Updated: Feb 9
Have you ever had a stomach ache or weird rash and taken to the internet to discover the culprit? Yeah, me too, and while the answers that inevitably show up are the worst possible case scenarios, I still search it. The truth is, people look up answers to their health questions online. According to google, an estimated 7 percent of daily searches are health-related. Think about that, 7 PERCENT of all google searches each day are about health! That’s just one reason content marketing for health professionals is huge.
So What is Content Marketing?
I’m glad you asked, because it can be kind of tricky to define. The concept has been around even before the internet existed! Chefs that shared cookbooks, department stores that released brochures, and car manufacturers that provided maps and travel information are all examples of content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, publishing, and sharing content to reach your target audience. The goals of content marketing are to increase brand awareness, sales, reach, engagement, and loyalty.
A pro tip? The way to achieve content marketing is through content writing.
Copywriting vs. Content Writing
I’m sure you’ve heard of copywriting, it’s the Zeus of marketing. Oftentimes it becomes a generic label for any kind of writing needs a business may have. BUT, copywriting is actually a specific category of writing - namely persuasive writing. That’s why when talking about a content marketing strategy you need a content writer, not necessarily a copywriter.
That’s not to say copywriters can’t do content writing, and vice versa! The fundamentals of each are important to any healthcare practice. But, a copywriter will serve your business by writing content such as email sales funnels, landing pages, product descriptions, and sales launches. Meanwhile, a content writer will write blogs, ebooks, email newsletters, social media captions, infographics, podcast and video scripts, white papers, and websites.
When hiring a copywriter make sure you determine the distinction between what type of writing they provide.
Content Marketing Facts
This brings me to my next point - content marketing is not the same as copywriting, which means it’s also more difficult to track. You won’t get as much hard data from content marketing. I like to compare it to building relationships. It’s worthwhile and meaningful, but not the easiest to quantify.
In spite of that, here are several facts about content marketing to help you better understand how it’s used:
70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.
The most common measurement of success for content marketing is total sales.
The most common content marketing metrics tracked were website traffic and social media engagement.
A business website is the most used distribution channel for marketers.
Now, I’m all about implementing practical steps.
Let’s talk about healthcare content marketing goals and how to actually measure them. The following list includes the goal followed by the key performance indicator (or KPI). The KPI is the metric used to measure that specific goal’s success.
Brand awareness - site traffic, social media followers, subscription sign ups, and mentions.
Increase in patients - daily sales.
Patient Loyalty - returning patients and referrals.
Audience engagement - likes, shares, follows, mentions, backlinks.
Strategic partnerships - new partnerships, mentions, and backlinks.
Rules for Content Marketing
You see, there are many reasons content marketing is important, especially for health professionals. It’s an industry where the audience has MANY questions. Digital healthcare content is primed to answer those questions.
Don’t worry, if you own a chiropractic practice, functional medicine practice, or other health related practice I know where your brain is going. Content marketing can be intimidating for those who understand the health and wellness field.
There are three core tenets to content marketing for health professionals:
Don’t create marketing with the intent to diagnose or treat an illness.
Never use patient information for marketing unless they’ve explicitly given you permission.
Understand your position as an authority figure and behave as such.
If you can keep these three rules top of mind, you’ll be in compliance with all the regulatory entities monitoring the health and wellness field.
Best Practices for Healthcare Content Creation
Besides following the rules, there are several best practices for healthcare content creation. As a health professional, you want to be aware of the best ways to grow your business. In order to serve your community, you need to grow.
How do you grow? With goals my friend! You can read my list of content marketing goals you should be chasing here. But, I’ll also give you the skinny on how to create great healthcare content marketing products!
Keep your audience top of mind! - Remember your content strategy should always focus on what interests your audience (and that’s not always what you’re interested in).
Keep it human. - Not everyone is a scientist. Content in the health field should be presented in an easy to understand, people-oriented manner.
Keep the self-promotion to a minimum. - Healthcare content marketing is primarily about forming relationships.
Keep it consistent. - Valuable content marketing is timely, consistent, and reliable. A blog can build credibility with consistency, or create suspicion with neglect.
Content Marketing Ideas for Health Professionals
Now that we’ve gotten all the nitty gritty out of the way, let’s talk about content marketing ideas for health professionals! My number one tip for digital content creation: take advantage of your specialization. Own your niche! Content marketing strategy is most effective when you answer the questions of YOUR audience. Don’t be afraid to be specific.
So, without further ado, here are several ideas health professionals can implement into a content marketing strategy.
Email marketing is about more than your sales funnel or welcome sequence! It’s the number one way to connect with current and prospective patients. Types of emails to produce include - blog posts, appointment reminders, latest health news, announcements about the latest technology, and patient spotlights. An email newsletter is a consistent value piece you can provide to patients. You can even segment your mailing list to send targeted emails to specific audience members - talk about strategy!
Social media is almost a requirement among healthcare practices nowadays. Don’t let that scare you! It’s an effective way to reach your audience and partner with other professionals. With the right content marketing strategy you’ll be able to repurpose content so maintaining your social media feels effortless.
As someone on the end cusp of being a millennial, I have to say blogs are my favorite content marketing material. They’re like the brain behind a digital content strategy. Blogs increase your search engine optimization (get found on google) and they’re perfect for repurposing into other channels!
If this sounds like too much for you to do all by yourself, schedule a 15 minute consultation call with me to help simplify matters. I hope this was helpful for you, and know I’m cheering for you every step of the way!