Posted in #HCSM

What’s The State of Healthcare Content Marketing in 2018?

I just love reports, don’t you? 

Firstly, Social Media Examiner’s annual marketing industry report, published last week, threw up these findings:

  • A very significant 94% of marketers use Facebook (followed by Instagram at 66%). Two in three marketers claim Facebook is their most important social platform. However, only 49% of marketers feel their Facebook marketing is effective and 52% said they’ve seen declines in their organic Facebook reach in the last year.
  • Facebook ads reign supreme: Facebook ads are used by 72% of marketers
    (followed by Instagram at 31%). Nearly half of all marketers increased their
    Facebook ad activities in the last year and 67% plan on increasing their use of
    Facebook ads over the next 12 months.
  • Facebook Messenger bots pique marketers’ interest: While only 15% of
    marketers are using Messenger bots, 51% plan on using Messenger bots in the
    next year.
  • For the first time in years, generating leads has become more of a focus for marketers than cultivating a loyal fan base. This could be a sign that metrics and automation are becoming more important than engagement.

You can download the report here.

Secondly, a content marketing report from True North Custom and Healthcare Insight based on data from a survey conducted in 4Q17 among 53 healthcare marketing professionals who work for hospitals, urgent care centers, physician practices, and other healthcare organizations, found that the rise of content marketing in the healthcare industry continues, with steady growth in usage. 

Chapter1_Graph1.png

However, measuring content marketing effectiveness is (still) slightly behind the adoption curve. Some 36% of respondents say their organization’s content marketing efforts are very effective, and 58% say they are somewhat effective.

Chapter1_Graph2-4.png

Only one-third of respondents say their healthcare organization has a documented content marketing strategy.

Chapter1_Graph3-1.png

Measuring ROI

Increasing the ability to demonstrate return on content marketing investment remains a challenge. The majority of respondents (65%) consider themselves successful at tracking ROI, compared to 44% who responded the same way last year. However, only 10% consider themselves very successful at tracking ROI.

Chapter2_Graph2.png

When it comes to measuring impact, website traffic is the most popular way to do this.

Chapter2_Graph3.png

Content Marketing Goals

Content marketing goals remain consistent with top-of-the-funnel priorities like Brand Awareness, Engagement and Patient Loyalty holding the top three spots for the third consecutive year. 

Chapter2_Graph1.png

Marketing Tactics

Social media reigns supreme, followed by eNewseltters and video taking the top three places in marketing tactics.

Chapter3_Graph1.pngAccording to Becker’s Hospital Review in an article on healthcare marketing trends for 2018, “Health-related video content is in demand. There is a whole market for qualified physicians to provide health information through videos without offering clinical advice.” 

Social Media Distribution

No surprise that Facebook tops the poll when it comes to organizations promoting their content on social media. YouTube is also extremely popular testifying to video’s growing influence, and I am happy to see Twitter is still hanging on in there. Chapter3_Graph2.png

Recommendations

The report concludes with three recommendations.

Create a documented strategy

A well-documented strategy will help your brand message rise above the noise. Mapping out your plan avoids what Convince & Convert Founder Jay Baer calls random acts of content and involves the use of personas, journey maps, editorial calendars, and other tools that set your brand and content apart from the pack.

Leverage Email Marketing

The large majority of people who visit your website or subscribe to your e-newsletter aren’t ready to make a healthcare decision. This is where content can play a crucial role in keeping them engaged while building affinity for your brand as a trusted resource. And while email is a leading channel for delivering content, many healthcare organizations never tap into that potential. A well-designed email nurturing program has proven to be an effective tool for building an audience and advancing them through the buyer’s journey.

Make Sure Everyone Is On Message

Rather than losing your prospect at the most critical point in the campaign, coordinate with your call center or intake team to integrate tracking mechanisms and create scripts that facilitate the lead intake process.

You can read the report in full here.

What do you think of these two reports? I don’t think there are any real surprises – we’ve been hearing for years that many healthcare organizations don’t have a documented strategy in place and struggle to measure ROI.

  • Facebook still reigns supreme, but I wonder how effective it truly is considering the lack of metrics employed to measure its effectiveness?
  • LinkedIn and Instagram are in joint place in terms of social media marketing, but should this be the case? They are two very different platforms and I wonder if marketers are using each of them effectively?
  • I am pleased to see YouTube high up the rankings – this is a good strategy for healthcare marketing.
  • And while people either fall into two camps of loving or hating Twitter, I personally see many robust healthcare conversations take place on this platform.
  • Finally, Pinterest and Snapchat are under-utilized and there’s a real opportunity here for us to own this space.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these reports. What are your observations? What’s working for you? Where do you recommend healthcare marketers should focus their attention going forward?

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