You might think marketing for health and wellness related businesses would be easy; after all, most people make their wellness a priority, right?
Although the health and wellness industry has grown significantly in the past couple years, that growth means that there is more competition and that potential customers and clients will be better educated with higher standards. Certain niches of health and wellness such as weight loss are so saturated that breaking into them is a daunting task.
So, how does a wellness-promoting business owner stand out from the pack? Here are five easy-to-follow tips for getting and keeping your customer’s attention. These tips may apply equally to some other industries, but they are specific in many ways to health and wellness.
A Quick Guide to Marketing for Health and Wellness Businesses
- Create convincing content
- Stay active on social media
- Build your email list
- Grow your community
- Collaborate with your peers
Create Convincing Content
Whether you’re convincing someone new to the industry that taking care of themselves is worth the effort or encouraging an experienced wellness practitioner to invest in your brand, compelling content is a cornerstone in any healthy marketing strategy.
Some quick advice on content creation; stick to your strengths, but make it consumable across multiple mediums. If you’re a writer then blogging might be your best option, but you can make your posts more accessible by adding images and video tutorials. If you’re a speaker then YouTube might be your best friend, but don’t forget you can also post video content on Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter to reach other audiences directly.
It’s important that you have some authority behind your content, so ideally the output should combine your experience with research into recent advancements in your industry. While I highly recommend getting a website to act as a hub for your content marketing, you can get started by posting for free on a variety of platforms.
If you’re making a lot of video content, you can post videos of any length on YouTube and curate medium clips from them for Facebook and shorter clips for Instagram and Twitter.
If visual content is your strength, you may do best on Pinterest and Instagram, but Facebook and Twitter still also serve their purpose.
If you’re a writer, you can create a contributor account on Medium.com and use it as a training ground for your future self-hosted blog. If you don’t like Medium’s setup you can also set up free blogs on platforms such as WordPress.com and Blogger. You can then post snippets from your blogs on other platforms, along with links back to the original article where possible.
How to Create Content People Are Looking For
The first method I personally turn to is keyword research. Keyword research is a fundamental element of Search Engine Optimization, and can effectively tell your how often people are searching for specific phrases. By creating content optimized around these keywords, you can help potential customers find you on platforms like Google, YouTube, and Bing. While most paid research tools are fairly expensive, you can at least get started for free with Ubersuggest.
Hashtag research is similar in concept to keyword research, though considerably less complex. You can do hashtag research manually or using a number of free or paid tools, but experimentation will always be an important part of it. Get inspired by seeing what’s trending on your favorite hashtags, and make a note of the ones that bring you the most new follows and likes. If this seems like a lot of work, here’s a list of the best hashtags for health and wellness marketing to get you started.
Reading reviews of your products and services, or those of your competitors, can also be a fantastic source of information and inspiration. For example, if you’re a dietician and you see a negative review about a diet not working on a competing website, you might create a post or video about how to properly optimize that type of diet. If one person had that problem, other people probably will as well, and if they get the information they need from you they just might turn to you for help in the future.
Stay Active on Social Media
While this might sound painfully generic, it’s of special importance for people in the wellness industry. You need to show the positive effects of your practices, and that you actually follow those practices yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to post regularly on social media with photos and videos that exemplify the lifestyle you are selling to your audience.
While I highly recommend using free or paid tools to schedule the majority of your social media posts in advance, it’s important to also make the occasional in-the-moment post, and interact with your followers through comments. Your social channels can be a great place to answer people’s questions, build relationships, and get ideas for your next piece of content.
However, don’t ONLY post your own content. Share articles, images, and quotations from sources that educate and inspire you. This can actually help build your following at times – for example if you tag someone in a tweet containing their work, they may retweet and/or follow you. It also demonstrates to your following that you’re still learning yourself, which is an enviable trait in this age of rapid advancement.
Build Your Email List
Building an email list may not seem like a pressing concern if you have a brick-and-mortar business and/or get most of your business from word of mouth… but if you think long-term, there are few marketing activities that are more important. Well-tended email lists can be an excellent source of sales, whether through direct marketing or retargeting on Facebook.
Email is a great way to build trust and empathy with your audience because it’s a little more intimate than social media, and because you can often get people to read more than they otherwise would. This makes it a great opportunity for education, entertainment, and encouraging feedback.
While having a website is optimal for building an email list, you can get started with a free account on Mailchimp, which includes the ability to create landing pages and integrate your signup form with your Facebook page.
One key to getting people to give you their email addresses is having a great lead magnet – something you can give them in exchange for this personal information. The standard among most marketers is some kind of a document – usually a free PDF or a spreadsheet – that will either provide some training or make the user’s life easier. However, with the right setup you can also use access to a particular video as part of a lead capture process, or admission to a Facebook group or membership website. If you’re stuck thinking of a good lead capture, try making a list of ways you can help people, and then put some of those into written format.
Grow Your Community
Did I just mention Facebook groups? They can be a great and free way to get more interaction out of the audience connected to your Facebook page. If you’re thinking about possibly starting a membership program or website in the future, a Facebook group can be a great way to get a feel for your audience. Groups are also another great place to share your content, and to get valuable feedback that may be both inspirational and educational.
While a significant percentage of the population is on Facebook, you can’t get everyone that way, so a great next step is creating a membership program or website. This could be as simple as an emailing list that people pay to be on, or as complex as website containing a private forum. Use your Facebook group and other social channels to ask your audience what they’d be happy to pay for, and you should be able to find some actionable data.
If you’re more inclined to in-person meetings, you can host a paid class or discussion group revolving around your area of expertise. These types of activities may even lead to speaking engagements in your future, so if you have the spark of charisma you could increase your audience dramatically that way.
Another way of putting your content and expertise behind a paywall is setting up a Patreon account. Patreon takes a cut of contributions in exchange for providing an easy to navigate platform where you can post articles, audio, video, and images for your paying audience. It allows multiple tiers, so you can set things up to allow people with different resources to contribute what they can in exchange for limited (or full) access.
Collaborate With Your Peers
Find places frequented by your competitors (whether online or in person) and make a habit of having a presence there. When you see someone whose work you respect or admire, don’t be shy about paying them a compliment, and if it seems right, invite them to connect on LinkedIn or be friends on Facebook. At the very least, this will mean you’ve earned a potential new follower. But they can become so much more; collaborating with those we’re in direct competition with can be one of the best ways to learn and find new ideas.
Facebook and LinkedIn groups are a great place to start online, but interest forums and Reddit also make good prospecting grounds. I recently built a relationship with a fellow marketer through YouTube comments, and we’re now connected across multiple social platforms.
Of course, the collaboration doesn’t have to stop there. You might wind up with an invitation to guest post on someone’s blog, or appear on their podcast if you make enough of an impression.
The ultimate (or perhaps penultimate) tier of professional collaboration is affiliation. If you’re unavailable to provide a service or out of stock on a certain product but refer the customer to a competitor, you can earn yourself everything from gratitude to a monthly paycheck. The with which online businesses can offer income and bonuses to affiliates has created a massive wave of affiliate marketers, who create a part or all of their income through selling the products and services of others.
While you may not want to make referring clients and customers to others the focus of your business, having a known (and even better, lucrative) funnel for your overflow is a win-win-win situation. Everyone from the client, to you, to the business your refer gets something good from the interaction.
Need help with your marketing? Feel free to contact me!