6 Steps for Creating High Conversion Healthcare Content

Your job as a business owner or healthcare marketing professional is to get more customers to buy from you.

But you can’t get today’s customers to buy from you using yesterday’s methods. Today customers have access to vast amounts of information (both online and offline) that informs their buying decisions. They want information from you as well. Not just product information or mere marketing messages, but rather information that provides tangible solutions to the real-world healthcare problems they are facing.

Creating this kind of content enables companies like yours to build trust in their communities, thus making it easier for customers to buy.

Here are 6 steps to creating high conversion healthcare content:

#1.Tie content to measurable marketing goals

For any content campaign to be successful you must tie your content marketing program to measurable business goals. It’s a bad idea to invest in any content activity just because ‘it’s the latest new thing’ or because your company has a lot of great information to share with your industry.

Your goals for creating content must be specific and measureable. After all, how does sharing great information with your industry help your bottom line anyway?

So before you even start to brainstorm your content marketing plan, jot down one or two goals that you want to accomplish with content. A simple example might be to increase next quarter’s online revenue by 10%.

#2. Understand customers’ information needs

The next step is to identify the information needs of your buyers. Don’t move into the content creation process until you have a crystal-clear understanding of potential buyers.

This is done through extensive research e.g. interviewing exiting customers, sending out surveys to your email list, meetings with your sales and customer-service staff to find out what kind of questions or concerns customers have.

Without this level of understanding you run the risk of publishing irrelevant content that may or may not produce the results you want. That sort of ‘hit-or-miss’ strategy will not help you accomplish your goals.

#3. Select Your Content Mix

There are many types of content you can create to connect with buyers, and close more leads. Some examples are websites, podcasts, print brochures, print newsletters, email newsletters, white papers, magazines, and more.

The type(s) of content you choose will largely depend on your budget and your customers’ needs (see number 2). You may rely on one core content product e.g. your website, to take the primary marketing role. But remember that other types of content provide multiple touch-points for prospective buyers, and also demonstrate a well-integrated content strategy especially when they enhance each other.

#4. Determine What Buyers Should Do

Many healthcare organizations create direct mail, newsletters, blog content and even custom magazines without knowing what kind of response they hope to get from customers.

You might be sending out newsletters every month, but have you told your readers what they should do after they read it? If you assume that they’ll pick up the phone and call your company, you’ll be waiting a long time.

Identify the specific action you want prospective customers to take and clearly tell them what to do. It could be trying a free demo of your product, or signing up for a webinar that provides more specific information about your offerings. Whatever it is, make sure it is clear and measurable as well.

#5. Get Help

The fact of the matter is most companies are so busy focusing on marketing their products, that they have a tough time thinking about content the way publishers do. Moreover creating content for marketing purposes is a skill by itself, and requires specialized talent to achieve profitable results.

If your company has in-house content marketing experts, then by all means use them. If not you should consider outsourcing your content activities to content marketing experts.

According to Gartner research, 50% of U.S. based companies outsource all or part of their digital content activities to an outside expert. Content marketing experts are trained to not just to produce engaging content, but also to help the organization meet its business goals. (See number 1).

#6. Measure Your Return

Finally, if you’re going to go through all this trouble to set up a content program, you should be able to know if it’s working or not. Don’t dare start your content activities if you don’t have a plan for measuring success.

Return on investment is directly linked to your business goals (see number 1). If you set out to increase your online revenue by 10% each quarter, you should evaluate your revenue at the end of that period to check if your projected sales numbers were achieved. Frequent measurement helps you to understand what’s working and what’s not working, so that you can adjust your plan accordingly.

In conclusion, well-crafted and creative content attracts prospects and closes deals. It’s not just content for content’s sake. It is a purposeful content plan that generates real customers. So whether your plan is to produce print or digital content, these six steps will help you stay focused on a strategy that produces tangible results.

Your Turn

Creating content that attracts customers can be challenging. What steps have you taken to close that gap?

3 Reasons Not To Outsource Your Content Marketing Strategy

If your organization is new to content marketing you may feel tempted to rush out and hire a consultant to help you set the strategy.

But hold on just a minute!

I understand that the practice of content marketing is relatively new (about fifteen years or so). I also understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed about the things you don’t know about publishing. And that bringing in outside help might sound like a good idea to help make sense of it all.

Many organizations hire outside consultants to help tell their story

But is it really? Here are three reasons why outsourcing your content marketing strategy may not be such a good idea.

#1. It’s Your Story

Frankly if you need a consultant to tell you what your story should be, I have to wonder if you even know what you want talk about in the first place.

Good content marketing is alive. It is your story. It is conscious. It is about emotion ~ Joe Pulizzi, Managing Content Marketing

It’s one thing to know your story and yet struggle to tell it. In that case, it’s perfectly fine to get a consultant’s help. A content marketing consultant certainly has the skills to bring out the story in a way that is relevant and interesting to your audience. But it still has to start with you – you cannot outsource your story.

#2. It’s Your Business

Content marketing strategy is not different from a business plan. You know your business better than anyone. You’ve researched the industry, you understand your goals, your competition and your product. In other words the intimate knowledge you have about your business makes you the best person to brainstorm a business strategy.

Content marketing is a part of your business strategy. There’s no one who could possibly know better what to accomplish with a content-driven marketing plan than yourself. A consultant can teach you how to do something new with content. But she can’t teach you anything new about your own business.

#3. It’s Your Audience

To have an effective content marketing effort you need to understand who your ideal “subscriber” is. That is the person on whom your content will have the greatest impact. Your ideal subscriber is probably one of your current customers. You know that customer better than anyone. You’ve served him, you know his ‘pain’ and you know what need he is trying to fill.

An outside consultant can certainly bring her persona-building skills to the table and help you uncover the best content to create for your customers. But still. There are things about your customers that she doesn’t know and you have to be the one to lead in that area.

Quick Wrap Up

You’re probably wondering why I – a content marketing consultant who makes a living by helping healthcare organizations with strategy – would write this article. I just want to set your expectations straight. A good consultant can help you accomplish many things such as:

  • Expediting the content marketing process;
  • Helping you sort through the weeds;
  • Avoiding pitfalls that could get you into trouble;
  • Providing a ‘reality check’ for getting things done.
  • And if she has industry experience she might even help you to differentiate yourself from the competition.

If you have a story that you’re struggling to tell, then by all means hire a consultant to help you make sense of it. But if you don’t even have a story, don’t expect that a consultant will find one for you.

Over to you: What do you think? How much should organizations rely on outside consultants  for content marketing?

3 Things that Content Marketing Will NOT Do for You

Do you have a great blog, but no one is reading it? Or perhaps they read it and don’t come back?

Sometimes the problem with content is not the strategy itself.

If you’re crossing all the ‘t’s and dotting all the ‘i’s, then you might be unaware of the following three problems that cannot be solved even by content marketing best practices.

Content marketing will not:

Make up for lack of personality

The other day I saw an interesting article titled, “Bloggers Do It With Feeling” on dannybrown.me. The author asked this question:

“How many times have you stumbled across a blog and felt that something is missing? They have great content. They even have a really cool photo to draw your eye in. The text is large enough to read easily. The blogger kindly responds to your comment, yet you never go back.”

Your audience is looking for something to help them connect with your blog. It could be that they need to feel challenged, or inspired. Maybe they need some encouragement. Or maybe they want a contrary point of view – someone who asks, “Why Not.”

Great content makes your audience feel like they can relate and that’s something that the best strategy will not do for you.

What feeling do you want to inspire in your audience? What is your blog’s personality? Once you’ve answered these questions, then put together a content style guide.

This will help you to incorporate the desired style and tone into your content and appeal to your audiences’ emotions.

Make up for poor writing

Fact #1: Not everyone can write well.

Fact #2: Not everyone who can write well, can write well for the web.

Writing for the web is made even more complicated by the fact that readers have extremely short attention spans. Your audience is looking for a compelling read and they won’t waste their time on an article that isn’t interesting or that is difficult to read.

That said, the way to write better is to write more and to write often.

This will not only improve your writing skills but it will also help you to connect with your readers because they will tell you what they want to read.

Will not lead to overnight sales success

The problem with creating content is that it’s time-consuming and complicated.

Even with a clear strategy, you’re never 100% certain that it will work.

It takes time to develop a committed, loyal audience. It takes time to understand their needs and to create content that will solve their problems.

Growing pains are an important lesson in developing content – ask Seth Godin, or Brian Clark of Copyblogger.

Their blogs had humble beginnings too. So don’t expect that your efforts to create great content will lead to overnight success either.

But with time, you will see how far you’ve come and how much you have grown as a writer and a content strategist. Your subscriptions, comments, re-tweets and shares will eventually validate your hard work.

What do you think? Are you experiencing any of these three problems? How are you dealing with it?

How to Find the Best Keywords for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Do you find yourself struggling to figure out what keywords to use on your website content or blog?

Identifying and using targeted key words helps to create synergy between all your content marketing efforts. It’s a great SEO strategy that helps to strengthen your marketing around the keywords you want to rank highly for in search. It also helps to generate coveted back-links to your website or blog. Read full article here.