More and more, dermatologists and other medical professionals depend on content marketing to attract new patients. Great content can help these practitioners get found online, express the benefits of their services to prospective patients, demonstrate expertise, and build trust.
While most medical professionals understand the benefits of content marketing, developing content isn’t always their strong suit.
Don’t worry! This article explains everything dermatologists and other healthcare practitioners need to know to create compelling content prospective patients will act on.
Content Marketing for Medical Professionals: The Basics
Engaging your audience is central to content marketing success. Genuinely engaging with people requires writing about things they care about, which may not be what you inherently want to communicate. Dermatologists and other doctors are often most comfortable talking about treatments. Patients may care about those treatments, but only after you make it clear that you understand their condition and how they feel about it.
Empathy is key. When you write for prospective patients, you must empathize with — and think — like them. You can’t write or talk AT them. You must communicate WITH them. When you do, they’ll be more likely to connect with your content and take action on it by making an appointment to meet with you.
Here are some ways to create actionable content.
Capture Eyeballs with a Compelling Headline
Most people won’t check out content named after a skin condition, especially if they don’t know what it is or whether they have it. That’s why you must create headlines and titles that are meaningful to your audience.
Your headline or title is the first – and sometimes only – chance you’ll get to grab someone’s attention. A compelling title can make all the difference between getting someone to take the time to read or view your content or them moving on to something else.
Here are some elements of an engaging headline:
It must be attention-grabbing. Social media and the internet are chock-full of great content with headlines, titles, and positioning designed to be clickbait. Always think about why you created the content and figure out why your audience should care about it. Are you offering news of a long-awaited medical breakthrough? Maybe you’re providing actionable tips to cure a skin condition. Perhaps it’s a checklist to help people determine if they have a health-related issue you can help with. Include these points in your headline or title to explain why someone must read or view your piece. If you can’t figure this out, it could be time to rethink your content.
It must be relevant. Creating great headlines that don’t fully reflect your content is a major mistake. You risk losing the reader’s or viewer’s trust once they realize they’ve been misled. It’s unlikely they’ll ever trust you again, which is a terrible thing for your practice.
It must be clear. A headline that’s unclear or hard to understand will likely be passed over. You have a fragment of a second for people to decide whether they want to read or view your pieces. Be specific and concise. Remove filler words and jargon. If your content includes steps or a list, set expectations by putting the number right in the title.
It must be scalable. People consume content anywhere and everywhere. Consider whether a busy person will be able to “get” your headline at a glance on a smartphone screen.
Have a Specific Patient in Mind
Content should be more like a conversation than a declaration.
When you develop content with a specific person in mind, you create a personal connection that makes it more likely readers, viewers, and listeners will pay attention and respond.
Here are a few tips for creating content for a specific type of reader or viewer:
Picture an actual patient. While researching and writing, think about someone you’ve treated. It will make your content more real, specific, and relatable.
Use personal pronouns. Pronouns such as I, we, you, me, and us makes the content feel more personal and conversational.
Make it Easy to Read, View, or Listen
There are lots of content choices available, especially in the healthcare profession. If your material isn’t simple to get through, people will move on.
Here are some recommendations for developing digestible content.
Focus on short sentences, paragraphs, sections, and chapters. Nothing is more daunting than a huge paragraph, multi-page article, or hour-long video or podcast, especially on a smartphone. Present content in easy-to-consume bits.
Use bullet points or numbers when possible. If you are conveying a series of related ideas, try formatting them in a bulleted or numbered list. Lists are easy for people to scan and understand.
Use simple words and language. Most of the people engaging with your content aren’t healthcare workers. Use words and terms they’ll understand. Your messaging and tone in your content should be similar to how you’d speak to a patient in person.
Spotlight critical information. Use formatting like pull quotes or bold text to emphasize the most important information for the reader – especially things that will encourage them to take action. Putting words on the screen can accomplish something similar in videos.
Employ the Active Voice
Using the active voice makes your content more engaging and understandable – it also makes you seem more authoritative, which helps to earn your audience’s attention and trust.
To encourage your audience to act, you must make it clear what action you want them to take. Because active voice is by its nature more action-oriented, it’s better suited to content marketing than passive voice, which can make the action seem optional.
If you have issues writing in an active voice, the writing tool Grammarly can help you identify areas where you’re falling into a passive voice.
Add Visual Flair
People today are more likely to consume and understand things presented in visual form. Leverage images, diagrams, infographics, charts, and animations in your written and video content whenever possible. Visuals should culminate in the action you want prospective patients to take.
Ensure that visuals are clear, relatable, and support your message. Test them with your patients to ensure they enhance their experience with your content. Change or eliminate anything they don’t latch onto immediately.
Make it Urgent
You don’t want prospective patients to make an appointment to see you at some undefined point in the future (or merely consider it). You want them to do it NOW. Otherwise, they’ll get busy or distracted and possibly forget about you.
Create urgency by explaining the consequences of not acting. This is usually easy for dermatologists and other medical professionals, as many skin issues get worse without swift intervention. Lay out what could happen if someone doesn’t take immediate steps to seek out help for their condition.
Healthcare Content: The Bottom Line
Healthcare content marketing that pulls in prospective patients must engage its audience and compel them to act. By following the six tips outlined above, you will be able to expand your patient base and grow your practice.