What Your BFF Can Teach You About Content Marketing

Most people have a best friend. You know, that person you share deep secrets with, your craziest ideas and the tears you hide from all others. But did you also know that this golden relationship can offer rich insights about optimizing your content marketing strategy?

Just think loosely about content development as we explore how friendships play out.

She loves, you love. She gives, you give. I assume this is the basic reciprocal formula under which most close friendships thrive, or they probably wouldn’t achieve BFF status.

Of course, we know relationships are not always this simple, as they do require some work and can hit rough patches every now and again. But that doesn’t mean a relationship isn’t good, or even great.

Ain’t no mountain high enough…

Consider your bestie. The bond between the two of you is so powerful, you can just “feel” her showing up. I’m talking about a gut-level assurance that tells you she’ll still find a way to connect with you even though she’s moved 300 miles away, or now has four children under the age of 8 to run behind.

Maybe she’ll fly in. Perhaps, she’ll bang out an inspirational text message that will set you straight. Oh, and there’s always Skype. Either way, you’re not worried. And certainly, you would do the same for her.

They come first…

And, while customers and prospects aren’t actual friends, we need to be friendly with them. That is, being present, considerate, relatable and helpful.

So, how can you fold this friendship model into a solid content marketing strategy?

Check out these easy-to-implement tips. They’re generally good for any company, but I tailored them slightly for healthcare organizations.

  • Give, until it DOESN’T hurt – Frequent, quality communication is the key. I know churning out consistently good and actionable content can be a challenge for many organizations, but that’s how you nurture your prospects. However, you’ll find the more you “talk” with your audience, the faster you’re able to “recycle” and tweak old content into fresh, relevant messages.

  • Make it easy – When distributing content, make it convenient for readers to find related articles and graphics. In addition to setting up archives, provide links to sources immediately following stories and blogs.

  • Use multiple channels for multiple people – Some like newsletters, many enjoy videos, infographics are all the rage, and more people than you might think read email content. Whatever you do, mix it up!

  • Deciding on content – In the spirit of flexibility, you occasionally do what your pal wants for the evening, though you’d prefer to do something else. Take this practice even further with your prospects, and always give them their hearts desire.

    If your content doesn’t align with the issues that keep your prospects up at night, excite customers, appeal to patients’ preferences or answer readers’ questions, you’ll fail to build trust and loyalty with your audience. This lack of affinity will cause prospects to go elsewhere when they are ready to make a purchase, find a doctor or enroll in a health plan.

  • Talk things through – The healthcare industry must often navigate compliance issues before going full throttle with their content development. Be sure to involve the compliance department in your content marketing plans.

  • Address their pain points –If you make a mistake, avoid fluff talk. Offer sincere apologies and present concrete corrective actions and process improvement plans for the future. And, in the case of a consumer wanting more than your brand can deliver at the time, be honest about your limitations, while highlighting your existing features and benefits.

  • Yuck it up a bit – Don’t take yourself so seriously. Be careful not to come off all ‘We-work-tirelessly-to-serve your-healthcare-needs’. Okay, you know it’s true, but temper the message a bit, so it can bend and penetrate your readers’ hearts.

    Blogs and website articles offer a convenient space to deliver compelling copy and visuals that incorporate a little levity, “coffee chat” and information about your organization’s social and community events.

Let focused, meaningful content connect you with your audience in an authentic way. The payoff in sales, patient volume and enrollments can be big!