Healthcare marketers are two years behind other industries in terms of using the Internet for marketing declares a 2012 report from Content Marketing Institute.
According to CMI founder Joe Pulizzi, healthcare marketers use print more often than online tactics.
- Print magazines: 47% of healthcare marketers use them, versus 35% of all marketers;
- Print newsletters: 43% of healthcare marketers use them, versus 28% of all marketers;
- Annual reports: 36% of healthcare marketers use them, versus 26 percent of all marketers.
Pulizzi says that 58% of healthcare marketers use blogs, as opposed to 74% in other industries. He also found that, with the exception of YouTube, health care marketers use all social media channels less often than their peers in other industries do.
(That’s not an indictment against healthcare marketers. Other industries – oil & gas for instance – have yet to ramp up their online marketing efforts, too.)
The report cites industry regulation as one main reason. “Healthcare is a highly-regulated industry, and fear is rampant,” said Pulizzi.
Not every healthcare provider has allowed fear of regulation to keep them from marketing online. Mayo Clinic and St. David’s HealthCare in Austin are two outstanding examples of hospital systems that have led the way in the use of content marketing and social media.
A number of Bizzuka clients have similarly jumped on the bandwagon. Many have social media accounts, but a few have taken the next step to produce content in the form of blogs, email newsletters and downloadable collateral such as ebooks and reports.
Cardiovascular Institute of the South, which has locations covering almost all of south Louisiana, employs the use of a blog to raise awareness and teach heart health education. So does Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, which uses a blog to publish news and events.
Digestive Health Center of Louisiana uses downloadable content tied to specific landing pages to generate leads and has a blog to share news and tips about gastrointestinal health. Plastic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Odinet uses a blog and email newsletter.
The client who takes the cake due to his extensive use of blogs is clinical psychiatrist and author Dr. Dale Archer. He uses multiple blogs to dispense advice on topics such as parenting, addiction and relationships. He also actively leverages social media to syndicate and amplify his content, and produces a weekly email newsletter.
Don’t let fear of regulation keep you from maximizing the value of online marketing in all its variant forms – blogs, email, ebooks and social media – to build awareness, grow relationships and foster trust for your healthcare facility or practice. Others have jumped on the bandwagon; isn’t is time you did, too?