When you don’t have the time to produce your own content marketing, outsourcing it is the perfect solution. But, how do you know who the best content marketers are for you?
Just like interviewing your staff members, your electronic health record vendor or any others in your employ, a series of questions give you a sense of how effective the content marketer will be in promoting you and your practice.
7 Questions to ask a Prospective Content Marketing Vendor
1. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN?
This is the most important and obvious question. If this content marketer is unfamiliar with the health niche and does not know the FDA guidelines for what can and cannot be written, then clearly, this person or agency is not for you.
Typically, your prospects surf the net, viewing videos, engaging in social media, reading their emails and scanning an article or two in addition to looking at your website. The content marketer must be adept at performing in all of these areas.
2. ARE YOU ABLE TO WELL-VERSED IN HEALTH-SPECIFIC CONTENT
- Health content marketing requires a depth of subject-matter understanding and nuanced techniques. The information must be relevant to your prospective patients, in sync with your services and written in a manner that your readers can understand without getting too technical with jargon. The information must also be presented in accordance with FDA guidelines. Breaching this framework can mean a hefty fine for you. Many large companies have compliance departments with attorneys looking over the content. Having a marketer who knows the rules makes all the difference for you.
- 3. DO YOU CREATE AND DESIGN MEDICAL WEBSITES?
The look and feel of your website along with ease of user navigation determines the number of conversions which means spurring the readers (or tire-kickers) on to calling for appointments with you. Broken links will deter the viewer from becoming that valued patient as you will be viewed as not paying attention to details. (along with a drop in rankings by the search engines). Having a great website will improve click-through rates and decrease bounce rates.
SEO is exactly what it sounds like – a concerted effort to improve your web presence on search engines. Content marketing facilitates SEO because search engines crawl content to generate results. In other words, content marketing is an SEO activity, but not all SEO activities are necessarily content marketing. Case in point, re-writing on-page metadata is SEO, not content marketing. Still, search engine marketing (SEM) and other SEO tactics can help promote your content in order to generate leads. Basically, there’s a lot of overlap between the two, and often, it’s di cult to execute toward one without also considering the other. So if your vendor tells you “they only do content,” run.
4. DO YOU HELP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT?
Because your patients and prospective patients are on various social media sites, including forums and chatrooms, entering them and offering solutions to the problems they are struggling with inline with the services you provide, is a great way to attract attention and become the go-to authority in your field. When you don’t have the time to devote to this, you would want your marketer to pitch in.
It’s also important for someone to be screening these sites for reputation and damage control. If something is said about you or your practice, you would want to know about it instantly so that a set of actionable steps can be taken.
5. DO YOU RUN EMAIL CAMPAIGNS?
Email generates the best return of investment of any other content marketing techniques. As you amass your list of contacts from your patient list with email addresses, a marketer ideally can create an email campaign and generate content that interfaces well on any screen (i.e. both desktop, laptops and smart devices). Copy should be concise, personalized and include a Call-to-Action.
6. WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY AND DO YOU HAVE SAMPLES?
Let your vendor know what your plan is and whether it is to:
- Strengthen your brand
- Boost your search engine rankings
- Increase your visibility
Find out the means by which your vendor will be able to accomplish this and the steps that will be taken.
Check out the samples to ensure that the vendor is experienced and has work in line with what you would like, and in your voice.
7. HOW WILL YOU PROVE VALUE AND RETURN ON INVESTMENT?
Find out exactly how your success or effectiveness will be tracked and analyzed. Consider if A/B split tests are done to improve how your information is perceived. Conversion tracking in particular is extraordinarily useful. Are you gaining traction with SEO and keywords? Are keyword searches being done? Is video-content created or offered? These are all techniques to look at.
Not every content marketer works for every professional. Some thought in the selection process is a must these days.
Here’s hoping that you enjoyed the content today. If you have learned one thing that you can implement, share your thoughts in the comment box below.