Every day, I see great examples of content marketing. I have to give kudos to Mariano’s Grocery Store. Even though this company is not in the medical industry per se, they are in the health services industry.
They provide a nutritionist, who goes from store to store to help people eat healthier. This nutritionist does talks on eating healthy with diabetes, high blood pressure, weight loss, for athletes etc.
This past spring, they opened a store in my town, Frankfort (just south of Chicago). They got the mayor and the village board excited about it. Consequently, everyone was talking about it before they broke ground. We all watched the updates on their facebook page. They posted updates on construction, events at their other stores-- everyone in Frankfort couldn’t wait.
How did they create this buzz?
Content marketing. The more Mariano’s shares, the more they educate us. The more they educate, the more apt people are to buy from Mariano’s (myself included). For example: Mariano's is a sponsor for the upcoming Chicago Marathon. How are they using that to their advantage? Content marketing.
What Mariano’s is doing is a great example for every industry on how to build your content marketing strategy.
How Do You Create A Content Marketing Strategy That Will Blow The Doors Off Of Your Inbound Marketing?
1. Identify your personas. Who are your customers? What can you do to help solve a problem or fulfill a need? Mariano’s shares recipes for better nutrition related to running, during marathon season.
If you identify what the problems are for your customers, you become the resource they go to for answers. Remember, at the end of the day, people buy from people. Be transparent, be real, be credible.
2. Share Relevant Content. A good rule of thumb to remember is, crappy content will completely sabotage the ROI of your content marketing. So what is crappy content? Content that no one will want to link to. Relevant content is solving a problem for your persona. Be sincere in the content you’re sharing. What I mean by that is, don’t try and “trick” the search engines with keyword stuffing, linking schemes or try and duplicate content. Why? A penguin may smack you on your content.
3. Quality Content Wins. This goes hand-in-hand with my last point. We’ve also talked about quality content in the past, and the value of being that trusted resource.
If you’re a medical manufacturer, whose expertise in surgical instrumentation lead to a new product and technique that supports a surgeon’s efforts in reducing risk, talk about it. If your surgical instrument provides improved patient outcomes, share it in an educational manner, like, How Patient Outcomes Are Improved With Laser Surgical Advancements. Your target personas would be, the surgeon, the nurse manager, and risk manager.
If you’re a medical distributor who is in the trenches hearing over and over about cost containment, and your customer is sharing the organization’s interest in self distribution, how can you help? Talk about it. It’s the elephant in the room, that you need to be the one addressing. For example, you may address The Real Differences Between Self Distribution and Working With a Distribution Partner. Transparency is no longer optional. Your target personas are acute care, department manager, typically a nurse manager, purchasing, C-Suite (looking for solutions) COO, CFO. Non-Acute would be physician, nurse manager, nursing home, owner, operator, facility manager, purchasing.
4. Where Does The Content Come From? Now that you’ve identified your target personas, work with your sales teams to develop relevant content to address those pain points.
Sales knows first hand what the issues are, and will have valuable input for addressing and developing solutions. They’ll be your greatest content resource. Encourage them to write a blog, or provide bullet points for content development.
Trade Shows provide a huge amount of content topics to address. At the next trade show, encourage your team to make a list of topics for your content.
You’re now a partner with your sales teams, and your target market in finding and developing solutions. You’ll experience growth because you are a destination for answers to relevant problems. Your leads will grow, and your sales teams will close more sales.