"Everyone has to remember that this is a snapshot in time and there is the other side to this that we all need to be planning for." -- Patrick Reinhart, VP of Digital Strategies, Konductor.
For the past few months, we’ve all been inundated with COVID-19 related content. After a while, it all looks alike and starts to run together. As healthcare marketers, our job is to support and promote our organizations and their services while keeping our patients informed. If everyone in healthcare is doing that, how do you make your organization’s content stand out from your competitors?
Several digital marketers weighed in with their advice on standing out above the crowd with your content, as well as non-COVID content and preparing for post-pandemic marketing.
Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing, Hubspot: During the pandemic, marketers have been challenged to produce high-quality, relevant content in a rapidly changing situation. Content that was relevant upon publication may no longer be relevant a week later or even just days later. Meghan’s advice includes:
- "Remain laser-focused on audiences’ most pressing needs by continually gathering feedback and closely monitoring engagement rates on new content being published.
- Strive to deliver unique value without asking for anything in return — instead of dialing up the promotion of products and services, focus above all else on being helpful.
- Always be prepared internally to quickly adjust content strategy as the rapidly changing situation continues to evolve."
Casie Gillette, Senior Director of Digital Marketing, KoMarketing: Marketers are producing COVID-19 content in large part because it feels “tone deaf” if they don’t. However, if you can’t say something unique to your situation, it’s not worth your effort. While marketers should continue to publish their previously scheduled content to help their SEO, they should also be sure to review it to make sure that something that was appropriate pre-COVID is still appropriate. You should begin to prepare content that is suitable for when the pandemic slows down, but you should also consider the appropriate time to publish that content. It’s better to be proactive than reactive when considering future content needs.
Todd W. Lebo, Chief Marketing Officer, Ascend2: Because web users want information based on science and data to make their healthcare decisions, content should be created from scientific and data sources. With the unprecedented pandemic, this is particularly true, as information continues to change quickly. A July 2019 study by Ascend2 found that the most trusted type of content was research and case studies by 60% of marketing professionals.
Patrick Reinhart, VP of Digital Strategies, Konductor: Differentiating your content is hard now because everyone is putting out pandemic content related to their business. What can make a difference is working on “next step” content that’s complementary to your current content. The content you’re putting out now should be helpful to your customers. It’s okay to use non-pandemic content, but you should not appear to be capitalizing on the situation.
To summarize the points above:
- Maintain a regular content publishing schedule, but don’t create content just for the sake of content.
- Your content should not come across as self-promotional or trying to capitalize on the pandemic.
- Before developing or publishing content, ask: “Will this help my customers/audience?” Monitor responses to your content.
- What can you say that is of value and is unique?
- Before publishing already-scheduled content, review it to make sure it is appropriate to the pandemic situation.
- Agility counts. Be prepared to change as the pandemic changes.
- If you’re not already thinking about the post-COVID future, start. Make a plan for content in a post-COVID world.
- Your content should be based on research and data.
- Keep SEO and longer-term ranking top of mind when developing and pushing content.