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How to Create Engaging Content for Healthcare Organizations

By Lara Nour EddineAug 3, 2015

create-engaging-content-healthcareWhen you think of a healthcare company, you think of doctors, hospitals and … journalists? While they may not seem to go hand in hand, perhaps they should. Content marketing is a powerful way to connect with consumers that has worked for thousands of organizations—and healthcare companies should be no different.

From mattress companies to hotels, more and more brands are bringing in professionals to create rich content and engage consumers; healthcare organizations could reap many benefits by embracing this best practice for digital marketing.

In the past, brands had to rely on big publications to get their messages out. In today’s world, brands are taking matters into their own hands. Their mentality is "why buy media when you can create your own?" And with the wealth of information healthcare organizations have created for patients over the years (pamphlets galore!), creating a digital healthcare marketing strategy, especially one based in content, seems like a logical next step. 

But here's the catch: you can't just create decent content and publish it for your audience. In fact, Moz says it needs to be 10 times better than the next organization's content to engage prospects. So how do you create engaging content for healthcare?

By taking control of the conversation surrounding your audiences' healthcare questions and concerns. To get you started, here are three tips for healthcare companies to successfully engage audiences and produce relevant messaging.

Give Your Audience What They Want...and Back it Up with Facts

When you get sick, chances are you turn to Google before your doctor. With so many search results popping up, you’re most likely to click on information from reputable sources that incorporate statistics and are endorsed by doctors and hospitals. 

One such organization that provides a wealth of valid information is The Cleveland Clinic, which has a successful content-based site, Health Hub. Topics range from fighting diabetes to the healthiest ways to grill this summer.

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To better understand what your readers want, follow popular trends in the news to learn what health issues are currently affecting patients and ways you can provide answers to their questions. Strategically release your content in a timely manner so that, for example, when it's winter time and patients may be Googling frostbite, you can provide them with the information they need. 

To legitimize your content, consult with doctors who can offer their advice and enhance the quality of your information. You want readers to trust the content you’re putting out, and this means supporting it with credible health sources.

Offer Multiple Channels Where Patients Can Engage

In addition to providing quality content, healthcare companies must also take quantity into consideration. Publishing a steady flow of content across multiple platforms extends your reach and maximizes your online presence.

When competing with traditional healthcare publications such as newsletters, healthcare companies can offer many different ways to connect with patients through newer forms of content. eBooks, social media, videos and blogs can reach different segments of the population and give audiences the chance to interact.

The Mayo Clinic has used a variety of platforms to connect with patients and employees.

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Its YouTube page is the top medical provider channel with more than 30,000 subscribers, and new videos are posted daily. Its Sharing Mayo Clinic blog is an outlet for patients and employees to share their experiences and interact.

But what truly sets the Mayo Clinic apart from other healthcare organizations is its Mayo Clinic Social Media Health Network, which “provides access to tools, resources and guidance for organizations as well as individuals who want to use social media for health and healthcare,” according to the website.

Promote Your Industry, Not Just Yourself

When determining your content marketing strategy, tell the stories audiences won’t get from your PR or newsroom projects. Give insight into what it’s like to work for your company, what your company stands for and employees’ personal experiences working with patients.

However, you also want to incorporate other industry-relevant information. Don’t always use your own organization as a constant focus; offer advice, tips and general information that will appeal to many audiences within your scope.

With technology increasingly shaping our lives, people are using these advancements to make themselves heard. Healthcare organizations should seize this opportunity to promote health education and communicate with patients.

Connect with your audience by:

  • Asking a doctor to write an op-ed on a trending health topic

  • Creating an infographic on symptoms of diseases

  • Making a SlideShare on the top 10 health issues of the year

What’s important is to provide topics patients and healthcare professionals will care about and offer opportunities to spark a conversation.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways healthcare companies can take control of their own message. Rather than waiting for the traditional media outlets to do it for you, why not do it yourself? It is not only affordable and effective, it allows healthcare organizations to cultivate their reputations into industry thought leadership.

As more and more people look to the Internet for healthcare information, developing a strong voice within the healthcare community is more important than ever for keeping up with the competition. Your company can draw audiences by offering relevant content for healthcare and the answers people are looking for.

To do this, journalists can help you provide quality healthcare content that appeals to consumers on multiple channels, promotes the industry as a whole and offers value to your audience. 

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The Author

Lara Nour Eddine

Lara’s love for journalism began when she was eight years old and decided to take a news broadcast class instead of going to summer camp. From third grade on, she anchored her school’s weekly broadcasts. This passion for storytelling resurfaced in college, where Lara worked on the school newspaper, and ultimately lead her to positions in journalism, PR and marketing. With a Bachelor’s in journalism and a Master’s in PR, Lara lives to tell stories and tells stories to live. Outside of storytelling, Lara can be found spending time with her family which includes 4 kids (yes, you read that right) and 3 cats. She aspires to be a good cook and dreams of traveling the world.
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