Digital healthcare content

Create, publish and promote for success

Digital healthcare content is the driving force for organisations that want to connect with their audiences, grow their brands, increase awareness and power profits. Healthcare digital content is a catch-all term for blogs, articles, social media, animations, films and other online media that are created to be distributed and shared online. The purpose of online medical and health content is to create connections with your audience, build your brand and boost your ranking position. (There are more, but these three points are the main ones.)

There’s an ever-growing demand for online health resources with Google racking up a billion healthcare content clicks *every day* (and it’s likely to be much more today). If you’re not creating impactful and engaging digital healthcare content for your business, brand, service or solution you are going to get left behind. 

But what is digital healthcare content and how can it boost growth? We’ll answer those questions (and lots more) in this clear, comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide on digital health content. Read to the end and you’ll learn all about content formats, writing styles, SEO strategies and tips for selecting the right content partner. 

Let’s start at the beginning by defining what digital healthcare content is and why it could be your best marketing investment this year. 

What is digital healthcare content?

Digital healthcare content describes a spectrum of online materials intended to educate, inform and engage various audiences for healthcare brands. All leading brands use content marketing as a core part of their marketing and SEO strategies. 

Marketing is full of buzzwords, jargon, and acronyms that people use to sound smart. We really are smart, which is why we’ve simplified content into five easy-to-understand headings which we’ll use to describe what content is and what it can do for your business:

  1. Website content
  2. Blog posts, articles and news stories 
  3. Videos/animations 
  4. Infographics/interactive media
  5. Social media content

We’ll go through the list and explain what we mean by each content channel, the core of great content and the outcomes you can expect (if your quality is good, obviously).

  1. Website content: OK, so website content isn’t typically part of the transactional content we produce every day, but it’s part of our digital healthcare content package. Your website content has to tell the complete story of your business and brand and your product, service or solution. You need to ensure your website content is accessible, authoritative, honest, clear and compelling. Ensure that all technical aspects are taken care of and that it’s been optimised by an SEO expert. 
  2. Blog posts, articles and news stories: Blog posts, in-depth articles and news stories are the core part of any healthcare content strategy. (Some industry insiders consider these elements to be the entirety of a content strategy.) High-quality, well-written and accessible content regularly published on your website is an effective way to connect with your audience and build a personal connection. Of course, content can also boost SEO and encourage interaction through comments and social shares. Regularly publishing fresh and interesting blog posts and content builds a relationship between you and your audience, keeping them coming back for more. Blog posts and other content can also help to improve the user experience, answer customer questions and improve their experience and satisfaction of engaging with you.
  3. Videos/animations: The world wants video content, and the best brands provide it. At 42group, we know that films and animations can be highly engaging and can effectively convey complex information in an accessible way. When it comes to healthcare, videos and animations can effectively be used to explain medical procedures, provide health tips and even share patient stories and testimonials. High-quality videos that are well-scripted (by your trusted content partner!) and visually appealing can capture the attention of your audience and increase engagement. Be sure to provide transcripts and add subtitles to make your videos more accessible as well as improve SEO performance. 
  4. Infographics/interactive media: As healthcare content writers, we’re often working with challenging materials. Infographics visually represent data and information in innovative and engaging ways, and if they’re done well, they can make complex concepts easier to understand. In addition to being informative, infographics are highly shareable on social media and can effectively communicate key points and statistics. Infographics can be used to summarise lengthy articles or reports, making the content more accessible and engaging. 
  5. Social media content: Social media platforms are essential for engaging with your audience and sharing timely health information, so you better be creating professional quality content. Social content must be created, posted and published strategically, working as part of a larger plan to boost your organisation’s online profile. In healthcare specifically, regularly posting updates, health tips, and interactive content can increase your visibility and build a sense of community. Every brand has its own tone of voice, but all social media content should aim to be concise, engaging and visually appealing to capture the attention of your audience. We all know that using hashtags, tagging relevant accounts and participating in health-related conversations are effective ways to extend your reach and engagement. Keep content conversational and fun, but never lose focus on the power and potential it has to boost your brand.

What can digital content do for my healthcare business?

Almost every blog talks about ROI now. Have you noticed that? In the cash-strapped corporate world, where budget strings are starting to fray because of how tightly they’re being pulled, every penny must be accounted for. 

Marketing teams understand the importance and impact content can have on a business, but they’re constantly being asked to justify the spend. (If you are, check out our guide on healthcare content marketing KPIs. You’re welcome.)

Creating digital health content that connects with your audience

The crucial difference between those who produce conten and those that do it well is simple. It’s all about quality. According to some unsubstantiated statistics, every day, 7.5 million blogs are published, and many of these are never clicked on, read, or enjoyed. (If a blog is published and nobody reads it, was it ever worth it? The answer is no.)

If you’re going to invest in content marketing and expect it to deliver a return on investment (see, even we use ROI where it’s appropriate), you need to invest in quality content that’s created specifically for your audience. 

We can (and do) provide some guidelines below on how to create great content (and how to assess it if you’re paying for it). This only works if you have a clear understanding of your audience and can articulate this to an in-house marketer, freelance healthcare writer or digital health content agency like 42group. 

Great content is inspired by your audience, shaped around them, and delivers the answers they need – whether it’s a blog, social post, animation, or infographic. Here are some pointers to create content that connects with your audience:

  1. Addresses your audience directly: Whatever the content channel, you need to speak directly to your audience. You need to understand their pressure and pain points and use content to demonstrate that you can answer their questions and solve their problems. The best companies use content in this way to make clients, customers and other core audiences believe they’re on their side.
  2. Conversational, concise and clear: We’re time-poor and don’t want to waste time wading through content for our answers. This isn’t a writing guide, but it aims to avoid unnecessary words and get straight to the point. This is particularly important in healthcare digital marketing, where clarity and precision are paramount. Keeping your content concise goes some way to ensuring that your message is easily understood and retains the reader’s attention. Don’t overload your audience with information. Breaking down complex concepts into simple, digestible parts makes them more accessible. See this through in the way you structure content, using bullet points and lists to organise information and make it easier to follow.
  3. Answers questions clearly: Every piece of content should have a purpose (problem–solving, promotion, conversation, awareness raising, etc.), and in many cases, that will be about answering questions. You can do this in a literal and linear fashion (using things like Q&As) or in a more sophisticated way, as we’re demonstrating in this blog. Ultimately, when we search online, we want answers to our questions – and we want them delivered as quickly as possible.
  4. Use the active voice to engage your audience: We want our brands to engage us directly and speak to us like knowledgeable friends. Don’t patronise them, overload them with information, or assume they are experts (or treat them like idiots). Check out the Oxford guide to writing in the active and passive voices, including when to use them.
  5. Create content strategically: We have a phrase that we use pretty much every day: ‘Every post should have a purpose’. It sounds like a truism, but too many businesses and brands – in healthcare and other sectors – post content in an unstructured and unfocused way. The best content campaigns build up over time, with content used to establish and enrich a relationship with their audiences. Content focuses on core pillars, answering questions, providing insights and fixing a positive image and perception of your brand in the eyes of core audiences.

Can I use AI to create healthcare content?

Yes, you can use A to create healthcare content. Should you? No – and we’ll explain why.

Ask yourself. Do you you trust AI? Do you think your audience trusts AI?

We’re guessing the answer to both questions is no. UK media regulator OFCOM found that adults trusted human content over AI content. They’re also worried that they don’t have the knowledge to spot AI content. The result? We lose trust in all online content – and that’s potentially disastrous.

At the moment, AI writing tools (so-called content generators) are pretty crude, and the results are, quite frankly, awful in our opinion. The content is poorly written, often inaccurate and doesn’t engage the reader intellectually, emotionally and honestly. 

Using AI doesn’t demonstrate authority, expertise or insight. It’s lazy, disrespectful and damaging – especially when writing about complex subjects like healthcare. 

In the future, AI could play a role in the content creation process, but as an aide to writers rather than a replacement.

(In the interests of balance, there’s an argument and evidence that you humans and AI can collaborate to create content and deliver benefits, but it’s early days. The study also didn’t explore the suitability of AI in communicating complex and emotional issues that we deal with every day in healthcare communication.)

Basically, don’t use AI without serious consideration for the long-term impact this can have on your business and reputation.

Drive SEO with digital health content

For many marketers, the biggest impact of healthcare content is in improving your search engine rankings. As we all know, if you’re not on the first page of Google, you might as well be nowhere. Great quality content can drag your company website out of the darkness of pages 2-10 and into the glory of page 1 with all the riches that it bestows on your business. Or something like that.

Here are five essential things you can do to boost SEO:

  1. Keyword research: Before we get started, you’ll need to identify all relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to search for. Don’t just stop by identifying them; you should attempt to understand the search intent, essentially what’s driving these people to search and what answers they want. At 42group, we use tools like Google Keyword Planner and others to help us find popular and relevant keywords, but we go further. We analyse your competitors’ websites, do social listening, research on LinkedIn, and (if the budget allows) do primary research, such as interviews and focus groups, to get vital personal insight. Again, we’re all experienced enough to know that incorporating these keywords naturally into your content improves its search engine ranking. As well as individual words and short phrases, including long-tail keywords (and variations), can capture a broader range of search queries. 
  2. Content optimisation: Now we can start working! On-page optimisation involves optimising individual web pages to improve their search engine rankings (as you’d expect). Some of the key on-page elements include title tags, meta descriptions, headers and image alt text. You’ll want to ensure these elements are optimised with relevant keywords and provide a clear, concise description of the content. Don’t try to keyword stuff. Always think about your audience and what they need before the algorithm.
  3. Create content that creates clicks and captures links: The best and most effective strategy for SEO is in publishing high-quality content (like the post you’re reading, obviously). You can try and create content for SEO, but it almost always fails. When you attempt to write for an algorithm, you can ostracise your audience. Instead, use keyword analysis to create content that answers questions, demonstrates authority, and is authentic to you. In addition to delivering value for your audience, high-quality content sends important signals to search engine providers (i.e., Google) that your site is trusted. We all recognise that backlinks are a crucial factor in SEO, as they signal to search engines that your content is credible and valuable – and you can earn them with high-quality content. An effective link-building strategy includes creating shareable content, reaching out to industry influencers, and posting guest content on reputable sites (if you can). The ultimate aim is to create content that generates clicks and captures links. Never forget that.
  4. Think like your users (technical term: user experience (UX)): What is the experience you get when you use your website? It is easy to use? Is it fast? Can you find what you want? These are all things that matter as much to your audience as the algorithm. An intuitive and rewarding user experience can improve your SEO. Achieving this is hard (and it’s not something that we do as content experts), but we ensure your site is easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and fast-loading. Providing a clean and organised layout, clear headings, and intuitive navigation enhances the user experience. Ensuring content is accessible and readable on all devices, including smartphones and tablets, improves user satisfaction and SEO performance – as well as conforming to all rules and regulations that cover healthcare providers.
  5. Get social: Great content should never be hidden away on your website (or gated, in our opinion). Social media is a vital channel for content distribution and sharing, amplifying your reach and boosting SEO. Google has been cagey on precisely what relationship social media platforms and SEO have, but if you’re doing your job, you should be exploring every avenue to create connections. We’re not suggesting spamming every channel, but sophisticated social media publishing on platforms like LinkedIn can create positive and often profitable relationships, so don’t ignore them in your SEO strategy.

Drive growth with healthcare digital content

Creating effective digital healthcare content is a job for a specialist agency. Even then, they can get it wrong. (To learn how to work effectively with a healthcare copywriting agency, read our article. If this all sounds too much, then strip it all back and focus on what’s important. By understanding your audience – what motivates, engages and excites them – you can begin to create a healthcare content marketing strategy to drive your digital growth. The rest is about putting it into practice, creating the content, optimising it, distributing it and analysing and assessing its impact and effectiveness.

We hope we’ve answered most of your questions on digital healthcare marketing, but if you’ve got more, then get in touch and we’ll do our very best to answer them. 

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