Healthcare organizations may have been relatively slow to jump into digital marketing, but recent research points to hospitals now placing a greater emphasis on content marketing.
Many companies were reluctant to engage in content marketing, afraid of possible complications that could be incurred from gathering patient data and other measures required to ensure privacy. And data is key to support a successful content strategy.
Yet, in recent research conducted by True North Custom, 48% of respondents said content was a high priority for their company in 2016 and 17% see content as an essential component of their marketing efforts. The results were based on the responses of 100 hospital employees, made up of 85% marketers and 15% executives in other roles.
The biggest content marketing goals for hospitals is brand awareness (84%), followed by patient loyalty (77%), patient engagement (63%) and lead generation (58%).
The effectiveness of content is key, and when organizations know more about their patient’s behaviors, preferences and any other relevant aspects, they can create and customize content designed to fit their needs. 55% of respondents said one of the marketing priorities they are currently working on is better audience understanding, 32% planning start work on it within 12 months.
Creating more engaging/high quality content is also a top priority for 63% of hospitals, along with creating visual content (67%).
Respondents were divided on the importance of leveraging patient-or fan-generated content; while 20% cited it as being unimportant, 27% were now working on it, and 17% were unsure.
The variation in responses can perhaps be attributed to concerns surrounding patient privacy.
Over half of all hospitals (52%) now spend around 26% of their total budget on content marketing, demonstrating its increased importance as a key component of medical marketing services. And nearly two-thirds (73%) of hospitals in the United States already engage in content marketing, with an additional 19% planning to start this year.
If your organization’s content marketing is still lagging behind, it may be time to carefully consider this new frontier in hospital marketing.