Be Relevant When Marketing to Your Healthcare Audience

Healthcare marketers bear the burden of relevancy when it comes to marketing healthcare content. 

It’s one of those buzzwords we’ve been hearing in marketing circles for some time now. As a marketer, what does relevancy mean to you when applied to your healthcare audience? Does it sync up with what your audience considers relevant?

I think many times this is where marketers get hung up. The solution to the whole idea of “content marketing” isn’t something you can develop in a vacuum with your agency or creative folks, with no insight (read: research) as to what afflicts your audience. Too many times, the marketing message is driven and approved by internal teams, such as physicians and C-suite managers, and not tested against real-world consumers. The people editing and approving headlines and copy want to speak in healthcare vernacular and not in everyday language that a fourth or fifth grader can understand. (Yes, that is the reading level we need to target in our healthcare messaging.)

Let’s take some insight from Pew Research Center’s Internet & Life Project which provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America. According to health and healthcare research conducted on people living with at least one chronic condition:

    • 25 percent are living with high blood pressure.
    • 13 percent are living with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or another lung condition.
    • 11 percent are living with diabetes.
    • 7 percent are living with heart disease, heart failure, or heart attack.
    • 3 percent are living with cancer.
    • 16 percent are living with another chronic condition.

So when we’re talking about relevance and healthcare, this is the type of insight we can use to develop messaging for our hospitals and health systems. But we also have to take into consideration the various stages, from symptom to diagnosis to treatment, and types, causes, etc., because there will be a population of consumers always coming into the universe.

When it comes to producing content, marketers also need to consider:

  • Making content shorter
  • Guiding consumers to the right content at the right time so they don’t have to wade through volumes of content
  • Speaking to consumers’ needs and in their language

Fox, Susannah. Pew Internet Health. Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 1, 2013., accessed September 27, 2013.

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