The 3 Biggest Healthcare Marketing Challenges (And How to Solve Them)

Copywriting / 20 Aug 2022

The 3 biggest healthcare marketing challenges (and how to solve them). Copywriting services. SEO copywriting. Copywriting agency. Beesting Digital

Healthcare marketing has a bad rep. It’s an ethical minefield. It deals with arguably the most complex, sensitive subject matter and it’s full of challenges regular marketers don’t even need to consider. But “healthcare marketing challenges” is our proverbial middle name. 

So let’s dive into the top 3 healthcare marketing hurdles and reveal how you can leap over them like Sally Gunnel (with an assist from some nimble copywriting services).

1. You can’t target your audience easily

Targeting is tricky when promoting health-related services. 

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and to a lesser extent LinkedIn, boast powerful targeting tools that allow you to get your ads in front of exactly the kind of people who want what you’re offering. But there are exceptions. 

Just last year, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, scrapped ad targeting based on sensitive personal attributes. This includes race, religion, political affiliation and, you guessed it, health.  

Meta owns Instagram, so no health-based ad targeting on there either. Meanwhile, LinkedIn reserves the right to restrict healthcare marketing it thinks is inappropriate. 

You could go old school with your ads and try the “spray and pray” approach. Throw your ads out to everyone and hope that someone sees it who has the health problem you can help with. Understandably, this isn’t great for your return on investment (ROI). 

So when you can’t go directly to the people who need your services, what do you do?

The solution: get your target audience to come to you using compelling content

You need to put on a hearty spread of informative content that addresses the often literal pain points of your audience. 

If you’re a physiotherapist, create content on back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and all those other pains and aches that people come to you to sort out. 

If you’re a private hospital, create content explaining the conditions you specialise in treating and what treatments involve. 

If you’re a dentist, create content that raises awareness of common dental health or cosmetic problems and how to prevent or fix them.

By becoming the go-to source for content that educates and supports people when they’re facing a health problem, you’ll be front of mind when they’re ready to get help. Simply put, they’ll come to you. 

But becoming the go-to source requires more than churning out regular, meaningful content. This content needs to get seen and that’s where SEO content writing is essential. 

Many of us delay dealing with our health issues until we’re forced to. Then it’s off to Google to desperately search for answers and with those answers in hand, one in six people will gladly go private instead of waiting on the NHS. That’s a lot of eyeballs who could be reading your content. 

SEO copywriting services will push your content to the top of Google’s search results and consequently push your brand to the front of people’s minds. 

2. You’re restricted by regulations

Poetic licence is almost a way of life for most marketers. It’s that added pizazz to make your prose sing. It’s Pringles’ “once you pop, you just can’t stop”. Except, of course, you can stop. That’s implied. 

With healthcare marketing, there is no room for implied understanding. Every word you say and write is subject to strict scrutiny and regulation by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the relevant healthcare regulator.

While strict, it is fair. It’s easier than you think to over-promise to patients. You can’t throw around phrases such as the best, risk-free or even safe, willy-nilly. The likes of leading and state-of-the-art are off-limits too unless you’ve actually got the evidence to back that up. 

To avoid the regulator’s wrath and your patients’ disappointment, healthcare copywriting should always be clear, accurate and based on evidence. It takes research, skill and expertise.

Plus, what you don’t say is almost as important as what you do say. There is no room for suggestion. Natural shouldn’t suggest safe. The very latest shouldn’t suggest effective. Everything should be explicitly spelt out. 

It’s quite the tightrope to walk.

The solution: secure copywriting services with experience in your industry

You need a copywriting service that can meet the demands of the ASA and your healthcare regulator, whether that’s the GMC or GDC, the HCPC or the MHRA (regulators love acronyms almost as much as we do). 

This is no small feat, which is why experience matters. 

A copywriting agency with experience in healthcare copywriting will know all about the regulations you have to follow, so you can breathe easy knowing your content won’t land you on the wrong side of your regulator. But you can also look forward to compelling content.

In an effort to meet strict regulations, healthcare content can turn into a monotonous list of facts, lacking warmth, context and clarity. Healthcare marketing in experienced hands lays out the facts without boring your audience.

3. You have to balance authority and empathy (and it isn’t easy)

Nowhere is building trust more important than in healthcare. This is why your content needs to show authority. 

However, your leads aren’t feeling excited about the prospect of using your service. They’re far more likely to be feeling anxious about needing it at all. This is why your content needs to show empathy.

Go too far on authority and you edge into patronising. Go too far on empathy and you edge into overly emotional. Both can see clarity go out of the window at a time when your leads need it most. 

Every individual piece of content needs to strike the perfect balance. But this balance also needs to extend across your entire catalogue of content. After all, your leads are hopefully going on a content-bingeing journey with you that starts by raising their awareness and ends with them making a decision to choose you. 

Get the balance wrong and your leads will walk away. So how can you get it right?

The solution: pair up copywriting services with a robust content strategy 

No man (or woman) is an island. No piece of content is either. Healthcare marketing pros know how to weave together content to give readers a complete experience that strikes the right tone and moves them closer to choosing your service. 

Perhaps, initially, your leads will need their fears allayed and myths dispelled. 

Further along, with a more informed lead in tow, practical considerations of your service may be a priority. 

Clarity and compassion are needed throughout this journey with the dosage tweaked accordingly at each stage. 

This doesn’t just happen by magic. 

You need a content strategy; a step-by-step plan to answer the most pressing questions your leads have at every stage of their journey. 

Ready to jump those hurdles?

And there you have it; three of the biggest healthcare marketing challenges: targeting, regulations and tone. All of these can be overcome with compelling copywriting services, skilful SEO content writing and a comprehensive content strategy created by folks who know all about healthcare. 

As for those folks in the know, look no further. Our experienced healthcare copywriting services can help you leap those marketing hurdles with ease. Get in touch today to find out more.