If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Victoria Edwards, you know within the first few minutes that you’re in the presence of a marketing dynamo. She is essentially a self-taught professional content strategist. Victoria understands the ins and outs of content marketing, search engine optimization, and website management better than most. She can speak eloquently and with ease about the steps you can take to improve your online reputation, in a way that actually makes sense. She can give you real explanations about why you’ve been successful in your internet marketing campaigns. She can even teach you how to fix the things you’ve been doing wrong in less time than it takes to say her title. (Content Marketing Strategist for Florida Blue)
Every time I sit down with Victoria, whether it’s over a glass of wine at a “Girls In Tech” event or at a conference for health care innovation, I learn something new from her. In fact, I’m usually feverishly writing everything she says down in a notepad in hopes of picking up even a tidbit of her knowledge to implement at my health care marketing agency.
As we prepare for our next AMA of Tampa Bay Healthcare SIG event, “Top Trends and Challenges in Healthcare Content Marketing,” (which will be led by Edwards), we decided to get to know our speaker and learn how she became a content marketing expert.
Q: How and why did you become a content strategist and become involved with SEO/Content Writing?
A: I actually graduated with my degree in fashion design and marketing. It wasn’t until I started working for a manufacturing company a few years later that I first explored internet marketing. From my fashion design experience, I knew I loved working with computers and graphic design, as we had to use Adobe Suite products for many of our classes. When I started working for that employer, I noticed that they were missing some huge opportunities on their website. I knew it needed to be redone, but I also wondered how potential clients would actually find them.
Q: So, where did you start?
A: I just started Googling questions, like “how does someone purchase their products if they don’t know the business’ name?” In my searches, I discovered this concept called “search engine optimization.” I learned everything I could and used a program called Hubspot, which was brand new at the time, to create better website content, landing pages and lead generation forms to better attract new potential clients.
Q: How do you stay up on emerging trends in digital marketing?
A: I continue doing research regularly. The important thing to remember is that while Google algorithms have changed, the overall concept of search engine optimization has stayed the same. If you understand the basics of creating fresh content regularly, recycling older content, and avoid trying to beat the system, you’ll do well. I force myself to write and speak about the industry and also stay involved with Tampa organizations like the “Tampa Bay Tech Forum” and “Girls In Tech.” Constantly surrounding myself with subject matter experts keeps my skills sharp and keeps me constantly learning.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face, working as a digital content strategist in health care?
A: Surprisingly, I probably face a lot of the same issues as the health care marketers who will be attending the AMA event. Florida Blue is constantly working with an eye towards innovation, but I work with a large health care company, so the challenges are probably similar to many hospital-based health care marketers. You’d think it would be easier to get things done with a large organization, but in reality it can take more time. This is because we have to think about how our efforts will impact the other areas of our business.
For instance, I handle the content for Florida Blue’s blog, but I also manage content and do SEO for GuideWell Emergency Doctors, a new high-quality, cost-effective care alternative facility, currently based in the Orlando market. I am currently working with the GuideWell Emergency Doctors’ team to help create content for their English and Spanish blogs. It can be challenging to explain content strategies to physicians or explain why we would lay a website out a certain way or why we would want a blog post’s title to be changed to better rank for search queries. No matter how big or small your health care organization is, you’ll face these challenges. The best thing you can do is attend as many AMA events and technology forums as possible so you can be seen as an expert and help build business by attracting leads online.
Q: For those who are thinking of coming to this next event, what can they hope to learn from you?
A: I like to speak very granularly, so attendees can expect to learn a lot and leave with plenty of takeaways for their own organization. We will be covering how search engine optimization works, things you can do daily to improve your internet marketing, what not to do, how to come up with content and how to evaluate your current website. We’ll leave plenty of time for questions and will even take time to crawl and evaluate a few websites.
Q: Wow, that’s awesome. How many attendees will have the opportunity to get your feedback on their websites?
A: We might only have time for 1 or 2 during the event, but I’d be more than happy to do an evaluation for every attendee’s website. I love crawling the websites and investigating them to see how they can improve. All I will need is their website address and email, then I’ll be able to send them an evaluation with a few action steps they can take back to their IT teams.
Personally, I’m already looking forward to all that I can learn from Victoria at her event on Thursday, September 24th. If you haven’t yet signed up, purchase your tickets soon! If you’d like to see Victoria’s work in action, explore GuideWell Emergency Doctors’ website and blog for healthcare content ideas.
About the Author
Sara McFarland is the Communications Director for Save On Medical and Atlantic Health Solutions. Sara is a national speaker and writer on topics including health care marketing, health innovation and startups, social media, online reputation management, public relations and creative development.