Content Topics to Engage the Empowered Healthcare Consumer
Today’s empowered healthcare clients, say researchers, question everything — their potential provider’s standards of care, the technology behind diagnostic methods, and even their prospective physician’s reputation on social networks. They’re thoroughly conversant with online health information websites and interactive symptom-checking tools and won’t hesitate to research a diagnosis online that they don’t quite agree with — and mention it to their doctor. In sum, they’re research-savvy, highly engaged health content consumers, as well as discerning, value-focused patients. Not surprisingly, they’re also less receptive than any previous generation to traditional ads.
According to a recent survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper, although a startling 85% of today’s consumers dismiss information in traditional banner ads as untrustworthy, more than 80% surveyed stated that they trusted the healthcare information that they found online and on social media feeds. Want to reach an empowered and highly skeptical audience? Focus on developing content that healthcare consumers are already engaging with online.
Here are three trends to take advantage of:
Consumers are researching self-care
Hospitals aren’t just for “sick care,” but your audience might not be attuned to that message yet. Don’t let your content marketing campaign skew exclusively towards promoting medical help. Illustrate self-directed, everyday wellness strategies and present your provider’s services – from consumer education to preventative care – as a support system for a healthy lifestyle.
Consumers are sharing concerns about health care service quality on social media
Employ patient-centered storytelling as a key component in your campaign. Use your social platforms to showcase user-generated content such as video and personal posts which lend a level of authenticity that can’t be produced in a studio. Sharing “real life” stories of exceptional care delivery as a part of your social presence not only underscores your health system’s resources, but it also may serve as a launch point for new social conversations around brand values.
Consumers are thinking about longevity
Consumers as young as millennials are thinking about longevity.
Present your audience with free educational resources which emphasize your provider’s ability to serve their needs with personalized care plans. Create content that helps guide your consumer in developing their particular vision of longevity and use social media to highlight “success” stories of patients thriving during various stages of life.
Drawing inspiration from what healthcare consumers have top-of-mind, start building your content with these guidelines in mind:
1. Tell the stories behind the data
Use storytelling to humanize your provider’s positive data on patient care. Make it clear that your most inspiring story is one of many others illustrating your system’s commitment to excellence. Don’t rely solely on great statistics or an emotional undercurrent (however strong) to inspire lasting engagement. View an Emmy-winning social video from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children that uses a moving narrative to highlight the brand’s emphasis on patient experience here.
2. Relate stories that teach
Knowing that your consumers are researching self-care and longevity topics online means an opportunity to make your provider’s homepage their source for answers. Present content that offers high-value information in an engaging format, using first-person stories (“how I use portion control in my diabetes care plan”) where appropriate. Find another great example from The Shepherd Center in Atlanta here.
3. Create content for an audience, not a customer.
Although your audience is composed of potential patients, your content shouldn’t overtly focus on a CTA. Consumers push back against overt sales tactics in branded content, so give them a sampling of the information that they’re looking for first, and then offer a “reward” for further engagement with your brand such as access to a free podcast or an ebook. The Mayo Clinic blog uses first-person accounts along with links to educational resources to engage readers and drive them to a CTA that seems natural within the story’s context.
The bottom line
Your content, like your brand, is uniquely valuable to your audience. We can help you craft multi-platform content that informs, engages and inspires. Connect with us to book a free consultation.