Many content strategists and marketing experts approach blog writing the same way:
- Identify your topic
- Interview your subject-matter expert (SME)
- Write your content
It’s Information Gathering 101 — something that’s second nature to marketers.
But does this process equate to effective blogs or, better yet, a conversion-centered content strategy? Writing healthcare content is difficult with complex medical topics, rapidly changing priorities, SMEs who are stretched for time, and tight deadlines. Add in the challenge of creating blogs that drive ROI and support your business goals, and it can lead to an uncontrolled case of heartburn (healthcare pun intended).
In an era of decreasing budgets, resource-strapped marketing teams, and burgeoning service line priorities, ensuring your content drives ROI each time, every time isn’t a nicety. It’s a necessity. According to HubSpot, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.
Here are three tips to help you take your blogs from educational to conversion-centered.
Know Your KPIs.
The healthcare industry has undergone sweeping changes in the last decade due to changes in policy and business model philosophies. Because of those changes, key performance indicators (KPIs) are the new norm in healthcare. Whether your hospital or health system has two KPIs or a dozen, it’s vital to understand those metrics and what they mean for your marketing efforts. They should drive every step of your content strategy, from what audience you want to target and whom to interview to where your content should be placed.
Common examples of KPIs that you can use to drive your content marketing results include:
- Number of appointment requests
- Number of event or screening registrations
- Number of patients who leave without being seen
- Patient satisfaction scores
- Patient wait times
- Patient volumes
If one of your hospital’s KPIs is the number of patients who leave the ER without being seen, consider developing an awareness blog to educate patients on when to seek care in the ER versus urgent care or their primary care physician. An awareness blog might also work well for a KPI focused on patient wait times.
Other times, KPIs require a more robust content strategy. For example, if your hospital’s goal is to increase patient volumes, your content marketing may include website, multimedia, blog, and digital advertising tactics. It all depends on your target audience and where they are most likely to seek information on your hospital’s specific service lines or initiatives.
Ensuring your efforts align with and support your organizational KPIs is the first step in successful content marketing.
Don’t Overlook The CTA.
Calls to action (CTAs) are not all created equal. Your CTAs should be unique to your business goals, service lines, and target audiences. It should be very clear to your audience what action you want them to take. If you want your content to be effective, avoid these common CTA pitfalls:
- The standardized CTA. It can be tempting to make “schedule an appointment” the CTA for everything. It’s a great way to support that patient-volume-focused KPI, right? Wrong. The more standardized your content, including the CTA, the less engaged your audience will be. Standardizing your CTA will lead to confused consumers, stale content, and, ultimately, less traffic.
- The misguided CTA. Your CTA may not lead patients to an appointment form — and that’s okay — but make sure it leads them somewhere. The biggest fail for any content strategy is a CTA button that takes an active consumer to a “404 file not found” message. Test your CTAs frequently to ensure they not only align with your goals but also work correctly.
- The impossible to measure CTA. Make sure your CTA allows you to accurately measure results specific to your content marketing campaign. Hospitals will commonly use their main phone number for appointments or a general landing page as their CTA. Unfortunately, that phone number or landing page may be used for other marketing campaigns or be readily available to the general public. This situation makes it very difficult — in fact, impossible — to measure the results of your content marketing strategy.
Consider creating a unique URL, phone number, or campaign-specific landing page. This will give you the analytics you need to accurately measure your campaign’s success.
In addition, keep in mind the location and size of your CTA. You may want to consider a CTA at the top of your article or using a button at the end of your blog — or both. Simple adjustments like these can impact the overall effectiveness of your content.
Review Your Results. Then Optimize.
Now that your content is driving results, avoid going in reverse. While developing new content frequently is important, it’s just as vital to be consistent with content promotion. Make sure your consumers know when they can expect new content, whether it’s every Monday or the third Saturday of each month. Your content schedule should align with the availability of your marketing team and SMEs.
In addition, audit your existing content and Google Analytics on a quarterly basis, or more often if possible. This will ensure your content remains updated and relevant. Healthcare is one of the most rapidly changing industries, and you want your content strategy to reflect your hospital’s most current technologies and services. This not only includes the blog article itself but also the images, video, infographics, social posts, and other supporting content.
A quick review of your blogs will give you important insights. If you notice any of the following issues, it may be time to optimize your content:
- No (or limited) traffic growth
- Low engagement, including shares
- Decrease in conversions, including contact forms, class sign-ups, appointments, and screening registrations
- No traffic from search
These challenges don’t always mean you need to do a complete content overhaul. Often, small changes can make a big difference for your article’s SEO (search engine optimization) ranking, such as updating keywords and phrases, optimizing your headlines, and changing your CTA.
Developing conversion-centered blog content doesn’t have to be difficult. With careful planning and a well-thought-out strategy, you’ll find yourself enjoying the benefits of content that isn’t just good but also drives ROI.
Does your healthcare content lack results? We can help. Contact us today.