Health care marketers, take notice! This is your chance to step up and stand out, to provide something your customers are asking for and to serve a true need, all while distinguishing yourself from others in the space and humanizing your brand.

The health care industry is missing out on a sizeable opportunity to connect with its audience in a meaningful way.

That opportunity is content.

Consumers are hungry for it, but the health care industry lags behind in its adoption of content marketing. Creating quality content is the biggest challenge plaguing the industry. That is a shame and almost counterintuitive. Health care businesses have the potential to be some of the best and most creative content marketers out there for reasons that include:

  • Health, wellness and medical topics lend themselves to meaningful and memorable content.
  • Their audiences are hungry for knowledge and actively seeking digital content. The internet has become a vital source of health information. In fact, 80 percent of internet users have looked online for information related to health topics, according to Pew Research Center.
  • Trust and credibility is so important in this space. Content can help strengthen the customer relationship.

Health care marketers can derive a lot of business value from every piece of content they invest in. Articles, videos, whitepapers, infographics and newsletters can be used to raise brand awareness, establish brand voice, generate leads, improve SEO and feed social media channels.

But, there is a reason for the content gap. Creating quality health care content is challenging, and the stakes are high. Organizations must adhere to evolving government regulations, which is especially cumbersome for those targeting international audiences, as laws differ dramatically from country to country.

Mediaplanet has a track record of exceptional health care content marketing, in part because this vertical lends itself so perfectly to our approach: creating exceptional niche content in partnership with industry leaders and experts. When we tackle a health care topic, such as diabetes, cancer, pregnancy wellness, or children’s health , we  always include a combination of inspirational stories about the struggles and experiences of real people, often influencers, as well as educational articles and the latest news, drawing on input from leading industry experts.

To help us do so, we abide by three guiding principles. Before launching a content marketing initiative for your health care business, we suggest you do the same. Now, repeat after me: 

  1. “I will prioritize quality.”
  2. Because consumers are so hungry for health care content, and because of its personal nature, there has been an explosion of user-generated material, from Facebook groups to online forums. While these channels can be useful resources, they can also inadvertently be vehicles for sharing unreliable information. People are left sifting through a lot of poor-quality content. There’s a reason why doctors will warn you not to “Google” your symptoms. You just can’t be sure of what you will find!

    Quality always matters, but for health care marketers, it is particularly important. Businesses have an opportunity to stand out by creating content that is truthful, well-written, educational and inspiring. Content can establish your credibility and serve as a tool for building trust between you and your customers and prospects. For example, to help raise awareness about its addiction treatment services, BioCorxx enlisted Mediaplanet’s help to write a sponsored article, which tells the story of Bradley Gorham’s opioid addiction and eventual road to recovery. The article checks a lot of boxes: it sheds light on the all-too-prevalent problem, humanizes the issue and provides useful information, all while raising awareness about the sponsor’s solutions.   

  3. “I will remember my audience’s needs.”
  4. Look for the “sweet spot”—that place where your audience’s needs and interests intersect with your company’s expertise and marketing goals. When creating your content marketing strategy, think about the types of questions your customers have, both related to your product or service and more generally. What topics are you qualified to speak about? What are you an expert in? This won’t only help you create content that resonates, it will also help you improve your SEO by building content around topics your audience is already searching for.

    As part of our recent “Ending Opiod Addiction” campaign, we worked with Alkermes to create an important resource for parents, an infographic that raises awareness about the opioids epidemic in America and includes tips for assessing whether or not a child is using drugs. The content addresses some of our readers most pressing concerns, and the visual presentation makes the important advice easy to digest and remember. 

  5.   “I will be both human and authoritative.”
  6. Content is especially critical to the health care vertical because companies need to build deep relationships with customers. It is more personal than other sectors. Businesses can use high-quality content to showcase their thought leadership while also humanizing their brand. One of Mediaplanet’s favorite tactics for helping our health care partners humanize their brands are Twitter Chats. Never heard of one? You’re missing out, my friend. In one of our most recent examples, we partnered with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and celebrity advocate Christopher Wood to discuss mental illness and its prevalence in American society. We brought both the industry and readers together to educate, conversate and incite change all in real time on Twitter, using the hashtag #Chat4MentalHealth. The initiative provided information and hope to those affected by mental illness, while also spotlighting the initiatives of the chat’s sponsor, Janssen. The chat was a huge success, garnering a reach of over 3.4 million and close to 3,000 tweets within the hour.

    Think about this dichotomy as you create content, the balance between inspiration and informational. Readers know they can count on us for the intimate and relatable content they get from a forum or Facebook group, but also for the kind of reliable and credible news they need to truly understand a therapeutic area. This balance helps us and, importantly, our clients stand out. 

    The above principles help Mediaplanet create award-winning content. Need help applying them to your business?  Let’s talk.