It’s easy to unknowingly fall into a “write it, use it and forget about it” mentality when it comes to your content strategy. But for organizations searching for a tried-and-true way to vet their messaging, one of the most valuable tools is a content audit. This process boils down to running a qualitative analysis of your healthcare content—often by looking at multiple channels like your website, blog and printed collateral—to ensure the information that’s of most interest to key audiences is accessible and cohesive. Depending on the need behind this assessment, it can be work-intensive. While your marketing team should strive to create materials that are useful and in line with consumer trends, there’s another major consideration: consistency across your brand, voice and strategic goals.
How content serves your customers
Plenty of circumstances require a thorough content review. Maybe it’s been a while since the website was updated and users are struggling to find information about your latest service line. Perhaps big changes—like an acquisition or rebranding—are brewing, and it’s time to consider what your healthcare content is saying. Whatever the reason, taking a good look at your content can swiftly reveal gaps. At the surface, check that content is topical, current and aligned with what’s happening in the industry. Then dive deeper and ask whether it’s engaging—anticipating your customers’ needs—and includes clear calls to action. Overall, content should align with larger business objectives and drive results from SEO. Whether your goal is to break into a new market or better serve an existing client base, content is critical in making those connections.
Take stock and make a plan
So, how does this process start? The best practice is to take inventory. Review what you have across print and digital. Depending on the size of your organization, it’s wise to think outside of marketing-produced content and consider sales (e.g., boilerplate messaging for RFPs) and internal communications. Once it’s cataloged (a spreadsheet with URLs can be useful for this), you can start to identify gaps. Then, you’ll want to highlight any disparities—from the seemingly small (do you write “healthcare” as one word, or are you a strict AP-style shop that uses “health care”) to larger hurdles like insufficient information about a key capability.
Expand your knowledge base
Next comes the most important step in the entire process—getting the knowledge you need to make sure your content is on point. This starts by interviewing the subject matter experts at your disposal. You’ll use these interviews to identify the most recent product, industry and customer insights and isolate key messages and value points for both prospects and customers. It’s also helpful to scope out key competitors and the healthcare content strategies industry leaders are employing. To take it a step further, solicit feedback from your customers about what they want to easily access on your website, in sales materials or other channels. All of these insights can be used to update your content to ensure it addresses market dynamics and needs.
Keep it going, keep it fresh
While these recommendations are a framework to identify gaps, this isn’t a one-and-done solution. To stay current and provide information that’s useful to your most important audiences, audit your healthcare content regularly. If your core product is evolving, take a look at the keywords used for SEO. And if your company is taking on a more patient-friendly approach, vet website sections that are of interest to that audience for the optimal reading level, approachable tone and voice and easy access to connect with you for more information.
Of course, this process is both time- and resource-intensive. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone—or even yourself. Consider partnering with a leading marketing firm like Activate Health to conduct a healthcare content audit. This type of partnership will allow you to focus on immediate priorities with your marketing team, while resting assured that your content is consistent, compelling and strategically sound. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.