In a recent webinar as part of the PAMN series, Lauryn Blakesley, the Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, provided a brief overview of the components involved in creating a content strategy and the content creation process. She also discussed tools that can help further the strategy.
Strategy is the backbone of a content marketing strategy, Lauryn explained.
Fox Chase uses an in-depth written document that includes all of their digital content outlets (email, website, blog, etc.) to help guide all of their efforts, allowing them to produce relevant, engaging content for their audiences.
To develop your strategy, Lauryn recommends that you define your overall mission or goal (what message do you want to get out there?) and that you know who your audience is and what is relevant to them to help determine where/how you will reach them (e.g., physicians, healthcare consumers, and scientists).
Lauryn gave a recent Fox Chase example. Working with their surgical oncology team, the digital marketing group developed a content plan to promote the pancreatic cancer surgery program. They started by brainstorming the direction they want to go, asking themselves three questions:
- What are the business objectives we are focusing on (e.g., building reputation and increasing patient volume)?
- Who is the audience and where can we reach them (e.g., primary audience – patients and secondary audience – physicians)? The digital marketing team met with surgical oncologists and research teams to really understand the patient experience so they could begin to develop the messaging for their audience.
- What content topics are relevant to your audience and what platforms are they best promoted on, such as email, website, blog, infographics, social media, etc.?
After developing a strategy, tools can really help further that strategy and help you most effectively implement it. The Fox Chase content team uses a variety of tools to develop and analyze content. Web content is developed with feedback from their experts and they analyze search data to help determine topics visitors are interested in. One tool Fox Chase uses to analyze website user interaction is Hotjar, which can show user data such as where on the page viewers’ mice hover over longer.
Listening is a key component, as it provides insights into what people are searching for and what people are talking about and helps generate content ideas, Lauryn explained. Some of the tools she recommended are Google Trends, Google Alerts, and Pinterest Insights. For topic research, Lauryn uses SEMrush – as well as a good old-fashioned Google search.
To understand how recipients interact with the consumer email newsletter Fox Chase sends out, the team uses email optimization tools from Email on Acid, which can provide analytics on engagement.
On social media, Lauryn found that Facebook and Instagram are more healthcare consumer-focused channels and LinkedIn and Twitter are more physician-focused channels. There are many community management tools available. Lauryn’s team uses Sprout Social, which is a lower budget option and allows users to interact with each other when creating posts. Community management tools include editorial calendar capabilities; however, the Fox Chase team also works with freelance content writers so they use Loomly, which has a free version and an approval process. Although some teams might work with designers for creative materials, the free photo/image editors Canva and Adobe Spark allows you to quickly create graphics that can be used in social media posts.
To manage content, Lauryn’s team is old school, and use a Google Spreadsheet. The important thing is to have a process, she said. It is a way to keep track of content topics, content objectives, who is responsible for what, and where it is in the approval process.
Tracking your content to see how it is performing is important as well, Lauryn said. Beyond Google Analytics, there are additional tools that can report data. Lauryn’s team tags every URL that drives traffic back to the website. Google Data Studio is a tool that can provide useful metrics about campaigns, such as number of through plays of videos. It is customizable and easy to use and creates visual, highly sharable reports.
As for the future, the Fox Chase team is looking to engage employees and is currently evaluating employee advocacy tools, as well as project management tools to help organize their various initiatives. Additionally, they are evaluating platforms such as Doximity to see how they can reach a physician audience.