Health care marketing is two years behind other industries.
Marketing Content Strategy

Health Care Content Marketing Strategy Lacks Context, Confidence

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We used to waste precious days waiting in line—at post offices, at banks, at hospitals. Luckily, we are getting our time back, as business innovation over the past 15 years has empowered us to find answers, access accounts, make personal appointments, and complete transactions online through kiosks and digital tools.

But tools, kiosks, and the content that powers them are not always designed to help us make complicated decisions. It’s frustrating when digital tools built for efficiency don’t start by understanding who we are, what we want, and what we really need. That’s the role of content marketing strategy: to guide marketing activities through an understanding of people and their content needs.

However, in heavily regulated industries such as health care, finance, defense, and pharmaceuticals, content marketers must first navigate compliance before they can start anticipating people’s needs and produce helpful content. Unfortunately, compliance with legal requirements has held back many marketers. In this post, I will take a closer look at health care marketers who are significantly behind in the amount of content they create.

Relationships Lost

According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, health care marketing is at least two years behind most industries. The research points to health care’s over-reliance on traditional printed content as well as the slow adoption rate of digital content in the form of blogs and case studies. This leaves people to make important decisions about health care without all the information they need to properly evaluate their options.

It is important for marketers to be able to overcome compliance challenges, because the costs of not building customer relationships through digital content are too great to ignore.

Content Marketing Institute research on healthcare marketing.

Strategy Begins with Understanding the Buyer Journey

According to a Pew Research Center Internet Project, 72 percent of Internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. This reliance on search underscores the importance of SEO across industries, as the initial search is a key step in the journey toward making a medical decision.

The Internet as a Diagnostic Tool. Pew Internet Research Project 2013.
In refining their content marketing strategy, health care marketers must also understand what types of information people are using to evaluate their decisions. The importance of peer-to-peer learning in health care signals that marketers should move quickly to leverage the benefit of blogs or case studies that incorporate the stories of real patients.

Peer-To-Peer Healthcare. Pew Internet Research Project 2013.

Who Is Doing it Right?

While there may be more hoops to jump through when developing a health care content marketing strategy, forward-thinking providers are overcoming those obstacles and successfully putting their audience first. The following two institutions have pioneered the content space within their industries:

  • The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center publishes helpful and informative content on its HealthBeat blog. The media hub is updated regularly, and the clean design points readers toward popular content. UPMC takes a lifestyle approach to its content marketing, delivering tips and advice to readers on how to improve their well-being.
  • The Boston Children’s Hospital features several content-rich sections on its website, including one category full of research and innovation. Here, the hospital publishes news related to trending health updates, innovation, research, and breakthroughs. In the Boston Children’s Hospital’s KidsMD section, readers find information about caring for their young ones. Together, these sections offer searchers the information they need to make informed health decisions for both themselves and their families.

If you are a marketer facing compliance challenges in a regulated industry, contact Skyword today to learn more about building customer relationships through content marketing.

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