- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On January 18, 2016
This is the second part of my post about driving more readers to your blog. (That is if you have a blog, our research shows only 40% of hospitals have one.)
Last week in part 1 of this post, I described three keys to getting more readers to your blog: knowing your reader, knowing the influencers in your space and making friends with these influencers.
In this post I lay out four more ways to grow your blog audience.
1. Join the flock
There are 1.55 billion people on Facebook according to Statista, 400 million on Instagram and 316 million on Twitter. Putting your blog content in front of these people can obviously drive some additional readers.
The number of readers you will get largely depends on the relevance of your content to those that see your posts. How relevant your posts are will have a lot to do with how well you know your reader’s persona.
Your reader persona will also tell you which social media networks contain more of the “birds of a feather” you want to reach. Each network has its own user demographics. Put your effort into the networks that most closely match your target reader persona.
Each social network has its own user demographics, some data on Facebook users from Sprout Social
When posting to social networks also consider how frequently to post. You will be posting more than just your blog content (unless you’re a super prolific writer). You can drive people back to your blog by posting a “teaser” version of your posts along with a “read more” link that takes them back to your blog.
As stated in the Buffer article that is the source for the infographic below, treat these posting frequency numbers as a starting point and then test from there. Everyone’s audience is slightly different so don’t take the numbers below as gospel.
2. Hang with the flock
As a marketer today. it’s very easy to get a bit too carried away with digital.
The reality is humans only fully “connect” when face-to-face. Digital platforms, like social media networks, are a great place to make initial contact with another human but just connecting online is not a true relationship.
You can get people to visit your blog from meeting them at “real world” events. Not only will you drive traffic but talking to people will give you a great way to learn what they want to read on your blog in the future.
Consider having your physicians speak at events intended for your prospective patients. Speakers have credibility with their audience just by the nature of being the one with the microphone. Have your physicians direct their audience to your blog for further educational resources.
You could also get a table at more general community events, like our Best of Morris|Essex, and hand out printed materials that direct your community to your blog.
3. Choose organic
Google is a very powerful tool to drive blog traffic. In fact most blogs I’ve ever managed end up getting something like half their traffic from Google organic (free) search. The downside to counting on Google to send your traffic for free is that it takes plenty of time and effort.
When thinking about SEO don’t forget that a lot of local ranking “juice” today flows from “offsite” factors rather than just from content on your website. Look into elements like where and how your hospital is listed on local directories. See this post for more information on local SEO.
4. Measure thyself
“What gets measured gets done” is a phrase from the Management by Objectives movement pioneered by Peter Drucker, perhaps the world’s greatest management writer and guru. I like to adapt this phrase and apply it to today’s marketing environment as “what gets measured gets better”.
Whichever techniques you use to have readers “flock” to your blog you should always aim to improve each over time.
The first step in improvement is to measure. In the case of a blog this typically means getting your Google Analytics going and customizing it to your needs. Analyze your analytics data over a few months and look for trends. Then do some testing.
Pick one of your mechanisms for getting people to your blog and see if you can improve it. Can you improve results with different types of blog posts, different titles, different keywords? The goal is to “beat yourself” over time.
The law of math that makes this important is compounding. If you only make a 10% improvement in one element in your process but if you do this three times per year, at the end of the year you will have improved 33%. Do this for several years and your blog will be packed with readers, like an oasis in the desert.
Reminder: If you’d like to know how to make your blog best-in-class, check out our ebook on hospital blogging here.