Searching for information about a condition or disease is easier than ever before. Within a few seconds of typing a symptom into a search engine, we are presented with a wealth of information. But how can we make sure that the content that we produce is reliable and relevant to the patient?
Here are my top tips for creating content for patients…..
Plan plan plan
It can be easy to just start writing or typing, but before you go full steam ahead, take some time to plan what you’re going to produce. Think about your audience and what you want them to take away from your content. If you get this right at the beginning then you can make sure your content is engaging.
Create a sign-off process
In order to produce reliable content you need to implement a workflow process. This may seem tedious at the time, but it will be worth it in the long run. Allocate people to be content creators, reviewers and approvers. You should also ensure that a medical peer reviewer signs off the content. He or she can spot any potential bias or tell you if the information isn’t accurate.
Don’t use unreliable sources
When you collect information to create your content, always take your time to make sure that it’s reliable. This could mean that you use peer review journals or national guidelines.
Write clearly and concisely
For patients to understand your content you need to make sure your writing is clear and doesn’t contain unnecessary gobbledygook. Try and stick to between 15 and 20 words for each sentence.
Make it engaging
In order to create content that is engaging, you need to include a place for the user to comment. You should also ensure that you make it easy for them to share with other people and add links to related content.
Choose your words wisely
To connect with your audience, write or speak using the second person. This means that you will use ‘you, your or yours’ instead of ‘the’. Also, always explain medical terms so that your audience understands the content.
Involve your audience
Do this from the start – ask your audience what they would like. And don’t just stop there, do it at every part of the creation process.
Ask for feedback
How did you do? Did you help your patient to make a better decision about their health? There’s no better way to find out than asking your users. This will also help when you create future content.
Measure your content
Another way to find out what works well and what doesn’t is to measure your content. Think about how you will do this. Perhaps it’s the number of times that it’s shared, or the amount of people that visit it. Whatever you decide, always measure on a regular basis.
So there are my 9 top tips for producing content that is for patients. If you follow these, you’re sure to be on your way to creating content that is both relevant and trustworthy.
Produced by Becky Canvin, Digital Content Manager, Brandcast Media.