Using Content Marketing to Connect with Healthcare Customers
Your healthcare firm has a cornucopia of vital information, and your potential customers are eager to gain access to it to improve their lives. By using content marketing to share your company’s knowledge with your target audience — writing engaging blog posts, e-books, and social media posts about the health or medical topics they care about — you can earn their gratitude and loyalty before they make a purchase. Here are several points to consider when planning your content marketing strategy, plus six tips on resources that can help you produce strong, effective content.
Planning your strategy
Website content and social media outreach are effective, cost-efficient methods to educate and engage your audience, whether you’re trying to reach health-care professionals, retailers, or consumers. Offering unchanging online content is no longer sufficient to build brand awareness and maintain brand loyalty, strengthen credibility, or generate leads and sales. To meet your marketing goals, you must have a focused online marketing plan that includes the creation of high-quality, professional content that you keep up to date.
A vexing challenge in healthcare marketing is successfully connecting with consumers online. Adroitly explaining complex medical information in easily accessible language, while remaining scientifically sound and compliant with government regulations, is a major component of the problem. To overcome this barrier, you must produce quality medical writing that strikes a fine balance between accuracy and accessibility. Here are a few essential tips to help your brand reach that balance and stand out from the competition.
Know your audience
The secret to powerful content marketing lies in understanding who your audience is and what they want, then offering them compelling content that addresses their needs. The worried mom whose child has a spiking fever is online for very different reasons and with different informational needs than the novice runner looking for tips as he gears up for his first 5K. As a result, the conversation has to be different in tone and content.
Find the emotional hook
Every consumer seeking medical advice is concerned about — or, at the very least, interested in — a health issue. Effective medical writing starts with identifying that concern and connecting with the reader’s emotional state. This can be done by:
- using empathy, showing you understand what the reader is going through
- tapping into the anxiety readers are feeling
- appealing to the readers’ desires for an active, healthy life
- focusing on encouragement and motivation, assuring readers that they can accomplish their health goals
Boost your signal with blogging
One of the best ways to engage customers and establish your brand as a trusted source of information is blogging. It’s a direct communication channel with your audience and one of the best ways to share timely, relevant information that they will find useful and hopefully worth sharing. Blog posts aren’t in-depth examinations of issues or comprehensive reviews of scientific studies. They’re engaging content designed to address concerns, questions, and goals people using your product might have. It could be anything from a list of tips for handling spring allergies or a roundup of medical headlines annotated with your professional insights.
Blog posts aren’t just valuable in establishing your authority and building customer relationships, they are also absolutely crucial when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines tend to favor well-written, valuable blog posts, so the more you have, the higher up your pages will go.
Dig down into details
Sometimes there are topics or issues that you want to look at in more detail, and that’s where you can turn to white papers or e-books. These longer-format pieces are much better suited than a shorter blog post to explain things like product specifications and broad industry trends.
A word of caution, however: “Longer” should not translate to “more confusing” or to an increased use of medical jargon. Whether the piece is 500 words or 5,000, remember to present information that is accurate but also, wherever possible, couched in accessible terms that a layperson can understand. Break things down into digestible chunks that are easy for readers to scan, and be sure to highlight major points.
Like blog posts, white papers play a role in establishing your authority in the field. But there is an additional marketing win when it comes to this format. Someone who wants to download a white paper is already interested enough to want more in-depth information. If they can get that information for free, they’re generally more than happy to exchange basic contact information — like an email — in exchange for a download link. They get the information they want and you (or your sales department) get what is commonly called a “hot lead.”
Share on social media
Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, are some of the hardest working parts of any content marketing strategy. Using social media alongside other content marketing channels reinforces brand awareness and recognition, as well as enhancing customer support. You can use social media to cross-promote blog posts or announce a new e-book, share tweets or posts from industry leaders, live tweet from relevant events, and/or respond to customer interests and questions.
Hugely popular platform Facebook is a great place to feature a particular product, tie into current events, announce special offers, and raise awareness. Twitter is perfect for publishing links to your blog and sharing blogs and articles from other trusted sources. Both are great ways to find prospective customers, as well as to keep current ones engaged.
The secret is to update your social media platforms with a steady stream of well-crafted, relevant, and engaging posts. You’ll want to post frequently enough that people realize your brand is alive and well, but not so often that they get bored or annoyed. A good rule of thumb is two to three posts per day.
Differentiate the brand — and let the brand sell the product
In the medical field, your brand extends beyond your product. The more consumers rely upon your content and see you as a trusted source of medical information, the more likely it is that they’ll remember you the next time they need a service or product you sell. The purpose of content marketing is to solidify and nurture the customer’s relationship with the brand; it doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) sell the product directly.
Quality content writing holds a uniquely important role in medical marketing. A powerful tool for building brands and selling products, it also helps consumers make informed, healthy choices. Effective medical writing needs to educate, empathize, reassure, and inspire, all while sticking to sound science and regulatory compliance. That’s a tall order. If creating such a specific type of content isn’t one of your core competencies, consider outsourcing to a third-party content provider like Prose Media. We’ll work together to achieve exactly the right mix of fact and empathy. Sign up today for free, no-obligation access to our platform. We would love to see what you have in mind.