FROM TRUE NORTH CUSTOM
Whether your marketing team sprawls across multiple locations, or you’re a multitasking superhero who relies on other departments, it is important to build on a foundation of shared understanding. By interviewing everyone who touches anything related to marketing—from the director of marketing to the CRM administrator—you can ensure your content strategy meets the needs of all stakeholders. Here’s what to ask:
Review your current marketing channels and take an inventory of every Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel your organization has ever created—even if it is not currently active. This will allow you to measure how much activity each channel is generating, which ones you should devote more resources to, and which ones can be eliminated if needed.
In addition to social media account details, include:
If you are currently practicing SEO or running ads via Google AdWords, Bing, or other search engines, pull a list of the keywords you’ve used. Audit this list. Is it up to date? Are these keywords still important. Do they still make sense for your organization to target for a high ranking? It is important to audit your list for effectiveness and to be realistic. Broad keywords, such as “cancer care,” will be nearly impossible to rank for. Instead, aim for locality and specificity. “Best cancer treatment southwest” may be more effective than “cancer care.” By using these “long-tail” keywords, people looking for your services will be more likely find you easily, and your website will garner more visits.
Analyze your competitors’ emails, social media profiles, website content, and blogs. Is your brand differentiated enough? What are competitors doing well? Do you see best practices that you could adopt? Use your competitors’ knowledge to improve your own marketing.
A persona is a representation of your ideal customers based on market research. Personas may be general at first, but they should be constantly refined over time. As you get to know your customers and add more details to your personas, over time your marketing efforts will become more targeted and efficient.
Some questions you might ask to build personas: Which channels do your audiences use? What are your prospective customers’ primary concerns? Whose care are they also in charge of? How are they most likely to use healthcare services?
Taking the time to understand consumers of your key service lines will help you create the right content, delivered through the right channel, at the right time.
Once you understand your audience and which channels they use, you can apply best practices by channel to start building personas.
Think about your goals and business objectives. How can you measure them in your marketing channels? Some key performance indicators to consider include:
Having an active social media presence offers a great opportunity to receive feedback directly from your customers. Even if you do not currently encourage online reviews, people are leaving them about your hospital and your providers. But participating effectively requires a clear internal governance process so that you can be a part of the conversation and provide stellar customer service to those who are already talking about your company online.
Some elements to consider:
Once you have a clear understanding of your current channels, the people you are trying to reach, and your marketing goals, it’s time to create and distribute your content.
We find it is best to think in terms of long-form pieces and how they can be broken up and distributed across your other channels.
For example, a recipe book for heart health could be a gated asset you use to get more email subscribers. Individual recipes can be shared on your blog and visual representations or short videos can be shared on social media.
When planning your content, it is important to prioritize your channels and be realistic about what your team can manage. Build an editorial calendar showing when and how you will cover key topics—you can always change it in response to new developments.
You created content and you’re distributing it on channels—but the journey is not over yet.
With a systematic measurement plan executed at regular intervals, you will glean insights that allow you to continuously improve your marketing efforts week over week, month over month, quarter over quarter. Be sure to share your content strategy across your organization so everyone understands what marketing is doing to get results.
Regular measurement ideally involves testing, which offers you tangible ways to improve your content and your overall content strategy. E-newsletters can be deployed with different subject lines, allowing you to see what language generates the strongest response. You can experiment with different headlines and teasers on social media, as well as different types of content, to see which generate the most clicks. By planning your content ahead of time, you can test certain variables to expand on your own playbook of best practices.