Many healthcare marketers today understand the importance of making content a priority, focusing on both quantity and quality. In fact, your marketing team might be working on a lot of great ideas for content, including stories of hope, discovery and triumph. But as you begin to develop your content strategy in greater detail, you may suddenly feel crippled by a fear of failure.
Fear of failure often stems from the delicate nature of healthcare information. According to Pew Research Center, more than 70 percent of Americans who use the Internet have recently gone online to research health-related questions. In most cases, they are exploring symptoms or conditions, researching doctors and sharing health and wellness tips. The information your organization provides in response to these questions could have a direct impact on your audience’s health and wellness.
Healthcare content also is subject to federal regulations and HIPAA rules. This places a big responsibility on the healthcare organization to respect the sensitivity of patient information.
Caution is also needed because your reputation is at stake. Every time you publish a blog post, infographic, video or other piece of content, your authority as a healthcare resource is on the line. Considering how much healthcare content is out there, what’s the big deal? Well, if you make a statement that’s untrue or overhyped, you run the risk of collecting bad comments and triggering a negative viral sensation. That’s the kind of press no one wants—especially a healthcare organization.
While there are real concerns related to healthcare content marketing, it doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to generating boring, bland copy. Instead, the inherent risks described above should motivate you to take the necessary precautions while creating content that’s relevant and compelling. This will result in healthcare content that resonates with your audience and builds credibility for your organization. And it will make people want to come back for more. The key is to be bold, yet cautious.
Quality control isn’t the sole responsibility of your writers. Before your content is published, it should be scrutinized by several key stakeholders in your organization. Throughout the content development process, your content writing team should have ongoing access to your providers, administrators and patients. Open communication among these individuals will ensure your content follows applicable standards.
All your content should be subjected to a thorough quality-control review process, with steps that include:
1. Initial editorial review
Analyze the overall message of the draft content, keeping the following questions in mind:
(Note: Before the initial editorial review, it would help the writer to review his or her own work using the above questions. This will help the writer deliver quality content from the start and expedite the review process.)
2. Content strategy check
Following the editorial review, share the copy with content strategists from different departments within your organization. This will ensure that the content carries a consistent message and tone.
3. Provider review
Allow the doctors or other providers quoted in the material ample time to weigh in on the content’s accuracy. In addition, have a process in place for internal subject matter experts to review the content and provide feedback.
4. Compliance review
From the start, establish a spirit of collaboration with the legal team who will be combing through your content to check that you’re complying with HIPAA and other regulations. Alert them in advance about any content that has the potential for higher risk. This helps eliminate surprises on their end and time-consuming revisions on yours. Make sure your writing team thoroughly understands compliance issues that apply to their work before the writing process begins.
It’s important to allow sufficient time for each step of the review process before the content is published. The original writer also needs time to make any necessary updates and finalize the copy.
Remember, quality content requires quality control. Comprehensive quality control reviews will protect your audience and your reputation. And it will result in compelling, trustworthy content your audience will want to share. Clearly communicate the review process to your writing team as well as all key stakeholders to ensure a smooth process for everyone involved.
Keep the quality content coming and you’ll help your audience live healthier, happier and longer. And hopefully they’ll tell their friends and keep coming back for more.
Want to learn more healthcare marketing techniques for your organization? Check out the new Wellness Marketing eBook today.
When it comes to content development, Emily Owens is not just a writer or an editor. She’s an avid communicator—concerned about the details as much as the big picture. Emily has successfully managed projects for companies in the healthcare, legal, aerospace/engineering and technology industries. She’s a savvy interviewer who knows the right questions to ask to develop a compelling story. And she can translate technical copy into content that is easily understood by a general audience. When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys traveling, exploring the Metroparks and spending time with her family. Learn more at http://www.copyandcode.com/.
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