If your healthcare marketing goal is to engage consumers wherever they are along the entire brand journey (which it should be), and if you agree that we’re operating in a post-media world (which we are), branded content creation should be an important tool in your organization’s marketing arsenal.
The future of healthcare marketing is about pulling customers and prospects into your brand rather than pushing messages out. And content does this. We define content as anything published by a brand that isn’t paid advertising, e.g. blogs, vlogs, podcasts, whitepapers, e-books, social media posts.
Regardless of how its delivered, whether through print, digital, social, film, content should…
• convey important information
• solve customer needs
• build trust
• promote transparency
• serve a community
• start a conversation
• improve relationships
• enhance brand experience
In short, content does for you, and for your current and prospective healthcare customers, what paid advertising does not. It gives them the power to do something. And makes you the hero. The one that makes a difference in their lives, beyond that of your competitors.
Content can also make you a perceived leader. While many associate leading brands with traditional metrics of size and growth, content levels the playing field. Because you can be the most relevant or differentiated above the noise. You can be the one they come to rely on the most.
We also know that in today’s world, where we’ve been burned by brands and are still scarred from the recession, leading brands exhibit characteristics of trustworthy, authentic, reliable and, increasingly, purpose-led. And relevant and valuable content reinforces these traits.
According to a survey by Rapt Media, viewing content makes up the largest portion of the time that consumers spend online. And, in recent years, video has emerged as one of the most dominant ways that consumers view their content online. 78% of Internet users in the U.S. will be watching digital video by 2017. That’s 201MM viewers and 63% of the U.S. population.
How to create the content that pulls people towards you? Here, in brief, are five “C”‘s which should serve as your foundation:
Company-Wide Vision. A common content strategy gives each department (marketing, service lines, HR) a clear vision for what your healthcare organization wants to achieve and how all messaging ladders up to it.
Customer-First. Customers come before business objectives. Start by creating a customer persona – a picture of who your customer is, what their interests are, what their questions are, the challenges they face, which of these challenges can be solved through content along with the types of content they respond best to.
Content Strategy. Most content created by companies falls into five broad types. Altimeter refers to them as archetypes. And each delivers on a specific customer need or obstacle for your organization. Choosing one archetype forces your organization to prioritize solving one major need for the customer and investing in the content that suits that need.
Compelling. We’re swimming in a sea of content. So give readers something they can really chew on. Which doesn’t include your features and benefits. Instead, you need to tell stories that talk to the impact your services have on the people who use them. Remember that people attach to stories. They remember them and tell them again.
Conversation-Creating. Your organization shouldn’t do all the talking. Be engaging and invite dialogue. Create authentic, mutually beneficial discussions. The more you do this, the more your audience will grow.
PULLING MORE PEOPLE TOWARD’S YOU. A five word strategy that will signal future success for healthcare marketers. Reach out to get started.