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Content Strategy Basics Part I: Building a solid healthcare content strategy

Summary: Healthcare website content strategy must be empathetic to user needs while aligning with corporate strategy for the most impact.

The online landscape today is chaotic. We’re constantly bombarded with information, even as our attention spans grow shorter, making the search for answers difficult. For those visiting a healthcare provider website – already nervous and seeking specific guidance – it can be exponentially more frustrating, especially when there’s clutter to sift through.

For this reason, every piece of content that lives on a healthcare provider’s website should serve a purpose and contribute to the advancement of the patient journey. That requires understanding exactly who you’re writing to, what sort of information they’re looking for, and making sure it’s easy to locate. 

What’s content strategy? 

Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content. Think of it like a roadmap that guides everything from developing content to how you deliver and manage it over time so it's always relevant to your audience. 

The key is strategically shaping content to align with your business goals, and the needs of consumers and patients who make up your target audience. Content strategy should strive to strike a balance by delivering information visitors would expect to consume on your site, while making sure it supports goals and delivers important key performance indicators (KPIs).  

This balance is achieved through a combination of activities, including:

  • Considering users: Understand the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your audience. Through research, personas, and feedback, gain insights into what consumers and patients want and how they engage with your content. This will help guide the creation of intuitive content that meets expectations, addresses pain points, and delivers value. When prospective and existing patients feel heard and validated, trust is built or strengthened, ultimately improving the likelihood of success.

  • Defining business objectives: Content strategy must take your specific business objectives and goals into account. Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving conversions or establishing thought leadership, the strategy should ensure all content is aligned. This may involve surfacing key messaging, promoting specific services, or showcasing your healthcare organization's unique value proposition.

  • Establishing metrics and measurement: A well-defined content strategy establishes KPIs and metrics to track success. These should include both target-centric and business-centric measures. Page views, time on page, and social shares can reflect consumer and patient intent and experiences. Aspects such as revenue growth can highlight business performance. By analyzing these metrics, you can gauge the effectiveness of  content strategy in striking the right balance and then adjust accordingly.

  • Consistently making updates: Content strategy isn’t a one-and-done activity, especially in healthcare where it’s an ongoing process of iteration and optimization. By analyzing data, conducting consumer and patient research, and following market trends, you can refine your content strategy over time to better align with consumer/patient needs and business goals. 

In part two of this series, we’ll look at how content motivates patients to visit a website and interact, accompanied by pointers to help emphasize this in your strategy.

Got questions about content?

Our experts are here with the answers. Contact us now to learn how a strong content strategy can lead to increased patient loyalty, retention, and higher revenue.