Content marketing is an alternative to the traditional marketing methods that push communications to a broad market. With content marketing, you can strategize, create, and publish communication pieces that inform your specific audience about how your product or service can resolve their problem. Having an extensive understanding of your target audience is essential to develop content that is relevant, valuable, and reaches them at the right stages of their customer journey. Without a full grasp of their needs, wants, and preferred communication channels, you could be building content that casts too broad of a net and yields too little results for the investments. The three critical elements to significant content creation are: Connecting, convincing, and converting.
Storytelling is a vehicle that content marketing uses to connect with their audience. However, not all stories or content are created equal. Posting pictures of your product with vague captions or flooded with industry jargon can miss the mark with your target market. The Success framework suggests content should be simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and emotional stories. Creating content with these guiding principles can increase engagement. For your audience to engage with your communication, pieces should express the service’s core benefits in a familiar language. The story should also have an unpredictable element and use either visual or literary imagery to support the claim the story emphasizes. Lastly, your content must elicit emotions within the consumer.
At first thought, you might think, how can storytelling fit in healthcare marketing? But what is important to realize is that the concept of storytelling in this context doesn’t mean your marketing communication should be filled with fiction. That definitely wouldn’t work with healthcare. Instead, use the concept to share and communicate your patient’s outcomes (of course, following HIPPA) or their experiences with the healthcare system you represent. For example, Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, used compelling storytelling for their “Love Will” campaign.
Convincing refers to the manner that you weave the storytelling to communicate the benefits of your services. This includes clearly depicting how your services can solve your audience’s pain points and incorporating elements that support the notion. For instance, the social media strategy developed for a private practice can consist of content featuring patient success stories and first-person testimonials. This will let your potential patients know what type of healthcare you can provide, and the positive testimonials can give authority to the quality service they can expect.
Converting is turning your potential clients into actual consumers of your products. This can be done with simple methods like calls to actions, a sample or free limited trial, or offers and discounts. A typical call to action for a medical practice can be signaling to book a free first-time consultation.
If you haven’t yet read my last blog post on the six principles of persuasion.