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Seek long-term relationships.

There is a lot of talk about content marketing these days. The idea is that changes in media have changed how people make purchasing decisions.

The traditional marketing model is to grab your potential customer’s attention and sell them something. That never was a really great approach and today it is counterproductive — a turnoff.

Think long term. You want to develop a relationship with customers (or patients). What’s the key to any successful relationship? Trust! And how do we build trust? Not by harassing people with advertising. Open and honest communication builds trust and is essential to any relationship.

At Clearpoint, we have always thought our job as marketers was to communicate in an effective and memorable way what it is that our clients offer. We have always done content marketing.

One incident stands out in our experience where content marketing really worked. One summer a medical practice told us the doctors wanted more time off and asked us to not try to recruit new patients. Instead of the doctor profiles we had been creating (as print ads), we created a series of ads about summer health — what SPF means in sun tan lotion, bike safety, and so on. The series was a success. Patients mentioned that they liked the health information and were happy that the practice was not simply looking for patients but providing interesting and useful information.

Today, using content to market means that your site, or social media, or whatever, has useful information that aids a consumer trying to make a decision. In other words, you promote by educating your potential consumer. If you have a medical practice you explain what the numbers for high blood pressure mean. If you sell cameras, you explain the different options and costs and when to buy one camera instead of another.

Use your website to show potential customers what you can do. Give them helpful information. It can be the start of a long-term relationship.