Succeeding in Health Content Marketing: Challenges, Solutions, and Leading Brands
It’s widely acknowledged that content marketing plays an indispensable role across all sectors, and the health industry is no exception.
However, when compared to other industries, the health sector faces steeper challenges in scaling content production.
Navigating through stringent regulations and maintaining high standards can be demanding, to the point of discouraging many from even venturing into content creation.
In this piece, we’ll delve into the intricacies of these issues, spotlight health brands that have adeptly overcome them, and provide actionable strategies to ensure an effective yet cost-efficient content marketing approach.
We believe this insight will prove valuable for your health brand’s journey.
1. The High Costs of Health Content Creation:
In health, content costs are driven up primarily because of the level of expertise required to create health content. Most industries offer about AUD 0.08 per word. In health, the cost jumps to AUD 1.00 per word. This difference is substantial.
The process of creating content in health also involves multiple stages, from initial writing by an expert, followed by editorial and regulatory checks, making the whole endeavor costly.
Strategies to Reduce Costs
Platforms like Upwork offer access to overseas medical experts, potentially reducing costs.
Hybrid Content Creation:
Use general copywriters for the bulk and have a medical expert review for accuracy.
Craft comprehensive articles first. Then, create derivative content, from the initial comprehensive ones, like shorter articles or social posts.
With a robust knowledge base, AI can draft content, though expert review remains essential.
Encourage reviews, testimonials, and case studies from users.
Cover related topics that don’t necessitate medical expertise.
Visual Data Representation:
Use well-established data in visual formats to enhance authority with less text.
Let’s go through a few examples of succeeding websites creating content at scale:
The Sleep Foundation:
See how the team at sleepfoundation.org, the most popular website in the world for all questions related to sleep, is writing articles:
Their approach pairs a copywriter with a doctor, balancing readability with accurate information.
According to Ahrefs, Pampers.com receives about 10K visitors from Google to their article covering the topic of “baby growth chart” (https://www.pampers.com/en-us/baby/health/article/baby-growth-chart).
Their ‘baby growth chart’ article capitalizes on presenting existing data effectively, leveraging brand reputation for high rankings.
There is an article on Tums’ website about the causes of heartburn. And in this article, we learn what are the main causes. For example, there are specific kinds of food that can provoke heartburn:
Starting with a foundational article on heartburn, they’ve produced several related pieces, maximizing content utility and search visibility:
And Tums.com ranks well with each of the pages listed above.
2. The Challenge of Sensitive and Controversial Topics:
In health markets viewed as sensitive, controversial, or risky, brands often hesitate to invest in content strategy for clear reasons.
- Reputational Risk: Misinformation or even a perception of bias can lead to significant brand damage. In sensitive health sectors, a single piece of misguided content can ignite public backlash.
- Regulatory Challenges: In the health sector, stringent regulations can make content creation more complex. Non-compliance can result in heavy fines or other penalties.
- Competing with Established Authorities: Brands may feel dwarfed by established authoritative sources, feeling their content might not gain traction amidst dominant voices.
- Constant Evolution of Information: In rapidly advancing fields, information can become outdated quickly, requiring constant updates and oversight.
Are there any brands succeeding despite all these limitations?
Despite the challenges, are there brands that thrive in such constrained environments?
Take, for instance, agedcare101.com.au — a resource hub for those exploring aged care options. It’s an initiative by the DCM Group, which also runs Villages.com.au.
Launching content under a separate brand can be a strategic move, allowing businesses to safely build a content strategy, engage with potential customers, and gather valuable data.
3. Competition in Health Content Creation:
Over the past three years, there’s been significant growth in health content creation across various content creators.
Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners, along with influencers and brands, consistently invest more time and resources into platforms like TikTok. They’re also diving deep into informational outlets such as podcasts and long-form videos on YouTube.
In the realm of written content, competing with established medical publishers like WebMD or Healthline has become increasingly challenging.
For brands looking to make their mark in health content, it’s imperative to heavily invest in the content creation process. Achieving visibility in this crowded market demands substantial effort and persistence.
So, how can health brands expedite their impact without waiting for algorithms and audiences to catch up?
InsideTracker.com offers users the ability to have their DNA and blood analyzed, providing personalized nutrition or exercise advice tailored to their health goals.
In September 2021, they made the strategic move of sponsoring HubermanLab’s most viewed video on YouTube to date:
This video counts now over 7M views. This doesn’t even account for the numerous other clips from the same video, which have also garnered millions of views. It’s challenging to quantify the exact benefits to the brand. However, data from Ahrefs indicates a notable spike in organic traffic to their website following the video’s release on YouTube.
For health brands reluctant to construct a comprehensive content strategy or cultivate their own audience from scratch, there’s an abundance of content creators, influencers, podcasts, and YouTube channels ready to partner and help amplify their message.
4. The Algorithmic Hurdles of Big Tech:
Another main challenge health brands can face, when it comes to creating content is the fact that the big publishers, the big brands, and even institutions will always be more trusted by social media platforms or search engines.
It is safer for these platforms to promote content that would come from the CDC or from the WHO than the content coming from an independent YouTuber. And so, even when the latter may be right.
Try searching for sensitive queries around cancer, or any other similar query, you will mostly see official sources of information ranking at the top of Google result pages.
And for the less sensitive queries, you will mostly see big publishers ranking at the top.
In a nutshell, to perform well with a content strategy it is required to have a high level of authority.
How to overcome this situation?
In a recent article, we delved into an SEO technique known as “parasite SEO.” The premise behind this concept is straightforward.
To quickly gain visibility for your content, consider publishing it on authoritative websites.
For instance, if you’re marketing skincare products, you might aim to be featured in articles that currently rank at the pinnacle of Google’s search results for the query “best skin cream for dry face.”
Listing your products on platforms like Amazon can be beneficial. Additionally, joining affiliate networks can incentivize content creators to review and highlight your products on their blogs. Alternatively, direct outreach to these content creators is a viable strategy.
5. Extra Cost-Efficient Strategy for Content Creation in Health:
In 2023, the smart move for rapid and cost-effective content production? Betting on AI.
Forget the likes of ChatGPT, Bing AI, or Google Bard. I’m talking about rolling your own AI system, built with OpenAI’s API and trained with your unique data.
Why hire a huge team of medical writers and doctors to pump out articles and product reviews?
Use that same team to curate a robust knowledge base instead. This base can be packed with scientific data that resonates with your brand’s health focus.
Train the AI on it, and you’ve got a system poised to tackle questions on that topic—relying strictly on the info in your knowledge base.
The outcome? Entirely AI-crafted articles. You could easily slot AI chatbots onto websites to handle repetitive product questions using this very method.
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