Content has never been more important, in healthcare or in any industry. Consumers are devouring more of it than ever, across more channels. That’s great news for marketers: as DemandMetric reports, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and generates about three times as many leads.
Most healthcare organizations are already adapting to this new reality. According to True North, 84.6% rank content marketing as a medium or high priority.
However, it’s one thing to prioritize content, another thing to manage it effectively. The Content Marketing Institute reports that only 35% of companies have a documented content strategy. A strategy provides a framework for how your team will approach planning, creating, and sharing content. It’s the how behind content marketing, and without it, marketers can face serious setbacks.
Without a shared strategic goal, it’s easy for various stakeholders to end up producing content in a vacuum. This often results in redundancy, conflicting messages, or missed opportunities to synchronize across service lines. An effective content strategy helps everyone work together toward the same goal — resulting in more useful, effective content marketing.
A three-phase process can help you put such a strategy in place:
The first step of successful content is to know who you’re targeting. Use both qualitative and quantitative research to profile your audience, such as focus groups, buyer personas, or social listening. This helps reveal consumers’ needs, as well as what content mix will suit their preferences. Of course, your ideal mix will vary based on your audience, but there are some industry-wide trends to consider. True North reports that the five most common healthcare content formats in 2017 were social media, website articles, video, eNewsletters, and blogs.
Next, a content audit will help determine whether your existing assets meet consumers’ needs. Ideally, content should reach consumers at every stage of the funnel — from awareness to conversion. Many healthcare organizations produce plenty of awareness-focused content, but few lower-funnel assets that can engage and nurture prospects into patients. If your audit reveals similar gaps, emphasizing conversion may be in your best interest.
After exploring what your audience wants from your content, it’s time to decide what you want. What’s your content marketing goal: brand awareness, patient volume, retention, referrals, or something else? Setting a strategic priority is key to ensure all tactics are aligned for maximum impact.
Of course, your internal priorities can’t be developed in isolation. Truly successful content marketing is equally focused on your goals and your audience’s goals. In the strategizing phase, your objective is to develop an approach that speaks to both at once.
The final phase is when it’s time to get tactical. How will your content be produced? Do you plan to create all content in-house, partner with a third party, or aggregate other creators’ content? And, of course, what will your content be about?
For many healthcare organizations, selecting resonant topics can seem overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. One smart place to start is in your web analytics. Your top-performing blogs, social media posts, or web content indicate topics your audience is interested in. Expanding upon them can help you stay relevant and top of mind.
Successful healthcare content marketing isn’t just about volume. It requires content that spans the entire funnel, ladders up to a strategic goal, and speaks to the unique needs of your audience. Organizations that understand this — and construct a strategy to achieve it — are in the ideal position to succeed.
Need help getting your content strategy off the ground? Movéo’s decades of healthcare expertise and strategic insight can help you construct a framework that elevates your content marketing efforts. Contact us to get started.