In just a couple of weeks, the HITMC community will be gathering for the annual conference #HITMC19, April 17-19 in Boston. Since the next monthly #HITMC Twitter chat falls on the Tuesday the week before the conference, I thought it would be fun to discuss a perennial hot topic – marketing content.
Content Marketing is a key pillar of many digital marketing programs. According to eMarketer, 84% of US companies with at least 100 employees will be using some form of digital content marketing in 2019.
Yet many companies are unclear why they are investing so heavily in this area. I’m willing to bet that less than half can cite anything beyond “raise awareness” or “demonstrate thought-leadership” as the goal of their content program.
Last week I co-presented a Healthcare B2B Digital Marketing webinar with Wynn Hansen @wynn_atwork at SmartBrief. At one point in our discussion I made that statement that “Good content well distributed is better than great content that is distributed poorly.”
About 5-7 years ago, I think it was the dream of every marketer to create content so compelling that thousands of people would flock to their company’s website to read it. I admit to succumbing to this siren call myself – pushing the company I was with at the time to publish content on its own blog. But after a year I had to grudgingly shelve the program because results were poor. It was then that I realized that a content program that does not include a distribution strategy is a complete waste of time.
Whether you market to patients, physicians, healthcare providers or Health IT Companies, having great content can help you start conversations with your target audience…but only if your target audience sees the content you have created. Relying on your audience to find the wonderful content on your website is, at best, a (painfully) slow process.
You can improve your results by using social media to drive traffic to your own content (but there is a fine line between promoting useful content and shilling your own product/services). You could also Include your content in a customer newsletter to help boost traffic. But unless you have tens of thousands of social media followers or email subscribers, your content is only going to reach a limited number of people.
So what’s the solution? Go where your audience already is.
If you dig a little bit, I’m sure you will find a publication, an association’s newsletter, an event or a social media platform that your target audience already turns to for valuable, trusted content. Rather than try to compete with those trusted sources, join them instead. Work to get your content distributed through their established distribution channel. Leverage the trust and work that they have already established with the reader.
Regional affiliates of national associations were one of my favorite distribution channels. These smaller organizations always seemed to be grateful for good-quality content that helped to educate their members. Notice I said educate not sell. That’s the key when using someone else’s distribution channel. You need to provide something valuable for their readers. You will never be invited back if all you do is try to sell you product to their members with a brochure masquerading as thought-leadership content.
Join us on the next monthly #HITMC Twitter Chat, Tuesday April 9th at noon ET, 9am PT (for your local time, click here) as we talk about content AND distribution.
For anyone attending #HITMC19, which starts the week after on April 17th, this chat is the perfect opportunity to (a) get psyched for the conference; (b) meet members of the #HITMC community, many of whom will be at the annual event; and (c) have something to talk about with fellow attendees while waiting for sessions to start.
- T1 Is content marketing a tired strategy? Is it time to move onto something better?
- T2 How do you decide the type and format of content that will power your content marketing strategy? What factors do you consider?
- T3 Share your best practices for creating content. Ideal length, style, frequency, etc.
- T4 What are ways you have effectively driven traffic to your content? What hasn’t worked?
- T5 When using a third party to distribute your content (ie: someone else’s newsletter or email list), what success criteria do you use to measure it?
- Bonus What’s the one piece of content, 3 years or older, that you constantly refer back to?