Content May Be King, but Audience Is Key

Using Empathy to Understand Your Audience

At this year’s Content Marketing World 2015 Hospitals Lab, Ahava Leibtag, President of Aha Media Group in Washington D.C., spoke on the topic of healthcare content. While the main focus of the conference was how to craft and share content, the Hospitals Lab asked us to take a step back and think about who is reading your content before you start to create it— a particularly valuable message for professionals working in healthcare. 

Per Leibtag, the three things content marketers need to be successful are:

1. A great writer/communicator.

2. Basic understanding of HTML and search engine optimization.

3. Empathy.

I don’t know about you, but empathy stood out to me – especially in the world of healthcare. Far too often we, as healthcare marketers, think too much about the key messages we’re trying to push out or how we can use a massive piece of content to generate more content like a white paper, an executive brief, a blog post or a tweet. But how often do we think about the person on the other end of that white paper, executive brief, blog post or tweet?

When it comes to healthcare content, that reader is likely a fearful mother, a worried family man or a scared student athlete at the cusp of their athletic career. We have to put ourselves in the mindset of our audience in order to empathize with their situation and connect with them personally.

How do we do this? We create personas. Brands such as Nike, Amazon and Apple create and make decisions based on customer personas every day. In fact, Amazon keeps an empty chair in every single one of their meetings to represent the customer, whom Amazon deems as “the most important person in the room,” to make sure their employees’ thinking is always customer-focused. From a healthcare marketing perspective, we must put ourselves in the mindset of that scared mother, father or child and think about how they would search for and digest content.

What else do you think content marketers need to be successful?


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