2020 Changes to Healthcare Content Marketing Affecting the Future
COVID-19 shifted the ways brands marketed their products and services during the pandemic, and the healthcare industry is no exception. Most healthcare marketers froze their current medical digital marketing plans and began pushing coronavirus prevention, symptoms, and testing content. When this global healthcare crisis subsides, marketing teams will have to reevaluate their old marketing strategies and make changes based on the post-COVID-19 world. So, our team collected some changes to healthcare marketing that emerged during the last few months and offered ideas to strengthen medical content marketing strategies.
Exude Brand Empathy
Empathy is a powerful emotion. It helps doctors and nurses connect with patients, and helps current and potential patients establish trust with a healthcare brand. Brand empathy has come to the forefront of all marketing strategies throughout the pandemic. Eighty-one percent of people said they need to trust a brand before doing business with them, and the healthcare industry is no different. When it comes to caring for your patients beyond medical intervention, the human connection makes a difference.
Recognize your patients’ pain points (not just their physical ones), validate them, address them, and never dismiss them. For a parent, it could be how to protect their child from HPV. For couples, it could be how your medical practice allows partners to advocate for each other. For individuals that care for their elderly parents, it could be how to keep their parents comfortable.
Whether you’re advertising your hospital and your incredible medical staff or a new medical procedure that relieves chronic pain, make sure empathy is at the core of your communication. Not sure how to communicate empathy on your various channels? Here are a few suggestions on how to humanize your content.
Be Transparent & Vulnerable
Vulnerability and transparency are the foundation for establishing strong relationships with your audience, especially when they are afraid and uncertain of the “new normal” they are facing.
Combine your marketing message with consumers’ desire for transparency and vulnerability to create empowering and meaningful content that offers people peace of mind and instills a sense of community. Being transparent and vulnerable shows empathy by demonstrating that you understand your patients’ fears and that you are here to walk with them through this journey.
Leverage Patient Stories
Quarantine, lockdowns, and the isolation created by COVID-19 have left people yearning for connection. This need for human interaction is why user-generated content (UGC) is the perfect way to reach patients with post-COVID-19 content marketing.
The best way to promote this connection is through storytelling. Let patients tell their stories. A glimpse into their lives, their interactions with your medical staff, and their outcomes told authentically will do wonders for your content strategy. Remember that storytelling should be about the end consumers and not about the organization, product, or service you’re promoting.
It’s also essential to figure out how to tell the story respectfully. Some patients may need guidance to translate their thoughts into words, while others will feel comfortable crafting their own experience. Work with patients who volunteer to become advocates to reveal their journey and inspire others to find the help they need.
Intertwine personal touch within your general clinical information to improve your brand’s digital marketing engagement and user trust. Let your brand bridge the gap between the human connection that most of your followers are experiencing.
Diversify Your Content Strategy
In today’s content-driven world, communicating solely through the written word is no longer enough. You want to make sure you’re reaching your audience with the kind of content they’re looking for.
If you operate a pediatric facility, your patients’ parents are most likely on Facebook, and videos are the best type of content for this social network, gaining 59% more engagement than other post types. If you operate an urgent care center that’s trying to promote quick and affordable treatment for college students, you’ll want to invest time in curating attention-grabbing stories for Instagram.
It may seem daunting having to create dozens of different content pieces for each channel and target audience, but repurposing content lets you make the most of every marketing dollar and time spent on creation. Do you produce a great blog on your website with useful health information? Try translating that information into an engaging video. Does your healthcare organization have a podcast? Turn the key points of your episode into a fun infographic.
Diversify your content strategy and reach more members of your target audience in a way that is attractive and convenient for them.
“Content marketing builds trust among consumers, especially in healthcare. Now, more than ever, consumers are turning to the experts for guidance through the COVID-19 pandemic. Using content marketing, you will build trust and be seen as a thought leader in the industry. Utilizing video and infographics on your site are great snackable pieces of content for users to consume. Educational videos, patient testimonials, and behind-the-scenes videos are great additions to your strategy. Keeping your content relevant and updated will increase your rankings on search engines as well.”Evok’s Account Manager and Healthcare Marketing Specialist, Kelly Sanders
As your marketing team begins to reevaluate your marketing campaigns and strategies, take the time to ensure your creative messaging is appropriate for the reality we are living in. Stay empathetic, build trust, and make sure what was once a clever pun does not sound offensive or insensitive in the wake of the crisis we are all enduring.