Conversions are healthcare marketers’ lifeblood. After all, most of the effort you spend on audience outreach and engagement, apart from simple brand awareness and public-service campaigns, comes with the ultimate goal of getting those audience members to become patients of your organization.
That means you need a plan behind each piece of digital content you create that drives the audience to convert. We know the secrets of strong, conversion-centered content, and we’re going to share them with you.
What you’re about to learn are not earth-shattering, mind-blowing mysteries. They are proven strategies to help drive conversions from your organization’s digital content marketing. They take more time and energy than simply formulating a content idea, writing it, and publishing it online. But the results are well worth the effort.
1. Use Personas and Journey Mapping
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know your audience. Some topics naturally lend themselves toward a male audience (e.g., prostate exams), while others are more geared toward women (e.g., mammograms). Likewise, some topics are more naturally aimed at older adults (e.g., arthritis care).
However, generalizations like these can often set you up to miss the mark on whom you should be writing toward. Maybe you should actually be writing for a family matriarch who influences her family’s healthcare decisions. Perhaps the real consumers of your content on topics for older adults are younger caregivers, who often are more likely to be searching for that content online.
That’s why we recommend creating personas and undertaking a journey-mapping process for your users. Both of these processes involve sampling real patients and gaining insights into their needs, hopes, fears, and concerns regarding healthcare.
When you craft content that’s aimed toward a specific, well-researched persona, you know you’re targeting consumers who are likely to find your information relevant to their lives. This has two key benefits:
- You’re not wasting time and resources creating content that is, at best, unlikely to resonate with these consumers and, at worst, could actively sour them on your organization
- You’re honing in on the types of content these consumers want, and you’re delivering that content in the ways that are most likely to leave them with a positive impression
Pairing your personas with an informed journey-mapping process adds another layer of audience targeting to your content efforts. Not only are you crafting the message toward your actual audience, but you’re also understanding when that message is likely to reach those audience members. Journey maps help you become aware of where consumers are in their healthcare decision-making process as they take certain actions, including researching information like the content you’re providing. By understanding that journey, you can refine your message to meet them where they are and help them take the next step.
2. Write Content That Motivates
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In the early stages of healthcare research, most consumers consciously seek information to educate themselves about the particular topic, whether that’s a condition, a treatment, or a strategy to protect themselves. Your end goal, of course, is to encourage them to take what they’ve learned and put it into action, whether that involves making an appointment, calling for more information or another conversion metric.
You have to balance these two needs carefully in the content you create. An effective way to do that is through the use of motivational language, such as imperative statements. Include imperative statements, or those phrased as directions, instructions, or suggestions, to help spur consumers on through your content. This is especially effective in content that covers preventive care, such as ways consumers can lower their risk for a disease or injury, or content that discusses what to watch for as early indicators of a problem. Use statements such as:
- “Avoid these types of food to reduce your risk of heart disease”
- “Be on the lookout for these key symptoms”
- “Talk to your doctor if you notice the following issues”
You can also encourage consumers to take action by creating urgency with your language. It may not be enough to lower the risk of heart disease by doing these five things; they may need to “contact a doctor now” if they have a particular symptom. While you don’t want to overuse this type of language, including it in small doses when warranted can be very powerful.
3. Provide the Next Step
Now that your consumers have consumed your content, the next step is to help them convert. Unfortunately, that’s not so easy for some healthcare organizations.
Some organizations’ websites place calls to action (CTAs), phone numbers, and other conversion-focused information in the right column, also known as the right rail. If that’s the case for your site, your consumers might not even see the button you want them to click or tap, thanks to a phenomenon known as “right-rail blindness” — a natural tendency to ignore items in the rightmost column of a webpage that are perceived, whether correctly or incorrectly, as ads.
The best approach to get consumers to notice your CTAs is to place them directly in with the rest of your content in the main area of your webpages, such as the following examples:
- Put a button to make an appointment directly under text that urges readers to contact their doctors
- Use a well-placed callout box to link readers from a service-line landing page to a page on the conditions your providers treat
- Include linked phone numbers to your clinics directly in the relevant text for the benefit of readers on smartphones
4. Evaluate Your Conversions
Knowing whether you’re getting conversions from your content means you have to have a robust analytics system in place to measure your efforts. Your analytics and content teams should work together to track what pieces of content garner the most conversions and measure those against your organization’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
Digital content naturally lends itself to measurement through digital analytics measurements, such as those you can glean from Google Analytics. But you can also use thoughtful measurements to track offline conversions that happen as a result of your digital content. For example, by having an exclusive phone number in place on your healthcare organization’s blog and used nowhere else, your call center can measure what percentage of your phone calls, appointments made by phone, etc., are coming in as a result of your content efforts.
5. Review and Continue Your Efforts
Analytics give you useful information, but the true test of their value comes in what you do with that information. The conversions that result from your content should inform how you adjust your content marketing strategies.
Perhaps that amazing idea you had for cardiology content fell short, but that article your coworker wrote on reducing injury risks while bowling was a surprise hit. Be mindful of what your audience is telling you through your analytics results, and adapt your content ideas and execution accordingly.
We Can Supercharge Your Content’s Conversions
Crafting effective content with conversion at its core takes constant effort over the long term. Our content experts know what it takes to create content that will drive patients to your organization.
Take advantage of our deep experience in creating high-quality, conversion-centered content. Contact us today.