How to Build a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy

Healthcare content can build trust and turn people into lifelong supporters of your brand. At the same time, creating superior health or wellness content can be challenging. It should always be engaging, informative, technically accurate, and compliant. The difficulty only increases when you want to produce amazing content regularly and within budget.

To succeed, you’ll need a content marketing strategy. In reality most marketers do not have a documented strategy; this pretty much means they don’t have aplan. But without a documented strategy, the content you create will fail to relay your brand message, match your voice and tone, resonate with your audience, and grow your business. A solid, documented blueprint aligns your long-term goals and helps you create winning content.

Here, you’ll receive tried-and-true steps on how to build and document your strategy. We’ve gathered years of experience and insight into one post and hope you can use this to bring your marketing team together on the same page and develop content that’s on brand and accomplishes your goals.

In this post we will discuss about:

  • What is healthcare content marketing?
  • Why do you need a documented content strategy?
  • How to build your plan in just 10 steps.

According to experts “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

In the case of health and wellness, content must achieve all of the above goals and adhere to strict and unique guideline to our industries.

Why your healthcare brands cannot thrive without it

  1. Digital transformation requires it:

The pandemic has accelerated innovations in digital communications across the board. As recently as five years ago, most MedTech companies spent less than 20 per cent of their marketing budget on digital marketing. According to a survey, this number is expected to double in the next few years. Of course, content marketing will likely be a key component of your larger digital marketing budget.

  1. Patients expectations Demand It:

More importantly, world view the healthcare industry more positively after the pandemic. Patients are now more receptive to new ways of engaging with their providers. Telehealth services, have been increased since pre-pandemic levels. And while COVID catapulted telehealth, many choose it as a go-to resource to manage a wide variety of medical solutions and concerns.

Expectations for timely and targeted information are at an all-time high, so building content that helps address top-of-mind questions establishes you as their trusted advisor. Good content, like good medicine, comes down to experience and results.

Reasons why do you Need a Strategy

  • It helps to grow brand awareness.

A content marketing strategy elevates your brand. In the exercise of outlining your goals, your team must inevitably answer the question, what challenges, needs, or concerns are we trying to solve for our audience? By doing so, you begin the journey of outlining your position as a trusted market brand.

  • It establishes thought leadership.

A solid plan helps your organization establish thought leadership. By setting your brand and professionals as subject matter experts on the topics your audience cares about, you can develop loyalty and trust as a valuable resource to them.

  • It supports and drives digital marketing channels.

Documenting a healthcare content marketing strategy will allow you to consider all the channels available to your always-on audience market. This can include but is not limited to social media, press and influencers

* It aligns with organic search goals.

Content Marketing drives on going search engine optimization (SEO) and website traffic, but consistency is key. Search engines reward businesses that publish valuable, relevant content. Just like the tortoise and the hare, advertising tactics have their place in the marketing mix, but a regular pace of organic content can win the race.

Valuable insights and helpful content feed the insatiable Google gods and keep your brand at the top of search engine research page (SERPs). More importantly, it helps you rise above the “noise” and keeps your audience engaged, which is, after all, the name of the game.

Now, we can all agree good content is essential, why should we go through the trouble of documenting a strategy?

According to the experts, content marketing research, marketers with a documented content strategy are more effective and far less challenged in every aspect. Plus, they can justify a higher percentage of the marketing budget spent on content marketing.

Here are the reasons why putting it down in writing can make all the difference between “checking the box” and building a purposeful and effective program.

  • 1) Keeps the entire team on the same page.

Make sure the right stakeholders are involved upfront. By documenting your content plan, your internal and external (3rd party agencies, writers, etc.) team can better align to the goals and objectives. In other words, they will understand their role as it relates to the bigger picture. This will empower them to be more accountable and bring their best ideas to the table.

  • 2) Allows you to better manage and measure success.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. With a healthcare content strategy, you can plan and schedule deliverables, monitor results, and measure against expectations.

  • 3) It improves resource and budget allocation

Whether you’re trying to provide a business case for your budget or keep a handle on it, having a documented content strategy will help earmark resources to keep your budget intact. Now that we’re clear on why it’s crucial to have a documented blueprint for creating stellar content, here is your step-by-step guide:

Steps to Build Healthcare content Marketing Strategy

The idea of building a content marketing strategy sounds intimidating and a lot of work. It’s more work upfront but entirely easier than what it takes to re-do a poorly constructed initiative. To begin the content strategy process, we’ve broken it down into three main phases and ten key steps:

Plan

Assess the business objectives and audience:

  • Assess
  • Align
  • Define

Build

Create messaging roadmap:

  • Messaging
  • Channels
  • Cadence
  • Process
  • Calendar

Refine

Optimize and monitor its effectiveness:

  • Publish
  • Measure


Plan :

  • Access your current situation.

What are the company’s larger goals? What are the challenges we are trying to solve? What is our desired outcome? How much of the healthcare marketing budget will be allocated to content? What will be the expected deliverables and cadence? Who are the stakeholders involved or that need to be in the know? There are many people your content strategy will affect even if they are not directly involved in the content development. Identify these folks and the roles they will play in the overall healthcare marketing content strategy.

  • Align on the end game

While it is difficult to identify the hard return on investment (ROI) of content marketing as a stand-alone program it is essential to ask the following question when considering your plan. What are we hoping to accomplish with our content marketing initiatives? Are we trying to improve brand awareness, accelerate lead/pipeline conversion, increase the share of wallet, or mix these?

  • Define your audience.

To build out the audience framework, need to identify your buyer’s journey. Who are our buyers, and how would we differentiate them? Will you segment them out by individuals or, in the case of B2B? If by personas, would you determine each unique buyer by functional role, their role in the purchasing process (economic, technical, end-user, etc.), or some other criteria or use case? What do they care about? What are their challenges or pain points? What unique value proposition do we provide?

2) Build :

  • Create content messaging roadmap.

Once you have established the healthcare content marketing goals, criteria for success, and buyer personas, you can then begin building content and messaging map based on the buyer’s journey. What is your message to each persona as they move through the sales funnel? What do you say, and what content should you show to someone who does not know your brand? What do you say, and what content do they want to see if they know your brand and compare you to other marketplace options? A content assessment will also allow you to create a content audit to help determine the content gaps and whether to keep, revise or archive existing content

  • Determine the right channel.

So how do you choose where you are going to place and distribute your content? Consider where your audience is currently seeking information and how they “consume” this information. Is it in person, online, on posters? What publications do they read, or what social platforms do they use? By understanding your buyer personas and behaviours, you are better equipped to determine and prioritize the best channels to leverage.

  • Set your program pace.

Break down your stakeholder’s objectives, audience, and channel. By plotting out a macro view of the business milestones, product launches, and seasonal events, you have your biggest priorities accounted for as you build foundational content to support major initiatives while leaving flexibility for sudden media events or topical, trending topics.

  • Create content creation process.

Building out a content process helps a team, no matter the size, align on roles and responsibilities. It is also the glue to help the team take ownership of their work and be accountable. A creative brief will help scope out and align on the deliverable and approval process at the pre-production stage, and brand and writing guidelines (AMA, NLM, etc.) can help enable 3rd party agencies to ramp up quickly. Countless templates and tools are available to help you build a process that works for you.

By mapping out the steps, you’ll be on your way to building out a well-oiled content marketing machine.

  • Plot it out on a team calendar.

To maintain a steady publishing pace, you’ll need an editorial calendar. An organized content calendar is key to sticking to a budget scope and deadlines. Design your publishing pace at least one quarter out or as determined in your content process, and leave enough runways to build in time to brainstorm ideas.


  1. Refine

* Publish and Repurpose.

If the idea of creating a healthcare content marketing program sounds overwhelming, I have some good news. It’s not about making as much content as possible, but rather creating great content consistently and repurpose or syndicate. Can the latest podcast be transcribed or summarized for an article or blog? Can a report or survey’s key findings be illustrated in info graphic? Should it be translated or localized for another patient population?

Also, keep in mind, healthcare content marketing is not limited to your website. Leverage the digital channels, social platforms, and influencers your audiences subscribe to.

  • Manage and Measure.

While we’ll dig deeper into the ROI of content marketing in a separate article, there are three basic components to measuring the effectiveness of your healthcare content marketing program: cost, utilization, and performance.

Costs: By taking inventory of the content you produced over time and the costs to produce each type of content; you can benchmark these costs and apply some averages.

Utilization: As described above, the more you use a single asset, the higher the return on its investment.

Performance: A common temptation for many marketers is to focus on the “vanity” metrics, for example, the number of page views, social shares, or click rates. When it comes to tying your healthcare content marketing strategy to the business’s goals, anyone can buy traffic. Measuring engagement is much harder but more relevant to measuring value.

Keep in mind: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey: This is not a one-and-done strategy but rather a continuous process of refining and evolving to adapt to changes in the market and brand’s goals. The more you test your message and evaluate results, the better your chances for success.

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