Healthcare marketing professionals should take note of this advice from Bill Gates (1/3/1996):
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting. The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.
When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.
But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.”
I came across this essay written over 20 years ago by Bill Gates, and it seemed even more pertinent now than ever before. Today the saying “Content is King” holds true in almost every industry, but specifically, when it comes to the healthcare industry. According to a study by Pew Research, nearly eight in ten Internet users (roughly 93 million Americans) search the internet for health information. Making it the third most popular online activity.
A few additional statistics from the study include:
- 77% of patients used an online search prior to scheduling an appointment
- 44% of internet users go online for information about doctors or other health professionals
- 66% of internet users look online for information about a specific disease or medical problem
- 56% of internet users look online for information about a certain medical treatment or procedure.
The rise of the empowered consumer has required a shift from traditional healthcare marketing. No longer is simply having a working website sustainable or even remotely effective. Which is why quality content is not only imperative to a healthcare organization’s marketing strategy, it is a key factor in its’ success.
So, what is exactly is quality healthcare marketing content?
Quality healthcare content is what separates the online winners from the losers. It is what increases a website’s ranking in the search engines, it brings leads, and helps an organization build trust, credibility, and respect from their audience.
Quality content includes an extensive list of necessary aspects such as proper grammar, uniqueness, practicality, usefulness, relevance, and much more. However, one of the most important questions a healthcare marketer or organization can ask is: Does this Content Provide Value? Other questions that should follow include: Does it solve a patient’s problem? Does it answer a patient’s questions? Is it helpful to our audience? Does it provide expert insight?
As healthcare organizations focus their efforts on value-based care and improving patient experience, quality content helps to do exactly this. It provides patients with answers to their questions and other valuable health information through the use of online articles, web pages, blog posts, downloadable material, videos, checklists, and other important resources.
While many organizations have long been experts in their online healthcare marketing strategies, others are somewhere in between or lagging far behind. However, just like Bill Gates stated in his essay back in 1996, no company is too small to participate.