Did you know that there were basic healthcare content marketing rules that you needed to follow? No? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s look at some basic healthcare content marketing rules that many healthcare providers and clinics tend to overlook.
Before we go any further, though, we need to be clear about what Content Marketing in Healthcare means. As the term suggests, Content Marketing is a marketing initiative formulated through the development of written content. This written content can be informative, educational or even entertaining but is best done when it is a combination of the three.
The idea here is to gain exposure to the healthcare service through these articles. Traditionally this has been done through Op-eds (opinions and editorial pages) or feature articles written by the healthcare professional affiliated with the clinic that appear in industry magazines or newspapers.
The readers get to learn about a particular topic from the articles published and then make the connection in their heads that the author is an expert on the issue.
This sub-conscious association has now cemented the healthcare provider’s name or brand in the reader’s mind as the place to go for the discussed issue. In essence, the article has behaved in very much the same manner as an advertisement, only much more subtlety. This is what is meant by Healthcare Content Marketing.
The only difference between how it was done before and how it is being done in the digital age is that the platforms for exposure no longer need magazines or newspapers but can also be on healthcare providers’ company websites. With clever SEO and well-executed digital advertising, healthcare content marketing on a company website can outperform traditional media platforms like newspapers and magazines with tens of thousands of readers. The most important part of this, of course, is the content.
Now that we’re clear about what Healthcare Content Marketing is, let’s dive into the basic rules that every healthcare marketer should follow religiously.
Never forget who your patients are. You need to be very clear on the primary services that your patients come to you for and who they are. You also need to know essential details about them such as their age range, interests and level of education.
Depending on how specialised your services are, there could be many more categories of details you should pay attention to. On the contrary, you may even have a very broad spectrum of patients, which is not a bad thing. This will give you the opportunity to write on many different topics that will focus on specific groups of your patients with each new article written.
If you are unsure of who your patients are, you can always ask them in the form of a survey while they wait to collect their medication. Many of your patients will be more than happy to help you with this and gladly fill up a survey form for you. Knowing who your patients are will help you better relate to them when you create content for your website.
People like to read straightforward, conversational content. This makes it pleasant to read and makes it more ‘shareable’. Making sure that your content is presented in a story-telling manner will help improve how much of the article they will read and eventually how many shares it gets.
Healthcare content marketing is about building a relationship with your audience. Allow your words to bring them comfort and earn their trust. Give them valuable information and advice for free, and they will come back to you for everything else that you can’t write about.
It’s about communicating with your patients just as you would if they were seated in front of you. It is content like this that truly transcends digital media and touches your patients’ hearts that will be appreciated the most.
Though healthcare content marketing performs a similar role to advertising, you must not forget that this is not a hard-sell of any sort. The articles written are to be objective and have little bias, if any.
The content intends to build the relationship and gain trust – to create the mental connection within the readers’ mind that you are the expert, and they can come to you for their ailments to be resolved.
You do not want to sell them things or boast. You want to provide information to help your audience see you as knowing what you are talking about and not having an ulterior motive. The content is meant to help them.
It is by helping them, impartially, that you help yourself in leaps and bounds more than you ever could have with a direct sales advertisement.
Don’t expect immediate results with your healthcare content marketing. One article is not going to bring you massive amounts of business. Building trust and developing your relationship with your audience is a slow process.
Your following may start slow, but growth in the digital space can quickly increase after you reach a certain point. Social platforms and search algorithms work in such a way that once a ‘critical mass of readers is reached, the spread of your content can have an exponential runaway effect, and this is the goal of every digital marketer from any industry.
Just know that healthcare content marketing is not a one-off, overnight success marketing initiative and that it takes time.
The key here is consistency. Healthcare Content Marketing is a long-term endeavour, and you’re likely going to be adding content at fixed, frequent intervals for as long as your business is operating, as this is the best way to ensure success.
Get help if you need to. It will be hard to sustain new and fresh content regularly over a long period of time. It can be time-consuming and may burn you out if you choose to put up content too frequently.
Strategise and plan your posts, ensuring that you can live up to whatever schedule you commit to. Your readers will want to hear from you, and stopping the production of regular content will also have a negative effect on your SEO page rankings. So make sure you stay consistent.
Don’t forget these core rules as you develop your business’ personality on the internet. Become a trustworthy source for information that your audience can trust and always make sure to:
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