The 2018 State of Healthcare Content Marketing: The Future of Digital Content

by | Mar 28, 2018 | Healthcare Industry Insights

Content continues to evolve as an essential component of a modern digital healthcare marketer's toolkit into the future.

The third-annual State of Healthcare Content Marketing Report is sponsored by True North Custom and developed in partnership with the Healthcare Insight advisory board to analyze current content marketing best practices. The future of digital and print content marketing for healthcare is represented through these healthcare marketing trends.

This year's report is based on a representative sample of healthcare marketing professionals. Over more than 150 hospitals and 500+ urgent care centers, physician practices, and other facilities nationwide were surveyed.

Here are the highlights from this year’s State of Healthcare Content Marketing Report:

(Nearly) Everybody's Doing It — Or Will Soon

More than 8 in 10 (83%) used content marketing compared to 69% the previous year. An additional 14% plan to employ content marketing this year. Only 3% are not using content marketing and have no plans to start. Nearly all of those who use content marketing (90%) ranked it a high priority compared to other marketing and communications initiatives.

Activity Outpaces Achievement

More than 9 in 10 (93%) find content marketing effective, although most described their efforts as somewhat effective (58%). Only 36% called their efforts very effective. Responses were almost identical last year.

Content Marketing Ideas for Healthcare Continue to Mature

Nearly 9 in 10 (89%) have a content strategy, up from 52% last year. Only 33% documented their strategy—although that represents double-digit growth over the 21% who did so in 2016.

Not Much Change in Channel Mix

Four of the top five content marketing tactics are digital, with social media content well above the rest. Next followed by e-newsletters, video content and blog posts. Print magazines rose to number 4 from number 7 last year.

ROI Remains the Holy Grail

The majority of respondents (65%) now consider themselves successful at tracking ROI—only 44% gave that response last year. However, only 10% consider themselves very successful at tracking ROI. This disparity between adoption and demonstrated achievement is likely tied to selecting brand awareness, patient loyalty and engagement as top goals instead of more quantifiable objectives like lead generation and cross-selling.

Learn More

Read the full 2018 State of Healthcare Content Marketing Report.