Content Marketing For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare marketers face one of the most difficult challenges in the digital industry. The information that needs to be conveyed is some of the most technical and layman-unfriendly that any marketer has to deal with. At the same time, the information is incredibly personal, which means that the marketing needs to be approached with a measure of sensitivity.

A third challenge that comes with healthcare marketing is the need for good information. Audiences with medical problems are more invested than others in seeking and consuming information, because the information they want concerns their personal ailments. This is a boon, as well as a challenge. But it means the information you provide has to be top notch.

Content marketing across many industries is trending toward informational resources to drive inbound sales funnels, so the phenomenon is not unique to healthcare in itself. But the circumstances that necessitate the quality and value of the content are unique.

Speaking to People With Ailments

One of the first thing marketers do when working out how to speak to a target audience is to identify their “pain points.” In the healthcare industry, this term can be taken quite literally. The challenge for marketers here is in the approach. Your readers might be dealing with conditions that cause physical pain, are potentially embarrassing, may come loaded with shame, or which may be life threatening.

Given the complex feelings that patients have about their own conditions, the wrong word or phrase can unexpectedly turn people off. Speaking to an audience that requires healthcare is a balancing act that marketers must take into account the emotionally charged subject matter.

The second challenge that comes with this audience is the fact that they are often actively looking for information in more profound ways, and in greater volume than most consumers. The research they’re doing directly affects their day-to-day lives, and they often seek trusted advice in order to cope. This is, on the surface, good news. But the result has been a proliferation of content and online resources designed to meet their needs. In short: there’s high competition, and unless the resources your provide are better than the competition, your brand story will get lost.

Turning Complex Problems Into Compelling, Sensitive Content

One of the major obstacles that patients and healthcare consumers face is a barrier to understanding. They often have questions about complex functions of their own body, or about an often confusing system of referrals and insurance. The information presented to them by many of the organizations and services they interact with is, to put it bluntly, terribly presented. Again, with a challenge comes an opportunity. People react well to good content that informs and provides them with sound advice or useful resources. In the healthcare industry, there is a definite gap between the way information is presented and the needs of the people consuming it. Bridging that gap with well-considered content puts you ahead, builds trust in your brand, and even increases customer retention.

Another rather unique concern for healthcare content marketers is usability and accessibility. People with sight and hearing problems, lower levels of alertness, or other disabilities are very likely to be consuming content related to healthcare. Accessible content doesn’t just mean “easier to understand.” It means variable font sizes, high and low-contrast reading options, verbal recordings for written content, and transcripts for audio content.

When Generating Content, Use Varied Skillsets

Collaboration is going to be key for generating any medical content that will be both accurate and engaging for users. You need a medical professional to be involved with the process in order to get the facts right. But you also need a professional writer and marketer to ensure that the content best serves the audience and fits into the wider marketing strategy.

You may want to consider looking into hiring a technical writer. Their job is to break down complex operations and sets of data into usable guides and manuals. Don’t fall into the trap of so many healthcare providers: don’t be dry and unapproachable. Audit your content carefully to remove overly technical passages. Make use of infographics, videos, and images where you can to increase engagement.

Take the mood of the reader into account. Address the audience’s needs and think about their journey from research to treatment. What physical and emotional hurdles do they need to overcome in order to begin treatment? How can you help them with these challenges? Once you can answer these questions, your marketing results will change for the better.

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