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Find the best healthcare content marketing agency

Healthcare content marketing is critical for organisations that want to connect with customers, clients, patients and clinicians. Content marketing in healthcare covers all types of content, including websites, social media content, email marketing, landing pages, reports and whitepapers, and more. 

Selecting the right content partner is vital. Get it right, and they’ll produce a steady stream of content that connects with your audience. Choose poorly and you’ll pay for it in lost time, impact and outcomes.

Specialised healthcare content marketing agencies like 42group have a proven history of creating and delivering content marketing strategies and campaigns that connect with your audience. 

Here’s our guide on how to find the best healthcare content marketing agency.

What is healthcare content marketing

Let’s start with a brief definition of content marketing for health. The Oxford Dictionary definition of content marketing is:

“A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”

It’s a good definition (as you’d expect from the boffins at Oxford), but we should focus on healthcare providers. It also fails to mention the importance of strategy.

“Healthcare content marketing involves the creation of strategic assets to be used by healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, app developers and medical device companies to create connections with key audiences. The content created is designed to educate, inform and inspire – but not explicitly sell.”

To us, that captures the essence of content marketing. Of course, there’s much more to it than that – but the concept that content is used strategically is key. Every piece of content must have a purpose, whether that’s raising awareness, increasing understanding, informing your audience or influencing them to buy. 

Healthcare content marketing agencies should understand the difference between content marketing and sales promotion. They should also talk to you about the importance of strategy – and the need for every content asset or piece of collateral to have a clearly defined purpose in a targeted plan.

If they don’t, then work with someone else.

The role of a health content marketing partner

So, we’ve got a definition of what health content marketing is, but what does a healthcare content marketing agency actually do?

A great place to start is our healthcare content marketing guide, which provides a detailed overview of services. 

Examples of healthcare content can include:

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Patient communications materials, including leaflets
  • Whitepapers
  • Animations
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Individally, these assets are useful. But the real power comes when they’re combined as part of a targeted and audience-driven strategy. 

At 42group, we’re happy to create individual blogs or other content pieces, but we know that the real impact comes when content marketing activities are planned strategically, answering your audiences questions, removing barriers to purchase or engagement and building your brand. 

As well as producing content, an expert healthcare content marketing partner (not provider), will offer advice, guidance and leadership to help you define, develop and deliver a content strategy.

Of course, they’ll also demonstrate the key competencies you’d expect, like trustworthiness and compliance with regulations. They’ll also have an understanding of your audience and a willingness to learn. But they’ll also challenge you and come up with creative ideas and concepts that push you and your organisation forward. 

5 essential qualities of a top-performing health content marketing agencies

Here are 5 qualities that all the top performing healthcare content marketing agencies will share:

  1. Established healthcare sector expertise – Specialised healthcare content marketing agencies will come to the table with a proven track record of creating content and strategies that deliver results. Ultimately, this sector insight and specialist knowledge saves time, effort and resources. We advise every healthcare company to work with a specialist agency (and not a generalist agency, large-scale content providers or individual freelancer).
  2. Audience insights – Does your agency partner understand who they’re meant to be communicating with? Expert health agencies will have worked with patients, clinicians, providers and other key stakeholders. They’ll understand how the healthcare system (or systems) operates and be able to leverage this knowledge into better content. Specialist hleaht copywriters can quickly find the tone of voice needed to engage your audience – whether that’s patients, clinicians or the general public.
  3. Understanding of regulations – Healthcare companies have a legal, moral and ethical duty to be honest with their audiences. The ASA and MHRA, for example, have clear guidelines on how to communicate with the public. Does your agency understand this? Alongside the regulations, your agency should work proactively to protect your reputation – using their insights and experience to safeguard your brand.
  4. Solid strategy knowledge – Content agencies must be responsive and productive but the best are strategic. If your content agency isn’t interested or experienced in content strategy and are purely focused on the transactional, then take them off your shortlist. The best – and most effective – content agencies (and content itself) is based on a solid and informed strategy that’s built for your audience.
  5. Proven track record with case studies and client testimonials – Do you trust what you read online? We don’t either. Make sure every claim is backed with a customer example. Don’t be afraid to push for references and ensure you have confidence in your content partner (ideally before signing off their first invoice).

These are some really general – but ultimately effective – ways to analyse your content partners. Of course, you’ll have your own specific requirements but these basic elements are essential. 

5 essential criteria to evaluate content agency partners 

Let’s say you’ve narrowed down your agency partners to a select few (good work). 

  1. Cost vs. value: In the current world we’re in, keeping costs as low as possible is critical – but consider the cost versus the value you’ll receive. A specialist healthcare content marketing agency is likely (but not always) to cost you more than a generalist. But they’ll have greater knowledge, insights and experience. This will not only translate into better work, but it should be faster, require fewer amends and be more effective at engaging your audience. Sometimes, it’s worth investing in the best.
  2. Cultural fit: Cultural fit isn’t tangible but it’s vital you find an agency that understands you and can adapt to your ways of working. Many large agencies can be inflexible, sticking rigidly to their established processes. Instead, explore how your agency partner would approach working with you. How would they manage workflow, feedback and dealing with problems? What sort of personalities are you dealing with and do you like them? Trust your instincts here and invest in developing a relationship with an individual or agency that’s a cultural fit.
  3. Scalability and flexibility: You have big aspirations for your business or brand, but can your partner support them? Ask about the capacity and confidence of your partner to deliver what you need from them. What processes do they have to scale-up content production? Explore how flexible they are and establish a process for workflow. Does this suit you and the way you work? If yes, then great. 
  4. In-house or outsource? This is a tricky issue. Some agencies (particularly at-scale content providers) outsource everything. This can leave you confused as to just who is working on your content. Other agencies will claim to manage everything in-house but it’s simply not plausible to expect an agency to have in-house expertise in every area of healthcare. At 42group, we operate a hybrid model where our in-house team is augmented by subject matter experts. They work with us to deliver projects and provide insights and expertise that we couldn’t afford to keep in-house. This is all done transparently and with the client’s involvement. If you’re operating in a truly innovative or intellectually challenging sector (like genomics, for example) be clear about just who is creating your content and ask for credentials. 
  5. Content controls: Quality control and checks are vital, especially in areas where accuracy is of the upmost importance. Ask your agency to provide a breakdown of how they manage content and the checks they perform. One important check is AI and plagiarism. For example, every piece of content we create is delivered with plagiarism and AI checks from an external source. This gives us – and our clients –confidence that all content will have a positive impact on audiences and algorithms.

Best healthcare content marketing agencies

So we’ve provided the basics of what health content marketing is, how to assess them and to appoint them. But what are the best healthcare content marketing agencies in the UK?

42group 

42group is one of the UK’s leading healthcare content marketing agencies in the UK with over 15 years’ experience creating content strategies that deliver results. 

ZPB

ZPB calls itself a “strategy and data-led healthcare marketing and communications consultancy” – which (if you’re reading above) works for us. We’ve worked with the agency owner previously and they’re fantastic. 

The Brains

We’ve provided content marketing production services for the Brains before and loved working with the team there. They’re experienced at creating at-scale content for a broad range of healthcare providers. 

Highland Marketing

Want to market a healthcare software solution? Highland Marketing is the go-to agency in the UK. We’ve collaborated with the founders and the knowledge and expertise of the founders and team is unparalleled. 

Each of the agencies here has a unique perspective and approach to content marketing for healthcare. We’re not going to tell you which is best for you, but hopefully, by using the information in this guide, you can narrow down your search and accelerate your selection process. 

Connect with a healthcare content marketing agency

If you’re searching for a specialist healthcare content marketing partner, then contact 42group. We’re ready and waiting to create strategic healthcare content that connects with any audience.

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