Top 4 Challenges Of Health Care Content Marketing

Some tips to help your health care content marketing process run more smoothly.

By Victoria Edwards

Content Marketing

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.

What other challenges do you face in health care content marketing?