In an increasingly global world in which patients are ready, willing and able to travel for access to the best clinicians and treatments. It’s no longer enough to offer extraordinary healthcare; you also need to get the word out. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of content marketing to your hospital's marketing strategies, along with how to ensure that you're doing it right.
Why You Need Content Marketing
While 77 percent of all B2C marketers use content marketing, only 27 percent have their strategies documented, according to The Content Marketing Institute. If you think these figures aren’t relevant to the healthcare industry, think again: the Mayo Clinic has more than a million followers on Twitter and 622,208 “Likes” on Facebook.
With statistics showing that 80 percent of all internet users have looked online for information about health topics, are you confident that prospective patients will not only find your hospital on their next search, but will value what you have to say?
A Brave New World
Also according to The Content Marketing Institute, the top content marketing initiatives for B2C marketers comprise better conversion rates, valuable content, and “becoming better storytellers.” Moving toward the future, leading initiatives will include enhanced mobile strategies, marketing automation/lead nurturing, and ROI measurement. Each of these factors should be part of your overall hospital marketing objectives.
The truth is that both your blog and social media have tremendous potential to inform patients about your organization -- from news and upcoming events to treatment developments and frequently asked questions. But skillful content marketing is so much more than that. Your efforts also provide a significant opportunity to establish authority, build your brand, and reach a wider audience.
The best hospital content strategies deploy a mix of methods to reach a broad yet targeted constituent base. Whether you enlist a doctor to pen a column or link to an online video about a pertinent medical issue, there are plenty of ways to keep the content flowing, and visitors coming back for more. For example, the Mayo Clinic has a number of different blogs, from "Sharing Mayo Clinic," to its "Center for Innovation," each of which offers a different way for constituents to connect with this worldwide healthcare leader.
Proceed With Caution
While content marketing is a “must have” for today’s progress minded hospital marketers, your efforts are worth little without guiding strategies. Why? Because bad or inconsistent content marketing is worse than no content marketing at all. What are some keywords when it comes to successful content marketing? Original. Insightful. Accurate. Relevant.
And remember: as with all content marketing, the primary goal is not to sell, but to convey value. The more you can enrich the lives of patients and potential patients’ through your content marketing, the more you build trust, boost your reputation, and bolster your brand. Conversely, if visitors to your blog or social media page feel like they’re getting the “hard sell,” their reaction may be the opposite of what you’re looking for.
Ultimately, content marketing offers great promise for hospital marketers looking for an inside edge on the competition, but top-down strategies are essential. After all, your blog is a representation of your hospital -- one which patients increasingly rely on when it comes to their health concerns -- so getting it right can mean the difference between sought after “Likes,” “Shares,” or “Tweets,” and silence.