Do I Need Content Marketing Strategy Before Writing Blog Posts? Exploring the Benefits of Planning
This article explains the importance of having a content marketing strategy, with simple steps and resources to help you develop a marketing plan.
The success of your business depends on a healthcare content strategy that delivers results. That may sound intimidating but bear with me. I am going to break it down into a few steps to drive your strategy. Ultimately, the goal is to lead existing and potential clients to your product. You can achieve that by offering quality healthcare content. Let’s map out a blueprint of fail-proof ways to drive clients to your business.
In 2023, you might think everyone out there has content on the internet, even beyond the healthcare industry. But, many of them have no strategy. If you have content with no strategy, you are wasting valuable time and money on efforts that will get you nowhere. Think of it as a roadtrip with no destination. It might be okay, at first, if you don’t know where you’re going. You’re cruising along, driving, enjoying the breeze, but eventually, you’ll get bored. You won’t see the end and will probably turn around. In the content world, it’s the same. Oftentimes, companies love to start the content creation process by writing because they have so much to share with their audience, but over time, it becomes boring and unfortunately, no results help that feeling of “it’s not working” set in. Then, you give up. You pull back marketing dollars and invest them elsewhere when you didn’t have a good strategy from the start.
If you had started with an effective healthcare content marketing strategy you would have results, not overnight, but you will see it over time.
Another reason you need a good strategy is to know what’s ahead. Back to our roadtrip, without a map, aka Google Maps, you may not know to avoid traffic up ahead or a faster route to your destination.
With a content strategy in place, you know what that next content piece will be and you’ll know what the goal of the piece will be, without hitting writer’s block or feeling overwhelmed.
When you think of the pillars of a healthcare content strategy, I want you to think of these five pillars:
Now let’s break those down
Creating an editorial content calendar will help you map out a strategy for all 12 months. In my experience, I like to focus on three months at a time because then you can go back and see what’s working when you plan the next month. The first part of creating your calendar is to understand your goal for the content you produce. Most of the time, my clients say, “To create new customers.” Of course that’s what we want, right? Customers=money But, to gain customers, you must first build their trust. I will dive into this more when we talk about the three funnels of content development. When you work on developing a content calendar, think of 3-5 content pillars/categories to work from. All of your content should fit inside these categories.
Now that you have some objectives for your content, think about how often you will produce this content. Are you creating it weekly? Biweekly? Monthly? Before you ever put out your first piece of content, create many posts in draft mode/scheduled mode. This will ensure you are ahead of schedule and then you can keep writing. If you miss a week, you still have a blog scheduled to go live to your audience. If you wait until the day you want to post, you will feel rushed and want to get something out there without perfecting it. Put into your own calendar the times you will create weekly/monthly content. I like to batch this as a content day on my calendar. If you are too busy to create content, you can hire a subject matter expert to help you create a piece.
The second piece of the five pillars is SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is a crucial part of the strategy because you want to ensure your content works its way to the top of Google when your customer searches for the topic you are writing about. There are many tools out there to help you decide which keywords to target and you’ll want to make sure you use them so that your content does well because again, without an SEO strategy, your content will not get the results you’re aiming for when you set the objective earlier.
Some of my favorite tools are SEM Rush and Ubersuggest. I also do a Google search and see what customers of my clients are searching for – oftentimes it’s a “how”, “why”, or “how do I?” question.
The next pillar for content strategy is finding your writers. Who will be writing your content? This is a crucial question. When WriteRN obtains a client often, it’s because the owner, content director, or content manager does not have the time to write a piece (because of all the other duties involved). You can hire a writer, but don’t forget to create a content brief with keywords and an outline to help your content rank. If you use a subject matter expert, create an author page or byline so that Google sees your company as a thought leader in your field.
For example, at WriteRN we have many healthcare clients who have nurses as their audience. They seek us out because they know our nurse writers can “speak to the nurse”. We work with the client to create an amazing strategy, create the content briefs and keywords to rank for, and find a writer to write the content. Then, when the content is published, we include a headshot and author bio crediting the nurse who wrote the content.
Once you create the content, it’s time to launch it. As discussed in pillar one, your editorial calendar, you have to create a launch that includes a frequency that people will remember. If it’s every Tuesday, make sure you produce something every Tuesday to build that trust with your audience. Once you have that down, make sure your blog post is optimized and it’s time to LAUNCH. Push it out to your social media followers and create an email for your email list.
This step is a step that is often forgotten. We love to create, create, create, but we never stop to go back and evaluate. Put into your Google calendar time each quarter to evaluate your content. Check the analytics to see what is popular and when you go to create more content, lean into what’s working and what your audience is searching for.
Before diving into building your strategy, we have to cover the three types of content to develop.
First, let’s put it into a scenario. Our character’s name is Jane and the product you’re trying to sell to her is smoothies from your new smoothie bar. Follow along the marketing funnel with Jane.
No, not the food. This TOFU stands for top-of-the-funnel content. This is the type of content you will want all over your website and social media platforms. These include blog posts, website landing pages, social media ads, and other types that create awareness of your company/brand.
For Jane, she had no idea a new smoothie bar existed in her small town. She’s had a smoothie before that she’s made at home and enjoyed it but didn’t know you could buy one locally until she was scrolling on Facebook and saw the ad. She hopped over to the website and read a few blog recipes to make smoothies and made a few at home.
The next step in the funnel is MOFU or middle of the funnel content. This is when your audience knows you exist, but is not sure if they need to buy from you or not. We create content related to the benefits and how your product can solve a pain point. This can include case studies and some deep informational or educational blog posts that help your audience see how your product solves their problem.
While we look at Jane, she has made smoothies at home but hasn’t bought one yet. She’s noticing when she makes a smoothie, it comes out chunky sometimes. She also notices that it takes a lot of planning to buy the right ingredients to make her smoothie. She is reading more and more about health benefits and looked over the menu and pricing to see if it was affordable. And, to her surprise, it was. She loves a recent blog post about the ingredients in the smoothies from the store and how they aren’t made with ice cream or sherbet, but instead real, healthy ingredients. She’s now thinking about how a smoothie in her day can help her with her weight loss goals and overall wellness.
The last part of the funnel is called the BOFU, or the bottom of the funnel. This is when we ask customers to buy. Email marketing, social media ads, and blog posts are some of the ways we can do this. We use what’s called a CTA, or call to action. We urge our customers to take action and buy whatever we are trying to sell.
For Jane, she sees another ad as she is scrolling Facebook and decides to click, “Order now.” She orders the same smoothie she made at home, because it was good and she’s picky. She selects to pick it up in the store. Within 10 minutes, her smoothie was ready, and she was heading to the store. When she came inside, it surprised her to see how clean and welcoming the store was, and saw they also sell wraps, so she ordered one to go for lunch. Now, Jane will be a long-time customer.
Now that you see the value of creating a content strategy, it’s time to create one, step by step.
This important and often overlooked step is critical when establishing your healthcare content strategy blueprint. It sets the tone for design and an overarching plan. Your team will decide and develop a mission statement, specific and attainable goals, and a measurable growth plan to track progress. Your goals should focus on what content is needed to drive your project successfully. Often the goal is to rank high on search engines, ultimately driving more traffic to your business.
How will people know what you can do for them? They won’t until they understand your business and recognize the value you can bring them. They need to become familiar with your brand and think of your services when they need help. Brand awareness helps you educate your existing clients, generate new ones, and convert them into loyal consumers. When your clients know what you can offer, you want to identify a brand focus. This focus will drive your business identity. An example would be a marketing agency focusing on health content, and the brand focus would be nurses writing all of the content.
Ask yourself, who is my audience? Who needs my help? When you focus on the “who” rather than the “what,” you discover your target audience. A way to help identify your target audience is by setting up a social media poll. Then you can ask a few questions to help narrow your focus on your target audience.
This next step in your healthcare content strategy is closely related to your target audience. Once you identify the group of people you can assist, what are the needs of those individuals? Content drives results when it connects with the user’s or consumer’s needs. A few questions you may want to ask yourself are:
Every business, regardless of the industry, needs a website. Your website is your online presence and creates credibility in your business space. Checking out your website is one of the first things a client will do when researching your business. Your website can make or break your business. Unfortunately, many companies feel they are not tech-savvy or do not want to invest in website development. That mentality will slow your growth. Your digital presence should be good quality, easy to navigate and display what you can do for your client and how they can get in touch with you.
A call to action (CTA) button is great because it allows you to connect with your potential client. In addition, the CTA encourages your client to act on something. An example of a CTA is asking the client to enter their email address and sign up for your newsletter.
A social media presence is an extension of your business. It allows you to connect on different platforms with existing and potential clients. In addition, social media will enable you to communicate with people worldwide and let them know how you can assist them. As a result, you can build your brand recognition and connect with your target audience. Those personal connections are what drive action.
What is high-quality content? High-quality content answers your reader’s doubts and questions in a single spot. Content can include blogs, articles, or posts. The purpose of your content is to create a presence as an authority in your business. You want to be known as their reliable, go-to source for information and assistance. Therefore, it is essential to have quality health writers assist with your online presence when writing health care content. High-quality content can do several things for your business.
“A gap analysis is a method of assessing the performance of a business to determine whether goals are being met and, if not, what steps should be taken to meet them.” Sometimes it can be difficult to look at the areas that are not succeeding. However, this is where the potential for growth lies.
Every three months, make a goal to measure your successes and failures. For example, how much time do clients spend on your website or social media sites? This analysis will help drive change and improvement in your healthcare content strategy. If you receive feedback, use that to adjust your goals.
What strategy is going to bring your business to the next level? Let’s explore potential areas for growth and how your business can connect with clients and deliver results.
Building a successful business relies heavily on your healthcare content strategy. Write RN offers a custom, one-stop marketing approach for healthcare companies looking to move to the next level. We have you covered if you need help creating your healthcare content strategy. Schedule a discovery call with our team at Write RN.
Jeanine Clancy MEd, BSN, RN, has been a nurse for twenty-seven years with an extensive background in perioperative services, school/community health, quality, education, and leadership/administrative roles. Jeanine creates high-quality health content and is a mom (to 4 fabulous kids), dog mom, and avid hiker. For more information on my services, please visit inspiremedicalwriting.com.
I’m a Registered Nurse since 2006, specializing in labor and delivery. I still work at the bedside, as needed. I built Write RN back in 2015 when I started as a freelance writer.
Over the years, and many clients later, I studied marketing, grew my marketing skills, my portfolio (over 200+ pieces), and my business to the agency it is today. I am delighted to have been featured on many podcasts, publications, and worked with clients such as Pfizer, Healthline, Medscape, and more.
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