Creating content for any industry is challenging, and healthcare content is no different. The challenge lies in creating valuable content that resonates with your target audience. And since not all audience members like to consume healthcare content the same way, your content needs to be created in many different forms. Formats can include blog posts, white papers, articles, online health assessments, eBooks, images, infographics, videos, and more.
Once content is posted to your website, social media in the short term and search engines over a longer time can help bring the content to potential patients, hires, and anyone else who is interested in your services or healthcare expertise. Your content can help open a dialogue with consumers and build loyalty over time. According to Manifest, 90% of consumers find original content useful and 78% believe that organizations that provide it are interested in building long-term relationships. Here are some tips to consider when creating your content marketing strategy:
Promote Your Staff
Your most valuable asset is your employees. They are also one of the best sources for telling your story. Profile doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and other people with an interesting story. You can use their stories in blog posts, newsletters, on your website, and other places you would like to paint a picture of who makes up the organization.
Set up a schedule to feature the profiles to share personal stories or highlights of their career. Highlight the of your staff to show support and emphasize how your team is excelling. Highlighting actual staff members brings originality and authenticity to your content that is a valuable means of building trust with your audience. It’s important always to include a photo of the staff member as it’s important to personalize the feature.
Example: The University of Maryland Medical Center has a dedicated web page on physician profiles and uses them throughout their digital collateral. Featuring staff in this manner is an important method of communicating your organization’s values and compassion for people in the form of engaging content.
Use Video to Tell Compelling Stories
A video is one of the most efficient methods of telling a story to your audience that can help build instant credibility. Develop a strategy for video programming around your staff, patients, services, expertise and unique aspects of your organization. Healthcare marketers have access to patient stories, expert opinions, and areas of your facility that would appeal to a vast, diverse audience. Obviously, some information at healthcare facilities is private and extremely sensitive, but other data and insights could have far-reaching benefits by sharing with the public.
Example: Adventist HealthCare has a compelling patient story on their website about how their online heart health profiler alerted the patient to heart problems that needed immediate attention. By choosing to share this compelling story in a video as opposed to an article, it helped better illustrate the value that the hospital was able to provide to that patient. Hearing the story in her words and seeing her emotion is more emotional than reading an article.
Use Internal Data Sources & Expertise to Create Infographics
Healthcare facilities have unique access to data and, in some cases, relationships with various universities and research groups who can provide insights on the services they offer patients. Including this data in an infographic can educate patients and motivate sharing and linking of the healthcare content. You can source data from the web, but you need to be careful to ensure that all the information used is accurate. Look to build the infographic yourself using user-friendly tools like Infogr.am.
Example: Kaiser Permanente created an infographic to provide insight into different types of diets. The data utilized for the infographic was sourced from internal sources, highlighting how effective that approach can be when correctly done.
Monitor Social Media for Content
Often healthcare facilities get frustrated with how to approach social media effectively with time constraints and sharing limitations. One source of compelling content is feedback from your audience on your social channels. Browse your mentions on Twitter and wall posts and comments on Facebook, YouTube, etc. to find valuable feedback worth sharing with your entire audience through social media, email, blog, or elsewhere. Watching trending topics on social media can also be a rich source to find themes for other healthcare content that is relevant to your audience.
Example: A former patient wrote on the Mayo Clinic’s Facebook page sharing his story about his positive experience with the clinic after a near-fatal car accident. The Mayo Clinic responded with kind words and by asking if they could feature his story on their blog. By consistently listening to your audience on social media, you will be able to identify opportunities for future content sourced from your followers.
Survey Your Audience and Share Results
Getting constant feedback from your patients and partners is vital to the continued success of your operation offline and online. Surveys can help gauge patient satisfaction, determine what the greatest concerns of women and men’s health are among a survey group, understand how patients find out about your facility, and help with medical research across different patient groups.
Why is it important to have fresh, relevant healthcare content on your website? One in 20 Google searches is for health-related information (Source: Google). People turn to Google when researching a health condition, to decode symptoms, to find a healthcare provider, for a second opinion, to clarify instructions from their doctor – and many other reasons. Making sure your hospital’s or health system’s content is up-to-date, useful and easily found is essential to driving traffic, acquiring new patients, and engaging your community.