You can’t be my man, if you buy me a power drill for my birthday!
‘What the heck,’ you’re probably thinking. ‘I just wanted to find out about this tip.’ So, I’m summarizing it for you.
If you have ever had the blood-boiling experience of a loved one purchasing a gift for you that was really intended for their own use and gratification, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
The biggest demon you should conquer in your content development is writing about what YOU want to write about.
I know how tempting this can be. As writers, we often focus on what sounds like a clever, amusing or “catchy” angle. And, quite frankly, for the most part, we do consider the needs, feelings and thoughts of our readers. But perhaps not enough. I think it’s so easy to get lost in my-idea-is-so-brilliant land or, stuck in I-need-to-hurry-and-crank-out-today’s-blog swamp that we lose sight of servicing customers and prospects with meaningful information.
Now, before I step on any toes, I admit that I too have been guilty of writing both self-satisfying content and the bland meet-the-deadline articles. But, no worries. Going forward, we can all amp up our content with good hearty, handle-it-now information!
The kind of instructional, how-to copy and materials that clearly and engagingly answer REAL patient questions, detail the steps required to solve problems and place readers on a solid path. This type of customer communication is particularly important for healthcare organizations, dealing with the most critical aspects of people’s lives.
Here’s how to give your audience the content they truly want:
1) Don’t simply write about the importance of brushing and flossing.
Do go on to explain how oral bacteria could possibly contribute to heart conditions and when it is advisable to speak with one’s PCP/pediatrician about any such concerns.
2) Don’t write to impress. Big words have their place, but not necessarily when addressing health matters.
Do write to be perfectly clear and understood.
3) Don’t use social media and digital channels without clearly knowing why.
Do assess the needs and demographics of your target audience to see what tools, formats and media are most suitable for YOUR readers.
4) Don’t use content only once.
Do recycle (or rather repurpose). Teleseminars can be converted into transcripts and audio recordings then posted on your website. Different people like accessing information in different formats.
5) Don’t be vague.
Do convey information with as much specificity as possible. For example, in an article, describe all (or most) of the different types of healthcare providers a mother might consider taking her asthmatic child to.
6) Don’t skirt issues that may be a bit uncomfortable or even slightly out of scope.
Do provide content for healthcare consumers that they talk to their family and friends about (e.g., What they should do when the customer services department has not been able to help them; Signs that a loved one is on drugs; Visual signs of an STD; Financial and emotional resources for grandmothers raising grandchildren, etc.)
The main point to remember is that it’s not about you. It’s all about the reader.