Healthcare Content Strategy Development
For healthcare marketers who get over the hurdle of getting executive buy-in for social media marketing, the next challenge could be formulating a healthcare content marketing strategy. You may find yourself asking these questions, and more. How do we reach our audience? How do we get them to notice us? How do we get them to like us? How do we motivate them to share our content? How do we prove our efforts are making an impact on the business?
Balancing Popularity with Efficacy
These questions can plague marketers, and with fierce competition, brands can get caught up in the desire to be loved on social media. However, our need for love cannot supersede our need for business results. It’s true, if you want to reach consumers, you’ll have to break through the clutter of dancing cats, babies, puppies, beach vacations, fashionistas, and weekend revelers. But just because you need to compete with them for attention doesn’t mean you should become them or mimic the content they share.
To be successful on social media, brands need to stay focused. Not just within their industry, but by speaking to audience needs with a persona-based content strategy and communicating a unique value proposition.
Here’s why focus is so darn important.
Content Strategy and AIDA
If you want to motivate action (purchase) for your healthcare product/service, you need to move consumers from awareness to action. The widely known AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) can be used to align content with the consumer journey. To progress consumers from awareness to action, the focus of content becomes narrower, ultimately providing information that will help consumers understand your value proposition. People aren’t going to be motivated to purchase your product or service because they’ve read lots of general health information from you. They need to know more about why your product or service is needed, why now, and why it’s better than the alternatives. Too much generalist content fails to motivate purchase. Too much brand-specific content can feel overly sales-y and drive consumers away. The appropriate content mix must be developed to create the optimal consumer experience for conversion.
Lack of Focus, Lack of Results
The problem many companies have is they don’t provide any content that goes beyond awareness. They create content about health and wellness on a very general level without necessarily connecting it to the condition, particular treatment, company’s value proposition, or the brand. This lack of focus means it is unlikely these companies will be able to attribute social and content marketing to real results – customer acquisitions or an increase in demand.
What’s even more problematic is when brands create and share content even broader in scope. This includes posts about holidays, current news, weekends, etc. Unless these topics (and others that go beyond the general category of health and wellness) can be directly applied to your product or service, or you have good justification for why your audience really wants this kind of content from your brand, in particular, you aren’t likely to see good results.
Lack of Focus Means Bigger Competition
Another healthcare content strategy problem for brands that lack focus is the reality that they cannot compete in the broader health and wellness category. When brands fail to focus, they position themselves to compete directly against gigantic brands and other media companies that are more established, have built large audiences, and have much bigger budgets.
Lack of Focus Drains Time and Resources
Because brands have limited time and resources, a healthcare content strategy with general health and wellness information is unwise. Not only is the space overly crowded, but spend required to compete can be astronomical. To compete in the general health and wellness space and become the go-to resource, brands would have to publish with the same depth of information, breadth of subjects, and frequency as major publications. This isn’t practical and doesn’t make business sense.
What Brands Can Do For Better Social and Content Marketing
Taking these things into consideration, it is recommended for brands to:
- Develop personas to better understand your audience and their content needs
- Do a competitive audit of your category to understand what content is currently being produced for your audience
- Assess what kind of content to will be most effective and to identify unmet needs
- Determine the appropriate content mix for each stage of the consumer experience, addressing awareness, interest, desire, and action (AIDA)
- Develop a process for content creation and promotion
- Measure the efficacy of your content and social channels to determine what’s working and what’s not working
- Continuously adjust your strategy based on what provides the most social media ROI
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.