Top 4 Challenges Of Health Care Content Marketing

Here are four of the biggest chal­lenges of con­tent mar­ket­ing in health care, along with some tips that can help the process run more smooth­ly.

Victoria Edwards By Victoria Edwards from Florida Blue. Join the discussion » 0 comments

There are many obsta­cles in con­tent mar­ket­ing with regards to health care as you have so many things to be aware of not only from a med­ical per­spec­tive, but also a legal per­spec­tive. Below are four chal­lenges of con­tent mar­ket­ing in health care, along with some tips that can help the process run more smooth­ly. While you may not be in health care, these chal­lenges and tips are sure to res­onate with many of you.

Regard­less of what indus­try you’re in, con­tent mar­ket­ing can be a very involved process because so many com­po­nents go into the whole process. When done cor­rect­ly, not only can the out­come be very ben­e­fi­cial, but also more cost effec­tive than oth­er dig­i­tal pro­mo­tion­al avenues, like paid adver­tis­ing.

1. Review & Approval Process Turnaround Time Can Be Lengthy

With top­ics like the Afford­able Care Act, health insur­ance, and clin­i­cal con­tent, the review and approval process are vital steps in the con­tent mar­ket­ing process, but can take the most time because dif­fer­ent depart­ments or indi­vid­u­als have to vet the con­tent before it can go live.

When we cre­ate a piece of con­tent for my health care brand’s site, a form is filled out elec­tron­i­cal­ly where dates of when the con­tent must go live, along with the sub­ject mat­ter experts who are in charge are list­ed. If the con­tent is med­ical in nature, then pri­or to fill­ing out this form, an email from a med­ical direc­tor approv­ing the con­tent must be sent and attached with the form, along with the con­tent. This is to make sure that the top experts in the com­pa­ny have approved all con­tent that is clin­i­cal in nature, pri­or to the review process tak­ing place.

While the approval and review process can be chal­leng­ing, the one thing that will help you is hav­ing a ful­ly flushed out con­tent cal­en­dar. This way you can lay out and pic­ture the con­tent roadmap, see gaps, and deter­mine how long some­thing will take to get approved before launch­ing. I usu­al­ly try and sub­mit con­tent to the review and approval team approx­i­mate­ly one to two weeks pri­or need­ing it to go live on the blog.

With regards to the con­tent cal­en­dar, it is imper­a­tive that you leave enough wig­gle room for the review process so you nev­er will have gaps in your go live dates. While I lay out future month’s con­tent in advance, I do com­mu­ni­cate to var­i­ous stake­hold­ers that the con­tent cal­en­dar is flex­i­ble and dates can be moved around if need be.

Hav­ing a review and approval process is some­thing that I high­ly rec­om­mend. It will always keep your con­tent and your brand look­ing pro­fes­sion­al. In the end, stay­ing ahead of the game by hav­ing a con­tent cal­en­dar that is planned out in advance will help you alle­vi­ate the time it can take for con­tent to get approved.

2. Finding Pre-Approved Content That Can Be Recycled

Being in a large health solu­tions com­pa­ny, con­tent is con­stant­ly get­ting cre­at­ed by dif­fer­ent depart­ments. Whether it’s health and well­ness con­tent, new mem­ber con­tent or con­tent around the lat­est changes in health care, the con­tent is already devel­oped, but find­ing it can some­times be chal­leng­ing.

The good news is that find­ing this already approved con­tent will save you time as there are no steps need­ed into get­ting it reviewed. This type of con­tent is great to help frame your con­tent cal­en­dar as with minor tweaks 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 ver­sus cre­at­ing new con­tent that pro­motes the exact same mes­sage.
  • It can help extend the lifes­pan of the con­tent.
  • It is cost effec­tive and can aid with ROI as it’s already pro­duced.

One way to find this con­tent is to sim­ply ask around the dif­fer­ent depart­ments in your com­pa­ny. Reach out to the experts in the com­pa­ny and find out who assists with their con­tent efforts.

My brand devel­ops direct mail pieces to our new mem­bers regard­ing new mem­ber infor­ma­tion. This is great con­tent that can be repur­posed on the blog because it helps the con­tent reach more peo­ple.

Once you have found your hand­ful or experts and indi­vid­u­als who know where to look, reach out to them on a reg­u­lar basis to find out if there’s any new con­tent so you can help extend their message’s reach by plac­ing it on the company’s blog.

3. Educating Members About Health Care Changes

The Afford­able Care Act intro­duced a lot of changes, not to men­tion oth­er health care focused top­ics like open enroll­ment. These come not only with lots of infor­ma­tion that can be con­fus­ing but can also have spe­cif­ic dates which requires indi­vid­u­als to take cer­tain steps so they have health care for the future.

Get­ting these mes­sages out is done not only in dig­i­tal for­mat, but also in direct mail. No mat­ter where you place the con­tent, some indi­vid­u­als still may not see it. Fur­ther expand­ing this con­tent, repur­pos­ing in dif­fer­ent for­mats, as well as pro­mot­ing it on your blog and social media can only help in edu­cat­ing your mem­bers of changes and updates with your prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Keep in mind that the con­sumers are unique and digest con­tent in var­i­ous ways. One may like to read con­tent, while oth­ers like to watch a video. The key is recy­cling the updat­ed con­tent in var­i­ous for­mats and pro­mot­ing that con­tent so there is a high­er like­li­hood of it get­ting seen.

Pro­mot­ing this con­tent week­ly or even dai­ly through­out var­i­ous social media chan­nels can also help get your mes­sage in front of peo­ple, just make sure it’s mixed in with oth­er enter­tain­ing and edu­ca­tion con­tent, so your audi­ence doesn’t get annoyed or bored.

4. Updating Information Due To Industry Changes

Anoth­er big chal­lenge of health care con­tent mar­ket­ing is mak­ing sure exist­ing con­tent is up to date. Ever­green con­tent must be accu­rate to reflect cur­rent rules or updates of clin­i­cal stud­ies.

To keep up with reg­u­la­tions and stan­dards, we at times have to take down video or blog con­tent and wait for the new­er con­tent to become avail­able. Once it becomes avail­able, we quick­ly upload, tweak, repub­lish, and then pro­mote con­sis­tent­ly and fre­quent­ly.

One workaround for this type of con­tent is instead of cre­at­ing a new page, update the old con­tent and repub­lish with the cur­rent date. This way the user will get served the most up-to-date, pre­cise con­tent to avoid any con­fu­sion.

For con­tent that is clin­i­cal in nature, instead of tak­ing down the old­er piece of con­tent, cre­ate a new blog post and refer to the old­er study and men­tion what updates have occurred. Also adding words like “Update” or “Break­ing News” to your blog titles could increase click-through rates, as you’re talk­ing about some­thing relat­ed to cur­rent events.


Being as orga­nized as pos­si­ble, plan­ning ahead, and hav­ing a ful­ly flushed out con­tent cal­en­dar can real­ly help aid with these con­tent mar­ket­ing chal­lenges.

Victoria Edwards

Written by Victoria Edwards

Digital Content Strategist, Florida Blue

Victoria has been working in online marketing for the past 10ξyears, with specific focus in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media and Content Marketing. She is currently the Digital Content Strategist for Florida Blue. In her position she focuses on content development, management and optimization on their various sites, in addition to SEO, and social media marketing.

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