You've been tasked with creating a healthcare blog, and you know a good strategy is essential to its success. But where do you start? What information do you need to include?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, over 80% of businesses use content marketing, but less than half of them have a written plan in place.
At a minimum, your content strategy should include:
Even the simplest questions can get tricky. You will need to define who's responsible for the overall content strategy, and the responsibilities of the other key players. Decide if you will use internal or external resources (or a combination), and who will be measuring and reporting the information to management.
Many times the same person is responsible for content creation and measurement. It's rare to find a person who is skilled in both the technical and creative aspects of content, so this may be a mistake.
What Type of Content Will You Publish
It's easy to say you'll have a healthcare blog so you'll publish articles related to your practice.
But what about podcasts? Or infographics? What if you want to include video?
A blog is more than just a string of posts. Even if the writing portion of your blog posts is finished, there is still a variety of ways you can present the information to your readers.
You might only focus on conditions, but you can also consider other topics like personal stories, staff news, and more. A good strategy is requires a variety of content to achieve a well-defined goal.
Who is going to read your content? Create a content persona for each type of person you aim to serve. These personas include detailed information to make it easier to create resources that solve their problems.
An editorial calendar will define how many times per week you will publish, as well as what you will publish, and when. Sitting down and mapping out a year's worth of content makes it easier to get things in order.
Definition of Success
In order to know how your blog is performing, you need to define what success looks like. This should be in specific numbers, not abstractions.
Some questions to ask include:
- How many visitors should I have per month?
- What percentage of those visitors should sign up for the newsletter?
- How many new patients will I acquire per year from the blog?
Once you know what success looks like, you can determine what kind of measurements you need to look at to determine if you're on the right track.
Special Considerations for the Healthcare Industry
In addition to the ideas presented above, the healthcare industry presents its own set of complexities every person involved with content needs to be aware of.
Review the legal considerations regarding privacy and other healthcare policies of the local government. You may need to include a disclaimer on your posts that this is not meant as legal advice to avoid any hot water you could get in from someone who followed your advice and had disastrous results.
Putting a healthcare content strategy in place doesn't have to be a scary thing. A combination of patience, prudence and good judgment will keep you from making bad decisions. Nothing is set in stone, and you can always change the strategy if you're not getting the results you want.
Do you have a content strategy for your healthcare blog? Tell us what works for you in the comments; we'd love to hear from you!
About the Author:
Sharon McElwee is a freelance writer with over 15 years of experience. She loves helping
businesses grow their online presence through blogging and social media management. Connect with her on Twitter.