Content marketing has been a popular marketing strategy for B2B and B2C businesses that has skyrocketed in the past several years, but the principles of content marketing have been around since the late 1800s. Content marketing has evolved from its early days into consumer centric story-telling, engaging infographics and informative content all aimed at connecting with your ideal audiences to motivate them to take action with your healthcare brand.
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
So why use content marketing to promote telehealth during a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic?
Helpful content answers questions your future patients have
Telehealth is new to many people, especially older populations, who stand to benefit greatly from using the services. By providing helpful content to your audience, you can help answer the critical questions your patients have during this crisis. Rather than having to reiterate the same information in one-to-one communication with each patient, publishing these answers in the format of blogs, videos, ebooks, website content and social media posts will help you communicate with entire patient populations and also reach potential new patients at the same time.
What kind of content can you provide?
Content can be delivered in various formats in your telehealth marketing strategy. Consider your ideal patients and how they prefer to consume content. Do research. Look at your website analytics and determine which pages are most visited and where your patients are spending the most time. This will give you directional information that you can build upon. Try a couple different formats and ensure you can track engagement (frequency, average session duration, unique visits, bounce rate, etc). Collect data on the topics and types of content your audience consumes the most. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
Infographics are a great way to provide content in an easy-to-read, visual format. Shorter than a blog post and packed with visuals to deliver the content, you can create infographics on a variety of topics. A couple of infographics ideas: Why and how to social distance; Proper mask use; How to properly sanitize your hands; Tips on building up your immune system
How to Guides
How to guides are very popular content marketing devices. You can make how to guides for many common questions you get from patients or expect to get from patients about your telehealth services:
- How to make the most from your telehealth visit
- How to download the telehealth app
- How to prepare for a telehealth appointment
- How to book an appointment on the telehealth app
- How to use the app during your appointment
Videos are an easy way for patients to consume content and for telehealth providers to build trust and personal connection. Using video to provide helpful content, such as a Q&A with a clinician regarding COVID-19 automatically builds authority with your current patient population and prospective patients. Patients are consumers of healthcare and therefore want to understand the personality of the telehealth provider and brand they are choosing for care. Video is a great delivery model for increasing brand and clinician awareness. Provide videos of step-by-step instructions of what to expect during their telehealth visit or tips on how to stay healthy at home or discussions about the latest news happening with the crisis. An added benefit of video content is that search engines love video content. Post video content to your website and on YouTube to increase your visibility to prospective patients and increase conversion rates.
Social media allows telehealth providers the opportunity to own the media by creating relevant, engaging content for current patients and prospective patients. By sharing regular updates with your followers, posting blogs and videos you have made and hosting live Q&As on Facebook with providers you are building authority, trust and connection with your audiences. Utilizing the comments section can be extremely beneficial in helping craft future content pieces. Healthcare consumers want to engage with your brand and social is one of the best platforms to encourage and grow that relationship with your patients.
Don’t underestimate the power of your website homepage! It is the first place that visitors land when they come to your website. Think of it as the new front door to your healthcare practice. This is where prospective patients decide whether they want to engage with your telehealth service or move on to another provider. Ensure content is targeted to the audiences you are trying to engage. If you have new or relevant content you’d like them to find, include links and display relevant messages and content on the homepage so it is easily discovered.
Creating content is crucial for search engine optimization (SEO) and rankings on search engines, like Google. All search engines have a search engine results page (SERP) that delivers content to users based on their search query (the word or phrase the patient types into the search bar). The results that get returned on the SERP are ranked based on how relevant they are to the user conducting the search. This is where content marketing comes in. By ensuring the content you are producing contains the most relevant and searched for keywords (optimizing the content) you will drive more visitors and potential patients to your site. It is important that you rank highly for relevant keywords that the prospective or current patient is searching for such as “telehealth services.” You can mine your social channels for topics consumers are commenting on to help guide the content you should create. Use free keyword tools such as Google Trends, Answer the Public, and Ubersuggest to see what healthcare terms users are searching.
Telehealth Marketing With Content
Communicating with current patients or prospective patients at the right time, in the right marketing channel and with the right content is the end goal. Let them know what telehealth services are available to them and how they can access care and how much receiving care will cost. In today’s current climate, giving patients an opportunity to visit their doctors virtually via telehealth is proving to be more widely accepted and even expected. Make sure prospective and current patients can find you by marketing your telehealth services!