In the age of Googling health symptoms to determine whether you need medical assistance or can get by with home care, healthcare marketers must be especially careful when creating healthcare-related content. Here’s what you need to know about the intersections of content marketing and healthcare.

Always have a plan.

While having a content marketing plan is important for all companies, it’s especially important for those working to market healthcare. In order to avoid writing “fluff” – that stuff that exists solely to create noise in an already inundated space – you need to know what kinds of content you will create and who your audience will be. This will also help you to be able to determine what’s working and what isn’t working when it comes to your content marketing efforts.

Keep current with research and industry trends.

Even if you outsource your content, the individual creating content for your healthcare company needs to be up on the latest research. Are eggs good or bad right now? Is lettuce safe again? Your readers will know what the latest news reports say, and if you veer from that, then they may regard you with skeptical eyes.

Establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.

Your audience has had its fill of pseudoscience. They’re not going to want to read another unsourced article talking about the surprise benefit of turmeric or yet another fad diet. The way you’re going to develop the reputation you want in this industry is through creating content that your audience trusts. That means that every medical and scientific claim you make needs to have a documented, scientific source.

Let your audience get to know you.

Even if you’re a hospital management company, those who are coming to you for their information (and business) want to know who you are. One of the best ways to do this is to let your audience get to know you. Spotlight your doctors or researchers. Highlight patient success stories. Show real people and not just stock images in your content. Failure to do so will cause you to get lost in the noise, but pulling this off well can help you develop a positive rapport with your audience.

Track analytics.

You won’t know if your content marketing efforts are successful if you don’t track your page’s analytics. Are you getting comments? Are you getting shares? Are people finding you? Do they stay on the page once they find an article on your blog? If you don’t have the answers to these questions, then you’re not going to be able to create the kind of content that ultimately converts readers into consumers of your health product or service.

Avoid clickbait headlines.

No one likes clickbait, but if you’re using clickbait to draw readers into your healthcare content, you might as well kiss your goals goodbye. This is the top way to lose your audience, lose trust, and develop a reputation as being a shady institution. While it’s important to create headlines that pique the interest of potential readers and consumers, it’s much more important to create headlines that are truly reflective of the content they will find in your article. Do everything you can to steer clear of anything that smells like clickbait.

Incorporate a variety of content marketing methods.

Don’t just create the same type of content over and over. It’s important to switch things up – not only does this keep things interesting for your audience, but it also helps keep you from burning out. Make good use of infographics, patient stories, news stories, interactive content, and even content that involves celebrities or influencers. Doing so will help spread your content marketing efforts out and will cast a wider net to the audience you’re trying to reach.

Check out your competitors.

By checking out some of the best healthcare content marketing examples you may find ideas for what you can do for your company’s blog. Moreover, you can see what works and doesn’t work. If you don’t like something you read or see, it’s likely your audience will feel the same way. The best way to learn what works and what doesn’t is to study examples of what has worked and what doesn’t work.

Remember that quality and consistency outweigh quantity – always.

It’s much more important for your company to produce high-quality trustworthy content on a regular basis than it is to create a ton of content just to create content. Find a posting schedule that will work for you and your team and stick with it. If you have time to either create four quick posts a week or one in-depth post a week, go for the in-depth post. It will go a lot further toward attracting the audience you’re looking for than those four quick posts will.

Utilize evergreen content.

While news and recent research is important to touch on, it also has a lifecycle. You’ll want to be sure that much of the content you create is “evergreen.” Evergreen content is that which is still relevant, no matter what year it is or what day of the month it is. Things like “warning signs of a stroke,” “understanding your insurance statement of benefits,” or “learning risk factors for diabetes” won’t go out of fashion next week.

Update content when there’s new and relevant research available.

By that same token, if you have older content on your site, you’ll want to set a time to revisit it and update it. Some older content will merit a new post based on new research, but some may only need a line or two to convey the current information. Put dates on your calendar to go back and review older content and make decisions about its current relevance. You may also want to check the SEO on the post and update with a newer or more diversity-inclusive image, if needed.

Consider outsourcing your content.

Instead of trying to create everything in-house, many companies outsource their content creation needs. This allows you to have highly-specialized quality content created by an expert in the field, so you can focus on other things. Any contractor you hire should have a background in healthcare, so he or she will be able to create content without having to perform a lot of background research first. This allows you to get the best value for your money and ultimately the best return on investment for content marketing. If you have any questions about outsourcing your healthcare content, we can help! Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you achieve your content goals.

Ronda Bowen – Content Creator

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