In many ways, healthcare marketing is just like promoting any other topic on the internet. When people have a problem, they look for a solution. Your potential clients or patients will often find these solutions in the content published in blog posts, online videos, social media campaigns, and any number of other online resources.
However, there is a significant difference between healthcare content marketing and more general B2B and B2C marketing. In B2B/B2C marketing, most problems aren’t life threatening. However, in healthcare marketing, your content could literally save a life.
Why Is It Important to Have Content Marketing in Healthcare?
Helping your audience make the right decisions about their and their family’s health is a big responsibility. In an age where “Dr. Google” is often the first “healthcare professional” that many people turn to in times of crisis, healthcare marketers have a responsibility to ensure that their content is readily available and easily found but also 100% accurate.
The State of Healthcare Content Marketing
Healthcare is a universal topic. Everyone has health. People with good health want to maintain it or enhance it. People in poor health may be looking for a solution to improve their situation. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the internet and social media are jam-packed with healthcare-related content.
As a healthcare content marketing professional, you’ll fight for market share in an incredibly competitive environment where not everyone plays by the rules.
You’ll share a space with some incredibly reputable healthcare brands, government agencies, and educational institutions. You’ll also be rubbing shoulders with less honest, potentially misinformed, and occasionally downright dangerous organizations and individuals selling all manner of unproven remedies and “lifestyle” options under the banner of healthcare.
If you want to succeed in healthcare content marketing, you’ll need to ensure your content is always compelling, reputable, and safe.
Healthcare Content Marketing Challenges
Competent, confident healthcare content marketing cannot be outsourced to a low-cost “content mill” or unqualified freelancer. Every piece of content you produce should be informed by a healthcare professional who can guarantee the validity of your marketing output.
A lot of the knowledge you’ll want to share will be stored in the heads of various healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, these busy people often don’t have the time to create marketing content in any sufficient volume. If you rely on your healthcare experts to write your content, you may never reach the critical mass you need to make an impact. Any content these experts do write may be too “academic” or high-level to share with a general audience. As a marketer, it’s your job to extract that knowledge and turn it into content that your target audience can easily understand.
Privacy is a massive consideration in healthcare marketing. Marketing departments not only have to comply with all the regular marketing privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA, CPRA, etc.), but there are also specific rules like HIPAA covering the healthcare sector.
Privacy may also impact how a target audience engages with your marketing content. When dealing with potentially personal issues, it may be more challenging to convert website visitors to social media followers and email marketing subscribers. Nobody wants their health problems flashed up as a targeted ad on social media or an embarrassing email marketing subject line for everyone to see. That’s not to say these mediums cannot be used. They just need to be used more cautiously and with a degree of sensitivity.
Case Studies and Testimonials
Like any other industry, healthcare marketing will also require real-life case studies to illustrate various conditions and treatments. These marketing assets will require buy-in from clients or patients. If you’ve ever struggled to generate case studies or testimonials for any other type of business, imagine how hard it is to persuade individuals to share information about something as personal as their health.
What Type of Content is Most Effective for Healthcare?
With so many people actively searching for solutions to their health problems, inbound marketing techniques should be at the forefront of everything you do. Your inbound marketing strategy will require you to publish detailed content to multiple platforms, including your:
- Blog: A regularly updated blog with detailed articles about various health conditions, treatments, and preventative measures will provide the foundation of your SEO strategy, driving email marketing subscriptions and social media engagement. It’s considered best practice to allow moderated comments on your blog posts, adding additional content to the page and enabling your experts to engage in the conversation and guide visitors towards making the right direction for their health.
- Video: Online video streamed via YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok creates an opportunity to share visually compelling content which positions your in-house experts as thought leaders in their particular area of interest. It also allows potential clients and patients to get to know your healthcare professionals and have first-hand experience of their “bedside manner” before booking an appointment. Remember, YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world and often the first place people look when they have a problem.
- Podcasts: A podcast enables your experts to really get their teeth into a topic. It also provides a discreet way for potential clients or patients to engage with your content. They can listen to your content while driving to work, exercising at the gym, doing housework, walking the dog, or just chilling out.
The good news is that any content produced for your blog, video output, or podcasts can and should be easily repurposed for other channels.
Defining Your Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy
Before you rush to create any content, you’ll need to set some marketing objectives. This process starts with the question: What do you want people to do after engaging with your content? The answer to this question will depend entirely on the nature of your business or organization and its immediate needs. You’ll then need to assess whether you have the resources available in-house to produce the content to support your objectives or if you need additional support.
As a healthcare provider, you also have a responsibility to your audience. If people are searching for your content in times of crisis or with legitimate concerns about their health, you should consider how these people can access the services they need as quickly as possible. This may mean highlighting third-party “emergency” options your organization does not provide.
It’s important to remember that while your content may be incredibly informative, it does not replace the value of engaging directly with a healthcare professional. In many cases, this should be your primary Call to Action (CTA).
To learn more about how emfluence can help you define your healthcare organization’s marketing objectives and create compelling, reputable, and safe content, contact our healthcare marketing experts today at firstname.lastname@example.org.