The Health and Wellness Marketing Report for 2021
Learn How to Market Your Health and Wellness Business So It Stands Out In a Crowded Marketplace
“The greatest wealth is health.”
Marketing for health and wellness companies will continue to be of vital importance. While the industry is rising in prevalence, a growing customer base means many sectors of this industry are becoming saturated. Strong health and wellness marketing practices will ensure that your practice or business can succeed.
What We Are Talking About When We’re Talking About Health and Wellness
When we refer to health and wellness, we are talking about the wellbeing of the body, mind, and spirit. This is a necessarily broad connection, but one that more and more Americans are becoming interested in by the day.
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, dementia, and heart disease are on the rise. Autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Lupus continue to increase in numbers as well.
Lifestyle factors play a significant role in this increase. The standard American Diet (SAD), a sedentary lifestyle, and social isolation can all lead to an increase in disease. As many as 42 percent of Americans are considered obese. The chances of contracting heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and other diseases all markedly rise with this increased weight.
The good news is that people are beginning to take note and look beyond traditional medical solutions to these problems. As education and awareness rise, an entire health and wellness industry has continued to rise around it.
The State of the Health and Wellness Industry
The total value of the global and US health and wellness industry market varies depending on the source. The Global Wellness Institute recently placed the international value at $4.5 trillion. This total is more than half the global health expenditures for that time ($7.8 trillion), according to the World Health Organization.
The industry has steadily grown for several years before that, according to the GWI. It rose 6.4 percent annually from 2015 to 2017. The wellness industry also represents 5.3 percent of total global output, according to the same report. The spa industry, wellness tourism, and wellness real estate lead the way.
When we look at the global events surrounding the pandemic, we can only expect the interest in health and wellness to increase. When the world becomes uncertain, people turn to something they can control — their health.
There are no shortage of health and wellness customers. Virtually everyone a vested interest in improving their health, though some may realize it more than others. The good news is that the market for health and wellness products and services is wide open.
Health and Wellness Sectors
Because health and wellness is so broadly defined, there are a significant number of sectors that fall within this industry.
Let’s look at some of the sectors that are involved in health and wellness:
- Integrative medicine doctors
- Massage therapists
- Supplement companies
- CBD companies
- Medicinal marijuana companies
- Exercise equipment
- Health and wellness product companies
- Medical devices
- Health coaches
- Personal trainers
- Gyms/health clubs
- Athletic apparel
- Yoga studios
- Meditation apps
- Health and wellness-related mobile applications
- Personalized medicine
- Diet companies
- Traditional western medicine practices
- Health and wellness publishing
- Many more!
This is an incomplete list of health and wellness sectors. In an industry this large, the types of companies that emerge are always evolving as the science surrounding the industry evolves. Companies are finding new audiences, and new ways of helping those audiences improve their health all the time.
As these shifts take place, health and wellness marketing takes on an even more significant importance.
A Growth in Popularity
Today, nearly half of all American medical schools have an integrative medicine consortium, according to Andrew Weil. He went on to say that integrative medicine is not a rejection of western medicine’s tendency to prescribe a pill for most diseases, but more an acknowledgement that something isn’t right within that system.
Weil said that pediatrics and family medicine practices have slowly begun adopting new methods to deal with a system that is quick to prescribe medicine, and perhaps slower to look at lifestyle modifications or other means to address the illness at hand.
But it’s possible the growth of the health and wellness industry is also a response to the growing number of health concerns that are associated with Americans’ sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits.
It also comes at a time when people have easier access to medical research and information (of varying quality) via the internet. Traditional doctors and specialists used to corner the market on health-related knowledge. Many people are now exploring their own paths toward taking charge of their own health journeys.
Again, this is all good news for companies that are looking to stake their ground in a large and promising industry over the future.
Differentiate Your Health and Wellness Business
While an increasing market means a “bigger tent” for health and wellness companies, there are some obstacles to overcome to be successful. It rarely works for any business to declare that their target market is “everyone” for example.
Instead, health and wellness companies need to understand exactly who their target market is. For example, if you run a yoga studio, it makes sense to understand that 72 percent of yoga practitioners are female.
Before you declare that you want to solely target women for yoga, consider that the number of practitioners rose from 36.7 million in 2015 to 55 million in 2020. There are 300 million practitioners across the globe. It’s a practice that is both highly beneficial and growing.
The rising popularity of the practice means — you guessed it — more men. Maybe you can become the studio that’s dedicated to exposing men to the many benefits of yoga. This strategy might be right within your wheelhouse if you are the male owner of a yoga studio that just happens to be in an urban environment that is currently underserved. It could also work if you are surrounded by several yoga studios competing for the familiar female clientele.
Regardless of the health and wellness sector that you are in, this is how you must think to be able to differentiate your business. Pursuing a dedicated but underserved customer base is a surefire way to broaden your customer base, and succeed with your business. Later in the report we’ll talk about some health and wellness marketing strategies that can allow you to achieve that.
More on Differentiation and Creating Your USP
If you don’t already know what makes your business different than the competition, it’s time to find out. This difference, once you’ve discovered it, is called your unique selling proposition (USP). In the example above, the yoga studio’s USP would be that they target a male clientele.
When I work with new clients, I have a questionnaire that I use designed to pull this type of information out from the perspective client. When the client takes their time and provides thoughtful responses, I can usually find the ways to best position their marketing for success.
- Q: In a few sentences, please explain what it is that your business does (the service or product that your business provides)? What are your strengths/specialties? What would be your ideal job/client?
- Q: What is the benefit that your business offers to potential customers? How do you make their lives better?
- Q: What is your unique selling point? Is there something that your business does differently than the competition that you wish to highlight within the copy?
- Q: What is your professional background, and how did you start your business?
- Q: What phrases do you want potential customers to find you by when they do an Internet search?
- Q: Do you have a previous website and/or any other marketing materials for your business? Are there other websites or marketing materials from businesses within your industry that you especially like?
- Q: Is there anything you want your potential customers to know about you, personally? Are there any hobbies you enjoy that can be related back to your work? This can help build trust and likability with potential customers, portraying you in a more personable light.
- Q: What else? Is there a question people repeatedly ask you? Is there another piece of information central to how you run your business? Do you have a piece of guiding information that drives what you do? Please include any additional comments here.
If you are wondering how to best position your company, take your time and answer the above questions, but do it thoughtfully. One or two sentence surface answers likely won’t get you the clarity that you are looking for.
Maybe your USP is somewhere in the product or service that you offer, but it doesn’t have to be. Many supplements may be a commodity. But your differentiator might be in the high standards you place on the manufacturing/production process.
Or maybe you are a naturopath specializing in one specific disease. That specialization is enough to set you apart from the other naturopath in your town who is a generalist. If you are suffering from cancer, or an autoimmune disease for example, who would you rather go to, a generalist, or someone who specializes in just that? I have my answer. That differentiator may become even more enticing to your potential customer if you have a personal connection to the disease.
Understanding the Types of Claims You Can Make in Your Marketing Materials
Your patients and customers are well protected by stringent regulations from various associations and governing bodies. Those regulations are in place to protect people from false or misleading claims, or worse — potentially dangerous products or services.
The claims that medical product companies can make within their marketing materials, for example, depends on the level of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations to which they are subjected. The manufacturer of high-risk medical devices will be subjected to more regulation than that of dental floss.
Chiropractors, naturopaths, and other service providers are regulated by their own industry associations. It’s critical for each business to understand what types of claims can and cannot be made. An experienced copywriter or marketing professional can help you to navigate what that may mean for your business.
Because of these regulations, its best for health and wellness companies to err on the side of caution when it comes to their marketing. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of room for creativity to win out.
Below are a few general guidelines for health and wellness marketing:
On a whole it’s best to avoid words like:
Some words that are more acceptable in alternative medicine or health and wellness include:
The words “can” and “may” work well before any statement, too. For example your medical product may promote better oxygenation to muscles and tissue. It can also support overall health and wellbeing.
Instead of focusing on specific diseases, it’s better to write about the conditions that your product helps with. For example, it’s safer to talk about stress, fatigue, or hot flashes, than cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. You can talk about how your product promotes overall health. It’s also good to site studies when appropriate.
It’s Time to Promote Your Business or Practice
Health and wellness businesses can benefit from a wide variety of marketing materials. Some sectors are incredibly crowded and need to do everything they can to distinguish themselves from the competition. Below are a variety of options that you have when it comes to creating marketing that will resonate with your audience.
- A Unique Website — A website serves as the foundation of all your marketing efforts. It’s a platform that allows you to go into depth about all the products or services that your company offers. It’s a place where you can tell your story in a way that sets you apart from the competition and allows you to build trust with customers. Strong website content becomes central to these goals.
- Blog — A blog allows your business to showcase important industry knowledge and teach people about the ins and outs around your industry. If your company revolves around helping people achieve better sleep through a supplement, maybe you can offer more general sleep tips to create added value and teach your customers something they’ll find useful. Compelling blog content establishes trust and establishes rapport.
- Landing Pages — This can be a useful tactic for health and wellness product or supplement companies that are looking to sell in large amounts. A long form landing page allows you to make a persuasive argument and educate your customers about the product or service. Using testimonials or case studies as part of your landing page can provide the social proof that many potential customers may need to pull the trigger. When you pair this option with an alluring offer, it can be highly successful.
- Case Studies — A standalone case study can showcase how you were able to solve a difficult problem. When a potential customer sees this, they become more convinced that you might be the right option for whatever they are facing.
- eBooks — There’s no better way to share your industry knowledge than in an eBook. The creation and publishing of eBooks creates an asset for your business that can help you to attract and retain new clientele.
- Sales Letters — The sales letter is a valuable tool for reaching your customer in a way that is likely less noisy in the 21st century — the mailbox. When this is done right, it can be a persuasive and valuable method for selling more product or booking your calendar full.
- Brochures — A simple and effective trifold brochure can give your customer something tangible to remember your health and wellness company by. Their permanence and tangibility make them an excellent option.
- Press Releases — When your business has something newsworthy going on, it’s important to get the message out to your customers, and to the community at large. A press release is an important tool to draw media attention, but also to raise the online visibility of your organization.
- Email Marketing — You can boost sales fast with targeted email messages that go out to your list on a regular basis.
An experienced medical or health and wellness copywriter can help you with any of the above marketing strategies for growing your business. But there is no reason to stop with these strategies alone. Below are some more ideas for traditional networking and marketing your business:
- Traditional networking groups — Local networking is an excellent way to grow your business and develop a face-to-face relationship with other businesses within your geographic area.
- Trade shows — Industry trade shows can expose your business to a wider audience of potentially interested
- Develop an affiliate network — When you recruit a dedicated network to sell your product for you, sales go up.
- Remarket — Marketing your business doesn’t have to solely focus on new customers. Look for old customers that haven’t bought anything from you in a while and reach out via email. This can be a great way to give your bottom line the boost it needs.
More Health and Wellness Marketing Best Practices
As mentioned above, most sectors of the health and wellness industry operate in a crowded marketplace. While the opportunities abound, it takes real work to distinguish yourself from the competition in this industry. Below are some copywriting best practices that will help you to better tell your story and attract new customers.
- Write a Compelling Headline — No matter what type of marketing you are working on for your business, the headline is what your customers will use to gauge if they want to read more. It’s only a few words, but they are the most important words in any marketing piece.
- Educate, Educate, Educate — Your customers are likely online doing research before they make the purchase. In fact, 63 percent of shopping occasions begin online, according to Make sure that you’re providing the type of education that they’re looking for. This means regularly publishing a blog.
- Write in a Clear and Concise Manner — While more readers are genuinely interested in your industry, they have several potential resources to learn from, and their attention spans are short. Make sure that your writing is as clear and concise as possible, and that you use subheads, bulleted lists, and photographs to break up significant amounts of content.
- Use Social Proof — When your prospect is on the fence, it may not be you they need to hear from. They may benefit more from the testimonials that showcase other happy customers. Case studies can also help in this manner.
- Persuasive Calls to Action — Don’t pretend that your readers will automatically know what you want them to do. Make sure that you spell it out for them. Let them know that they don’t have to continue with life under their current circumstances, because your company is there to solve their problem in whatever fashion possible. And then give them the opportunity to fill out the form, contact you, download, purchase, or sign up for your free class. Whatever you want them to do, just ask.
- Solve Your Customer’s Problem — Let’s be clear, your customer has a problem. There is a specific need in his or her life that needs to be filled. If you can identify with this problem and make it clear that you are the one to solve it, they are far more likely to give you a shot. Think of it this way: your marketing is like a resume, and the customer is looking to make a hire.
- Hire a Health and Wellness Copywriter — You don’t have to do it alone. Marketing your business and attracting the right customers can be complicated. A professional health and wellness copywriter can help.
What Does the Future of Health and Wellness Look Like?
The outlook for the health and wellness industry is excellent. Western cultures face a combination of busy schedules, sedentary lifestyles, and unhealthy dietary options that aren’t going away anytime soon. People are beginning to understand that they can take control of their own health in new and meaningful ways.
While the market currently resides at about $4.5 trillion, Statista.com projected that market to expand to about $6.03 trillion in 2025. There is plenty of room for growth and expansion for the right companies in a market that large, but it will continue to require strong differentiation.
Hiring a Professional Health and Wellness Copywriter
Marketing your health and wellness business can be overwhelming. Writing may not be within your skill set. It can also be difficult to assess what type of materials might work best for your business. You don’t have to (and you probably shouldn’t) put out sub-par marketing materials that don’t do much to distinguish your business from the others. In fact, many times these materials may do more harm than good.
A professional health and wellness copywriter can help you to determine the right materials to distinguish your business from the competition. Contact me today and I can help!
Matt Brennan is a Chicago Marketing Copywriter and copy editor. He has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer. His work has been published in ProBlogger, Addicted2Success, and Business 2 Community. He is also the author of Write Right — Sell Now and The Virus and Us.