Whether you run a medical practice or simply provide medical information, you rely on good quality content to attract customers and hold their attention.
But the strategies used to engage modern consumers need to evolve.
Today, consumers of medical content are more interested than ever before in doing their own research, taking control of their health and making informed treatment decisions; medical content writers and marketers must be prepared to handle this phenomenon if they hope to be successful.
What’s New with Medical Writing?
In the past, most consumers of healthcare were content to trust their doctors and nurses to give them information about their health, tell them which treatments are best and provide instructions for any self-care they may need.
With the rise of the Internet, consumers now have access to more information about medicine than ever before. They are able to easily research different medical conditions, doctors and hospitals, which allows them to have more control over their own healthcare.
As medical care gets more expensive, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with getting the most out of the money they spend. This leads to more time comparing providers and pricing, as well as researching different treatments before agreeing to them.
Due to changes in consumers’ needs, medical content marketers must change the way they relate to consumers. Instead of simply telling people what’s best for them or convincing them to come into the office for guidance, medical marketers need to present themselves as partners to consumers making healthcare decisions.
Who’s Doing It Right?
Some medical marketers have struck a perfect balance with providing consumers with accurate information, establishing trust and keeping them coming back for more. Here are some examples of companies doing it right.
1. Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic is one of the largest healthcare organizations in the United States, with locations in three different states. The Mayo Clinic’s objective is to bring patients in for healthcare services while maintaining their reputation as an authority in the field.
To accomplish this, the Mayo Clinic’s website doesn’t just emphasize the strengths of its facility. Instead, the website provides a wealth of information on every condition and treatment imaginable. This information is accurate and detailed, but it’s also presented in a way that is easy for people outside the medical field to understand. In addition, all the information is presented objectively, without pushing consumers toward one side of an issue or another. At the end of each article, the Mayo Clinic includes a gentle call to action.
Healthline is the fastest-growing health information website on the internet. Unlike the Mayo Clinic, Healthline isn’t trying to bring patients in for healthcare services. Instead, they simply seek to provide information and act as a trusted ally for consumers.
Like Mayo Clinic, Healthline provides detailed information about every health topic consumers may need to investigate–from addiction to yellow fever. The website also offers information on self-improvement and healthy living topics, like yoga and weight loss. Each article features plenty of images and is broken into small sections. Many articles are also linked to other pieces that provide more information about a related topic, which keeps consumers on the website for longer periods of time.
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield is a well-known health insurance company. One of the company’s marketing strategies involves placing valuable, engaging content on their website. This is not only done to draw in new consumers, but also to promote their reputation as an expert in the field of medicine among existing subscribers and the general public.
Blue Cross Blue Shield’s content covers a wide range of topics related to health insurance and healthcare in general. Content creators also use a variety of approaches to reach different audiences. While some articles are inspirational in nature, others are instructional. Most articles are also written with a friendly, conversational tone so the reader feels a sense of camaraderie.
My Medical Writing Pet Peeves
Different types of medical writing require different strategies. However, certain practices need to be avoided in almost every case. Here are some of the worst mistakes I see medical writers making.
1. Using too much jargon.
Consumers are more informed than they’ve ever been, but they still don’t want to be bogged down by unnecessary jargon and complex technical terms. Medical writers need to make their point in a way that readers can understand.
2. Pushing too hard.
Consumers can tell the difference between informational content and content focused on making a sale. Medical writers must be careful to provide value and avoid being pushy.
3. Being dull.
Medical content can get boring quickly if writers aren’t careful. In order to keep the consumer’s attention, writers need to find ways to present content in a fresh, interesting way.
Consumption of medical content is continuously evolving, and writers and marketers need to stay on top of these developments if they want to keep up. To keep yourself in the know, pay attention to what the most successful sites are doing. If you’re in marketing, it’s also important to hire medical writers who have a track record of success and a desire to keep improving their craft.
About the author
Phillip M has been working as a professional freelance writer for three years. He specializes in medical and health-related topics such as disease, nutrition, fitness, pharmacology and wellness. Because of his educational background, he is knowledgeable in the areas of science and mathematics as well.