Content Marketing

Proprietary Insights into Healthcare Content Marketing: Our Data Tells a Story

It’s no secret that what the world experienced in 2020 left a lasting impact on virtually every facet of business, shaping everything from our work styles to our modes of communication. As you can probably guess, the healthcare sector emerged as one of the most profoundly affected industries—but what may be more surprising is how deeply this affected healthcare content.

Over the last three years, healthcare companies have undergone scores of changes, both in and out of the exam room. One of the most challenging adjustments? Healthcare organizations must now compete against newsrooms, media companies, and a slew of misinformation campaigns to get their voices heard in an incessant cycle of new healthcare content. So, what have the results been? And what does that mean for healthcare marketers in the future?

Contently’s content strategy team developed a report summarizing some of the biggest trends in healthcare content (using data compiled from January through December 2022). Leveraging our proprietary data and the powerful insights derived from Contently’s advanced analytics tool, we’ve identified industry-level benchmarks to inform your content marketing tactics, publishing, and performance measurement.

Before setting our sights on the road ahead, we needed to look back, establish normalcy, and see what has changed with healthcare content over the last three years. Here’s what we learned.

The State of Healthcare Content in 2020 (or Lack Thereof)

At the start of 2020, 72 healthcare companies qualified for the Fortune 1000 list. Our marketing team analyzed each company’s website and found that nearly 63% had a limited-to-no content presence. Only about 37% of healthcare companies on the list had a functioning content hub.

This tells us a lot about where the market was at that time—and how the majority of healthcare companies and marketing leadership had not yet bought in on the need to tell their stories and empower their customers with digitally accessible content.

But what about the content itself? Here are some major takeaways we found:

  • In March 2020, 21% of all content created on Contently was related to COVID-19. That’s a 4x increase from the prior month.
  • At this time, healthcare content was averaging around 385 social shares per story.
  • The three most highly covered topics were health conditions, medical procedures, and beauty and fitness.

Since then, the healthcare industry as we know it has become even more complex due to various factors—from the pandemic to the internet’s role in the dissemination of health-related information across the world.

Healthcare Content Creation Has Increased—and So Has Its Engagement

Today, there are 76 healthcare companies on the Fortune 1000 list, and only 9% don’t have a content presence. That’s a 54% increase in healthcare companies prioritizing digital content.

According to our research and analysis, the average annual revenue of healthcare companies without a content presence tends to be less than those with one. Plus, healthcare companies with a content presence tend to make more profit on average than those that do not have a content presence.

When looking at the content, Contently’s strategy team found that more than 6.6 million people visited Contently’s top healthcare hubs in 2022. Even more interesting is that new visitors generated 91% of this traffic.

6.6 million people visited ContentlyNew visitors comprimised 91% of the traffic to healthcare content in 2022.

People who visited or read healthcare content in 2022 had an average finish rate of 63% before leaving the page—a high-performing engagement metric for medical content.

Production trends also provided some insight, as we learned that there was a 41% increase in healthcare content created on Contently between 2021 and 2022. Upon analyzing our proprietary data, we cross-referenced our findings with data from other external sources, like MM+M, which found that 41% of study respondents spent more on content in 2022.

2020 was truly a catalyst for transformation—and the data shared here only scratches the surface of what we’ve learned about the ever-changing healthcare industry. Despite the initial scarcity of content in healthcare, the notable increase in digital presence indicates an industry that recognizes the importance of storytelling and empowering customers with accessible content.

A New Era for Healthcare Content

It’s crucial to recognize the significance of marketing technology and automation in healthcare content marketing. Given the rapid pace of change in the healthcare industry, content must remain current to establish itself as the go-to source of information. To truly stand out in content related to medical conditions or treatments, it’s essential to differentiate and provide value beyond what patients might find on platforms like WebMD. Scaling marketing efforts and running measurable campaigns can also lead to long-term cost savings.

Employing personalization strategies is paramount, with 66% of internet users actively seeking information about specific diseases or medical problems online. Failing to provide this information may prompt patients to turn to competitors. Building robust customer personas and crafting thoughtful campaigns that evoke an emotional response to healthcare experiences and products can set your content apart.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that multimedia is on the rise in healthcare content marketing. Visual content, including quizzes and GIFs, is significantly more likely to be shared than written content, making it a valuable tool for engagement. Our observations indicate a substantial 67% increase in video production between 2021 and 2022 on our platform. These trends underscore the importance of embracing various multimedia formats to effectively engage and connect with your audience in the evolving landscape of healthcare content marketing.

As you think through your next moves in healthcare content marketing, give priority to a dynamic digital content strategy. By focusing on adaptable, personalized content, you can craft engaging narratives that effectively connect with patients and yield measurable results as you move forward.

We’re here to help you navigate the healthcare content marketing landscape—to learn more, request a demo and chat with our sales team.

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