Building trust through content marketing in the health sector

Extended version of a text from PM-Report, June 2015

Author: Dr Markus Numberger In the June 2015 issue of the PM Reports a text of mine was published that I would like to elaborate on here. Above all, I would like to give tips on how to create trust online. I only deal with content marketing, not with e-shops, where other measures are necessary.

Lack of trust in the websites of the pharmaceutical industry

According to the MSL Health Study 2012, almost 75% of the respondents inform themselves about health topics on the internet, whereas only 30-40% ask their doctor or pharmacist. The internet is therefore one of the most important sources of health information. However, consumers trust the individual online offers very differently. The sites of pharmaceutical companies are among the worst: Only about 20% use them and find them trustworthy. However, trust and credibility are fundamental prerequisites for successful communication, especially in the health sector.

Building trust is very important in the health sector

Content marketing is excellently suited to reduce this usage and trust deficit, even if implementation in the healthcare sector often seems difficult. Target group-relevant, informative, well-founded and high-quality content - close to the brand, but without marketing phrases and cleanly separated from advertising messages - offers added value to patients and doctors. This positions the company as an expert in its field. This creates credibility and trust and will bind the target group to the website, the brand and the company. Loyal users not only accept the advertiser's in-depth offers more readily (e.g. subscribe to a newsletter, order or download information material), but can also act as multipliers (keyword "social media"). Properly implemented, content marketing will therefore have a direct and indirect impact on the brand and image. The type, frequency and - within limits - the placement of the content do not contribute to building trust. The quality of the content and the relevance to the target group, however, do. In addition, the following tips are important to increase the trust of the prospective customer:

10 tips to build trust in online communication

  • Of course, content mostly serves to ultimately increase sales. But it is crucial not to push this goal too hard, too early or too obtrusively. The benefit for the target group must always be in the foreground.
  • Offer more and more informative content than just product-related content. Answer visitors' potential questions.
  • Texts, images and graphics with an emphatically informative and objective character, no marketing phrases and, if possible, no interchangeable stock photos without a message.
  • If possible and reasonable, alternatives and competing products should also be discussed.
  • Proof of the key statements by citing sources with a link (Attention: HWG for patients!).
  • Personalisation of the pages by indicating authors or persons in charge, preferably with real portrait pictures, real names and background information (education, function, etc.). Mention individual contact details (not "info@, service@...").
  • Offer simple feedback options, such as rating, comment, chat function, social media buttons.
  • Reference and link to neutral, trustworthy sources.
  • Clear separation and labelling of advertising content, no surreptitious advertising (UWG).
  • Transparent and easy-to-understand data protection disclosures when personal data is collected.
Whether certification of medical websites by seals of approval (such as HON or afgis) actually contributes significantly to building trust among internet users is something I doubt, but I haven't found any study on this yet. If someone knows more about it, I would be very interested.

2 Idea about "Building trust through content marketing in the health sector".

  1. Natalie says:

    Hi, I'm Natalie and I just wanted to drop you a line instead of calling you. I liked your article "Trust through Content Marketing in Healthcare". It is not yet common practice in the healthcare sector to do content marketing, although the topic of building trust is a good argument for good healthcare texts. There are enough topics for relevant content in the healthcare sector. Have fun from colleague to colleague

  2. Harry says:

    This is a very interesting article here. I will keep your blog in mind and wish you continued success. I also like the texts you write for other healthcare companies.

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