5 Ways to Fight Content Fatigue

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Content Strategy | 0 comments

How do you keep it fresh in a digital world burned out by content fatigue?

Way back in 2014, the Huff­in­g­ton Post pre­dict­ed the vol­ume of online con­tent would increase 600% by 2020. And a Forbes arti­cle from 2016 pre­dict­ed that we were reach­ing the sat­u­ra­tion point of con­tent mar­ket­ing. To quote the author: “The vast major­i­ty of com­pa­nies will embrace con­tent as a reg­u­lar and unmove­able com­po­nent of their mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy and budget.”

Here we are in the wan­ing months of 2020, and the tsuna­mi of con­tent isn’t slow­ing down any­time soon. This is espe­cial­ly true as con­sumers seek COVID-relat­ed con­tent and brands meet that demand. In fact, it’s esti­mat­ed that more than 1,500 arti­cles were pro­duced each day between Jan­u­ary and March alone.

This reflects the fact that health and well­ness is one of the most sought-after sub­jects. Accord­ing to the Pew Inter­net and Life Project, approx­i­mate­ly 80 per­cent of inter­net users have searched for answers to a health ques­tion online. In fact, search­ing for health infor­ma­tion is sec­ond only to using email in terms of what peo­ple spend the most time doing on the internet.

As a health­care mar­keter, this cre­ates both a chal­lenge and an oppor­tu­ni­ty. You know you need to get your brand in front of the right audi­ence in a mean­ing­ful way. You also know an inte­grat­ed con­tent strat­e­gy is one of the best ways to do that. How­ev­er, there is so much dig­i­tal con­tent avail­able to con­sumers that, at times, read­ers feel over­whelmed. That’s when con­tent fatigue sets in.

What Is Content Fatigue?

Con­tent fatigue is the exas­per­at­ed sigh you heave when your inbox receives anoth­er 20 unso­licit­ed emails from five com­pa­nies you shopped at once. It’s the exhaus­tion that builds as you spend pre­cious time sift­ing through search results try­ing to find an arti­cle that pro­vides a solu­tion to your prob­lem or con­cern. It’s the way that you now ignore spon­sored blog posts and pro­mot­ed tweets in much the same way inter­net users once ignored flash­ing, omnipresent ban­ner ads with danc­ing babies.

As a mar­keter, you have a unique per­spec­tive because you see things from both sides. You’ve been both the con­tent cre­ator and con­sumer, which makes you unique­ly posi­tioned to iden­ti­fy and stave off con­tent fatigue.

Here’s the real oppor­tu­ni­ty for health­care mar­keters: Qual­i­ty con­tent that your audi­ence con­sis­tent­ly finds use­ful is a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage. Despite the growth of con­tent as part of the health­care mar­ket­ing mix, the major­i­ty of mar­keters strug­gle to find suc­cess as illus­trat­ed by our 2020 State of Health­care Con­tent Mar­ket­ing ReportNear­ly 9 in 10 (89%) used con­tent mar­ket­ing com­pared to 76% the pre­vi­ous year, although most described their efforts as some­what effec­tive (66%) and only 26% con­sid­er their efforts very effec­tive. 

The cul­prit is like­ly con­tent fatigue, and here are proven ways to com­bat it. 

5 Ways to Avoid Content Fatigue

So how do you dig out from beneath the avalanche and cre­ate the per­fect piece of con­tent that will catch the eye of your ide­al reader?

Find your niche. Tell your read­ers what you offer that not every­one can. For hos­pi­tals, health sys­tems and even small med­ical prac­tices, one answer is obvi­ous: exper­tise. Peo­ple search online for infor­ma­tion about their med­ical prob­lems all the time, and you can speak as an author­i­ty on those sub­jects by fea­tur­ing your physi­cians and oth­er experts.

Know your goal. Don’t cre­ate con­tent just to cre­ate con­tent. What is the goal of your blog post, tweet, or email? Know exact­ly what kind of action you want the read­er to take after read­ing your con­tent, whether it’s to make an appoint­ment for an ortho­pe­dic con­sul­ta­tion, spread the word about an upcom­ing flu shot clin­ic, or sim­ply more be more informed on a rel­e­vant health topic.

Shift focus. Tem­porar­i­ly take the spot­light off your hos­pi­tal or prac­tice. Fea­ture heart­warm­ing patient suc­cess sto­ries or inter­views with indi­vid­ual providers on top­ics that are mak­ing head­lines. This allows poten­tial patients to feel they know and trust the physi­cian before they make an appointment.

Cre­ate resources. Get cre­ative with your con­tent for­mat and cre­ate some­thing read­ers can refer to over and over again. This could be any­thing from a check­list of what to keep in a first-aid kit to child­hood vac­ci­na­tion sched­ules. Think of things they can print out and tack up on the kitchen cork board—with your hos­pi­tal or practice’s logo and con­tact infor­ma­tion clear­ly displayed.

Think qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty. All con­tent mar­keters know that con­sis­tent post­ing is essen­tial. How­ev­er, one of the biggest fac­tors dri­ving con­tent fatigue is that there’s a lot of irrel­e­vant mes­sag­ing out there. Scale back your post­ing quan­ti­ty and instead focus on iden­ti­fy­ing ways you can improve qual­i­ty. Give your read­ers infor­ma­tion that is help­ful and rel­e­vant for the long term.


NOTE: This post was originally published in July 2018. It has been updated for freshness.

Let’s Plan Your Strategy

Let our health­care con­tent mar­ket­ing experts help you nav­i­gate these shifts. 

Sign up for updates!

Sign up for updates!

Get marketing tips delivered straight to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!