healthcare content marketingA recently released report from the 2016 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Media Content Marketing Survey has found that fewer than 5 percent of B2B healthcare marketers believe their efforts are highly effective.

These numbers reflect a problem for marketers in this industry have struggled with for years—how to create and publish engaging content in a specialized and highly regulated field. It’s also worth noting that a majority of these marketers plan to increase their healthcare content creation volumes over the next year.

Changes to content strategies necessary

This presents a significant challenge. Obviously, the survey responses show overwhelmingly that healthcare marketers are not hitting the mark with their existing content. So will simply creating more of it be a solution? It’s not likely.

Before they ramp up their content creation, B2B healthcare marketers need to gain a greater understanding of the role content should play in their overall marketing efforts.

The survey results point to a potential disconnect here. Most of the marketers surveyed reported that lead generation was the number one goal of their content creation efforts, and fewer than 20 percent cited brand awareness and thought leadership as key goals.

However, as most veteran content marketers are well aware, lead generation is a long-term strategy that results from a brand establishing its expertise in the eyes of its target customers. So, by focusing on lead generation first and foremost, B2B healthcare marketers may be missing the forest for the trees. Emphasizing content that bolsters a healthcare brand’s efficacy and thought leadership will eventually generate more leads with time.

This is an especially important considering the unique sector in which healthcare marketers operate. They must deal with more complex issues and long sales cycles, and it can be difficult to develop compelling content on a consistent basis.

For the marketing professionals using healthcare content creation as a strategy, it’s becoming increasingly important to be realistic about expectations and to keep an eye on the long-term goals rather than the number of leads coming through the door.