5 Ways To Enhance the Patient Journey With Content Marketing

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01/25/2019 in Blog

The patient journey is top-of-mind for healthcare organizations that are looking to attract consumers to their brand by making a personal connection with relevant content and outreach.  In an effort to accomplish this, organizations have been publishing more content than consumers can read or process. Although every marketing effort is an opportunity to connect with your audience, the goals have shifted and it’s all about the quality of your content over quantity.

How can you revise your content strategy to maximize engagement and effectiveness?  Here are 5 ways to optimize content for the patient journey and provide only the most valuable information:  

  1. Master the journey with the help of CRM: Using CRM data to develop patient personas and target consumer segments can help you identify the access points where you’re beginning engagement and where conversions are happening. Tailor messaging and communications to address each touch-point and help guide the patient along their journey with specific calls-to-action. The more you understand each unique patient journey, the more relevant and defined your content will be - leading to a better flow of information that meets the consumer’s needs and preferences. For more CRM best practices, check out our Healthcare CRM Playbook.
  2. Stay topical: With changing regulations, massive corporations creating disruption, and a push towards constant innovation, the healthcare industry is always in the news. Start creating a news round-up and share the stories that are most relevant to your community. Your audience is likely concerned about how these changes may affect their healthcare, so provide the organization’s point-of-view on these news articles and guide patients to the resources that are available at your hospital for more information.
  3. Solicit patient stories: Every patient journey is personal and shared stories can inspire your audience to connect with your brand. Encourage patients to share their stories in unique formats, such as an audio clip to be used in a podcast or a video to be shared on the website. Pull quotes from submitted stories to highlight in marketing efforts. By recognizing the unique experiences that your patients have with your caregivers and services, you are providing the voice-of-customer validation that online searchers are seeking.  
  4. Narrow down overarching content topics: What services are your organization best-known for? What are your differentiators? What is your area of expertise? It’s impossible to be everything to everyone, so pare down the topics that you develop content for and aim to be the go-to expert and authority on a focused list of topics. This creates a more deliberate content approach and helps organize your website and marketing efforts by becoming more specific. By focusing your efforts on pillars of content, patients will have an easier time discovering information that meets their needs and interests. This narrowed content focus also enhances your SEO strategy when you link keywords across pillars.  
  5. Use more video: Video content is in high demand and has the ability to capture the attention of your audience in ways written content cannot. Video is useful for the person-to-person connection by putting a face to a name, providing a tone of voice, and engaging the viewer in a conversational way. The types of videos you can create are endless, whether it’s brand awareness, a focus on service-lines, physician introductions, patient stories, continued care support, etc. As patients move along their healthcare journey, having video resources to turn to for information, assurance, and compassion will differentiate your brand and instill confidence in their care decisions.  

For healthcare marketers, patient engagement hinges upon identifying and predicting future health needs and tailoring communication to motivate action. These 5 tips will help further the conversation with your patients and provide them with much-needed resources to guide them along their journey with confidence.