Healthcare Content Marketing: How to Educate, Engage, and Convert Patients

A tablet representing healthcare content marketing
A tablet representing healthcare content marketing

Every minute of the day, 70,000 people search Google for health-related topics, and more than half of all adults in the U.S. use the Internet to look up health and wellness information. 

For any organization or practice providing healthcare services, these statistics point to an incredible opportunity. If you can capture the attention of people who meet your target patient or customer profile, you can turn those searches into growth.

Healthcare content marketing is the way to harness the power of the Internet to benefit your business — and in the 21st century, content marketing is vital to the success of any business working in the health and wellness space, including primary and preventative healthcare providers, specialty health services, elder care, alternative and complementary medical and wellness therapies, and digital healthcare solutions like mobile app development.

Simply put, healthcare content marketing is the process of creating engaging, helpful, and authoritative content that's useful to your target audience. When properly optimized for the search engines, healthcare content can reach a wide, interested audience — and drive conversions.

So how do you successfully add content marketing to your overall health and wellness marketing strategy? In this post, we’ll explain what you need to know to get started and tell you how Stretch Creative can help every step of the way.

The benefits of healthcare content marketing

Your current and prospective patients or customers are likely already using the Internet to research medical topics, healthcare providers, and wellness products in the areas you serve. Healthcare content marketing is your way to reach them, provide the answers they're searching for, and encourage them to contact you to learn more or seek treatment.

A successful healthcare content marketing strategy:

  • Establishes your expertise: Consistently delivering authoritative, helpful content shows that you’re an expert in your specialty and builds trust with both prospective and current patients and customers.
  • Increases patient engagement: Each time an existing patient interacts with your content online, you strengthen your relationship with them and can encourage them to take a more active role in promoting their own health and well-being. 
  • Boost patient satisfaction: Patients who can conveniently find answers to their questions on your website are more likely to remain loyal and continue turning to you for their health and wellness needs.
  • Reduces patient anxiety: Many people put off seeking treatment for symptoms due to fear of the unknown. When written in a positive tone, health and wellness content can help ease anxiety and encourage patients to obtain care. 
  • Generates leads: Whether you’re a tele-health practice serving a nationwide audience or a local provider, healthcare content marketing with a strong call to action helps you capture new patients or customers.
  • Sets you apart: High quality healthcare content differentiates you from competitors and helps you grow your market share.

Golden rules for creating effective healthcare content

Successful healthcare content marketing starts with great content. To produce effective content, keep the following rules in mind.

Prioritize quality

Maintaining consistent quality is essential when producing healthcare content. Not only will quality content foster trust and help you build relationships with your audience, but it will also aid your healthcare SEO strategy. 

If you’re not familiar with SEO for healthcare, don’t worry. We’ll discuss what it is and why it matters in a minute.

Deliver useful information

Effective healthcare content satisfies a need for your audience. 

When determining what’s useful, put yourself in your audience's shoes. What do they want to know? What are their goals? What are their biggest challenges? Answering these questions can help you pinpoint topic areas to focus on as you start creating content.

To help you start brainstorming ideas, here's what helpful content can do:

  • Educate users about medical devices with step-by-step instructions
  • Explain the risks and benefits of certain medications or procedures
  • Reduce mental health stigma by explaining the causes, symptoms, and treatments for mental illnesses
  • Demystify vitamins and nutritional supplements by breaking down what the science says
  • Promote preventative health practices by highlighting the importance of lifestyle, regular checkups, and health screenings
  • Correct misinformation and misconceptions about nutrition, supplements, medical conditions, holistic health, vaccines, and other areas of concern by providing authoritative facts
  • Simplify the findings of the latest medical research by explaining what studies touted by the media actually mean
  • Support decision-making related to elderly care by exploring options
  • Remove fear of the unknown by explaining just what to expect during a diagnostic test or procedure

Speak in your audience’s language

If you’re a business-to-consumer health and wellness organization, most members of your audience won’t be experts in your field, so it’s important to speak to them in a way they can easily understand. To make your content approachable and appealing, explain complex medical terms in the simplest way possible — and use examples and metaphors to make content more digestible and relatable. 

Tailor your content to the demographics and needs of your audience. For example, blog content in the pediatric healthcare space would be geared toward parents who are looking for answers, while memory care topics would be written for families who need to make decisions regarding care for their aging loved ones.

Diversify your content

A strong healthcare content marketing strategy incorporates many types of content, including:

  • Blog posts and articles
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Downloadable content like checklists and templates
  • Interactive tools like calculators

A variety of content types helps you to reach a broader audience, and when the content is authentically helpful, it improves the chances that people will share your content through social media and help you reach even more potential leads.

Keep things evergreen

Evergreen content retains its relevance and usefulness over time. It’s not tied to current events, a particular season, or a certain year, so people can discover and benefit from it both now and years in the future.

Of course, health and wellness research is ongoing, and as we learn more about various conditions, medical practices, and available treatments, what started off as evergreen content may become outdated down the road. That’s why it’s important to revisit your content periodically and update the information based on the latest science and standards.

Employ the hub-and-spoke strategy

As you plan your content, use the hub-and-spoke strategy. With this approach, you create main topics (hubs) and then break the topics down into related subtopics (spokes).

To understand how it works, consider this example. You want to create content for your urgent care clinic, and the most common conditions that you treat are:

  • Ear infections
  • Pink eye
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Skin rashes
  • Urinary tract infections

Each of these conditions could serve as a content hub. You could create a main article, such as “What is a UTI?” or “7 Common Skin Rashes and What to Do About Them” to get started. 

Then, you would develop spoke content for each hub. For your UTI hub, you might cover topics like:

  • How do I know if I have a UTI?
  • Does cranberry juice cure a UTI?
  • What is the best treatment for a UTI?
  • What makes a UTI worse?
  • How do you know if a UTI has spread to your kidneys?

In the end, you would have five hubs that branch out into many related spokes, all of which provide useful, authoritative content for your audience — and cover the most commonly searched keywords surrounding that topic.

Make your content snackable

When people search for information on the Internet, they want to find it quickly and then continue on their way. In other words, they want to grab a quick snack, not sit down for a full-course meal — and your content needs to satisfy their hunger for fast and simple — yet engaging and factually accurate — answers.

To produce snackable content:

  • Use short paragraphs of two to three sentences each to make content approachable.
  • Break up the content with headings and subheadings to make it easier to scan.
  • Organize information in bullet points or infographics to make it easier to digest.
  • Share links to related content for those who want to dig deeper into the topic.

Use multiple channels

Once you have effective content, make it available on multiple channels to help you reach a wider audience. Publish your content:

  • On your website or blog
  • On your social media platforms
  • Via email marketing campaigns
  • Through influencers related to your niche
  • Via media partners and advertisers

Include a call to action

Wrap up your content with a call to action that encourages your audience to do something — schedule an appointment, join a mailing list, sign up for a tour of a memory care facility, or (in the case of social media) like and subscribe.

SEO for healthcare and wellness content

Medical SEO, or search engine optimization, goes hand-in-hand with an effective healthcare marketing strategy. SEO is the practice of making your content appealing to search engine algorithms so that it appears as close as possible to the top of the first page of results — most people don't look beyond the top five results when searching online.

To factor SEO into your healthcare marketing strategy, follow these tips.

Remember E-E-A-T

When determining which sites to place highest on the search results page, Google rewards content that follows the E-E-A-T principle:

  • Experience: How much hands-on or first-hand experience the author of the content has relevant to the topic
  • Expertise: Whether the creator of the content is an expert in the field
  • Authoritative: Whether the content provides original, in-depth information and context versus simply rewriting what's already out there
  • Trustworthy: How accurate and factual the information is

To showcase your experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, consider having medical experts write or review the content you post. A byline goes a long way toward showing the search engines — and your audience — that the content was produced by a human with experience or expertise in the topic.

Integrate keywords naturally

Keywords are an essential part of SEO content marketing for healthcare. When you use words and phrases that people are searching for, you increase your chances of showing up in the search results. 

It’s important to work keywords into the text naturally — readers shouldn’t even realize they’re there. Creating awkward sentences or stuffing a list of keywords into a paragraph can make your content less readable — and the search engines will probably penalize you for it.

Another way that search engines evaluate content is by seeing how many other high quality sites link to yours. 

Some backlinks happen organically. If you distribute genuinely helpful and authoritative content through multiple channels, others may stumble upon it and share it on their own channels. 

You can also take a proactive approach to backlink building:

  • Send press releases to media organizations, which may write a related story and link to your site
  • Search for websites with broken links that fit your topic and then contacting the site owner and recommending they link to your content instead
  • Write guest blogs for sites your audience may use frequently
  • Sign up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and responding to requests for assistance from medical professionals in your niche

Go local when applicable

If your health and wellness business needs to attract an audience within a certain geographic area, local SEO is the way to go. Local SEO involves adding your city or region to your list of keywords and naturally working them into your content. 

For example, you might say something like, “If you’re looking for a studio in Brooklyn, New York, to help you further your meditation and yoga practice, check out our schedule of upcoming classes.”

Make your site user-friendly

How long visitors remain on your website is another metric that contributes to your overall search engine ranking. An easy-to-navigate website helps encourage visitors to stay on your pages longer, which is one way the engines determine how useful your site is. 

Internal linking is another important part of a user-friendly website design — and the hub-and-spoke model for healthcare content makes adding relevant links easy. Since you’ll be writing on a host of related topics, you can naturally work relevant internal links into the text to encourage further reading.

Video marketing in healthcare

Healthcare video marketing provides an opportunity to engage, educate, and inform the public about health-related issues. Videos help you build trust, authority, and loyalty by putting a friendly face to your practice or business.

The golden rules outlined above apply to videos as well as written content like blog posts and articles, and there are a few more best practices to keep in mind for healthcare video production and distribution, including the following.

Create different types of video content

A well-rounded healthcare video marketing strategy includes a variety of content types, including:

  • Explainers that quickly share facts and reliable information
  • Testimonials that allow your audience to see and hear how your services or products have benefited others
  • Interviews with members of your organization or other people with relevant expertise
  • Webinars that provide in-depth content on a particular topic
  • How-tos for everything from making lifestyle changes to using medical devices
  • Q&A sessions that provide answers to frequently asked questions from your target audience
  • Service promos that explain to your audience how you can help them and what to expect during a specific test or treatment

Keep things brief

The shorter your video, the more likely the viewer is to watch the whole thing and seek out more content from you. Brief videos tend to be the preferred format for many social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, where people want to receive quick, bite-sized bits of information while they scroll.

Be yourself

When you’re the star of your videos, relax and be yourself. Prospective patients, clients, and customers want to get to know the real you, and when you come across as genuine, you can begin building a relationship the moment your video starts. Your audience will feel like they already know and trust you — and they'll be more likely to heed your call to action.

Organize your content

When posting videos on YouTube, create clear titles that let viewers know what to expect when they watch. As your video library grows, make playlists that group related videos together for easy viewing. You can also create playlists of specific video types, such as testimonials or Q&As.

Stretch can help you scale your healthcare content marketing strategy

By now, you’re probably thinking all of this sounds great — but wondering when and how you're supposed to find the time to create all this engaging content. 

Healthcare content marketing does require a major investment in time, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the work yourself. You can hire an in-house team, contract with freelancers content creators, or enlist the services of a creative content agency like Stretch Creative.

The benefits of working with an agency vs. staffing an in-house team or hiring a bevy of freelancers include:

  • Speed: Hiring a creative content agency eliminates the need to interview, hire, onboard and train new employees, so you can begin producing content faster.
  • Cost: Working with a content agency means you don't have to bear the costs of hiring, onboarding, and compensating employees.
  • Expertise: A quality creative content agency has the in-depth knowledge and human resources needed to develop and implement an effective healthcare content marketing strategy
  • Ease: A creative content company does all the work for you behind the scenes, so all you have to do is load it up and hit "publish."

Stretch Creative is more than a healthcare SEO agency. We specialize in producing authentically helpful content that performs the way you want it to. We have a roster of experienced medical and wellness writers — as well as medical professionals and SMEs who can write or review your content. We've helped health and wellness businesses from a diverse range of specialties and focus areas develop forward-thinking, effective content. 

Healthcare content marketing can help drive the success of your business — and we’re here to give you the keys! Contact us today to learn how we can help you increase traffic and conversions with helpful, engaging health and wellness content.


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