Content for the Healthcare Industry: Who Needs It & Why?

Writer:
Megan Smith
Editor:
Josh Callum
Published: Nov 10, 2023
Last Updated:
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Share the health.

That's the guiding principle behind healthcare content marketing. When done well, it serves as a conduit, allowing organizations to share their narratives, values, and insights in a relatable and digestible manner.

This article dives deep into the world of content marketing for the healthcare industry. It examines possible types of content, offers actionable tips, and showcases examples of successful campaigns.

Learn how to leverage high-quality content marketing to connect with your audience with Compose.ly.

How Content Marketing Helps Healthcare Providers

Effective healthcare content marketing is a way of establishing and maintaining meaningful connections with patients. It offers numerous advantages, including the ability to attract new interest, establish authority, and build a community.

Attract New Patients

There's something magnetic about quality content. By creating informative, engaging material, healthcare providers can reach new audiences and differentiate themselves from competitors.

An estimated 7% of all Google searches are related to health. Well-researched, accessible articles appeal to your precise audience.

Incorporating SEO strategies makes your content more discoverable on search engines and establishes your practice as an answer to certain queries. Even if a prospect never reads your content, it can play a role in getting them to your website and booking an appointment.

Original content can also play a role in starting conversations and building your community online. Share or promote your pieces on social media and direct people toward them when relevant.

Boosting Patient Retention

Patient retention is just as important as attracting new ones. Luckily, content marketing is an effective way to keep current patients happy with what you provide.

Regularly update your blog and social media platforms with fresh, relevant content to keep patients engaged. It communicates your investment in the issues that matter to them.

Healthcare content marketing is also an opportunity to educate patients about their health and your practice. For example, visual content such as explainer videos or infographics can simplify complex medical terms and strengthen your relationship with patients.

Increase Personalization

Today's patients and consumers demand more personalization than ever. Help people connect to your healthcare business by delivering targeted and individually tailored content.

For instance, sending personalized emails based on previous interactions makes people feel seen, understood, and appreciated. You can also circulate content designed for particular patient demographics, such as new parents or senior citizens.

In developing your healthcare content marketing calendar and strategy, maintain professionalism, but always remember the human element. Digital marketing for healthcare isn't just about diseases and treatments but real people and their families, friends, and communities.

Establish Authority and Trust

Trust is the bedrock of any patient-provider relationship, and the best healthcare content marketing fosters it.

By sharing expert opinions, citing authoritative sources, and providing evidence-based information, you position your practice as a reliable source of knowledge and advice.

11 Types of Content and Their Value for Healthcare Providers

High-quality content helps those in the industry establish an online presence, build a community, and educate patients. All of the following types can play an essential role in a content marketing strategy for healthcare businesses.

1. Blog Posts: Establish Your Authority

Blog posts are articles you publish on your website covering various health-related topics. You can cover many topics, from disease prevention to new treatments, health tips, and patient success stories.

Blog writing showcases your expertise in the medical field, educating patients while building trust. It's also an opportunity to incorporate keywords, improve your search engine performance, and develop your inbound marketing for healthcare.

Just remember to keep posts engaging and patient-friendly. Use visuals to make the information more digestible, and break up long chunks of text with headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs.

2. Newsletters: Communicate the Latest Developments

Newsletters are regular communications sent to your subscribers, usually via email.

Newsletters are a powerful tool for informing patients about the latest developments. Common items to include are new services, upcoming events, changes in office hours, or advancements in medical research.

You can also use them to address critical community health issues or warnings. Remind people about seasonal needs such as flu shots.

Use newsletters to update patients and nurture relationships. Even when a patient isn't on your schedule, communication reassures them that you have their well-being in mind.

3. Email Marketing: Personalize Care

Email marketing best practices for healthcare revolve around the use of personalized messaging and might include any of these email types:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Follow-up emails post-treatment
  • Personalized health tips based on a patient's medical history
  • Birthday wishes
  • Festive seasonal greetings

Increase patient engagement by showing subscribers you care about them as individuals and respect the many demands on their time and attention. 

Email marketing is also easy on the pocket. It yields an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every dollar spent.

4. Social Media: Share With Your Audience

Think of social media as the town square of the digital age, a place where you can mingle with patients, learn more about their needs, and share more about what you do.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer opportunities for healthcare marketers. Social media content creation often incorporates health tips, news, behind-the-scenes photos, or patient testimonials. You can even run live Q&A sessions.

The conversation should go both ways. Encourage your followers on social media channels to share, comment, and participate in discussions. This provides you with social proof of your services and valuable feedback.

5. Video Content: Explain Complex Concepts

Video is the answer to the tl;dr world and a popular form of social media marketing for healthcare. Videos hook viewers, increasing the chances they'll remember your name and absorb the info.

Videos also cater to visual learners, transforming tricky information into easy-to-grasp, jargon-free content. Animated explainer videos are a popular way of breaking down complicated health in an accessible, non-threatening way.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) content marketers rank video as their top area for investment, and it's the second most popular type (after blog articles).

6. Infographics: List Important Facts

Like videos, infographics are an effective tool for healthcare content marketing, representing data or information in a manner that is engaging, memorable, and easy to understand.

They simplify complex data into digestible chunks, making it easier for patients to grasp key health facts and figures. The World Health Organization frequently uses infographics to communicate important statistics or bulletins.

The WHO routinely distributes its findings in infographic form. These visuals make information easier to digest, and people are more likely to share them, extending their reach.

As a bonus, infographics are highly shareable on social media platforms, giving your medical content a wider audience.

7. Podcasts: Provide On-the-Go Health-Related Content

Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the hottest healthcare content marketing trends. Listening numbers for all podcast genres are on the rise. 62% of Americans have listened to a podcast, and 14% listen to one daily.

The perfect health companions for people on the move, podcasts can reach patients and prospects commuting, exercising, or juggling tasks.

Podcasts straddle professional and personal tones. By hosting expert interviews or discussing the latest health trends, you position yourself as a thoughtful leader in your field, increasing your authority. At the same time, the episodes offer an intimate, conversational format perfect for building stronger bonds with your audience.

8. Case Studies: Share Real-World Examples

Healthcare content marketing is also an opportunity to share true stories about how a patient or a group of patients benefited from your healthcare services.

When you provide a case study, potential patients can relate to real-life scenarios, seeing how they could benefit from similar treatments. Successful outcomes also reassure them about the effectiveness of your treatments.

Telling patient stories further advertises your transparency, instilling faith in your audience. But always make sure your patients are just as willing to be open. Get consent before sharing even a mention.

9. E-books: Provide In-Depth Information

E-books are digital books that provide comprehensive information on a specific topic. For healthcare providers, they're an excellent tool to educate patients about different health conditions, procedures, or best practices. Their length testifies to your commitment to patient resources.

When writing e-books, strike the right balance. Provide sufficient details, but keep the material easy to read and digest.

10. White Papers: Present New Research and Studies

White papers are detailed reports that present new research findings, studies, or in-depth analyses of an issue. They provide evidence-based and authoritative insights, positioning you as a thought leader.

In a white paper, the material should be unbiased and scientifically rigorous, with full, current citations.

11. UGC: Build Credibility

User-generated content (UGC) is content — text, videos, images, reviews, etc. — created by people rather than brands.

Encourage your patients to share their experiences on review sites, social media, and dedicated community forums. If left on your website or page, moderate content to ensure a respectful tone and compliance with community standards.

UGC builds credibility and trust. Potential patients are more likely to believe real experiences from real people than overt healthcare marketing. 

How To Master Content Creation for Healthcare Companies

How do you create content that engages your audience and drives results? Here are some tips on strategy, execution, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate the success of content marketing in healthcare.

7 Tips To Create a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy

When marketing the healthcare industry, a focused and coherent digital content strategy is essential. Here's how to make it happen.

1. Understand the Content Needs of Your Audience

Understanding your audience marks the first step in any healthcare content strategy. Your audience comprises patients, physicians, caregivers, and health enthusiasts. Each group has unique information needs and preferences.

Conduct market research online and ask your current network about the information they seek and their favorite content types. Tailor your content and style accordingly. For example, a fellow provider and a potential patient will likely have different interests and professional vocabularies.

2. Ensure Compliance and Content Quality With SME Reviews

Accuracy and compliance are paramount in many industries but most especially in healthcare. All healthcare content must adhere to regulations such as HIPAA in the United States.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) should review all content to ensure the highest quality. Involve healthcare professionals in the content creation process to guarantee all information is accurate, up-to-date, and industry-compliant.

3. Create a Messaging Roadmap

A messaging roadmap outlines your key messages, content topics, and distribution channels — and how they relate to business objectives. It helps you maintain a consistent voice and messaging across all your content, enhancing brand recognition and loyalty.

In your roadmap, detail the key topics you plan to cover, the types of content you'll produce, and where you'll distribute this content. Think about the ideal frequency and posting times, too. You can use a social media content calendar to plan and schedule posts.

Consistency is crucial in content marketing, and a messaging roadmap can be a valuable tool.

4. Document Your Strategy

A well-documented content strategy encompasses your goals, tactics, audience personas, and key performance indicators (KPIs). With a written strategy, you can effectively track progress and make necessary adjustments.

Proper documentation further ensures all team members are on the same page and focused on the same goals. 

5. Consider All Available Channels

Identify all potential channels for content distribution. This could include your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, podcasts, webinars, or even offline channels such as print media. Let your audience's preferences and behavior guide your choice of channels

6. Optimize for Search Engines

SEO is crucial to effective healthcare content marketing. Incorporate best practices into your process:

  • Keyword Research: Use tools such as Google's Keyword Planner to identify the terms your target audience uses to search for relevant content. Incorporate these in your titles, headings, meta-descriptions, URLs, and content body.
  • Regular Updates: Keep your content fresh and regularly updated. Search engines favor sites with regularly updated, current content.
  • Image Optimization: Use relevant file names and alt text for your images to improve their search engine visibility.
  • Quality Backlinks: Aim to get high-quality backlinks from reputable sites. Backlinks boost your site's credibility and search engine ranking.
  • Use of Meta Tags: Proper use of meta tags, including title tags and meta descriptions, improves search engine visibility.
  • URL Structure: Simple, user-friendly URLs that include keywords are easier to index and rank higher on search engines.
  • Internal Linking: Internal links not only help in navigation but also spread link equity around websites, improving SEO.
  • Website User Experience: Search engines favor sites that load quickly and are mobile-optimized. Verify your content looks good across devices and doesn't slow your website down.
E-E-A-T in Healthcare Content Creation

Google assesses the quality of a webpage based on factors that indicate its Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Expertise refers to the depth of knowledge demonstrated in the content. Authority is the recognition of that expertise by others in the field, often gauged through backlinks and mentions from other credible sources. Trustworthiness refers to the honesty and transparency of the content and the host website.

In the wake of concerns about AI-generated content, Google's algorithm now looks for indications of personal experience, too.

Quality content also appeals to your readers. It engages them and motivates them to action. It's more than satisfying search engines. The goal should always be to serve your audience.

7. Incorporate Customer and Patient Feedback

Customer and patient feedback is a valuable resource for improving your content marketing strategy. Use surveys, social media comments, and direct feedback to understand your audience's thoughts about your content. Learn what's working well and what areas need improvement.

How To Measure the Success of Content Marketing Efforts

Tracking and analyzing metrics in healthcare content marketing is crucial for success. By measuring KPIs like email open rates and social media reach, marketers can gain insights to refine strategies, create engaging content, and drive successful outcomes. This data-driven approach allows for adjustments to maximize the effectiveness of content marketing efforts across all channels.

Content Marketing KPIs

Because marketing the healthcare industry involves multiple channels and forms of content, different brands may focus on different content marketing metrics.

Website Metrics

Your website is your online home. How many visitors does it receive, and how do they behave once there?

Evaluate your inbound marketing for healthcare by tracking how many unique visitors your website receives and your bounce rate — the percentage that leaves after viewing only one page.

Page views also matter. For example, how many times is each blog article viewed? Use this information to identify your highest-performing topics. The average time people spend on a page can indicate how engaging they find your content.

By defining and tracking conversions, you discover how well your content motivates the actions that matter to your business. Common conversions include:

  • Filling out a form
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Making a purchase
  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Downloading an e-book or technical white paper

Email Marketing Metrics

In addition to your conversion rates, email marketing for healthcare requires you to pay attention to open and click-through rates (CTRs).

Open rates tell you how many recipients opened your email, and CTRs are the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link within it, persuaded by your message and CTA. 

Low open rates imply your subject line isn't compelling enough or your emails end up in spam folders rather than inboxes. Avoid the spam filter by having subscribers opt-in, asking them to whitelist you, forgoing attachments, and delivering high-value content. 

Social Media Marketing Metrics

Social media platforms provide a wealth of data that can help you gauge the success of your content marketing efforts.

  • Engagement: This includes likes, shares, comments, and retweets. High engagement indicates that your content resonates with your audience.
  • Reach: This is the number of unique users who saw your post. A larger reach means your content is getting in front of more people.
  • Shares: How many times has your content been shared? Are people finding it valuable enough to spread the word?
  • Follower Growth: Track how many followers you gain over time. This metric is necessary for measuring brand awareness and audience growth.

Podcast and Video Marketing Metrics

Audio and video content can appear on your website, or you can use third-party hosting services. Either way, note downloads and listens for podcasts and video views.

If hosting content on a platform such as YouTube or Spotify, a growing base of subscribers indicates dedicated fans and sustained interest.

User-Generated Content (UGC) Metrics

You can judge the power of your UGC based on many of the same criteria you use for your own content. In addition, monitor your reviews and the appearance of branded hashtags or other social media mentions.

Examples of Successful Healthcare Content Marketing Campaigns

The digital age has transformed the way healthcare organizations connect with their audience. At the heart of this transformation is content marketing, which focuses on creating and sharing valuable online content to engage audiences, build trust, and drive action. Look at these successful healthcare content marketing examples and the strategies each employed to achieve remarkable results.

Pfizer: Podcast Powerhouse

One podcast wasn't enough for Pfizer. The count is now up to five. Its award-nominated podcast "The Antigen," which examines the science behind vaccines, helps combat popular myths and educate people in an accessible format.

Pfizer podcasts speak to different audiences, allowing listeners to tailor their libraries. "Menopause: Unmuted," which focuses on sharing personal experiences of menopause, speaks to a different need than "Science Will Win," which explores the latest innovations. The brand serves as an example of how to cover a broad range of topics well.

Pfizer podcasts are highly focused on a single health content niche. They broaden their reach by adding new podcasts rather than broadening the scope of old ones.

Mayo Clinic: Encycopedic Expertise

The Mayo Clinic is a legendary research institute — with healthcare content marketing that's almost as legendary.

Its website is a hub of medical information, offering an encyclopedic overview of various health conditions and diseases. Detailed, easy-to-understand articles provide insights into symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment options, and preventive measures for a wide array of health issues.

Its massive health library is conducive to information-seekers. Click on any topic to find extensive coverage: articles, videos, podcasts, and even books for purchase from the Mayo Clinic Press.

Whether or not you have Mayo's resources, its content is the gold standard for authoritative but accessible content.

Carilion Clinic: Social Media Champion

Carilion Clinic's #YESMAMM Twitter campaign made the most of its channel. They answered common questions about mammograms and encouraged people to share their personal stories about breast cancer and detection.

The campaign worked so well that other facilities duplicated #yesmamm, using it for community outreach and annual reminders to schedule one's mammogram. The clinic's success illustrates the power of addressing specific audience needs and the potential of social media to be a platform for empowerment.

It's also good to remember that not every piece of content has to break new ground. Feel free to join in on seasonal or trending topics on social channels.

Saint Joseph Health Foundations makes good use of #yesmamm messaging to support its own initiatives.

 

New York-Presbyterian Hospital: Patient Stories

New York-Presbyterian Hospital regularly shares patient stories and case studies through its healthcare content marketing.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital is known for putting patient stories at the heart of its advertisements and content. In its recent "Stay Amazing" campaign, video ads focus on both the medical experiences of patients and their post-treatment successes. Emotionally touching, full stories foster a deeper connection between the hospital and its audience.

Their website also offers an entire page of patient stories. While one can click on a name to read more, the page's effect relies at least as much on volume, creating a crowd of smiling fans.

Northwell Health: Information and Empathy

Northwell Health launched its digital publication, The Well, in 2017. It includes documentary videos, advice columns, magazine features, and personal essays. The content successfully navigates the emotional and scientific sides of medicine, striking a tricky balance that inspires reader trust.

Even as the publication has gained more readers and national attention, it has kept its readers at the heart of its strategy. Continual refinement in targeting allowed it to grow while cutting healthcare content marketing costs.

Howard J. Luks, MD: Educator Extraordinaire

Recognizing the potential of video content for healthcare education, Dr. Luks developed a substantial library and successful channel on YouTube. His channel provides a wealth of information, featuring easy-to-understand, straight talk about a variety of orthopedic topics and longevity.

Luks's website is a more comprehensive resource for patients, with several types of healthcare content. Visitors can choose between detailed articles, a separate blog with shorter posts, a podcast, or a section labeled "Education" with extensive resources about several common injuries. He's even written a book (though this is for sale, not a lead magnet).

When offering various forms of content, keep the organization clear and easy for users to navigate. 

Howard J. Luks, MD provides a clean, clear menu of content types for users to browse.

Establish Authority Through Content Marketing With Compose.ly

Healthcare content marketing is more than just a business strategy — it's a way to bridge the gap between healthcare organizations and the individuals they serve.

But crafting the right content requires a delicate balance of professional expertise, empathy, and narrative. That's where we come in. Contact us today and let the writers at Compose.ly help you create content that resonates with your audience, builds trust, and showcases the human side of healthcare. We also offer dedicated editing and SEO teams that upgrade your content to the next level.

There's no need to do it all on your own. Learn more about our medical writing services

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