In reviewing several recent posts from non-healthcare publications, I began to consider, what should we expect in the content marketing world for healthcare marketing for 2019?
The world of content marketing is rapidly changing. As healthcare marketers, it is important that we have focus and consider the trends that other businesses will also experience.
First, a few general comments… content marketing is not going anywhere – this industry will soon be worth more than $400 billion. Content must complement your business strategy and strategic plan in achieving specific goals rather than a universal or general brand message. Good storytelling is at the core of all content strategy. Distribution is the driver of success—target the right people on the right channels. And we must continue to repurpose our best content.
Six Trends to Focus on Content Marketing in Healthcare for 2019:
- Continue to Leverage Digital Tools:
- Optimize SEO at all times – this determines the ranking of your content and website within search engines and it remains critical no matter what.
- Continue to prioritize and improve your mobile strategy.
- Be sure your website is easy to navigate and reflects your current brand.
- Video, Video, Video – of course video is a digital tool, but it is so important it must be called out. This trend continues to be paramount in your content marketing strategy. The Washington Post predicted that video would account for 80% of online content by 2020. YouTube is already overtaking Facebook as the second-most visited site (Google is number one, naturally).
A note about podcasts – if you aren’t doing them, you should consider it. This is an effective way to get your message out. This works very well as a recruitment and retention strategy. Consider interviewing employees to carry the message about working at your organization. This is especially helpful in nurse recruitment and/or in areas where there are critical shortages. And if you are doing podcasts, amplify them with embedded video.
- Social Media Networks – DUH! We all understand how social media networks have taken over every aspect of what we do today. It naturally must be one of the core foundations of your content marketing strategy. One area that you may not have considered though is the use of social network community groups. Depending on your organization’s strategic plan you can create groups. To learn more about how you can effectively implement at your healthcare organization see, Dee Dee Becker’s blog post from November 13, 2018.
- Influencer and Micro-Influencer Marketing – this will continue to grow. In industries outside of healthcare this has grown significantly on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. This practice is still in its infancy. Some large healthcare organizations have taken advantage of this strategy early – such as Toby Cosgrove and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation – and have done so very effectively. This can also be done by key targeted smaller populations such as in the children’s hospital space by moms and/or doctor moms. Additionally, you should consider one of your best and largest populations: your employees.
- Internal Communications Strategy and Content – be sure that your internal communications strategy includes an employee “communications ambassador” program. Employees are your best source as storytellers. Strategize how to activate your employees as both creators and as effective distribution channels. Referring back to the trend of micro-influencer marketing, when your employees are engaged they will themselves act as micro-influencers for your company. If you are successful in employing and activating individuals who align with your brand values, they will act as your most dedicated cheerleaders. This creates special challenges for healthcare organizations and must be handled with great care – but it can be done very effectively.
- Educate Yourself and the C-Suite about Advanced AI.
- Identify best practices in healthcare for voice powered EVERYTHING!
- Understand and use chatbots for the patient journey and population health strategies. These will become a customer service standard and will start replacing live agents more and more frequently as machine learning algorithms grow more complex and are able to emulate human beings with almost spooky accuracy.
I hope you find this information useful in planning for 2019 at your organization. What you do think will be the biggest trends in healthcare content marketing? Your questions and comments are encouraged and appreciated. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m including a few of my resources on these topics for you as I’ve found them to be incredibly insightful. To learn more, I suggest:
- Michael Brenner, “My 2019 Content Prediction,” Marketing Insider, Content Marketing November 12, 2018.
- Harry Southworth, “10 biggest Content Marketing Trends for 2019,” Analysis, Public Relations, November 19, 2018.
- Dee Dee Becker, “Leveraging Facebook Groups for your Health System, Hospital or Medical Group,” Corrigan Consulting Blog, November 13, 2018.