April 13, 2015
/ by Cision Contributor
Content marketing can be challenging for health care communicators, especially at the local level — hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. For one thing, most of your audience doesn’t think of you until they absolutely need you. And of course, you have HIPAA issues to worry about on everything you do.
So how do you do health care content marketing? Here are three ideas you can add to your content marketing strategy to try to both catch people when they need you, and still avoid privacy concerns.
So, most of your audience doesn’t care until they need you? Use that to your favor. Be the thing they need when it finally is time for them to come to you.
While many health care communicators focus primarily on prevention and providing preventive medical information (and you should too), focus on the things your prospects need once they start paying attention.
When someone receives a diagnosis about a medical condition, now they’re paying attention. Now they’re going to think about diet, exercise and all the things you’ve been talking about. If you can give them that information and catch them at the right moment, that’s when you can be the most effective.
“Be first. Be Right. Be credible” is the public health crisis communicator’s mantra.
Whenever a health crisis occurs, the public health first responders want to be seen as the go-to source of information for the media and general public. They do this by writing about and talking about that health crisis immediately, but they established their credibility by talking about those issues early on.
If you recall the avian flu concerns in the mid-2000s, and the H1N1 scare in 2009, you saw the crisis communication model in action. Whenever there were questions about either flu, the media went to the public health agencies before calling anyone else. That’s because the communicators had laid the groundwork early, creating the materials for the media and public before they were ever needed.
For health care communicators, you need to establish your credibility early on, by talking about your core issues before people need them, not after. If nothing else, this helps your Google ranking, so when other people who need your care can find you on the search giant.
People gather information from different sources. Some read blog posts and articles on their laptops, others watch videos on their mobile phones. Some people will read on their tablets, others will want email and text messages.
While it’s easy to commit to a single point of content, such as a blog, you need to know your audience and what they prefer. If you’re not sure what to use, ask your target audience via surveys or personal questions. Communicate with them on those channels in the style and manner they prefer.
Health care communicators face the same issues as communication professionals in other industries: reaching new audiences, educating on the issues that are important to them, and sharing valuable information. While there are some potential problem areas, such as HIPAA, it’s still possible to fully embrace content marketing and do it well.
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