Healthcare Content Marketing
Content Is King — If You Do It Right
Content marketing means regularly connecting with your audience by sharing your:
Blogs, podcasts, and e-newsletters are all content marketing tools. Social media, including YouTube channels, are also content marketing tools. By pushing out useful information on these channels, you can attract readers to:
- Your website
- An event
- A clinic
- A program
- A physician or specific staff member
The final goal is to establish an ongoing relationship with your audience that ultimately draws them into your organization. Everyone who reads, watches, or listens to your content should come away with a strong impression of your organization’s personality and its unique value in your online community.
What Is Content Marketing, Really?
There are 3 major points to keep in mind about content marketing:
1. Content Marketing Is Not About The Hard Sell
Content marketing is not about selling people on your services or products — at least not overtly. Ads and commercials are for sales. Content marketing is for educating by delivering content that informs while also highlighting your organization’s expertise.
Content marketing is specifically designed to help people with expertise, insight, and information that answers their questions. For healthcare organizations, this might mean:
- A blog on weight loss
- A YouTube video on coping with claustrophobia when you’re having an MRI
- An e-newsletter for people who are caring for aging parents
A subtle, well-placed call to action within this content can draw consumers to your organization.
2. It Takes Serious Bandwidth To Do Content Marketing Right
Many organizations jump into content marketing without understanding that it’s a major commitment. A blog or two a week makes serious demands on your time. So does a regular podcast, e-newsletter, or any other channel you’re using.
Be sure you have the staff and resources to take on a challenge like this. If not, you run the risk of developing an outdated blog, a YouTube channel that hasn’t had a new video in months, or an e-newsletter that disappears into thin air.
It’s called “feeding the beast.” Content marketing means constantly coming up with new ideas, producing the content, and promoting the content. It’s a grind. If you don’t have the staff and bandwidth for it, it may be time to think about using an agency.
3. Promotion Is Just As Important As Creation
Do not create more content than you can promote. If you don’t have a promotion plan for your content, stop creating new content, and develop a promotion plan, then start again.
The worst thing you can do, which will waste time and money, is to develop content that you post once or twice on Facebook, only to have your content never seen again.
Where and how do you promote your content?
- Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- Email lists
- Influencers (others who write well-followed blogs and who mention yours, ideally linking back to it)
- Active engagement with others’ blogs by commenting, writing guest blogs, or inviting them to write guest blogs for you
What Are Some Signs That Your Organization Is Ready For Content Marketing?
The number one clue: Your audiences are demanding it.
If your target audiences keep using your Facebook page to get answers about a specific topic — for example, fatigue or depression — that could be a red flag that it’s time to develop a blog post, podcast, or e-newsletter about that topic.
If your support groups are filled to capacity with members needing information on a specific subject, like addiction, that’s another strong signal that you’ve got a potential blog topic.
Look at how people engage with your healthcare organization, who keeps coming back, and what questions keep coming up. If you start to see a theme, think about using it as a pathway to connect with your audience through content marketing.
Who Should Be Involved In The Content Marketing Process At Your Healthcare Organization?
There are several key people who should have some level of input in your organization’s content marketing:
- Members of the marketing team who have a nuanced understanding of your organization’s brand identity and strategic goals
- Senior leadership and clinicians whose support and/or approval can make or break a content marketing project’s success
- Rock star care providers who can provide stellar quotes and insight to be incorporated into the content (Note: These providers need to be accessible, as getting on their schedules for an interview — and receiving their feedback/approval in a timely manner — are key)
What Should Your Organization Look For As You Evaluate Vendors?
Look for people who will make sure your content marketing tactics are grounded in a smart content strategy: the document that defines your content topics, tone, channels, and even formats, based on your
- Key messages
- Target audiences
- Business goals
Your vendor needs to be intentional about really understanding those three buckets before creating content.
Also, assess your vendor’s ability to promote and analyze your content with key metrics, such as unique pageviews, how much time is spent on each page, and where people are coming from (a desktop computer versus a tablet versus a smartphone, for example).
You’ll want to use those metrics to get insight on which content is working, which isn’t, what holds the most interest, what you should stop doing, and what can be improved, so that you’re constantly getting the best engagement possible.
Why Are RFPs (Requests For Proposal) A Bad Way To Choose A Content Marketing Partner?
Simple: Content is an investment, and you get what you pay for. An RFP is designed to point you to the lowest bidder, regardless of quality. It’s a harsh assessment, but it’s grounded in reality.
RFPs may give you a better picture of the companies bidding for your business. But a better approach is to get word-of-mouth recommendations, look at vendor reviews, and talk to potential vendors personally before you commit.
A content marketing strategy is a detailed project that must be done carefully. A slapped-together strategy with superficial tips won’t cut it. You need an expert-level plan tailored to your company’s needs if your content marketing strategy is to be successful.
What Should Factor Into The Cost Of Overhauling Your Content Marketing?
Several factors come into play:
- The volume of content that needs to be produced: A daily blog will cost you more than a weekly blog because it requires more work.
- Promotion: How much promotion do you want? Are you thinking of a few tweets a month, or of 6 a week, plus posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest? The more steps it takes to get your content in front of people, the greater the cost will be.
- The time frame: You might have a bimonthly blog, but if you ask your vendor for a one-day turnaround on a draft, that will cost more than giving deadlines for 2 or 3 weeks out.
How Do Search Engines, Search, And Other Marketing Tactics Factor Into Content Marketing?
If your main website has major issues, such as poor design, technical issues, or poor organization, you’re going to run into problems with search engines. They won’t rank your content well. They’ll direct readers to other blogs or websites with similar topics.
One thing to keep in mind — search engines will reward you for content that’s constantly renewed, fresh, and relevant. So once your website is optimized, it’s actually a good idea to add blogs, podcasts, or other new content on a regular schedule. The search engines are much more likely to drive more traffic to your website as a result.
Why Choose CareContent For Your Organization’s Content Marketing?
As a healthcare organization, your website may be the first stop on a patient’s road to learning about health and medicine. That gives you the responsibility to have an up-to-date website with reliable, understandable, and comprehensive content. You need to provide the right mix of content for consumers, professionals, and clinicians.
We’re With You From The Start
Effective content marketing can seem overwhelming, but we will be with you every step of the way.
Every organization has its own goals, so we customize the process to best serve your company’s individual needs and desires.
Each process usually involves:
- Conducting discovery interviews with stakeholders and members of your target audience
- Developing a strategy to discover and address your organization’s needs
- Building a detailed and nuanced content calendar
- Creating well-researched and well-written content
- Receiving and incorporating feedback from your organization
- Recommending promotion tactics across social media and other channels
- Updating your organization on the content’s analytics and other performance measures
We’re Experts At What We Do
Many companies offer content marketing services. So, why should you choose CareContent?
At CareContent, we take pride in the fact our staff members do not just have the skills — they have the passion. Each person on staff has a desire to help others through spreading comprehensive, educational, and engaging content about health and medicine.
Our goal isn’t solely to create content. It’s to create content that can make a difference.
And isn’t that what every health organization wants?
Ready to get started on making that difference? The experts at CareContent are here to discuss your organization’s needs and goals, and to create a one-of-a-kind content marketing strategy. Contact us.