It wasn’t all that long ago that the concept of “content” as we know it today was practically nonexistent.
The internet era was dawning, and we still had the contents of a box … but not the web content of a digital marketing plan.
Fast forward a bit, and now there’s free content, open content, content providers and — most importantly — content marketing.
But here’s the problem: Much like the early days of the internet, when business owners somehow knew they needed a corporate website (but weren’t entirely sure what a website was), today’s healthcare marketers know that effective content marketing is critical— but are not always sure what it is or how to do it.
What is it?
In a nutshell, content marketing is simply creating and effectively communicating the right combination of words, pictures and data. Your organization unleashes a highly targeted stream of information that makes you simply irresistible to content-hungry consumers. They find you. They find content that speaks to them. They raise their hand and say, “Yes, I want to start a conversation with you!”
How to do it.
Now that you know what it is, get out there and do it. Don’t get hung up on these common misconceptions and objections.
“It’s a huge time investment.”
Nope. Not if you have your ducks in a row.
It starts with developing a content calendar. Consider all of the topics you want to cover over a given period, then plug them into slots for when and where they will appear. Plan on anywhere from 3-6 months for story development, which should give you ample time for research, interviews, writing and legal/compliance review. Next, line up your SMEs (subject matter experts) and interview the people who can offer intelligent insights (physicians, department heads, patients, administrative leaders, etc.).
“That’s a ton of work.”
Not necessarily. Efficient content marketing is all about repurposing content across multiple platforms. An in-depth article on bellyband procedures becomes a tweet, a series of blog posts, an infographic and even a script for a “lunch-with-the-doctor” presentation.
Linchpin stories should run 400 to 500 words in length, which will allow you to pull bits and pieces and repackage for multiple uses. Use all of your social media outlets to push the content out, track open and click-through rates religiously, and use the data to optimize your approach. Also, make your content conspicuously available to the media (you might consider adding an online press page to your facility’s website).
“We don’t have any fresh content ideas.”
Really? If you’re like most healthcare organizations, you’ve got a million stories to tell. Think breakthrough research … new physician announcements … patient testimonials … disease-specific news … health and wellness offerings.
“We’re tired of writing articles.”
Then don’t. Content marketing doesn’t have to be just stories or articles. Think :30 and :60 videos, questionnaires/surveys, interactive tools, online tutorials and webinars.
There’s a New Day Dawning
Content marketing has given hospitals and health systems a whole new opportunity to tell their stories — and fresh ways for consumers to interact with their brand. Click here to see how Wax helped Humana create Humana Active Outlook®, a fully integrated content marketing program featuring print and online content, an interactive website, advertising, multimedia videos, live classes and e-communications.
At Wax, we were doing “content” before content was a thing. Call us at 305-350-5700 to find out how to put our expertise to work on your content marketing strategy.