No matter what your business is, content marketing is a growing, cost-effective marketing tool that works. Custom content takes many forms: social media, vidoes, news articles, and blogs are just a few examples. For hospitals, content marketing should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
According to research by Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising and yields three times as many leads on a per-dollar basis. The same survey suggested that 70% of people would rather learn about a company or its products through articles rather than traditional advertising.
More and more people are looking to the Internet for information about business, products, and services. Another survey found that 78% of U.S. Internet users searched for information about products or services before buying. For hospitals, this is particularly important. In the past, marketers relied on word of mouth or traditional advertising to promote hospitals. With more and more people seeking information about hospitals online, however, content marketing has become particularly important in a hospital's marketing strategy.
How hospitals can incorporate custom content
One of the most effective ways hospitals can incorporate custom content in their marketing strategy is to produce a blog on their website. Blogs should be patient-centric, incorporating terms and topics that patients are likely to search for. Blogs can address:
- Events or clinics for patients
- News and commentary
- Developments in treatments
- Frequently asked questions
Producing content is not as difficult as you might think. Many companies outsource their custom content writing. A recent survey found that 62% of companies are outsourcing their content writing, which is represented a 7% increase from the previous year.
Social media is emerging as one of the most visible and engaging ways to employ content marketing. Many hospitals have found success in developing a following on social media. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, for example, has amassed more than 1 million followers on Twitter by sharing relevant news and stories. The Cleveland Clinic has achieved similar success on Facebook using a similar strategy.
Developing custom content through social media can be an excellent place to start for hospital marketers. The nature of social media is conducive to shorter posts, which is less time-consuming to produce than lengthy blogs.
When it comes to news articles, content marketers have two options: produce the content yourself or attempt to have a news organization produce the content.
Marketers should continue to seek coverage by local and national publications about hospital events, news, and human interest stories. With many newspapers stretched thin, publications are constantly looking for well-written press releases that can be easily converted into content for their publications. Marketers who want coverage should do everything they can to make it easy for publications to cover their topic. A well-crafted press release is the gold standard. Many publications, including online sources, will even post content written by marketers as bylined articles.
Content marketing is an effective, affordable way to boost the visibility of your organization. It is a win for marketers because it is affordable and effective, but it also provides a valuable service for patients seeking information about treatment, facilities, and options for care.