Healthcare Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm
Content has always been an important part of many healthcare marketing plans, but somewhere along the line, something changed old-school marketing into the data-driven digital beast we are all clamoring to master.
That “thing” is called the internet, and it has transformed healthcare marketing communications into a completely new animal.
Your healthcare consumers don’t care about you, your hospital, your services… until they have to. Up to that point, they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Today’s content marketing is about creating interesting information your healthcare consumers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.
If you prefer a more formal definition of content marketing, let’s use Content Marketing Institute’s version: the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
60 percent of decision makers say that company content helps them make better decisions.(Source: Roper Public Affairs)
Content drives the Internet. As healthcare marketers, we know consumers are looking for health information that helps them solve their problem. In that respect, content marketing isn’t new to healthcare.
80 percent of decision makers prefer to get information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)
Whatever the label, the goal has always been the same: to share useful information that helps healthcare consumers solve their issues in the hope they do something, like return to your site, subscribe to your newsletter, attend a seminar or make an appointment.
70 percent of decision makers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)
Offer useful, informative, practical content that makes your readers’ lives easier. Share health content that makes them laugh and entertains them. Show them you understand what’s keeping them awake at night and offer solutions. This is the path to building brand recognition, trust, authority, credibility, loyalty and authenticity.
Good content marketing should:
- Be relevant to your reader
- Close the gap (inform)
- Be non-promotional/non-selling
- Be relevant to your hospital/health system
- Provide proof
Health organizations that are having the most success use an approach to content marketing that involves a high ratio of valuable content with no sales messaging, mixed with intermittent promotional messages. The types of content keep growing, but a brief list includes:
- Blog posts
- Case Studies
- Free trials
- Information guides
- Online tutorials, courses
- Reference guides
- White papers
Getting started with content marketing for your healthcare organization can be as simple as implementing one type of content at a time, such as a blog. Then you can begin to layer new content types into the rest of your marketing plan.
Photo credit: Catherine Snodgrass via flickr
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