At 434 Marketing, we love content marketing. We love the entire process, from initial client discovery and ideation, through content creation, and of course, seeing our clients succeed thanks to content we create. And one thing we really love is a good challenge—like entering a highly technical, competitive space, tasked with generating traffic on behalf of a client.
Our client offers comprehensive revenue cycle management services for hospital systems. When we first started building a relationship with this client, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We were faced with a daunting question: how do we increase website traffic geared toward a specific subset of an industry that’s notoriously competitive? After months of strategizing, careful implementation and delivery, we started to see results. And as a couple of months stretched into several, our client’s website traffic skyrocketed—eventually reaching upwards of 400% in just 12 months.
Here’s how we did it.
About our client—specialists in revenue cycle management.
Each day, healthcare organizations across the world provide life-changing services to patients. Those services are hugely valuable, and hospitals deserve compensation for the critical work they do. Receiving that compensation, however, is notoriously challenging. In order for hospitals to get paid, staff members need to navigate eligibility, file claims, and follow up, all while providing a positive patient experience. In many cases, one or several of those elements of healthcare compensation can fall by the wayside.
That’s where a revenue cycle management expert like our client steps in. With our client in the picture, healthcare organizations are able to offer a better patient experience and improve their overall bottom line. Our client handles all aspects of revenue cycle management for their customers, including: identifying eligibility opportunities for patients, navigating billing and coding procedures, filing and following up on insurance claims, and more.
Our client knew content marketing could change the game for them, but they were struggling to see results.
When our client brought us on, we knew there were a couple major challenges we faced. At 434 Marketing, we want to generate real, measurable results for our clients. Our client needed to be introduced to more potential leads so their sales staff could do what they do best—close deals.
Our client’s previous agency’s marketing efforts were valiant, but ultimately ineffective.
Prior to working with 434 Marketing, our client contracted an agency to “write blog posts.” These posts attempted to educate potential clients on various topics related to revenue cycle management. While the posts were well-written, they weren’t generating results for the client. The posts were typically fairly broad, and covered competitive topics with high keyword difficulty (think: Medicare, Medicaid, and SSI). The posts were driving <100 visitors per month, and when looking at the data, not converting leads. Our client believed in the power of content marketing, and was frustrated by the lack of results. So, they brought on a new vendor: 434 Marketing.
As we got to know our client, we identified a few hurdles right off the bat. The first step to crafting a winning strategy was to understand where our client was coming from, and what challenges we would face together.
- Challenge 1: Our client’s digital presence was sparse at best. With fewer than 200 monthly visitors and a Domain Authority (DA) of less than 15, our client had considerable room for improvement. We were essentially starting from scratch.
- Challenge 2: The space was flooded with content and competitors. We knew that increasing organic traffic was a top priority, but doing so was easier said than done.
- Challenge 3: Our client’s service offering and audience were very specific, with key decision makers sitting in the C-Suite. We needed to learn about an industry that was entirely new to us before we could ever start identifying content opportunities. Of course, we wanted to grow organic traffic with top of funnel content, but we knew that growing organic traffic would only get our clients so far if that traffic wasn’t driven deeper down the funnel and converted into real opportunities.
Content Marketing and SEO for a Healthcare Client
The healthcare industry is one of the most competitive spaces to break into when it comes to content marketing and SEO. Not only are top search terms highly competitive, content marketers are going up against .gov sites, and other widely-known organizations that have an impressive DA. Going broad and tangential wasn’t likely to work, but finding topics that targeted the right audience was a huge mountain to climb. Again, our client serves in the healthcare industry as revenue cycle management specialists—a unique niche that had previously been easiest to reach at industry conferences. So what did we do?
We spent hours getting to know our client and the healthcare industry, and more specifically, the world of medical compensation.
We knew we had our work cut out for us, so before we ever began crafting content, we took time to learn about our client and their customers and so we could strategize. We were getting ready to enter a world we, frankly, didn’t know much about. In order to develop a game plan, we needed to familiarize ourselves with the technical, complex world of Revenue Cycle Management (RCM).
Our team conducted calls with our client and engaged in independent research to learn more about RCM. We needed to learn how our client worked and what made them stand out to their clients. Ultimately, we needed to figure out what would resonate with prospects, and what kind of content would reach them. We spent hours becoming versed on RCM as we looked for solid opportunities to meet the audience where they were. As we researched, we found our client’s target audience primarily consisted of early-stage solution seekers, looking for more information and ways to better improve their organization’s revenue flow by providing eligibility services. But with such a focused audience, how could we substantially increase traffic?
Through an in-depth research process, and a unique find, we identified four core topics we wanted to focus on.
We knew writing content focused on topics that indicated the right searcher intent would be critical, we just needed to figure out what those topics were. We couldn’t be too broad—broad keywords like Medicaid or Medicare were incredibly competitive, plus a generous portion of the audience typing those keywords would not be interested in our client’s services. Top-of-funnel content had to be more focused, even if that meant getting fewer clicks.
As we got to know our client’s audience, we found this audience would regularly traffic two non-profit RCM websites, for annual industry certifications. These sites were housed the latest news and best practices in RCM. Further, they had monthly search traffic of 5-10k, aligning this audience with our intended reach.
This is where the magic happened that set us up for success–– looking at the top pages and topics of these websites, we had a solid starting point to guide the remainder of our research process. After culling together over 2,000 keywords, we grouped them into four major topics: eligibility, reimbursement, revenue cycle management, and hospital management.
We viewed these topics as “common watering holes” that this audience cared about. Each of those topics had opportunities to generate traffic through keywords with low-to-moderate difficulty and competition (again, we were starting from the bottom with DA). And most importantly, these less-searched keywords under these topics indicated better searcher intent than ones that were extremely broad, but more highly searched. We wanted to establish our client’s website as a destination for potential clients to glean information about the topics that mattered to them. By doing so, we were able to present our clients as major leaders in their competitive industry. With a strategy in place, it was time to start creating content.
We started crafting content using a pillar and cluster strategy designed to capture a niche audience that, while small, was likely to convert.
The content we created needed to drive traffic and add value to the reader. Going into drafting content, we knew that in order to thoroughly cover a topic and establish a firm, SEO-friendly foundation, we’d be writing more than just “blog posts.” 434 Marketing created a long-form pillar page that covered a central topic better than any other website, rich with CTAs to check out subsequent pieces that dove deeper into the topic. Then, 434 created over 30 high-end posts and assets to cluster around the pillar page. These clusters contained high-end design elements, such as infographics, branded explainer videos, and rich PDF Guides. Ultimately, this network of content’s goal was to rank for specific industry keywords, like “Medicaid advocates.”
And it worked. Over time, the content we created started to gain traction. Pieces of content began ranking on the first page of the SERP for topics that spoke to our target audience.
The results? We grew traffic by over 400% in under 12 months, and generated +30 highly qualified leads.
The 434 Marketing team is passionate about content marketing because we are passionate about our clients. Over time, Google started serving our content more and more, and we started to rank on the first page of the SERP for critical keywords that targeted our client’s prospects. Traffic began to pick up more and more over the course of a year. Our content began naturally generating backlinks, and our client’s overall domain authority rose. Our strategy to increase traffic—meaningful traffic—worked. Our client attributes the first touch of two +$1M deals to the content we created.
Seeing our clients succeed is the ultimate reward. When we are able to craft a winning strategy for our clients, it is a joy to celebrate alongside them.
We attribute our client’s success to our unique process of crafting content.
At 434, we prioritize forming a relationship with our clients so we really get to know them. Once we learn what our clients are looking for and what they need, we start an in-depth research process to develop a winning strategy. Once our team is confident in the research we’ve compiled, we pitch a deck of ideas to our client. From there, we craft the content. We provide promotion suggestions, tailored to each new piece of content, then schedule regular refreshes. But we don’t stop there. In order to give the content its best chance to shine, we continually monitor its performance. We create a custom reporting dashboard using our proprietary methods to establish content performance transparency and efficacy.