Healthcare content marketing is a digital dog eat dog world — or at least it can feel like one when your content isn't performing the way you want it to. It's important when you feel your relevance slipping to find what might be changing in the industry. You don't want to be the last one to know about a tactic that is extremely successful for others in your competitive landscape.
Here are four healthcare digital content marketing tactics to be aware of:
1. Market to the Buyer Collective: Go Beyond Direct Decision Makers
If you're focusing on bringing only the C-level leads into your funnel, then you're behind the times. Successful digital marketers in the healthcare IT space have their fingers closely on the pulse of the conversations happening within hospitals and amongst healthcare providers — particularly, the buyer collective.
Those conversations might include technical interests (IT users) and procedural interest (providers). How can you incorporate both into your content strategy?
Treat the buyer collective as a puzzle to put together, and not as just rings on a target to hit. If your buyer collective is only a static series of concentric circles, success is simply hit or miss, with no room for improvement over time. If your buyer collective is a puzzle, the more pieces you have on your buyer collective and the content they consume, the clearer the picture becomes over time.
Clinicians, nurses and hospital staff are often the end users for healthcare technology. In order to persuade the decision makers to purchase technology, the end users need to be behind the choice. To assume those end users aren't doing their own research on what's out there to manage their pain points and enable them to better do their jobs is to do them — and yourself — a disservice.
You need to create content that speaks to the technical level of varying end users and at different stages in the buying process.
Here are three examples of what content titles contextualized for the buyer collective might look like:
• Why providers should care about EHR functions
• IT & security compliance considerations for medical imaging solutions
• How patient experience improvements can coincide with increased profitability
2. Make the Case to Your Sales Team
A big problem when marketers start implementing the buyer collective mentality is that their sales teams aren't on board. They've been prioritizing leads based on job title rather than a lead's point in the buying process. Make the case to the sales team that a clinician who's viewed a number of pieces might be worth nurturing and talking to over a C-level prospect who's opened one email.
The key for making your case is to illuminate the ways this mentality, and consequent shifting process, is a win for the team. Here are some ways selling into a collective is beneficial for salespeople:
The more members of the buyer collective informed and empowered to approve or contribute to the completion of the purchase, the faster the deal can move.
• Objection reduction/smoother path to close:
With more members informed, there is a lower likelihood of people intervening with last-minute questions, or pre-signing cold feet.
• Upsell potential
When more stakeholders have greater buying power, there's an opportunity to capture more spend.
When all stakeholders are informed, confident, and set up for success upon a purchase, the users will be that much more likely to capture clear, measurable value for their organization. When the time comes for renewal, it's an easy sales conversation.
Other, procedural tactics that can also help:
• Develop a lead-scoring system within your organization to make the hierarchy of leads clear. Emphasize to the sales team that this will enable them to have better sales conversations with leads who are more ready to buy and ultimately will increase their sales.
• Emphasize any alignment with / amplification of your account-based marketing (ABM) efforts.
• Create a list of key accounts and set them aside for a more aggressive follow-up regimen.
3. Persona Research and Use
Healthcare digital content marketing teams will often say they have a firm grasp on their target segments. They think they know how their audience interacts with their content and what they want to read. But without research and analysis, and continued use and re-development of personas, how do those teams know if these efforts are working?
Buyer persona profiles are complicated creatures, just like the individuals they represent. For a buyer persona profile to be an effective guidepost for how you engage your audience, it needs to be built on specific, well-researched, and reliable sources of information. Ideally, this information should include first-hand accounts from the people these profiles represent. If done right, these profiles should also be contextualized within the buyer collective. While the buyer collective represents the group as a whole, personas as individuals may fit archetypes within the buyer collective that might vary from title to title and organization to organization. But in behaviors, responsibilities and mentalities, the patterns of who these individuals are remain consistent; the way you treat them across titles/organizations, then, should be consistent as well.
Bottom line: Creating content using persona-specific messaging is way to develop content that really converts. Persona research and analysis allows you to know you aren't wasting your efforts or speaking incorrectly to your audience.
4. Map the Journey
Part of understanding your personas is understanding the buyer's journey — that is, the navigable map of where the individual is, what obstacles are in their way, and where they should or will come together to make decisions. Understanding who's reading your content, when, where, and for what purpose will enable your marketing team to analyze these elements for deeper insights.
For example, if a CTO downloads a less technical selection of content written for a CFO, you could glean that a CTO was sharing that information with their peer to gain buy-in.
Understanding the impact of your content at a deeper level is the key to a more sophisticated healthcare digital content marketing strategy and will provide the best results for you and your team.
Integrating these four tips into your healthcare digital content marketing strategy will deepen your insights, make your efforts more sophisticated and enable you to fuel more productive sales conversations.
For more research on Healthcare Information and Technology content marketing best practices, download our latest ebook: 7 Research-Backed Best Practices for Healthcare IT Content Marketing.