One of my favorite points in a relationship with a prospective client is when the light bulb goes on… that moment they cross over from just wanting someone to “do” their marketing, and they see the why behind content creation and just how powerful content is for both marketing and sales.
Two powerful stats from DemandGen that usually help drive this realization home:
- Over 50% of B2B buyers rely on content to research their buying decisions.
- 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of a company’s content before engaging with a sales rep.
They are looking for content that educates rather than sells.
There are many types of healthcare content. Let’s focus on blogging to see how far-reaching content can be, and why it’s at the core of what we do.
In the early days, web logs (as blogs were referred to) were usually personal journals. Today they’ve evolved into something that is widely accepted, even in the corporate world – including the healthcare industry. Some companies shy away from the name “blog” and refer to it as their “Resource” section or come up with a creative name. The bottom line is thinking of it as your brand’s online magazine, a place where you publish articles, media, and news on a consistent basis.
Here are some of the major benefits our clients see from blogging consistently.
We leverage the healthcare content we create across many channels.
Obviously, the articles you create will live on your website, and they are a tremendous asset for the site itself. We also leverage these articles across other channels:
- Email: Blog articles make great content for email marketing or email newsletters. Teasing the first portion of the article with a ‘read more’ link is a simple and effective way to get leads back to your site. [TIP] To get the most out of a content strategy that includes blogging and email, use an editorial calendar – you’ll stay on schedule and have a clear picture of your messaging.
- Social Media: One of the most common challenges we hear from healthcare companies is how to properly use social media. It’s not uncommon for us to find social media duties assigned to a millennial within the company, whether or not they have social media experience – the thought being, “they’re young, they ‘get’ social media”. Social media becomes much less challenging when you’re producing content on your blog that you can share on social media. It doesn’t take long until the engagement, traffic, and leads from social media opens everyone eyes to how powerful it really is. [FREE DOWNLOAD: Using Social Media for Healthcare Marketing]
- Republishing: Sites like Medium are a no-brainer for republishing content. With so many eyeballs in one place, it’s a perfect place to build an audience. When done properly, it doesn’t diminish your own site’s SEO. Don’t republish every article on your blog, and always make sure to link back to your site – republishing is a great way for a prospect to discover you, but get them to your own website so they can engage further.
Content is used by both the marketing and sales teams.
As we’ve already discussed, the marketing team is leveraging the content across many channels, but content can and should be used by your sales team as well. Here are a few ways your sales team should use content:
- Help First Mentality: Blogs allow your sales team to operate with a ‘help first’ mentality. Remember: Prospects want to be educated, not sold too. Salespeople need to understand that we live in a different world. In traditional (legacy) sales, the salesperson had all of the information the consumer needed, and this put the salesperson in a powerful position. Today, the consumer has access to an incredible amount of information – usually enough to make a decision – and it’s just a click away. This puts the salesperson in a very different position; a position of helping the consumer understand their situation, options, and making an informed decision.
- Outreach That Adds Value: Your sales team should use the content on your blog to help prospects navigate and move themselves down the funnel. When a sales person reaches out with a short email and a link to a blog post on your site, it can be a big win. The sales person isn’t asking for anything, but providing information that is helpful to the prospect. The rule of thumb here: Right content, right persona, right time. [NOTE: If you haven’t developed your Healthcare Buyer Personas, we’ve got a free tool to help you do it.]
It’s generates traffic and leads.
- SEO: According to TechClient, websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages than those that don’t. Two reasons for this:
(1) The volume of content is important – more to crawl means more to index, and
(2) This volume of relevant content allows the search engines to see your site as a resource with a lot of information for searchers.
Bottom line on blogging: more traffic from the search engines.
- Conversions: What do we want to do with those anonymous visitors once we get them to the site? Convert them into leads! Each blog post should have a relevant call-to-action. Subscribe, download an eBook, book an appointment, etc.
If you’re still lacking the motivation to develop a healthcare content strategy with a commitment to blogging, don’t look any further than this stat from HubSpot:
B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not.
What would your business do with 67% more leads?
About the Author Casey O'Quinn
Casey founded Gravity Digital in 2000 after serving as the Internet Services Director for a Nashville-based Ad Agency. He's a rare breed that operates both left and right brain, so along with oversight of the company he's active in the creative process for our clients.
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