Healthcare Industry Content Strategies: How to Get It Right

Julie Ho

Julie Ho

Posted on June 13, 2014

content marketing
The healthcare industry is often criticized for lagging behind other industries in adopting new technologies that can make it more efficient and improve the consumer experience overall. The same is also true when it comes to content marketing, which involves creating and sharing valuable written and imaged-based content to acquire customers.
Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute suggests that the healthcare industry is a full two years behind with medical marketing services like content marketing and social media. In fact, less than 60 percent of healthcare marketers currently blog, compared to about 80 percent of marketers in other industries. Social media participation, meanwhile, is much more dismal, with only about 25 percent of hospitals actively using it.
But it’s not all bad news. Results from a survey taken at the Content Marketing World Health Summit show that the healthcare industry wants to get it on the content marketing action and soon. According to the survey, 43 percent of healthcare marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months. Is your organization among the innovators following this new trend?

Replacing Outdated Content Marketing Methods

The healthcare industry’s tardiness in embracing modern marketing techniques isn’t as alarming as its reluctance in letting go of old, outdated methods. For example:

  • 47% of healthcare marketers still use print magazines, versus 35% of all other marketers.
  • 43% of healthcare marketers still use print newsletters, versus 28%  of all other marketers.
  • 36% of healthcare marketers still use annual reports, versus 26% of all other marketers.

These trends need to be improved – and drastically – but this can only be achieved if marketers start to take more chances and get bolder with the type of content that is being produced.

Looking to Others Who Are Doing Content Marketing Right

When it comes to blogging and social media, there are many healthcare organizations that are getting it right. What’s more, they are doing so without reinventing the wheel.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is an excellent example of how helpful, informative and direct blog content can be put to work effectively. Regular updates seems to be one of the secrets (though it’s not much of a secret, really), along with a layout that guides readers gently towards popular, high-quality content.
In the same boat is the Boston Children’s Hospital. Beneath the surface of BCH’s content-rich website is factual, to-the-point information. They write about current topics, regularly post content related to trending health updates, innovation, research, and breakthroughs.
If you want to follow in these organizations’ footsteps, you can try some of the tips below:

  • Don’t be afraid to tackle current, trending issues head on. Readers will appreciate that.
  • Keep content concise and to the point. Shorter blog posts will be much better received than longer articles that require more of the reader.
  • Update regularly. Having a dynamic yet stable web presence will always reap benefits.
  • Try guide the visitor towards your proven, successful posts. If you know it works, keep using it.
  • Learn from other sites. There is no point in trying to reinvent the wheel.

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