What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as, “A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience-with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” Essentially, content marketing is the process of developing content and distributing it to engage potential customers. Unlike more direct sales and marketing tactics, content marketing allows you to more subtly deliver something of value to your target audience. Content can be many things. It can be a blog post, an infographic, a video, a whitepaper, or a podcast, just to name a few.
How do you ensure you’re creating valuable content?
The answer will differ for everyone, and it may take some time to figure out. Think about what your customers would find valuable, and what’s relevant to your business. Another thing to consider is the idea of recycling content. Different platforms reach different audiences, so making content available in more than one style and location will only increase visibility.
Once you start creating content, look at what content is best received. Page views, click-throughs, and other metrics will be helpful to determine this. If you’re new to tracking metrics, many platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn already have built-in tools that show you how well your content is received among viewers. Other free tools like Google Analytics can be installed to give you a better picture of these metrics as well.
How can I share my content?
There are several ways you can share content. One easy way to do this is through social media. Whether it’s a blog post, an infographic, or a YouTube video, share a link to your content on all of your social media platforms. Another easy way to publicize your content is on your website, or for a more traditional way of sharing content, try sending paper mail such as a flyer or a post-card.
If you’re looking for a more direct way to promote your content, you may want to send a marketing email. If you don’t already utilize email marketing, there are many tools you can use such as Constant Contact and Mailchimp that allow you to create professional looking marketing emails to send to a subscriber database.
When considering platforms, think about your audience. Their demographics will influence the platforms you should use. For example, if you’re targeting an older population, you may want to stay away from social media, and focus on more traditional forms of outreach like print. On the other hand, if you’re targeting a younger audience, consider a more digital approach. Above all, there are many ways to share your content. Keep in mind that there is no ‘best’ platform to use, and it’s certainly beneficial to try more than one.
Why content marketing?
There are multiple reasons to consider using content marking. One of the most important reasons is to build brand recognition. You want to generate awareness of your products or services to a wide audience, and creating valuable content that people want can help you build that recognition. Greater brand recognition goes a long way. It can lead to increased website traffic, more followers on social media, and ultimately more customers.
Another benefit of content marketing is that it can help you build credibility, particularly if your content is educational and relates to your business’s area of expertise. This is an especially relevant benefit for the healthcare industry, as expertise and experience are huge factors in attracting new patients.
Content marketing is also beneficial in that it can be low cost. Many forms of content, such as blogging, simply require an hour or two of your time to develop.
Lastly, content marketing works because it’s subtle. In today’s environment, consumers are constantly bombarded by marketing and sales messages. These tactics often end up doing more harm than good, as they’re seen as overly pushy.
How do you get started?
Once you’re ready to get started, there are a few things to consider:
Your first decision is what type of content you’re interested in sharing. Are you going to create some infographics and videos for your website? Maybe you’ll send out a post card with healthy recipes or start a blog utilizing industry related news. Next, you’ll have to think about how to get your content out there. As I mentioned, consider your target market’s demographics when choosing a strategy. Before you get started, make sure to have a plan for consistency. Whether you share content once a month or once a week, make sure you’re consistent.
Once you’ve thought about platforms, you’ll want to decide whether to utilize in-house staff or outsource the service. There are many firms and agencies that offer content marketing services, one of which is PatientWise, who has experience in the clinical research and healthcare space. Outsourcing may be a good place to start if you lack time and expertise. However, if you’re looking to do it yourself, there are many other resources that can help: for example, websites like Forbes and Hubspot offer hundreds of free articles and guides to get you started.
To conclude, developing a content marketing strategy is a great way to increase brand recognition and build credibility for your business. If you are interested in more information on content marketing, or are ready to get started, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!