By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
The super-grand-prize for online healthcare content is when it “goes viral.” Something you created—a video, news clip, photo or whatever—is seen or shared by everyone in the known digital universe and beyond. As a result, your hospital, medical group or provider practice—for one, bright-and-shiny moment—has the compelling content that everyone is talking about.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen often. It’s rare for the grand-prize-prince to deliver a mega-size cliché presentation check. As a result, the Internet has an insatiable hunger for online content. You need to post fresh and interesting material almost constantly.
Most of us have many content channels to feed; an endless social media stream, a website, a blog (or two), a Facebook business page, and others. Better than imaging a big marketing or social media payoff, here are a few secrets for creating compelling, sticky and shareable online healthcare content.
Secrets to compelling online healthcare content…
Ask: “So what?” and “Who cares?” These are the snap-value test questions for relevant material. Before you publish anything, be clear about the relative value of the idea and the value to the intended audience. If it’s not useful (the “what”) to the prospective reader (the “who”), dig deeper for better material.
Emotions fuel (viral) sharing. If your content doesn’t touch an emotion, the audience isn’t likely to share. Simple facts or bland information may be useful at some level. But without an emotional connection goes nowhere. Ignite interest with material charged with amusement, surprise, happiness, pleasure, affection, satisfaction, hope or other powerhouse emotions.
Leverage purposeful visual material. It’s a visual world. Human beings digest visual content with nearly instantaneous understanding. But images must be interesting, useful and serve a specific purpose. Visuals engage more than text. And video is more effective than still images.
Cialdini’s six persuasion concepts…
Load-up an action trigger. People need a psychological trigger to motivate a next-step. Professor Robert Cialdini tells us there are a half-dozen persuasion triggers get people to say “yes” and take action. In a highly abbreviated form, these are:
- Reciprocity: People feel indebted when someone does something for them or gives them a gift. Consequently, they want to do or give something in return.
- Social Proof: This is where people’s actions are guided by what others—especially peers—are doing or saying.
- Commitment and Consistency: This principle suggests that people are likely to follow through with pre-existing agreements, attitudes, values and actions.
- Liking: Simply…people are more likely to do business with people, products and services that they like and/or that like them.
- Authority: By this principle, people tend to follow respected experts. The appearance of credibility and authority—either real or imagined—can influence consumer decisions.
- Scarcity: Limited supply fuels higher demand. Consumers place a higher (perceived) value on something that is, or appears to be, more rare or uncommon.
In conclusion, you can apply these principles to blog articles, social media snippets, video clips or other information. Regardless of the format, online healthcare content is most successful when it attracts readers, is of compelling interest, and most of all, is shared with many others.
The fuel to “go viral…”
There is no guarantee that any particular bit of content will “go viral.” But without some of these principles working as fuel, there’s a strong prospect that it will fall flat on its face. Connect with us today [800-656-0907] about ways to become a trusted expert, enhance the effectiveness of your online content and attract new patients and the cases you want.