The 6 Content Marketing Mistakes Most Healthcare Companies Make (and How to Fix Them)

If it’s done correctly, content marketing can be one of the smartest, most impactful investments you can make in your healthcare company. Unfortunately, many healthcare marketers don’t understand how to use it, or view it as another way to advertise.

While content marketing is part of your marketing and sales efforts, it focuses on building relationships with your customers. And those customers could include both your patients as well as their families. It’s about bringing them helpful information that educates, earns trust, and assists them with a health issue or challenge. It’s about talking with—not at—your future patients.

Here are five content marketing mistakes we’ve seen most healthcare companies make, and how we recommend you fix them:

Mistake #1: No healthcare plan or marketing strategy

Some healthcare companies begin marketing without a plan. This is like taking a trip without directions or a destination. You won’t be able to reach your future patients if you don’t have a plan to effectively do so.

How to fix it: You must first set clear, measurable marketing goals for your healthcare company, and then devise the tactics necessary to meet those goals.

Content is the foundation of your business, and it should be true to your brand values and voice.

Mistake #2: Not knowing your target patient

Many healthcare companies make the mistake of not identifying their ideal patient beyond geographical location. This results in an ineffective and diluted message that doesn’t resonate with anyone.

How to fix it: Spend some time thinking about the patients your healthcare company serves. Are there specific services you are good at? Known for? Do you see a certain type of diagnosis more frequently than others? Understand their problems, and then develop content around their story.

Mistake #3: Not knowing if your website is working

Since many patients turn to the Internet to learn about healthcare options, it’s important to have a website. But just because you have a website doesn’t mean it’s doing its job and the patients will come.

How to fix it: Healthcare companies should have a website that is easy to navigate, current and optimized with key words. It should also be tracking metrics you can use to determine if your content is reaching the right people. Tools like Google analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot or Sales Force can help you know what’s working and what’s not.

Mistake #4: Being too transactional

For most people, healthcare is not a one-and-done. It’s ongoing. But the busyness of the industry makes it easy to create a revolving door at your healthcare company.

How to fix it: Building trust is paramount. Successful healthcare companies take a long-term perspective and view the relationship with their patients as a journey. Don’t forget about them once they are discharged. Develop a content plan that stays in touch. The next time those patients need a product or service you offer, they won’t have to go to the drawing board. They will know they can come to you.

Mistake #5: Not asking for patient reviews

Some healthcare companies don’t have a good process for asking patients for feedback, or they may think patients won’t want to share their experience. But there’s nothing more personal to someone than their own health. If a patient is shopping their health care options, reading about someone else’s experiences with the healthcare company can be a deal breaker.

How to fix it: Have a system for consistently asking your patients for their feedback in the form of reviews, surveys or testimonials. You’ll be bringing your future patients peace of mind, and solidifying your relationship with your current ones.

Mistake #6: Not staying consistent

Starting, stopping and restarting your content efforts is confusing to your patients. Going long periods of time without being in touch can bring about feelings of doubt or confusion.

How to fix it: One of the best ways you can demonstrate trust to your patients is by having a consistent healthcare marketing plan that delivers valuable content. Create a team who is responsible for a content calendar. Assign someone to oversee the calendar, determine who will be responsible for creating the content, and establish deadlines. Planning ahead and holding yourself accountable is the best way to stay consistent with your content.

Clay Agency knows that effective content marketing takes time. That’s why we partner with healthcare companies just like yours who want to grow their content marketing efforts, but just don’t have time to do it themselves.

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to content marketing and how we work with our clients, please contact me at for a free consultation. We can work with you to give your health care company’s content marketing efforts the care and attention it deserves.

Marketing Health and Nutrition to Women: Using Customer Personas to Dig Deeper

Marketing Health and Nutrition to Women

Women make the vast majority of health and nutrition purchasing decisions, and they are much more likely to be the primary caregiver of children and elderly family members.1 It just makes sense for health and nutrition brands to understand how, why, and where they search for information.

Many health and wellness marketers lump all women into one huge category, making sweeping generalizations about their habits. Some of these stereotypes are particularly presumptive, such as, “Women want to be part of a club,” “Women make more emotional purchasing decisions than men,” or “Just make it pink.”

As a woman, an athlete and a marketing professional, I’m here to tell you there are dozens of categories of female consumers in the fitness industry alone. From Millenials to Baby Boomers, serious athletes to moms who are trying to shed a few pounds, outdoor enthusiasts to Soul Cycle enthusiasts: Women are not of one mind.

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How Customer Personas Can Help Market Your Health or Nutrition Brand

Brand Persona

Health and nutrition companies that want to connect with their target customers must stop generalizing about who their audience is and get real. Learning to define comprehensive Customer Personas is the first step.

Customer Personas are fictionalized characters that marketers use to bring audience segments to life. Personas dig deeper than traditional customer profiles, because they are based on research, industry insights and core customer values. For instance, rather than marketing to a woman in her 40’s, a health or nutrition brand that uses customer personas would market to Janelle, a 40-year-old office professional that works out 3 times a week, supports environmental causes and prefers cooking her own meals to dining out.
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Is Whole Foods Fumbling Its Marketing Play for Millennial Health & Nutrition Dollars?

Whole Foods

After losing 20 percent of their value in the last year, Whole Foods is hoping to tap into the buying power of the “thrifty” Millennial generation by opening a less expensive chain of stores in 2016.

Unfortunately, the famously overpriced health food store brand that is referred to nationwide as “Whole Paycheck” may be facing an uphill climb. Here’s why:

Millennials Shop Differently
In my last post 5 Ways Millennials Shop (and How It Affects Health and Nutrition Marketing) I explained that Millennials are less brand and channel loyal than other generations of shoppers. This is true whether they are buying household goods or organic produce. They want convenience and quality at a fair price, and they don’t care where they find it. Continue reading

5 Ways Millennials Shop (and How It Affects Health and Nutrition Marketing)

Out with the old, in with the new is the mantra when branding today’s Health and Nutrition products. That’s because a whole new generation of shoppers are changing the rules.

There was a time when the Baby Boomer generation dictated what was on store shelves, but today, the biggest influencers in the food markets seem to be the Millennials. I happen to be one of the nearly 80 million Millennials (also known as Gen Y) born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. I definitely agree that there is a difference between how we shop and the more traditional way Baby Boomers shop.

Here are 5 things Health and Nutrition Marketers should know about the buying habits of Millennials: 

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Creating AdWords Campaigns for Your Health Nutrition Brand

SEO, Internet Marketing, AdWords

6 simple ways to improve your Google marketing ROI

I recently took a Google Marketing class to learn more about Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns. I wasn’t there to learn how to create a campaign—though the refresher on best practices was nice. My main goal was to make sure I was spending my clients’ dollars wisely. Some brands have large budgets and others have very small budgets, but they all want the best return on investment. So, I wondered, how much money does it take to run a really effective Google AdWords campaign?

The answer: You don’t have to spend a lot of money on Google pay-per-click advertising, but you do have to invest the time to make sure you have the right strategy.

Here are 6 ways to create a more successful AdWords campaign:

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Keeping Your Health Nutrition Marketing Ahead of Trends

digital world

3 new ways to market in the digital world

After recently attending the Direct Marketing Association in San Diego, I found out that not only am I not behind on current trends, I actually know much more than I even thought. I left breathing a very big a sigh of relief. These days it’s hard to know what we know, so moments like these are priceless.

As always, marketers are searching for their niche in an increasingly overcrowded, noisy market. What I discovered is too many brands are trying to be everything to everyone. A better approach is to simplify your Health Nutrition brand’s main marketing message and share it more effectively in the digital world. Here are 3 ways to do that:

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Organic SEO Marketing for Health Nutrition Brands


4 ways creating natural content is like selling organic products

As Health Nutrition marketers we don’t often consider the difference between SEO and organic SEO, but it’s important to remember they are not the same thing. Basic SEO is about manipulating content to ensure that search engines can read it. Organic SEO is about writing quality, targeted content to ensure that the right people read it. It’s like comparing brand name tomatoes to the organic varieties. They share similarities, but the natural approach always results in a more satisfying product. Here are 4 reasons the same is true for organic SEO:

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Marketing Your Health Nutrition Product as Non-GMO

Can using an industry buzzword help boost your sales?

Everywhere I go these days, it seems someone is talking about GMO’s. Consumers are concerned that scientists have genetically altered their food and for good reason. Although genetically modified foods are based on the natural model of breeding out unfavorable characteristics, the process is complicated and slightly mysterious. Health-conscious people want assurances that the foods they buy are made the way nature intended, and GMO’s are anything but that.

“Non-GMO” is a word that seems to put consumer fears at ease. Using it on your product label could be the key to driving more sales. Here’s why:

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Marketing Sports Nutrition Products to Everyday People


Is broadening the scope of your health nutrition brand a good idea?

The majority of sports nutrition companies that market products like energy bars, powdered supplements and sports drinks have traditionally, and almost exclusively, targeted professional athletes. That trend seems to be changing.

According to an article by Stephen Daniells of nutraingredients-usa-com, leading OTC company, Swisse Wellness is now focusing on what they term  “a premium quality sports nutrition range designed for everyday men and women who lead busy, active lifestyles.”

The article also cited a 2013  report by Packaged Facts that suggested sports brands could improve profits by focusing on casual athletes such as fitness walkers and yoga buffs.

I  can appreciate the need for companies to expand their offering to keep growing. However, as a professional athlete and a veteran marketer, I can’t help but wonder
if some of the brands that follow suit will run the risk of diluting their marketing messages. And will the added sales be worth that cost?

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