From television ads to billboards, the average consumer is bombarded with a serious barrage of advertising each day. It’s no surprise that 70% of today’s consumers prefer to get to know a company through articles, rather than ads. And when it comes to health care, consumers understandably exhibit a strong preference for brands that emphasize both empathetic care and high-tech medical solutions. If your healthcare company is struggling to attract new customers, it’s time to take a good hard look at your marketing efforts, specifically content marketing.
Since most healthcare coverage is provided through insurance, when it comes to choosing a local medical practice, service quality and medical knowledge trump prices. Content marketing is the most cost-effective strategy for communicating these key values directly to your prospective patients. Does your health care company currently use content marketing to reach new customers? If not, it’s missing out.
Why content marketing matters for healthcare companies.
Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and published content in order to generate leads and acquire customers. From thought leadership to branded content, content marketing is the hottest trend for building company reputation, cultivating trust and establishing your business as an industry leader. Content marketing works:
- Content marketing efforts generate more than three times as many leads as paid search efforts.
- Blogs on company sites lead to 55% more visitors and 97% more inbound links.
- Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 1 out of every 2 buying decisions; content marketing is the most effective way to influence brand reputation.
Content marketing nurtures a long-term relationship with customers, which is critical in the medical industry. Unlike other services where a consumer may hop between companies or build little brand loyalty, for the most part, once a customer selects a healthcare company, they stick with this company for a long time. This is why nurturing a relationship with customers from day one is so important. Once they choose you, they are more likely to stay.
Tip 1. Know what your customers want to learn.
In order to create relevant, meaningful content, you need to know exactly what content your audience will consider relevant. Here’s the good news: you don’t need to spend a lot of money on marketing research – in all likelihood, your healthcare team already knows what’s important! Doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, researchers - even your office receptionist - speak with patients all day long. What common questions or concerns are they hearing? Establish your healthcare firm as a trusted advisor by creating content that answers your customers’ most pressing questions.
Tip 2. Be a healthcare industry leader.
Thought-leadership is the platinum standard for reputation enhancement. In its purest form, thought leadership provides research, ideas, opinion and expert commentary for its own sake, creating prestige and establishing your healthcare company or medical practice as a clear industry leader. When done correctly, thought leadership will go “viral” – providing new and interesting insights into medical care. So how can your healthcare company become an industry leader? Take a proactive stance on a new issue. For example, you might remind patients about the importance of adult vaccinations for preventing illness, like last year’s whopping cough outbreak in New York City.
Tip 3. Capitalize on current events.
From the recent changes to the health insurance laws to New Year’s health resolutions, keep your content relevant by addressing current events. For example, content that emphasizes healthy eating and lifestyle choices will resonate well with patients in January and again as summer roll around. February is “American Heart” month; even if your practice does not specifically treat chronic illnesses, how can you create content with a unique spin on this that is relevant to your service? Be creative and offer information that provides real insight for your patients.
Content marketing is an excellent way to both position your healthcare company as a thought leader and to generate new leads and customers for your business. In today's uncertain environment for the future of healthcare in the US, your potential customers and patients are hungry for knowledge on how to protect their health and react to changes in the healthcare delivery system. There's no better time to step up your content marketing game - if you're not, you can bet that your competition is.