Digital healthcare content trends to watch in 2017
Healthcare content creation best practices are always changing. Here are the trends to watch this year.
When people talk about digital trends, they often focus on new social media channels, new website design techniques or inventive paid-search opportunities. While all of these are valid trends, and they're worth paying attention to, it's also important to keep an eye on innovations happening in content. After all, your content is what drives your success in all digital channels.
Here are 7 digital healthcare content trends healthcare marketers should follow
1. Put content first. Not long ago, it was common for hospitals and health plans to simply retain content—even during a website redesign. In some cases, content would exist largely unchanged for years.
Today, healthcare organizations see value in updating content regularly and of letting content lead the way in a website redesign.
The benefits are clear. A content-first approach should help with search engine optimization (SEO) since fresh, relevant content is essential to ranking well. Content creation can also drive your site's structure, and that can help your future readers to quickly find what they're looking for.
2. Focus on your reader (the healthcare consumer). Writing for your reader may not sound like a new trend. But look at many older healthcare websites and you'll find content that was written with an internal (sometimes clinical) audience in mind. The needs of average healthcare consumers didn't factor into the writing. In 2017, many healthcare organizations are overhauling website content to make it more conversational and easier to understand. Content like this tends to engage readers, and that can keep those readers coming back for more.
3. Write for mobile. Many healthcare marketers have already optimized their website's design for mobile. With that done, they're focusing on optimizing content for the small screen as well. Content that's written for mobile should be:
- Easy to understand.
- Visual (when possible).
4. Eliminate excess. When it comes to healthcare website content, less is often more. Ruthlessly eliminating content that's redundant, outdated or unnecessary can make the content that's left stand out and perform better. Cutting content also makes your website easier to maintain.
5. Write for people, optimize for search. Healthcare SEO used to be as simple as using the right keywords to drive an editorial plan. If the keyword need was there, the page would follow. The right keywords are still important, but those keywords need to be part of a page that is uniquely valuable to your audience. That means savvy organizations are looking for ways to blend their keyword strategy and reader-based editorial plan as they create pages their readers actually want to see.
6. Syndicate and localize. Including the right kind of health library on your website can help you educate and engage consumers. It's no wonder that healthcare marketers have used syndicated content to save time and money for years now. In 2017, savvy marketers are getting even more value from their syndicated libraries by localizing the content. Adding a quote, including a local call to action or otherwise putting a bit of local flavor into a syndicated piece helps keeps readers connected, without a great deal of additional time required.
7. Make content accessible. People who use assistive devices, like screen readers, to access the internet don't always have a great experience online. Fortunately, that's changing. More and more healthcare websites are following the government's Section 508 standards for accessibility. Among other things, that means making sure interactive elements, infographics and videos are built so that they can be accessed by people with disabilities.