How should the healthcare marketing industry approach content marketing? How about starting with a simile: Content marketing is like personalized medicine.
Allow us to explain.
Personalized medicine (PMx), or medical care personalized for an individual patient, grew out of the work in human DNA identification completed by the Human Genome Project in 2003. The genome-specific identification system has led to the ability to practice medicine on patients with reduced chance of negative side effects, higher probability of desired outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs.
Imagine the same principle applied to your marketing efforts.
Personalized content marketing (PCMx) is all about creating, and then serving up, content based on the individualized needs of your audience. It’s taking that extra step to ensure the highest level of care goes into your content marketing efforts.
PCMx, like PMx:
- reduces the chance of negative side effects (like your marketing reaching the wrong audience or being generally ineffective)
- produces a higher probability of desired outcomes (meeting your marketing goals) and
- reduces your marketing costs.
Start Practicing Personalized Content Marketing
With personalized medicine, the patient gets the care they want and need without having to ask for specifics. With personalized content marketing, apply the same efforts to see results for your audience.
Content personalization positively impacts a customer’s journey. A study showed that customers are 58 percent more likely to make a purchase when the retailer recommends an option for them, based on their own behavior, like past purchases made.
That’s a powerful statistic, and the technology exists to put that kind of power in your hands.
Personalized Content Marketing Basics
The basis of good content marketing comes from a place of authority.
In the same way you wouldn’t perform foot surgery if you’re a dentist, the content you create needs to be specific to your expertise. You are the expert in a field, and you’ll serve as your reader’s go-to for knowledge and advice.
But that’s just the beginning. That’s just getting the patient in the door.
PCMx means doing research on and better understanding your audience. It’s not enough to know what keywords to target. Take it a step further and know exactly what your reader is searching for. Keyword research gets you started, and from there, explore how long your content should be, if it has related topics you can touch-on now or later, and, of course, if your piece of content is actually answering their query.
Knowing what audience you’re trying to reach means you can speak directly to them. Identifying personas is a key ingredient to successful marketing, as is knowing your goals. If you need help identifying healthcare marketing personas, we have three to get you started.
All the little changes you make to your content marketing efforts with personalized content marketing in mind, tie directly into user experience (UX) – nothing is more personal than that.
UX Is Integral to Personalization
A positive user experience shows that you care about whoever is visiting your website. A good UX encompasses so many things about your website. When it comes to personalized content marketing, however, you can combine with UX to give users the best possible experience.
- Including a user’s name in an email newsletter, or having a chat function set up on your website so they can talk to a real person, are two simple ways to make your content more personalized.
- If you have a campaign, consider creating a landing page that gives the user direction and lets them know they’ve arrived at the right spot.
Everything you do in UX is meant to make the user more human and strengthen your connection to them. Therefore, it is a major foundation of personalized content marketing.
Get Social With Them
One of the easiest ways to personalize your content marketing is letting it happen in real-time. Social media is everywhere, and it’s a great way to bring personality to your brand. Interacting with followers on social media makes your healthcare practice seem more available and more human.
This doesn’t mean you need to jump on every single social media network site right away. Instead, identify where you can best reach your audience, and focus in on that social network. You’d be surprised at how many people look to social media profiles for help and support.
Consider this: 37 percent of customers find purchase inspiration through social media channels.
Bringing real-time application of personalized content marketing into the world of social media is another way to show your target audience how you care for them, personally.
Specific Content Ideas to Get You Started
Once you fully understand the need for personalized content marketing, you’ll likely want some solid content ideas to get the ball rolling.
One way to personalize content that is very popular is a “choose your own adventure” style blog. As a user reads your blog post, they can click through what they want to learn more about. Perhaps you start a blog post on common running injuries and let the reader choose if they want to explore ankle injuries or hip injuries. From there, they could read the piece and then move on to either dynamic stretches or strength-training exercises.
Another type of content you might try for your next piece of personalized content is the interactive quiz. Take a look at this one by The New York Times that lets you see how your diet affects climate change. This sort of personalized, quick quiz puts the user in control of the situation. They can learn as much or as little as they want, and they’re learning something about themselves that they might not have otherwise known.
As a doctor in an office, your job includes getting to know the patient. You ask about their symptoms and their medical history. In personalized content marketing you have just as much of an obligation to your user to learn about them so you deliver the right prescription (of content, that is).
Explore the Benefits
Imagine you’re ready to call a patient in for their appointment. Do you say “Patient #10567, we’re ready for you.” Chances are, probably not. The personal touch of using their name, and yours, is what makes the appointment personal.
Personalized content marketing is more than just using a name in a template. It’s a way to communicate directly with the user and let them know you care about their specific circumstance and experience. It’s that personalization that will keep them coming back to you for information.
When you’ve started implementing personalized content marketing into your regular content marketing strategy, you’ll see more of the right kind of user, you’ll likely get more conversions and your marketing efforts will be more effective as a whole.
If at the end of it all, personalized content marketing isn’t in your wheelhouse, that’s OK. It’s in ours. Check out our services to see how we can help you personalize your content.