Tips for a Blended Content Strategy

Steven Franklin, Product Marketing Manager

Group of friends addicted to social media


The average healthcare consumer doesn’t want a hard sell, especially when it comes to healthcare decisions. They want education, information, and the ability to make their own decisions.

If you want to reach these consumers, you’ll need an effective and elegant content strategy that weaves together your organization’s value statements with health education and resources. To accomplish this, many organizations write custom health education content for their webpages and campaigns. (Or they contract with marketing companies to write the education for them.) But writing and reviewing health education is time-consuming and expensive. To ensure you’re offering consumers the best health education, you have two options: create health education content yourself, or partner with a health education vendor.

Here are some tips to make either arrangement work best for you and your patients.

If you create your own health education content

  • Decide if you really need to write that health education content.

    If you outsource health education content creation to a marketing agency, make sure they have the expertise to write effective and accurate health content. The agency should have experienced, clinically trained experts who write content that’s targeted at improving patient and member outcomes. And if you have multiple pieces of health education about the same subject, be sure they don’t offer conflicting advice. Content written by different people or organizations may also vary in tone, leading to inconsistencies in your message.

    Also, make sure to consult with your legal department to explore liability associated with writing content that offers health advice. Using a health education vendor may reduce your organization’s risks.
  • Evaluate the cost of maintenance and upkeep.

    Of course, writing health education takes time, but there’s another necessary component that’s often overlooked in the creation process: medical review and maintenance. Medicine and health guidance change over time, and the health education you produce should be regularly checked and updated. This requires more than a one-time project and expense.
  • Create a system to define and track responsibilities.

    Creating content that includes health education requires coordination between marketing and clinical staff to be effective. Make sure to have a process in place to track the necessary reviews and approvals from the right stakeholders. And don’t forget about regularly reviewing and updating the education to make sure it aligns with changes in medicine, as mentioned above.
  • Leverage a data-driven approach.

    You should be able to track what content is popular with consumers and what individual education pieces were viewed. Use this information to create a data-driven approach to highlighting the right content for your users and creating more of the content they need.

Many organizations are strapped for resources, and writing health education is not a feasible option. It might make more sense to focus on great custom marketing copy and calls to action, and then integrate existing health education from a vendor as needed.

Mapping an SEO plan


If you partner with a health education vendor

The first step is selecting a reputable vendor. Here are some questions to ask when choosing a health education vendor to make sure your organization is getting the most value and the best health education:

  • Is the content high-quality, trusted, evidence-based, and user-tested?

    When partnering with an outside organization for content, you need to trust that content is medically accurate, effective, and regularly reviewed for updates. Make sure you understand the vendor’s content creation process, and make sure the content is evidence-based, user-tested, and designed for maximum understanding and activation.
  • Is there a wide range of content?

    You will undoubtedly need health education that covers a lot of topics. Your vendor should be able to meet those needs and be constantly creating new content. Make sure your vendor has good depth and breadth of content so you can create marketing pieces that cover a wide range of subjects and multiple moments in the patient care journey.
  • Is the content easily usable by many roles?

    The education content that the vendor supplies should be accessible to many different roles in your organization. It should support developers in integrating the content but should also allow nontechnical users—like marketers and patient education specialists—to browse, search, view, and use it. This will reduce the burden on your IT team and also make the content much more practical.
  • What type of relationship can your vendor provide?

    Your vendor should be focused on helping you integrate the content where and when you need it. Make sure your vendor offers not only integration services up front, but also ongoing training and support so you get the most from your partnership. Selecting a great vendor should be just the beginning of an ongoing relationship.

Once you have selected a health education vendor, here are some best practices to effectively integrate the health education content into your processes.

  • Clearly delineate tasks.

    If you’re combining marketing copy and health education copy, make sure your strategy defines the source of truth. For example, your marketing team is responsible for describing your services and what makes you great, while your health education vendor supplies—and is the source of truth—for all health information. By delineating tasks, you reduce duplicate efforts and operate more efficiently in your content strategy.
  • Leverage structured content.

    Ideally, your education vendor should offer content as a service, which is smaller, well-organized pieces of content that are delivered on demand when and where they are needed via an API. Content as a service has many advantages and can blend seamlessly with your marketing copy to provide health education.
  • Create a health education library and link to it as needed.

    If you have a health education library, you can simply link to it alongside your marketing copy as needed. This helps augment your marketing message with relevant health information while remaining focused on your value propositions and calls to action.

Interested in creating a partnership for your content? Contact us today to see how Healthwise Compass can provide high-quality health education that can complement your content strategy.