Key Post Highlights
> Building a strong digital strategy starts with determining your goals.
> Remember to always think about the actions your audiences should take.
> Don’t forget to focus on voice and tone.
Let’s get right to it: You can’t build a strong digital strategy without having a vision. But you also can’t start the process of creating a vision without knowing what exactly goes into a vision.
Without giving away all of our CareContent secrets, we’ll fill you in on how we get the process going.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself while building your vision:
1. What are our goals — and what will happen if we don’t achieve them?
This is a pretty lofty task, but it’s also one of the most crucial.
The first step is to solidify your goals. For a healthcare system, these often include service lines you want to highlight to bring in more patients, or revenue streams you’re hoping to maintain or improve. A cancer research center’s goal may be to be the #1 destination for aspiring researchers.
For a nonprofit, the goal could be to bring in more donations. These goals can run the gamut, but it’s important to be as specific as possible.
The next part is to consider the worst case scenario. We like to ask what will happen if you don’t obtain, grow, or maintain [fill in the blank]. For instance, this could be:
- What will happen if we don’t grow our membership?
- What will happen if we don’t receive accreditation from a governing body?
- What will happen if we don’t maintain our current patient population?
This helps reign in the focus of your goals even more and assists strategists as they create calls to action (CTAs).
2. Who are your key audiences?
There is a long list of potential clients — too long to list all of them here. But some of the most common audiences we focus on are:
- Current or prospective patients
- CEOs or marketing managers
- Current or prospective employees
- DEI or accessibility leaders
From there, it can be helpful to get even more specific. For example, think about your organization’s average patients’:
- Education level
- Current health status
- Potential health problems that could arise from their living situation (e.g., living in the city can worsen asthma for children in lower income families)
Values and beliefs
Also think about how your patients could benefit from your DEI efforts — and how you can go about meeting your DEI goals.
3. What are your calls to action?
Without nailing down what your audiences should do after visiting your site or reading your content, you probably won’t have much luck in meeting those goals you identified in step #1.
In many cases, each audience has their own call to action (CTA). Some CTAs might overlap between audience groups.
We like to break these down into low-, medium-, and high-level “asks.” For instance, if you’re talking to prospective patients, CTAs might be:
- Low level:
- Follow us on social media
- Learn more about services
- Medium level:
- Find a provider
- Engage with content on social media
- Ask a question
- High level:
- Book an appointment
- Refer a loved one who is in need of care
4. How do you want your audiences to perceive you?
It’s time to focus on voice and tone. This is called your “message architecture.” At CareContent, we do this by giving a (long) list of words, and asking our clients to put each one into a category:
- Who we are
- Who we are not
- Who we want to be
It’s great to do this as a live discussion between multiple stakeholders, rather than sitting down to do it yourself. We’ve heard some fantastic conversations come out of people debating over certain words, and it gives the content team significant insight.
Some of the words we’ve had great discussions about include:
- Cutting edge vs. bleeding edge
- Formal vs. informal
5. And finally…a bunch of other questions to consider.
I may be CareContent-grounded if I go into further detail about every single question to ask yourself. So I figure I’d save myself with a quick list:
- Who will you need to interview for discovery? (Stakeholders, audience members, etc.)
- What are the potential risks and roadblocks?
- Who will be in charge of content and design governance? (Rules and procedures for how everything will be overseen and approved)
- What are a few of the main distribution channels you’re aiming to use? (e.g., social media, email newsletters)
- Who are your competitors?
- What can you learn from them?
- What differentiates you from them?
- What will you need in order to achieve your goals from a technical or policy standpoint? (e.g., certifications, new website hosting capabilities, etc.)
Still a bit overwhelmed? Totally understandable. The CareContent team is here to get you started on creating your own digital strategy vision.