Content marketing for healthcare has high standards. People who read your blogs or watch your videos are likely concerned about their health or the health of a loved one. Accuracy and credibility are vital, but additional requirements, like HIPAA compliance, are part of the content landscape
To help healthcare brands create compelling content, here’s a look at best practices, tips, and examples from industry leaders.
Best practices for healthcare content
Before you create a content calendar, take some time to make a plan and consider best practices. Some of the most common best practices to consider are:
Have a big-picture plan in place
First things first, you need a content strategy. Consider your target audience, their needs, and how to reach them. More specifically, a documented strategy should include the following:
- State your goal or the problem you’d like to solve
- Identify your target audience
- Identify topics you’ll focus on
- Create a content creation and publication schedule
- Distribution plan
This content marketing strategy template is an excellent place to start.
Focus on areas of expertise
Think about your organization’s area of expertise. Consider identifying categories that you’ll focus on that align with the care or service you provide. For example, a dentist that caters to children might focus on dental procedures for kids, tips to keep kids’ teeth healthy, and myths surrounding childhood dentistry.
Use credible sources
Your target audience, no matter their demographic or experiences, expects accurate content. To deliver accurate information, rely on credible sources only. Interview doctors and medical experts, reference credible sites in the industry and ask experts to proofread content before it’s published.
Plan for continued growth and distribution
Content marketing is an ongoing commitment. You need a content creation and publication plan that keeps a steady flow of articles, videos, and infographics coming in. Assign roles to your team and create a calendar that everyone can access.
Tips to elevate your healthcare content
To ensure your content hits its mark, consider these helpful tips:
Tap into your audience for content ideas
Your marketing team will likely brainstorm content ideas to discuss topics, formats, and deadlines. While you’re brainstorming, ask your audience to participate. Whether you send out a survey or ask followers on social media, ask your audience what they’d like to learn more about.
Use layman’s terms
In the healthcare world, there’s a lot of technical-sounding language and acronyms. It’s easy for a doctor or a medical expert to use this lingo without realizing it’s not part of everyone’s everyday vocabulary. As you create content, watch out for this. Make sure each piece of content is easy for everyone to understand.
Formatting and organization is important
Healthcare content, by nature, is complex. To help readers understand, pay special attention to the formatting of written content and the organization of visual content. If you write a blog post, for example, make sure there are subheads to break up text and visuals to aid in explanation. With videos, organize them in a way that’s easy to digest.
Try different kinds of content
While many healthcare organizations focus most of their efforts on more traditional content, like articles, videos, and podcasts, they do invest in other content types, too, like interactive maps or quizzes. Don’t be afraid to try with these less-common types of content.
Examples of content marketing in healthcare
Want to see examples of content marketing in healthcare? Take a look at the example below to draw inspiration from:
While you can undoubtedly create blog posts that focus on your healthcare niche, the Mayo Clinic takes its content strategy one step further with a health library. Inside, you’ll find a well-structured library of articles broken into segments like diseases and conditions, symptoms, and treatments.
Showing further forethought, each condition overview has the same format and subheads, providing consistency throughout the library. The overview of diabetes, for example, has the same subheads (like symptoms, causes, and risk factors) as an overview of gout.
Research shows 42% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast in the last month, according to the Pew Research Center. Many healthcare brands have embraced podcasts because of their popularity and because the format allows for thorough explanations.
The Cleveland Clinic has several different podcasts, each focusing on specific topics, like improving care for cervical cancer patients.
Healthcare organizations tend to embrace videos. As with podcasts, it gives experts a chance to flesh out a topic in a personalized way. From explaining the check-in process to providing preventative care tips, you can cover a variety of topics with video.
Massachusetts General Hospital uses video to share expert interviews with its core audience.
Newsletters give healthcare brands a way to stay connected with patients or customers and help marketers get extra mileage out of content. Fill your newsletter with links to recently created content.
Your newsletter could have a monthly theme too. The newsletter from CVS focuses on vaccinations, for example. Subscribers can learn about vaccinations, schedule an appointment, and request their vaccination records.
Content marketing for healthcare is different than for commercial brands, but it’s still an effective way to connect with an audience, attract newcomers, and retain existing customers.