Creating healthcare content is like putting on a freshly starched collared shirt: it looks clean and sharp, but moving around in it can be difficult. With serious scientific subject matter and physicians looking to present themselves professionally, there is little room for any unnecessary prose: just cold, hard facts dressed in their best to offer the masses information on a particular subject.
To make matter-of-fact material jump off the page, certain points need to be covered to accurately and properly deliver your message. Here are three things to keep in mind when writing content for the healthcare industry:
Perspective is Key
Not picked arbitrarily to be the first on the list, perspective is the most important aspect of writing content for healthcare marketing.
When I speak of perspective, I refer to the perspective of your reader. In healthcare, your reader is an individual generally shopping around for the best physician or practice. Your reader is also searching for symptoms of a specific condition or a better understanding of a procedure. Put yourself in his or her shoes when you write your material and then ask the following questions:
- Can I easily interpret the information?
- Are the terms and definitions understandable, even if I was only 12 years old?
- Is the content accurate and informative without being overwhelming?
- Is the explanation sufficient?
- Are all my questions answered?
If you’ve answered yes to all of the above, you should be good to go. If not, go back and try to think of another way to say what you’re trying to say. (Try talking to yourself out loud or explaining it to a friend while recording the conversation.)There is also a technique known as “developing a buyer persona” that you can consider putting into practice. Buyer personas (also referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalized profiles that are ideal representations of your audience. For example, one of my clients had started offering orthopedic urgent care services at one of their locations. When writing the content for their marketing materials and website, I essentially imagined a soccer mom (whom I shall affectionately name “Soccer Mom Suzie” for the purposes of this exercise).
I started to wonder if one of Soccer Mom Suzie’s children potentially sprained an ankle on the field, but she didn’t want to deal with an emergency room visit (and it was after hours), where would she go? What would Soccer Mom Suzie want from an urgent care facility designed exactly for this kind of situation? What type of and how much information can she absorb as her child cries in the background? She is frazzled. She is worried. She is scared.
While there is more of a science to developing a buyer persona than what I’ve provided here, that kind of thinking alone should be enough to get the ball rolling. The bottom line is this: know who you’re talking to and consider where he or she is coming from before you write the content that he or she needs.
Know What’s Trending
It’s essential to know what’s trending when providing your readers with the latest and greatest up-to-date information in healthcare. Not only are you providing a quality public service, you are generating the right amount of traffic to your site on multiple platforms.
For free keyword research (if you aren’t fortunate enough to have an awesome digital marketing team like me – go team!), try sites like wordtracker.com and ubersuggest.org. It also doesn’t hurt to simply type an idea or concept into Google and see what words or phrases it produces as those are generally the most sought out.
Keep in mind that while titles and subheadings are ideal places for keywords and phrases, it is wise to gently sprinkle them throughout content rather than overdoing it. To overdo it would be what is known as “keyword stuffing” and that’s a no-no. Keyword stuffing hinders more than it helps, registering as spam to search engines (goodbye, online traffic!), essentially destroying the flow of your content and turning your readers off.
Let’s say the keyword for your piece is “orthopedic”. How would the reader feel if he/she read the following:
“The orthopedic physician offers complete orthopedic care for all orthopedic conditions and injuries.”
Yes, my example may lean more towards hyperbole, but it drives the point home: by keyword stuffing, you not only shoot yourself in the foot, but it’s REALLY ANNOYING.
In addition to doing your due diligence in keyword and key phrase research, another way to generate a good topic or to see what’s currently “hot” is to look at related websites. For example, if you’re writing a blog for an orthopedist and you’re in need of some inspiration, there’s nothing wrong with… browsing through blog ideas from another orthopedist’s site. It’s not plagiarism if it’s your own spin on a similar topic.
Fun with Facts
It’s a fact that people like facts of all shapes and genres, especially in healthcare. Facts and statistics can be woven into certain types of content, such as infographics and blogs, to complement the information and create an illuminating impact.
The true beauty, however, is the simplicity. Facts are short and to the point. They are easy to digest, easy to generate, easy to verify. Moreover, they can provide a clever hook to reel people in. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can help a writer pay the rent. Pique their interest. And, if possible, choose a fact that naturally (do NOT change the fact to fit your needs) contains a keyword or phrase. It can help pay the rent for your digital marketing team, as well.
Be Seen, Be Heard, Be the Content
In the end, the content creation process is elegant yet complicated. Writing well-endowed, noticeable content is a process that requires structure. Without a plan to execute or the proper pieces needed to create said plan, the content will fall apart and be left to drift in the nether regions of the Internet, never to be seen or heard from again. You must be the voice, know the latest and find the facts.
And if you ever feel overwhelmed or lost with your content, let Points Group be your beacon in the night. Contact us today to bring your content up to snuff.