Zero Reasons Healthcare Blogs Need A Content Strategy (Part 1)

For the last three years, I’ve been immersed in creating web content for healthcare organizations.

But focusing only on the writing is why some of the most informative healthcare blogs have social indicators that look like this:

zero engagement

There has to be some forethought about why and how people will find, read and share the content. Most importantly, there has to be defined goals for the content.

That’s where a web content strategy comes in.

Here are 3 common zeros that say your healthcare blog needs a content strategy:

1) Zero bottom-line goals

Instead of aiming to get more patients, the goals are to build brand awareness or educate people. These are noble, but they aren’t measurable, and they don’t make your organization’s bottom line happy. That means, be ready to hide when it’s time for budget cuts.

With a solid content strategy as a guide, you can define what  you want patients to do on your blog or brand journalism site. And you can add features to make sure your analytics dashboard adds a point to your scoreboard when site visitors meet that goal, like an email capture or an appointment request form.

2) Zero target audience

There’s no niche. No hook. Just random health news that’s not much different from WebMD, Cleveland Clinic’s Health Hub, CNN’s health page, or the myriad other vehicles out there reporting on health news.

Do you really want to compete with them? Or do you want to carve out an audience and build an online community? And do we really need yet another source telling about yet another way we can all get cancer?

“Women over 40” is not a target audience. Not on the web, at least.

A content strategy can pin down a hook that reflects the audience’s values, lifestyles, and personalities. That’s how you avoid the next red flag.

3) Zero engagement

We all know that social indicators—tweets, likes, shares, and plus ones—are just vanity metrics. But they do indicate whether people feel compelled enough to take any action after reading your content, if they read it at all.

A content strategy can guide your web presence towards creating content that makes people say “Hey, you gotta read this.” Then, it can show you the best ways to deliver and promote that content. Maybe your audience prefers mobile devices…but your site is not responsive. Maybe they’re active on a different social network than you previously assumed.

Content strategy research sorts all this out up front.

I hope this has given you something to think about for the time being.

Next week, we’ll get into 3 other missteps that are common for healthcare blogs, brand journalism sites and social media.