The anatomy of content marketing plans for healthcare technology organizations

Patients and consumers expect a lot of our healthcare experts. We hold our medical practitioners to a higher standard than most professionals, and successful relationships between patients and physicians are based on trust and honesty. When they give us advice, we tend to listen. What’s the best exercise for weight loss, doc? What’s the right blood pressure for someone my age? What foods can I weave into my diet to stave off inflammation? Are there better ways to make sure I’m getting a proper night’s sleep? What are the warning signs for a heart attack?

We’re asking our healthcare experts these questions, so, healthcare experts: Why wouldn’t you incorporate a content marketing plan that proactively addresses these questions that so many of us have? What are you waiting for?

Of course, I can appreciate that you might be wondering how to get started. If you’re not sure where to begin, start here as we explore one pillar in a healthcare marketing plan – content marketing.

A healthy content marketing plan

Gone are the days where healthcare marketing consisted of ads on billboards and in the Yellow Pages. Content marketing allows you – the healthcare technology expert – to share information directly with your customers and potential customers. There are several facets of a successful content marketing plan for healthcare organizations, but you must have these three things:

  1. Compelling content,
  2. Someone to produce and disseminate that content, and
  3. A trusted expert to make the content trusted and worthy of your brand.

The content must be useful – it has to be written for the consumer. (Don’t fret: There’s still room for provider-focused content in your overall marketing plan, but that’s just in a different bucket.)

There are several top-tier academic medical centers that are doing it right. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and other top institutions that regularly appear on the U.S. News and World Report’s “best hospitals list” all do a great job in the content marketing space. In fact, it’s probably fair to call them the pioneers of content marketing in healthcare. Cleveland Clinic offers its patients and potential patients access to its Health Library, while Mayo Clinic offers various resources to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s not forget: Content doesn’t have to be limited to only written words. UNC’s School of Medicine’s Health Talk complements its traditional patient-focused and research stories with podcasts that delve into various conditions and treatments and even “Tasty”-style recipe videos.

But if podcasts and recipes aren’t the right fit for your medtech company, perhaps content marketing via email is a better fit. Let’s take Harvard School of Medicine as a case study in healthcare content marketing via email newsletters: I receive several email newsletters from Harvard Medical School of varying degrees of interest to me.

One recent subject line was “Be fitter, stronger and trimmer in just six weeks.” That may have been the first email I opened that particular morning. Since it was coming from a trusted healthcare source, it felt more like an authentic recommendation than grocery store tabloid advice. Just within the past month, relevant content shared included the following: “Eat better, feel better with Harvard’s new online course”; “Tips to help you embrace your ab workouts”; “When a loved one needs care, would you know what to do?”; “Holding on to stress can affect health”; and “The simple cure for one of the biggest health problems in America.”

Would you open these? How do they compare to emails that you might be sending?

Again, content marketing is just one pillar of a healthy marketing plan for healthcare and medtech organizations, but it’s an important one.

Is your marketing plan in need of a checkup? Let’s talk about how to implement content marketing strategy for your healthcare organization.