Nearly 25% of Americans have limited or low health literacy. Medical marketers must choose healthcare marketing words that distill complex information to an audience that doesn’t always understand the terms. Success can lead to better health outcomes, but it requires communications expertise in both marketing and healthcare.

Working with an agency adept at healthcare marketing is worth the investment. In addition to helping people get the medical attention and information they need, choosing the right healthcare marketing words can improve your medical organization’s revenue and reputation.

That said, using the wrong words can turn new leads away and convert existing patients into your biggest critics. Keep reading to learn how to choose healthcare marketing words that inspire action, build trust, and help people get better.

Make every word count

Healthcare marketing words build bridges to wellness. When your healthcare branding centers on patient needs, you can expect the following results:

  • Improved reputation
  • Better informed audience
  • Enhanced patient experience
  • Amplified local search engine visibility
  • More leads, better retention, and a larger patient base

Moreover, patients want to learn from you. 80% of consumers enjoy learning about brands from customized content. In other words, your words matter. Your healthcare branding is rooted in the healthcare marketing words you choose.

Avoid fear-mongering in healthcare

At times, the advertising marketing promotes uses fear to increase patient appointments or pharmaceutical purchases. Healthcare marketing researchers have found that these spooky communications tactics are neither sustainable nor useful.

In fact, relying on fear in healthcare marketing triggers defensiveness, reducing the likelihood of behavioral change. Additionally, disease mongering can lead to over-medicalization and worsened health outcomes for your community.

No matter how high-tech your digital communications are, your marketing campaign is built on words. Medical marketing trends come and go, but choosing healthcare marketing words that serve patients is always good for business.

7 steps for choosing healthcare marketing words that convert

Which of the following CTAs will increase conversions?

  • A. Learn how to get elbow pain relief today!
  • B. Schedule a free consult for your elbow pain.

The answer depends on your brand and audience. We’ll walk you through seven steps to choosing healthcare marketing words that convert based on your audience. As always, the process starts with research.


Get to know your medical audience

Healthcare marketing words that appeal to caregivers of pediatric patients may not resonate with the senior healthcare market. So before you begin writing copy for your upcoming campaign, dive into the market research.

Patients are people. What scares them? What motivates them? What makes them laugh? What are their objections to your healthcare organization? Put yourself in your ideal patient’s shoes. Use marketing analytics software to study data and analyze patient reviews and surveys to learn your customer’s voice.


Target healthcare marketing keywords

If you want people to find your fantastic healthcare website, you need to fill it with healthcare marketing words your target audience searches. Search engines want to connect internet users to the resources they want. They rank websites incorporating words that answer user questions high up on the search engine results page (SERP).

Your healthcare organization can win the SERP with long-term, SEO strategies that place healthcare marketing keywords in content and web copy. The greats news is that SEO can be practical and strategic for business.

You can educate patients with recurring blogs covering the topics patients want to learn more about. You can guide patients to your services by using targeted healthcare marketing words in your navigation, buttons, schema, and banners. Good SEO is inherently useful and a powerful tool for growth.


Study good healthcare advertising examples

We’re a HubSpot certified partner, an A+ accredited BBB company, and recurrent winners of the Aster Awards for medical marketing. See how we used healthcare marketing words and digital strategies to deliver award-winning results for the following organizations:

Good healthcare advertising puts patients first. Find your highest-rated competitor and study the ways they’ve deployed healthcare marketing words to win those coveted five-star patient reviews.


Read your healthcare marketing words out loud

“Our multidisciplinary clinic addresses social determinants of health and offers comprehensive, value-based, integrated healthcare.”

That sentence is grammatically correct. It’s also a mouthful. Try saying it out loud, and you’ll see what we mean. No matter the audience, copy riddled with healthcare marketing jargon (and way too many syllables) is hard to read.

Healthcare marketing is challenging. The subject matter is complicated, and the audience is uncomfortable. Start thinking about copy by putting yourself in your audience’s place, and reading your words out loud.

If you were a confused patient, would your copy lead to answers or trigger anxiety? Write healthcare marketing words that improve the customer journey.

screengrab showing how OrthoNebraska uses patient-centric healthcare marketing words on its services page to help put potential patients at ease
OrthoNebraska’s marketing team uses patient-centric healthcare marketing words (instead of intimidating medical lingo) on its orthopedic services webpage to help put potential patients at ease.

Keep healthcare marketing words simple

Make your healthcare marketing words as readable as possible for each of your audience segments. Pubic relations experts recommend writing content between the sixth and eighth-grade reading levels.

Say you want your healthcare website redesign to amplify a newly launched health service line. Develop specific goals for your healthcare marketing words based on each audience. For example, you might have the following three goals:

  • Increase patient appointment requests
  • Build brand authority in the medical field
  • Recruit specialists in the target therapy area

The healthcare marketing words you use to reach goal #1 will be different than the ones you use for your other goals. Prospective patients aren’t interested in your impressive medical lexicon, but they do want relief. On the other hand, write copy that makes your medical peers’ lives easier, too.

Healthcare professionals may understand the lingo, but chances are they don’t want to read it. Remember that your website, inbound marketing, emails, and content are tools that grow your business by helping (not confusing) your audience.


Go for the senses

The best copy brings solutions to life. When describing the conditions you treat, let patients know you understand their pain through empathetic copywriting. Here are some examples to consider:

  • Head throbbing vs. headache
  • Painful to swallow vs. sore throat
  • Constant fatigue vs. lethargy

In addition to showing your patients you know how they feel, choose healthcare marketing words that help them imagine a solution.

For example, if you promise improved mobility, help patients picture what that looks like:

  • Lifting up the grandkids
  • Walking through the grocery store without needing a cart for support
  • Dancing with your daughter on her wedding day
  • Breathing in the crisp air on a morning hike

Avoid overpromising, but you don’t have to water down the hope you offer. Many of the leads on your website are worn out. They want support but know the journey to health can be arduous. Use healthcare marketing words that motivate them to get help.


Maintain regulatory standards

The HIPAA privacy rule defines marketing as “communication about a product or service that encourages recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.” Common HIPAA violations in healthcare marketing include the following:

  • Discussing lead generation in a way that reveals protected health information (PHI)
  • Using software that fails to depersonalize marketing data
  • Digitally collecting PHI without providing adequate security or encryption

Highly-rated healthcare marketing agencies are familiar with HIPAA compliance. Seek out a digital marketing team that understands how to develop apps and websites that are HIPAA compliant.

FAQs about healthcare marketing words

Healthcare-related words can be complex and frightening. Researching patient reviews, condition-specific support groups on social media, and keywords are methods you can use to better understand how to communicate winning messages in the healthcare industry. Keep reading to learn more about choosing the right healthcare marketing words.

What words are related to healthcare?

The most effective healthcare marketing words are clear, specific, positive, and data-inspired. Improve your healthcare organization’s SEO quality and highlight your brand’s value by using specific terms and phrases.

Take a look at the following examples:

  • “Orthopedic surgeon in Indianapolis” instead of “orthopedic surgeon”
  • “Elbow exercises after fracture” instead of “elbow physical therapy”
  • “Pediatric dentist specializing in autism” instead of “pediatric dentist”

Free tools like Google Analytics can help your healthcare organization identify the keywords your target audience uses to find the care you provide.

Why is healthcare marketing difficult?

Healthcare marketers face the following unique challenges:

  • HIPAA compliance
  • Healthcare professional burnout
  • Complicated and confusing subject matter
  • Anxious, angry, tired, and frightened consumers
  • Outdated and overwhelmed processes and systems

Medical communications efforts must use the right healthcare marketing words to maintain industry standards, remain compliant, explain confusing information, and inspire action.

What is healthcare strategy?

A healthcare strategy is a long-term plan outlining the steps a medical organization will take to achieve its goals. Strategic planning in healthcare is important because it keeps your organization unified on best practices and desired outcomes.

Your healthcare strategy should incorporate key marketing principles and drive your healthcare marketing plan. Let’s say your objectives include educating patients, raising awareness about your therapeutic services, and delivering outstanding patient care. You will need a healthcare marketing strategy to help you achieve those goals.

What are words to avoid in healthcare?

Buzzwords in healthcare are exciting until they add to the noise. Avoid the following five healthcare marketing words when developing direct-to-consumer medical marketing copy:

  • “Social determinants of health.” This phrase might resonate with academics, but research shows (pdf) that these words don’t engage patients.
  • “Comprehensive.” Be more specific to show patients that you can focus on each need they bring to your medical practice.
  • “Value-based healthcare.” Unless you’re a healthcare professional, this term is confusing. Is it referencing morality or money? Isn’t all healthcare valuable?
  • “Multidisciplinary.” As with comprehensive, this word suggests a lack of focus. If you use it, be sure to spend more time promoting and distinguishing each discipline.
  • “Integrated healthcare.” This phrase is used often and can refer to many different healthcare structures. Instead of using this catch-all phrase, define your practice’s structure in plain language.

Popular trends are helpful guides, but the best healthcare marketing words are plain, specific, and your own.

Get the benefits of appropriate word choice

Words are foundational to medical marketing. Choosing the right healthcare marketing words will lead to the following benefits:

  • Improved healthcare website
  • Better regulatory compliance
  • More and better-qualified leads
  • Meaningful patient engagement

These are compelling outcomes to look forward to, but sifting through the right and wrong healthcare marketing words takes painstaking effort. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.

Recruit outside help for your healthcare marketing

Do you need help improving your marketing campaign’s “bedside manner”? Are you struggling to find the right words to capture your relaunched brand? Do you have the services your target audience needs but don’t know how to stand out?

Choosing the right healthcare marketing words is challenging, but our agency has over 15 years of experience helping healthcare organizations exceed their goals. The TBH Creative team will provide the planning, branding, digital marketing, and website development you need to deliver the message your next patient is waiting to hear.