In healthcare, marketers know how important it is to "strike a chord" with their audience. It's a connection that makes readers more likely to turn to a specific hospital or practice for care. But what's the secret to finding the right tone - the word choices and viewpoints that resonate? Research.

Don't Make Assumptions about Health Conditions

Research helps us avoid the cardinal sin of healthcare writing: thinking we know what patients are going through.

A good example is the many awareness campaigns that portray cancer patients "fighting" the disease. Recent studies found that cancer patients may resent such war-like terms and winner/loser analogies. They just want to live their lives as well as they can.

It pays to uncover new findings, such as these:

  • Millennial women expecting babies will consult their mothers, digital apps or social media before they visit their obstetricians.
  • People living with asthma don't always wheeze. If you don't tell readers about asthma's non-traditional symptoms, like persistent cough and chest pain, they may not seek the care they need.
  • Obese people often face complex challenges to weight loss. A healthy lifestyle may not be within their reach. Long work schedules and unsafe neighborhoods can hinder their diet and exercise plans.

Go Beyond Personas to a Deeper Understanding

Marketing professionals commonly build personas to inform their content. But you can get beyond surface needs to a deeper understanding of your audience by following:

  • Online forums, such as Reddit or Patients Like Me. Both feature firsthand accounts of people who've experienced the tests and treatments you may be writing about.
  • Social media groups, where special interest communities share personal stories that inform and inspire, like The Diabetic Journey page on Facebook.

To gain even greater insights into a patient's daily life with an illness or people's attitudes toward seeking care, consider custom research or focus groups. This type of investment can pay dividends. When you make your content more human, readers can tell you genuinely understand them. That's engaging.

Treat Tone and Topic with Equal Importance

Real-life research can help you write with authority about treatments and the patient experience in a tone that says you get it. You'll forge an authentic connection with your readers -- soon to become your patients.

Trust Cox Health Marketing to be a great creative partner. We make sure your campaign connects with your patients in the right way. Call us today.