Top 5 challenges of building a medical content strategy
According to recent studies, as many as 70,000 healthcare searches are performed every minute.
This number includes both patients and healthcare professionals.
Meticulously planned marketing content strategy for the medical industry based on compelling, relevant, and scientifically sound content allows to attract and, more importantly, retain a clearly defined audience. If done correctly, such a strategy can build trust and turn recipients into loyal customers of your brand. Not to mention other great benefits such as:
- boosting up sales,
- increasing brand awareness,
- improving engagement with your brand
- leading more traffic to your website and improving SEO.
Nonetheless, creating an effective medical content strategy is oftentimes a significant challenge for healthcare companies. Besides facing a limited number of medical copywriters, healthcare companies have to guarantee high-quality content that is both captivating and scientific-based.
After analyzing countless cases of healthcare marketers building their content strategy, we provide you with the five most commonly encountered challenges and solutions on how to overcome them. Get your notebooks ready, and let’s dive in.
Challenge #1 Producing high-quality content
When someone - whether a patient or HCP - visits your website, they usually have a specific reason or goal in mind. They are looking for content that is valuable (meaningful and useful), applicable (relevant to their needs or interests), and unique (not readily found elsewhere). They expect that your website will provide them with such content.
The fundamental challenge posed by the internet lies in its vast pool of data, which can be either meticulously analyzed or misconstrued, potentially resulting in erroneous conclusions. From certified specialists to supposed “experts”, virtually everyone is capable of producing materials concerning health-related issues. Nothing has demonstrated this problem as vividly as the misinformation wave that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consequently, when it comes to content writing for healthcare, the quality of medical information is paramount. Misinformation not only decreases trust in your brand, but more importantly, it can have life-or-death implications for patients.The principal dilemma of the internet is that it offers an unlimited amount of data that can be either correctly examined or misinterpreted, leading to wrong conclusions. Starting from certified specialists to supposed “experts”, everyone is capable of producing materials that concern health-related issues. Nothing has demonstrated this problem as vividly as the misinformation wave that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your company, regardless of its specific focus within the healthcare market, is under the responsibility of providing verified, trustworthy medical information. The only way to achieve that is to base your content on unequivocal evidence.
How can I provide quality content?
To ensure the accuracy and credibility of your content, we strongly recommend adopting the Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) approach. The primary goal of the EBM is to base your claims on scientifically proven knowledge – therapeutic protocols coming from peer-reviewed studies and guidelines of international societies.
In other words, adopting the EBM approach discards individual expertise in favor of the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. As a result, your materials will be backed up by the data collected by specialists from all over the world, enhancing their potential applicability, reliability, and overall trustworthiness for a broader population.
In this industry, mistakes are simply unacceptable. Thanks to EBM, healthcare professionals and doctors will perceive your healthcare brand as a trustworthy and reliable partner. What’s more, if done correctly, a powerful content strategy can also support your performance marketing strategies, such as paid ads. Check out our previous article, where we covered the topic of how to target doctors with Google Ads here.
Challenge #2 Aligning your content with your target audience
Google’s Search’s Helpful Content System underscores the critical importance of creating content that resonates with your specific target audience.
Essentially, the Helpful Content System is a new algorithm update created to recognize and favor websites that produce high-quality content written for people . In other words, Google rewards content that satisfies visitors, providing readers with easily readable and valuable insights. In this view, your medical content strategy only works when it provides real value to the readers. One of the most effective ways to get there is to learn about your audience needs, challenges, and pain points. By gaining this understanding, you're better equipped to discern the motivations driving your target demographic's searches and subsequently assist readers in reaching their objectives.
Who is my target audience?
There is a big difference between creating EBM content for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, or patients. The same topic interests will affect each group differently. Even if the basic introduction remains the same, you should (then) dig deeper into the scope of interests of the specific target group. Therefore, it's crucial to start by pinpointing a specific subgroup you aim to engage with and comprehensively grasp their needs and expectations.
For instance, when it comes to doctors, you may consider including information about the drug's mechanism of action and side effects. In the case of patients, you should focus on applying an ultimately reader-friendly style that makes them more familiar with the health-related topic you’re introducing.
Thus, to make your materials highly engaging for your recipients, you should produce content that is not company-centered but audience-centered. Instead of asking “What do we want to promote?”, you must always ask “Is it relevant to my audience? Does it speak to its needs and wants?”. Segmenting your audience into subgroups will help you achieve such a tremendous goal. Only by aligning your content with your customer's expectations can you fully harness the potential of your content marketing strategies.
As a result, your content will reinforce the solutions you're offering and strengthen the relationship between you and your targeted audience.
Challenge #3 Proving credibility and authority
With healthcare professionals being one of the target groups, you can’t afford to make even the slightest mistake when creating the materials for the medical industry. Thus, the next challenge of building a powerful medical content strategy is creating content that is not only accessible but also authoritative and highly reliable. As we’ve mentioned, the EBM approach turns your materials into trustworthy, up-to-date materials that are in line with the current state of medicine and technology. But where exactly does the strength of EBM lie?
No room for mistakes
The process of preparing an intelligible EBM material of the highest quality includes countless revisions. As you aim to deliver a quality message supported by scientific knowledge and, at the same time, familiar to the recipient, you should allocate extra time for the extensive process of cross-checks. This includes verifying aspects such as: whether the general idea and topic are comprehensively presented, if the article is clear and understandable, if it contains up-to-date information, or if the citations were put correctly in the corresponding paragraphs. Although the EBM approach to medical content writing is a long ride, it is necessary to make your materials reliable and authoritative.
Besides, the EBM approach goes in line with Google’s SEO guidelines. According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG), a well-ranked website should be based on four principles, aka E-E-A-T - Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Taking into account the last three principles, a website is well-ranked when it relies on extensive expertise or accreditation and contains factual content that illuminates the complex topic, consequently providing recipients with a more profound understanding . The first “E”, aka Experience, was introduced in December 2022 [5 ]and entailed some adjustments to the ranking criteria. Since that time, Google has highly valued content that demonstrates some degree of experience, defining it as “first-hand or life experience for the topic.”
For Google, very high E-E-A-T is a distinguishing factor for the Highest quality pages. When a website or content creator is regarded as an authoritative source on a subject, they may be considered to have very high E-E-A-T for topics where experience is the primary factor in trust.
Given that, your medical content must align with these fundamental principles. The most efficient way to get there is to rely on an experienced team of professionals. At Brandmed, we combine practical medical experience with marketing and medical copywriting expertise. Our team of experienced healthcare professionals (including doctors, biotechnologists, medical statisticians), medical content writers, creative designers, and committed marketers will help you build a powerful content strategy for the healthcare industry. Learn more about our successful projects here.
Challenge #4 Keeping your content consistent
A powerful medical content strategy should include a variety of content types to capture audience interest from different angles. It can encompass a wide array of formats, ranging from articles and ebooks to videos, infographics, podcasts, testimonials, and beyond. The key is to ensure that each content type is carefully tailored to align with your audience's specific preferences and interests. According to Xerox, readership rates are 80% higher when their content uses visuals like infographics, charts, color designs, and images . In this view, the combination of different mediums is also absolutely essential!
However, an effective marketing content strategy goes beyond metrics, the simultaneous use of all mediums and content types, or a continuous stream of publications solely for the sake of meeting predetermined targets. Consistency is about keeping your overall message clear, making you relevant, and keeping your audience engaged with a brand.
Properly asked questions will quickly lead you to the right answers about your content strategy, topic list, as well as tone of voice, and content style. Try to think about your concept not only materially but also visually. Lean on outstanding design, visuals, and illustrations that will bring extra value to your brand
Challenge #5 Limited resources
According to the CMI’s research, “87% of content marketers considered “budget limitations” as one of their major challenges ”. This internal obstacle runs parallel to buyers’ ever-growing need for content, particularly for health-related ones.
And with the growing number of Internet users worldwide, this number is expected to continue rising. Thus, how to take full advantage of content marketing while being limited by resources?
Prioritize Quality First
No matter the specificity of limitations you face, you need to prioritize quality over quantity. Doctors and patients have many options when it comes to obtaining health-related information. Thus, if they ultimately come across yours, it has to be impeccable. That means putting your foot forward with higher-quality content – even if it means producing less of it.
Putting things straight - if your content is of low quality, regardless of the number of different channels, you will neither establish your authority nor attract the audience to your brand. Thus, relying on high-quality content is the only effective way to achieve your healthcare marketing goals.
To successfully face the problem of scarce resources, you can also opt for outsourcing. A collaboration with an agency that specializes in communication with healthcare professionals and patients will undoubtedly help you achieve your business objectives. Brandmed services embrace various healthcare business areas. To meet industry demands, we rely on our diverse and devoted team of experienced healthcare professionals (including doctors, biotechnologists, and medical statisticians), creative designers, skillful developers, and committed marketers. Whatever the circumstances, at Brandmed, we strive for the highest quality of our work. Read more about our client-centric approach and the recipe for success in the healthcare market here.
Rely on professionals
Building a medical content strategy is a challenging process that requires a thorough approach to EBM-based content creation, a considerable amount of time and resources, including a team of experienced medical copywriters.
Nevertheless, a powerful marketing content strategy for healthcare is extremely rewarding. It’s an unprecedented opportunity for your business to take advantage of the increasing digital presence of doctors and patients who seek reliable health-related information. Relying on professionals who excel at communicating with HCPs and patients gives you a chance to turn your digital actions into an effective strategy for building trust, increasing brand awareness, and improving customer loyalty through engagement with your brand.
To provide your target audience with high-quality medical content, get support from Brandmed. With more than 7 years of experience in managing digital healthcare, we feel confident in our ability to grow and guide others. Shall we start?
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