Today’s healthcare consumer has no shortage of online medical content they can access (but not always interpret). So how are health systems helping their patients and community better use and understand content to guide them to the care they need?
In a recent Hello Healthcare episode, host Alan Tam and Ahava Leibtag, President of Aha Media Group, discuss key factors for a successful content marketing strategy. Ahava shares insights that drive impactful content:
- Lead with data
- Solve the audience’s problems
- Strike a balance between institutional and individual needs
1. Use a Data-Driven Approach to Healthcare Marketing (and Clinician Relations)
“Marketers often don’t question clinicians,” Ahava notes. But she stresses the necessity of a data-driven approach, explaining, “It’s important for marketers to challenge clinicians with evidence-based marketing and data.”
This data-driven mindset needs to inform every facet of content marketing, especially when internal opinions may contradict what the data supports. “Marketers must stand up for data-backed choices, even if it risks their job on a project,” Ahava affirms.
Gone are the days when gut feelings and hunches guided marketing strategies. With myriad platforms, from Google to TikTok, Ahava suggests, “Look at Google, watch videos and browse TikTok, Instagram and patient forums. What are people asking about consistently?” It’s not just about gathering data. It’s about intelligently interpreting that data to inform better content creation.
2. Solve Real Problems for Real People
But what do you do with all that data? “Remember to focus on solving someone else’s problem, not just our institutional concerns,” says Ahava. Design your content to answer real questions and solve problems your audience is facing.
Ahava elaborates, “I always tell this story about my early days as a writer. I used to hang out in waiting rooms to ask patients what they wanted to know.” One such experience led her to write content advising patients to bring snacks during long appointments — a simple but practical solution to a genuine problem that had gone unnoticed.
She also warns against sparse or oversimplified content. When a doctor was hesitant about providing too much detail about a medical procedure, Ahava mentioned that a friend chose another hospital because their website had more information. Her takeaway? “Offer more detailed information, giving patients the choice to delve in or not.”
3. Balance Institutional and Individual Needs
The crux of the challenge in healthcare content marketing lies in achieving balance. Healthcare institutions face “the cost of cash flow, financial pressures due to COVID-19 and emerging disruptors like Amazon and CVS,” Ahava points out. But cutting marketing budgets is like “firing your sales team, the last thing any organization wants to do during challenging times.”
Another balancing act is finding the right language and tone to serve both institutional and individual requirements. Whether it’s doctors preferring clinical language or executives wanting a formal tone, the key is “getting stakeholders on board so we can create content that truly resonates with our audience,” says Ahava.
To achieve successful healthcare content marketing, focus on the 3 pillars:
- Back up your strategy with data and feedback
- Solve your audience’s problems
- Balance the needs of the institution and the individual
It’s an exciting time to be in healthcare content marketing. By incorporating these 3 pillars into our marketing strategy, we can make a meaningful impact on healthcare consumers’ lives.
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