Recently google found that one in every 20 searches were for health-related information. So how come your healthcare business hasn’t been using the power of content marketing?
If you are already using content marketing as part of your healthcare marketing strategy, I will help you with some additional tips and tactics that can take your strategy to the next level.
The healthcare space is much different than most industries when it comes to content marketing due to the laws associated with HIPAA.
A lot of the same tactics that you will be using in either the real estate industry, the banking industry, the construction industry and someone doesn’t apply to the healthcare industry due to the strict restrictions.
However, there are still many ways that we can use the power of content to educate searchers and also grow our brand.
Why Content Marketing is Important for Healthcare Companies
Over 77% of patients use search engines before booking their appointments at the hospital.
With this stat, we really need to optimize our site for the search engines, I’ll providing the best user experience and information to our users.
There are a lot of search engine optimization tactics that we need to be aware of to make our site more visible to the public.
The first thing we want to do is understand how our searchers are using the search engine.
- Are they looking up Certain procedures?
- Are they trying to find what is wrong with them and what medicine is usually prescribed?
- Are they looking for which doctors in their area specialize in a certain field?
There are a bunch of great ways to understand how our users are using the search engines, and with a better understanding of this we can optimize our content to help these people.
Healthcare content marketing aims to utilize your understanding of your audience in order to generate more leads and convert them.
How to Provide Your Audience With What They Are Looking For
1. Do Keyword Research
Do keyword research to determine what the best way to help answer your audience’s questions. You should have a lot of frequently asked questions from former patients or customers that are a great starting point in helping you develop healthcare content that will bring more people onto your website.
It is really important to be answering these type of questions to show potential patients are customers that you are really in authority of the medical space, and a place that they can go for answers.
If 77% of these patients are using the search engines why would we not be putting all of our efforts into optimizing our reach on Google?
As a result of high costs per click, content marketing in the healthcare industry will only continue to become more prevalent and effective as time goes on.
With content marketing budgets set to grow nearly 100% by 2020, you want to be on the right side of the shift in healthcare marketing.
2. Answer Questions Your Audience is Asking
It’s also important that we really focus on helping a wide variety of questions, but we want to be spending the majority of our time being the absolute thought leader in whatever our specialty is.
Say a dermatology department puts out two pieces of content every week. There’s going to be a lot of times where you want to talk about best practices for keeping your skin healthy or possibly doing recommendations between certain products that keep you pimple free.
However, if your department mainly focuses on say skin rashes, then you really want to be the number one result at least locally on your specific skin rash treatment or care.
This means that you want to have every single question covered regarding skin rashes that your patient could possibly think of. This shows that yes you can help them in a wide array of areas for dermatology but you are the only person they should go to when it comes to skin rashes because you are the industry leader.
If there is one healthcare content marketing tips that you take away from this article it should be this one. If you are not sure where to start with your healthcare content, answering questions is always the best place to begin your journey.
3. Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
With all of the companies jockeying for position in the healthcare industry, we really need to find those one or two places to be able to stand above the pack. Using our specialty is a great way to do this.
Another way to stand out is by being extremely transparent. And a recent study that I was reading it showed that millennials care more than anything about the company they work with being transparent.
This can mean a lot of different things but really you just want to be upfront with who you are and what you do and who you can help. Some tactics you can use are the following.
You should go back to the beginning of your company and tell a little bit about how and why you guys got started. Let people know who you were trying to help when you set out on this mission in the healthcare industry.
Maybe you had a family member with a certain illness when you were a child and all your life you just wanted to help other people with the same illness. Something like this will really connect you to potential readers and show you as a much more compassionate brand.
4. Tell Your Story
Not only this but it’s much easier to go to a company or work with someone when you feel they are doing it for a common good, then if they were just out to try to make some money. A lot of folks have misconceptions about the healthcare industry so really just tell your story to be honest and try to connect with them.
Another option you have is to show off some of your team members. If you are a hospital do a little background on all of your staff, your doctors, nurses, those women at the front desk. It’s all for the same reason. We want to stand out, be transparent, and have patients feel like they already know us before they even step into our place of work.
I recently walked into a doctors office and in the waiting room, the hallways, and even inside the patient room, there were posters telling you to like the hospital on Facebook. I love seeing companies engage in this way and really embrace social media‘s impact on today’s society.
By building a campaign that centers around developing your brand and being transparent, you can easily position yourself as a thought leader and an empathetic company in a time where people feel alienated by corporations.
5. Leverage the Power of Social Media
It’s actually been shown that 41% of patients say social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor hospital or medical facility.
Knowing that you really can’t afford to not be aggressively pursuing social media as a means to connecting with your customers and patients.
If people are trusting and connecting with brands through social media you really need to take a step back and see what you need to do as a business owner or marketer to really have a presence on social and engage with patients.
There are many ways that we can use content marketing to still get our brand out there, and help people. I know that there are a lot of restrictions in this industry that not everyone has to deal with, but they are easy to get around and we can still move forward with a great healthcare marketing strategy that helps build your brand.
Important Factors for Effective Healthcare Content Marketing
When it comes to implementing and leveraging the power of content marketing in your healthcare company, you need to remember some key elements of any successful content marketing strategy.
1. Maintain Consistency With Your Content
We’ve all been to those websites that have a blog, with one to five posts on them that are scattered throughout the years, and ultimately have random subjects that they discuss.
A content marketing strategy needs to be consistent, both in terms of the content that you are producing, and how often you are producing it.
If you cannot commit to a multi-weekly, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly posting of content to your site, you will likely never gain the traction necessary to boost your online presence. There is no substitute for consistency in this game. Over time this consistency really builds up, like a snowball rolling down a hill.
It can be easy to get discouraged at first when your efforts do not seem to make that much of a difference in terms of traffic, but over time, it is one of the main factors contributing to generating traffic. A one week break can cause months of progress to be lost overnight, and equally, take months to gain back.
2. Produce High-Quality Content
It sounds obvious, but I cannot tell you how many clients I speak to who stress the fact that they “already have a content marketing strategy in place”. Sure, posting a few blogs a week is great, but if they are low-quality content that brings no value to your customer, they will not succeed.
You want to answer real questions that your customers have, and do your best to truly understand what it is that they are looking for. Just throwing up a 600-word blog post each week that glazes over a few topics and offer a clickbait title is not going to build your brand.
High-quality content is usually anywhere from 1,200+ words and covers a comprehensive list of commonly asked questions regarding the topic at hand. Professional insights are given, and unique statistics and viewpoints are offered.
3. Develop a Unique Voice in Your Space
If you are just echoing what other influencers in your space are saying, while you may be bringing forth good points and still educating people, you will likely not set yourself apart from the competition.
You want to find your brands voice, and really try to imbue it into all of your content marketing efforts moving forward. It is okay to be somewhat polarizing.
If you are trying to please everyone, not only will you never accomplish this, you will also likely lose the fans that you do have along the way because you have no backbone.
4. Find the Channels Where Your Audience Hangs Out
So many business owners try to appeal to their audience on every single social media platform known to man.
It makes me cringe when I go to a website and they have links to about 30 social media platforms, 12 of which even I have never heard of as an internet marketer.
Yeah, it’s great to give your audience a lot of options to follow you, but ultimately, if you are a fitness guru or someone promoting homeopathic medicine, there are a few super relevant channels to you and your audience, and the rest just fall short.
Ultimately, try to stick to about 2 or 3 channels where your audience hangs out the most, and strengthen these before even considering hopping into another one.
Usually, for B2C companies in the healthcare space, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top 3. This can be said for most industries. For B2B content marketing, LinkedIn is the obvious choice.
Master these, and then if you feel the need to move on, do so with caution and without forgetting about the channels that have the core of your audience on them. Choosing the right social channels can make a huge difference in your healthcare content marketing campaign.
Content Marketing for Healthcare Companies – Wrapping Things Up
Ultimately, content marketing for healthcare companies is not as easy as just combining all of these elements and rolling the dice.
You need to have a pinpoint understanding of what your audience is looking for, what your competitors are providing them with, what you are providing them with, the difference between the two, and why customers should choose you over them.
From here, you want to spend as much time as possible obsessing over what your audience is asking. Find the places they hang out online and spend some time getting to know them and their common problems.
Then, craft a strategy that works towards establishing yourself as a thought leader on how to go about solving these problems.
Maintain consistency and quality, and eventually, with enough hard work, you will get where you want to be through the implementation of an effective content marketing strategy.
If you are looking for effective ways to integrate healthcare content strategy into your business, give us a call for a free consultation!