Healthcare Marketing Insights Learned or Confirmed in 2019

by Jason Skinner, Chief Marketing Officer - 12/23/19

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Here are seven healthcare marketing insights gleaned while solving problems for clients in 2019.

One of the core values guiding our company is, “Strategic problem-solving to continuously achieve the best outcomes." This requires a commitment to ongoing improvement and once again, we look back on the past year and share some of the knowledge gathered to inform and inspire your healthcare marketing strategies.  

Content is critical to the patient experience.

Healthcare organizations continue adopting traditionally consumer-centric marketing strategies, and integrated content strategies are among the most powerful and prevalent of these initiatives. Taking a page from the playbooks of global brands like Procter & Gamble and American Express, healthcare market leaders like HSHS Sacred Heart are leveraging blogs and content hubs as part of a consumer-centric approach.

Find out why you should consider a content hub to engage consumers and how to get started in our webinar.

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Print has staying power—and is preferred by Gen Z.

We launched more publications in 2019 than in the past several years, reflecting the resurgence of print as one of the most effective formats for engaging consumers, physicians and other healthcare audiences. This is especially true among Generation Z—the largest generation of consumers at 25% of the population. Despite growing up on social media and surrounded by technology, those ages 24-and-under are spending more time reading print than digital platforms. This is one of many reasons the Content Marketing Institute predicts that marketers will reconsider or reinvest in print in 2020.

It’s critical to diversify your digital platforms.

For the first time since Google launched over 20 years ago, the majority of Google searches did not result in a single click starting in summer 2019. This means prioritizing content based on user intent—while investing in more reliable traffic sources like email and print—will be essential as your content strategy evolves.

Here are a few ways to adjust your content strategy for success in the zero-click search era. 

Podcasts are becoming a priority.

While B2B marketers have long embraced podcasts as an effective way to engage a professional audience and support thought leadership, healthcare organizations are leveraging podcasts to humanize their brands and build trust among consumers.

Here are a few of our favorite podcasts from hospitals and health systems:

Physician engagement means thinking beyond the referral.

Traditionally, engaging physicians has meant garnering the referral. But we are seeing hospitals and health systems think beyond that primary focus to nurture providers to drive ongoing referral growth, build loyalty and optimize consumers’ experience with their providers. The winners realize that healthcare providers are not robots and building relationships through relevant content guides both personal and professional decisions.

Solving for your audience will always win.

Consumer preferences are pliable. New channels are cropping up. Strategic priorities are shifting. This dizzying environment can drive marketers to focus on short-term wins by optimizing content for algorithms when addressing audience needs is the long-term solution. Simply put: Good content is your best SEO strategy. In the words of Paul Matsen, chief marketing officer at Cleveland Clinic —where blog traffic has grown to more than 7 million visits per month, “Trusted content is what drives people to the site.” 

The future is bright.

Healthcare marketing has never been more challenging, and those charged with leading hospitals and health systems into the future are rising to the occasion. Our 2019 Emerging Leaders in Healthcare Marketing are advancing the discipline by embracing the data-driven, digital-first tools required to engage consumers, physicians and other audiences in 2020 and beyond.

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Topics: Content Strategy, Healthcare Industry Insights & Trends, Content Marketing

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