The Create Health guide to consumable content

As French mathematician and writer Blaise Pascal once famously wrote:

“I’m sorry that I wrote you such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.”

Indeed, clear and concise copy does take more time and technique than writing longer pieces.

And for good reason – it’s generally much more appealing to readers. Some of the greatest magic us marketers perform is communicating a lot with a little. After all, space is often minimal and the attention of your audience is certainly minimal.

Even if you know that your product is fantastic, that still doesn’t mean you have a captive audience to listen to what you have to say. Especially in the healthcare industry where HCPs are under all kinds of pressures.

Death by information

The kind of content most likely to send a prospect in the wrong direction? Dense, verbose copy.

Which can feel tricky to avoid if you’re a healthcare brand. The medical industry is awash with compliance and finer details. And with good reason – lives can be at stake.

But as much as you might be tempted to cram in every last brilliant element, function or benefit of your product, you shouldn’t, and you don’t need to. All you’re doing is making it harder than it needs to be for a reader to understand why you’re the best.

That’s why consumable content sells your product better.

So what exactly is consumable content?

Just as the name suggests, it’s writing that’s light, single-minded, confident and easy to digest. Simple as that.

Planning to prioritise

The best place to start for creating perfectly digestible copy begins before a writer has even put pen to paper. It all starts with the help of a content strategist or planner.

Their speciality is making sure each and every asset is single-minded: that is to say it has a specific point and gets to that point with minimal waffle.

Your strategist will ideally be external to your business. This means they’re ideally placed to look at your product with fresh eyes and – with potential consumers firmly in mind – they’ll cherry pick the most powerful messages to drive engagement.

Break it into bite-size

Content strategy to hand, you can now start to build a story onto the bones of this plan. A story that starts with the problem you’re solving before swiftly moving into the solution: your product or service.

  • Keep sections short
  • Keep each point specific
  • Use the active voice
  • And if you can communicate something in 5 words, don’t be tempted to use 10.

It’s very common in the medical sector, due to the complexity of the topics at hand, to write in a highly complex fashion. But where many brands zig, we recommend you zag.

Surgeons, consultants and other HCPs, while highly intelligent practitioners, are people too. People who consume brands like everyone else. They know data is important but don’t want to read 200 pages of it.

On top of this, psychology tells us that advertising is much more powerful when it appeals to people’s emotions. And dense, jargon-filled language simply isn’t the medium to communicate emotional benefits. Thus, we suggest trying to strike a balance between professional and down-to-earth.

Complement your copy

Copy does a lot of the hard work, sure. But copy can only be at its most powerful and persuasive if its surroundings work hard too.

You can get away with saying less when design and art direction are communicating your message. In fact, some incredible ads have no words at all, because creative use of imagery can paint a picture worth a thousand words.

Experiential is also a brilliant activity not be forgotten. Eight paragraphs explaining what a product does simply doesn’t have the visceral power to make the same impact as seeing the product at work or engaging with it.

Walking the walk

If you’re ready to chop down your copy and make it work ten times harder, we can run you a workshop and show you how.

We’ve already run sessions in this with brands like MSD, who took our advice away and have proceeded to write beautifully consumable content ever since. Now that’s a story with a happy ending.

Phil Blackmore

Phil Blackmore

Creative Director

The healthcare industry is bursting with extraordinary and ingenious ideas that have the power to transform the way we live and empower people to take control of their own health. Healthcare marketing, on the whole, is not. I’m proud to be part of an agency that’s changing that.