Working to increase brand visibility within the healthcare IT market can feel a lot like a contentious game of chess. You need to make the right moves to get your opponent's king in checkmate. To get your content in front of your targeted audience requires strategic planning and tactical moves. If you want to expand what your content is capable of, then you need to think about your strategy from a different perspective. Here, we've outlined three crucial, but often overlooked pieces for creating and increasing brand visibility.
Plan to Influence the Buyer Collective
A common theme among industries, but especially true within healthcare IT, is that marketing teams aren't understanding the full reach of their influence and who they should be targeting. Marketers think they need to focus directly on the decision makers and make content that speaks directly to CTOs, CFOs and other C-level trophy-fish titles.
What this strategy fails to consider is how your content is used within an organization and who derives value from it. Yes — the CFO might be the one making a final purchasing decision, but it is clinicians, nurses, or other in-the-trenches employees who are using this technology. So, doesn't it make sense they would be searching for information or have a stake in the decision as well?
At HIMSS Media, we call this group of diverse influencers and stakeholders who are integral contributors to a purchase decision, “the buyer collective.” The usual C-suite suspects certainly are among such buyer collectives, but as the basic biology of the food chain reminds us, big fish can’t exist in isolation.
Success in efforts to increase brand visibility within the health IT market requires you to realize you need to reach deeper into an organization. You need to understand the interconnected relationships and resources that make up a buyer collective, even when it may still be one high-level executive who ultimately signs the contract. Experienced fishing guides harness their knowledge of an ecosystem to not only be where the big fish are, but to also put out the best hooks that have the best chances to get a bite. Effective marketers must understand and harness the nature of the buyer collective in a similar way. It may take catching smaller influential contacts to lure in a prized decision maker. It may take netting a whole school of stakeholders to gain enough influential weight to tip the scales for a sale.
Whatever it takes, planning to influence the buyer collective shifts your perspective to a more effective outlook. You’re not just scanning the surface for a lone prized persona. You’re setting yourself up to look deeper into the nature of things so you can use every line in an interconnected web to your advantage.
Create Content that Targets the Entire Buyer Collective
Of course, learning to look for the buyer collective is only the beginning. The next step is understanding how to speak to all these different people and create content that answers a diverse set of questions, pain points, and/or use cases.
Start by analyzing your understanding of these people. What do you know about them? You can't increase brand visibility without creating quality content that resonates with your readers. A good practice is to conduct persona research to make sure you aren't operating under assumptions about your new readers.
Persona research ensures you aren't wasting your resources or your effort. To conduct this type of research, you will need to turn to trusted inside experts who understand to whom you are speaking and what those people truly care about. You can do this through client interviews, or by carefully sourcing an in-house subject matter expert. Once you determine what it is these people care about most, you can create content that is targeted to them to nurture their education.
Employ a Multifaceted Strategy for Multiple Channels
At the end of the day in healthcare IT marketing, it doesn't matter how great you think your content is if people aren't reading it. Creating targeted content isn't enough without the content marketing strategy to match. Determine where you need to engage, in terms of channels, based on your buyer’s preferences. It will likely require you to have a diverse range of channels like social, email, events, etc., but be sure you're thinking about where your buyers will be receptive of promotions; not just where you feel you should be promoting. Beyond that, you should consider what journey a reader will take after that first interaction. Once they've responded to or engaged with a piece of content, how will they then move through the process toward purchase? How does your different content play together toward your ultimate goal?
Your strategy needs to be multifaceted and your channels diversified. That means you should not only create content for personas in the awareness, consideration and decision making stages of the buyer's journey, but also for the places where that journey transpires.
Strengthening your content strategy to address a wider range of influencers and decision makers will make it more pervasive, and will accelerate your ability to increase brand visibility in the healthcare IT space.
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.