Medical content marketing is a core part of every effective digital marketing strategy in healthcare. Medical companies use content to educate and engage patients, support them through the patient journey, and personalise their experiences. In 2024, healthcare content will be much broader than a blog, covering all digital touchpoints. It’s an ongoing optimisation process, using data to drive better content and improve the user experience.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore the latest trends that are shaping medical content marketing in 2024. We provide examples from healthcare and other sectors to illustrate our points – and explain how you can use these insights to create a content strategy that secures your place ahead of the competition.
Trend #1: Personalised Content
Personalisation has become a marketing buzzword – but it works. McKinsey found companies that personalised interactions saw a 15% uplift in profit. ,
The rise of big data and advanced analytics means medical content can now be tailored to individual patient needs and preferences.
Personalisation can mean many things. At the most basic level, it can mean addressing a person using their name at the top of a generic newsletter. But it can go much further than that. AI-driven content platforms, for example, can now analyse patient user behaviour to suggest relevant articles, services, and products. This can enhance every patient’s journey through the healthcare system.
New tools mean that personalisation can be delivered at scale across a large patient group through personalised email and health newsletters. Powered by patient data, they can provide the health information patients need at every stage of their treatment journey.
The benefits for brands of personalisation are massive, boosting brand loyalty and authority. Our advice for 2024: Make personalisation a priority.
Trend #2: Video Content Expansion
Video content, including films and animations, effectively conveys medical information to patients, stakeholders, and other key audiences. Hubspot found that 92% of marketers said they got a good ROI from video – an all-time high.
Healthcare organisations can use video content in sophisticated ways. Many now routinely offer virtual tours to patients and their families, providing a preview of the experience.
Pharmaceutical brands like Pfizer are highly sophisticated, using video to improve the patient experience and brand perception. Patient testimonials are a powerful tool for organisations to humanise their brand, showcasing success stories that build trust with audiences.
At 42group, we love words, but we recognise that video content is critical to brands who want to maximise engagement in their marketing campaigns.
Trend #3 Interactive content
Medical companies are using content to build connections with patients and the public – and having some fun in the process. Interactivity keeps audiences involved and informed – making them part of the process.
Interactive content can encompass anything from an infographic to a simple symptom checker to a game or an app. Instead of a one-way ‘broadcast” approach, you’re engaging your audience in a dialogue and process of discovery. This can be incredibly powerful at increasing engagement but also for patient education.
Interactive content should be a cornerstone of your 2024 strategy.
Trend #4: Investing in authority building
Medical misinformation on social media, websites, and forums is a growing issue – and it could impact care and affect outcomes. Doctors are encouraged to take a proactive stance in challenging it – and so are brands.
Content can help healthcare organisations establish a strong sense of authority, shaping the narrative around many issues. Using a combination of in-depth research articles, opinion pieces from experts, and patient-focussed materials like FAQs, how-to guides, and more, medical companies can use content to take charge of conversations.
Underpinning every authority-building campaign is a clear understanding of what the audience is searching for. At a macro level, we can use keywords and sentiment analysis, but the most effective strategies incorporate qualitative analysis, too.
In 2024, medical companies need to understand the conversations taking place, and position themselves as leading them.
Trend #5 Voice search optimisation
The increasing popularity of smart speakers and virtual assistants means that optimising content for voice search must be a priority.
Instead of the formal voice traditionally associated with medical content, the created content adopts a more conversational tone to match the natural language patterns used in voice queries.
We’ve found that FAQs (or Q&As) are highly effective in this, as they directly answer questions that people are searching for and do so in a clear and to-the-point way.
The trend toward voice search means healthcare organisations must ensure their content is accessible and optimised. This can involve editing and updating existing content and applying a more conversational tone of voice across new content.
Trend #6 Mobile-first content and experiences
Most web searches are now done on a mobile device. It’s critical that healthcare organisations create content that can be easily accessed on a mobile device.
How? Of course, you should ensure that responsive design is applied to all digital assets and that websites and apps adapt to various screen sizes and resolutions. But you should be doing that anyway (as it’s part of SEO).
Beyond creating content (and websites) that are optimised for mobile, many healthcare companies are investing in apps that provide a direct connection with patients. Over a quarter (27%) of all US adults check a medical app multiple times a day. These can transform the way patients experience healthcare and engage with your brand.
Are you investing enough in mobile?
Trend #7 Ephemeral Content
Ephemeral content — available only for a short duration — is a core part of the online experience 2024. Platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are valuable channels for sharing health information, making flash announcements (for health screenings) and providing users with behind-the-scenes looks at healthcare facilities.
Social media platforms are also increasingly being used by brands to host limited-time health webinars or Q&A sessions with medical professionals. By limiting access, brands can draw in audiences who are seeking the latest health information and help to build a stronger community.
Trend #8 Data-Driven Content Creation
Medical marketers already rely heavily on metrics and analytics to inform strategies – and this will only increase in 2024.
Data is undeniably at the heart of effective healthcare content marketing, from tracking content performance across multiple platforms to utilising predictive analytics and AI to anticipate future trends.
Organisations need to invest in analytics to understand the success and impact of different types of content. This enables businesses and brands to optimise resources and develop strategies that deliver maximum impact.
Trend #9 Community Building and User-Generated Content
Healthcare organisations recognise the power of community building and user-generated content, and it will only become more important in 2024.
Online communities provide safe spaces where patients and healthcare professionals can exchange information, support, and experiences.
For example, patient forums have become a valuable resource for sharing personal stories and advice. Hashtag-driven campaigns on social media can increase health awareness and encourage a broader conversation about important health topics. These tools and techniques are being used by healthcare providers, third-sector organisations, and brands of all sizes.
Creating communities encourages brand interaction, and it encourages users to create content. This can strengthen the relationship between healthcare providers and their audience and provide valuable – and, in some cases, unique – insights into patients that can drive content production. Simply put, online communities can bring you closer to your audience.
Trend #10 Sustainability and health: Standing for something
2024 is the year that brands need to take a stand and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and creating a safer planet. We want to work and engage with brands that stand for something. And, more importantly, act according to these principles.
How? Organisations can showcase what they’re doing to protect the planet through sustainable initiatives and practices. They can also create content for patients, including educational materials that illustrate how our individual health choices can impact environmental sustainability. Such activities fulfil a dual role of promoting health awareness and ecological responsibility.
The importance of healthcare content in 2024
Digital marketing is undergoing a massive transformation as brands become aware of the potential for boosting engagement through content. You may notice an omission on this list: artificial intelligence (AI). For a content agency like us, AI could pose an existential threat – but the reality is that AI simply can’t create healthcare and medical content as accurately, effectively, and engaging as a professional. At least, not yet.
By embracing these trends – and avoiding or deferring content creation to AI – healthcare organisations can provide meaningful, engaging, and valuable content to every patient in 2024 and beyond.
Want a medical content partner for 2024?
42group is a leading content agency working with healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers creating content that builds human connections. If you’re searching for a content partner for 2024, get in touch.Get in touch