Why Content Marketing is Critical in the Age of Visual Marketing

Kris Ruby Wall Street

Why content marketing is important in B2B Marketing 

Is content marketing the new PR?

How content marketing – in partnership with PR — can boost your digital marketing efforts in 2022.

The field of content marketing has morphed from managing a company or physician blog to building entire branded newsrooms. Content libraries are typically curated by an outside public relations agency or a medical content marketing firm. So, why does your company need a robust content marketing plan and a digital newsroom?

For starters, a strategic social media campaign will be extremely bareboned without solid content to back it up. Content is a critical part of any social media and digital PR campaign today for doctors. At least 2/3 of your outbound social media posts should include backlinks to content that is generated by your company or private practice that lives on your website.

According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, brands who succeed at content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than companies who are not crafting compelling, valuable content.

This 8% increase in eye traffic on your brand is one of the many reasons why every doctor should create a digital footprint and integrated content marketing strategy. A well-thought-out content marketing strategy helps prospects find you when they are looking for your services. It also helps your bottom line if your content answers sales questions that representatives previously answered by phone.

PR and Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a critical component of any digital PR campaign today. Content helps build brand awareness with journalists and reporters. A strong piece of content will position you as an expert in your field more than a traditional press release ever will (press releases are dead).

Well thought out content will also give you the trust factor you are looking to build with media and provides the media with usable snippets of information they can pull into articles. A PR content strategy will help your media relations efforts so that your press mentions are supported by the content you put out to members of the media.

What is content creation in Public Relations?

Content creation in PR can including crafting answers for reporter queries, writing blog posts, or even writing executive bios and FAQ documents for the media. Traditional PR did not touch the field of inbound marketing and content creation. However, all of that is changing with the rise of digital PR. If your PR firm is separate from your content marketing firm, you are making a major mistake!

Visual Content Marketing Strategy

What is visual content marketing?

Visual content marketing is the process of using graphic content to market to a target audience. Visual content marketing can include social media graphics, audiograms of podcast interviews, signature branded images, and even video content.

Marketing without content is like diving without a life jacket. It is reckless.

CONTENT MARKETING 101

Getting started with content marketing.

How do you create a content marketing strategy?

Establishing a content library or newsroom takes a lot of work and a lot of content. However, if you already have a public relations firm or social media management firm, they can help create content for you. This has become a critical function of the PR department as the lines between PR/Social Media/Marketing becoming further blurred together. If you already have retained a firm and want to try getting more bang for your buck this month, try having your PR firm work on content marketing for you, rather than pushing out traditional press releases (that no one is reading.)

What is a Content Library?

All highly successful brands have built a well-planned and executed content library. Also referred to as a “newsroom,” this digital information storage space includes everything from press releases to white papers, infographics, images, and interactive videos.  In fact, Fortune 500 companies build, populate and administrate completely separate websites just for journalists and editors.

Mobile giant T-Mobile has three: 1) a consumer newsroom; 2) a media center for journalists, and 3) a social media “home” or library.

“Use content as your currency to create marketable content your prospects are seeking.”

What kind of content should I write about? 

Consider the journey your ideal clients follow to find your product or service. Go on a treasure hunt to discover all the keywords your current clients and potential prospects use to find your company and solve their problems. This includes long-form, problem-based keywords, solution-based keywords, and casual language.

Tip: Use Buzzsumo to research the most highly shared articles in your industry to get ideas for what topics you should be writing about.

How can my publicist help me curate a content library?

Public relations agencies know exactly what your content library should (and should not!) include. Your content library needs to provide solutions to your customers’ and prospects’ greatest challenges. If you deliver smart content to help make them become informed decision-makers, then you can expect more highly qualified purchase decisions resulting in ideal new clients and patients.

Don’t have a newsroom yet? One way to build a content library quickly is to repurpose old press releases by transforming them into blog posts, which can help secure backlinks and increase SEO.

What is content distribution? 

What is the point of creating an entire content library if you don’t distribute it correctly? Once your content library is in place, make it available to as many distribution points as possible. This includes your company’s newsroom, blog, email marketing, and all social media accounts – even Facebook Live or apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. All this fresh and repurposed content should attempt not just to entertain, but to educate, enlighten, and go for direct action so your brand sees immediate results. Be sure your content can be easily redistributed by your brand’s fans and followers so it is easily shareable for consumers.

Need to create content quickly? Go to your sales team and have them ask current clients what they’d like to read when it comes to your business and then create content to educate them on those subjects.

Where do I distribute blog content?

Distributing your content across various channels and communities is not a one-time process. If hitting the publish button is the end of your content distribution journey, you could be wasting the true potential of your content and digital assets.

Content Marketing Strategist Sk Rafiqul shares his top content optimization tips with members of his paid community content marketing VIP

10x your content reach with this 3-step distribution strategy shared by Rafiq:

Step 1: Start with immediate distribution.

There are various places you can share your article to reach a new audience. These platforms include:

  • Medium posts. Import the article and get a canonical tag to the original piece.
  • Quora posts. Share the article link with relevant tags.
  • LinkedIn articles. Publish your content as a LinkedIn article. To drive traffic from LinkedIn to your website, add “read the complete article here.

Step 2: Expand the article & repurpose the content.

Repurposing your article is a great way to maximize your content reach. But it’s not about just copying and pasting content from one platform to another.

Here is how to strategically expand your content:

  • Turn the article into a SlideShare presentation. It’s not necessary to make your presentation text-heavy. Add charts, visuals, and graphics to do storytelling with your content.
  • Turn the article into micro social media posts. Your blog post will have multiple sub-topics covered. Consider turning each sub-topic into a separate social media post.

Note: Your Facebook posts shouldn’t be the same as LinkedIn posts. Why? User behavior on each social media platform differs greatly by search intent. It is good practice to create relevant content tailored to each social media platform.

  • Relevant Facebook & LinkedIn communities. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, you may find your ideal customer hanging out on LinkedIn or Facebook groups. Don’t just share the link to the article. Instead, let them know how this content is going to make their life easier.

Step 3: Tap into Hidden Communities.

This is where most companies give up. Social media isn’t the only place where your audience spends time. For example, if you’re into SaaS startups, there are valuable communities to tap into such as IndieHackers, Hacker News, ProductHunt, and more.

As a B2B content marketer, your job is to find these hidden communities to share the value through content and create one-on-one relationships with the people who are commenting in the threads. People frequently post questions in threads and forums. Your product or company could be the exact answer or solution they are looking for.

Pro Tip: To find these communities, type ‘Top [your niche] communities.’

This will show you the list of places to distribute your content to in order to generate the maximum ROI for your business.

How do I hire a content writer?

Public relations professionals and social media management firms understand how to communicate with your different client personas by working with media-savvy specialty writers. Need to attract millennials? Or, how about middle-aged women with a certain amount of disposable income in Westchester County (or wherever your business may be located)? PR and social media management firms work with many different writers to capture not only the mind but the voice of your niche market customers.

Choosing the perfect content writer for your company is like a treasure hunt. Remember, PR and social media management firms can help you hire the best writers who focus on solution-based keywords, topics and clusters for pillar content.

How do I format content? 

Formatting content is equally as important as the writing itself. Ever click out of a web page or a story just because it’s too long or unreadable? Think of the many ways your clients or potential clients want to consume media from your brand. For example, millennials want “punchy” copy with short sentences and bold headings. Baby boomers usually prefer longer, journalistic-style articles. And Gen Z? They want to watch videos on their smartphones rather than read stories.

Need to revamp your brand? Sometimes bringing fresh content to the boardroom table can revitalize old school marketing materials and breathe new life into your brand.

How do you write good content and create effective content marketing?

Your brand’s content should help solve your prospects’ greatest challenges. With a well-executed content library and consistent distribution, your company will stay top of mind and you will be positioned as a thought leader in your industry. You can’t write good content if you don’t understand the pain points of your customers.

5 ACTIONABLE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS:

How do you create content that attracts customers?

  1. Write about the problems you solve for clients or patients.
  2. Emphasize what’s in it for them and how they will benefit from engaging with your firm.
  3. Focus on the other person’s needs (i.e., the problem they are needing to solve) rather than what you have to offer.
  4. Hone in as soon as possible on identifying your prospect’s challenges and needs. What questions do they have?
  5. Create content that answers these questions and challenges.

Conducting a Content Audit

Creating a content library is not only about pushing out new articles. It also means regularly auditing your content to see what is moving the needle to determine what content has the greatest ROI for your business. For example, are certain pieces of content “money terms” for your business? Ie, is there a piece of content that brings the greatest amount of qualified leads to you year after year? If so, you want to make sure you keep updating that content.

Content Audit Checklist:

What should I look for when auditing content?

  • Does this piece of content match the buyer’s intent?
  • Does the content answer the primary search terms the content is optimized for?
  • Does the content hit specific purchasing requirements?
  • Is the content action-driven and does it include a CTA at the end?
  • Does the content serve the primary audience’s needs?
  • Will this piece of content impact the buyer’s decision to purchase your services?
  • Does the content contain any assets that can be reused for other content marketing initiatives?
  • Is the content interactive and does it include rich media?

How to take inventory of your content marketing library

How do you conduct a content inventory?

If you are serious about the process of historical optimization or reviewing your content, you will start to see that some of the content may totally miss the mark on the above checklist. Not all content should be kept.

Review the analytics to see:

  • What content has backlinks
  • What content is driving substantial traffic
  • What content gets virtually no views
  • What content has a high bounce rate

If your content contains less than 1,000 words, it is worth rewriting the content if you have any hopes of ranking on page one of Google. You can either delete old content or redirect it to other pages on your website. Every business should take an annual content inventory to remain current with SEO practices and to refresh stale content!

CONTENT MARKETING WRITING TIPS

On-page SEO content marketing tips:

  • Use questions or secondary keywords as H2’s in the article.
  • Structure the article by adding more H2 or H3 tags. 
  • If you add questions to the article, make sure they have proper heading tags. 

Content structure tips →

  • Include the article title in the title. For example, in this article, that would be, ‘’why content marketing is important’ in the title tag. 
  • Create a listicle & optimize for header tags and content structure. 
  • For example, ‘5 key reasons why every Doctor needs medical public relations.’
  • Many articles in the top 10 organic search engine results on Google are listicles. 

[Pro Content Marketing idea]: Get contributor quotes for the topic of the article. This content marketing strategy helped me gain initial traffic and led to a steep increase in social shares.

CONTENT TEST

Is your content marketing working?

Here is a handy checklist to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.

  • Would someone want to copy your content into the notepad on their iPhone to read the content again because it was super helpful?
  • Is your content still valuable to readers one year later? Your content should be evergreen and should be able to pass this test.
  • Would someone want to copy and paste your content and save it in a Microsoft Word doc for future reference?
  • Is your content strong enough that someone wants to share it with their network?
  • Did you answer the how vs. the what? Are you telling someone specific ways how to grow their business or are you telling them what to do to grow their business? People want to know how to do something, not only what to do.
  • Did you include outside stats, research and best practices?
  • Can someone learn something new from reading your content?
  • Did your article solve someone’s specific problem or pain point?
  • Did you create the most comprehensive guide on a topic that exists on the Internet?
  • Is your content longer than 1,000 words? If not, start from scratch or redirect it.

For example, with our content, it’s not about what pitching the media is, it’s about teaching people how to pitch the media. See the difference? One is baseline PR101, and the other is a high-level PR strategy that can only be written after years of experience in the field.

The goal is not to rank for every search term that people are looking for in your industry. Fundamentally, the goal is to rank for the questions your target audience has. Ranking is not the end goal. If you rank for “what does a PR firm do?” how does that really help you? Instead, you want to rank for something much more targeted than your prospect is searching for, such as “how much does a PR firm cost?”

How long does a content audit take?

A content audit can take months if it is done properly! Here are 3 questions to consider when you are conducting a content audit for your healthcare marketing strategy:

healthcare PR content audit

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

Create a culture of content.

When you create content, you are teaching your market how to buy your products. This process requires buy-in from every member of your team. From sales to PR and legal, a culture of content means that there is a shared goal and vision on the outcome of what that content can achieve for your organization.

  • Everyone in the business needs to understand that content works.
  • Invest the right amount of time and resources to drive campaign success.
  • The content team needs to be aligned with the SEO and PR team.
  • To justify the investment in content marketing, use data to inform content decisions.
  • Assess the investment you need to make in each topic to rank. Build briefs and execute that content. This leads to a predictive return on investment.

 

HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL CONTENT MARKETING AGENCY

Ready to craft a stellar healthcare content marketing strategy and plan for your medical practice? Ruby Media Group brings years of medical PR consulting, content marketing, and social media management expertise to help your practice be even more successful in today’s digital landscape. If you are looking for a top content provider in healthcare, reach out to learn more about our content marketing agency services.  For more information on optimizing your PR exposure with healthcare content marketing, contact kruby@rubymediagroup.com.

 

PR AND CONTENT MARKETING RESOURCES:

Inbound Marketing: The Next Frontier in Digital PR 

Blogging for Business: SEO Checklist 

How to Craft an Editorial Content Calendar 

21 Content Marketing Experts Sharing Their Top Marketing Strategies

 

© Date last updated August 2021 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.