How to make people read your articles?
In the digital era, written text faces fierce competition. How to create high-quality medical content that captures readers’ attention?
In the digital era where images and short videos dominate, capturing and retaining the attention of healthcare target audiences can be a tremendous challenge. With short video clips ruling social media, we tend to scan and look for content that interests us instead of reading extensively.
Nevertheless, written text is still one of the most popular content formats among many industries, including healthcare. How to write medical content that grabs attention while giving value? Delve into the article and discover proven tips from medical content creation experts for delivering high-quality articles.
Fundamental truth: people's online reading habits have transformed significantly since the digital era began. Studies have shown that online readers tend to skim through content rather than read it in a linear fashion . Rather than absorbing every word, they scan the entire piece, looking for specific parts that pique their interest. This behavior has significant implications for how we should approach creating digital content.
To begin with, a crucial step in preparing any online article is to identify and understand our target audience. As Thomas Jefferson wisely stated: “Knowledge is power”. Knowing your readers and understanding their preferences and needs are paramount to creating a blog or any digital medical content that will truly resonate with them. By catering to their interests, we can craft narratives that meet their expectations and deliver valuable information. As they want to quickly extract the most relevant information and move on, it is essential to structure our content in a way that facilitates easy navigation and information retrieval. But what if there is another option?
Write, engage, build a community
According to the annual Wearesocial and Hootsuite report, content audiences choose visual social media more often than their written counterparts . With visuals trying to dethrone written communication, we must be ready to put in the effort and ensure that words continue to hold value as a form of online communication. What we can learn from social media popularity?
First and foremost, the growth of social media emphasizes the importance of community, even in our digitally connected world. This truth can be translated into our approach to writing articles.
It is crucial to be mindful of our target audience and know it inside out. Understanding who we are writing for allows us to tailor our content to resonate with them effectively. Language plays a pivotal role in this process, as using language that suits our specific audience can greatly enhance engagement and connection. Some target groups, such as healthcare professionals, are accustomed to specific language styles and tones of communication with pharma. At the same time, it’s essential to choose the right style of writing, depending on the purpose of your text. Is your content addressed to professionals or laymen? Is it a formal document or a casual leaflet? What media are you using to distribute it?
Brandmed's example: When communicating with healthcare professionals in a formal setting, it is important to use medical terminology and formal language in a direct and matter-of-fact manner. However, it is crucial not to overcomplicate your language by using complex sentence structures or flowery expressions. While they may look impressive, such writing styles can hinder the clear perception of your ideas, even among highly educated readers. Concise and straightforward language is often more effective in conveying information to this audience.
Persistence yields results
In today's digital age, it's not just about the time we invest in working on our medical content creation, but rather how effectively we use that time. Continuous development of skills and knowledge about our target market is the key to success in the ever-evolving online landscape. If we want to design content that supports our goal, we must pay attention and write using dedicated tools. Thorough scanning is the primary method to process information online. The amount of time users are willing to spend reading depends on four factors: level of motivation, type of task, level of focus, and personal characteristics . How can we use those factors to our advantage while writing?
Use clear, noticeable headings and subheadings
There is nothing more discouraging than a linear text without clear headings. In the scanning era, a wall of text without proper organization can discourage readers from delving deeper into your content. Clearly defined headings and subheadings help readers grasp the main points quickly and navigate the information more efficiently. Organizing content in a well-thought-out manner is crucial as customers seek easily digestible and well-structured content.
Place information upfront
The organization of your content is essential. Subheadings and links allow people to understand the message quickly while scanning “front-load” information. One may think that hiding the title-relevant information in the depths of a paragraph encourages engagement. However, this practice often results in the opposite. Consuming an entire piece to find what we are looking for can be daunting. Recipients might feel overwhelmed and tired of searching for the specific information they are interested in and even abandon the piece before finishing it.
Employ formatting techniques like bulleted lists and bold text
Allow the eyes to focus on the most critical information. Sometimes it might seem impossible to find information among columns of words in blog articles. Proper formatting, bolding the most important parts, and making lists may help attract readers’ attention. A well-formatted blog adds professionalism and encourages readers to return for more.
Use plain language
Keep the content concise and clear. Don’t try to make it poetic or bookish. Simplicity works. Making your medical content straightforward should be your primary goal. As complex as your article's theme may be, making it easy to read shows you know the subject well. As a professional and an expert, you should be able to articulate your thoughts clearly and comprehensively.
Make it quick to read
Consider the reading habits of your audience and aim for a length that suits their preferences. According to Medium analysis, the average time to read the Most Recommended Articles is 7.3 minutes. The average reading speed of an adult is 275 WPM (words per minute) . Both pieces of information together give us a secret formula - about 2100 words per article. Can it be that simple? As with everything in life, it all depends. However, the ideal article length can vary depending on the theme, target audience, and complexity of the topic. Generally, avoid writing texts longer than 5000 words to keep readers engaged.
Medicine: difficult topics need clear explanations
Medical content writing is more complex than any other type of copywriting. Here, words have precise definitions; thus, their usage is far more restricted. You must pay close attention to what you write and possess an excellent command of the language and terms you use. Medical terminology can be confusing and sound exotic to an unfamiliar reader; it is your responsibility to present complex medical concepts understandably and logically. Without proper knowledge of the industry, you may end up delivering unsuitable or inaccurate content to your readers. Tackling medical writing takes time, but it is time well spent.
Ask PubMED or Google Scholar
Excellence in medical content writing means staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the medical industry. As a medical content creator, you are obligated to follow scientific reports daily. Never assume you know something for certain. It is better to verify information using multiple sources than to make a premature claim and be wrong.
Relying on Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) is crucial for maintaining your readers' trust. Get your mind around the topic you are working on, and always check information on PubMed, Google Scholar, or other platforms for medical researchers. Double-checking and verifying information demonstrate professionalism and a commitment to delivering reliable content. Because if you lose your credibility by publishing information that isn’t Evidence-Based, most likely, your audience will not look for information on your blog next time.
Be specific when it comes to references
You found scientific articles that suit your topic. Great – what’s next? Some people may say that referencing isn't important, but they are wrong. Proper referencing should become a habit, but try to make it clear and straightforward. Use numbered forms so the reader can easily refer to the work from your bibliography. While forming your citation list, use the same style across all your citations. It shows that you know what you are doing, and that you have prepared your article professionally.
Medical content writing requires a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology, accuracy in information, and commitment to evidence-based practices. Stay up-to-date with the latest research, verify information from reliable sources, and implement proper referencing to maintain the credibility and trust of your readers. Remember that medical knowledge is complex, and this complex nature needs to be respected.
Take time, work smart
Creating plain words in the “visual era” may seem to be of little value. However, this perception couldn't be further from the truth. People - both healthcare professionals and patients - are constantly seeking information to broaden their knowledge, but they are also looking for efficiency in their search.
Investing in high-quality medical content writing and developing your blog will undoubtedly yield positive outcomes. Need any help? To provide your target audience with high-quality medical content, it can be beneficial to work with a team that specializes in communication with digital doctors and patients.
Brandmed is a full-digital agency focused on health-related brands. Our clients trusted us to build and scale their brands while creating, developing, managing, and executing marketing strategies and digital products to maximize business efficiencies. Shall we start?
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 Carter A. C, Houle Sherilyn K.D., Evidence-Based Medicine: An Overview for Pharmacists, Editor(s): Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, Encyclopedia of Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy, Elsevier, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-812735-3.00714-7.
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