Medical content marketing for independent practice requires communication, from you, to the world.

There’s no way around it.

Websites, blogs, social accounts and newsletters get your name out there where the clients are.

If the thought of authoring a website or content blogging makes your palms sweat, you have plenty in common with your peers.

You’re an expert, but writing digital marketing content may be outside your comfort zone. You can author detailed academic papers describing techniques or research that informs your work, but you’re not a “writer” writer.

Medical websites may appear trustworthy, relatable and authoritative all at once. Or, turn people off. How can you ensure the former?

Hint– your clients aren’t reading academic papers for the most part. They want to know who you are and why they should choose you. Let’s tell them.

Major concerns my clients share with me include:

  • I’m not a natural writer, or “good with words.”
  • I don’t know how to avoid violating regulatory body guidelines (either for social media platforms or CPSO/CNO etc.)
  • I don’t know how to sound friendly and approachable, but still professional
  • Help- I don’t have time to write any of this!

If you relate, you’re not alone. Check out services to help with that, here.

Whether you specialize in cosmetic surgery, pain management, naturopathy, aesthetic services or health products, here are 5 essential tips you need to come across more approachable than a lab coat.  Let’s dig in.

1. Medical content marketing communicates just like your clients

Adapting language is the difference between talking “at” or “with” your patient.

As a medical practitioner or product creator, you may be used to articles saturated in jargon and technical terms. Accuracy is essential in medicine, but your content marketing should straddle the world of medical science and easy discussion.

Did you know that most people skimming your website are reading at a grade school level? That means big words could be turning them off entirely.

Ask yourself, how do my patients speak?  

For example, facial surgeons may not like the term “nose job” but should use it if they’re addressing potential rhinoplasty patients. It’s crucial to use words most people search for, so they can find you online.

Use the familiar colloquial terms for procedures whenever possible and offer the medical terms in brackets alongside. For instance, you might choose “bruising and redness” rather than “ecchymosis and erythema.”

Use your client’s language. If you’re a stickler for proper terms, you’ll need to balance that against the need for genuine conversation.  

2. Make your website or medical/wellness blogs, personal

As a doctor or medical practitioner with authority attached to your title, you likely take professionalism seriously.

Do you worry that “personal” could be unprofessional? We’re trained to keep our private lives and feelings out of the workplace. That’s still sound advice.

However, no one warms up to a robot. Here’s how to share just enough:

Rather than “the patient,” referring to your audience as “you,” softens the discourse, dissolving a sterile environment. 

Scientific information can be intimidating to absorb, so personal connection encourages people to continue reading and helps them assume the role of patient before they’ve consciously committed. 

caring doctor patient

The science of patient satisfaction

Whitecoat syndrome is real! To convey friendliness and personality, share something meaningful about the “why” of your practice, inspiration, and what you hope to achieve for your patient. Include a little about your life outside of work on your website.

Across all types of industries, it’s true that we feel about services the way we feel about the providers. Emotions and even unconscious impressions are critical drivers for buying decisions.

One of the best ways to establish trust is to have your customers say to themselves, “I like this guy/gal. They seem nice/normal/real/relatable.”  That positive feeling may also translate into higher patient satisfaction.

It’s not just warm and fuzzy, science backs it up: 13 clinical studies completed in 2014 demonstrated that a positive doctor-patient relationship played an integral role in health outcomes. 1, 2. *

3. Invite your patient to a conversation, not just a sale

You know medicine and healthcare are different than other services. Ethics, integrity and compassion are a few reasons this industry relies on advanced marketing strategy.

When explaining a service, a health product or therapy, you’ll be inviting your client to a conversation and making them feel empowered. Your writing should share factual (and enticing) information, but ensure they’re in the driver’s seat.

A well-crafted blog, newsletter or website landing page makes it clear that your reader will be well taken care of and respected when they contact you.

content marketing editing

4. Watch out for prescriptive language in content marketing

Not only could you convince potential leads to view consultation as redundant, but offering diagnostic, prescriptive or “promising” language in your marketing may be a legal problem. One of the reasons medical practices hire writers with medical experience is because of the unique concerns of communication.

You know better than anyone—there are no guarantees in medicine.

Therefore, you’ll need to stick to general rather than specific information and share possibilities, rather than promises.

Just as the rules of documentation keep your notes legal and clear, describing services and potential benefits should be done in a way you can objectively back up.  

It’s tempting to guarantee results, but ethics and semantics will rule the words you choose if done right.

5. Hire help carefully

I frequently hear tales of content mills gone wrong. These are low cost (sometimes very cheap) companies promising articles and web pages for pennies.  They often outsource to other countries and turn in some disappointing work. (That may be an understatement.)

Sentence structure and grammar failings often require complete rewrites, which means wasted time and money. Worse is the lack of basic anatomy and medical knowledge to accurately describe the body and mechanics of treatments.

Sentence structure and grammar failings often require complete rewrites, which means wasted time and money. Worse is the lack of basic anatomy and medical knowledge to accurately describe the body and mechanics of treatments.

content marketing SEO

SEO has evolved

The old SEO “keyword-stuffing” tactic to climb Google’s ranks, no longer works.

Years ago, some industries didn’t need quality written content to “rank.” (I’d argue that for medical professionals, quality has always mattered significantly.)

Now, especially after recent Google SEO algorithm updates like BERT, answering real questions that people will *actually* read raises the stakes.

And, it’s well beyond the scope of general marketing companies or content mills.

Because poorly written material reflects on you, your practice and website ranking, it may be best to DIY, rather than waste money on generic services.

In a nutshell- don’t hesitate to get help with medical content marketing, but choose a specialist.

DIY content writing checkup- Review and assess whether your words:

  • Communicate like your customers do– Use lingo that shows you “get” them.
  • Make your writing personal and personable. Share a little of your warm and friendly nature to build trust in your expertise.
  • Begin a conversation that invites further discussion, empowers your reader and leads to the next steps in your relationship.
  • Know your limits. Share enticing offers and reliable service descriptions without making promises or commitments.

How did your content checkup go?

If you’re ready for specialized help with professional medical content marketing, please visit Quill Drive and send a note about your needs.

In the meantime, you can implement these 5 writing tips immediately to connect with clients and increase your profits.

 ~ P.S. There’s always a point when DIY stops saving you money. If you’re overwhelmed, hiring help could have a surprisingly big return on investment. 

The right beauty, health and wellness blog and content writer can free you up to do more of what you’re passionate about and reach new levels of success.

Already know what you want? Get an quote for your project!