If it’s done correctly, content marketing can be one of the smartest, most impactful investments you can make in your healthcare company. Unfortunately, many healthcare marketers don’t understand how to use it, or view it as another way to advertise.
While content marketing is part of your marketing and sales efforts, it focuses on building relationships with your customers. And those customers could include both your patients as well as their families. It’s about bringing them helpful information that educates, earns trust, and assists them with a health issue or challenge. It’s about talking with—not at—your future patients.
Here are five content marketing mistakes we’ve seen most healthcare companies make, and how we recommend you fix them:
Mistake #1: No healthcare plan or marketing strategy
Some healthcare companies begin marketing without a plan. This is like taking a trip without directions or a destination. You won’t be able to reach your future patients if you don’t have a plan to effectively do so.
How to fix it: You must first set clear, measurable marketing goals for your healthcare company, and then devise the tactics necessary to meet those goals.
Content is the foundation of your business, and it should be true to your brand values and voice.
Mistake #2: Not knowing your target patient
Many healthcare companies make the mistake of not identifying their ideal patient beyond geographical location. This results in an ineffective and diluted message that doesn’t resonate with anyone.
How to fix it: Spend some time thinking about the patients your healthcare company serves. Are there specific services you are good at? Known for? Do you see a certain type of diagnosis more frequently than others? Understand their problems, and then develop content around their story.
Mistake #3: Not knowing if your website is working
Since many patients turn to the Internet to learn about healthcare options, it’s important to have a website. But just because you have a website doesn’t mean it’s doing its job and the patients will come.
How to fix it: Healthcare companies should have a website that is easy to navigate, current and optimized with key words. It should also be tracking metrics you can use to determine if your content is reaching the right people. Tools like Google analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot or Sales Force can help you know what’s working and what’s not.
Mistake #4: Being too transactional
For most people, healthcare is not a one-and-done. It’s ongoing. But the busyness of the industry makes it easy to create a revolving door at your healthcare company.
How to fix it: Building trust is paramount. Successful healthcare companies take a long-term perspective and view the relationship with their patients as a journey. Don’t forget about them once they are discharged. Develop a content plan that stays in touch. The next time those patients need a product or service you offer, they won’t have to go to the drawing board. They will know they can come to you.
Mistake #5: Not asking for patient reviews
Some healthcare companies don’t have a good process for asking patients for feedback, or they may think patients won’t want to share their experience. But there’s nothing more personal to someone than their own health. If a patient is shopping their health care options, reading about someone else’s experiences with the healthcare company can be a deal breaker.
How to fix it: Have a system for consistently asking your patients for their feedback in the form of reviews, surveys or testimonials. You’ll be bringing your future patients peace of mind, and solidifying your relationship with your current ones.
Mistake #6: Not staying consistent
Starting, stopping and restarting your content efforts is confusing to your patients. Going long periods of time without being in touch can bring about feelings of doubt or confusion.
How to fix it: One of the best ways you can demonstrate trust to your patients is by having a consistent healthcare marketing plan that delivers valuable content. Create a team who is responsible for a content calendar. Assign someone to oversee the calendar, determine who will be responsible for creating the content, and establish deadlines. Planning ahead and holding yourself accountable is the best way to stay consistent with your content.
Clay Agency knows that effective content marketing takes time. That’s why we partner with healthcare companies just like yours who want to grow their content marketing efforts, but just don’t have time to do it themselves.
If you’d like to learn more about our approach to content marketing and how we work with our clients, please contact me at Jessica.Clay@ClayAgency.com for a free consultation. We can work with you to give your health care company’s content marketing efforts the care and attention it deserves.
Jessica is a competitive athlete and the President of Energize HNM, a health and nutrition marketing agency. Jessica is committed to supporting health brands of every size by helping them define their missions and connect with their customers on a deeper, more meaningful level.