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Did you know that every minute users are searching for approximately 70,000 search queries related to health on Google? According to David Feinberg, head of Google Health, health-related search queries account for about 7 percent of all daily searches.
It’s pretty clear that healthcare generates a huge amount of search traffic. Many forward-thinking pharma companies and hospitals are jumping in on the trend. They’re investing in healthcare content marketing to reach out to patients and engage them.
If done well, it can be a marketing tool that helps you with your branding, boosting customer retention, and improving your brand’s reputation.
The Need For Healthcare Content Marketing
As we saw earlier, people are proactively trying to learn about their medical conditions, symptoms, and medications. It shows that users are interested in learning more about their health. While it is a step in the right direction, it can be a double-edged sword.
The internet is full of dubious websites that may not always have the correct information. When people are trying to self-diagnose, it’s unlikely that they will be able to tell the genuine resources from the fake ones.
If reputable hospitals and doctors deliver quality content that is informative and educational, this problem can be solved. That’s one of the reasons why we need healthcare content marketing. There is a huge demand for articles on medicine and healthcare, but very few quality resources.
In addition to building awareness, healthcare content marketing is a great way to generate more leads. In the long run, it can help doctors and organizations carve out their niche and build their reputation as experts. It provides a great opportunity to grow your business.
David Feinberg summed it up well during the speech he gave at a technology conference in Austin, Texas:
“People are asking us about conditions, medications, symptoms and insurance questions.In this case we are organising the world’s health information and making it accessible to everyone,” he told The Telegraph.
Things To Keep In Mind For Healthcare Content Marketing
Currently, almost 8 in 10 (or 77%) healthcare marketers are using content marketing. Furthermore, another 18% of healthcare marketers are planning to launch content marketing initiatives in 2019.
Healthcare content marketing is slowly becoming mainstream. As the field evolves, we need to understand how exactly you can achieve success with it. While designing your healthcare content marketing plan, make sure you keep these things in mind:
1. Focus on Your Niche
Every doctor has an area of speciality. Similarly, some organizations also focus on a specific niche. Before you begin to work on your healthcare content marketing strategy, it’s crucial to define your area of focus and the main issues in your niche.
Based on the problem areas of your niche, you can create new content ideas. For instance, a dentist can talk about topics like why kids need braces or the importance of flossing everyday. On the other hand, an ophthalmologist may want to educate their website visitors about the dangers of long hours in front of the computer.
Once you have identified your niche and pain points, get in touch with a qualified expert. Talk to them to understand the problems, solutions, and everything related to the particular topic. Just make sure you’re not misinforming people. And be careful not to publish.deceitful content.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
You may take the healthcare content marketing route to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. However, this doesn’t mean you need to talk in the language of experts.
Keep in mind who your target audience is while writing your content. It’s most likely that it’s going to be laymen who are not familiar with the industry jargon. So, it’s best to use language that is easy for your target audience to understand.
Based on your target audience, you can also plan the other aspects of your healthcare content marketing strategy. Suppose your target audience is mostly teenagers, you might want to increase your visibility on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
The more effort you put into understanding your audience, the better you will be able to cater to their needs. In return, you’ll know the best way to market your message to them.
Before you put your healthcare content strategy into action, it’s advisable to create a target persona. For this, you need to conduct market research to understand your audience’s interests and demographics.
3. Include Interactive Elements
Why are people looking for health-related information online? The answer to this question is simple. They want to be able to figure out what’s going on with their bodies. They are looking for quick assessments and answers for their queries.
One way to help them is to design a quiz to gather information about their symptoms. Based on the answers, a medical professional can give their opinion of the kind of care that needs to be taken.
Of course, online assessment shouldn’t be seen as a way to completely replace doctor visits. Instead, they can serve as a way for doctors to conduct a primary check before the patient visits their clinic.
Blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, white papers, and case studies are some of the common ways marketers create content. But that’s just scratching the surface. If you really want to engage your audience, you need to include interactive elements in your healthcare content marketing strategy.
Live chatbots, educational games, quizzes, and polls can ensure that your audience feels engaged while also getting educated. At the same time, it can help them discover their own bodies and how they can improve their health.
4. Add a Human Element
The healthcare sector isn’t only about diagnosing illnesses. It’s also about care, trust, and credibility. Only if a patient finds a doctor trustworthy, they are likely to visit them. One way to introduce your potential patients to doctors is through social media.
Maybe you could create a web page or social media profile that lists their areas of interest and what they are known for.
Additionally, you could also showcase the photographs of when they are working or attending conferences or seminars. You could also try to showcase different aspects of their personality on their social media profile and website.
Another way of introducing your doctors is through videos. You could create a video showing a doctor interacting with patients or simply talking about their work. This kind of a video can help patients get a feel for who they will be getting treatment from before they book an appointment.
To build their credibility, you could also showcase testimonials for each doctor. Let other patients do the talking. It’s a great way to build social proof and boost the reputation of a doctor.
5. Plan Timely Social Media Campaigns
To plan an effective social media campaign, you need to use memorable hashtags. One way of coming up with creative hashtags for your healthcare content marketing strategy is to make a list of causes you want to spread awareness about. Next, check if there is a day dedicated to it.
Suppose, you want to talk about breast cancer. So, if you look up important dates related to it, you’ll find out that October is marked as the Breast Awareness Month in various countries. Similarly, September 29th is celebrated as the World Heart Day.
Mark these occasions and use them as reminders to create awareness about ailments related to them. It’s likely that content around the topic will be trending at that time.
So, you need to plan your social media strategy in such a way that your posts get more traction. For this, you should craft a suitable hashtag and prepare content related to it in advance.
Inspiration For Effective Healthcare Content Marketing
We have seen some of the best ideas you can implement to spice up your healthcare content marketing strategy. But some hospitals and medical players are already deep in the game.
1. Leverage Technology
Many patients are anxious before a major surgery. They aren’t sure what to expect and how doctors will operate on them. What if you could ease these doubts with the help of technology?
Medical Realities, a UK-based company, can help you with that. Using their medical training products, you can give your potential patients an immersive surgical experience. With their 360-degree camera, you can view the whole operating room and get a sneak peak at any treatment or surgery.
Image via YouTube
2. Use Effective Storytelling
Just like in other types of marketing, it’s important to connect with people through stories in healthcare content marketing as well. New York Presbyterian Hospital understands this well.
Their Patient Stories campaign shines a spotlight on the success stories of patients. Not only does it give a chance for patients to share their uplifting stories, but some of the comments also double as testimonials.
While their website shows patients’ comments, their YouTube channel has video stories. It’s a great way to showcase the work that you’re doing and get some social proof.
Image via NYP
3. Conduct Quizzes, Polls, and Game Challenges
Healthcare content marketing doesn’t have to be boring. Get your audience involved through interactive quizzes, polls, and game challenges. It’s a fun way to get their attention, engage them, and market your brand.
UnitedHealthcare was able to position themselves as a leading healthcare brand using this healthcare marketing strategy. Their website had monthly quizzes, prizes, and dares to encourage their audience to lead healthier lives.
As a part of the campaign, they asked their followers to switch to one healthy habit every month and to document the changes they made on social media channels. Through this, they were able to create user-generated content and boost their visibility.
Image via Fitful Focus
4. Leverage Hashtags
One of the best ways to get more exposure with your healthcare marketing campaign is to leverage hashtags. Craft a creative hashtag based on the cause you’re campaigning for. Keep in mind that the hashtag needs to be such that people can easily remember it and that it is creative.
Philips’ Better Me, Better World campaign in 2017 aimed at increasing access to healthcare for people around the world. It covered a range of issues including first aid education, healthy lifestyle, and more. While the campaign was diverse, they promoted it with a memorable hashtag, #MakeLifeBetter.
Image via Twitter
5. Celebrate a Cause
Want to spread awareness about a particular cause? Dedicate a day to the cause. For instance, WHO celebrates many public health days. These include World AIDS Day (December 7th), World No Tobacco Day (May 31st), and many others.
On each of these days, they publish infographics, videos, and blog posts related to the specific issue. The aim is to start a conversation around the issue so that people become aware and can contribute to the cause.
6. Offer Coupons and Discounts
This strategy is typically linked to content marketing for ecommerce brands. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use it for healthcare content marketing. It can be just as effective.
After all, who doesn’t like a good discount? It may even encourage patients to visit a doctor, especially those who have been putting off a visit for a long time.
Dental Chic, a dental Spa in London, offers complimentary services for anyone who wants to get braces. In their limited time offer, they offer teeth whitening, polishing as well as scaling. With such offers and discounts, you can expect to get more customers onboard.
Image via Denchic
Healthcare content marketing can help pharma companies and hospitals connect with their target audiences. At the same time, it can help them raise awareness about specific issues and highlight their work in the area.
When it comes to healthcare, remember that promotion isn’t your main goal. Your goal should be to educate and inform people. Promotion will follow on its own.