What is it and why is it useful for online marketing?
Up until fairly recently, the basics of online marketing consisted of a decent website and then building back-links to it to gain prominence in Google. However, as we’ve explained in recent blogs, successful online marketing now requires a multifaceted approach and the use of supporting online channels. Good dental marketing strategies, particularly for those practices operating in competitive environments, will be underpinned by blogging, social media, video publication and more. So whilst a professional website is the cornerstone of your online campaign, depending on your niche and local competition, stood alone it may not be enough.
A typical online marketing infrastructure we use with our dental clients incorporates the following:
- a high performing website
- a practice blog
- social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest etc)
- email marketing
However, just developing the infrastructure is not enough – all channels need to be used regularly to help establish contact with a new audience, engage them and keep them sufficiently interested so that they come back for more. Of course the primary objective is that they then do business with you. This process is also very useful for helping to generate relevant back-links to you dental website – still very important for your Google ranking.
There is no escaping the fact that effort will be needed to maintain this activity, however the rewards justify the investment. Following appropriate training, many of our clients do the the work themselves, others outsource everything to us and for some, it’s a joint effort.
What is content curation and how does it play a part?
All of the channels we’ve mentioned above need regular fresh content, so for example regular blog posting, e-newsletter updates and use of social media. If the content you broadcast is of sufficiently high quality, your users will stay engaged and, hopefully, use you as their primary reference point when seeking new services. If you are significant and authoritative in the minds of your target audience, you become the “go to guy”.
We use the phrase “content curation” to describe how we find, collate and broadcast information through our web infrastructure and out to our target audience.
It’s important to realise that you don’t have to generate all of this content yourself – whilst it is important that you write some of it yourself to demonstrate competence and gain credibility, this can be supported by other useful information that you find out there on the web. If you found it useful, chances are your audience will find it useful too, so get it out there alongside your own material.
Distributing the content
The main ways to get your content out there are via you blog, social channels and e-newsletters. Typically you will use your blog to generate your own articles and then push this out through Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Tools are available to automate some of this to relieve the administrative burden.
Where you find other useful sources, link out to them from your blog, identify them in your tweets and posts and reference them in your e-newsletters. All the while, keep in mind that your are trying to provide useful information for your audience to keep them engaged and hopefully prompt them to recommend you to their friends and associates.
The frequency – how often should you do this?
This is a good question and there is no definite answer. Don’t overload your users to the point that you switch them off but do try to provide a consistent source of useful information. As a guide, try to use each of your social channels at least once per day and compile a couple of useful blog articles each week. A monthly newsletter is usually sufficient but if you have a new offer or service, broadcast this as the need arises.
Successful web marketing strategies rely on a number of different channels to ensure maximum reach – not just hoping that your audience finds your website. “Curation” is the process of identifying and collating fresh and informative content and distributing it via these channels to help build an audience, engage them and keep them interested in your services.
If you would like some no-obligation advice about how to set up your online marketing infrastructure and how to use it, please call us on 01332 672548.Google+