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How We Put Heart and Soul Into Our Healthcare Copywriting
Copywriting / 15 Mar 2022
Most of us have fallen prey to health clickbait articles. You know the sort. ‘Eat THIS one food and you’ll lose belly fat INSTANTLY’. Or ‘The exercise mistake that is LITERALLY killing you’.
Click it open, read, and within a few seconds you’ve lost the will to live. Meaning you’ll never actually find out if that one food you need to lose belly fat actually works. Shame.
Reading about health issues shouldn’t be like this. Especially if you’re the patient, or a carer needing help and information. Well crafted, thoughtful healthcare copywriting must be based on clarity and empathy – not the headline that’s likely to generate the most clicks.
Here’s an exploration of how we craft and create our copywriting services for the healthcare industry. Putting heart and soul into writing about health is possible – and this is how we do it.
It’s about understanding human emotions
Our healthcare copywriters approach every topic and article they write with an understanding that the readers they’re engaging with are experiencing complex emotions.
We examine what drives people to seek out particular articles on health. The people reading your words:
- May have been recently diagnosed with a condition that requires treatment.
- Might want to explore all the treatment options that are available to them, whether conventional or alternative.
- Might just want advice on where to turn if they need support.
- May need to find other people who have the same condition, or are undergoing the same treatment.
- Might be seeking reassurance and calming words of comfort to offer them hope at a trying time in their life.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it outlines some of the possibilities. And it can help us when we decide how to tackle a subject, or craft a page of content.
We build trust and empathy with our reader
We think it’s important to build both trust and empathy with the readers we’re engaging with. Why do we do this? Well, when someone clicks on a link to read a health article, particularly if it’s about the issue they’re dealing with, they want to know that healthcare copywriters like us have the answers and can offer guidance.
How do we do this? First, let’s look at this real-world example.
Ever gone to a doctor’s appointment, expecting to see your own GP, but instead, find it’s a locum? This ‘new’ GP is every bit as qualified as your regular doctor, but now you have to put your faith in a person you’ve just met for the first time. That can be nerve-wracking. And make you feel scared. The onus is on them to make you feel calm, comfortable, and assured that you can talk about your feelings.
Exactly the same thing happens when writing about health issues. We’re entering into a new relationship with the people we’re writing for. What makes this slightly trickier is that, unlike the GP scenario, we can’t actually see our reader. Therefore we need to use the right healthcare copywriting techniques and strategies to quickly help put people at ease. What’s the best approach?
Consider something like an ‘About Us’ page on a healthcare website. It’s important as a copywriting agency writing healthcare copy for a company that we let the person looking at the screen know:
- Who you are.
- What you stand for.
- How you can help them.
We do this by using clear, concise jargon-free language. There’s a time and a place for terminology and it isn’t here. Short sentences and easy to understand terms are the key.
Blog posts on a health site are a different matter. These need to provide a combination of lived experience and useful coping strategies. The two approaches combined, offer a winning formula for gaining trust. It’s about recognising that a ‘one size fits all’ approach might not work for everyone.
We’ll let the reader know, “we hear you and we understand”, rather than simply offering hard facts that can come across as cold and uncaring.
For every health concern or illness, there will be a blogger or writer out there who has personal experience and will have written eloquently about it. Their thoughts and feelings, good and bad, are out there. It’s then up to us to read, study and understand this. We can also chat with our peers, friends, family and colleagues who will often have diverse medical histories and experiences of many different health issues. All this helps us shape our understanding of how a patient is feeling and we’ll use this in our copywriting.
We recognise that using humour can help people cope with their feelings, but it’s important to do this in the right way. Laughing with readers and using light touches of humour can often break barriers and help navigate a way through the darkness. It goes without saying that we’d never make fun of serious health conditions.
We know our audience and show our research
We know from our article intro what makes bad healthcare copywriting. Any SEO content writing services worth their salt wouldn’t want to churn out clickbait worthy content on serious health-related topics. How can you tackle these issues, show empathy and not bamboozle with complicated jargon?
If we’re writing longform articles that explain common medical terms then it’s important that we use all the correct terminology. This needs to be done in a way that everyone can understand. We’ll always use the proper medical terms, but find a way of deconstructing the words that makes them accessible.
Choosing our words carefully makes a huge difference. NHS guidelines recommend that when writing for patients, our tone should be personal yet direct. If it can be spoken out loud and sound as if it’s being addressed to one individual, it’s striking the right tone. And tone of voice is vital to gain trust.
We’ll always use authoritative sources to back up any claims made. And by authoritative, we mean proper medical journals or Government approved sources. We won’t link to anything not written by a trained medical professional. Or something like health lols dot com. We’re after health facts, not health bantz.
Considering the impact that a certain medical issue will have on the audience we’re writing for is one thing. Coming up with ideas and solutions to help them is another. Putting the two together means we’re more likely to engage our reader. Once our readers are engaged, they’re more likely to come back time and again to see what we have to say.
We can help you with any healthcare copywriting needs you might have. Drop us a line and say hello. Let’s start a conversation that sets you on the right path with a great copywriting service.
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