“Content Marketing” isn’t a standalone marketing strategy.
In today’s digital healthcare market, having engaging content has never been more important. Before a patient calls to set an appointment, they’ve already gotten a first and second opinion online from trusted sources and their online peer group. The patient journey begins when they research symptoms online, not when they come in for an exam.
However, content marketing alone cannot deliver increased keyword rankings, generate measurable leads or demonstrate positive ROI.
Because content is the lifeblood of “Inbound Marketing.”
Inbound marketing is a proven strategy for both B2B and B2C marketers to attract new prospects with interesting offers and content, inspire those prospects to take action, and nurturing them further down the sales funnel to close, all the while measuring and tracking every step of the consumer journey. At Response Mine, one of the maxims we ascribe to is, “We are what we measure.” However, measuring the success of content marketing without proper scaffolding through benchmarks, A/B testing and analytics is an academic exercise at best.
Success in Content Marketing?
What counts as success? Only measurable outcomes.
With content marketing, it’s easy to measure traffic to your website or blog. It’s easy to track user actions like button clicks or time spent on page. But these don’t directly translate into measurable sales data.
Consider this metaphor.
You’ve eaten cake. You’ve seen others bake cake. Recently, you read the recipe for your favorite type of cake, red velvet (obviously). You even memorized the recipe! Does this mean you can make a red velvet cake?
Not exactly. Reading the recipe isn’t the same as getting your hands dirty in the kitchen.
This is true for content marketing. Knowing content is important and writing compelling content to inspire your best prospects to take action is just one step in a successful strategy. The “baking” phase in this metaphor takes us to the idea of content as a key facet of inbound marketing methodology. To measure the effectiveness of content marketing, it needs to be intrinsically tied to your inbound goals.
Integrating Content with the Inbound Methodology
The bottom line for any solid marketing strategy is the sale. If your medical group has many open appointments on the calendar, you’re staring in the face of missed revenue opportunities. Creating content that doesn’t attract an audience is a waste of time and effort. Regardless of which metrics you choose to track, above all, users should find that your content adds value to their lives. Healthcare content marketing is about building brand authority through educating patients. When patients engage with content the find meaningful online, their engagements can be measured. If you’re spending marketing dollars on something that fails to produce a measurable ROI, you should probably be spending those dollars elsewhere.
Measuring the Consumer Journey
Before you can determine if a visitor to your site has become a lead, a qualified lead or a customer, it’s essential to establish tracking metrics and scoring to capture relevant information about your prospects. Gated content is an ideal way to collect user information on a voluntary basis. Rating user interactions from the number of visits to clicks to email opens is a meaningful way to capture distinct milestones in the consumer journey.
Optimize Your Website for Success
In order to operationalize these ideas, your website needs to be integrated with logistical and analytic tools to measure user engagement and to control the flow of information. CRM systems like Hubspot allow you to define, track and measure meaningful user engagements from site visits to newsletter signups to white paper downloads. Managing your user relationships through relevant tools is essential for content marketing success.
Supercharging Content Marketing
If you truly want to maximize your content efforts, bolster your strategy with the help of your SEO team. Key insights from competitive analysis, keyword research and implementing the best practices of technical SEO will make your content more visible and competitive on search engines.
Integrating social media marketing is a proven way to share your content, drive more traffic to your site and improve brand sentiment. Many users consider a healthcare business’s social media presence critical to its relevance. When asked if a healthcare provider’s social media preference would impact their decision when choosing a hospital, only 30% answered negatively. A consistent presence on social platforms communicates stability and trust to your prospects.
Integrate PATH segmentation
According to the “Profiles of Attitudes Towards Healthcare (PATH)” methodology, certain dispositions of individuals approach healthcare in different manners, and therefore, they respond to marketing channels in different ways. In order to identify and target the patients you believe are ideal candidates for your services, it’s imperative that you create a strategy to market to them effectively.
Understand your patient base and what drives their decisions—are they proactive information seekers? Who in the family is likely to make the health decisions? How are you marketing toward your target audience? By answering these questions, you can better set goals for your content and measure your successes based on KPI’s that drive a real return on investment.
Drive Meaningful Results with Response Mine Health
At Response Mine, we leverage the best tools in today’s market to ensure we deliver measurable ROI for our clients. If you need help measuring the efficacy of your creative patient acquisition marketing efforts or would like more information on inbound marketing strategies, contact us or give us a call at 404-800-9499.