Studies show that up to 80% of internet users in the U.S. look online for health information before they visit their doctor. It makes sense—think of your own experience with illness. You likely pull out your phone to Google symptoms before calling to make an appointment with your doctor.
In a world where health information is available at our fingertips, healthcare providers are vying to compete to be the first place you look when you need help. For healthcare networks and providers, content marketing is a logical extension of their mission to keep their communities healthy.
Let’s take a look at how three leading healthcare providers tackle content.
The amount of content on Mayo Clinic’s website is staggering. On the patient side, they tout an impressive digital health library with information on diseases and conditions, symptoms, tests and procedures, supplements, healthy lifestyle tips and recipes. For medical professionals, Mayo Clinic publishes news, videos, clinical trial reports and continuing education resources.
Mayo Clinic goes above and beyond with an entire news network that houses inspiring patient stories, Q&As with physicians, news releases, podcast episodes, opinion pieces and research explainers.
The health system even provides a patient support resource that helps patients connect with peers through moderated online discussion boards and virtual support groups. Patients can also access blogs and podcasts, connect one-on-one with other members and request an appointment at a Mayo Clinic location.
In the past, Mayo Clinic sent a weekly newsletter, Housecall, to round up recent health content. But today, personalized content reigns supreme. Now, Mayo Clinic directs email subscribers to a preference center, where you can check boxes next to the content you’re interested in seeing.
On social media channels, the health system has a robust video library, including reels on trending health topics, first-person patient stories and advice from physicians.
Cleveland Clinic’s website is home to various health resources for the general public. Their Health Library has a helpful search function so readers can easily find answers to questions about conditions, treatments and more. These resources are easy to understand and include articles, infographics and videos.
Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials is the blog portion of the website that features timely articles about trending topics, questions and news, as well as resources like healthy recipes and advice for people with chronic conditions.
The health system also has a vast podcast library, many hosted by physicians or hospital leaders. Some, like Beyond the Pages and Cardiac Consult, are geared toward healthcare professionals, while others, like Love Your Heart and Health Essentials, are for people just looking for more information on improving their health.
Cleveland Clinic’s social media channels have varied content, including helpful graphics and carousels, videos of providers answering common questions and videos addressing trending health topics (like “sleepy girl mocktails” and “anxiety poops”).
MD Anderson Cancer Center
At first glance at MD Anderson Cancer Center’s website, it’s clear that their brand is very patient-focused. Their blog, Cancerwise, contains many patient and caregiver stories, showing the value in user-generated content. While they also have blog posts about diagnosis and treatment, healthy living, research, philanthropy, and expert insights, the patient stories are front and center.
The health system also has a few different email newsletters, including one for blog updates, one focused on cancer prevention tips and one for healthcare frontline workers.
MD Anderson also offers resources for community and connection. Their program, myCancerConnection, is a free one-on-one support resource for patients, caregivers and survivors, no matter where they receive treatment.
On social media channels, the health system shares even more patient stories, physician insights and available resources with videos and photos.
Trends and Takeaways
In exploring these three healthcare institutions, some clear trends in healthcare content marketing emerged.
- Personalized and trending content gets people interested. Whether jumping on a TikTok trend or addressing a weird health tip that’s been making the rounds, timely content is a great way to boost brand awareness and garner interest from a wider audience.
- Varied content keeps your audience engaged. While blog posts can be helpful for sharing health information, it’s essential to mix up your content formats to keep people interested. Videos, podcasts and interactive experiences can be great ways to share content that doesn’t involve writing a blog post.
- Patient stories are critical in the healthcare world. Providers can fuel digital word-of-mouth marketing with patient stories. If you’re not publishing these testimonials on your website, you’re missing out on the opportunity to gain credibility and your readers’ trust.
- Developing a community can help keep patients satisfied and loyal. Whether through social media, a patient portal, a blog or an online/offline support group, creating a solid community of satisfied patients and caregivers helps build brand loyalty and develop new brand ambassadors.