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Creativity Marketing Transformation

Four Key Takeaways from a Health Care Content Marketing Conference

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Recently, I attended a health care content marketing conference that encouraged attendees to think about how to best deliver effective and relevant content. Attendees left the event inspired by the types of content their companies could create. Delivering content at the point of need in a customer’s journey and/or decision-making process can make a particularly profound impact on the lives of many people and can build loyalty for a particular brand.

Here are four key takeaways from the event that have stuck with me:

Have a Strategy and Deliver Content that Enriches Lives

“There isn’t a shortage of content in the world—quite the opposite, so unless you have a very clear idea as to why a consumer is going to ignore everything else in the world for a short time in order to consume your content, then you’re wasting your time,” said Gareth Bourne of BEAM Software.

In a Skyword survey of hundreds of marketers, we found that only 46 percent of organizations have a formal content strategy. Yet more content hits the Web every day, oftentimes without any direction or purpose. Simply put, people don’t know why they’re writing what they’re writing, and they’re still aggressively doubling down on their content creation efforts.

On the second day of the conference, Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group mentioned three purposes for the health care content you create:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Information and education
  3. Utility

By providing customers with health care content that is interesting, solves problems, and is relevant to their lifestyle, you will drive brand loyalty and sales. If you provide value to your readers, they will be proud to share it with their networks. Marketing often happens when your customer is telling a friend how your product changed his or her life.

Spend More Time Listening

It is important to hear what people are saying about your brand in general and in response to the stories your brand tells. What are the topics or stories that are resonating with your audience? What format do they want to receive that information in? Will the content best resonate as a 60-second video, a podcast, or written text? Monique Terrell of the College of American Pathologists stated that her team frequently surveys its user base. They recently found their users prefer to receive content via text, while video and audience placed second and third, respectively.

Your sales and marketing teams should be integrated as much as possible. Listen to your sales team to discover what is resonating. The two teams need to be closely integrated in order to provide content that resonates with the people they’re going after.

On social media, consumers expect brands to respond to comments and questions. There needs to be a good dialogue with these consumers. A recent survey of U.S. marketing professionals reported that 21 percent of companies rarely or never respond to customer complaints on social media, while only 9 percent respond within one week.

Quality Content Is a Significant Investment in Time, Money, and Resources

Creating quality content isn’t easy. It’s a company-wide effort. The companies that are doing it right have stakeholders in many departments within the company. Start planning now to scale content creation, because over the next five years, content marketing will further permeate the marketing world. According to the Custom Content Survey, $18.1 billion was spent on content marketing in 2013, and 42 percent of that was spent on digital.

Nobody knows your brand better than you do. Conference speakers recommended to not only create content in-house, but also from outside the company as well. Pull in influential bloggers to give an outside-in view. Provide your outsourced team with strict and specific editorial guidelines, standards, and even a calendar so they know of upcoming events and topics that are important to your organization.

Be smart with your content. Use what you already have. Do you need to put energy and time into creating more content, or can existing health care content be repurposed, recycled, or reused?

Every Piece of Content Should Tell a Story

The best way to get your message across is through stories. People are much more likely to remember stories than cold, hard facts. Tell real stories. Your readers want to be treated as people, not consumers.

Your content marketing wish list is small—you want to induce behavioral change and then deliver. Stop telling the world about your features and start connecting on a deeper level. Creating health care content that sparks an emotion can help to increase brand loyalty within an empowered, informed customer.

For example, take a look at some of these statistics:

  • Seventy percent of consumers would rather learn about products through articles than advertisements, according to ContentPlus.
  • Fifty-eight percent of consumers trust editorial content, Heidi Cohen states.
  • Seventy percent of consumers feel closer to a brand as a result of custom content, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Now more than ever, SEO depends on content. Search engines want you to deliver content that will enrich people’s lives—they’ll figure out the rest. Deliver relevancy and trust via content, and you’ll see the benefits for years to come.

When it comes to traditional marketing or content marketing, it’s not either/or. It’s both. Traditional marketing is brand-focused, an advertisement—it serves to drive awareness. Content marketing is consumer-focused. It’s storytelling; it builds trust.

Contact us to learn how Skyword can help fill in any piece of the content marketing puzzle you’re missing.

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