The healthcare industry today covers a huge range of businesses from healthcare providers to manufacturers of medical devices.

An area that is evolving rapidly is digital health. The sheer scale of new devices, systems and changes in how healthcare is offered, is gathering pace.

Many potential customers turn to the internet before they reach out to a professional clinician or make a health-related purchase. Google receives over one billion health-related searches every day, according to their Health Vice President, David Feinberg, MD.

These searches cover everything from health conditions, medicines, symptoms, devices and insurance. So, the potential is there to create hugely successful digital marketing campaigns.

That said, content marketing within the digital health industry does have its challenges. Businesses have a responsibility to provide quality content that is accurate and trustworthy. As well as this, it needs to be interesting and engaging.

This post looks at five ways to successful digital health content marketing.

Know your audience

A recent report by Zenith Media shows how spending in the global healthcare market is changing. There has been a gradual decline in television advertising spend since 2018, with healthcare companies moving to the internet.

The report highlights the many opportunities for healthcare brands to reach out to potential customers. The prospect of offering a solution to whatever problem is being searched for is ever-present.

It is vital then, to know the type of questions and problems your audience has. As well as simply listening to your customers, you can use a tool such as Google Trends to see what people are searching for in digital healthcare.

Following changes in patient demographics can also provide you with valuable content marketing information. For example, the transformation of the ageing population in recent years. This global situation is pushing the care industry to evolve to meet the needs of this growing sector.

Treatment of health conditions has been slowly moving to prevention with an emphasis on keeping fit and healthy. Technology has a big part to play with devices such as wearables that keep track of fitness levels.

Many people have bought into this approach. In Deloitte’s recent 2020 Global Healthcare Outlook analysis, they report that patients now demand transparency, convenience, access and personalised products and services.

So, a digital health business that understands its audience’s needs is in a much better position to stay ahead of its competitors.

Connect with your audience

Providing content that your audience can relate to will allow you to connect on a human level. As in any other business, stories from actual patients or customers will give the most pertinent content.

People love the ‘real-life’ aspect of a case study and will often put their trust in others’ opinions of the service or product.

Interactive content which is currently popular is another way to connect with your audience. Some companies make use of the question/answer format, such as a quiz.  The Arthritis Society has used Survey Monkey to promote awareness of digital health.

Quizzes can also be used to raise awareness of medical conditions, devices or apps, for example.

Also, chat-bots, polls and even bite-size snippets of useful information can keep your audience feeling involved.

As well as helping to connect with your audience, these strategies will also provide valuable marketing information.

Tailor your content

Whatever content you produce should be tailored to meet the need of your audience. Depending on factors such as age and gender, for example, you should consider what will be most useful.

Conducting research to produce the type of content your audience is looking for is key to success.

Tools such as Buzzsumo will help you to find content ideas. Type in the particular term you want to produce content around. This tool will show the most popular content in that niche.

Another tool you can use to find popular content, ideas and keywords, is Ubersuggest.

 As well as this, both of these tools will show you an abundance of other useful information. Things such as social shares, cost per click and how easy a keyword is to rank for. Both tools have paid and free versions.

Distribute and repurpose your content

Distributing and repurposing your content is equally, if not more important than the actual creation of it. After all, what good is an amazing piece of content if nobody sees it?

If you post a blog once, share it once on a couple of social media channels and then think your job is done, think again!

According to Buffer, there is a case for reposting more than once. Things such as hitting different time-zones, reframing the post by highlighting small excerpts and testing out alternative headlines, can bring extra traffic and sales.

Posting your article a couple of times a week for the first three weeks will allow it to reach more people.

Also, sharing it more than once or twice on your social media channels is a good idea, too. A simple link to the whole post should be your first step, shared a couple of times in week one. Then, highlights from the post can be shared in weeks two and three using relevant plug-ins, such as click-to-tweet or highlight and share.

Repurposing your content is an excellent strategy to ensure it gets maximum exposure. So, a blog post could be turned into a video or vice versa, thereby reaching different sections of your audience.

Also, all of your blog posts should be updated regularly to make sure the information is relevant and accurate.

Overcome challenges

There are always challenges to consider in any content marketing strategy and digital health is no different. Initially, there’s the question of accurate information. Any advice concerning a person’s health and wellbeing needs to be factually correct.

This is more important than ever since customers today are more knowledgeable concerning their health issues.

As such, building a trustworthy reputation will help your audience to believe in the information you provide. However, you still need your content to be relatable.

While qualified clinicians can produce factual content, it may not hit the mark if it contains too much medical jargon. One way around this is to have complex content written up by a specialist content writer and then reviewed by a qualified medical expert before it is uploaded.

Another challenge may be the cost attached to a content marketing strategy. Some businesses may not be willing to invest in something they feel might not be worth it.

Analysing marketing efforts from the beginning so any gains can be spotted immediately, will help reinforce the need for content marketing. Identifying what works and what doesn’t will maximise your ROI (return on investment).

Final Thoughts

In today’s ever-increasing digitally empowered society it is vital to produce useful content, especially within the health industry.

As such, the old approach of 500-word regurgitated blog posts stuffed with keywords, no longer work. These types of posts will damage your efforts at content marketing.

Instead, identify your ideal audience and keep their needs in mind whichever type of content you produce. If you can answer user’s questions, solve their problems and provide accurate, useful content, you’ll be well on your way to successful digital health content marketing.

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