By John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

At a HIMSS-sponsored conference in May, HIMSS Analytics and the Content Marketing Institute presented new survey results about the best content marketing practices in healthcare IT (HIT). The most successful efforts fall into what’s called the “three Cs”:

1. Commitment

87% | Percentage of the most successful HIT content marketing organizations committed to using content to market to customers and prospects.

Obvious? Maybe. But you cannot simply dabble in thought leadership, branding support, client retention or lead generation. You can lend your voice and expertise to creating helpful solutions for your audience, but once you start, you must continue with consistency and commitment.

2. Clear Strategy

63% | Percentage of the most successful content marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy.

A content strategy should include research into your audience and their needs, your business competitors and other content providers competing for your audience’s attention. It should also take a clear look at your own unique expertise. All this research and insight will inform the type of content you deliver, the channels you use to distribute it and how to know if it’s successful. Like I tell my 16-year-old daughter, it’s not a plan if it’s not written down.

3. Connective Tissue

71% | Percentage of the most successful content marketers who measure the return on investment (ROI) from their content marketing efforts.

Even if you’re committed and have a clear strategy, marketers must still find ways to measure the ROI of their effort. Build the right connective tissue between your content and sales efforts—using inbound marketing, for instance—then measure the impact of the content on lead generation.

If you’re ready to embark on a content marketing program, or invigorate an existing one, these three things done well—by talented content creators—will be the foundation of your success.

For further reading: Another blog post from the same HIMSS conference challenged healthcare marketing to think about content nurturing a long sales cycle.

Photo: iStock

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