Healthcare content marketing is a digital marketing approach that helps healthcare providers and hospitals reach and educate people through online content. Apart from enhancing brand awareness, healthcare content marketing also helps with patient retention and engagement.
Unlike other sectors, the healthcare industry has been lagging in terms of content marketing adoption. In the last two years, however, the healthcare industry has experienced a tremendous sprout in content marketing adoption- thanks to some of the key players such as Healthline and WebMD played a significant role in revolutionizing the industry.
As of 2020, Comscore ranked Healthline #1 health information site in the United States, with more than 90 million monthly unique visitors, while WebMD ranked #2 with nearly 80 million monthly visitors.
However, in the past few years, content marketing adoption increased by 25%. As of 2017, the percentage of active healthcare content marketing users was 69%. In 2018, the percentage rose to 83%, then to 95% in 2019. This clearly signifies the healthcare industry is more than ready for content marketing.
What is a healthcare content marketing strategy?
A healthcare content marketing strategy involves the use of content to promote healthcare products. In fact, it is a digital marketing technique that helps healthcare providers and hospitals educate and reach out to their target audience through online content.
Content marketing brings about brand awareness, patient retention, and engagement. When compared to other industries, healthcare content marketing has taken longer to develop. However, in the past few years, this has witnessed remarkable growth as many healthcare providers begin to appreciate its contribution to the success of their businesses.
Incorporating content marketing into your marketing campaigns is a smart decision, and the fact that many medical practitioners haven’t adopted this strategy can work to your advantage. Why? Because you’ll face less competition.
Healthcare content marketing strategies
There are three main digital marketing strategies, namely, blogging, using YouTube, and social media. These strategies have their unique advantages. So, if you can handle all of them, combine the three strategies.
A healthcare content marketing strategy can never be complete without incorporating blogging. Having a website where you post relevant content is the best way to attract new clients and generate high-converting leads. You can do this by writing content, posting it on your website, then sharing it on social media.
You can also encourage those who’ve read the content to share it. Blogging will establish you as an authority in the healthcare industry, but only if you post high-quality content. By reading your content, people will start looking for you.
YouTube has over two billion users, making it a potent marketing strategy for both individuals and brands across all industries. YouTube works wonders because many people prefer watching videos to reading text. Videos also give more details that text can not give.
For example, you can use a video to show a specific procedure in your healthcare practice. This will help build trust between your business and potential clients. You can also use videos to showcase your facilities and equipment. A YouTube video can also incorporate text and graphics to help drive your points home.
Globally, about four billion people use social media. This is a big market that you can’t ignore if you are a serious healthcare provider. Today, there are many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, among others.
Facebook alone has about three billion active users monthly. Social media is free to use, and you only need a few minutes per day to update your status to get the desired results. What’s most important is for you to keep your social media fans engaged by responding to their concerns. The greatest advantage of social media is that it allows you to combine text, audio, and video, and you can connect it with your website.
Examples of successful healthcare content marketing
WebMD has created a blog that provides the most up-to-date health information to internet users. The information they provide is credible, well researched, and detailed. They include credible references and have developed supportive communities to help readers. WebMD is a source of timely and original health information written by their highly trained content staff. Their content staff comprises award-winning experts in medical review, expert commentaries, community services, content creation, and journalism.
They have a board of award-winning journalists and physicians who check the accuracy of information before posting it on their website. Their content staff includes professionals in medicine, nursing, clinical informatics, health communication, medical illustration, and journalism.
If you are looking for a good example of content healthcare marketing, Mayo Clinic fits the bill. Mayo Clinic has content that creates awareness and educates readers. They cover topics such as diagnosis, medical research, and treatment. Their content stands out because their medical staff writes them. All the articles showcase their expertise and experience.
The Mayo Clinic has one of the most impressive examples of healthcare marketing. Its blog is one of the best online resources that showcases thought leadership in the healthcare industry. This trusted healthcare resource educates and creates awareness with extensive information on treatment, medical research, and diagnosis.
Livestrong is another great source of medical information. Before any articles are posted on this blog, they are their experienced certified personal trainers, registered dietitians, nurses, and doctors to review them. These experts must confirm the information in the articles through evidence-based research.
The articles posted on are held to high editorial standards because they conduct original reporting. They cite relevant and recent research and provide full context to their content to ensure that they get all the important information to make informed decisions.
Drugs.com has a mission to empower with the knowledge that can help them improve their safety and manage their healthcare better. They help by ensuring patients don’t make medical errors. Drugs.com is the most widely visited and largest medicine information website. They present up-to-date, comprehensive, objective, and independent information backed by in-depth research. Their database is powered by many leading medical suppliers, including IBM Watson Micromedex, Cerner Multum, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Healthline is a tremendous website known globally for outstanding and accurate medical information. Because of their expertise can cut through the confusion using person-first, expert-reviewed, and straightforward experiences.
No matter the reader’s medical journey, they are available to inspire, guide and support. Their content is engaging, easy to understand, and informative. They have a dedicated team that manages a network of more than 100 professionals in over 50 specialties. These experts comprise patient advocates, public health experts, nurses, and healthcare physicians. They carry out clinical guidance, fact-checking, expert POVs, and medical reviews. Healthline is a perfect example of good healthcare content marketing.
American Medical Association
American Medical Association is the only national association that promotes better public health and the science and art of medicine. It convenes about 200 specialty and state medical societies and stakeholders. American Medical Association has a strong presence on YouTube with several viewers.
CDC’s mission is to protect Americans from security, safety, and health threats, both in the US and foreign. And it doesn’t matter where the diseases come from, whether acute or chronic, preventable or curable, and deliberate attack or human error. CDC uses its YouTube channel to pass information and help in its mission of fighting diseases and supporting citizens and communities.
Siemens Health is a team comprising about 65,000 highly trained, innovative, and dedicated employees globally. This team is shaping the future of healthcare. Siemens Health enables healthcare professionals to add value by improving patient experience, transforming care delivery, and expanding precision medicine. They mainly use YouTube to provide information to the public.
Elekta is a global leader in precision radiation medicine. They have been in this business for almost 50 years. Currently, they have over 4,000 employees all over the world. Their mission is to ensure everyone with cancer can access and benefit from more personalized and precise radiotherapy treatments. Their solutions are tailored towards protecting the patients. Elekta has been very successful because they are active on YouTube, a perfect healthcare content marketing strategy.
American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society has over 20,000 YouTube subscribers. Their mission is to achieve a cancer-free world. American Cancer Society funds and conducts cancer research, spread the news about cancer prevention, supports cancer patients, and shares expert information about cancer.
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) work with over 70 countries, providing lifesaving assistance when needed. Over 65,000 personnel have worked with Doctors Without Borders in epidemics, conflicts, and other natural disasters, especially in areas where victims can not access medical care. They carry out most of their campaigns through social media, explaining why they have been very successful.
Mayo Clinic gets very personal by sharing real stories from healthcare providers, patients, and even their employees. This has made them create a community of healthcare providers and patients that freely tell their stories to help others. They use social media and their website to share these stories.
Go Ask Alice!
Alice isn’t an individual but a team of health professionals from Columbia University. The group comprises healthcare providers, health promotion specialists, and other experienced health professionals. They also have a team of writers, researchers, and information specialists. Their professionals hold advanced degrees in counseling, medicine, health education, public health, and other health-related fields. They have a solid social media presence.
Carilion Clinic is another healthcare provider that uses social media to advance its objective. This is a non-profit organization with a network of specialty physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare service providers that work as a team to bring healthcare closer to the people. They improve access to modern healthcare, provide community-based wellness programs, invest in research, among others.
The State of Healthcare Content Marketing in 2021
If you are looking to use healthcare content in 2021 to attract patients, it’s a smart decision. The fact that healthcare content marketing has slowly grown over the past few years works to your advantage.
To get started with healthcare content marketing, make sure to create sharable content. Put yourself in your patient’s shoes, record and address the most common questions that they ask on your website.
People anticipate reading informative and professional content. They want precise answers to their questions and information on how to live and stay healthy with a particular ailment. For instance:
- If you are a healthcare CEO, create a post about the nation’s best hospitals for cardiology, and offer takeaways for the readers.
- Create content on healthcare infographics. Infographics can be great and quite easy to produce. Just make sure to have creative staff to assist you in developing these graphics.
- Health and wellness guides. This could be a sure ticket to get more leads and traffic you’re longing for. For example, you could create guides on food and weight management and share these before summer or around New Year’s, as those are the times when people are likely to seek that content.
- Create content on the latest news and trends in the healthcare industry to keep your customers informed and raise brand awareness.
- Create a healthcare podcast. Podcasting is one of the best ways to convey your message to target customers you could do this by interviewing several external and internal experts.
Healthcare Content Marketing Tips
With the great demand for health-related content, there’s no deficiency of ideas for healthcare content. When creating and publishing medical content for your audience, it’s vital to consider a few tips for marketing your medical content for a wider audience, including:
- Focusing on your area of expertise
- Understanding your target audience
- Hiring a professional
Focusing On Your Area Of Expertise
For your customers to consider you a reliable expert in the healthcare industry, you should, well, be an expert in the type of content you’re creating and sharing online. I mean, you wouldn’t visit a podiatrist with a broken arm.
The same mentality applies to people while searching for content online. They want to get information from people with deep knowledge and first-hand experience. So, when you’re creating blog posts, writing articles, or sharing posts and videos on social media, ensure they are related to your area of expertise in the healthcare space.
Understanding Your Target Audience
Similarly, it’s important to focus on your specialty when it comes to your target audience. For instance, if you’re a business that creates medical equipment for podiatric offices, you’re most likely not going to approach patients. You’ll probably speak to podiatrists and their staff.
Have a good, clear insight into whom you’re addressing through your content, and ensure the subject matter and tone align with your target audience. Also, make sure to use language that resonates with your audience.
Hiring A Professional
The healthcare industry is a fast-paced industry that’s always on the run. You’ll perhaps have other areas to focus on besides sharing and creating content for your audience. Hiring professionals will help you create content your online visitors want to read for a bigger and bolder online presence.
Benefits of Healthcare Content Marketing
An effective healthcare content marketing strategy has diverse benefits to your brand as well as your target customers. Some of these benefits include:
Increase In Patient Base
Applying the right healthcare content marketing tips will attract more patients to your site and improve patient engagement. Also, healthcare marketing tips apply tracking and analytics to give you a whole view of where your marketing efforts are more profitable.
Scale The Reach Of The Medical Organization
Healthcare content marketing tips have created new possibilities to reach new patients, share their journey, and educate the patient base and the public, among other possibilities.
Physicians can now get in touch with more people for education and feature their brand and themselves as thought leaders in the healthcare industry. As more people go online for healthcare resources, you are more likely to capture more leads than ever.
Enhance Patient Experience
With healthcare marketing tips, patients receive quality medical care and have an overall incredible experience, with patient reviews, portals, educational resources, and much more. Patients can also communicate quickly and efficiently with medical practice and send valuable feedback to their care.
Trends Transforming the Healthcare Content Marketing Industry
Marketing trends change and develop every year. This means that you have to be informed of current medical trends to maximize results. Or else your opponents will get ahead and steal your audience. Keep reading if you are longing to learn proven trends in the healthcare industry to take advantage of in 2021.
There are no better ways to reach a wider audience and provide value to your customers than through content creation. According to a recent survey conducted by SmartInsights, 20% of marketers believe that content marketing will be the most impactful strategy in the coming years.
Content creation can be anything from infographics, podcasts, videos to blog posts. The key is to provide useful information that is tailored to the needs of your audience.
Influencer marketing involves collaborating with businesses with a wider target audience to promote you. Approximately 32% of people use social media before making a purchase. Placing your brand in front of a large audience can automatically drive great results; this why influencer marketing is considered vital for today’s businesses.
Online Patient Portals
With technology being an integral part of our daily lives, it’s with no doubt a bridging gap between doctors and patients. Around $50 billion is invested in healthcare IT outsourcing globally. Many companies understand the importance of technology in creating more leads and sales in the healthcare industry.
Online patient portals allow patients to see their medical history, contact their physician, and view their test results. This technology has been there for years but has quickly become an accepted practice in the business world.
According to research conducted by Statista, virtual reality, an emerging technology that displays potential if paired with an online portal, will have a market size of approximately $215 billion by 2021.
Since healthcare content marketing is widely misunderstood, many healthcare providers regularly dismiss it out of hand. Yet, it can be a potent tool to enhance your reputation.
What does healthcare content marketing entail?
Healthcare content marketing involves creating and sharing useful, high-quality content that attracts your target audience. As you build trustworthiness, you position yourself as an industry leader. From this position, you are more likely to increase your company’s reach to grow your business.
Why has medical content marketing taken a long time to become a viable strategy?
The healthcare industry is tightly regulated, and there are more ethical and legal considerations involved than in other industries.
Isn’t healthcare content marketing risky and/or expensive?
Clearly, there are no guarantees in any business, not even with content marketing. However, learning from several outcomes of other healthcare marketing campaigns reduces the risk. Working with other clients around the globe enables one to provide a results-based marketing strategy.
How should I establish a healthcare content marketing budget?
Make sure to budget by your objectives. This sounds easier, but it’s also easier to get it wrong.
The best approach is to start with the end in mind. Define your achievements in precise and quantifiable numbers to assign adequate resources for realistic goals.