Don’t Boil the Content Ocean: Tips for a Focused Content Strategy

Steven Franklin, Product Marketing Manager


Creating a comprehensive content strategy that is effective, efficient, and user-friendly can sometimes feel like trying to boil an ocean. It can take a huge amount of resources and time.

But before we dive into content strategy, let’s take a moment to talk about why you need great content on your website in the first place.

Content is the foundation of any digital healthcare strategy. Consumers are looking for information, care options, and tools to manage their daily health. As a trusted healthcare provider, you are perfectly positioned to provide your consumers with meaningful content.

So, there’s the need for content, but where do you start? Blogs, articles, videos, and health education libraries are all great options. The key is to craft a focused content strategy and leverage efficient tools where possible.


Tips for building a focused content strategy:

  1. Take a content inventory

    If you are not intimately familiar with the content you already have on your website and applications, take an inventory of what currently exists. This should be a list of all blog posts, articles, guides, libraries, and anything that is available to the public. Once you know what you have, you might see gaps, or areas where you already have great coverage—or maybe both.

    Focus on the most obvious content gaps first. These are gaps with the potential to have the greatest impact. They're the content you need—but don’t currently have—that support specific organizational objectives. For example, if your objective is to promote your best-in-class cardiology service line, and you have minimal content related to cardiology, more cardiology content is a great place to focus your initial efforts. More on that below.
  2. Decide which service lines are important

    You most likely have content that spans many service lines, but not all service lines may be equally important. Some services lines might be key to your organization. These are where you should focus your marketing efforts.

    Here are some considerations for deciding which service lines to focus on:
    • Is the service line ready? Service lines that have a marketing focus should be able to handle the additional volume of patients and questions your marketing efforts will drive.
    • Is the service line a key part of the business? Focus your content effort initially on the service lines with the biggest potential return on investment.
    • Is the service line a key differentiator? Service lines that help you stand out from competitors should be a focus of marketing efforts.
  3. Decide the mix of content types you want to use

    Different content types allow you to reach different audiences in different ways. For example, an information page about a certain condition will reach people who are (or have a family member) diagnosed with the condition. A blog post about living with a condition can help educate, but it also connects with readers on a personal level. While the topics are the same, the audiences and goals are different.

    Types of content to consider:
    • Health education library. A health education library is a comprehensive collection of information about conditions and treatments. It is often a cornerstone of patient education and tends to reach a wide audience looking to improve their health literacy around specific conditions.
    • Blog posts. Blog posts tell a story and are typically more relaxed in their approach. Rather than just giving the facts, blog posts can communicate about a topic in many ways. An example might be a blog post with a personal story about what it’s like to live with asthma, while a health library article might simply describe asthma’s symptoms and treatments.
    • Videos. Videos can be used in a variety of ways, either as education or as storytelling. Videos are very engaging and can connect with viewers in a way text can’t. Video content can also improve many website stats that search engines love and will rank higher, like the time users spend on a page. Consider using video content either by itself if you’re telling a story, or as a part of your health education library to improve patient learning and retention.
    • Proof points. Proof-points content highlights how effective your organization is. They might include testimonials, stats, and reviews. Proof points are great at building trust with your audience and typically accompany other types of content.
  4. Leverage consistent processes to make creating content easier

    Creating a large amount of content that is effective and on-brand requires carefully considered processes. Processes allow you to scale efforts and create consistency. Without a clear and efficient process, you may find yourself reinventing the wheel over and over again.

    To help streamline your processes, consider:
    • Publishing your brand standards and training anyone who is writing content on them so they stay within the guidelines.
    • Reviewing all content for style. Beyond simply editing, having a few trusted individuals who review content can help you match brand and language standards.
    • Auditing existing content for brand standards to identify where edits and changes may be needed, then make them.
    • Leveraging content from the same source so that it’s consistent.
  5. Get technical leader buy-in

    If you’re embarking on the journey of content creation, you will need buy-in from your technical leadership. Having their buy-in helps them understand your needs and the importance of content, and helps you understand the tools you need to create content. Your technical team can likely help create efficiencies and give you the right access or training to get your content in the right place.
  6. Leverage existing tools

    Depending on the tools you already have at your organization, you may be able to create much of the content you need with minimal effort. For example, if you’re creating a patient education library on your public-facing website, your clinical solutions may already offer content that could be placed on your website. This allows you to provide a massive amount of essential patient content with minimum technical and editorial effort.

Healthwise offers several tools you can leverage to support your content strategy efforts. Please view our Digital Experiences Solutions to learn how you can produce more health education content with less work.