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5 Tips for Writing Understandable Healthcare Content

By | October 12, 2012

Healthcare content marketing has its challenges. Often the subject matter is complex and intimidating for the average reader. As content marketers, we can’t ignore the demand for relevant healthcare content. After all, the third most-common online activity is searching online for health information  

October is Health Literacy Month and its purpose is to raise awareness on the importance of understandable health information for both organizations and individuals. By creating easy-to-follow healthcare content for your readers, you can educate them on health-related subjects and show the value of your business.

So, how can you make sure users understand what they’re reading? Here are 5 tips for creating understandable healthcare content for the average reader.

1. Know your readers.

The first step to writing understandable healthcare content is to know what your readers can understand by knowing your readers. A great way to do this is to create detailed personas that make up your target demographic. What motivates your website visitors to contact you or fill out a form? By understanding the people reading your content, you’ll be better suited to create material that pushes them towards your end goal. (Note: stay tuned for future posts on creating healthcare personas.)

2. Write with your reader in mind.

Unless your target audience is strictly healthcare professionals, don’t write like you’re talking to one. When creating healthcare content, it’s essential to keep your audience in mind as you write. Choose your words based on what your target demographic would understand and don’t assume every reader will know what you’re talking about.

3. Keep it simple.

Similar to keeping your audience in mind, don’t jumble your healthcare content with complicated medical terms and healthcare jargon the average reader won’t be able to pronounce, let alone understand. For example, should a website for an eye doctor’s office talk about macular degeneration assuming readers already know what it is? Probably not. Explain what you’re talking about in laymen’s terms so the reader can follow along and not exit the website thinking, “I have no idea what any of this means.”

4. Give examples to illustrate your point.

An easy way to uncomplicate your content is to use examples to paint a picture of what you’re talking about in the reader’s mind. This allows the reader to put into context the point you’re trying to make. For example, if you’re telling readers to practice healthy lifestyles to avoid experiencing a stroke, why not give examples of the healthy activities they can do? See what I just did there? Examples make your point more relevant and clear.

5. Make it relate-able.

Why should a completely healthy person care about your article on cancer? Use relevant statistics, facts, reliable quotes and a personable voice to make them see the connection between the content and their own life (and don’t forget to cite sources). Maybe someone they know was diagnosed with cancer recently, or maybe a certain cancer runs in their family and they’re worried about their own risk. Somehow, mold the content so it’s relevance to the average reader comes alive. This engages the reader and makes them feel more connected to your healthcare company.

Looking at the big picture, regularly updated, understandable healthcare content is a great way to attract and connect with visitors to your website. After all, it’s what a lot of people are searching for. Make the goal of Health Literacy Month a constant priority by always creating content the reader is drawn to, understands and finds useful.

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Check out Fathom’s white paper on Healthcare SEM. Learn the basics of PPC, common challenges hospitals face, and strategies for increasing ROI.

Healthcare SEM

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About Haley Hite

Haley Hite is a Content Architect / Social Strategist for the manufacturing vertical at Fathom. After graduating from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications/Media Business and a minor in English, Haley spent a year writing articles and shooting video for a local news and entertainment website before joining Fathom in June 2012. She currently specializes in creating content and social strategies for a variety of B2B clientele. Follow Haley on Twitter @HaleyHite11.

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