Is content marketing effective in healthcare? 7 findings

Although most healthcare organizations use content marketing, less than a third consider their content "very effective" in supporting their business objectives, according to a 2017 report from research firm True North Custom. 

The report, "The State of Healthcare Content Marketing in 2017," was based on a survey of 101 healthcare marketing executives employed by hospitals and health systems nationwide.

Here are seven findings on how health systems use and deploy content.

1. Nearly 70 percent of healthcare organizations already use content marketing and 17.3 percent plan to begin using and creating content in 2017.

2. A majority (84.6 percent) of organizations said content creation is a medium to high-level priority in their overall marketing strategy. 

3. About 60 percent of healthcare marketers create at least one piece of content each day.

4. Two-thirds of respondents said their organization is "somewhat effective" at content marketing and 27.8 percent said they are "very effective."

5. Only 3.8 percent of respondents said their organization was "very successful" at tracking the return on investment of its content marketing efforts, compared to 40.4 percent who considered their organization "somewhat successful" and 38.5 percent who said they were "not at all successful."

6. To measure the success of content marketing efforts, healthcare organizations looked at metrics in the following areas:

  • Website traffic (67.4 percent)
  • Call volume (48.8 percent)
  • Qualitative feedback from patients/prospective patients (41.9 percent)
  • SEO ranking (37.2 percent)

6. Compared to last year, social media replaced "print or other offline promotion" as the advertising method on which healthcare organizations spent the most money. Print advertising replaced banner ads in second place and search engine marketing scored third. 

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