any other kind of content. There is an opportunity to talk about your podcast through your website, popular podcast platforms such as iTunes, and various social media channels. You can still make positive relationships and establish brand awareness, even if there are only a few people listening to your podcasts, but they are dedicated followers.
You can use podcasting effectively to enhance your website search results on Google, Bing and other search engines.
Podcasting is an easy and affordable marketing strategy. Even if the rate of conversion is taken as one percent, your podcast can cover all the cost of production. This means you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and this highly effective strategy is worth the money and effort you put in.
Furthermore, podcasts don’t expire. Once you publish and optimize a podcast on your website or blog, they will never expire. However, you still have to post new podcasts at regular intervals.
Take time to create a good podcast because it will eventually help to increase your rankings in organic searches. It will also provide additional SEO value to your existing dental marketing campaigns. A cohesive blogging and podcast strategy can lead to better online visibility and ultimately boost the prospects of your dental practice.
About the Author
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education, and the online reputations of dentists. With a team of 180+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps dentists who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.