Healthcare companies seeking to attract new patients online must first build their authority by positioning themselves as a source of trusted, professional information. Content marketing is a cost-effective way to engage audiences and convert them into new customers.
An authority-building content strategy works best when delivered in a variety of formats and mediums. This ensures that the message reaches a wider audience. There are several types of content that healthcare companies should consider incorporating into their marketing strategies.
More than 60 percent of search engine users are looking up answers to health-related inquiries. Blogs are informational pieces of content designed to answer a user’s search intent.
Blogs work best when the content is well-written, up-to-date, and written or reviewed by a credentialed medical professional. All article topics, ranging from chronic disease prevention to meditation benefits, should be evidence-based and include credible citations.
Healthcare companies should ensure that their blog is accessible from their website and vice-versa. If users can easily navigate between the two pages, this will help increase website traffic. More page views translate into higher customer conversions.
Newsletters are a form of opt-in digital marketing that allows healthcare companies to create targeted campaigns for audiences higher in the sales funnel.
Newsletters have several purposes. Firstly, healthcare companies can use newsletters as premium advertising space to promote new services. Newsletters can also drive traffic to the business webpage by linking to blog articles or service pages.
Larger healthcare companies can consider creating niche newsletters that cater to specific customer segments. For example, a newsletter for parents focused on children’s health or a newsletter for individuals living with diabetes or other chronic diseases. Tailoring newsletter content can increase open rates and encourage readers to share the content with others.
Potential clients rely on social proof to make healthcare decisions. For this reason, customer reviews and testimonials are essential aspects of any content marketing plan.
Generating testimonials requires a system for requesting and collecting client feedback. Automated emails are an effective way for gathering customer experiences. Marketing teams can deploy a series of testimonial requests that begin after the client finishes their interaction with their medical provider.
However, the reasons for seeking healthcare services can be sensitive. Further, there may be some legal restrictions on how patient testimonials can be used in marketing. Healthcare providers must keep these restrictions in mind when developing a testimonial strategy.
Case studies combine the informative nature of blogs with the personal experience of a testimonial. A case study focuses on a particular client experience and how the healthcare provider’s service led to an improved outcome.
Case studies are designed for middle-of-funnel audiences who are actively making a decision about their healthcare needs. Case studies should answer any questions potential customers may have and include evidence to corroborate any claims.
While case studies are longer and more in-depth than blogs, they should also contain visuals, such as infographics, before and after photos, and charts. Since case studies are a form of soft selling, any call to action should be subtle and reserved until the end.
How-to-articles, portals, and ebooks are all types of long-form content that advise readers while raising a healthcare provider’s credibility.
How-to-articles provide step-by-step instructions to solve a particular issue. Common topics for healthcare providers include how to treat non-serious illnesses at home. Ebooks are long-form content that may contain graphs, charts, and fillable pages that support a reader’s learning. An eBook on a heart-healthy diet may contain recipes and ingredient recommendations.
Portals are specific sections of a website devoted to one health topic. For example, a COVID-19 portal may contain blogs, videos, how-to guides, and ebooks about COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and treatment.
Since these articles are giving direct medical advice, they should be written and reviewed by medical professionals.
Content is not limited to text or images. Podcasts are recorded interviews or deep dives into a specific topic or question. Podcasts are highly popular with users as they can be passively consumed, unlike text or video which require focused attention.
Healthcare systems can create podcasts featuring staff members discussing their areas of expertise. Common formats for podcasts include discussing the latest research on a medical topic or answering listener questions.
Podcasts may be hosted directly on the healthcare provider’s website or on a third-party platform.
Webinars are a form of informational content that users can access at any time. Webinars can be used as a top-of-funnel strategy to put a healthcare provider on the radar of new audiences.
Webinars can also contribute to word-of-mouth marketing, as attendees may share the session with their social networks. Depending on the topic, webinars can also have a longer shelf life than other types of marketing content. While a blog may need to be updated on a weekly basis, webinars can remain relevant for months or even years.