Content creators and engagement strategists for health are accelerating on all fronts towards relationship-driven content — specifically, creating invitational, collaborative, dynamic, two-way content that puts people and their needs first. Creating one message for one brand is swiftly being replaced with content strategies enabled by data and technologies, built for one-to-one, personal, real-time behavioral insights. Always on. Everywhere.
Content marketing bridges the gap between advertising and relationship management through dynamic creativity that responds to what’s wanted and what’s working…continuously. In its most powerful manifestation, it builds on the true behavior of people and what it takes to engage them: the stories they want to hear in the places they are, in the moments that matter most to their decision-making. Adopting this approach opens a world of opportunity and agility that fundamentally reframes how we look at creative, strategy, and media planning. Today, we have a galaxy of communications touch points that are reimagining health experiences and engagement in ways far more valuable to brands, and far more useful to every consumer and healthcare professional they reach.
For health and wellness marketers, this means more than merely acknowledging that almost 30% of all online adults are blocking ads. As we guide our clients to shift their marketing dollars away from traditional online advertising and into other content engagement investments, we also approach today’s communications environment with heightened awareness that healthcare marketing, simply put, is healthcare. The conversations we ignite, the influencers we reach, the data and content we cast across the consumer health journey, all set the stage for the most personal outcome there can be, your health and well-being. When it comes to content, we know healthy conversations lead to healthy behaviors and ultimately to healthier outcomes.
Your health your way
There are several forces changing how we activate health and wellness content today. One significant shift is the pivot from asking “what disease does this person have?” to “what person does this disease have?” This subtle nuance changes everything. We now understand that who a person is, what they believe, where they live, how they respond to a diagnosis, often has a far greater impact on health outcomes than any medicine or medical intervention alone. It’s where data connectivity and personalized content unique to individual behavioral profiles will come together to build future possibilities in health and wellness.
Adopting data and behavioral-driven content marketing is no longer optional. Our industry’s marketers need to respond to the shifts to deliver the full potential of the medicines and services they create. When content marketing is done effectively, it seamlessly connects awareness drivers to relationship drivers. Content becomes the behavioral bridge, showing people how to perform the actions that lead to better decisions about healthcare options that help them achieve better outcomes. To build this bridge, content strategies should intersect with consumers through the technology and new media they use to express themselves to the people who influence their decisions.
Breaking it down to build it up
We know navigating the complexities of new platforms and technologies can be a daunting endeavor. From content strategy, to content development, to production, and distribution, for many marketers these are new capabilities they need to master, but often don’t know where to start. Weaving together data, technology, and content means investing in the talent and partners who fuel the mind shifts and bring forward scalable frameworks that move brands from investing on the margins of experience to creating content people seek out, engage with, and share. It also means thinking differently about creative teams. Creative teams today must be built with equal parts storytellers, story builders, data strategists, experience architects, and media experts. The ability to build these cohesive creative engagement teams is what separates the leaders from the laggers.
Making the move from patient-centric, to radically patient-centric
None of the above can thrive without the shift to radical patient centricity. The idea of patient-centricity is not new. For decades healthcare teams have circled around patients (literally) to confer together from all angles. The new approach relies much less on circling around the patient, and much more on being where the patient actually is, both in and out of the exam room. Radical centricity goes well beyond the point of actual intervention and into the important complexities of understanding who this person is before, during, and after their care plans are determined. That shift changes what we ask, the data we look at, and what ultimately is most likely to succeed with that individual person.
Approaching content marketing through a radically patient-centric lens requires a radically relevant content strategy. Healthcare communications firms will continue to invest in systems and data to clarify complex decision-making and identify how brands invest most effectively. In health, beyond ROI, the right content also has the power to transform lives.