Content Marketing Marketing Strategy

4 Surprising Findings About COVID-19 + Health IT Media

As a healthcare marketer, I always felt like I was fumbling in the dark when it came to content strategy. I could never get enough data to correctly determine what people were reading. I only had access to what content was being consumed on our own sites, which of course is completely biased. Back then, I tried to get a group of companies together to pool and share our marketing data, but very few were willing.

This gap in marketing data became the impetus behind the creation of HITMC Insights – a new monthly report that takes headline data from 15 healthcare media outlets (including our own) and combines it with performance data from Healthcare IT Today’s emails, social media and website.

I wrote an article explaining that backstory of HITMC Insights.

For the first report, we took a deep dive into COVID-19 and how it was impacting (dominating) Health IT headlines. Below are five of the surprising results from that report (see link at the end of this article).

COVID-19 instead of Coronavirus

Looking at the 40 most recent headlines from 15 healthcare media outlets (including Healthcare IT News, Health System CIO, and Fierce Healthcare), the term “COVID-19” was clearly favored over “coronavirus”. In the headlines analyzed, COVID-19 appeared in 180 headlines vs 54 for coronavirus.

Perhaps we prefer the more precise term for the virus in industry press or perhaps it is just simpler to write. No matter the reason, there is a significant preference for COVID-19 – something to keep in mind as you develop your own content.

Free COVID-19 products & services generated visitors

Of all our articles in the month of April, the one that generated the most visitors was our List of Free COVID-19 Health IT Products and Services. The listicle and “free” combination was a definite winner with readers. Even today, this article is still generating a significant number of visitors.

Telehealth, interoperability and communication are popular

Although COVID-19 dominated the headlines and news coverage in healthcare media, there were several topics that were “bubbling under”. Looking across headlines, article content, social media and emails, we found the following to be popular:

  1. Telehealth
  2. Interoperability
  3. Communication

Telehealth isn’t surprising given the rise of adoption and the need for virtual solutions. Interoperability was surprising. I thought this would be one of the things pushed aside as healthcare organizations dealt with the pandemic. Hopefully this means that IT leaders are keeping interoperability in mind as we continue to quickly adopt new technology solutions to deal with remote workforces and safety protocols.

EPIC and HIMSS subject lines draw attention

Analyzing email subject lines is a guilty pleasure of mine. More accurately, I love looking at the different open rates of emails. It’s always amazing to me how much the subject line makes a difference.

When we looked at our April emails two in particular stood out from the sea of COVID related emails:

  1. No Refunds from HIMSS 2020 Annual Conference Exhibitors
  2. Is Epic Building Its Own Telehealth Solution Using Twilio?

This just goes to show that even in the middle of a pandemic, people are curious to know what is happening with EPIC and HIMSS.

You can download this special HITMC Insights – COVID-19 report for free via this link.

About the author


Colin Hung

Colin Hung is an award-winning Marketing Executive with more than 15yrs of healthcare and HealthIT experience. He co-founded one of the most popular healthcare chats on Twitter, #hcldr and he has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Healthcare IT Influencers”. Colin’s work has been published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, American Society for Healthcare Risk Managers, and Infection Control Today. He writes regularly for Healthcare Scene and here at Colin is a member of #pinksock #TheWalkingGallery and is proudly HITMC. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

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The Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) is an extension of the HITMC conference that is the first of its kind event that brings together marketing and PR professionals from throughout the health care community. We strive to provide amazing marketing and PR related content that helps HealthIT companies and healthcare organizations  stand out amidst all the noise of the industry. If you’re looking to market to hospital executives, doctors, practice managers, patients, or other healthcare professionals, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the HITMC community!