Increasingly, consumers are consulting Dr. Google to learn more about their own health conditions or research treatments for a loved one. Seventy-two percent of American adults say they have researched health information online and 77% say they begin their research with a search engine. Understanding how consumers are looking for answers to their most pressing medical questions offers health marketers they key to capturing their attention and engaging with them. Creating compelling and relevant content, optimizing for search, and amplifying the content on social media are essential tools for health and wellness marketers.
Developing a Healthy Content Strategy
Content marketing is no longer optional for health and wellness brands. Three quarters of healthcare marketers are actively engaged in content marketing or plan to develop a content strategy this year and more than half are steadily increasing their content marketing budgets. In addition to developing keyword strategies and writing blogs optimized for SEO, 81% of healthcare marketers are developing social media content to keep their audience engaged, 78% are sharing content through email marketing in the form of newsletters, tips, coupons, and other personalized communications, and three quarters are creating branded video designed to inform consumers. Keep in mind that more than half of smartphone owners have used their phone to look up health information, so optimizing content for mobile discovery is critical.
Where Search Starts
More than half of all health-related searches begin with consumers researching specific diseases, health conditions, and treatments or procedures. Weight management continues to be an area of focus for Americans—more than a quarter of all health-related queries involve weight loss. Content that offers information and product-oriented solutions with targeted keywords should be a priority. Additionally, keep content easily digestible with how-to posts, checklists, and visual tools such as infographics and video.
Search Continues on Social
Digital content is becoming a gateway to engagement on social media. 96% of health information seekers discuss health topics on Facebook, often sharing insightful articles, health news, medical research on specific conditions, and engaging in discussions about their health concerns with friends and others who share similar health conditions. Developing a social strategy that injects your brand into the conversation in a thoughtful and relevant way can help to build your social following and increase engagement.
Content Influences Behavior
Healthcare marketers are in a unique position to become trusted wellness partners through their content. Sixty percent of Americans who have searched for health information online say the what they’ve read has influenced how they care for their health and 56% say online health content has shaped their overall approach to health. Beyond reading content online, 55% of consumers say that digital content has led them to ask their health practitioner new questions about their condition, resulting in a more informed conversation. Content can build consumer trust and brand loyalty by positioning your brand as a credible resource for health information by offering timely, relevant, fact-based information that consumers can rely upon.
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Sources: PR Daily Why Exceptional Health Content Matters More Than Ever July 2017, MDG The Digital Diagnosis 2016