As more hospitals and healthcare centers undergo digital transformation, content isn’t a simple nice-to-have tool anymore – it has evolved into a brand currency that’s crucial to a practice’s success. But to ensure that the right content and message are delivered to your patients, healthcare practices must have a content plan and ecosystem that jumpstarts everything.
Content ecosystems map every essential element involved in the health practice’s content – including the content calendars, workflows, processes, involved teams, tools, and more. Each brand in any industry has a unique content ecosystem. It can take a while to build one that works for you, but its benefits for your brand are definitely worth the time and effort.
Searching for different health information is one of the reasons why people surf the web – in fact, about 7% of search queries on Google every day are health-related. This presents an opportunity for healthcare companies to create valuable content that educates their audiences, increases traffic for their site, and helps build their brand reputation.
But creating valuable and engaging content isn’t as easy as it sounds. Publishing random articles with no clear direction might give you the engagement you want, but it doesn’t really do much when you look at the big picture. Sometimes, these unplanned, sloppy, and scattered pieces of content may even hurt your brand instead of helping it.
To maximize your healthcare blog and consistently draw potential customers into the brand, you need to create a content ecosystem filled with high-value information and interconnected parts. With this strategy, every new content is integrated into a bigger ecosystem that attracts and nurtures leads on its own.
Having a content ecosystem helps healthcare practices increase the effectiveness of their marketing strategy. It allows them to organize every piece of content into a network of assets that collectively boost market momentum and guide patients at every stage of the purchasing journey.
Content ecosystems are living and breathing engines that change and grow according to business needs. While each healthcare practice has its own content ecosystem, there are still main components that everyone should include in their system:
The content ecosystem serves as the landscape to help healthcare brands create quality content. Here’s how you know the content ecosystem is working properly for your brand:
Every healthcare practice has a content ecosystem that works based on different factors important to them, including the solutions they offer, brand goals, and target audiences. To help you get started, here are crucial steps needed for mapping out content systems based on your needs.
The first thing that healthcare brands must do is assess their content experience and creative process. Does the published content guide patients throughout their purchasing journey? Is the content helping the brand achieve its marketing objectives?
With these questions, it’s easier for brands to identify the gaps and points of weaknesses in their current content strategy. List down all the strengths and weaknesses of your process, so it’s easier for you to know what works and which ones need improvements.
The next step involves finding the best content streams that help the brand address all the identified weak points. Decide what kind of content is needed then check how it’s connected to the other pieces of content in the ecosystem.
For example, the brand might need more blog posts and other search content that attracts qualified traffic. After writing this type of content, brands also need to link the blog posts to their solutions page and feature lead magnets. This allows them to obtain visitor information and classify them as leads.
After identifying the content stream, the next move is to pick the specific type of content needed for each one. Make sure to ask how the target audience prefers to consume information during different stages of their decision-making process. Healthcare brands may also look at the approach of their competitors to learn from them.
By considering these factors, brands make safer content bets. They also manage to create a signature approach that allows their brand to stand out and welcome more audiences. As you pick among different content types, make sure to consider how each piece reinforces the others.
For healthcare practices, it’s crucial to have a brand that’s adaptable to audience-friendly contexts. Pillar topics are the subjects you want the brand to be known for. It’s also through these topics that you offer healthcare solutions and appeal to the interests of the target audience.
Once the ideal pillar topics are established, the next step is to create an ongoing series of smaller subtopics that engage audiences. This proves that the content you write is qualified to help patients with their health issues in that specific topic. All content across all streams should tie in at least one of the core pillar topics to ensure that the ecosystem stays focused and coherent.
Once the content plan is organized and calibrated to optimize marketing outcomes, the next step is to find the resources capable of creating content at that scale. Some practices have a team of in-house content managers and freelance creatives, while others hire content teams to make and maintain a centralized content strategy.
Most healthcare brands stop at the content creation stage, but it’s a grave mistake to think the process simply ends there. Content ecosystems go through lots of changes according to how the business grows, so it’s crucial to always monitor the progress of each content and strategy and then adapt accordingly.
Brands should always review the processes and systems to check for outdated content and areas of improvement. Only then can the content system work most efficiently.
A content ecosystem isn’t a priority for many healthcare brands, even though it should be a crucial part of their overall marketing plan. This content strategy continuously evolves with practice, but the benefits it brings your brand are all worth the investment.
Getting a team of content experts that can take care of publishing audience-centric and on-brand content for you means that you don’t need to worry about ideation, creation, and publication. Make sure you get an all-in package to churn out fresh content for you every month.