By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Our Big Book of All Things Marketing has a page devoted to the symbiotic relationship between content marketing and healthcare. Few strategies and tactics in healthcare marketing combine as easily and appropriately.
Here’s why “content” and “healthcare” are natural marketing partners. And why Content should be a key ingredient in the marketing plan for hospitals, medical practices, health systems and healthcare providers.
Relevant, Valuable and Engaging.
Content marketing has been around for quite a while, but recently the concept has become a popular buzzword. Among the dozens of definitions for content marketing, we like this one. With a tip of our hat to Amanda Maksymiw, (and substituting “patient” for “customer”), think:
Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audience(s) with the goal of acquiring new customers [patients] or increasing business from existing customers [patients].
RELEVANT: Patients want to know what you know. Content marketing fits with healthcare and medical delivery systems naturally because patients and prospective patients are hungry for pertinent information, and they increasingly look for health-related information online. Medical information—about symptoms, conditions, treatments, and medications—is one of the most popular, and relevant, online search categories.
VALUABLE: Patients want to be able to trust what they find online. There is a natural credibility to content when it is empowered with the authority of a medical doctor, hospital, health system or similar trustworthy and reliable sources.
ENGAGING: The content that you originate has a head start with readers (patients) when it is timely and relevant. And, as an authoritative resource, you have the opportunity to present it in an interesting and compelling form. (Boring is a definite turn-off.) Medical science is most meaningful to the typical patient when it’s delivered in engaging, understandable and audience-appropriate ways. Successful doctors and healthcare providers are skilled and experienced at making this translation.
And the payoffs include…
Content marketing operates on two levels. At the surface, a patient, prospective patient, caregiver or family member finds reliable and informative facts from a recognized and authoritative source. As an adjunct to professional medical care, the goal is for a health-restoring outcome.
On another—less obvious—level, content is valuable to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Most online searches for health information begins with a user search…most often via Google. Creating and publishing original and quality content, with an appropriate use of key words and other SEO techniques, connects the reader to you and the information they want.
Content Marketing and Healthcare Marketing are natural partners in achieving your goals of acquiring new patients, direct referrals or new business via existing patients.
For more on this topic, see the first in our series titled: 5 Basic Rules of Healthcare Content Marketing.