2020 is the year of “unprecedented events” and throwing out previously planned-out playbooks. It’s also been the year where healthcare and essential health workers have become more important to the community than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become a pivotal moment of change for the USA’s. health care industry: as companies across the country continue to grapple with the immediate impact of the outbreak, leaders are also beginning to plan for the future; with the understanding that the pandemic is reshaping and restructuring the industry in ways that are likely to be permanent. This crisis has created an opening for healthcare brands to assert themselves as critical, useful resources in this time of need and uncertainty. It’s also an opportunity to create authentic connections with consumers that will far outlast the pandemic. But how can this be achieved in a genuine and non-self-serving way?
The demand for healthcare content—and the immeasurable value it brings to individuals—can be seen in recent research:
- Hospital and health systems are among the most trusted sources of information on coronavirus, more than the federal government and national news outlets.
- 66% of consumers trust healthcare providers for virus information—putting them second only to the CDC.
- 78% of young adults want to consume coronavirus-related content online, primarily to keep themselves and their loved ones informed of real facts + figures.
Why Content is Key to COVID-19 Recovery
Healthcare companies are restricted in the ways they can target customers due to patient privacy regulations. For these organizations, engagement with content is a key indicator of having found the right person: if someone stays with the content, it clearly speaks to the audience and is relevant to their life. For many healthcare providers and hospitals, building strong relationships in their local communities is critical to keeping people both healthy and safe.
In addition, content builds trust, provides invaluable resources and education to consumers, and also drives awareness of healthcare capabilities during these very uncertain times.
What Employing a Content Marketing Strategy Can Do for Healthcare Companies:
- Educate local communities on the latest around COVID-19; including testing, symptoms, prevention, and updated info on when to expect a vaccine.
- Providing comfort to their patients with potential diagnoses on common ailments outside of COVID-19.
- Help potential patients find a nearby doctor or healthcare resource.
- Increase visibility about their lines of services.
- Drive revenue growth virtually, when in-office visits are limited at-best. Balance COVID-specific content with building a pipeline of candidates for primary care, elective procedures, and other necessary services.
- Boost visibility of advocacy work and assert yourself as a thought-leader within the space.
So, what can healthcare brands start doing today with content marketing to meet the new needs of consumers?
- Know your audience – listen to your community and address the new questions they have in response to COVID-19 and the current climate.
- Don’t be self-serving – this is simply not the time. Consumers don’t necessarily care what you are doing, but they do care what you can do for them.
- Unlock your expertise – you are the expert, share your knowledge! Trusted, reliable information has never been more critical.
- Explain your tools – share that you have the technology, explain how to use it, and how this can help customers or patients regardless of their location.
- Think video –production crews might be nice, but they are no longer necessary, as we see experts now posting videos taken on cell phones in their homes. Remember that content doesn’t have to only be written articles.
- Be available and easy to find – post information in a clear, organized fashion. Include FAQ’s, which can ease the burden on customer service calls.
- Update – stay relevant by distributing up-to-date content and letting the public know about digital and telehealth options. Have your experts share their expertise!
Insights from inPowered’s COVID-Content Campaigns:
A non-profit came to inPowered needing help with quickly combatting misinformation around the company’s Coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine efforts. Specifically, this client wanted to amplify their press releases and earned media updates about the work its member companies were doing to help patients, hospitals, and the general public during COVID-19; as well as find interested audiences at scale that could later be re-targeted.
inPowered used its content distribution to amplify pieces of earned media, as well as owned articles, across two specific geographic communities. Thousands of varying content combinations (different headlines + imagery) were tested and optimized through artificial intelligence, in order to find the best-performing content permutations.
While many brands may find the challenge of overcoming negative earned content daunting, this client was able to completely change consumer perception about their efforts to combat COVID-19 by using AI-powered content marketing:
- inPowered delivered more than 21 days’ worth of active time spent with this content.
- Average time spent with the content was 66% higher than inPowered’s own internal benchmarks.
- While not a specific KPI for this campaign, the client reported that inPowered delivered the highest number of completed form fills on its website to-date.
Source: inPowered Campaign Data 4/24/20-5/17/20
A major children’s health organization came to inPowered looking for help with growing awareness and traffic to their blog, as well as driving meaningful connections with their community and understanding how their content is resonating with consumers.
Throughout the course of the six-month campaign, this client utilized inPowered’s platform to amplify 40 owned articles, optimizing the content distribution technology and re-targeting capabilities enabled by artificial intelligence. The healthcare organization also created an entire website dedicated to providing relevant resources for consumers during COVID-19, which was quickly implemented into the content strategy.
By relying entirely on inPowered’s AI-powered platform, this client was able to achieve:
- Over 90,000 engagements with a 56% engagement rate throughout the campaign.
- 79 seconds average time spent on content, compared to 60 second industry benchmark.
- 13.2% CTR, compared to industry benchmark of 5.45%
*Source: inPowered Campaign Data 01/02/20-06/30/20