No matter how many facts and figures we know about a brand, we’re emotional beings. We become customers only if we feel that a brand is trustworthy. The keyword here is ‘feel,’ and no equation can define it. This applies to all the industries and even more so to healthcare. There was a time when you could bridge the customer trust gap utilizing TV ads, newspaper ads, and billboards. However, the world has changed, and today’s customers are looking for much more than that. That’s where the need for healthcare content marketing rises.
An effective content marketing strategy can play a significant role in communicating your values, philosophy, and USP. To put it in the words of Steve Jobs, “Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”
We at LeanSummits, are a healthcare marketing agency working with various healthcare and life science companies. In this blog post, we will share the insights we’ve gathered over the years. Let’s get started.
The Need For Healthcare Content Marketing
If we go a decade back, you’d hardly find anyone talking about the term ‘content marketing.’ But the technological evolution has brought a change in customer behaviour and expectations. Let’s dive deep into why healthcare content marketing is the need of the hour.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare was one of the slowest industries regarding digital transformation. However, the pandemic became a ‘Black Swan’ event and changed everything.
A McKinsey study shows that Telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. Not only online health consultation, but customers are also going online to purchase medicines and learn about various health conditions.
In such a world, you’re at the risk of falling behind the competition if you don’t have a clear online content marketing strategy. Fortunately, companies realize it. Around 84% of US healthcare companies have gone digital for marketing efforts.
Customers are going online for information
In 2019, approximately 7% of Google search queries were related to health. This number has likely increased post-pandemic.
These search queries are related to medical health conditions, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, etc. If you’re a healthcare company, this is a massive opportunity to provide educational content that helps people. In addition to the health information, customers go online to find past customers’ reviews about healthcare professionals and hospitals.
Thus, a well-crafted content marketing strategy can go a long way in catering to customer requirements and winning their trust.
To generate leads
According to Pew Research, 80% of Americans use the internet for information about their health. 86% of doctors also use the Internet. Thus, this search intent will likely result in actions, and your content strategy must be good enough to capitalize on it. A well-planned content strategy can be an excellent way to do top-of-the-funnel marketing.
Establish yourself as a thought leader
When we mention ‘healthcare content marketing,’ many think of healthcare professionals dancing in Instagram reels. Well, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about multi-type research-based content that simplifies healthcare for the audience. Websites like WebMD and MayoClinic have done a commendable job with it.
If you create such high-value content regularly, you’ll eventually establish yourself as a trusted voice in the industry. In other terms, you will become a ‘thought leader.’ This helps you become a trusted authority and expedites the customer buying journey.
4 Steps to Create a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy That Works
There was a time when you could write a few articles, add relevant keywords and create a few backlinks to rank on Google. That time is long gone and it’s not coming back. Content marketing is a long-term game that requires much more thinking, planning, creativity, and patience. Let’s dive into how you can create a sound healthcare content marketing strategy for your healthcare business.
1. Assess Where You are and Set Your Goals
The first step is to understand where you are in terms of your digital efforts and the results you want out of them. If you’re just starting out, it becomes easy as you can map things from scratch.
An effective content marketing strategy begins with the end in mind. This means having a crystal clear clarity of the goals. Whether you want to generate leads, increase website traffic, or become an influencer on social media, you must set SMART goals.
Once your goals are defined, it’s time to have an idea of the following things:
- Challenges you will be solving for customers
- Your marketing budget
- Defining stakeholders
2. Define your target audience & niche
Once you have an idea about what you’re trying to achieve, the next step is to define your target audience and niche. Let’s talk about the former first.
The reason why you need to define the audience is to understand their buyer journey and the kind of content that could work for them. If you’re a B2C business, then you could create different buyer personas to understand your target audience well.
Spending power and patterns
Stage of life
Adaptability with technology
Preferred mode of communication
Level of education
Professional success & failure
Career goalsPain points
Product or service that will help them
Typical working day
Source of their industry information
Most used social networking platform
Industry events they attend
Blog/newspapers they read
The decision-maker in the company/family
Preferred mode of communication (emails, calls)
Mode of product/services research
In the case of B2B, you could map out firmographics. Here’s how you can have an idea of the businesses you can target using firmographics:
Industry: Which industry segments would be the most interested in your product or service? Try to identify three to five industries that you could target.
Annual revenue: If you manufacture IoT-based expensive operating equipment, then it’s likely that small hospitals and pathology labs won’t be able to afford your products. Thus, knowing company revenue will help you target companies that are not too big or small.
Company size: Are they a large company or a small business? Are they expanding or contracting? Do your products appeal to small businesses, mid-sized companies growing, or industry leaders?
Location: Would geographic location matter? If so, how?
Sales cycle stage: Does the company know about your product? Are they in the decision-making phase? Have they shown any interest? Knowing where the company is in the sales cycle will help you cater to the right content at the right time.
Status: It is essential to know which organizations are most interested in your products and services so that you can increase the effectiveness of your sales, advertising, and marketing strategies. These are:
- Individual firms
- Standalone entities
- Subsidiaries of larger organizations
- Limited liability corporations (LLC)
- Publicly owned companies
- Privately held companies
Performance: Try to get the following data of the company to target them well:
- Duration of existence
- Rates of growth or decline
- Profits and losses
Executive title: Knowing which people sit are in the decision-making position will boost the customer conversion rate. It’s called ‘Account-Based Marketing.’ ABM is required to engage those responsible for purchasing decisions. Executive title firmographics make it easier for you to create lists of specific accounts and individuals.
No matter your ultimate goal, ABM can only be achieved by targeting the correct accounts at a particular time. Firmographics data are one of the best tools to accomplish this.
3. Identify Type of Content and Channels
Now you understand why the last point is so important, right? Knowing your target audience clarifies the kind of content you will need to create to engage with them. Below are the different types of content you can implement based on the audience:
Blog Posts: Writing blog posts that match user search intent and add value can go a long way in establishing your website authority on Google. This is an ideal way to show your expertise for hospitals and online health platforms. You could talk about various health conditions, symptoms, treatments, etc.
Emails: Thanks to the personalization it provides, email is one of the most effective growth marketing channels. As per a study, it gives you a return of $42 for every $1 spent. If you’re a B2B business, your focus should be to build an email list of people holding decision-making positions in your targeted companies.
For B2C companies, emails provide an excellent way to give industry updates and discounts/offers. Right from the beginning, you should focus on building your email subscribers’ list or newsletter. Unlike social media or Google, where algorithm changes are not in your hand, the email list is your marketing channel.
There’s a reason why healthcare professionals post dancing videos on social media: it works! We’re not telling you to learn some Ballet moves, but you can always create videos in a style that works for you and your target audience.
You could also consider creating videos to raise money for underprivileged people. The Arnold Palmer Children’s hospital raised over $100,000 employing a video campaign. The minute series of Mayo Clinic is also another excellent example of video marketing in the healthcare industry.
Many hospitals are using videos to humanize brands, resolve customers’ concerns and give an idea about their facilities.
4. Create a Content Creation and Distribution Plan
Creating content is not easy as it requires a lot of effort, creativity, and perseverance. You will need to have a team with defined roles and responsibilities. A creative brief helps to identify and align the deliverables, pre and post-production approval processes, and brand and writing guidelines. Once done, you must create a content calendar to help you and your team keep track of things.
An underrated aspect of healthcare content growth marketing is distribution or propagation. It is as important as the creation as it has to justify the efforts that went into content production. Rather than hoping for the content to get viral, you have to make it happen.
How Healthcare Marketing Agency Can Help You
Many healthcare businesses don’t have the expertise or bandwidth to match the high standards of prevalent content marketing. Thus, many of them turn to healthcare marketing agencies to take care of their digital or growth marketing.
These companies combine their industry-specific knowledge and marketing expertise to help you achieve your goals. In other words, they are your marketing partners who do everything on your behalf.
LeanSummits: Top Healthcare Growth Marketing Agency
We, at LeanSummit Solutions, are partners with many business leaders. We help them identify their most pressing needs and develop the best business strategies. As a healthcare growth marketing agency, we can help you with the following:
- Search engine marketing (SEM) and Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Online reputation management, and reviews-based marketing
- CRM-based marketing
- Readmission marketing
- Cross practice marketing
Leansummit Solutions connects Pre, During, and Post-Care. Our technology platform, which is HIPAA compliant, fulfills Medical Doctors’ primary need to provide comprehensive healthcare to their patients.
Why not schedule a free consultation and see how we can help you?