The science is in: the internet is becoming extremely crowded.
Just look at the numbers to understand the enormous volume of content people have to sift through every day. It’s been proven that we’ve created more content in the last decade than in all of human history before that. Moreover, according to recent reports, consumers are exposed to over 10.000 brand messages per day.
And, the noise doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon. One survey showed that 88% of companies are using content marketing while 42% of them are publishing new content multiple times per week or even daily.
How do consumers feel about the avalanche of content? They’re overwhelmed, to say the least. According to one study, 55% of people have stopped surfing the web for content discovery. They prefer to listen to friend’s recommendations instead of spending time looking for information themselves.
Now, here comes the obvious question: how can you build a loyal patient base when people are becoming oversaturated with content? Should you stop publishing altogether? That’s insane! For all its flaws and disadvantages, content marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach out to potential patients and convince them to choose your physical therapy clinic over the competition. Should you publish more content? That could backfire and push prospective patients away.
So, what’s the right answer?
Let’s find out.
Content Overload and the Paradox of Choice
People mistakenly believe that the more choices they have, the better the decisions they’ll make. That’s far from being true. Having too many choices often leads to exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. When the burden of deciding becomes too heavy, people simply decide not to decide. So, they buy the same brand they’ve bought last time or decide not to buy anything at all.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz calls this “choice overload,” a phenomenon that’s become increasingly popular among internet users. Bombarded by more content than they can take, most people choose to ignore a great fraction of the information that comes their way. And, with their limited attention spans, there’s only so much they can take in.
Here’s an example to portray the impact of content overload.
Let’s imagine that you’re thinking about trying physical therapy to alleviate your back pain. You want to do a bit of research about the benefits of physical therapy and the clinics in your area so that you can choose the best one. But, the more you read about it, the more you feel like it’s impossible to reach a conclusion. There are so many conflicting opinions that you don’t know which ones to believe and which ones to dismiss. In the end, you give up and call your best friend to ask her what remedies she used for her back pain.
People nowadays have access to so much information that they often end up feeling exhausted and dissatisfied with the option they’ve chosen.
As a psychical therapy clinic looking to build a loyal patient base, you’re probably in a pickle right now. You want to give your patients the best experience. You want that, once they land on your website or blog, to have all the information they need at their fingertips. But, in spite of your good intentions, you often cram your site with too much content and too many options. In the end, your patients feel confused and uncertain about what should read or do next.
How to Stand Out in the Age of Content Overload?
In a world oversaturated with content, most of the content companies produce and share goes unnoticed. The mistake most marketers make (and, you’re probably guilty of this too) is thinking that creating content is enough to reach out to their audiences. It’s not. You need to be different and stand out if you want patients to notice your physical therapy clinic’s services.
- Put Patients at the Center of Your Content
Here’s the hard truth: your patients don’t really care about your state-of-the-art equipment or outstanding physical therapists. They expect your services to be great. What they want to know is if you can help them solve their problems better, faster, and possibly cheaper than your competition.
By putting your patients at the center of your content instead of your services and focusing on enhancing their lives and interests, you can build real, lasting relationships between them and your physical therapy clinic.
Here’s an example from a company that excels at putting the consumer at the heart of their content marketing strategy. GoPro produces engaging and inspirational short videos that encourage its audience to capture footage and publish it on the platform. As a result, over 6.000 GoPro tagged videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. By focusing on the experience of its audience, GoPro became more than just a camera; it became a lifestyle. You should strive to do the same for your physical therapy clinic too.
- Add Value
Creating content just for the sake of it is not going to help you build a loyal patient base. People don’t have time to waste with articles that don't help them in any way. If you have nothing valuable or relevant to say, it’s better to say nothing at all. Your content will go unnoticed, and you’re just going to waste resources and energy in vain.
If you want to stand out and connect in a meaningful way with your patients, you need to make sure that your content adds value to their lives. According to one study, helping your audience learn something new or useful increases the chances of your content being shared. Content that helps people learn stands out more than interesting or even surprising content.
- Practice Social Listening
Listening to your prospective patients is one of the easiest ways to identify the topics your audience cares about and create content that is sure to stand above the noise. Pay attention to what patients are saying about your physical therapy clinic, your competitors or to each other to discover the problems they are trying to solve, their consumption habits, the things they’re interested in, and so on.
How to Build a Loyal Patient Base in the Age of Content Saturation?
How can your attract new patients to your practice and build a loyal customer base when they are bombarded with content every day? Here are a few tips that have proven to be effective.
- Prove Expertise
People trust experts to know what’s best for them. There’s a reason TED Conferences are so successful – they choose the best speakers to teach people about how to improve their lives, advance their careers, and so on. Because people trust the expertise of the speakers, they stay glued to the videos and watch them until the end.
One of the best ways to connect with your patients and build a loyal community is to become a trustworthy source. Publish high-quality content consistently so that your audience knows that when they land on your site, they can expect to find information that actually helps them solve the problems they have.
Turn your physical therapy clinic’s blog into a reputable source, and you won’t see an increase just in readership, but in patients too.
- Help Your Patients Make Informed Decisions
Presenting your patients with all the options they have, it’s not enough. In fact, you might just make it harder for them to decide. Think about the decision paralysis you face when you’re trying to buy a new pair of jeans. You have to choose between skinny, slim fit, easy fit, high-waist, and so on. Your patients might feel the same way about your services.
Instead of just listing your services and make them do all the research, include a short presentation about each therapy – what it involves, how it can help, who can benefit from it, and so on. Give your patients a helping hand and guide them towards the best choice for their needs.
- Be Better Than Your Competitor
Don’t assume that if your competition is bigger than you, then their content is automatically better. That’s not always the case. In fact, there are several things that you can do to gain a competitive advantage:
- Create More Visual Content: Visual content is an excellent way to make your physical therapy clinic stand out. So, when everyone is writing about a topic, create an infographic or a video.
- Include Unique Data in Your Content: Don’t reiterate the same boring data. Use your own studies and statistics to come up with some interesting and meaningful tips for your patients.
- Leverage Live Content: Use Facebook Live and Periscope to engage with your patients, answer their questions, and take them behind the scenes. That way you can humanize your brand and create a connection that feels real and authentic.
- Have a Goal: As mentioned before, don’t just create content for the sake of it. Have a goal in mind and work towards achieving it. Ask yourself, what do you want to get from publishing new content constantly: new lead, more engagement, increase sales, awareness? Then, find the best tactics that can help you achieve that goal.
Standing out and building a loyal community might seem downright impossible in the age of content overload. Use these tips to ensure your patients notice your physical therapy clinic and choose you over the competition.
If you need help creating content that stands out, then PatientSites can help you. We can produce exceptional educational articles along with outstanding imagery that tells your story in a unique and engaging way.
Find out more!