Putting Strategy in Your Content

How savvy healthcare marketers are using content to more effectively tell their brand’s stories to engage, attract and retain customers.

We all understand that the benefits of content marketing help build awareness, authority and trust for your brand in a way that helps your audiences make decisions and take action. And we get that Google values fresh and original content, leading to better SEO and more visitors to your website.

But how do you put an actionable strategy behind all of the content you create?

The roadmap of content strategy goes like this:  Plan, Create, Distribute, Measure, Optimize, and Repeat.

Plan

First, understand the marketing purpose of the content you produce is to support your organizations strategic objectives – make sure your content strategy is on sync with them and generate content that’s aligned. Planning also includes the following:

  • Your target audiences – their needs, wants and desires
  • Your organization’s point-of-view – to uniquely carve out your niche
  • The specific themes, causes or initiatives that support the goals of your organization

This is also the time to identify your sources – service line directors, physicians and other influencers in your organization that will help generate content ideas, vet and approve any clinical language.

Create

Use the insights from your sources to create content that’s original, specific to your organization, unique for Google and aligned with your strategic objectives. This content can take many forms, but as with most of the marketing communications produced now – think mobile first. Other creative considerations should include:

  • Selecting the most appropriate platforms
    • New web content, blogs, online videos, Facebook Live events, social media posts and ads, case studies, podcasts, eNewsletters are all forms of content and are all measurable
  • Speaking the language and designing specifically for the demographic of each social media platform
  • Directing your audience to a specific page on your website or to take a specific action

Use content to help your audiences better understand how you can help, the options you provide, and ultimately the benefits of choosing you.

Distribute

As Jay Baer, digital expert and New York Times best-selling author once said, “Content is fire and social media is gasoline.” It’s like social media was made for distributing content, and fortunately, most platforms can help us target our desired audiences very effectively – with minimal investment.

Content distribution best practices include:

  • Put all pieces of content you produce into as many channels as possible, but remember to customize for each to ensure it resonates with its intended audiences
  • Use content to expand your “owned” audience by soliciting engagement and content sign-ups on your website
  • Create a repository for all of the content you create. It can be a page on your website that visitors (and Google) can find organically to access advice and the latest news from your organization – many purposely make this page look like a newsfeed

Measure

Measure, test and test again. Create a scorecard for each campaign that includes analytics and the desired “conversion events” that will help you prove success and guide content going forward – never be content with your content.

  • Test emotional stories vs. facts and figures
  • Test various creative approaches, images and channels
  • Test the target audience, time of day and geographic reach of your social media posts

And don’t be afraid to fail – not everything that’s created will be a home-run, learn from every piece of content that’s distributed, and move on.

Optimize

The data will tell you what works and what doesn’t from a content, audience and media channel standpoint. Use that data to optimize your content, for example:

  • If your audiences engage with testimonials and real-life stories more than facts and awards, give them more, using that lens to produce future content
  • If video is the preferred vehicle, find more ways to incorporate it

The thing we’ve always liked about digital media is the ability to use analytics to shift your media spend to where it will work hardest for your brand.

Repeat

We all know building a brand is never a one and done. Keep engaging your target audiences with content that, from the data you collect, is valuable to them.

Learn more about how Springboard can develop and support your content strategy by clicking here.

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