Feel like your healthcare business could be attracting more customers, but feel unsure about how to get them? Content marketing might just be the answer — let’s look at what it is, why it’s so important, and how you can get started.
Introduction to content marketing for healthcare
Research suggests that uncertainty is currently the biggest challenge healthcare firms face — an unsurprising result considering everything that’s happened over the last few years. But a slightly less obvious result is that concerns about how to generate leads came in a close second.
Since the pandemic began, we’ve experienced an acceleration of everything digital, including marketing. As a result, it’s increasingly important for healthcare companies to ensure they’re staying on the cutting-edge and learning about new ways of generating leads rather than relying on in-person events.
Yet more healthcare companies are focusing on trade exhibitions as a marketing method than newer options such as social media, emails, and content marketing.
The good news is that the sector is gradually waking up to the importance of digital marketing methods. When asked about their education priorities for the next year, 41% of firms said digital marketing was their number-one focus — with the second most popular objective (AI) coming in at 21%. Yet this leaves the majority of companies as not even being interested in learning about digital marketing methods, and even those who are interested won’t necessarily follow through.
In other words, the healthcare firms that really commit to embracing digital marketing methods stand a good chance of being heads and shoulders above their competitors and be better at obtaining the leads.
If you’re still wondering how exactly to go about that, don’t worry — we’ll be covering everything you need to know about content marketing for healthcare here.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is all about attracting leads by offering them useful information — in the form of content. This might involve creating your own blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, or similar to educate your audience about topics relevant to your business. It can also simply involve distributing content made by others.
Therefore, instead of your marketing efforts revolving around trying to sell your products and services, content marketing aims to sell through providing value and educating. Over time this can help your organization to gain a reputation for providing high-quality information, which can make customers trust you more. Once they see you as a reliable source of information, you’re likely to be the first person they turn to when they want to buy something — and that’s a powerful position to be in.
Why content marketing is important for healthcare
Positioning yourself as an authority is a smart move for businesses in any sector, but there are few places trust matters more than when it comes to our health. The decisions we make about our bodies and wellbeing can literally be a matter of death, of being in pain or thriving as a happy and healthy individual.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of misinformation campaigns and pseudoscientific groups releasing dangerous and dishonest information about health topics. This makes consumers more eager than ever to cut through the noise and find reliable voices they can trust. As a healthcare organization, you should be perfectly placed to be that shining beacon they need.
Once you turn this into a solid strategy and branding opportunity, content marketing becomes the perfect tool to attract leads. Imagine being the source of information that consumers share with their friends and family to inform them about a new virus, pros and cons of a certain surgery, or similar topics.
Building your content marketing funnel
So far, we’ve introduced content marketing in a somewhat vague way. If you’re wondering how you can adopt a more concrete approach to solidify your position, the answer is simple: By building a market funnel.
This won’t be anything new to traditional marketers, and the overall aim is the same — to go from making your leads notice you to prompting them to take action. However, some of the steps may look slightly different.
A typical content marketing funnel involves the following stages:
- Awareness: Involves ensuring that people find your content in the first place. Often, this is achieved by using SEO to make your pieces discoverable to those searching for relevant queries or questions. You may also use hashtags on social media.
- Interest: Once people come across your content, make them stick around by piquing their interest and showing them you’re providing useful or engaging information. This can also involve ebooks, webinars, white papers, or newsletters, all of which encourage a long-term relationship with prospects.
- Consideration: At this stage, you’re starting to move toward the sale by making a lead consider what you have to offer and whether they’re interested in buying from you. You could do this by holding events or showcases for your products, which can be virtual or hybrid. Also, offer to answer questions through calls or emails.
- Evaluation: Once a prospect has started to consider your offerings, they need to make a decision. That means carrying out meetings or consultations to persuade them to do business with you. But thanks to content marketing, you’ve already done a lot of the hard work by showing them how much value you offer.
- Action: Finally, you can nudge a prospect toward taking action and becoming a customer. The decision is theirs.
How to start content marketing for healthcare
Looking at a typical content marketing pipeline offers a great taster for what content marketing for healthcare looks like. Now, it’s time to take a more detailed look.
There’s one primary question you need to ask yourself when making content: What problem are you solving?
Many organizations make the mistake of thinking they’re trying to solve 10, 20, or even 50 different questions for many different types of customers. But while there might be some more minor queries floating around, it’s best to get specific about who your main audience is and what they want from you. In some cases, they might not realize what type of solution they want — but they always know what their problem is.
In summary: Figure out your audience, their main problem, why it matters to them, and how you can help.
Share quality information
Content marketing all comes down to the information you’re sharing, so fail at this hurdle and you have no hope. You’re a healthcare company, so take advantage of all that specialist knowledge you’ve built up to educate others. Use the leaders in your organization to show their unique industry insight and build your organization’s role as a thought leader.
Start with information your leads will be useful, and then weave in a narrative about your products or services to take them further down your marketing funnel.
Nail down a niche
Healthcare itself is a broad niche; it generally pays off to be more specific by choosing something smaller. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that taking a broad approach will allow them to reach the most people, but the opposite is true — instead, most people will find the information too vague to be useful, or feel like it isn’t made for them. It’s better to hold greater appeal to a smaller group of people, who will then be more likely to remain long-term customers.
This is why it’s so important to know who your audience is and what problem they’re trying to solve. The conversion will follow.
Choose the right format
Content marketing comes in many different shapes and sizes, from blogs to webinars to ebooks. Certain types of content — like the last two mentioned here — can be used as lead magnets, meaning that prospects are prompted to enter in their contact details in return for receiving the resources by email.
This is a great way of putting potential customers into your marketing funnel, and the dense, in-depth approach to information makes leads think that what you’re offering is more valuable.
Use the right techniques
Getting content marketing right is tricky to master and will vary depending on your exact target audience and brand. However, here are some tips that will work for just about everyone:
- Use images and visuals in your writing-based pieces to keep your audience engaged.
- Add data and statistics to show you’re doing your research and convince your audience about the points you’re making.
- Break up your text with subheadings, lists, bullet points, and more. Most people prefer to skim when reading online.
- Don’t forget to optimize your websites and blogs for mobile since this is where a huge proportion of web traffic now comes from. If your content is unreadable this way, you’re going to be missing out on a lot of potential leads.
- Opt for titles that will pique the interest of leads. People often like to click titles that answer questions, such as those that contain words like “why” or “what.”
- Google a topic before making your own content and see what others are publishing. How can you make your work better?
- Look at your conversion rates, sources for leads, and the types of people you’re attracting to optimize your content along the way.
Amplify your content
Don’t just publish your content, leave it floating into the void, and hope for the best. Take matters into your own hands to maximize its distribution.
Social media is a great way to do this, whether you opt for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. However, make sure you understand the platform first as there are often rules to follow about the number of characters or words, or what you need to do to maximize visibility.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose
Many brands feel like they have to come up with a fresh topic for every piece of topic they put out, but this isn’t always the case. You can often spin a new angle on old ideas (especially if you can mention a relevant news story or industry update) or use the same information in a slightly different way.
If you’ve already taken the time to research a topic, why limit yourself to a single piece of content? Most of your leads won’t be gorging on every single thing you publish, and even if they do, they won’t mind a small amount of repetition. What do you have to lose?
There’s no time like the present
You could spend forever planning your content marketing strategy out and finetuning your information. But while this step is important, you also need to take action.
That’s where we come in. At MedicaEx, we help manufacturers of medical devices to widen their audiences and find more leads. We know the healthcare industry inside-out, and we’ve found that one of the best ways to connect with leads is to reach them online as they’re deciding which purchasing decision to make, and we boost the chances of prospects stumbling across your offering by placing you on a tailored B2B marketplace.
Plus, we offer both basic and premium plans to increase exposure for your company through a variety of methods, including help with SEO, email campaigns, and brand awareness. Why not find out more today?