5 Things You Need In A Medical Copywriter

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Whether you’re a telehealth startup, an established healthcare practice, a biomedical technology company, or something in between, content marketing can play a key role in your overall marketing strategy. After all, content marketing serves several purposes. It can:

  • Draw leads or potential patients to your organization’s or practice’s website.
  • Educate readers and potential patients about your products, services, or the conditions your practice treats.
  • Set you apart from the competition and promote brand recognition.

In other words, healthcare content marketing helps attract, inform, and engage your audience.

So, your organization has decided to pursue a content marketing strategy. But where to begin?

It all starts with a great medical copywriter.

Finding a good medical copywriter isn’t difficult. There is no shortage of writers who understand the ins and outs of good copywriting and can deliver on your requests.

A great medical copywriter, however, has more to offer. Most importantly, they have experience writing in the healthcare industry, in particular. Whether explaining complex medical concepts to a layman’s audience or showcasing breakthrough technologies to fellow industry professionals, these writers can communicate effectively, efficiently, and knowledgeably. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider when looking for an exceptional medical copywriter—no matter the project or audience.

Why Hire A Medical Copywriter In The First Place?

You already have a team of employees or practitioners who understand the intricacies of your products or services. If you’re confident in their writing and communication skills, you may be wondering why to hire a medical copywriter at all. Wouldn’t it be easiest and most efficient to handle content creation and marketing in-house?

While your team is the most knowledgeable about your company’s offerings, they have enough on their plates developing new products, improving existing offerings, and maintaining client or patient relationships.

This is where medical copywriters come in. Content marketing—producing high-quality content that informs, engages, and converts—is itself a full-time job. But where to begin when the medical copywriting field is inundated with high-volume, low-quality content creators? How do you differentiate between the “side hustlers” and the real pros?

Here’s what to look for when hiring a medical copywriter—from their experience with and knowledge of the industry to their ability to understand and communicate your business’s unique offerings.

1. A Great Medical Copywriter Understands The Medical Industry—And Content Marketing

Any copywriter worth their salt can craft an engaging narrative and a compelling call to action. But a seasoned medical copywriter knows the ins and outs of the healthcare and medical tech industries. They can craft content as effectively for B2C audiences (potential patients or users) as they can for B2B audiences (prospective clients).

Depending on your company’s niche (telehealth/telemedicine, healthcare services, etc.), the particulars of your medical copywriter’s experience can vary. However, it’s important to have a general idea of what to expect from their portfolio and writing samples.

If You Are…Your Medical Copywriter Should Understand…
A clinic, private practice, or healthcare services companyThe details of your specific industry, services, and/or procedures, as well as the verbiage used to describe them (and what to avoid).
A telehealth/telemedicine companyHow your software works on the back end, how customers engage with clinicians/healthcare providers, what types of visits/appointments are offered (and which are not), and the pros and cons of remote healthcare.
A healthcare/medical publicationThe type of publication, who the target audience is, what medical topics are covered, and recent developments in the healthcare space.
A pharmaceuticals companyWhat clinical trials are and how they work, what treatments you currently offer and how they are used, what new products are in development, etc.
A health insurance companyLegally compliant and non-compliant language, what types of plans you offer and to whom, etc.
A medical device companyThe clients/niches that you cater to within the healthcare industry, the particulars of your device’s/devices’ functions, what sets it apart from competitors’ products, etc.

Note: This is by NO means an exhaustive list.

Equally importantly, great medical copywriters understand the business of content marketing. They can craft quality content and can get that content in front of your audience. Search engine optimization (SEO), inbound marketing skills, and social media marketing strategies are all a must for content marketers who get readers to take action.

Clearly defining what skills and knowledge you need from a medical copywriter streamlines the interview and hiring process. After all, candidates that have both writing skills and industry-specific experience will likely fit the bill better than those with just one of the two.

2. They Have A Standout Portfolio

One of the most important tools in a medical copywriter’s arsenal is versatility. While mastering one form of content is great, a true pro will show their skills and experience across a variety of different types of media.

This versatility will be evident in their portfolio. The right medical copywriter will have a wealth of samples of different types of deliverables, from long-form blog posts and white papers to concise, engaging one-pagers and web copy. Their samples should reflect adaptability in tone and voice, effectively conveying each client’s unique brand and message.

Though the particulars of these different pieces of content vary, the writer’s quality of work should be consistent across all past projects. That said, you must also take into account what exactly you’re looking for from a medical copywriter.

If, for instance, you find that their social media copy is much stronger than their long-form writing (like blog posts or white papers), they may not be the right candidate for large-scale content campaigns with multiple moving parts (i.e., many different forms of content). However, if you’re looking for a copywriter that specializes in concise, pithy, actionable copy, a social media specialist just might fit the bill.

Aside from the quality of the content itself, you’ll also want to gauge the success of a copywriter’s previous projects. While some writers may not have access to the information needed to assess the ROI of their past campaigns, you can use sites like SEMRush to determine how organic or paid traffic increased or decreased during their employment.

If you would prefer to ask the copywriter for this information directly, you can ask for reports or screenshots of the following:

  • Advertisements: What were their click-through rates?
  • Blog posts: How did the keywords they targeted track over time?
  • Email copy: What were their email campaigns’ average open and click-through rates?
  • Landing pages: What was the conversion rate of each landing page’s visitors to form fillouts?
  • Websites: How did visitor traffic change from before their employment to after?
  • Social media: How much engagement do their posts receive? Consider different social media platforms, as well as different types of engagement (comments and shares, for instance, are often more important than follower or “like” counts).
  • White papers/one-pagers: How many downloads did their assets get?

In short, no matter what types of content a medical copywriter has produced, there is a quantitative way to measure its efficacy and ROI.

3. They Have A Wealth Of Testimonials From Past Clients

Another way to gauge a medical copywriter’s skills and work ethic is to go right to the source—ask for testimonials and referrals from past clients. After all, any quality medical copywriter will be happy to connect you with satisfied clients.

Keep an eye out for big-name clients (direct competitors are a bonus). Not only does this prove that the copywriter has relevant experience, but it also serves as a testament to their work ethic and professionalism. The fact of the matter is that large, established companies won’t waste their time on unqualified or unprofessional medical copywriters.

A lack of testimonials—or unwillingness to provide them when asked—can be a major red flag. It’s true that some of a copywriter’s clients may request confidentiality (e.g., ghostwriting, in which the copywriter themself goes uncredited). However, being stonewalled with excuses—”I would have to ask for permission to share samples” or “my clients are confidential”—is generally enough of an indicator that you should look elsewhere for a medical copywriter.

4. They’re A Master Of Voice

In the healthcare and medical industries, using the right tone and voice isn’t just a matter of style—it can make or break your reputation. When representing a business that works with patients, healthcare providers, or other industry professionals, it’s crucial that your copy aligns exactly with the brand guidelines Compliance signed off on.

To avoid potential Compliance snags (and the headache of multiple redundant revision rounds), you should have a clear, well-defined Style Guide. This will cover your company’s “do’s” and “don’ts” (i.e., what phrasing is preferred and what terminology is non-compliant), as well as its overall tone and voice.

No matter the specifications of your company’s Style Guide, a great medical copywriter will not only be able to match its tone—they will also quickly understand and adhere to Compliance-approved language.

To get a better idea of how different companies in the healthcare space utilize copy to convey their tone and branding, let’s take a look at a few examples.

Consider the tone and style used by GoodRx, Telehealth.HHS.gov, and Roche on their websites. What makes them effective? How do they all succeed, despite taking different approaches to their copy?

GoodRx

GoodRx’s homepage features simple above-the-fold copy: a direct call to action to “stop paying too much for prescriptions.” Scroll a bit further, and you’ll see the above section, which describes how GoodRx works. In three concise, no-frills description points, the writer explains how to use the program (“Compare Prices, Get Free Coupons, Show To Your Pharmacist”), as well as its benefits (“It’s easy.”).

Telehealth.HHS.gov

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ telehealth information site takes a decidedly more emotional approach than GoodRx. The above-the-fold copy cultivates a confident, comforting image of accessing health care “from the safety of our homes” and evokes togetherness with the assertion that “telehealth keeps us connected.” This copy also speaks to multiple audiences at once (both patients and providers), whereas GoodRx’s is targeted to consumers, in particular.

Roche

Roche’s website opens with a succinct, pithy, and powerful one-liner: “Doing now what patients need next.” Catchy alliteration aside, this statement positions Roche as a forward-thinking, patient-focused company. Scroll down, and you’ll find two similarly concise value props: Roche is “revolutionising personalised healthcare” and “delivering sustainable value.” Ultimately, this homepage copy combines the clear descriptiveness of GoodRx’s with the immediately impactful tone and phrasing of Telehealth.HHS.gov’s.

5. They Don’t Just Write Like A Professional—They Do Business Like One

Your job is running the daily operations of your company or practice. The right medical copywriter won’t add to the stress of this—they should provide a seamless experience, delivering quality content on time (or, even better, ahead of schedule).

While it may seem obvious, a medical copywriter’s professionalism is one of their most important assets. Adhering to due dates, meeting (or, better yet, exceeding) expectations, and maintaining consistent, clear communication are non-negotiables.

So, ask yourself:

  • Is the writer responsible? Have they shown professionalism and timeliness? If you haven’t worked with them yet, references can provide a wealth of insight into their process, from the way they communicate to their ability to hit deadlines and deliver on requested content.
  • Is the writer responsive? Do they answer questions (or ask their own) promptly? Or do you find yourself playing phone tag or sending numerous emails in hopes of hearing back?
  • Do they have industry experience? A writing portfolio can prove their chops in terms of style, voice, and adaptability, but have they worked with healthcare clients (particularly those similar to your business or practice) to produce the types of content you’re looking for?

Oftentimes, however, it’s impossible to tell just how organized and deadline-oriented a medical copywriter is until you actually start to work with them. Luckily, there are a few ways to gauge their work style beforehand. 

In your initial interview with a potential copywriter, ask them what their typical onboarding process looks like with a new client. Medical copywriters with exceptional organizational skills often:

  • Use software like spreadsheets, Gantt charts, and project-management apps to track and keep you updated on project timelines and deliverables
  • Maintain open, consistent, and timely communication
  • Provide realistic projected deadlines for projects or deliverables—and meet them

Just as you would with any employee, you should take care to assess how organized, timely, and professional a medical copywriter is. Doing so beforehand will save you and your company time, effort, and potential headaches down the road.

Ready To Connect With Expert Financial Copywriters?

While quality medical copywriters can take your content marketing strategy to the next level, they can only do so much. In many cases, effective content marketing (especially when it comes to organic SEO, like content hubs) requires consistent output.

If you’re looking for high-volume healthcare content, consider working with an agency. Agency writers possess invaluable experience working with large-scale clients on an array of diverse projects. And agencies won’t just craft the effective, quality content that you’re looking for—they can also produce a high volume of work with quick turnaround times. After all, the success of their business depends on their professionalism, industry knowledge, and the quality of their work.

Enter Tailored Ink. Our team of dedicated medical copywriters can handle whatever content or project you’re pursuing, from blog posts for healthcare publications to white papers for telehealth companies and more. Don’t waste time on unqualified freelance writers—trust your work to the professionals.

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