The key to effective communication online and social media for the health professional community (as well as everyone else) is to seek engagement with your audience. This should be no surprise! The trick is on how to get your content to more effectively engage your patients and attract prospective patients.
To this end, I would like to highlight an article published by an expert panel from Forbes Communications Council today. I think that it gives pause to consider when planning out your own content.
Want Better Performing Content? Follow These Copywriting Tips
It’s been said ad nauseam that “content is king.” Content also happens to be the key to better customer engagement.
If you want your company to connect with its audience, you need to publish high-quality content that attracts consumers and shows off your brand. We asked 13 Forbes Communications Council members how they coach their content team to write better-performing copy. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Listen Deeply To Your Customer
In today’s digital world, it feels like we’re being bombarded with marketing messages 24/7. Here’s the secret to breaking through: Create fewer, more relevant, more authentic messages that connect at a deeper emotional level with your customers. How? By asking. Bake in time to ask your customers. Listen deeply. Really try to understand how they’re hurting or how you can make their lives better. – Stephen Dupont, Pocket Hercules
2. Ask Yourself If You’ve Captured The Customer’s Needs
In-depth customer understanding is the key to successfully performing campaigns. I coach my team to pause during ideation and again before the campaign goes out the door to ask ourselves if we have captured the customers‘ genuine desires, needs, pain points or aspirations. It is not about how wonderful our product or promotion is. It is about how the customer will benefit or be inspired. – Sarah Engel, DynamicAction
3. Watch Your Voice And Personality
With my team, I stress expressing a brand personality more than ever because you want people to retain impressions or associations after they’re done reading — especially when you’ve spent good money to attract them in the first place. Often, that means revising copy with an eye specifically for voice — pushing the content in a unique direction once you have the information down. – Bryn Dodson, Blue Fountain Media
4. Use Yourself As A Litmus Test
I coach my writers to review every piece of content with one simple question: Would I read this? If no, it’s time to rethink the piece. Maybe it needs a stronger hook at the beginning to draw a reader in. Maybe it needs to be ‘chunked up’ into consumable pieces of text. Maybe it needs an infographic or video to better convey the key messages. Or, maybe it’s back to the drawing board. – Jennifer Jolls, The Connor Group
5. Edit, Edit, Then Edit Some More
Consumers have such a limited attention span, and there is so much content available that you may only have a few seconds to catch their attention. I encourage the writers I work with to be as concise as possible and edit their pieces several times to maximize the effect and easy readability of our pieces. No one wants to read fluff! Edit it down to only the most important, impactful words. – Allison Escott Alachniewicz, PACIFIC
6. Expand On Posts That Show Healthy Engagement
Gone are the days of one-way communication. Our team stays equally focused on listening, learning and responding as we do on content generation. One member of the team is solely dedicated to looking deeply at engagement, noting which posts garner the healthiest response and which fall flat. They share all input on an ongoing basis enabling us to build on successful engagement momentum. – Janine Robertson, Insect Shield Repellent Technology
7. Focus On The Headline
It’s all about the headline. Without a great headline that captures the reader’s attention, your great content will never be read. We have practiced as a team in refining headlines. The art of writing concise, engaging headlines can also transcend to copy. Copy needs to be short, impactful and make a point. – Bobby Chow, Firmenich
8. Humanize The Brand
I ask my writers to humanize our brand and make it relevant to what customers will be looking for. Content should be personalized, engaging and informational, not just meant to push and sell. People buy based on how they feel about a brand, the culture and customer service. Relationship, credibility, culture and validation — it’s all about people. – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.
9. Create Different Versions Of Your Content
One piece of content never works well across all publications. To maximize exposure, engage a variety of publications, all of which differ slightly in their reader base. Create content that approaches each topic from many angles and then target the right publications based on the end audience. It’s like applying for a job: If you blast the same resume to every company you will never get hired. – Keith Bendes, Float Hybrid
10. Make It Scannable
Most people don’t read content end to end. Knowing your audience will likely scan your content, be sure to keep your paragraphs short, use plenty of subheaders, employ bullets and numbers, and keep the language simple. You can also use bold, larger-font quotations, highlighted text and graphics to make particular statements or ideas stand out. – Holly Chessman, GlowTouch Technologies
11. Learn How To Deliver Value With Each Piece Of Content
Product developers are hyper-focused on the user and what will lead to a satisfied purchase, and marketers should think the same way. Content is a transaction. You create something for the end user, who in turn pays with time and attention. Like any successful transaction, it requires a perceived value. Content can inform, solve a problem, enlighten or entertain, but it must deliver value. – Jennifer Kyriakakis, MATRIXX Software
12. Home In On A Theme And A Call To Action
Along with identifying your audience, each piece of content that’s going out must be focused on a single theme and call to action — and needs to quickly and clearly convey value to your audience. When you focus on offering solutions to your audience, rather than just trying to be louder than the others, then you’ll rise above the noise. – Aldo Maragoni, California Society of CPAs
13. Break The Mold
In most categories, all brands are fighting for their share of voice. Challenge your team to be different yet relevant and genuine. There is always a way to get your customers to pay attention. Be willing to take risks. Highlight your key reasons to believe in a way that sets you apart and drives a great customer experience. – Blake Rodgers, SiteLock
So, here’s the thing. Today I’m asking you for a favor. Tell me what you would like to read about, what you would find helpful. What would you like me to write about? What topics tips could you then implement in your own content marketing?
Drop me a line at Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com