When it comes to communication in healthcare, there are a few things content marketing can solve for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology firms looking to increase lead generation, recruit talent, or simply increase brand awareness.

Of course, the following tips depend on the fact you already follow the content marketing basics, such as defining your vision and identifying your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Where do you see your organization in five years?

And, surely, you have search engine optimization figured out by now, too, right? Do you know the key phrases and words your audience are using? Ensure those keywords are in your headlines and sprinkled throughout your content.

Since you have the essentials figured out, consider these five ideas and tips for refining your healthcare messaging:  

1. Leverage SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)

78 percent of respondents to Demand Gen’s 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report say they place a higher emphasis on the trustworthiness of the source. That means the messenger matters as much as the message. And that means you should be looking for internal SMEs, or Subject Matter Experts, who can help with your content and tell stories that are informative and trust-building.

Identifying SMEs can be a challenge, especially the ones who are busy with important work that has nothing to do with content marketing. But if you can capture the interesting stories and personalities of the engineers, data scientists, and scientists in your halls, you’ll significantly boost your brand’s authority and messaging.

2. Interview Employees and Customers

Sometimes you have to look outside of the content marketing brainstorming sessions to find stories that may have gone overlooked. Interview your own employees and customers to find out about their experiences and what they think is different and unique about your organization. Give them avenues to share their stories, including what it means to them when they help patients, run clinical trials, or what it’s like to work at your organization every day. Then take their stories and refine them into blog articles or have them talk openly on video.   

Showcasing your team members or satisfied customers says to potential buyers that your organization is personable and trustworthy. Plus, when researchers see your team, and assign a name to a face, they’ll be more willing to contact you since they’ll know who to expect based on a blog article, video testimonial, or a simple picture on an About Us page. Second, it signals to potential talent that your organization is a fun, interesting, and worthwhile place to work. But we’ll talk more about recruitment in a bit.

3. Complete Thorough Competitor Research

This is less a tip and more a necessity. Before you can tell a different, more unique brand story than anyone else, you must understand what stories competitors are telling. Take inventory of what your closest competition is doing. Are they posting blog articles? Ebooks and white papers? Podcasts and videos? How well is their content performing? What’s the main issue they’re solving for their customers? Is there a blind spot they’re not addressing that you can address in your messaging? Find out how you can set yourself apart.  

4. Listen to your Communities on Social

Find what your audiences are saying about your brand or your industry online and see what discussions they’re having. That involves monitoring your social media feeds, whether they’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and actively listening and engaging with what customers are asking or complaining about. Criticisms can be turned into opportunities to fix problems on the spot, while questions can be answered on the spot or leveraged for additional blog articles or infographics your content hub. You can also find out about the challenges your audience is facing and address those issues in the conversation, or with more personalized content. When customers know you’re directly engaging them in online discussions, you’re not only building trust and increasing your thought leadership, you’re finding ways to refine your messaging.

5. Provide Tools and Resources for Soliciting Feedback

Give visitors to your site the chance to provide feedback which you can then use to improve and refine your content. Have your team ask buyers questions about the quality of the service they’re getting and whether your messaging is clear or not. Alternatively, you can send out detailed surveys in email newsletters. As in tip #4, customers who feel empowered will add to your reputation and give you more chances to refine your story.    

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