Content atomization is a strategy primed to address the unique challenges of healthcare marketing, especially if you’re selling into large, complex organizations such as hospitals, health systems, payors, or large group practices.
By creating rich foundational assets and using these as the source for a wealth of highly focused and personalized downstream content, you can achieve content creation efficiency while remaining aligned with the challenges and goals of the long list of healthcare titles you need to connect with to build ongoing relationships.
For most healthcare marketers, this level of precision has been out of reach. Without a massive team, who has the time to personalize an entire campaign for the 10+ decision makers involved in B2B healthcare buying decisions? Enter generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Today, AI-powered content atomization offers a solution to the resource and time constraints that have limited the effectiveness of healthcare marketing campaigns. Leveraging the power of generative AI purpose-built for atomization, marketers can scale content production and specificity to a level that was previously unimaginable. Let’s take a closer look at how this process works.
What is Content Atomization?
Content atomization is the process of taking an in-depth piece of content and breaking it down by subtopic, theme, and/or format into highly focused derivative assets. Content atomization goes beyond mere deconstruction; it involves purposeful planning, slicing the content into subtopics, themes, and formats that resonate with the distinct needs of the various stakeholders your brand is targeting.
The driving principle behind content atomization is to leverage the extensive, knowledge-rich resources that healthcare organizations regularly produce. Think along the lines of lengthy webinars, comprehensive white papers, or intricate case studies that convey the comprehensive narrative of successful implementations.
Today, the deployment of cutting-edge AI technologies plays a pivotal role in content atomization. AI applications like Skyword’s ATOMM™ are designed to extract the key ideas, insights, and knowledge nuggets from these resources. Once extracted, these gems of information are transformed into personalized, bite-sized content pieces that are tailor-made for specific marketing channels and, more importantly, specific healthcare decision-makers.
Here’s an example of how this can play out in practice:
Atomizing a lengthy webinar into a cascade of additional assets:
Short Videos: Use AI to transmute your lengthy webinar transcript into briefs for short, engaging video clips. These videos can summarize, promote, or hone in on specific topics addressed in the webinar, making it easy for busy healthcare professionals to grasp critical insights in a matter of minutes.
Blogs: The extracted content is reformulated into educational blog posts. These blogs can serve as a resource for healthcare leaders seeking more detail on specific topics covered in the webinar, while driving organic traffic to your website and webinar registration page.
Digestible Infographics: Complex data and statistics are distilled into visually appealing infographics to provide an at-a-glance understanding of vital healthcare information, making them perfect for sharing on social media platforms.
Social Media: The atomized content is repurposed into social media graphics and post copy.
Sales Emails: Personalized content snippets are crafted for email campaigns targeting different healthcare decision-makers.
Who Content Atomization Is Built For
Content atomization has broad applications in healthcare marketing. Here are a few examples of who stands to benefit:
Content Marketers in Complex Spaces
This is anyone marketing to large healthcare organizations and needs the ability to create cohesive campaigns that are personalized for the range of executive, clinical, IT, and financial titles that influence buying decisions.
Anyone Struggling with ABM
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a must in the healthcare space, but fueling an ABM strategy over time can be expensive and time-consuming. This is especially true from a resource perspective where budgets and staffing can get unwieldy over time and industry sales cycles average 12-18 months. (I’ve seen them creep into the 3-5 year range.)
Leaders Who Need Granular Insights
Refining content in healthcare based on how different titles respond to your content can be particularly challenging. Iteration over long, complex campaigns is especially tricky. By atomizing in-depth content into assets precisely targeted by buyer role, you can track uptake and refine campaigns to the title level with more ease.
Content Atomization Benefits for Healthcare Marketers
Scaling and Freeing up Resources
The primary benefit of content atomization, especially when executed using generative AI, is that it allows marketing teams to make better use of resources and maximize the impact of content investments. The deconstruction of comprehensive materials like webinars, white papers, or case studies ensures every essential insight and knowledge fragment is meticulously extracted and repurposed into highly focused derivative assets. This minimizes waste with a one-to-many approach that ensures each fragment is leveraged in multiple ways to engage a wider range of healthcare decision-makers.
Responding to Unpredictable Events
Content atomization ensures that your marketing efforts remain agile, allowing you to swiftly adapt to different healthcare segments’ unique concerns and preferences.
For example, when the COVID-19 public health emergency ended, it wasn’t an even or predictable process. It was marked by significant regional disparities, patient demographics, and payor dynamics. Marketing teams were tasked with navigating this complexity, grappling with a broad spectrum of topics and concerns that demanded personalized and timely communication. Content atomization, combined with generative AI, equips marketers to respond to such unpredictable events with agility. It allows for the rapid creation of tailored, on-point content that addresses the nuanced needs of various healthcare stakeholders on time-sensitive topics.
Tapping Internal Knowledge
Every healthcare vendor I’ve worked with has had multiple people on their teams who are incredible wealths of industry-specific knowledge—the kind of knowledge that you can’t find online and that conveys authority to prospective customers.
The challenge has always been translating that knowledge into usable content on an ongoing basis. This is much easier if you have the tools and plan in place to turn a handful of in-depth interviews with subject matter experts into a cache of market-facing content.
Encouraging Intra-Prospect Communication
One of the most unwieldy phases of the sales process is when prospective decision-makers are talking amongst themselves about their conversations with you as a vendor. They go through reconciling everything they’ve heard from sales and marketing—trying to align what they’ve heard with what their peers have been told.
If your content stems from one “source of truth,” you significantly reduce the chances of them stumbling across contradictory or inconsistent information in the process.
Getting the Most out of Content Atomization
If you’re new to content atomization strategy, here are a few tips to inform your planning process:
Shift to a Front-Loaded Effort
Content atomization means doing more work early on in the process so that you have less creation and refining to do down the line. Clearly define your objectives for content atomization. Are you aiming to increase engagement with specific healthcare professionals or buyer profiles? Perhaps you want to enhance lead generation within specific healthcare segments. Establishing clear goals will inform the entire atomization process and ensure your in-depth anchor assets and derivatives are properly aligned with your overarching marketing strategy.
NOTE: Given the sensitive nature of healthcare, ensure that your anchor content complies with relevant healthcare regulations and privacy standards. This will help save time or even bypass lengthy compliance reviews for each iterative asset you produce.
Rethink Your Investment
You’re likely allotting significant time and effort to downstream content creation. With content atomization, shift your resource allocation strategy to prioritize the creation and maintenance of source assets. While downstream content creation remains essential, it should be seen as an extension of your source materials. The value of the entire content lifecycle hinges on the quality and depth of your source assets. This means investing more in the rich data, subject matter expert insights, internal interviews, and research that go into your source assets. You’ll want to create the meat of your anchor content in partnership with internal subject matter experts and the marketing and sales teams to map out the challenges, goals, and content consumption habits of the roles you’re strategy is targeting.
Aim for Meatier Content
This means thinking richer. Your original anchor pieces of content need to be deep and educational. Focus these assets on specific topics with consistent themes and subtopics woven throughout. Pay particular attention to the subtopics each anchor asset needs to cover since your derivative assets will be a direct product of the work you do early in the process. Know what you want the end result to look like and plan accordingly from the beginning.
Generally, you’ll want to approach content atomization in one of two ways:
Method 1: One-to-Many
This method starts with a long-form asset on a specific topic that addresses several audiences at once—think of a white paper or solution guide that’s problem-focused and outlines concerns at the role level. Downstream content can then be customized based on hospital demographics and, in turn, broken out into multi-format assets.
Method 2: Many-to-Many
With this method, anchor assets are designed to target one specific audience, allowing for even more tailored downstream content assets to be created. This approach should be used if you’re marketing to a range of departments or buyers who have very different needs and concerns, such as clinical, administrative, IT, and patient functions.
Go for Granular
You know that lower-level title that deals with the biggest shortfalls of your competitor’s solutions, but they’ve always been an afterthought so you never really bothered to create content for them? Atomized content means that now, you can.
You can dig into highly specific challenges by title, channel, role, region, or patient mix. If you’re clear with your outcomes up front, you can deliver a consistently exceptional and tailored experience across a range of unique buyer contexts.
Refine Your Roles and Org Profiles
Successful use of content atomization requires strong personas and detailed organizational profiles. You’ll want to determine detailed firmographics while also outlining challenges by role and title, as well as understanding the themes and priorities needed to create precision profiles of both your target organization and individuals. For a hospital, for example, you might want to outline patient mix, payor mix, as well as state regulatory and legislative environment, while also detailing challenges at the CFO, VP of Finance, and director levels for budgeting, financial planning, reporting and analytics, and cost accounting and decision support.
Refresh Your Metrics
You’re now sitting on an opportunity to use much more detailed metrics internally, tracking the effectiveness of the same message across different distribution channels and analyzing content performance with a role-specific lens.
Atomization is an ROI multiplier so that you can present more persuasive content impact metrics in the process. Instead of assessing individual assets in isolation, you can illustrate how an anchor asset plus its atomized components cumulatively contributed to a broader range of channel, messaging, and audience objectives.
Get your Website Ready
Content atomization opens the door to a more targeted and buyer-friendly website experience. Imagine landing pages broken down to the level of role or title or even turning personalized content into a touchdown area for your readers, where they’ll be encouraged to explore a topic and related questions in ways that are tailored to their needs.
One of my favorite examples of this is how you end up on athenahealth’s Gamify solution when exploring rev cycle management. You’re encouraged to navigate through a prompt to boost billing and staff productivity, landing on content geared explicitly towards rev cycle managers.
Content Atomization Example: Internet-Enabled Hospital TV Infrastructure
To paint a picture of how this works, let’s look at an example—a vendor who sells internet-enabled televisions into hospitals. Their content conversation centers on connecting internet-enabled TV to a richer patient experience, an improved clinician experience, and higher revenues.
Roles and Concerns
IT: Integration with EMR
CFO: IT cost containment and efficiency
Clinical: Integration of clinical and non-clinical operations, impact on patient outcomes
CNO: Nurse experience and burnout risk—how the solution can reduce patient calls and encourage patient self-service
Rev Cycle: Revenue-generating opportunities like prescription fulfillment, patient financial education, and billing literacy
Patient Experience Leadership: Accessing clinician-prescribed educational videos and care team information like names, photos, and specializations
Independent hospitals vs. health systems
Medicaid expansion state or non
Unwinding Medicaid coverage or not
Cross-state licensing for telehealth
What might content atomization look like in this case?
This vendor could create a long-form solution guide that serves as an introduction to cost accounting improvement for hospitals and health systems. The guide would include a maturation road map, common barriers to implementation (like staff pushback, EMR limitations, and costs), signs it’s time for an organization to move to the next level, and tips on goal setting. This piece could then be atomized into:
A series of sales emails customized by region and bed count
A series of infographics segmented by cost accounting maturity level, including details of tools and resources needed to progress
A series of social media ads addressing challenges covered in the guide and customized by EMR, including Epic, CPSI, and eClinicalWorks
If their go-to-market targets specific roles, a similar cost accounting toolkit series could be created—one for each department, including finance, IT, and clinical. Each role-specific master document would cover benefits, challenges, and steps forward. They could then individually be atomized into different types of content based on buyer preferences, including:
Website content for role-specific informational “hubs”
Social media campaigns to drive solution awareness among finance decision-makers
Short, informative videos for clinical department managers
In-depth FAQs for for IT leaders
If there was ever a time to investigate the opportunities to use generative AI in your content marketing strategies, now is it. You can start that exploration process here.
Featured image by Black coffee at Adobe Stock.