Goldfish have an attention span of nine seconds, which is only one second more than humans! That’s right. Our attention spans have dwindled down from twelve to just eight seconds over the years. And it’s safe to say our attention spans get shorter every day.

I know this as a content creator. Our team ranks brevity high on the list of important attributes with the articles, ebooks, blogs and other content we write. We try our best to keep healthcare IT readers engaged before they move on to myriad other things that pull their attention away. No easy feat!

So, what are some things to keep in mind to create strong content? Here are three quick tips to consider as we head into 2022.

  1. Experience. Define and design an optimal customer experience
    2. Data.
    Collect and use data to inform activities
    3. Execution.
    Create relevant, contextual and engaging content

Experience

Gone are the days of a basic hospital C-suite persona. Marketing and sales teams today should understand their target customers, including their behavior, workflows, channel preferences, referral behavior, brand sentiment and more, at the individual level.

Once we have a true understanding of a day in the life of our customers, we can design experiences that fit into their workflows and meet their needs, as opposed to interrupting them. This experience design model provides healthcare organizations the opportunity to derive value.

Implementing this model is no easy task. Marketing teams must invest in and build advanced digital experience capabilities similar to those deployed by leading retailers, airlines, telecom companies and consumer goods companies to design a seamless experience. If 2022 budget constraints don’t support that strategy, make customer profiling a top priority. This doesn’t require a lot of money, just time and attention from your marketing team to dig into customer behavior.

Data

Digital technologies have opened a whole new world for the healthcare IT marketer. Healthcare consumers use patient portals to access their medical records and to communicate with their physicians. They use apps to fill prescriptions, connect with patient communities and contact other patients with the same diagnosis.

Google is an example of an integrated approach to using data for marketing. Google tracks your search habits (Google), video viewing habits (YouTube), email messages (Gmail), internet browsing (Chrome), mobile activity (Android), and storage of content (Google Drive) and seamlessly and dynamically uses that data to generate art and copy that feels completely personalized.

This kind of digital marketing approach can be applied in our industry, but first you must create a strategy to collect and store the right type of marketing data. That begins with deciding which type of data to collect and how to store this data in the most efficient and accessible way. The focus should be on creating something that will enable a universal profile by account.

Execution

Two of the biggest challenges around execution are content engagement and consistency. Creating relevant and useful content is hard enough, but again, and again? It’s tough!

There are countless tools that can help us with content planning, but let’s consider good old fashioned content mapping which helps my team execute without fail. This involves connecting data to content types, topics and more.

For instance, you take data collected from your sales and customer service teams, look for patterns and themes, create topics and then plot different points of a customer’s journey.

Is this a challenge we’re hearing so much about early in the customer journey or post implementation? This informs content types. Early in the content strategy or funnel, we want educational content. Post-sale we might want a newsletter for customer retention. You also want to map patterns to your solutions. How does your technology address pain points? Content must convey useful insights that your buyers value, not a list of features and benefits. Remember, we want to engage.

When done right, content mapping gives you an arsenal of material to work with. Execution comes in the form of messages that can be sliced into different formats and sections tweaked for each audience—so you don’t have to reinvent each time.

Wrap-Up

Content is consumed in many shapes and sizes. It’s what makes technology so great as a marketer. Give yourself and your team the gift of time to consider content experience, data and execution. With proper planning, your content strategy can outlive the attention spans of goldfish and humans! I hope these tips help on your path to 2022 content creation.

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