A Conversation with Content Strategists Part 2: Primary Goals, Audiences and Channels

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Content Strategy

In this interview series with healthcare content strategy leads, we discuss the goals, channels and other elements of an effective healthcare content strategy.

In this sec­ond arti­cle in our series, we ask the con­tent strate­gists to define the “why” behind their con­tent strate­gies along with the pri­ma­ry audi­ences and chan­nels help­ing them advance toward those goals.

We spoke with:

Primary Goals of Healthcare Content Strategy

Rebec­ca: We believe in strate­gic con­tent that helps us cre­ate con­nec­tions. If we can estab­lish those con­nec­tions, if we can estab­lish trust and cre­ate a rela­tion­ship, then the rest will fall into play. We aim to move peo­ple with our con­tent, but it has to be authen­tic and engag­ing to accom­plish those goals.

Amy-Sarah: As a giant aca­d­e­m­ic research med­ical cen­ter, we tend to put our patients and their fam­i­lies through very for­mal­ized, imper­son­al process­es and pro­ce­dures. We try to fill in the gaps the institution’s size cre­ates by warm­ing, inform­ing and engag­ing. We aim to cre­ate con­nec­tion, empa­thy and imme­di­a­cy. We pro­vide answers. And we want to help peo­ple make appoint­ments or com­plete oth­er tasks as quick­ly as possible.

Kris­ten: Con­tent is one part of our mar­ket­ing ecosys­tem that helps us achieve our busi­ness goals. Some pri­ma­ry con­tent objec­tives are to build rela­tion­ships with con­sumers and refer­ring providers, enhance patient expe­ri­ence and posi­tion Children’s Health as a leader in pedi­atric health care. But ulti­mate­ly, con­tent is an exten­sion of our organization’s mis­sion, which is to make life bet­ter for chil­dren. More and more peo­ple are search­ing for health infor­ma­tion online—and there’s a lot of mis­in­for­ma­tion out there—so we have an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­vide sup­port and inspire con­fi­dence by pro­duc­ing con­tent that is trust­ed, rel­e­vant and useful. 

Target Audiences and Primary Channels

Rebec­ca: Our spe­cif­ic team has a video-first approach that actu­al­ly defies the 20-sec­ond trends. There is an impor­tant place for that content—but we find tremen­dous val­ue in offer­ing more time which trans­lates to more infor­ma­tion, deliv­ered with heart. 

The key is dis­tri­b­u­tion and tai­lor­ing the con­tent to the con­sumer and the spe­cif­ic dis­tri­b­u­tion out­let. We have found that peo­ple will watch longer form if they are inter­est­ed and it’s well executed. 

We have a mantra: “If con­tent is king, dis­tri­b­u­tion is queen.” Dis­tri­b­u­tion mat­ters and is crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant to our suc­cess as con­tent cre­ators. This means that con­tent must be designed specif­i­cal­ly for the audi­ence receiv­ing it. It must be designed specif­i­cal­ly with the dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels in mind. We need to know who is watch­ing, lis­ten­ing or read­ing. When you cre­ate with the audi­ence in mind—then we find that it is more valu­able for that con­sumer. Our dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels help us pri­or­i­tize and strate­gize every­thing we do.

On one chan­nel, we use emo­tion­al sto­ry­telling. These tar­get women more than men and are two-minute, brand-ele­vat­ing, emo­tion­al patient sto­ries. These run ini­tial­ly in the morn­ing on broadcast—and then are shared via social chan­nels, wait­ing rooms and dif­fer­ent screens across the sys­tem. These sto­ries are designed to high­light strate­gic ser­vice lines through the eyes of those who have been helped. We have a clear call to action and a web­site for track­ing inter­est and to help us gauge our respons­es. Just recent­ly, a sto­ry moved a view­er so much that he called the pres­i­dent and donat­ed anoth­er $100,000 to one of our insti­tutes. We know that 40,000 peo­ple active­ly sought out the site to learn more about these patients.

On oth­er chan­nels, we cre­ate sim­ple, easy-to-digest Q & A inter­views. Often, these inter­views pre­view com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion events that high­light strate­gic ser­vice lines and top­ics. Just last week, a two-minute Q & A led eight peo­ple to call and sign up for a class about cataract surgery. This was designed for a very spe­cif­ic view­er who would be inter­est­ed in the top­ic. On anoth­er chan­nel, we know it wouldn’t have had the same effect.

On social media, we have become incred­i­bly active in the Face­book LIVE world. Again in these inter­views, we often pre­view spe­cial events and com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties. This is unique because it allows and encour­ages access to our experts in real time. The engage­ment has been eye-open­ing for both our exter­nal audi­ences and also for our inter­nal audi­ences. It has been a great tool to help with staff engage­ment and physi­cian engage­ment. Our suc­cess in this chan­nel led to our orga­ni­za­tion being cho­sen to be a LinkedIn LIVE beta test­ing site.

I think it’s impor­tant to note that none of our con­tent is designed on its own. It lives with­in the over­all mar­ket­ing calendar—of which we are part of the team. It is part of an over­all con­tent ecosys­tem that also includes print, social media and com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion events. Our con­tent is designed to be tweaked and repur­posed so that it makes sense mov­ing from one out­let to the next—one video becomes a print/web piece—and then a seg­ment on the radio. They all feed each oth­er with the goal of meet­ing our con­sumers wher­ev­er they are.

Our con­tent is also designed to cross pol­li­nate. We want to be our community‘s trust­ed source so that we can help guide them wher­ev­er they are in their health­care jour­ney. All of this cre­ates tremen­dous vis­i­bil­i­ty so that we are top of mind when health deci­sions are being made.

Amy-Sarah: We have var­i­ous per­sonas that we think about, depend­ing on the ser­vice line for which we’re design­ing con­tent. One type of per­son is the well-informed, high­ly edu­cat­ed, prospec­tive patient who is con­duct­ing online research and can afford to choose and care about rep­u­ta­tion. The oth­er patient we see comes to us more in a state of des­per­a­tion; we’re the only NICU in the area, for instance, and we have the exper­tise to treat the more rare and ter­tiary con­di­tions that local hos­pi­tals don’t. We also see patients with­out insur­ance and many peo­ple with low Eng­lish pro­fi­cien­cy. These are two very dif­fer­ent sets of peo­ple, often requir­ing dis­tinct con­sid­er­a­tions as we design con­tent to meet their needs.

We find that YouTube videos that fea­ture our doc­tors dis­cussing their exper­tise work extreme­ly well for con­vey­ing per­ti­nent infor­ma­tion and gen­er­at­ing trust with the more choosy con­sumer patient. For the patients who won’t sit and read or down­load con­tent from our web­site, social media inter­ac­tion often helps guide folks who have imme­di­ate ques­tions or prob­lems about nav­i­gat­ing ser­vices or their care.

Kris­ten: When con­sid­er­ing our con­sumer-fac­ing con­tent, our pri­ma­ry audi­ence are par­ents, typ­i­cal­ly moms, usu­al­ly in their 20s–40s. We think a lot of about the “health knowl­edge seek­er” when pro­duc­ing con­tent. This is a mom who wants to be informed about her family’s health, and con­sis­tent­ly does her own research before speak­ing to her physi­cian. When con­sid­er­ing our B2B con­tent, we focus on refer­ring providers and com­mu­ni­ty health­care pro­fes­sion­als, as well as spe­cial­ists around the nation. 

We’ve seen tremen­dous growth in our organ­ic traf­fic this year as a result of site per­for­mance improve­ments, ded­i­cat­ed key­word research and writ­ing our con­tent to rank in fea­tured snip­pets. We always look at which types of con­tent per­form best per chan­nel so that we do not have a blan­ket approach when pro­mot­ing con­tent. For exam­ple, our inspi­ra­tional patient sto­ries tend to res­onate with our social audi­ences, while our edu­ca­tion­al con­tent with quick, tan­gi­ble take­aways per­forms well in email. We’ve found a lot of suc­cess in native adver­tis­ing, both from a B2C and B2B per­spec­tive and are focused on find­ing that high­ly engaged audience.

Look for the next arti­cle in our “Con­ver­sa­tions with Health­care Con­tent Strate­gists” series focus­ing on their mar­ket­ing tech­nol­o­gy and oth­er tools. 

If you missed the pre­vi­ous arti­cle in the series, read Part 1: Keep­ing Up with Trends. 

Let’s Talk Timing (and More)

Our health­care mar­ket­ing experts are ready to tai­lor a strat­e­gy that ensures your con­tent reach­es con­sumers, physi­cians and oth­er audi­ences at the per­fect time.

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