The Process in Action: Content Strategy, Start to Finish

By now you’ve probably heard the buzzphrase “content is king,” and while it may verge on cliché, it’s truer than ever in today’s marketing landscape. Content is an invaluable marketing tool with a great deal of benefits including increased credibility, shareability, SEO and more. An informative, relevant piece of content that frames you as an industry thought leader can help make your website more visible, driving web traffic and putting more eyes on your business. Those who read your content may want to share it on social media, making it visible to their readers and followers. Combine this with a few more distribution channels and you can expand your reach significantly with just a few simple steps, generating new leads and ultimately providing new clients, patients, customers or residents.

Before you leap into action, be sure to heed the bolded qualifiers above. Pumping out mindless or low-quality content won’t get you very far. Outsourcing the job to an international service may be a cheap and easy way to procure an article or a blog post, but chances are it’s not one that will impress or even engage potential readers. It may not even be readable! Other shortcuts like recycling content from other sites are not only unproductive, they may even hurt your search engine ranking. The only surefire way to produce quality content is to build a content strategy.

Identify your audience and what they want to read.

As mentioned above, good content should frame your business as a thought leader within its industry. And who knows your industry better than you? Think of the demographic you want to reach, then pick an individual from this demographic and use them to build an Ideal Persona. This is not based on an actual person, but rather a hypothetical individual you want to reach. What’s their name? What is their age, gender, occupation, income, etc.? Once you’ve identified your target persona you must decide how to reach them. Great content often answers questions or addresses fears and concerns. What questions do they have? What obstacles do they face? What keeps them up at night?

Use this information to craft a calendar of content topics that answer their questions and address their concerns.

Write strong content.

All of this strategizing is well and good, but it means nothing without strong content. Research is the foundation of quality content, so make sure you leave no stone unturned in your research process. Explore articles from industry leaders or prominent bloggers. Unfamiliar with a source but like their information? Follow the rabbit hole of links to the source to make sure the info is legitimate.

Once you have your research, write your content. DON’T use it to promote yourself. The quality should speak for itself and pique the reader’s interest in your organization organically. Make sure to link your sources, and try to link to your other content as well since link building can improve your search engine ranking (learn more in our comprehensive SEO guide).

Distribute.

The first step is to post the content on your website. If you don’t have one already, create a blog/article section or something similar. Then, create an email campaign with a platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. The email should include the first few paragraphs of the content piece and a button that directs readers to your site. Next, promote the content on your social media channels. This will provide a simple and direct way for your followers to read and share the post and make your content even more visible.

A strong content marketing strategy can give you the edge over competitors while bolstering engagement, SEO and more.

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