Content is the focal point of all inbound or online marketing, that much is a given. Within the broad category of content marketing are many subdivisions or niches. This is especially true when it comes to content for a medical clinic’s website. The website, like the clinic staff itself must bridge two significant and at times seemingly opposing horizons. On one horizon, you have the desire to portray professionalism, competency and the state of the art, thought leadership. On the other side, medical content marketing and marketers must also be careful to convey those very items in a very personal and warm manner. One might call this professional sounding content development with bedside manner! Bridging the gap between the two presents some unique considerations that must be taken into account for those tasked with doing medical content marketing including:
- Physicians are busy….and focused. The thinking might be, “Marketing is not really needed, our site simply needs to get across that we’re competent, professional, well managed and fully staffed…and accept all forms of insurance.” All of that might be (and hopefully is!) true, but for most of the online, searching public it’s also a given. Of course a Physician is professional and runs a well managed office. Medical content marketing aims to elaborate on those core competencies in a way that might show how this particular clinic accomplishes the above items. This is where the concept of the clinic brand might come across.
- The challenge of terminology. Medical Content marketing terminology itself is normally highly developed, sophisticated and specialized. Within some industries it may be appropriate to speak in general terms without elucidation. But for the most part, a medical website cannot take that approach. One cannot simply say, “the patient may show symptoms of pain in regions of their body” or refer to”glands in the skin.” The former might be, “shows symptoms of pain (discomfort? Itching? Aches?) in their lower extremities- or even more specific) and the latter may be described as “integumentary, that is pertaining to the skin, hair, nails and exocrine glands (innerbody.com/anatomy/integumentary).” Now is not the time to be demiurgic. Content for the medical website, whether it be interior page content or the always critical, but often lacking external blog or professional paper, must communicate using the appropriate terminology of the profession. Yet, this must be conveyed in a manner that is not overly academic unless your audience is primarily referring physicians or other medical personnel.
- Testimonials as a bridge. Unique opportunities are presented for medical content marketing in the form of both case studies and the patient testimonial. There may be no singular, more powerful tool that can aide in bridging that gap between the aforementioned professional and personal than a patient testimonial or case study. Just make sure testimonials help in conveying the core aspects of the clinic brand and desired reputation. And don’t forget, both share the same necessary consideration of the need to obtain patient consent. There are a number of good consent forms available online- but don’t forget to give it legal review.
If we can help you with content development or anything else related to your medical marketing needs please let me know. (Paul.Dreblow@ds6.net)