BLOGS, VIDEOS, INFOGRAPHICS AND MORE - LEARN WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR HEALTHCARE BUSINESS
Updated: Jun 21
For acing the marketing game in healthcare, your core focus should be creating helpful content. Statistics show that 86% of patients look for health-related information before booking a doctor's appointment. Today, patients can access reliable content that aids in decision-making, thanks to the strategic content marketing approach.
To start with, you need a robust content strategy. Your content strategy will chalk out the key messages you want to convey, your target audiences, and communication media. There are a plethora of content formats utilized in healthcare, such as blogs, videos, infographics, webinars, case studies, and so on and so forth. However, the format that will work in your favor depends on a number of factors. Let us review them briefly.
Choosing the Right Healthcare Content Formats
To produce compelling content, it is vital to understand your audience. Developing a clear understanding of your audience involves a deep and continuous process of research which is essential to build robust audience personas for your healthcare brand. To understand your audience, you first need to gather insights into their goals, motivations, behaviors, needs, challenges, and pain points. Since these aspects can be dynamic, updating and validating your understanding continuously becomes vital. Gathering, analyzing, and interpreting the right data can help you to make informed decisions on your content strategy.
Identifying your data sources for audience research is a vital starting point. These include social and website analytics, your CRM platform, and competitor analysis. Focus groups and surveys are other methods that can help with customer journey mapping to help you create content your audience needs as they move through the buying cycle stages. It is also essential to identify (and invest in) the tools and resources required to gather and analyze data efficiently.
Once you have obtained relevant and useful information on your target audience through well-mapped processes, as highlighted above, your research output can guide purposeful decision-making. This minimizes guesswork, relying instead on an insight-based approach to guide your content strategy, including the formats, channels, and tone of voice to use.
Patients and doctors are the two main target audiences in the healthcare industry. Healthcare research firms also form a segment of the healthcare target audience.
Patients: Creating content that appeals to consumers or patients, in general, is challenging. They might have the ideal keyword density and content length and even do well in organic search results. However, often they are unable to attract new patients or leads from website visitors. That may be because they provide overly "salesy" or promotional information and fail to match the information the patients are looking for. Simply put, messaging focused on selling is not what today's healthcare consumers desire.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, consumer demand for health information, which is always enormous, grew significantly. Due to the volume of information floated following the demand and supply curve, consumers acquired shorter digital attention spans, and conflicting priorities. As a result, it became more difficult than ever to produce content that was in line with your marketing goals and the demands of your audience.
Doctors: Content marketing for doctors is challenging since they are almost always pressed for time, cost-conscious and more interested in statistics and facts.
Research firms: The research firms who publish medical research can also be your target audience, depending on your marketing goals. Like doctors, they are more interested in data and statistics.
Defining the Purpose
After defining your target audience, it is time to determine the purpose of the message you want to convey. The four primary categories of content are as follows:
Educational Content: Search engine optimization, and website traffic both benefit from educational information. Such content should be accessible, straightforward, and written in simple language, avoiding medical jargon. Competition in this segment is fierce since top healthcare organizations have already generated an abundance of high-quality educational material. You need engaging, distinctive, pertinent, high-quality material to stand out from the competition.
To help you reach your target audience, you can use a wide variety of content forms. Examples of educational content include, but are not restricted to:
Symptoms and Conditions
For patients or doctors, the following content formats work best:
Online how-to guides
Informational Content: Simply put, informational content is what your target audience finds to be useful. Informational content gives readers the precise information they need, such as a doctor's name, address, or phone number.
Informational content can be placed at:
Website landing pages
About Us section of the website
Contact Us page of the website
News and Announcements Content: This might include the following:
New Services/ Treatments
The content formats that can be adapted in this case are as follows:
Social Media Posts
Understanding the Marketing Funnel
A clear understanding of the patient journey is of prime importance in developing effective content. How do people "consume" information as they progress down the funnel from awareness and interest to deliberation and decision? Where do they turn for it? To design and prioritize personas and choose the appropriate content types, it is crucial to take into account a patient’s needs at each stage of the journey.
This marketing funnel infographic serves as a quick fact check:
Most Popular Content formats in Healthcare
According to insights available on neilpatel.com, the top three popular content formats utilized in healthcare marketing are as follows:
The other popular formats include case studies, interviews, ebooks, and whitepapers. The following information briefly reviews each of these popular content types, and why they remain popular choices for healthcare marketers.
Videos: When educating consumers or patients, video is a helpful resource. In fact, according to WYZOwl, 94% of marketers claim employing video content has increased customer understanding of a product or service. Video is a popular way in which people consume content.
According to a study by hubspot.com, 99% of marketers already using video content plan to use it more. Video marketing works wonders for raising awareness, lead generation, and conversion in the long run.
There are multiple ways to use video content to connect with your target audience. Technology has made it simple for companies to record video and made watching video content immensely convenient for individuals. Numerous statistics support this statement. Some of the most compelling data are as follows:
Over a billion hours of YouTube content are reportedly watched daily, according to the official YouTube site.
Twitter reported earlier this year that its platform receives 2 billion daily video views. Tweets containing video also receive 10 times more interaction than those without.
According to Digiday, Facebook receives over 8 billion daily video views. It is interesting to note that 85% of these are silent.
An effective approach to get your company on Google's first page is to upload videos to YouTube that target popular search terms. This is because, for many search queries, Google displays YouTube videos at the top of the result.
Blogs: For healthcare businesses, blogs are a great content marketing technique with tried-and-tested traction. Blogs are equally popular among patients and others involved in health-related decision-making.
Many doctors have realized the value of informative blogs. They serve to educate patients and to position their skills and expertise, thereby driving more leads.
Besides patients, blogs can also target audiences such as students, interns, and other doctors wanting to broaden their knowledge. This underlines the versatility of this content type.
Furthermore, long-form blog content allows one to explore a condition or the latest medical breakthrough in detail. When written in simple language free of medical jargon, it can be an excellent tool to educate people seeking detailed information on the concerned topic. Well-researched and enriched articles can also be vital to position yourself as an expert.
Infographics: Infographics are effective visual communication tools that can help patients comprehend information on specific conditions, procedures, and popular wellness topics.
Infographics have visual appeal and help patients understand a difficult topic at a glance. To help readers better understand how diseases can develop, be treated, and even prevented, infographics in the healthcare industry must simplify complex medical information using clear and concise text, images, charts, and other visual elements.
The other popular content formats used by healthcare marketers are testimonials, webinars, website landing pages, and case studies, to name a few. Each of these content formats should be carefully chosen, keeping your target audience and marketing goals in mind. Content formats form the backbone of your content strategy and can be pivotal to the success of your marketing efforts.
Why do Blogs, Videos, and Infographics continue to remain a popular choice for healthcare marketers?
Here’s how blogs, infographics, and videos can help healthcare providers stand out in a crowded market, establish themselves as thought-leaders, and connect with potential patients in meaningful ways.
Educational and informative: Healthcare is a complex and sensitive topic, and patients often seek reliable information to help them make informed decisions. Blogs, infographics, and videos offer a way to deliver educational and informative content in a format that is easy to understand and digest.
Engaging: Blogs, infographics, and videos can capture and hold the attention of potential patients in ways that other types of content may not. They are more likely to be shared and engaged with on social media, which can increase the reach of your content.
Building trust: By providing helpful and informative content, these formats can help build credibility with potential patients. Patients are more likely to choose a healthcare provider they trust and feel confident in.
Versatile: Blogs, infographics, and videos can be repurposed and shared across multiple channels, including social media, email, and website landing pages. This versatility makes them valuable tools for healthcare marketers looking to engage with their audience at various touchpoints in the customer journey.
SEO benefits: The three content types can help improve a website's SEO by providing valuable and relevant information that is optimized with relevant keywords. This can help healthcare providers rank higher in search engine results pages, making it easier for potential patients to find them.
Regardless of the content format, it is essential to keep the content informational and helpful. Using fear as a motivator for promoting health-related content is best avoided. Research shows that positive reinforcement is more effective in inspiring favorable changes. Consumers are increasingly relying on online information to guide health-related decision-making. When patients have symptoms or are given a diagnosis, they tend to consult Dr. Google. The knowledge they gather online affects each patient’s personal information journey. Hence, exercising the right judgment in terms of ethical standards and patient-orientation in the delivery should be prioritized to avoid adding to the patients’ fear factor.
Blogs, videos, and infographics remain the top choice for most healthcare marketers. However, maximizing your investment in content marketing necessitates closely linking format choices with what works best for your audiences. You can also extend the life cycle of available content by offering it to a new target audience and medium. Existing content can further be repurposed for other channels through aesthetically pleasing infographics, bite-sized social media postings, or even a podcast script.
It is highly recommended to identify the social networks, digital channels, and influencers that resonate with your target audiences. Keep in mind that reaching today's healthcare consumers requires a focussed approach. When done right, content marketing is scalable, cost-effective, and successfully targets patients and doctors. Additionally, it provides a fantastic equalizer when building your brand among a well-defined target audience in the face of stiff competition.