Growth hacking is the name of the game right now for Dentists who want access to the next generation of dental marketing, and why shouldn’t it be? It’s all about putting more prospective patients at the top of the conversion funnel and bringing more qualified new patient traffic into your office.
Most dentists who have added content marketing to their dental marketing program expect to achieve these goals, too. Each blog post that is written, article distributed and infographic created brings with it the hopes to produce more visitors to their website and ultimately generate more quality new patient traffic for their practice.
They want to see results. And both growth hacking and content marketing are about results.
What happens when we bring these two worlds together? The strategy is very exciting and it’s called Content Hacking.
If you’re not sure what I’m referring to when I say “growth hacker”, you can read my previous post where I go into detail about it. For the sake of this post, here’s a super condensed outline of what Growth Hacking is and can do for your practice:
Growth hacking was introduced by Sean Ellis in early 2010 as a way to redefine the marketing role for startups and online brands. Ellis had found that traditional methods being used to market these companies were no long effective and as a result, he created new and highly effective ways to grow them. These principles can also be applied in the marketing of your Dental practice in that your dental marketing program needs to think beyond traditional advertising methods and should include engineering, creative thinking, and MacGyver-like ingenuity.
The Growth Hacker’s job is to use human psychology and engineering to drive measurable results. For the content hacker, life isn’t much different. Content marketing has proven itself most effective in generating new patient traffic from the web and increasing the perceived authority dentists have in their market. As it grows in popularity, however, you need to rethink our approach to keep an edge on your competitors as they too employ a content marketing strategy. You need to find ways to use your content for generating substantial amounts of new patient traffic from the web.
There are several examples we can look to for inspiration with our own content hacking.
Real Examples of Growth Hacking “Content Marketing”
One of the earliest recorded growth hacks was accomplished by Hotmail.com in the late 1990s. As a way to stimulate growth, the Hotmail team added the intriguing bit of text “PS I love you” at the bottom of every email they sent, with a link back to their homepage. In less than a year, this little piece of content was responsible (in part) for their massive growth of more than 12 million email accounts.
You may remember that Hotmail later was purchased by Microsoft for an estimated $400 million. Not a bad return for a little nugget of content marketing.
Growth Hacker Central is well known for its infographics, which serve as an excellent example of content hacking. Ken Newhouse recently shared on his Growth Hacker Central blog that, within two years, Growth Hacker Central was able to generate thousands of visitors and back links from 27 infographics.
This strategy helped to more than triple Growth Hacker Central’s blog visits per month and more importantly… can do the same for your blog/website too.
5 Easiest Ways to Growth Hack Your Content and Soup-Up Your Dental Marketing Program
#1 Write Awesome Headlines
Yes, I know, this sounds like old news, but there is so much riding on headlines that I would be remiss not to bring it up at least one more time. The headline you use is EVERYTHING.
If you screw it up, you lose our chance at ever achieving a real content hack. Spend some time looking through the previous Growth Hacker Central infographics. Each one was significantly aided by its headline. Without their killer headlines, could they have achieved the same results?
I want to emphasize the importance of writing more than one headline. For each post, we write a minimum of 5-10 headlines. Then, we pick two and run a quick A/B test. When we have a clear winner (and usually there is one), we launch.
#2 Make Your Dental Marketing Content More Shareable
Once you’ve gone through the effort of writing a killer headline for your post and/or infographic, you need to make sure it’s easy to share with website visitors (here's a great example from Columbus Ohio Dentist Terry L. Hughes site) (i.e., ‘existing and/or prospective new patients’). The good news is that are several (sweet) alternatives to doing this than just using the usual share buttons at the top and bottom of your site.
Click To Tweet
Adding simple Click to Tweet calls-to-action in your post is another great way to boost shares. Rather than waiting until the end of your post to passively prompt the user to share your content, “click to tweet” boxes add the call-to-action within the article. These tweetable opportunities can be added easily, using a super-simple Click To Tweet WordPress plugin, or they can be created manually using the ClickToTweet.com service.
WP Socializer is an excellent plugin that we currently use on the Growth Hacker Central blog for creating share buttons throughout your post. Adding the “floating share bar” that scrolls with the browser window keeps share buttons persistent and readily clickable.
#3 Contributing to Guest Blogs Within Your Niche
This strategy is foundational for content hackers. It can be a grind, but it is worth it. A certified Dental Marketing Assistant can be worth his/her weight in gold as they have the skills sets and know-how to write awesome posts for you but also handle every aspect of your content marketing program.
The co-founder of Buffer Leo Waldrich cites guest posting as one of the biggest drivers of their success. His startup wrote more than 60 guest posts over a few months that included a link back to their app. Leo says that they still can see the benefits of the effort even today. If you’re not using the app created by Buffer to serve as a content marketing catalyst… you’re crazy!
#4 Write Longer Copy In Your Posts and Articles
The data is replete with evidence that writing longer length blog posts, articles and infographics will rank higher in Google. I think it’s quite revealing that the “average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words.” The days of simply using images or images combined with a small quantity of copy are long gone if you want to rank high in the SERP’s.
The big takeaway for you is that more content-rich sites get more traction and rank much higher in Google. Old school bloggers still tout the benefits of the 600 word blog post, the evidence suggests that the payoff for you will be bigger when you invest a bit more time and effort in your content.
It’s also worth noting and even more impressive when you look at the correlation between the length of content and the number of links; they go hand-in-hand.
It’s clear that using longer copy should definitely be included when growth hacking your content marketing strategies.
#5 Make Your Posts More Compelling By Using Stories
Good news for you: Most dentist blog posts are boring, flat and useless which means that the opportunities for you to get your blog/website pages to the top of Google’s SERP are fantastic. One strategy that is very effective is use stories within the body of your post.
Are you using stories in your content now? Startup founder, Alex Turnbull (Groove, Inc.) realized that even though his blog was bringing in more than an astounding 1,000 visitors per day, it wasn’t telling much of a story.
He tasked his creative team to come up with a plan to dramatically improve traffic and in just one afternoon they came up a solution. In short order they launched a new blog that documented their journey from $35K per month in revenue to more than $100K per month.
The posts on Groove’s new blog were detailed, focused, and continually told the story of Groove. This strategy was nothing short of brilliant and brought them more than 5,000 email subscribers in only 5 weeks from implementation.
You have a story to tell. You just need to figure out how to frame it so that prospective patients in your market will care about what you have to say. Growth Hacker Central and companies like Groove have found a winning formula…and you certainly can, too.
Non-traditional, unconventional Growth Hacking strategies like this are the methods we employ to help our Dentist clients achieve explosive increases in new patient traffic, retention and production.
Are you using high-level strategies like these or are you using the outdated and ineffective strategies used by 95% of the Dentists in your market?
Why You Should Focus On Growth Hacking Your Content (i.e. 'Content Hacking') - Becoming a Dentist Social Media Marketing Success
As more and more Dentists investigate and employ content marketing in their dental marketing program, it has become more important than ever for you to be able to get the most out of the content you publish and distribute online. If you want to successfully growth hack your content then you need a Dentist Social Media Marketing Plan:
To achieve this goal, you want to learn how to become a content hacker. Here are a few of the strands of the Content Hacker’s DNA:
- Finding the Perfect Fit – To become a successful content hacker you’ll focus less on product (your practice)/market fit and more on content (stories, testimonials, solutions) /audience fit.
- Laser Like Focus on Growth – A content hacker exercises laser-like focus on growth: growth in blog traffic, growth in the content quality content on your blog, and ultimately growth in level of quality new patient traffic these efforts consistently produce.
- Always Looks for Opportunities – A content hacker proactively looks for and locates opportunities to use his contacts to make connections and grow his reach.
- Seeks Supreme Sustainability – Where a Growth Hacker sees scale for rapid growth, a content hacker sees sustainability and usability for long-term growth.
- Determined to be Data Driven – Content hackers (as do Growth Hackers) see data as their primary tool for measuring their success. “I think so” or “I’m pretty sure” doesn’t lead continual improvements leading to growth and profitability… hard data does.
- Strategically-Minded Dentist SEO – A content hacker understands the dozens of nuances behind the how and why Google does what it does, and knows how important it is to stay current with their rapidly changing/updating ranking algorithms.
- Vast Searches for Virality – The content hacker and growth hacker both are constantly looking for the next big idea/strategy that will go viral and explode the growth and profitability of your practice.
- Shuns Style Guides – The style guides and their boring repetition have little value to the content hacker. Content hackers produce content that their audience loves… in the exact format their audience wants to consume it.
About the Author: Ken Newhouse is the ‘OFFICIAL’ Growth Hacker for the Dental Professional Worldwide™, founder of Growth Hacker Central and CEO of Practice Doctor. Growth Hacker Central makes it possible for Dentists to enjoy sustainable growth in any economy – without the use of traditional, outdated and ineffective dental marketing strategies. Follow me on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.
Do you want to learn more about Growth Hacking your Content and soup up your Dental Marketing program? View Growth Hacker Central’s infographic on Growth Hacking your content marketing here.