Health care content marketing can be extremely challenging.
With so many rules and regulations that need to be followed from a digital perspective, it can be difficult at times to find the right balance between content that engages and educates your audience, but also follows the high level of standards that we need to adhere to in the health care industry.
Another challenge in health care is that your audience isn’t just consumers. You must also consider members, providers, agents, and employers.
What follows are some insights from initiatives I developed as the digital marketing strategist for Florida Blue, which is part of Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield system. Here’s how the company’s blog put the focus on educating and engaging readers, while also appealing to our diverse audiences.
Repurpose Existing Content
Repurposing content is extremely important. This could come in the form of:
- Finding content that already exists in one format and then transforming it into another.
- Taking an idea or ideas out of one piece of content and building those ideas out further to create another blog, presentation, infographic, and so on.
For example, Florida Blue shares a variety of content (e.g., letters, emails, newsletters, PDFs) with its various audience segments. The content topic varies from informing individuals about updates regarding health care reform, to open enrollment, to providing educational content focused on health and wellness.
We know our audience finds this content interesting and informative. Most importantly, this content has been created by our subject matter experts and has gone through our review process, so it’s all ready for primetime.
There are several benefits of repurposing already existing content and placing it onto a blog. It:
- Extends the investment that was originally put into its creation, thus improving the ROI.
- Provides a digital footprint of content that has yet to exist online.
- Gives your blog more content. More pages on your site means more opportunity for your site to get more pages indexed in search engines and found by people who are looking for authoritative topic experts.
- Aids in keyword ranking as the content usually contains words and phrases that you’re trying to target, whether it’s long-tail brand or non-brand terms.
Repurposing not only can help build out excellent content on your company’s blog, but reach additional people with great content that’s ready to go!
Not All Content Is Meant To Convert
Digital content comes in several flavors. While lead generation and conversion is an important part of your marketing efforts, it shouldn’t be the only main focus because not all consumers at the same stage of the decision journey.
Content should be intent-based, interest-based, or information-based, but doesn’t necessarily have to be all three things at the same time. What it should be all the time is appealing to your audience segments – and if the content doesn’t target any one of them, then there’s little need for it on your site.
This content is created so your audience segment to take action, whether it’s filling out a form, downloading an app, signing up for a newsletter, or making them aware of a contest. Content should always have a specific purpose and calls to action to tell your reader what to do. For example:
- We wanted to increase awareness to our digital newsletter. So in addition to making sure our members were aware of the latest edition, we wanted to share with the masses because the content was appealing to many. One easy way to accomplish this: create a brief blog post about the newsletter and then promoted the blog post socially via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- We wanted to increase awareness about our new mobile app experience following a significant update. To let people know they should download the app, we published a blog titled “New Look and Feel – Florida Blue Mobile App”.
This type of content is usually focused on a specific audience or persona that usually discusses a focus topic. One way we are doing this is with our podcast and blog series, solely targeted to our providers.
- Florida Blue ICD-10 Podcasts & Blogs: ICD-10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). Basically it’s diagnostic coding system that is almost in every country in the world. Presently we are in the transition point from ICD-9 and ICD-10, so there’s much debate and interest around this, especially to providers. One way we’ve stayed on top of this is by interviewing experts on a consistent basis, with our Open Line Friday Teleconferences. It is essential a conference call that is recorded, then placed it in a podcast format and then placed in blog post, summarizing that main points. Not only does it increases the lifespan of the content, but also provides an area online where providers can access the information at a later date.
This content is educational and its goal is to simply inform the audience. No matter which audience segment you’re trying to reach or appeal to, informational-based content is always a sure way to gain trust with your readers.
Providing people with the tools to solve their problems or make their life easier is a sure win-win for the brand. Here are two examples of our information based content:
- Information for Our New Members: This blog is highlights the tips and information that is helpful to the member, such as how to make a payment, insight about ID cards, as well as contact information if the member has any questions.
- What is Health Insurance? This blog contains a video, which is a part of our educational series on our Florida Blue YouTube Channel. Using our blog as an additional promotion tool, it helps educate the reader about ins and outs of health insurance and health care reform, as they can be difficult topics to understand.
It’s important to not only know whom your content is for, but also needed to enhance and improve the customer lifecycle. By developing content around intent, interest, and information, you will be sure to appeal to your audience segments in a positive manner.
Finding and Using Internal and External Subject Matter Experts
Finding and utilizing subject matter experts is an easy win for any brand. You can use internal subject matter experts to help with content creation, but also network externally and digitally to find external experts who are gracious enough to provide content. Our blog built thought leadership by working with three blogs:
- Students with Disabilities Benefit from Florida Blue/UNF Partnership: This blog was created by one of our internal communications experts. We have a team of internal and external communication experts, so one way to increase thought leadership was to have content that was already created internally, be repurposed and posted on the blog with the experts byline. This increases diversity of your content, by having new authors on your blog. Doing that also can increase your readership as those new guest bloggers have a different social media network they can tap into, which once again is another way to increase traffic to your site.
- Smartway, Innovative Product for Women | Winner of the 2014 Florida Blue Health Care Innovation Competition: This summer, Florida Blue sponsored a innovation competition where students from across the State of Florida pitched their ideas for innovations in healthcare. After the winner was selected, we had the opportunity to connect with them and gain some expertise regarding health care innovation
- An Insider’s Perspective on the Affordable Care Act: Our Interview with Jason Altmire [Podcast]: Jason Altmire is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Government and Community Affairs at Florida Blue. He also is a former Congressman from Pennsylvania and served from 2007 to 2013. Using his expertise for various blog posts and podcasts has been a great way to educate our blog readers on health care reform.