Healthcare Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing
Healthcare marketers have always needed to find ways of conveying important information in useful and entertaining ways and social media is the communication workhorse that can effectively and efficiently do it.
Let’s be clear on something: social media didn’t create content marketing. Content marketing has been around as long as people have been selling services. What started as published content on the Web, progressed from text to rich content like videos, health libraries, infographics, etc. Now that there is more content out there than anyone can reasonably find and consume, we’re applying personalization technology to filter the barrage of information coming at us from all angles into meaningful, relevant, digestible chunks.
There is plenty of overlap between content marketing and social media marketing in healthcare, but don’t forget they are two different animals with different focuses and objectives. In social media, the hub of marketing activity lies within the networks themselves, with content being placed inside the networks. In contrast, content marketing’s focal point is your healthcare brand’s own content hub, like your website or a service line specific microsite.
The goals of content marketing are consumption, then behavior. The goals of social media are participation, then behavior. – Jay Baer
Social media is used by healthcare consumers to communicate among themselves, with their healthcare providers, etc. This type of communication is much less structured; it’s conversational and can be reactive. Therefore, its strength lies in brand awareness and patient satisfaction and retention.
Social media is the new telephone. Content marketing is the new brochure. – Jay Baer, digital marketing strategist, speaker and New York Times best-selling author
Content marketing is a tool healthcare marketers and providers can use to educate, inform and entertain patients and healthcare consumers by creating attention or causing action that moves them down the buying funnel, resulting in increased volume and advocacy.
Think of social media channels as the tentacles that can extend the reach of your healthcare content and foster authentic conversations with your patients and healthcare consumers. Despite the differences between the two, there is a vital interdependence that can make or break a digital marketing strategy. We’ve always needed to find ways of conveying important information in useful and entertaining ways, we’re just using technology as the vehicle to do it.
Photo credit: Thanks to mkhmarketing via flickr for the wonderful graphic available under the creative commons license.
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