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Does Your Content Say What You Hope It Does?

BY: Marco Zuccarello

Summer is finally here, and I don’t know about you, but this means the kickoff to vacation planning season. Whether a beach lounge-a-thon or a European multicity railway rendezvous, the next summer escape needs to check the right boxes to become the perfect trip.

Creating healthcare content for your brand takes the same level of planning and attention to detail to ensure it is developing an authentic relationship with consumers. Let’s look at the top four content elements that can help your content marketing strategy get ready to set sail on its perfect voyage to best represent your brand.

Know Your Audience

Ultimately, this is what good content is all about. Appreciating your audience for the individuals they are and the problems you are hoping to solve for them is the fastest way to demonstrate your value. Consider where they are from, what they care about, what they do and why your brand matters to them. These are all super-important points to establish even before a single word or image lands on a page. Mapping out a health consumer profile is a great place to start.

Health consumer profiles identify passions, pain points and brand affinities that create a holistic understanding of who your consumer truly is — this is especially important when developing a successful health content campaign.[1] Health consumers have their own distinct make up that is ever evolving throughout their care journeys. When creating a health consumer profile, ask yourself the following:

Hit the Perfect Tone

Tone is more than just something your elementary school music teacher told you to think about during rehearsal. Tone can make or break how your content is perceived or received by a reader. It is carefully constructed by the words you choose and their syntax, or the expressions you choose. You can quickly see how tone could have a huge impact on health and wellness messaging.

For example, using trite phrases or colloquialisms can lower the level or significance of the content, which may result in health consumers seeing you as someone who lacks expertise or, even worse, trivializes topics that are important. On the other hand, speaking with too much authority, using jargon and not clarifying your meaning, or making assumptions that your audience fully understands a topic, could cause your brand to seem detached or disinterested in making a connection.[4] Neither are what you want to project in healthcare content. Instead, ask yourself the following questions about tone: 

Select the Right Type

Choosing the best content type is like selecting the right attire for an event — you want to make an impression but still fit the occasion (so no sporting a tux to a beach barbecue). A great place to start is with your audience. Understanding why health consumers need this content and how they will use it can determine the content type and avenue you choose. Highlight the inherent takeaways and calls-to-action that you are looking to share and then bring them to the surface. Is there a series of facts you want to share? Then maybe a listicle is ideal. Is there a fundamental hypothesis you want to share that can be uncovered in a deep data story? Then consider an engaging infographic, which can help simplify complex ideas through carefully crafted illustrations.[5]

With the inherent themes and possible stakes in one’s health journey, content type is incredibly important. We don’t want to waste a health consumer’s time or provide them with extraneous information that may muddy their understanding and ability to make the best health decisions for them. Information must be presented quickly, easily and actionably. When selecting a content type, think about the following:

Value Relevance

OK, so this probably goes without saying, but timely, accurate content is paramount in healthcare. Starting with the most obvious, confirming the accuracy and validity of your data is an absolute must.[6] From health consumers to healthcare providers, data is only as good as the decisions that come from it, and presenting numbers today that were pulled from a survey or resource from 2015 is just not a good practice. If possible, try to keep your numbers from the past two years to make sure they stay fresh and pertinent. The second thing to think about is the introduction of new information. Nothing bothers me more than the concept of “evergreen” as an excuse to not update your content portfolio. Everything has a shelf life, and conducting a periodic audit of your content is necessary. This extends to treatments, side effects and drug information, but also the latest scientific advancements. It’s never bad or negative to your brand when you need to be transparent with health consumers and update them with new information.

It’s also important to consider how your content is written and presented. Information evolves — and so does language. Something that was commonplace or popular in the 2010s might not be as well received or even appropriate in 2022. Do you remember when everything used to be “epic” and you couldn’t click on any social media link without someone saying “YOLO”? Glad that’s (mostly) over. In all seriousness, healthcare continues to evolve and the way we discuss a topic is s critically important. Using the latest vernacular and the most accurate and culturally sensitive phrasing is hypercritical to ensuring that your content is empowering every health consumer to have the best possible doctor conversation.[7] Think about the following questions on content timeliness:

With all there is to consider when crafting healthcare content, it’s important to check all the boxes. Taking these factors into account when establishing your brand’s strategy can build affinity and lead to great success in your industry. Not sure where to start? Need guidance? Our team of expert content creators is here to help. As part of Dotdash Meredith, we have insight into real-time data that can best serve your brand. Shoot us a note! We’d love to hear from you.









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