A Complete Guide to Medical Copywriting

Today’s medical copywriters require many skills. In addition to writing, we must have a broad knowledge of interviewing, psychology, marketing, customer relations, research methodology and more. A healthcare professional knows more than anyone else how difficult the industry is to master. For instance, doctors learn over 50,000 new words by the time they complete medical school. A medical copywriter is expected to have at least a basic understanding of some of these words in order to write effective copy.

Daily Posts provides a team of expert medical copywriters who have worked with clinics, hospitals, addiction specialists, psychologists, orthodontists and dentistry services. Our copywriting is known to be exceptional. We can help build your online reputation as a niche authority via excellent copywriting.

While you focus on what you do best, we’ll create content that answers any questions your audience might have, as well as provide useful information that makes their lives easier.

We know that businesses in the healthcare sector need updated content that’s well-researched and loaded with value for their clients and prospects. It’s important to choose a medical copywriter who is adept at explaining technical concepts in simple terms that anyone can understand. One of the key goals of copywriting is to help and engage your readers. Suffice to say, you won’t achieve this if no one understands what you’re saying.

This is also one of the reasons why doctors and other professionals in the medical field usually outsource their copywriting needs to experts such as Daily Posts. We have proven time and again our ability to create engaging and bespoke content for our clients in the medical field. Our specialist medical copywriters are trained to produce fact sheets, guides, web content, blog posts, articles and any other copy that educates your readers in an accessible manner.

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If you need help setting up a press conference online or offline then get in touch with James today. He’s available on the numbers below, on james@dailyposts.co.uk and on Skype YesDailyPosts.

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What is Medical Copywriting?

A layman might say that copywriting is merely rearranging words in order to sell a product or service (just like a salesperson, only with words). However, a professional copywriter will confirm that there’s a lot more to it than that. Professional copywriting is the art of enticing website visitors or prospects to engage with your brand and its content.

It involves generously giving something of value to your audience and inviting them to shop from you because they enjoy your content. All text must be accurate and the words work conceptually, as content is driven by data and facts.

Medical copywriting is a technical form of copywriting; the role of a medical copywriter is to describe medical devices, their benefits for users, the problems they solve, as well as explaining how to use them safely. They create product descriptions and also write about the side effects of a certain medication or chemical composition.

Factual copywriting requires clear and concise writing. The language used in medical copywriting must always be accurate. Copies are not overtly promotional or complicated, while jargon is used sparingly. Today’s healthcare market has more players than ever; for example, more medical services, practices and doctors have led to intense competition for patients. Consumers are pickier and subsequently select their doctors with care.

A healthcare copywriter actively promotes your brand, increases visibility and helps you grow. Daily Posts will create a voice for your brand, increase patient trust, develop local brand awareness, build loyalty and grow your revenue base.

What are the best Medical Copywriting tips for beginners?

Know your audience and write for your audience

The first step in copywriting is to understand your audience. For instance, if you have a local practice, what is the average age of your prospective reader? Which of your content are they most interested in? Who makes up your target demographic?

It’s easy to make assumptions about who your audience is, but you’ll need a detailed persona to guide your copywriting. You’ll create the best materials that solve problems for your readers when you understand what drives them, as well as their pain points and interests.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, the tone and style you use should reflect this. As a medical writer, your tone should be professional, but try to incorporate words with which your audience is familiar, so it’s easy for them to identify with your content.

Talk like a human being

This is a huge part of medical copywriting, because its’ not easy turning a boring research into an engaging topic that visitors want to read through until the end. Leave all the jargon and smart words out. Try to use as many simple words as possible.

If you’ve read content on Web MD and Mayo Clinic, you will have noticed how easy it is to understand even the most complicated of topics, because of the simple grammar they use to make the content relatable. Therefore, talk to your customers and start the conversation with your writing. This encourages clients and prospects to engage in the ‘Comments’ section and also builds trust in your brand.

Focus on the Headline

David Ogilvy states that five times more people read a headline than the body of your copy. The headline is therefore the most crucial element of your copy.

A few strategies that work include:

Using numbers or lists: For example, ‘10 ways to Prevent Arthritis After You Clock 50’

Be controversial: ‘Running isn’t the Answer; How to Burn Calories and Stay Healthy’

Appeal to their reasoning and sense of logic: ‘10 Reasons you should take Better Care of Your Teeth’

Appeal to the fear of missing out (FOMO) or the need to know: For example, ‘All the reasons why you keep getting injured’ or ‘Get it Right: A Healthy Guide to the Ketogenic Diet

Use trigger words that evoke an emotional response in the reader’s psyche: Incredible, impossible, Easy, Guarantee, Surefire, Amazing and Discover

Start strong and engage immediately

Imagine the following scenario: A friend walks up to you and says, “I have a great story! Want to hear it?” You reply, “Sure”. Two minutes in and you’re regretting that choice, because they’re all over the place with the story. You say: “Sorry, I have a business lunch with a client. I have to run, but great story though.”

Your content is the same. You’ve got the visitor to say ‘Yes’ and open the link. The next step is to hold their attention and provide key information. The best strategy is to start with a strong note, leading with your most important information.

The opening paragraph should deliver the ‘meat’ and the rest of the content serves the side dishes in small, tasty bits they can’t get enough of. This ensures your whole story is comprehensive, with subheadlines and the body of work feeding off the main course.

Who is your competition?

Knowing your competition prepares you for the battle ahead and guides your content marketing strategy. Use spying tools to check the keywords they’re for which they’re competing; strategies that work best for them; content their followers love; and copywriting mistakes they’re making.

What can you do better than them? Are you offering something new that visitors won’t find on their site? Get your hands on their brochure. Listen to what their clients have to say (good or bad) and go deep diving for more information. You’ll need all the intelligence you can gather to get ahead of the competition.

Authoring and compiling the document

In most cases, the first draft usually takes up most of your time. If you’re working with a client, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the content to understand its purpose and then build a draft.

Adequate language skills and adopting the right style is essential to reduce the time spent on revisions and reviews. It is the job of the medical copywriter to highlight any medical jargon and find appropriate words that clearly convey what the medical professional or client is trying to say.

The three C’s

Be concise, conversational and compelling. An economy of words is crucial to any type of online content. When writing medical content, be direct and get to the point. When editing your content, your message must engage the reader in a way that compels them to take your desired ‘Call-to-Action’.

There is always an “A-ha!” moment in every content for a reader. However, this isn’t an easy task to complete when writing about the side effects of a drug or prescription pharmaceuticals. Remember that your content has to comply with laid down rules and regulations.

Structure your content properly

The reading patterns of online website visitors are evolving, but one thing we do know for certain is that they have a short attention span. The structure begins with the headline or topic, which we’ve already discussed. Once you have a topic in mind, create a simple content map that answers ‘what, why, when and what next’?

If you picked the topic ‘5 Triggers of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease’, the content structure will explain what Alzheimer’s Disease is, as well as the general causative factors of Alzheimer’s specific causes of early onset Alzheimer’s. You can then conclude with the next step to follow.

Break up the content with subheadings, images and videos that offer a visual description of the text. Use bullet lists to highlight the key message and back up statements with research and data.

Make it relatable and relevant

When looking for content, you’re not particularly in search of ads. The ones you do notice are those that have visual appeal and an eye-catching headline. The ones you read are relevant to your current situation and offer a working solution. This all relates to understanding your audience and creating excellent content for them.

A healthy person doesn’t care about articles on lung or liver cancer. Readers should make a connection between your content and their own predicament. Use reliable quotes and statistics to establish the connection and cite your sources where necessary.

How to generate leads for a Medical Practice through Copywriting

Create an impactful landing page

Patients are looking for a reputable medical practice. So, how do they determine your credibility? They do so by reading your online content, which needs to be engaging for them to keep coming back. Furthermore, which page do they land on – from an AdWords or paid advertising campaign?

Research shows that landing pages with the sole aim of lead generation perform better than an ‘About Us’ page. A highly converting landing page is crucial to your medical practice. You collect contact information, extend marketing offers and understand how prospects engage with your content. A copywriter can write content for your landing pages, including a powerful ‘Call to Action’ that nudges the visitor to convert.

Start blogging

The three goals of Content Marketing include thought leadership, brand awareness and lead generation. When you create useful content that solves a problem for your audience, you’ll increase the potential of the content to be seen by more people, who could subsequently turn into leads. Therefore, blogging is an essential tool for your content strategy.

Blogging is also an effective lead generation tool for marketers who work with medical companies. An updated blog boosts your SERP rankings, widens your reach, establishes you as an authority and makes it easy for people to find your content. A medical copywriter creates unique blog content targeted specifically to your audience to ensure you get the most ROI.

Use Social Media to attract the interest of customers

Social media is a great tool that allows you to build your own community of followers, who love your product or service and want to stay informed about your latest innovations or content. Conversations take place on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and even on your blog. You simply need to publish share-worthy content in relation to the latest news in your specific medical niche, as well as links to interesting content (in which you wrote a personalised comment) or what you’re currently working on.

Shareable content is something that at least 50% of your audience will be interested in, believe in, understand and feel good about themselves for identifying with your brand.

Generate leads with free content such as eBooks and white papers

Customers need clear content to stay abreast of the latest news in the medical world. Your prospects are always interested in insightful content, such as a white paper or eBook that’s enriched with relevant information. In return for free content, ask them to complete a user-friendly form.

Research by McKinsey & Company found that leads generated by email convert 40% more than social media, making it an important part of the sales process. Your email should be enticing, capturing the reader’s attention from the subject line. A copywriter creates a subject line that ensures over 50% of subscribers will open your email. It should be short and unique compared to the rest of the emails in their mailbox.

Optimise your website for SEO

It’s important to optimise your site for local SEO if you want your medical practice to be displayed in search results. When potential clients are looking for ‘Dentist in Southampton’ or ‘Pediatric doctor in Sussex’, you’ll want your website on the first page and ideally as the very first result. A medical copywriter knows all the latest search engine algorithm updates; they use their knowledge to create fresh content and update existing content on your website, ensuring it reflects current SEO best practices.

Are there any specific SEO Copywriting tips for Medical Practices and Healthcare Companies?

Understand the basic concepts of SEO

The primary goal of Search Engine Optimisation is to improve the visibility of your website for visitors in search of your services. Google and other search engines reward websites that provide the best customer experiences for their users.

They do this by looking at how your website performs in searches, site speed, user-friendliness, mobile-friendly websites, readability of your content and relevance to the reader. This involves more than merely inserting the right keywords but relies on a more customer-centric approach.

  • Keyword research

    Keywords do matter, because they are what people use to find a relevant service or useful item. For instance, someone looking for an orthodontist wouldn’t search for a veterinarian. Use Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords with the most traffic, as well as the search terms patients enter when looking for your services.

    Google Search Console reveals the words people use when looking for your brand. You can incorporate the findings into your website content. This makes it easier for Google to crawl your site and for people to find your service.

  • Publish fresh content regularly

    This is noted by the best Digital Marketers as being the most effective means of improving your overall digital campaign. You’ll need to create unique content that’s entirely yours. Your blog shouldn’t sit on the side gathering dust; publish content on your site regularly.Use a content calendar – such as one from Coshedule – to plan your posts. This gives your readers and Google a timeline to look forward to. You should post new content two to four times each week. The keywords you’ve researched are a good starting point for blog posts. You can create content around a keyword, but don’t use it all at once or it will look forced.

    Great content ideas include interviews with influencers in your industry, blog posts, case studies, patient testimonials, medical breakthroughs, infographics and photos. These conversations drive engagement with your content and add more value to your website – all of which increases your search rankings.

  • Choose appropriate title headers for your content

    The headline gets the visitor in the door. It’s the first thing they see, so it has to be eye-catching and enticing. Use proper grammar, punctuation and power words. Avoid hyphens in your headers. One SEO skill is to include the keyword in the headline, as a way to stay on the current search trends.

  • Define your Metadata

    Your targeted keywords should be included in your metadata descriptions. Metadata includes the HTML meta tags between the opening and closing head tags. This provides more information to the search engine with regards what your page is about.

    The title tag is in blue text and acts as the title in the browser at the top of the page. The maximum character length is 65 characters. The meta description describes the content of a web page or blog post and shouldn’t be longer than 150 characters.

  • A variety of search verticals

    Don’t limit the chances of your site ranking high for just one type of content when you can do so for search-related verticals such as mobile, video, slideshows or local search. For instance, your pharmaceutical company or medical organisation could use these SEO verticals to increase targeted traffic to your web pages:

    You can optimise your images, rank high for mobile, create good video content, and more. This image from Referral MD shows an optimised presentation shared on SlideShare.

  • Use visuals

    Video and images in your content help your patients connect with you and fosters a relationship of trust. Add infographics about a new disease or sickness, as well as the symptoms to look out for. Include precautionary measures in the content. This makes it easier for readers to digest complicated content when you break it down with images. It also increases dwell time on your page and improves your off-page optimisation efforts.

  • Choose trusted inbound backlinks

    Your backlink profile has an influence on your organic ranking and is one of the main factors Google uses to determine your website authority. You will rank higher for your preferred keywords if your site has more authority.

    The site you link to in your content should be relevant to your niche, while the backlinks should originate from trusted websites. As you continue to create excellent content, your inbound links increase with time, strengthening your website and positioning you as one of the top ranked medical websites on search engines.

The debate: is there a difference between a Medical Writer and a Copywriter?

The primary role of a Medical Writer is to communicate the substance of a medical or scientific claim and to accurately represent clinical data in an engaging, interesting and concise manner. They begin by reading and analysing clinical data reports and extracting useful information. They also check all statements and claims are supported by irrefutable clinical data that isn’t misleading in any way.

A Content Writer in the healthcare industry is more conceptual; they work mainly with an Art Director to find words that effectively communicate your thoughts and develop creative marketing concepts. They also work with a Medical Copywriter to develop and deliver key messaging for the brand and turn it into a creative concept for marketing campaigns.

In most cases, you’ll find both types of writers at Daily Posts. Certified Medical Writers are also creative and can easily transition between roles when the job dictates. They require a different mindset and the right qualifications to ensure they do an excellent job

Who requires Medical Writers?

Care Agencies

A manager or owner of a Health Care Agency or company knows first-hand the challenges of bringing in new clients. You’ll need to first gain the trust of families and prospects who make health care decisions for their loved ones. They need to feel assured that their loved ones will receive excellent care.  Medical Copywriters create words that convey trust, whilst delivering critical information that aligns the brand’s voice with that of the audience.

Private Medical Clinics

Medical copy for private clinics should look professional; communicate the unique selling point of the clinic; convey your care and love for patients; and get your prospects to contact your service number or take your ‘Call to Action’. A medical copy that isn’t professional detracts from the overall message. We can help to create brochure materials, email marketing copies, blog content, ‘How-to’ guides and website content.

Pharmaceutical Companies

In the world of pharmaceutical copywriting, not all content is created equal. A Digital Writer who knows your audience and brand will provide content as well as valuable feedback, which you can incorporate into subsequent products. You need a copywriter that knows the ins and outs of what they’re describing; this should be unambiguous, whilst remaining clear to ensure the audience understands what they’re reading.

Regulatory bodies will tear you apart if they notice even a shred of a false claim. If you say your drug fights Alzheimer’s, but it only cures a few people, you could potentially be shut down. An able copywriter would advise you to say that it is “designed or intended to fight Alzheimer’s disease”.

Dentists and Orthodontist practices

If your dental practice needs expertly written content that can attract more organic traffic and increase conversion, you need a professional dental copywriter. Orthodontists and dentists have the difficult tasks of providing oral health care for patients and running a business co-currently. Effective marketing is a key aspect of your business; otherwise, you wouldn’t have many patients.

We live in a digital world, where word-of-mouth advertising isn’t good enough. There are many orthodontists and dentists offering lower rates, as they aim to build their practice. How do you establish your brand as the ‘go-to’ location for residents in your locality? The answer is with great website copywriting. Updating information to your service page, FAQ, About US and expanding online content is a great way to promote your service.

Which grammatical errors should you avoid in Medical Copywriting?

Knowledge of good grammar is key to writing clear and credible content. Plain English is faster to write, read and understand. A few tips to guide your medical copies include:

Use of abbreviation and slang

Don’t write like you’re making a logbook entry. Instead, use ‘a’ and ‘an’ to complete sentences. For example: ‘Mrs Blackstone came to the clinic today’ – as opposed to – ‘Mrs Blackstone came to the clinic’. Avoid abbreviation or slang that you sometimes use with friends in medical related conversations. For instance:

Incorrect terminology: CA Breast

Correct terminology: Breast cancer

Use of prepositional phrases

Be careful when using prepositional phrases. These are pronouns or nouns after a proposition which indicate direction, location or time. Simplify where possible.

Split infinitives

When you split an infinitive, you’re adding an adverb between two parts of a text. Remove split infinitives from parts of the text that aren’t dialogue or internal thoughts.

Incorrect terminology: To impatiently wait

Correct terminology: To wait impatiently

Making comparisons

When making a comparison, be very clear. Don’t assume that a reader understands what you do. For example: ‘The virus affected more women than men’. Which virus? Men in which age bracket? Give your readers details that clarify such information.

Subject-Verb agreement

Your subjects and verbs should agree. Subject-verb disagreement includes ‘Here’s lots of tips to help you stay healthy’. The plural ‘lots of tips’ contradicts the singular ‘here’s’. This should read ‘Here are lots of tips to help you stay healthy’. If this is confusing, simply avoid these types of expletive constructions in your writing.

Who and whom

Knowing when to use ‘who’ or ‘whom’ can make all the difference in an explanation. The ‘m’ doesn’t seem like it matters, but it is important when referring to a subject or object in a sentence. For example, “To whom did you address the medical bill?” The writer is referring here to the object of the sentence.

Me, Myself and I

A similar error is the use of ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘Myself’. Even competent writers sometimes get this wrong. Use ‘Me’ when someone performs an action to you; ‘myself’ when you perform the action on yourself; and ‘I’ when referring to yourself as the subject.

Avoid spelling errors

Image Source

Do you know that 74% of web users pay attention to the quality of grammar and spelling on a website? Statistically, 59% of your visitors won’t do business with you if they notice obvious spelling mistakes.

The billboard ad above made news for the wrong reasons. The spelling for ‘public’ is incorrect. Don’t assume Microsoft Word will catch all the grammar mistakes. Instead, read it thoroughly and double check. Run it past an editor or ask someone else to take a look before publishing any new content to your website.

What mistakes do Medical Copywriters make?

Being nebulous

Medical writers don’t have to be an expert to cover a given topic. You also don’t need to know every aspect of a particular niche or confine yourself to just one area. What’s important is maintaining a high level of accuracy throughout your writing. This means you should question the accuracy of what you write as you go, not giving a different impression from what the client wants.

Generic sentences like “Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer” don’t offer a lot of information. Which parts of the body does it affect? How many people are afflicted every year? Choose words that best illuminate your message and are informative. Your words should make people think about their next actions and stay with them for a long time.

Insufficient evidence

Michelle Guillemard notes that one of the most common problems in healthcare writing is the lack of evidence or research to support claims. You should therefore attempt to back up your argument with supporting research or surveys, whilst referencing the journal title, publication year and study design.

Writing for a niche in which you have no expertise

Some experts believe that while it’s not necessary to have a medical background to pursue a career in medical copywriting, it is nevertheless important to have some degree of background knowledge. Dr Brian Secemsky explains that a medical student who didn’t complete their training still has sufficient knowledge to provide insight into a wide range of medical topics.

They are better positioned to provide intellectual depth on any medical contents. The danger lies in publishing solutions to medical problems that go beyond your training or should only be provided by a licensed physician. This endangers the public and is unethical.

Concentrating on your business

The primary goal of website content is to educate your visitors about a challenge they’re trying to solve.  If you pitch your content to someone in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, this will affect your credibility with the prospect. Focus on providing useful information and educating your audience.

Which copywriting tools do I need as a Medical Writer?

Trello: Inspiration for your next blog post can come from anywhere. Trello is a useful Project Management tool that helps you create more consistently and track your brilliant ideas.

Yoast SEO: As a Medical Copywriter, working with Yoast SEO is a delight. It improves readability, optimises your posts for keywordand boosts your SEO score. You can enter your page slug, meta description and target keyword, as well as evaluate the content to see how it stacks up.

Word Counter: This is easily the most popular tool for character counting; it also shows the top 10 keywords, based on how often they come up in your text.

SEMrush: This is the keyword research tool of choice for many content marketers. You’ll find information about competitors, search traffic and shared keywords. The free version offers many functions that will improve your copywriting.

Buzzsumo: This is the most popular site for finding shareable content on any topic or niche. It breaks down popularity by social media networks and tells you who shared the content.

Should you outsource your Medical Copywriting needs?

Imagine the scenario: you’ve spent a long day on your feet attending to patients, filing charts, operating in the ER or meeting with staff. At the end of the day, your only wish is to go home, but you can’t, because you still have to write for your blog, upload something to social media or submit a guest post.

Overworking yourself is dangerous to your own personal health and to the welfare of your patients. If you spread yourself too thin, you could crash and burn. The best option is to outsource your medical content writing to an established copywriting agency or experienced freelancer, who will create outstanding content for your website.

It’s time to outsource your copywriting needs if:

  • You haven’t engaged with your content in a while

A significant drop in engagement is a sign that quality has slipped. You’ve become so busy with work that you’ve neglected your blog. Content will appear rushed and the earlier quality that users were used to isn’t there anymore. Outsourcing your medical writing needs ensures quality doesn’t suffer and your blog thrives once more.

  • You don’t like writing

There’s no rule that states you have to love writing, so don’t stress it if you can’t create incredible content with ease. Instead, call a team of trained Medical Writers, who will take the task off your hands and allow you to focus on what you love.

The benefits of outsourcing copywriting

  • Flexibility

    For a growing brand that can’t afford the cost of in-house writing staff, outsourcing is the most flexible solution.  Research Expert Ryan McGuire explains that large companies produce up to 70 manuscripts each month – enough to keep their writers busy. A smaller business doesn’t have the same luxury. Therefore, a vendor model mitigates peak workflow demands, whereby you pay for talent when you need them and channel resources to other areas when you don’t.

  • Improved sales and services

    Companies that print service brochures, product literature or sell medical devices can outsource copywriting to expert medical writers, who craft attractive marketing content that improves your bottom line. Any business in the healthcare or medical industry benefits from working with experienced professionals, who understand your niche, audience and the best strategies that drive business growth.

  • Focus on core competency

    Writing might not be your strong suit. Small companies who can’t afford to hire a competent in-house writer enjoy the same benefits of a larger company by accessing the best medical writers in the business. These writers present information and key data in a simple way that doesn’t confuse your target audience.

  • Access a bundle of writing services

    Most medical companies want a writing agency that offers various services for a bundled price, such as editing and posting services. A vendor who provides copywriting could also offer editing and social media profile management. You’ll subsequently save money when you bundle abstract poster development, writing and editing services.

  • Meet writing deadlines

    Are you struggling to meet your content marketing deadlines? Outsourcing your medical writing to a third party ensures you always meet your deadlines. To avoid regulatory rejections, a fast-track drug submission needs to meet certain requirements.  You can communicate your thoughts perfectly with the right medical experts on your side. This also reduces the time taken for your product to reach the target market.

  • Conclusion

    When your job description involves turning long, dense manuals into engaging content for a client’s target audience, consider important information which the learner needs to know; cut out unnecessary words, focus on the benefits and use simple words.

    Medical copywriting isn’t for everyone. If you want to focus on delivering high-quality health services to your clients, outsource your medical copywriting to Daily Posts and we’ll create unique content that perfectly conveys your message to the relevant audience.