According to the 2017 State of Healthcare Report, 69% of healthcare marketers are using content marketing—but only 21% of those have a documented strategy.
As a result, over half (56%) are having at least some level of difficulty proving the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
If you fall in that camp or could just use some inspiration, here are five must-haves to generate the highest return on your content marketing investments.
1. CRM Integration
Are you utilizing your CRM's full potential? Most CRM products offer some form of integration with email service providers, health risk assessments, forms on your website, etc. Storing this information in a centralized location (a.k.a. your CRM) allows you to segment your lists, and create marketing campaigns that are targeted—and more likely to convert.
Once you've organized your data and segmented your lists, you can set up campaigns based on CRM data. For example, you can search for those who have markers for high-risk conditions such as undiagnosed diabetes or heart disease and send direct marketing to get the conversation started. Or you can follow up with existing patients who have specific issues or are overdue for routine screenings via email, text message, or another preferred contact method.
2. Email List Segmention
Perhaps you're one of those marketing departments that has collected thousands of email addresses, but has yet to utilize them. Before those email addresses become irrelevant, make sure your patients have opted in and begin segmenting email addresses based on service line or other health and wellness interests.
If you don't know where to start, a monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch and provide helpful health and wellness tips. From there, you can survey subscribers and ask them to segment themselves based on their interests. Once you have feedback from your list, create versions of newsletters that are specific to that segment's interests.
3. Trigger Emails
Trigger emails are automatically sent based on a website visitor's behavior to build trust and let the subscriber know what to expect.
You may have experienced the following scenario in your own inbox: After reading a few helpful blog posts on a website, you sign up for their monthly newsletter. A few weeks later, you unexpectedly receive this long digest of blog posts that are completely out of context. Is it spam? Is it a virus? Oh yeah, I opted in to this list… three weeks ago.
Prevent bewildered email subscribers by sending them an automated welcome email. That way, they aren’t surprised when they hear from you weeks later.
Here's another scenario: Imagine you take a joint replacement assessment on your local hospital’s website. Would you rather receive an automated email with your results with no next steps, or would you rather see your results with personalized recommendations, next steps, and contact information for specialists where needed?
Email automation allows you to take it one step further: Not only can we delight users who complete the joint replacement assessment by giving them results that are easy to understand with clear next steps customized especially for them, but we can also continue the conversation and build trust.
4. Service Line Lead Nurturing
Some of the most profitable service lines have a long decision cycle. For example, a joint replacement is not something patients take lightly, and they require a lot of research and consultation before making a decision. Nurturing emails can help shorten long decision cycles by proactively providing helpful information and keeping your hospital top-of-mind throughout the deision process. Nurturing emails can provide helpful information, build trust, and keep your hospital at the top of your prospective patients’ minds when they are ready to book an appointment.
For example, you could use nurturing emails to continue the conversation after they take the joint replacement assessment on your website. Send them focused messages that compel them to download a guide, attend a seminar, or schedule a consultation.
Since healthcare decisions require time, trust, and research, automated nurturing email sequences are one of the best ways to make sure these leads do not fall through the cracks and receive the helpful information and reassurance they are seeking.
We hosted a webinar all about different types of lead nurturing campaigns. Take a look.
5. Facebook Advertising
Facebook is one of the most targeted and cost-effective tools you can use to reach your audience. 75% of healthcare marketers surveyed in the 2017 State of Healthcare Content Marketing report indicated they are using Facebook ads. Promote your service lines, seminars, and events with highly-targeted Facebook ads.
Here are some best practices:
- Make your headline clickable. Your headline should be short, easily digestible, specific, and clearly indicate what you’re offering readers.
- Be as visual as possible. Don’t just use that “know your audience” information in your copy. Use it in the image that accompanies the ad. Are you targeting an audience of a specific age? Make sure the image is relevant to them, and that people in it look like them.
- Target your audience first. Don’t write your copy and then tweak it to fit an audience. Define your audience, then write, so you know who you’re writing to.
- Stay simple. Don’t use florid language full of evocative imagery. There’s a time and place for that, but a Facebook ad isn’t it. Keep your language concise and easy to understand
Need more inspiration for your marketing campaigns?