Content marketing is the practice of publishing original content across various channels including social media, blog posts and medical marketing email to increase sales or other conversions. Content marketing, when done properly, can be an excellent lead generation tool for businesses trying to reach and engage with medical professionals.
As HubSpot pointed out, B2B marketers can use content marketing strategies spanning from blog posts to e-books and video campaigns to be found by medical professionals searching for products, services and medical equipment online. Additionally, content marketing is an important route to being seen as a thought leader and building trust among potential leads. The positive benefits of content marketing explain why an August 2015 survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs found the majority of B2B marketers are leveraging the strategy. According to eMarketer, the survey revealed 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads.
What content are medical professionals interested in?
The first step to developing a strong content marketing strategy for healthcare professionals is understanding what content interests them. It is worth considering that healthcare professionals are extremely busy, and will probably like receiving content that will make their lives easier. According to the HealthLink Dimensions white paper “Breaking Through The Noise” there are a handful of key topic areas medical professionals value most:
- Industry news, product updates and announcements, research and educational opportunities.
- Regular medical education program information.
- Patient education materials.
- Information regarding insurance network updates.
For example, marketers trying to sell insulin measurement devices to doctors who specialize in diabetes might consider authoring blog posts featuring patient education for coping with the disease. Social media, blog and medical email marketingcontent shouldn’t be strictly promotional. Instead, it should provide value based on healthcare professionals’ key needs and interests, ultimately driving them to channels where they can enter the sales funnel.
Channel is key
If not distributed through the right channels, even the best content will go to waste. eMarketer reported that according to the CMI study, 94 percent of B2B marketers said they used LinkedIn to distribute content, noting it was the most effective channel for reaching their audience. The HealthLink Dimensions white paper underscores this fact, suggesting LinkedIn as a top social media choice for physicians.
Healthcare marketers should leverage this insight when developing their content marketing strategies. Consider using LinkedIn as a primary social media channel for distributing content such as blog posts, e-books and individual posts. Marketers can also drive traffic to their content through targeted emails using segmented lists.
“The CMI survey found 36 percent of B2B marketers felt their content marketing strategy was ineffective.”
The importance of strategy
No content marketing execution can be effective without first setting a strategy in place. The CMI survey found 36 percent of B2B marketers felt their content marketing strategy was ineffective. This was largely attributed to marketers not having a well-documented content marketing strategy. In fact, nearly 50 percent said they had a content marketing strategy that wasn’t documented at all, and 20 percent had either no content marketing strategy or were unsure if one existed.
In order to be effective and produce as many leads as possible, healthcare marketers must create and document strong content marketing strategies that are grounded in data. From email distribution methods to the development of an actual content calendar and platform-specific strategies, marketers can leverage the wide array of data available to them to optimize their content across all channels.
Additional best practices
Content marketing is grounded in authenticity and a deep understanding of the target audience. Every piece of content, regardless of the channel it is published on, should provide immediate value to medical professionals and be relevant to their needs and interests. There are a handful of additional best practices CMI recommends in order to be an effective content marketer:
- Document and regularly review the strategy.
- Get advocates – consumers, partners, employees – involved with content marketing.
- Tell compelling stories.
- Plan a week in advance for content strategy and distribution.
- Use tools to manage content development and performance.
- Stay informed of the industry and create value.
- Understand potential leads’ top needs and questions.
- Leverage internal experts.
- Build relationships and perpetuate dialogue with readers.
- Keep up with trends and innovation every day.