How to Evolve Your Print Magazine into an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy

Get more out of your print magazine with an integrated strategy. Here’s how healthcare leaders are evolving their approach to content marketing.

If you’re already using print con­tent mar­ket­ing, con­grat­u­la­tions: You’re ahead of the curve! The Con­tent Mar­ket­ing Insti­tute recent­ly sug­gest­ed that mar­keters con­sid­er using print because every­thing else is going online. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to ditch dig­i­tal, but it does mean you need to cre­ate an inte­grat­ed con­tent strategy.

(And if you’re not already pub­lish­ing, here are six rea­sons to rethink print from con­tent mar­ket­ing guru Joe Pulizzi.)

Accord­ing to a By The Num­bers report from the Soci­ety for Health­care Strat­e­gy and Mar­ket Devel­op­ment, health­care mar­keters lever­ag­ing the pow­er of print are actu­al­ly in the major­i­ty. They found that 80% of its mem­bers pro­duce com­mu­ni­ty pub­li­ca­tions and 71% pro­duce employ­ee pub­li­ca­tions. In addi­tion, near­ly half (44%) pro­duce pub­li­ca­tions for physicians.

While health­care mar­ket­ing often gets a bad rap for being behind the curve, if print con­tent mar­ket­ing is part of your toolk­it, you’re also in good com­pa­ny. Face­book, Airbnb and oth­er glob­al brands are embrac­ing print to engage their “always on” audi­ences in a “lean-back” for­mat with less dis­trac­tions.

Suc­cess Sto­ries: Expand­ing Cus­tom Mag­a­zine Con­tent Beyond Print

While print remains viable—and usage is even increas­ing among younger demo­graph­ics, an effec­tive cus­tom mag­a­zine is now part of a larg­er engage­ment or growth strat­e­gy that lever­ages con­tent mar­ket­ing tools and mul­ti­ple dig­i­tal touch­points to pro­mote, inte­grate and mea­sure con­tent devel­oped for the publication.

Here are a cou­ple exam­ples of health sys­tems that have evolved their con­tent strategies:

HSHS Sacred Heart Hos­pi­tal — A cen­ter­piece exam­ple of an inte­grat­ed con­tent strat­e­gy is a blog called Inspir­ing Health, which lever­ages con­tent from an award-win­ning com­mu­ni­ty pub­li­ca­tion of the same name and is then opti­mized for search and pro­mot­ed through paid and organ­ic social media, native adver­tis­ing and email. Fol­low­ing its Feb­ru­ary 2019 launch, the blog received more than 2,000 page views dur­ing the first month—including 1,500 new users. Engage­ment met­rics for Face­book and native adver­tis­ing are beat­ing indus­try bench­marks, mean­ing the audi­ence is engag­ing with this con­tent at a high­er rate com­pared to oth­er health­care-relat­ed promotions.

magazine and digital display

Methodist Health Sys­temMethodist pro­duces a 48-page, quar­ter­ly print pub­li­ca­tion titled SHINE along with info­graph­ics, videos, patient sto­ries and oth­er types of con­tent to reach the com­mu­ni­ty. In 2019, the mar­ket­ing team part­nered with True North to launch SHINE Online and deliv­er a mul­ti­fac­eted con­tent expe­ri­ence with rel­e­vant nur­tur­ing and con­ver­sion oppor­tu­ni­ties. With­in the first two months, the site was already dri­ving engage­ment at unprece­dent­ed lev­els. In fact, August and Sep­tem­ber of 2019 pro­duced over 1,000% more traf­fic than the same time frame in 2018 on Methodist’s for­mer blog, which was housed on their main site. Learn more about the evo­lu­tion of SHINE in a detailed case study.

Methodist magazine and digital display

Read the Case Study: Methodist Health Sys­tem Boosts Con­sumer Engage­ment With Inte­grat­ed Con­tent Mar­ket­ing Strategy

The Advantages of an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy

As these exam­ples illus­trate, extend­ing the con­tent in your cus­tom mag­a­zine to an inte­grat­ed con­tent approach offers sev­er­al ben­e­fits for your audi­ence and your organization.

  • Grow Your Audi­ence. Broad­en the reach of your con­tent beyond the publication’s defined cir­cu­la­tion, which is typ­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed based on demo­graph­ics, geog­ra­phy and oth­er parameters.
  • Mul­ti­ply Your Chan­nels. Add val­ue and depth to your web, email and social plat­forms through con­tent already cre­at­ed for your magazine.
  • Mea­sure the Impact of Your Con­tent Mar­ket­ing. Con­nect your con­tent to dig­i­tal touch­points to allow for real-time mon­i­tor­ing of site traf­fic, open rates and oth­er met­rics that demon­strate the val­ue of your con­tent mar­ket­ing investment.
  • Gen­er­ate Increased Out­comes. Increase expo­sure to your con­tent to build rela­tion­ships with online con­sumers, posi­tion­ing your brand as the best choice when seek­ing solu­tions to their health­care needs.

So the ques­tion is: How do you evolve your print con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­gram to a more inte­grat­ed strat­e­gy offer­ing that engages the audi­ence via web and social chan­nels? Try these three techniques.

1. Inte­grate cus­tom mag­a­zine con­tent into your website.

To begin, start by iden­ti­fy­ing a place on your exist­ing web­site to incor­po­rate the con­tent. A blog or health news sec­tion on your site may be per­fect. If you do not have an area that acts like a blog, invest some time into cre­at­ing a space that can be eas­i­ly inte­grat­ed into your company’s site. This addi­tion will enhance your online pres­ence and make your orga­ni­za­tion more com­pet­i­tive, pay­ing div­i­dends long term.

“By opti­miz­ing con­tent for the web, you nat­u­ral­ly kick-start organ­ic search vis­i­bil­i­ty for peo­ple search­ing for the key­words includ­ed in your con­tent,” says Ash­ley DuFrene, senior dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist at True North Custom.

2. Repur­pose your print con­tent for an online audience.

Cre­at­ing a sea­son­al cus­tom mag­a­zine takes time and effort in order to reach your com­mu­ni­ty audi­ence in a way that res­onates. To cre­ate rel­e­vant and news­wor­thy con­tent read­ers want to see, include gen­er­al well­ness infor­ma­tion with sea­son-spe­cif­ic sto­ries, care­ful­ly cho­sen pho­tog­ra­phy and graph­ics, and inter­views that incor­po­rate quotes from local experts.

By the time the next sea­son rolls around, your mag­a­zine no longer feels fresh and rel­e­vant, and the pub­li­ca­tion you have been admir­ing should prob­a­bly be retired. The good news is you do not have to get rid of the con­tent com­plete­ly. By repur­pos­ing the sto­ries in your cus­tom mag­a­zine for the web, you can cap­ture and con­nect with a wider audi­ence for an indef­i­nite peri­od of time.

“Print mate­r­i­al is great for com­mu­ni­cat­ing and spread­ing aware­ness among your tar­get mar­ket. How­ev­er, all mag­a­zines have a shelf life with­in someone’s home,” DuFrene says. “Opti­miz­ing your mag­a­zine con­tent for the web cre­ates new paths for peo­ple to ref­er­ence and find health­care con­tent that is rel­e­vant year round.”

3. Dri­ve traf­fic to your dig­i­tal content.

Once con­tent is up and run­ning, your next order of busi­ness should be to dri­ve read­ers to your repur­posed arti­cles. Emails, newslet­ters, native adver­tis­ing and social media are effec­tive tools to incor­po­rate into your inte­grat­ed con­tent strat­e­gy to achieve this objective.

Addi­tion­al­ly, dri­ving traf­fic to the con­tent via social media builds brand aware­ness, ben­e­fit­ting and posi­tion­ing your entire orga­ni­za­tion as an author­i­ty in the med­ical arena.

“A strong online pres­ence with unique con­tent builds author­i­ty,” DuFrene says. “This posi­tions your hos­pi­tal or health sys­tem as experts in health care in your com­mu­ni­ty, which is the ulti­mate goal.”


Let’s Build Your Content Strategy Together

Find out how we’re help­ing health­care orga­ni­za­tions like yours find, engage and con­vert patients and prospects.

Weight-Loss Campaign Generates 250+ Leads in 4 Months

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center’s ongoing campaign for its weight-loss surgery program is generating outstanding results.

In late sum­mer 2019, Clax­ton-Hep­burn Med­ical Cen­ter approached True North Cus­tom with a chal­lenge: The Ogdens­burg, New York, med­ical cen­ter had part­nered with bariatric sur­geons to launch a weight-loss surgery pro­gram, and the first patient sem­i­nar was already sched­uled for Sept. 17. The hospital’s mar­ket­ing depart­ment had no mate­ri­als to sup­port the program.

Clax­ton-Hep­burn, a True North client for 17 years, need­ed a cam­paign that would inform poten­tial patients about the exis­tence of the pro­gram, encour­age those inter­est­ed to attend an infor­ma­tion ses­sion and then pro­vide poten­tial patients with addi­tion­al mate­ri­als to help them make a deci­sion about the surgery.

“Our team was up to the chal­lenge,” says Jason Skin­ner, chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer at True North. “With­in days, our team had devel­oped a strate­gic approach for a mul­ti-pronged cam­paign that met the client’s needs.”

Nurturing Patients Along the Way

The cen­ter of Claxton-Hepburn’s cam­paign was a weight-loss surg­erland­ing page that pro­vid­ed sem­i­nar infor­ma­tion, intro­duced the sur­geons and served as a sem­i­nar reg­is­tra­tion por­tal. A direct mail cam­paign, along with dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing through Face­book and paid search, direct­ed poten­tial patients to the land­ing page to learn more about the pro­gram and reg­is­ter to attend an infor­ma­tion ses­sion. Once reg­is­tered, patients began receiv­ing the com­po­nents of a five-part email drip cam­paign that guid­ed them along the deci­sion-mak­ing process. 

“Before they attend­ed the infor­ma­tion ses­sion, the poten­tial patients received an email thank­ing them for reg­is­ter­ing, and two emails were deployed a few days before the infor­ma­tion ses­sion remind­ing them of the date and time of the pro­gram,” Jason says. “After they attend­ed the sem­i­nar, they received sup­ple­men­tary infor­ma­tion to help them learn more, includ­ing a four-page down­load­able guide, an info­graph­ic and a video—all cus­tom con­tent cre­at­ed by the True North team.”

Generating Outstanding Results

In the first four months, cam­paigns pro­mot­ing the weight-loss sem­i­nars have deliv­ered out­stand­ing results:

Leads Generated

(can­di­dates inter­est­ed in attend­ing the seminars)

Attended Seminar

with 51 atten­dees sign­ing up to be for­mal­ly eval­u­at­ed for the program


average open rate

The email nur­tur­ing cam­paign has proven to be a valu­able asset for the campaign

“With­in two days of launch­ing this cam­paign, we saw poten­tial patients reg­is­ter for the infor­ma­tion ses­sion, and con­tin­ued to have mul­ti­ple peo­ple reg­is­ter every week,” Jason says. “This is an exam­ple of how a well-designed cam­paign can attract the right patients, encour­age them to take action and then nur­ture them along the deci­sion-mak­ing process.” 

Let’s Grow Your Bariatric Surgery Volumes

Ready to engage bariatric surgery can­di­dates and guide them through the deci­sion journey?

Integrated Content Strategy Drives Growth for Community Hospital

Delivering custom content across multiple channels has allowed Angie Fabian, chief marketing and development officer at Summit Healthcare in Show Low, Arizona, to increase the hospital’s market share while developing a closer relationship with her audience.

“Our com­mu­ni­ty is very small, so we know exact­ly what our dif­fer­ent demo­graph­ics want to see,” Fabi­an says. “And we reach out to them using a vari­ety of media channels.”

Sum­mit Health­care works with True North Cus­tom to pro­duce print, dig­i­tal, and social media as part of their inte­grat­ed con­tent strat­e­gy. Cus­tom mes­sages are direct­ed to tar­get demo­graph­ics with coor­di­nat­ed calls to action (CTAs) that dri­ve read­ers to Sum­mit Healthcare’s pop­u­lar com­mu­ni­ty newslet­ter, which pro­vides news and updates that keep Sum­mit Health­care top of mind as a trust­ed health­care resource with­in the community.

“A lot of peo­ple real­ly like the print newslet­ter, and many oth­ers sub­scribe to our e‑newsletter,” Fabi­an says. “These sources keep peo­ple up to date, even if they’re not com­ing into the med­ical center.”

In addi­tion to dig­i­tal newslet­ters, Sum­mit Health­care keeps phys­i­cal copies in clin­ics for patients and vis­i­tors to take with them. Social media posts also help direct read­ers to Sum­mit Healthcare’s newslet­ter and website.

“We real­ly want to edu­cate peo­ple through­out the com­mu­ni­ty about pre­ven­tive health­care,” Fabi­an says. “Patients can help stop more seri­ous con­di­tions from devel­op­ing if they keep up with pre­ven­tive care.”

Meeting Audiences Where They Are

In order to bet­ter edu­cate its com­mu­ni­ty, Sum­mit Health­care cre­at­ed a YouTube chan­nel that launched in 2017. The chan­nel includes the “Sum­mit Health Cares” video series, which is made up of dozens of pod­cast-style inter­views with staff mem­bers and experts about health­care top­ics that range from patient safe­ty to pedi­atric health.

“Our YouTube videos are also shared on our oth­er social media chan­nels such as Face­book,” Fabi­an says. “In addi­tion to our reg­u­lar inter­views, we post sem­i­nar videos for peo­ple who were unable to attend in person.”

Direct mail cam­paigns are also used to noti­fy the com­mu­ni­ty about sem­i­nars and ser­vices offered by the med­ical center.

“Not every­one knows that Sum­mit Health­care has such a wide range of ser­vices avail­able,” Fabi­an says. “This isn’t usu­al for such a small town, so it’s impor­tant that we get the word out, and we use as many media chan­nels as pos­si­ble to reach a larg­er audience.”

By pro­vid­ing cus­tom con­tent with clear CTAs in mul­ti­ple places and coor­di­nat­ing the mes­sages across chan­nels, Fabi­an feels the hos­pi­tal has the best oppor­tu­ni­ty for its mes­sage to be heard by the peo­ple who need it most — now and in the future.

Let’s Build Your Content Strategy Together

Find out how we’re help­ing health­care orga­ni­za­tions like yours find, engage and con­vert patients and prospects.

Best Practices for Turning Prospects Into Patients Through Email Nurturing Campaigns

Two service line-specific campaigns, launched in collaboration with True North Custom, are helping Presence Health boost patient volume and build stronger relationships by leveraging its message of compassionate care.

In one of our many case stud­ies designed to help prospects con­vert patients, we explore the back­ground of Pres­ence Health. After a rebrand­ing and a refo­cus on its core mis­sion, the team at Pres­ence Health decid­ed dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cam­paigns (specif­i­cal­ly an email nur­tur­ing cam­paign strat­e­gy) was the best tool to quick­ly and effec­tive­ly com­mu­ni­cate their mes­sages of “health through rela­tion­ships” and “com­pas­sion­ate care.”

Best Practices for Turning Prospects into Patients

The system’s cor­po­rate lead­er­ship had tar­get­ed the ortho­pe­dics and pri­ma­ry care ser­vice lines for growth. A pri­ma­ry goal for the ortho­pe­dics cam­paign was to pro­mote 72-hour express appoint­ments as well as free 15-minute injury screen­ings, while the pri­ma­ry care cam­paign was designed to raise aware­ness of Pres­ence Health’s com­mu­ni­ty-focused care and build brand recog­ni­tion in a high­ly com­pet­i­tive market.

True North worked with Pres­ence Health’s mar­ket­ing and cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment teams to craft unique nur­tur­ing cam­paigns for each ser­vice line, using a series of emails deployed week­ly, that offered read­ers a vari­ety of con­tent and calls to action:

  • Drip emails were sent once per week for a total of 11 weeks and fea­tured full-length, soft-sell arti­cles and info­graph­ics. Calls to action drove read­ers to online forms where they could request the free injury screen­ings and express appoint­ments, or to online find-a-doc­tor registries.
  • Trig­ger emails were deployed at strate­gic points through­out the cam­paign cycle. The goal of these emails, which were sent to users who clicked a call to action in a pre­vi­ous email, was to keep read­ers engaged with the brand by sign­ing up for Pres­ence Health’s month­ly e‑newsletter.
  • A win-back email was also deployed at a strate­gic point in the cam­paign cycle, tar­get­ing read­ers who had not yet opened any pre­vi­ous drip email, re-engag­ing them to keep them in the lead nur­tur­ing cycle.


Both cam­paigns revealed that, by keep­ing inter­est­ed read­ers engaged, both open and click-to-open rates con­tin­u­al­ly improved and led to greater involve­ment with the Pres­ence Health brand.

The pri­ma­ry care cam­paign deployed to email address­es col­lect­ed from online health risk assess­ments and from peo­ple who called Pres­ence Health look­ing for a physi­cian. The best per­form­ing drip email, “4 Num­bers You Need to Know,” reached an open rate of 26%. Over­all, the email nur­tur­ing cam­paign aver­aged a 20% open rate and near­ly a 15% click-to-open rate


  • Open Rate (Best Per­form­ing Drip Email) 26% 26%
  • Open Rate (Over­all Cam­paign Average) 20% 20%
  • Click-to-Open Rate (Pri­ma­ry Care Cam­paign Average) 14.8% 14.8%

The ortho­pe­dic cam­paign reached read­ers who com­plet­ed an online joint pain assess­ment. The best-per­form­ing email in that cam­paign, “When You Need a Doctor’s Help for Joint Pain,” reached an open rate of 42%. The campaign’s win-back email had a click-to-open rate of 13.3% — show­ing that read­ers want to con­tin­ue receiv­ing infor­ma­tion even if they aren’t inter­act­ing — and over­all, the cam­paign aver­aged a 14.2% click-to-open rate.

  • Open Rate (Best Per­form­ing Drip Email) 42% 42%
  • Open Rate (Win-Back Email) 13.3% 13.3%
  • Click-to-Open Rate (Ortho­pe­dics Cam­paign Average) 14.2% 14.2%

Nemours Physician Email Campaign Triples Industry Average

True North Custom used strategic testing and tweaking to make Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children’s pediatric orthopedic email campaign a resounding success.

Nemours Chil­dren’s Health Sys­tem is one of the largest inte­grat­ed pedi­atric health sys­tems in the nation. To pro­mote its Ortho­pe­dic Cen­ter at duPont Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren, Nemours turned to True North Cus­tom for a robust physi­cian email campaign.

Overview and Objectives

Since open­ing its doors in 1940, duPont Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren has been treat­ing com­plex pedi­atric ortho­pe­dic con­di­tions. Today, the Nemours Ortho­pe­dic Cen­ter team han­dles more than 40,000 out­pa­tients and 6,000 pro­ce­dures each year.
Physi­cians with duPont Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren have led the way in treat­ing and research­ing pedi­atric ortho­pe­dic con­di­tions for gen­er­a­tions of children.

Nemours turned to True North Cus­tom to height­en aware­ness of their capabilities—both nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly. True North Cus­tom cre­at­ed a pro­gram that paired cus­tom con­tent with a tar­get­ed cam­paign designed to enhance:

  • Audi­ence engagement
  • Brand aware­ness
  • Ser­vice line growth
  • Rep­u­ta­tion via U.S. News & World Report Best Hos­pi­tal rankings

Marketing Strategy for a Physician Email Marketing Campaign

After eval­u­at­ing the mar­ket­ing needs of Nemours, True North Cus­tom worked togeth­er with Nemours Mar­ket­ing to devel­op a physi­cian email cam­paign tar­get­ed to pedi­atric ortho­pe­dic sur­geons.  Each email newslet­ter fea­tured the use of inno­v­a­tive sur­gi­cal tech­niques, case stud­ies, research pre­sen­ta­tions, and the appli­ca­tion of cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy to patient care.

Each quar­ter, the email newslet­ter is deployed from the world-renowned Chair­man of the Nemours Ortho­pe­dic Depart­ment with a sin­gle sub­ject line designed to pique inter­est and dri­ve engage­ment. A few days lat­er, the same email is rede­ployed to recip­i­ents who did­n’t open the first email, this time high­light­ing a dif­fer­ent top­ic with­in the newsletter.

By com­par­ing ana­lyt­ics show­ing the dif­fer­ing respons­es to each e‑blast, True North Cus­tom was able to deter­mine what drove physi­cian inter­est and then use that infor­ma­tion to craft future emails in the cam­paign and enhance the user experience.

The result was an email open rate that blew indus­try aver­ages out of the water.


Com­pared with oth­er physi­cian e‑mail cam­paigns that have aver­age open rates of 10–11%, a recent pedi­atric ortho­pe­dic cam­paign for Nemours had an open rate of 31.72%. The cam­paign also exceed­ed the aver­age click-through rate for e‑mails tar­get­ing physicians.



Average Open Rate


Pediatric Orthopedic Campaign Open Rate

True North Cus­tom con­tin­ues to help Nemours Ortho­pe­dic Cen­ter reach pedi­atric ortho­pe­dic sur­geons world­wide with mes­sages that res­onate. As infor­ma­tion and ana­lyt­ics are reviewed after each email, True North Cus­tom presents cam­paign ana­lyt­ics to Nemours with rec­om­men­da­tions for the next email blast.

This work, paired with Nemours’ will­ing­ness to adjust the approach and con­tent on an ongo­ing basis, has cre­at­ed an physi­cian email mar­ket­ing cam­paign that res­onates with that par­tic­u­lar sub­spe­cial­ty group.

Let’s Build Your Content Strategy Together

Find out how we’re help­ing health­care orga­ni­za­tions like yours find, engage and con­vert patients and prospects.

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