Why Now Is the Time for Healthcare Companies to Step Up Their Content Marketing

healthcare content marketing
healthcare content marketing

We have always needed healthcare companies to create the innovative products and services to help us deal with life’s ailments. But aside from a few notable exceptions, healthcare companies have not exactly been leaders in Content Marketing.

Now is the time for the leaders in the healthcare field to realize that sharing what they know is just important and delivering their products and services.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Content marketing must deliver timely, reliable, and relevant information your customers or patients need to make decisions.
  • Make sure that your content answers simple questions on the minds of your target audience
  • Create a landing page specific to the current crisis so that people can find everything they need in one place.
  • Optimize for mobile to better meet your customers’ and patients’ needs for quick information in a crisis.

In a crisis, customer experience needs to be your highest priority, as Jodi Harris points out. Specifically, people need timely, reliable, and relevant – even personalized – information that they can act on immediately.

Providing hope while standing firmly on science – that’s the content tightrope you need to walk during a crisis. Here are some ways to meet those demands.

Start with the Questions Your Customers and Patients Will Likely Ask

Google has always aimed to provide clear answers with knowledge panels for medical and health-related search queries.

medical google search

With the rise of voice search, search engine algorithms have moved toward natural language searches. While some people might still search for “ventilators Florida” or “emergency telemedicine California,” today’s customers are more likely to ask Siri instead, using questions like “Where can my hospital find ventilators in Florida?” or “Does Anthem offer telemedicine visits in California?”

Though we usually associate SEO with a content marketing strategy to sell more *stuff*, it has a practical side, particularly during uncertain times. Both consumers and businesses want immediate relief. The faster they can find that relief, the more quickly they can get back to normal life.

Optimizing your healthcare company’s SEO – whether you’re a B2B company or a direct B2C caregiver – is the best way for you to be the first goods or services provider people will find. Answering the kinds of questions your patients or customers are likely to ask is the key to top the search results at “position zero,” appearing even above ads.

That’s where enterprise content strategy intersects with effective leadership – and it’s what healthcare companies need in times of uncertainty. It’s where yours needs to be now.

Make Sure that Your Content Matches the Promise in the Meta Description

Content marketing during uncertain times must make good on the promise people read in your meta description. Nothing is more frustrating than to read an enticing description, only to find generic filler content designed for search engines, not people.

Especially in a crisis. People looking for solutions to their problems, only to find a glorified ad, will be furious to have wasted their time on self-promotional drivel. You can be sure that after the crisis passes, they’ll pass the word around about how unhelpful your brand was.

B2C

Instead, make sure that you deliver even more information than your meta description promises. If someone wakes up in the middle of the night retching, provide information about DIY cures, a link to your telehealth portal, and a discount on their first virtual visit. Follow up with email aftercare with informative content about what the patient can do during recovery – as well as how to avoid infecting the rest of the household.

If you’re a large brick-and-mortar healthcare provider, it’s a great idea to include a map of your campus. If you’re a small healthcare provider, consider providing patients with a virtual tour of your office, as well as directions to your facility. Making it easy for patients to find you offline through easy directions online ensures them a smooth-as-possible experience, even during trying circumstances.

B2B

If there’s a respiratory virus sweeping your region and you make ventilators, provide all the details decision-makers need to know about your equipment. In a crisis, consider opening up your live helpline 24/7.

At the very least, have chatbots available with fast follow-up the first thing the next morning. Have in-depth content prepared in advance tailored to each departmental decision-maker (such as medical directors, heads of nursing, accountants, HR, IT, and CEOs) so that they can assess their needs regarding your equipment.

Make sure that your content and sales teams work in tandem beforehand so that all your messaging aligns. Whatever you offer, B2B content during all-hands-on-deck moments must be scannable, accurate, and actionable – personalized, if at all possible.

Create a Landing Page Specific to the Crisis

In addition to timely blog posts, articles, and press releases, create a landing page that‘s a hub for all things crisis-related – and link to it on your home page. A unique landing page is an efficient strategy to route people to the right resources when time is of the essence. Link these pieces of content to the landing page, as well as to specific resource pages to make sure people can find what they need quickly.

Incorporate Customer and Patient Feedback

In uncertain times, people want to know that others in their situation have benefited from your advice – and your products or services. For B2B companies, knowing exactly which facilities have used your products to solve internal crises can help turn potential customers into (grateful) paid ones. When you incorporate your customers’ feedback into your content, you’re providing information that can drive those decisions.

Make Sure You’re Mobile-Optimized

In a crisis, your customers or patients aren’t likely to pull out their desktops to hunt for information. They’ll likely reach into their pocket for their phones. If your content isn’t mobile-optimized, your company is likely leaving a lot of business on the table.

Mobile optimization affects loading speed. Annoying during good times, but maddening during crises, a slow-loading, poorly optimized site will leave potential customers abandoning your content for your competitors’. With 63 percent of all online traffic in the US coming from mobile devices, it pays to make sure that your content gets into their hands first.

Keep the Focus on Your Patients and Customers

Landing pages and mobile optimization are all very well, but never is empathy more needed than during a crisis. Empathy, though, is more than just soothing words – especially in times of uncertainty. They need actionable information that they can digest quickly.

Use bullet points or subheadings so that people can scan your content easily. Be sure to include visual content in the mix. They can help people remember information much better than text alone – 80 percent of your content, compared to 20 percent of text-only content.

Now isn’t the time for slick ads, unless those ads direct patients and customers to informative content that can drive decisions. During chaotic times, people need keyword-rich, easily scannable content that they can read or watch, easily understand, and share with others who also are dealing with the situation.

Think about what your target customers or patients want to know. Create content around that. Bring in subject matter experts on the content creation process, if possible. The more accurate and detailed your content is, the more helpful you’ll be to them.

Finally, transparency is essential during times of crisis. The more actionable, proactive information you put out can help you avoid the need for extensive reputation management further down the road.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your healthcare company website with timely, high-quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

2 thoughts on “Why Now Is the Time for Healthcare Companies to Step Up Their Content Marketing

  1. These just aren’t great tips for healthcare companies… All companies, entrepreneurs, and affiliates need to make sure they’re following these practices! During the panic, it’s time to focus. It time to be productive more then ever. It’s time to lead and help your audiences, and to give them value. I respect and love this article! Let’s make 2020 great my friend!

    1. Thanks Jon, I agree of course. In this time of global crisis, you could argue that Financial Service and healthcare companies have a particulat opportunity and maybe even a mandate to help their audiences but this is true for all companies as well!

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