How to adapt your healthcare content marketing for a more distracted audience
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey
It’s not enough to develop customer personas and think that from that point forward, you know who your audience is and what they want. Your audience’s wants and needs are constantly changing. Especially now, as the majority of the country has been sent home to work and live in one place. You need to be able to shift your message—and how you deliver it—to meet the current business and social climate.
Good content marketing begins with listening. As in personal relationships, it takes more time—and sometimes energy—to sit back and listen before offering up the benefits of your products or services. I say this as someone who loves to talk. (My kids too often accuse me of trying to provide solutions, when all they want is for me to hear them out.) If listening was easy, we’d all be doing it more often.
However, the more you listen, the more you find that your prospects’ feedback provides a wealth of material for marketing content that you’ll never get from brainstorming ideas with your colleagues. Address their issues in your reports, white papers, articles, and videos and you have the best chance of developing loyal and long-term relationships with customers who trust you to understand and meet their needs.
Happily, technology and social media provide an effective way of listening when you can’t form focus groups or go into the community to engage. Consider the following 5 tactics to understand your audience’s perspective and concerns:
- Calls to Action: Whether you’re writing a blog post, promoting a white paper, posting on Twitter or LinkedIn, or submitting guest written articles, always insert at least one CTA that is a question rather than a command. For example, if you’re writing about a new medical device that you’ve just launched, your CTA might be, “What would be your biggest challenge in adapting this technology? Please email me your concerns at info@companyname?”
- Surveys: Instead of posting content about your services or products, post a survey that asks specific questions about a new service or product you are marketing that will elicit thoughtful answers. Explain why this information is important for you to collect. People are willing to provide opinions if they know how they will be used. Also, keep surveys short — three to four questions max — to respect your audience’s time. Offer multiple choice answers when possible, but request at least one written answer. You’ll find many survey tools online that are simple to set up and use.
- Comments on Social Media: When you interact with followers on social media, consider asking powerful questions that invite interaction, instead of posting your own point of view. Keep the conversation going by following up their responses with more questions. Not only will you make the other person feel heard, but you might also help them see the issue in a new way. And they will remember that feeling longer than any comment you could make about your own knowledge or expertise.
- Comments on Rating Sites: If you have a practice or organization that is receiving online reviews, make sure you monitor rating sites regularly and respond to written reviews as applicable. But again, instead of providing a canned response, ask questions that demonstrate your empathy. Instead of, “I’m sorry we didn’t live up to your expectations,” ask, “What could we do to make that experience better for you?”
- Online Feedback Surveys: You can automate a feedback collection process with a software program that sends surveys to patients or customers immediately after all or specific interactions. The feedback can help you evaluate the quality of your service and/or products. Better yet, use software that can be integrated with a Customer Relationship Management program so you can respond to any survey response with either another question or answer. If a recipient only gives you one star, for instance, ask them what you could do to bring that up to five. Again, respect your customers’ time and don’t overdo the surveys or questions.
For some great examples of how healthcare organizations are creating connections with their audiences, download a free copy of:
9 Examples of Empathy in Healthcare Content Marketing.