Multi-Channel Healthcare Communications: Are Your Messages Getting Lost in the Crowd?
Time-starved Medical and healthcare professionals are overloaded with messages. Are your communications getting through?
No matter your healthcare audience, whether it is a physician, nurse, hospital CEO, CNO, or other influencer or purchasing decision maker, finding time to stay current on important trends, updates, regulation changes, new technology, etc. is tough. Weeding through the content to find the important nuggets is even more difficult.
Do you know where your messages are landing? Are they connecting with your target audience? Are you cutting through the clutter?
If you are wondering where to start or how to evaluate your program to be sure it is working, here are a few pointers.
Define Your Communication Goals
Driving lead generation or increasing sales are distinctly different from increasing awareness or educating your audience. Depending on your goals, your plan may require different levels of effort and more or less complicated strategies to accomplish them. If you feel like you have a range of goals, determine which one is most important. This should be your focus while the others will support this goal.
Define Your Audience
Do you feel like you need to talk to or target a very broad group or are you focused in on a smaller segment? The more specific you can be in understanding your audience and their needs, the more targeted you can be in the way you communicate with them.
Building an audience profile that considers the audience as a professional as well as their overall temperament, business interests and media interests will help you think the way they do.For example, have you considered what it is like (really) to be a doctor?
In 2014, Malcolm Gladwell worked with Forbes to tell people what it is really like to be a doctor. For some, surely this was eye opening.
Do you really know and understand your audience? If you are not sure about your audience and their preferences, do some research. Get out and talk to at least an hand full of them to find out how they think. Dig around on the internet and see if you can find any reports that will help. It's amazing what is out there. Or, if you have the time and money, do a more in-depth study.
The better you know your audience, the better you can communicate with them.
Define Your Communication Strategies
Now that you know and understand your target audience better and can think more the way they do, be persuasive in communications. Use empathy. Build trust and understanding. Trust can be built in many ways. It can also be lost with an inappropriate approach.
For example, speaking to a technical audience and trying to use a lot of technical jargon might be less trustworthy because the jargon and acronyms are hard to follow, whereas more common language can put people at ease. Find the right balance with your audience. Come across as an expert without being unapproachable. Make the audience feel smart and connected by being interested in your communications - and your product or service.
Define Your Tactics
In today's cluttered, interactive world of communication it is so important to have a targeted strategy to reach your audiences. How are you building your content and where are you putting it?
This could include videos, articles, social media campaigns, email marketing, website search engine optimization (SEO), remarketing via search or banner advertising, and so much more.With ever increasing volumes of content to review, audiences are turning to video more and more as it is quick and digestible.
If you are considering video as a messaging channel — which you should be — remember the following 9 key ingredients.
- Design your video to meet a goal. It should roll up to an over-arching strategy.
- Consider your audience and write a script. Then test it, and revise it.
- Tell a great story. Make your audience believe.
- You title, your description, your landing page, this is all part of the experience. Think it through.
- Capture their attention in the first 10 seconds.
- Don't skimp on the production value.
- Include lots of compelling and emotional imagery. Animation is a plus.
- Get straight to the point. The process of ruthless exclusion is the only way to cut out the fluff. It can be difficult, but is necessary to find your real story.
- When it's all said and done, your video should drive an action. This brings us back to designing with the end goal in mind. And that's the most important tip.
Don't Forget to Measure
Whether it's a video or not, is your communications program measurable? Is this messaging activity something that if nothing else, yields insights into your target audience? You must decide from the get-go what you aim to measure. It might be attention minutes and engagement time, or click-throughs and shares, but it needs to be measurable.
We're all overloaded with messages, especially medical and healthcare professionals. Are your communications getting through?