Top Trends and Challenges in Healthcare Content Marketing



Content marketing in any industry can be a very involved process. The reason is that healthcare content marketing involves many components and challenges, such as content calendar development, keyword research, editing, and approval.

Developing great content is only part of the puzzle. Content creators have to also ensure that they’re following certain types of trends with regards to search and social. It’s important to ensure that the content reaches the right audience

Below is a list of a few challenges and trends I will discuss in this month’s AMA talk on Top Trends and Challenges in Healthcare Content Marketing. I’ve also shared some tips on how to ensure the success of your content development process and promotions.


  1. Review & Approval Process Turnaround Time Can Be Lengthy

When producing content on topics like the Affordable Care Act, health insurance, and clinical issues, the review and approval processes are vital steps in healthcare content marketing. However, these processes can be long because different departments or individuals must vet the content before it’s published.

When creating content, especially when it’s health care or medical in nature, it’s important to plan accordingly. Content creators must not only abide by rules and regulations, but also they communicate with the subject matter experts (SMEs) to make sure they’re accurately representing facts within the content.

While the approval and review process can be challenging, the one thing that will help is having a full content calendar, as mentioned above. The content calendar will help you plan and picture the content roadmap, see gaps, and determine how long it will take for certain pieces of content to be approved prior to launching them. I try to submit content to the review and approval team approximately one to two weeks prior to the publication date.

One way of ensuring a quicker approval process is allowing SMEs to develop the content and educating them on the value and benefits of producing the content quickly. Through internal grassroots efforts I’ve promoted the value of blogging and managed to obtain several experts with regards to health care, wellness, and medical information.

Many of these experts may not have time to develop content; so one way of them sharing their expertise with you is a simple 30-minute call once a month. For example, I have a monthly call with a medical director for 30 minutes. During this time, we discuss medical news, trends in medicine, and seasonal health and wellness. I take notes on the call and use them to develop insightful content. Next, I send it back to the SME for final approval. The medical expert is then author of the content. This technique is ghostwriting. It’s effective and a way you can get your SMEs to author the content, which is a great benefit with regards to thought leadership.

Having a review and approval process is something that I highly recommend. It will always ensure that any company’s content and brand look professional. In the end, staying ahead of the game by having a content calendar planned in advance will help reduce the length of the approval process.

  1. Finding Pre-Approved Content That Can Be Recycled

In a large health solutions company, content can originate in a variety of departments and focus on a variety of topics, such as health and wellness content, new member content, or content focused on the latest changes in health care. Even the content that is already developed and waiting to be found can be tough to locate.

The good news is that finding this already existing content will save time because no approval process is needed. This type of content is great to help frame a content calendar and, with minor tweaks, it can be recycled and placed on the blog.

I tend to hunt for already produced and approved content often for several reasons:

  • It’s created by the experts.
  • It’s already reviewed.
  • It can save time.
  • It is cost effective and can bump up ROI because it’s already produced.

One way to find this content is to simply ask colleagues in different departments in your company. Reach out to the experts in the company regularly and ask them for content. Don’t be afraid to ask because they will benefit from the situation too, as publishing their content on the blog will extend their messages’ reach.


  1. Diversification of Content Types

 While blogging is a great way to communicate a message and bring people to a company’s website, it’s important that content reaches different types of media to ensure it is being seen.

For example, producing videos related to published content will further increase the reach of the message. How? Placing the video on YouTube can help with SEO (as Google owns YouTube and YouTube is the second largest search engine). Developing content related to the video, posting this content on a blog, then promoting the blog on social media gives a content marketer the opportunity to attract target audiences to a company’s website. This method has a higher likelihood of creating stickiness with content. Users who click on the blog, are more likely to not only watch videos on a website (which increases time on site), but also are more likely to click other links on the site and familiarize themselves with a company’s brand.

The concept above also applies to visual media. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. I’ve noticed this with my own efforts, so no matter which content I am promoting, 95% of the time, I add images into the social promotion.

One of the brands I am working on is GuideWell Emergency Doctors. GuideWell Emergency Doctors is a new clinical model that sits in between urgent care facilities and the hospital emergency room. Since this is a new brand and business model, much of my content development involves educating consumers about the brand. I’ve noticed that, since we began using social media, my overall reach is 50% higher when images are included in the social media posts. In conclusion, different segments of your audience learn and digest content differently, so it’s important to diversify any content mix to appeal to all consumers.

  1. Promoted Content

Unfortunately social media doesn’t have the organic impact it used to have. Nowadays, regardless of how great content is, social media is a pay to play platform and audiences will not see any of the content directed at them unless the creator invests in promoting it.

Late last year, Facebook announced that it planned to change the way we saw various types of content in the platform. Facebook stated that, in 2015, users would see less organic promotional content in their news feeds. What does this mean for us? This means that organic distribution has decreased. Therefore, advertising is the best way to promote services and products on Facebook. Any business that relies on Facebook engagement must invest in advertising.

Twitter is another avenue in which advertising is essential. Twitter announced this month that it will allow promoted tweets in 167 more countries. As mentioned in Content Marketing Institute, paying to promote content on Twitter enables users to bring more attention to their best content and promotion campaigns. Twitter also offers filtering tools to help paying users target their messages to the most likely prospects and minimize budget waste. Paying to promote tweets can also ensure that tweets are distributed where A/B tests are statistically accurate. Lastly, Twitter is ideal for local promotions because it allows users to target tweets geographically.

Keep in mind that paid promoting takes a lot of testing. It’s important for marketers to take the time to A/B split test their content, diversify what they are promoting (blogs, videos, images), and ensure that the message is appealing to the audience.

Here is just a brief sample of what I will discuss during my talk on Top Trends and Challenges in Healthcare Content Marketing on September 24th. If you’re interested in attending the event, register before it sells out! Feel free to tweet me @TallChickVic!

About the Author

Victoria Edwards


Victoria Edwards is Florida Blue’s Digital Content Strategist and a self-taught content expert. She has 8 years of experience in digital marketing and her areas of expertise include social media management, SEO, analytics, web design, and online brand management. Victoria has been using her expertise in the healthcare industry since 2011.


Chiara Tedone