Measure and optimize the performance of health content

By Stewart Gandolf

As the leader of a healthcare organization, you are focused on achieving your business goals.

So how does the content fit in? Ideally, it should support your primary goals.

Today’s best content marketing is in line with business goals and drives profitable action. What’s more, marketing teams can demonstrate how content contributes to business goals.

If the business value of your content is not clear, you are not alone.

Content is notoriously difficult to defend, let alone measure and prove ROI.

But that does not have to be the case.

By choosing and tracking the right metrics, you can able to find out if your time, your budget and your resources are it moves the needle.

In this guide, we provide five steps on how to measure content performance. Our guide also provides tips on how to choose the right metrics by content goal and content type.

5 steps for measuring and optimizing health content

  1. Choose your content goals
  2. Choose the metrics that support your content goals
  3. Track your KPIs based on content type
  4. Measure your performance
  5. Turn data into wisdom

1) Choose your content goals

What do you want your content to achieve? There are many different goals for content, but here are just a few of the most common ones that may apply to the healthcare industry.

Fire knowledge: Brand awareness, or the degree of consumer recognition of the product or service by its name, is a crucial step if your goal is to promote a new product / service or revive an older brand. It falls into the “consciousness” stage of the customer journey.

Commitment: Commitment falls into the “consideration stage” of the customer journey. In this phase, the content you create should help people consider your services as an opportunity to address their pain points.

If your goal is to improve engagement, you want to produce content that is designed to generate meaningful interactions over time. This means creating ways to better engage with new and returning patients and potentially care for them and their loved ones throughout the experience.

Leading generation: Content is a crucial part of lead generation and there are many effective ways to generate leads with health content marketing.

Lead generation falls within the decision phase of the customer journey and represents conversions, including leads, MQLs and SQLs.

Here is an overview of each:

Leads: A lead is contact information about a potential customer or patient.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A step above a lead is an MQL, a person who has shown a deeper level of interest in becoming a customer. On a website, a marketing qualified customer may have downloaded a guide.

However, your team should define the type of marketing content that a person must be committed to in order to qualify as an MQL.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): Once the marketing team and sales team agree that the MQL can be converted to a customer, the MQL becomes a SQL.

Sales activation: If your goal is to provide salespeople with engaging assets that their goals would find compelling and help shorten the sales cycle, you should ultimately provide the sales resources that the customer wants. In addition to supporting sales from site visitors, medical affiliates or salespeople can also use online content in their sales process when interacting with leads.

Customer retention / loyalty: Building customer loyalty in the healthcare industry is about creating a content strategy that anticipates customer needs and encourages repeat business and referrals. But rules and regulations around incentives make it difficult to balance between rewarding patients and remaining consistent.

Additional sales / cross-selling: If your goal is to promote a free, additional or better product or service, the key is to keep your customer’s needs and desires in mind and adapt your offer to the underlying conditions that drew the customer or patient to the original service. Metrics can help you track the stage of the buying process to suggest an additional sale or cross sale.

2) Choose the metrics that support your content goals

Now that we’ve identified and prioritized your goals, what are the typical metrics used to help measure and track program success?

Here are some examples:

3) Track your KPIs based on content type

With standard metrics for your specific marketing goals, you can now track your KPIs.

Where you find data or KPI depends health content type and the data you want to measure.

The following are most common KPIs by health content type:

4) Measure your performance

As I have illustrated above, there are many ways to measure your content marketing efforts.

Here are a few tips on how to measure your performance:

  • Create regular reporting. Whether you start monthly or weekly, set up regular reporting so you can regularly view the data and share it with your team. Always make sure you have your main goals represented during the reporting.
  • Schedule regular meetings. With performance data collected regularly, you will need to schedule meetings with team members and stakeholders to help them keep track of content performance.
  • Point out the weaknesses. Mistakes, failures and battles are common in content marketing. Identifying these weaknesses is crucial to coming up with solutions and better strategies.

5) Turn data into wisdom

Metrics provides insight into what works and what does not work. But the steps you take after reporting are what can make or break your content marketing efforts.

Decide how you will use the data to optimize the performance of your content. This requires experimentation and testing.

For example, a significant aspect of SEO includes regular reporting on website traffic metrics to identify top pages by traffic. While it may be tempting to report on the top pages as a gain, there is more to do here. Top pages after traffic are good examples of content you can optimize. First, make sure the site has high quality content and improve or optimize the content if necessary. Knowing that they are bringing in traffic, these pages can also be enhanced by adding links to converting sites known as conversion masters.

Testing is also an important way to turn data into wisdom. Be sure to test your content and refine along the way to prove that the messages resonate. An example is A / B testing your email marketing subject lines, header images or transmission times to see which ones got a higher opening rate.

Healthcare Content Marketing’s endless job

Remember, content marketing is constantly evolving. It is important to remain consistent and continue to learn about what works and what does not work.

By choosing the right content goals and learning how to measure performance, you can begin to see how content fits together and make better choices for your healthcare organization.

Stewart Gandolf

CEO of Healthcare Success

Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is the CEO of Healthcare Success, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar companies. Stewart is a frequent speaker and has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the Healthcare Success Insight blog with 21,000 subscribers. Stewart also co-authored “Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business.” Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally’s Total Fitness.


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