- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On January 8, 2016
If you have a blog, you’re starting 2016 with a great foundation for your content marketing. Content marketing is one of the hottest trends out there for hospital marketing in 2016 and you’ve got one of the key tools in place.
But as we bloggers know once you’ve got a blog you want an audience, and once you’ve got an audience, you want a bigger audience.
So how do you grow your blog’s audience? Here are some ideas.
1. Know thy reader
First base in growing your readership is to really know your reader. To use marketing vernacular you need to have a persona for your reader.
The more you understand your reader the more you can tailor your content to them. Not only that but the more you know your reader the more you know about where to find more of them.
You can read more about persona development in our post here but some questions you need to answer include:
- What is your reader’s demographic information?
- What does a day in your reader’s life look like?
- What are their pain points?
- What do you help them solve?
- What do they value most?
- What are your reader’s goals?
- Where do they go for information?
- What experience are they looking for when seeking out your products or services?
- What are their most common objections to your product or service?
2. Find thy influencers
Behind every website on the Internet is a human being (or several).
Some of these human beings are influential with your potential readers (potential patients, referring physicians and donors.)
The first step is to figure out who some of these influencers are. (The first step to that is knowing your audience, go back to point #1 above for that.)
- Key influencers often have blogs or websites that your potential blog visitors read. A little bit of Googling around the keywords that are relevant to your marketing campaigns and your blog should turn up some of these influencers quickly.
- Some influencers have published books that are relevant to the topics of interest to your readers. Try searching Amazon for topics that relate to your blog.
- A third way to find likely influencers is look at the speakers at conferences that your potential patients and referring physicians might attend.
- Some influencers may even be physicians on your staff. You can always look through your own website for them!
Try refining your searches by asking your patients and doctors who the main influencers are in your subject area (for example in a particular service line.) Google is great but getting firsthand feedback from your target market is even better.
3. Make friends and influence important people
Once you’ve found people that influence your potential readers you need to make friends.
The influencers you have identified have a large audience. They have an audience that matches the readers you want for your blog.
You want these influencers to send you some traffic. They can do that by mentioning you in their Tweets or blog posts. They can push your message to thousands (or tens of thousands) of people that match your persona.
But these influencers will only help people they know, like and trust. So you need to get to know them (and then work to be likable and prove your trustworthiness.)
A great way to start getting to know influencers that are active online is to comment on their blog posts and pass on their social media posts (Retweet etc.) Most influencers will notice (at least subconsciously) who comments on their blog and they will track when they are mentioned in social media. By posting (positive) comments and spreading the word on social media word you are helping these influencers and that’s a good way to start getting to know each other.
Guest posting is still a great opportunity. People who read your post on an influencer’s blog may well visit your blog.
Once you have influential friends your chances of being able to secure a guest post on their blog rises exponentially. Get to know the influencers that influence your patients and then you can ask to guest post. Guest posting also helps your SEO (with a backlink) if done in a natural (non-spammy) way.
Part 2 of this post is coming up next week with more ideas on how to grow your blog audience. Meanwhile if you’d like to know how to make your blog best-in-class check out our ebook on hospital blogging here.