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| 11/04/2020

Is It Time for a New Content Marketing Service?

Written by Ed Bennett

Content marketing has become a go-to marketing tool for healthcare organizations attempting to connect with both existing, and potentially new, patients. Providers are perfectly poised to offer valued information on health and wellness, disease management, diet and exercise, and more. As demand for content has grown, many healthcare organizations have looked for external resources—freelancers and agencies—to help keep the content flowing. And some have gotten to the point where they’re asking an important question: “Is it time for a new content marketing service?”

Healthcare marketers have long used external marketing service providers of various kinds. And, while many have had long-term relationships with these providers, there comes a time when marketing leaders feel it’s time to consider something new

There’s a risk, of course, in leaving behind a trusted service provider and no guarantee that a new agency will outperform the one you’re currently working with. But there are some signs that it might be a good time to consider exploring new options. 

Their Ideas Have Become Stale

On a regular basis, whether annually, biannually, or quarterly, you’re likely reviewing new content recommendations from your service provider. If those ideas start looking more and more like the ones you approved last year, or the year before—or more and more like the content your competitors are producing—it’s time to consider a change. 

There Has Been Significant Turnover Among Staff

Consistency is certainly important in marketing messaging and an important element of building and maintaining a strong healthcare brand. But if the members of your content creation team are coming and going, it’s tough to sustain the type of consistency that a strong brand demands. In addition, staffing changes can lead to inefficiencies—and errors. 

There’s a Culture Clash

Both healthcare and marketing are relationship businesses. These organizations are built based on strong cultures that support their abilities to meet their goals. But sometimes those cultures may clash. Whether it’s a high-level difference of opinion on creative direction, or interpersonal conflicts that are becoming increasingly challenging to deal with, if the relationship isn’t working, it may be time to move on.

They’re Not Keeping Up With New Trends

For instance, with the rapid adoption of voice technology through smartphones and devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, voice search has taken on an increasingly important role for marketers of all kinds. If you content marketing agency isn’t on top of these trends, your competitors may quickly outpace you. 

The Budget Has Gotten Out of Control

The fallout from the pandemic has hit healthcare organizations hard. When those hard hits come, one of the first things to go is the budget. According to a Gartner survey of 432 CMOs in North America, France, Germany, and the UK almost half (44%) of respondents are anticipating budget cuts of five to 15 percent, or more. If, at the same time, your content marketing agency fees are trending upward, you’ve got a problem. It may be time to explore other options that could meet your needs for less.

The Results Just Aren’t There

ROI matters. To you, and to your senior leaders. If your content marketing service isn’t delivering results, neither are you! Healthcare marketers have grown increasingly sophisticated at tracking the ROI of their content marketing results—according to The Forum for Healthcare Strategists 2020 report, The State of Healthcare Content Marketing, the percentage of respondents who said their organizations are successful at tracking the ROI of content marketing has grown from 44% to 65%. If those results aren’t keeping pace with your expectations, it may be time to move on.

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