You’ve heard it before: blogging is good for your brand. In fact, 82 percent of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their content marketing-driven efforts. But you just aren’t sure investing in a blog for your healthcare organization is the best move.
You have a lot of questions. That’s valid. But we’re here to say blogging for healthcare is worth it. Here are a few of your top healthcare blogging questions asked and answered:
Last year, the Cleveland Clinic was highlighted as one of the top hospitals in the nation to “align patient needs with online capabilities.” Manager of Digital Engagement Amanda Todorovich says the organization’s Health Hub blog is “home and anchor of all of the content we're pushing out to a consumer audience. We launched the blog in April of 2012, and it's grown to more than 3.2 million visits a month.”
Blogging seems to be working for one of the most recognizable hospitals in the nation, but what about B2B healthcare organizations?
Invacare, a manufacturer of medical equipment for the home and long-term care markets, launched a new website in 2012 for a specific audience. “Do More With Oxygen” was built with COPD sufferers in mind and functions as a community where COPD patients, their caregivers and their respiratory therapists or physicians can find blog posts, tip sheets and eBooks with updated, relevant information about living with COPD. One of the community’s primary characteristics was its reliance on educational—rather than product-centric—content.
In just eight months, the website boasted traffic of more than 54,000. Accompanying downloadable guides and eBooks resulted in more than 1,200 raw leads.
Are those results worth the investment to your organization?
In a December 2012 study, Philip Healthcare found that one in 10 Americans believe online health information saved their lives, stating that, “they might already be dead or severely incapacitated” without the information they found online. Additionally, a Pew Internet study found 80 percent of Internet users have looked online for information—this translates to 59 percent of all adults.
As for B2B buyers, Google has already done the research for you through a survey with 700 hospital administrators: “The shopping process is constantly changing for B2B buyers, (including doctors and hospital administrators). They now complete more than half of the purchase cycle before even contacting a sales rep. They’re gathering information, comparing options and doing so without your input.”
Whether a patient or a someone making purchase decisions for a hospital, consumers use digital content to narrow down options, create a list of questions and get a closer look at the products or services. If your brand is not creating content for your audiences, they may simply skip over you during the process of choosing a vendor. Are you ready to get started yet?
A successful marketing program begins with knowing your buyers inside and out. You need to know who they are, what job functions they perform day-to-day, where they spend their time online, what their professional priorities are and what decision criteria they use before making a purchase. The easiest way to create an editorial calendar your audience will devour is to simply ask customers what type of content they want and expect.
If you are looking to discover what a B2B audience is looking for during digital searches, here are a few questions to get you started:
You can easily adjust questions accordingly for B2C audiences or specific niches.
According to Todorovich, staff members are lining up to take part in Cleveland Clinic’s content marketing efforts: “The trick for us and the absolute key to that level of success has been sharing the data across the enterprise,” she says. “Showing the success, showing them the time they spend with us to contribute to this content is worth it, that there's a return there, that we're reaching people, and that we're getting engagement. Now, it's really not even a question. We've got doctors and experts who are coming to us asking, 'How can I get on Health Hub?’”
Here are a few additional reasons your team members should consider contributing to your content strategy:
Sharing these justifications is sure to get your team excited about contributing to your blog.
If you are looking for a few places to gather inspiration or your own content marketing efforts, the Cleveland Clinic Health Hub blog and DoMoreWithOxygen.com are great places to start. You can find 100 additional healthcare blogs to fire up your imagination here.
If you still aren’t convinced blogging is right for your healthcare organization, feel free to reach out to us to discuss your business goals and how content can help you achieve them.