Content marketers: one of the most important research reports was released two weeks ago by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Marketing Profs. That’s right – the 2016 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report has been released.
If you’re like me, you’re intrigued about the status of our beloved content marketing industry and where it’s going. These kinds of insights can only help us to improve our own work in the area of digital content.
For healthcare marketers specifically, there are numerous takeaways you can get from the report to help inform and improve your own content strategies over the next year. Let’s take a look at them below:
More of you are documenting your content strategies (excuse me while I celebrate for a second.)
One of the areas I’m most passionate about is creating and documenting a content strategy before diving into content creation, and more marketers are getting on board. This is fantastic news. CMI and Marketing Profs found that last year, 27% of B2C marketers documented their content strategies. This year that number increased to 32%.
This is great because healthcare marketers should understand that documented content strategies are proven to be more effective than verbal-only strategies or no strategy at all. With so many service lines/business units, compelling stories and organizational goals, you need to take the time to document your plan. It’ll only help in the long run.
Facebook remains the most effective social media platform among B2C marketers.
Healthcare marketers, you probably agree with this finding. 66% of those surveyed said that Facebook is effective. YouTube came in second place with 53% finding it effective. It’s interesting to note these two channels are both video-heavy, and we know that video as a type of content is on the rise.
At the bottom of the spectrum were Google+ (22% and not surprising) and Pinterest (39%.) For healthcare marketers however, Pinterest can be a very effective social media channel, especially since it’s a popular platform for health, fitness and nutrition content and is hugely popular among the primary healthcare decision makers (women.)
The most used content marketing tactic is social media content (other than blogs).
90% of B2C marketers use social media content. This isn’t surprising since there are millions of consumers using social media on a daily basis. However, use of the following tactics increased the most over the past year:
- Infographics (45% last year vs. 62% this year)
- Illustrations/photos (75% last year vs. 87% this year)
- Online presentations (36% last year vs. 48% this year)
What do all three of these tactics have in common? They are highly visual and engaging. Even though they all may contain some text, they focus more on visual appeal than the written word. For healthcare marketers, this is an important takeaway because we know the Web is flooded with articles and blogs about health and wellness. It’s the visuals that are gaining momentum and capturing more and more attention among audiences.
Promoted posts, social ads and search engine marketing (SEM) have overtaken print/other offline promotion tactics in the past year.
On average, B2C marketers use an average of four paid promotion tactics. This is great news considering the lack of promotion of quality content and the growing pay-to-play social media environments. The greatest effectiveness rating for paid tactics was for promoted posts (NOT to be confused with social ads), which was up 17% compared to last year.
Another important note: last year, print/other offline promotion was the top method for content promotion. Digital promotion tactics have finally taken over.
50% of B2C marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next year.
The value of content marketing is becoming more well-known across industries, including healthcare, and that’s leading to a greater emphasis being placed on the digital tactic. This is great news! Gone are the days of stand-alone search engine optimization (SEO) or social media tactics. Today, content marketing should work cohesively with SEO and social media to provide marketers with a natural way to engage, grow and influence audiences.
We know content marketing done right can produce results. It’s just a matter of taking the step to actually do it right, even if that means taking a step back to conduct the appropriate research (audience, market, content audits, etc.) and get your strategy documented. Healthcare marketers, this is the direction digital marketing is going. Are you going there too?
See the full 2016 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report from CMI and Marketing Profs here.