Trust, compassion, and truth: the cornerstones of the healthcare industry, and its marketing. Don’t be fooled by snake oil—our guest writer Mark Asch explores the key principles that underpin quality healthcare copywriting.
Like anyone who’s spent any time on the internet, you probably already know that it’s full of deceptive clickbait for bad medicines. Weird tricks to kill belly fat. The one food you absolutely shouldn’t eat, and the absolute single worst exercise for women or men your age. Some of us still get emails for what we’ll just call “male enhancement.”
All business relationships depend on trust—perhaps none more so than in the world of healthcare. In some ways, a healthcare company offering a service isn’t that different from a doctor treating a patient: in both cases, it’s vital that people feel comfortable coming to you with their medical concerns. That requires trust, an approachable demeanor, and the unspoken understanding that you really know what you’re talking about.
So, how can your website copy and content marketing help your healthcare company establish that reputation? And with so much spam out there, for so much snake oil, how best to draw the right kind of attention, while also distancing your health and wellness company from all the bad-faith clickbait?
Quality copywriting can make a world of difference in establishing your credibility and laying the groundwork for a relationship of trust with your potential customers. Here are a few principles the creative copywriting team at MarketSmiths has learned to stick to while crafting powerful copywriting solutions in the healthcare and wellness sector.
Tell human stories
For the customer, healthcare and wellness is a roller coaster of complex emotions. Fear, worry, nerves. Hope. Whether they’re sick and looking for a solution, know someone who is, or just want to take a more active role in their wellness, your reader is looking for more than answers—they’re looking for comfort, reassurance, and honesty.
Really think about what the medical issue at stake means to your customers, and how you can provide a solution. Remember, the end user is an individual, and they might be scared and hurting. So even if you’ve developed a thrillingly, world-changingly incredible innovation, at its core it’s purpose is to offer that person a pathway to better health. Focus less on what your product does and more on what it does for people.
Let’s say you’re marketing an app that helps amateur caregivers monitor the health of older relatives. Your website’s landing page probably already has a succinct description of the product and a list of its functionalities. Blood pressure tracking. Pill reminders. Maybe you’ve even thrown in a few extra keywords, to catch relatives who are searching for information about a specific ailment. Great! But when it comes to healthcare products and services, overly technical website copy can come across as cold. Your audience is predominantly family members feeling overwhelmed by the huge responsibility of looking after an aging loved one—your app is designed to help them, and your website can, too. It can welcome them. Take some of the weight off their shoulders. Ease their minds.
MarketSmiths is currently working with a large network of not-for-profit hospitals and care providers to overhaul its patient-facing material. At every step of the process, we’ve tried to put ourselves in the shoes of patients, caregivers, and family members. What are their needs? What is the one thing they’re most worried about at this stage in the healthcare journey? If you can identify your reader’s single biggest concern and offer authentic, empathetic reassurance from the word go, it’ll be the first of many such interactions.
Show your work
Quality healthcare copywriting comes from the same place as effective healthcare products: good research. If the voice of your copy is confident without over-promising and comfortable with the science behind the product, it helps a new visitor feel confident and comfortable, too. This is as true for nutrition, acupuncture, or aromatherapy as it is for pharmaceuticals.
MarketSmiths currently provides blogging services for an acupuncturist in New York City. We write engaging, research-driven posts that focus on the science and studies behind this alternative medicine, while also offering helpful, encouraging advice that patients can use to improve their health and well-being. As professional copywriters and inquisitive humans, the ‘Smiths are always excited to learn everything they can about a product or service—translating that concrete knowledge into accessible, compelling copy and content.
Through your healthcare product or service, you’re entering into a relationship with a customer who’s turning to you in a moment of need. It’s vital that you let them know who you are. Ever had an unfamiliar doctor covering for your regular G.P. when you scheduled an appointment? It’s a tense feeling, placing your trust in a stranger. Your customers feel the same way. Luckily, the right copywriting strategy can help you bridge that gap.
Let’s return to the example of that health-monitor app for caregivers. You have a history, and so does the app. So share it. After a few minutes on your site, YouTube channel, or social media account, your client feels like they’re beginning to know you well enough to tell you a bit about themselves and their loved one’s health.
MarketSmith has provided digital copy for a sober living residence. Recovery is an incredibly fraught process, so it was vitally important to establish that the counselors and administrators had empathy and firsthand experience with addiction and rehabilitation. The new website copy didn’t shy away from sharing that narrative.
That lesson is widely applicable across the healthcare and wellness industry, and incredibly important. In the case of our imaginary app, it may be as simple as an About page that talks about your experiences with and beliefs about elder care. Testimonials can also affirm a sense of community and authenticity.
Healthcare copywriting can be technical, but don’t neglect the beating heart. Ready to develop your bedside manner? Set up a house call with our content specialists.