How to Pivot Your Healthcare Marketing Plan During COVID-19

Consumer trends toward remote work, increased web consumption and dependence on e‑commerce are accelerating in response to COVID-19 — here’s how healthcare marketing can meet existing demand and plan for the new normal.

We knew Ama­zon, Wal­mart and oth­er retail brands were com­ing after our cus­tomers. We sus­pect­ed the upcom­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion might affect the future of the ACA and accel­er­ate the shift from vol­ume to val­ue. We’ve like­ly expe­ri­enced the impact of indus­try con­sol­i­da­tion in chang­ing the health­care landscape. 

We could­n’t have pre­dict­ed the speed, scope and sever­i­ty of a pandemic.

It’s impos­si­ble to pin­point how and when a cri­sis will hap­pen, but as usu­al mar­keters are ris­ing to the occa­sion and ral­ly­ing their col­leagues and com­mu­ni­ties to fos­ter pub­lic health and flat­ten the curve. 

So, should your health­care mar­ket­ing plan piv­ot dur­ing the COVID-19 era and oth­er times like these? 

While con­tent remains king, the way that mar­keters plan, cre­ate and deploy that con­tent is chang­ing at a rapid pace. Con­sumers and work­ers are spend­ing more time online as they seek health and safe­ty information.

Below, we’ve detailed four ways that we’re help­ing health­care orga­ni­za­tions adjust their con­tent mar­ket­ing strate­gies to edu­cate and engage con­sumers and health­care providers in the cur­rent climate.

The Pivot: Brand Building

Brand posi­tion­ing dur­ing this time is cru­cial. Now is the time to dou­ble down on shar­ing sto­ries of care­givers and oth­er team mem­bers invest­ing time away from their own families—often putting them­selves in harm’s way—to treat patients and pro­tect the community.

To human­ize your brand as a lead­ing voice in the com­mu­ni­ty, fea­ture your physi­cians offer­ing advice to their col­leagues through­out the orga­ni­za­tion as well as con­sumers. If it feels authen­tic to your brand, you can even con­sid­er find­ing cre­ative ways to show how your care­givers are find­ing joy in the cri­sis.

When pro­mot­ed on social media and tagged appro­pri­ate­ly (e.g. #stay­home­minneso­ta), these nar­ra­tives help flat­ten the curve, lift spir­its and cre­ate an emo­tion­al con­nec­tion with your brand that will last long after the pan­dem­ic has passed.

The Pivot: New Patient Acquisition

From a patient acqui­si­tion per­spec­tive, more sig­nif­i­cant adjust­ments might be appro­pri­ate based on your orga­ni­za­tion’s capac­i­ty and protocols.

As Medicare’s cov­er­age expan­sion improves access to a broad­er range of ser­vices with­out hav­ing to trav­el and CMS urges hos­pi­tals to delay non-essen­tial elec­tive pro­ce­dures, we’re help­ing clients cre­ate con­tent and cam­paigns pro­mot­ing tele­health and vir­tu­al care options.

The same cam­paign method­ol­o­gy used to find, engage and con­vert ser­vice line prospects trans­lates per­fect­ly to a tele­health campaign. 

The Pivot: Meeting Existing Demand

While the coro­n­avirus is impact­ing dai­ly lives nation­wide and com­mand­ing the lion’s share of media atten­tion, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber there are con­sumers who still need non-COVID infor­ma­tion and treatment.

To meet this exist­ing demand and fill the fun­nel for future encoun­ters, con­sid­er shift­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing dol­lars from con­ver­sion-focused ads to top-of-the-fun­nel cam­paigns that cre­ate aware­ness and pref­er­ence for your ser­vices. Since many of your poten­tial patients can’t get in front of doc­tors, now is a great time to redi­rect search traf­fic and pro­mote tools like health risk assess­ments that help com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers under­stand their needs and plan for the future. 

For exam­ple, a bariatric cam­paign encour­ag­ing prospects to attend a sem­i­nar can piv­ot to dri­ve those same prospects to down­load a patient guide. This “soft­er close” allows you to col­lect their infor­ma­tion and build a pipeline of can­di­dates who are engaged with your orga­ni­za­tion and can be nur­tured to oth­er goal con­ver­sions when the time is right.

The Pivot: Marketing Channels

For the fore­see­able future, con­sid­er shift­ing focus away from sem­i­nars, screen­ings and oth­er face-to-face events and think about how to engage a more active online con­sumer. Your owned media channels—especially your web­site, enewslet­ter and social media pages—are crit­i­cal hubs for con­tent and mean­ing­ful con­nec­tion with an increas­ing­ly vir­tu­al audience. 

Email — This dig­i­tal-first con­cept applies both to self-iso­lat­ing con­sumers as well as physi­cians and oth­er health­care providers who are now less amenable to in-per­son vis­its. Email is a pre­ferred method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion for clin­i­cians, mak­ing the chan­nel mis­sion crit­i­cal for mar­keters charged with recruit­ing, refer­ral devel­op­ment and oth­er busi­ness-to-busi­ness ini­tia­tives. Arm your physi­cian liaisons with whitepa­pers and oth­er con­tent resources to send elec­tron­i­cal­ly in efforts to spark and advance conversations.

Social Media — With social plat­forms like Face­book and Twit­ter becom­ing a pri­ma­ry source of news—espe­cial­ly on the local lev­el, focus more on heart­warm­ing sto­ries of front­line care­givers through­out the cri­sis. To engage peers and health­care providers, cre­ate and share thought lead­er­ship con­tent on LinkedIn that demon­strates your team’s exper­tise, pro­motes their efforts to keep patients safe and cel­e­brates their accomplishments. 

Print — Along with con­sid­er­ing these dig­i­tal piv­ots, don’t dis­count the val­ue of print to deliv­er con­tent to the mil­lions of Amer­i­cans now work­ing from home who osten­si­bly have more time on their hands and are seek­ing a respite from self-iso­la­tion, home­school­ing and oth­er stres­sors. The mail­ing and print­ing indus­try are con­sid­ered essen­tial gov­ern­ment ser­vices dur­ing times of emer­gency, so your com­mu­ni­ty pub­li­ca­tion can con­tin­ue to reach con­sumers when they need to hear from you most.

To meet this need, we’re help­ing health­care clients plan and cre­ate COVID-19 mar­ket­ing info­graph­ics, inserts and oth­er assets fea­tur­ing hand­wash­ing tips, advice for stay­ing active at home and oth­er resources that address the new real­i­ty of a remote work and school environment.

Also, now is the time to inte­grate your pub­li­ca­tion with dig­i­tal chan­nels that enrich the read­er expe­ri­ence and cre­ate a path for engag­ing with your orga­ni­za­tion in a mean­ing­ful way.

We’re Here to Help

Want to piv­ot your mar­ket­ing plan to max­i­mize your impact on com­mu­ni­ty health in the cli­mate of COVID-19? Let’s talk.

5 Types of Content You Need in a Crisis Like COVID-19

With the COVID-19 news cycle being refreshed by the hour, healthcare marketers are rising to the challenge to communicate quickly and accurately with employees, patients and community members — to ensure all bases are covered as news breaks and consumers move from education to action, here are the five types of content your communication plan needs during this unprecedented crisis.

Every screen, inbox and social feed is filled with con­tent and com­mu­ni­ca­tion about the coro­n­avirus cri­sis, with much of the infor­ma­tion com­ing from hos­pi­tals and health­care sys­tems. We’re part­ner­ing with clients to cre­ate con­tent on the symp­toms of the dis­ease, how it’s spread, the organization’s updat­ed poli­cies and oth­er crit­i­cal top­ics weigh­ing on the minds of consumers.

To ensure your con­tent has the great­est impact on employ­ee and patient safe­ty dur­ing a cri­sis, pub­lic health and your health­care brand’s rep­u­ta­tion as a trust­ed resource, here are five types to include in your cri­sis com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan.

Discoverable Content

Search­es for spe­cif­ic top­ics like COVID-19 spike dur­ing a cri­sis. In fact, Google reports that inter­est in coro­n­avirus grew more than 260% glob­al­ly from the first week of Feb­ru­ary to ear­ly March. Deliv­er­ing time­ly, rel­e­vant and accu­rate con­tent to anx­ious con­sumers is critical—and the first step is under­stand­ing which ques­tions they are ask­ing. For exam­ple, one of the main queries is “How is COVID-19 dif­fer­ent from flu?” and by incor­po­rat­ing these key­words where they make sense in head­lines, meta descrip­tions and body copy, your brand will show up when con­sumers are search­ing for information.

Based on our research, here are some of the more com­mon coro­n­avirus-relat­ed search­es that are rel­e­vant for health­care providers:

Geo­graph­ic Search­es—Users are inter­est­ed in, and often wor­ried about, local results right now. When you are build­ing search terms, add your spe­cif­ic geog­ra­phy to this list so your con­tent shows up for peo­ple who are search­ing for the topic.

News/Updates Search­es—The media is cre­at­ing a demand for updates about COVID-19, and that is reflect­ed in fre­quent search results based on these keywords:

  • Coro­n­avirus update
  • Coro­n­avirus news
  • Coro­n­avirus lat­est news

“Spread”-Focused Search­es—Even more impor­tant than symp­toms right now is infor­ma­tion about how the coro­n­avirus spreads. There is a demand to know how to pre­vent and avoid the spread of the virus. These key­words are dri­ving the major­i­ty of relat­ed traf­fic and should be incor­po­rat­ed into your dig­i­tal content:

  • What caus­es coronavirus?
  • How does coro­n­avirus spread?
  • What to avoid to stop coronavirus

Educational Content

This is the base­line con­tent type for cri­sis con­tent and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and jour­nal­is­tic tenets like the invert­ed pyra­mid are best when con­vey­ing infor­ma­tion on what COVID-19 is, why it is a threat, who is most sus­cep­ti­ble, how it’s spread and where to get updates.

The most effec­tive for­mat for con­vey­ing COVID-focused infor­ma­tion is a ded­i­cat­ed land­ing page with links to resources.

Here are a few examples:

Along with the basics on COVID-19, the page can also fea­ture tips for hand-wash­ing, def­i­n­i­tions of terms like “social dis­tanc­ing” and ideas for suc­cess­ful­ly tran­si­tion­ing to a remote work and school environment.

Also, make sure you’re pro­mot­ing the page and dri­ving traf­fic through your email newslet­ter, social media pages, cus­tom pub­li­ca­tion and oth­er channels.

Authoritative Content

As a pil­lar of the com­mu­ni­ty, your brand’s voice is among the most trusted—and this is espe­cial­ly true dur­ing a cri­sis. The tim­ing, accu­ra­cy and authen­tic­i­ty of your mes­sag­ing will rein­force your brand’s posi­tion as a respect­ed source of health­care information.

Effec­tive cri­sis com­mu­ni­ca­tion starts at home, and health­care orga­ni­za­tions are fea­tur­ing fel­low asso­ciates to address their team’s fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions. This video series from CHRISTUS Health cov­ers top­ics rang­ing from “Who should be wear­ing masks?” to “Should preg­nant women be work­ing?” and oth­er rel­e­vant issues.

To edu­cate the com­mu­ni­ty on crit­i­cal top­ics and clar­i­fy mis­in­for­ma­tion, fea­ture your sub­ject mat­ter experts as illus­trat­ed by this COVID-19 and Chil­dren video from St. Louis Chil­dren’s Hospital.

With both inter­nal and exter­nal audi­ences, it’s impor­tant to com­mu­ni­cate ear­ly and often to help build trust and ease anxiety—despite not hav­ing all the answers. “Even if you’re still try­ing to under­stand the extent of the prob­lem, be hon­est and open to main­tain cred­i­bil­i­ty,” writes Paul A. Argen­ti in Com­mu­ni­cat­ing Through the Coro­n­avirus Cri­sis (HBR).

Reassuring Content

The top­ics you address and tone of your con­tent can be as impact­ful as the infor­ma­tion itself. By con­sid­er­ing the whole per­son and their needs—physical, emo­tion­al, spiritual—and com­mu­ni­cat­ing clear­ly and with com­pas­sion, you can fur­ther posi­tion your brand as the community’s trust­ed resource for health care.

Use plain lan­guage to talk about the coro­n­avirus, with links to reli­able sources like the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) and World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO).

Also, it’s impor­tant to main­tain a pro­fes­sion­al look and feel to all com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Even when you’re mov­ing fast, it’s impor­tant to adhere to brand stan­dards. There are some free resources online with icons that you can use as you cre­ate con­tent to main­tain a pro­fes­sion­al tone that will be reas­sur­ing to your audi­ence. And be sure to take the time to proof­read your con­tent and review before posting.

Actionable Content

Last­ly, the ques­tion on everyone’s mind when search­ing for infor­ma­tion regard­ing the coro­n­avirus is, “What should I do?” Make sure your con­tent answers this ques­tion with cur­rent guide­lines based on the CDC, WHO and oth­er rep­utable sources.

This page from Novant Health is an excel­lent exam­ple of action­able con­tent with a coro­n­avirus self-assess­ment, direc­tions for access­ing vir­tu­al care, a map of local screen­ing cen­ters and oth­er resources.

Learn More: Watch the COVID-19 Webinar

Get more insights and exam­ples to guide your COVID-19 com­mu­ni­ca­tions plan.

 

We’re Here to Help

Our team will tai­lor a con­tent strat­e­gy to guide your com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing the crisis.

Data Science for Content Marketing with Christopher Penn

As an official media partner of ContentTech Summit 2020, we spoke with keynote speaker Christopher Penn about the importance of data science and what healthcare marketers can learn from Facebook and other data-driven organizations.

Christo­pher Penn

Christo­pher Penn, co-founder and chief data sci­en­tist of Trust Insights, has helped glob­al brands such as McDonald’s, Toy­ota and oth­ers lever­age the pow­er of data to lev­el up their mar­ket­ing efforts.

In this guest post, find out why Christo­pher believes data sci­ence is an essen­tial skill and the impli­ca­tions of data-dri­ven con­tent mar­ket­ing for health­care organizations.

 

 

The Value of Data Science

Sim­ply put, data sci­ence is the extrac­tion of mean­ing. Using the sci­en­tif­ic method, data sci­ence helps mar­keters prove or dis­prove a hypothesis—and if you’re not using the sci­en­tif­ic method, then you’re not doing data science.

To derive mean­ing­ful insights from infor­ma­tion, data sci­ence com­bines four disciplines—business acu­men, domain exper­tise, tech­ni­cal skills, and math­e­mat­i­cal and sta­tis­ti­cal skills—into one. At the very least, mar­keters need a sol­id foun­da­tion in tech­ni­cal and sta­tis­ti­cal skills while part­ner­ing with experts in the oth­er domains to ensure bet­ter results, low­er costs and few­er mistakes.

A fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing of data sci­ence is crit­i­cal for mar­keters because it allows them to repeat and scale their suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives. This, how­ev­er, can be a chal­lenge as mar­keters typ­i­cal­ly don’t have a strong quan­ti­ta­tive back­ground. We’re often wing­ing it as mar­keters and while we might get lucky and have a cam­paign take off, we don’t know why it worked and there­fore we can’t repeat or scale the suc­cess­ful initiative—much less make it bet­ter. There are many bril­liant health­care mar­keters out there whose work could be accel­er­at­ed if they were able to lever­age data sci­ence, machine learn­ing and arti­fi­cial intelligence.

On the oth­er hand, there are health­care orga­ni­za­tions doing excel­lent work through data sci­ence, includ­ing The Johns Hop­kins Cen­ter for Health Secu­ri­ty. Their researchers help pre­vent the spread of infec­tious dis­eases like coro­n­avirus by look­ing at code, doing the math and using the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy to inform pol­i­cy deci­sions and unlock the val­ue of domain experts.

The Intersection of Data Science and Content Marketing

One of the eas­i­est ways to explain how data sci­ence applies to mar­ket­ing is in the area of pub­lish­ing. For exam­ple, a con­tent strat­e­gy typ­i­cal­ly includes blog posts and white papers that offer infor­ma­tion to the end cus­tomer in a way that deliv­ers value.

We recent­ly cre­at­ed a white paper titled Social Media 2020 that involved ana­lyz­ing search and social data to deter­mine whether mar­keters need a pres­ence on Tik Tok. We crunched the num­bers to fig­ure out how many peo­ple search for “How to join Tik Tok” as well as “How to quit Tik Tok account” and found that the plat­form is not grow­ing as fast as it has been. In fact, more peo­ple want to quit than are sign­ing up. The impli­ca­tion for mar­keters: Go ahead and set up an account but don’t invest a lot of time. The data does­n’t sup­port div­ing head­first into it.

When you think about all the time and resources that go into pub­lish­ing, the sce­nario above is a good exam­ple of what data-dri­ven mar­ket­ing looks like. Data sci­ence helps you to make deci­sions and cre­ate val­ue for your com­mu­ni­ty using data and research, instead of labor­ing over oner­ous peer-reviewed papers to inform your mar­ket­ing plans.

Healthcare Data Sources

Along with your own research, there are myr­i­ad pub­lic data resources avail­able to mar­keters. Almost every coun­try has a gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion that shares a tremen­dous amount of data. We often use HealthData.gov to draw insights when devel­op­ing content.

Anoth­er one of my favorites is the Agency for Health­care Research and Qual­i­ty, which offers a robust data set of hos­pi­tal qual­i­ty out­comes. Mar­keters can see how orga­ni­za­tions rank for spe­cif­ic con­di­tions and build their own benchmarks.

The Medicare data set is use­ful; how­ev­er, some hos­pi­tals do not report cer­tain met­rics so about 20–25% of the data is miss­ing. I rec­om­mend blend­ing Medicare data with U.S. cen­sus data for a more com­plete pic­ture of hos­pi­tal rat­ings and pop­u­la­tion health.

As a mar­keter, these and oth­er resources help you under­stand where to focus your con­tent. You could, for exam­ple, trans­late out­comes data into a trav­el guide that helps con­sumers know where to go for spe­cif­ic conditions.

The Ethics of Data Science

Big tech com­pa­nies such as Google, Ama­zon and Face­book are lead­ing the way in using data for mar­ket­ing, but they can also be the most uneth­i­cal and dan­ger­ous. Face­book is a per­fect exam­ple of what hap­pens when data sci­ence is decou­pled from ethics. Look at how the Face­book News Feed func­tions. The goal is to keep users engaged and ulti­mate­ly to cre­ate com­pul­sive behav­ior. By col­lect­ing a tremen­dous amount of data, Face­book learned that mak­ing peo­ple angry and afraid all the time is the best way to keep peo­ple engaged.

As you apply data sci­ence, both you and the insti­tu­tion must have the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards as to how you use data and be proac­tive­ly look­ing for bias and adverse out­comes. When you see skews in data sets, these can have sub­stan­tial out­comes down the line.

In health care, our pri­ma­ry imper­a­tive is the Hip­po­crat­ic Oath: First, do no harm. If your mar­ket­ing is dis­crim­i­nat­ing or caus­ing a bias, you are not fol­low­ing that principle.

Data Science Resources for Content Marketing

There are rel­a­tive­ly few mar­ket­ing data sci­ence resources as the dis­ci­plines grew up sep­a­rate­ly. My per­son­al blog at Trust Insights is one  resource that tries to bring both of these func­tions together.

There are also orga­ni­za­tions like Women in Ana­lyt­ics and oth­er blogs, con­fer­ences and Twit­ter lists where mar­keters can access data sci­ence information.

A few of my favorite resources include:

Along with these resources, one of the most impor­tant things you can do is to start fol­low­ing indi­vid­u­als who share a lot of infor­ma­tion on data sci­ence and can func­tion as infor­ma­tion mentors.

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True North Custom an Official Media Partner for Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

From voice search to partnering with physicians, here are a few topics on the minds of healthcare content marketing professionals.

Content Marketing World 2019 logo

We’re proud to share some the most salient insights for health­care mar­ket­ing pros from this year’s con­fer­ence:

Let’s Build Your Content Strategy Together

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

A Conversation with Content Strategists Part 3: Marketing Technology and Channel Integration

In this interview series with healthcare content strategy leads, we discuss the goals, channels and other elements of an effective healthcare content strategy, focusing on marketing technology and channel integration strategies.

We spoke with three mar­ket­ing lead­ers about every­thing from keep­ing up with trends to select­ing the right chan­nels. Now, in this third and final arti­cle in our series, we ask the con­tent strate­gists about the mar­ket­ing tech­nol­o­gy and chan­nel inte­gra­tion tools they’re using to plan, cre­ate and deploy content.

We spoke with:

Q: How are you using marketing technology and channel integration?

Amy-Sarah: We use a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent paid SEO plat­forms, such as ForeSee—to help guide our organ­ic search efforts and keep tabs on user feed­back. We use a mar­ket­ing automa­tion plat­form for class and event reg­is­tra­tions and email lists.

Kris­ten: Mar­ket­ing tech­nol­o­gy is a crit­i­cal part of mak­ing our con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­gram more effi­cient and effec­tive. We’re uti­liz­ing a CRM to bet­ter under­stand our audi­ences and an email plat­form and mar­ket­ing automa­tion to deliv­er con­tent when audi­ences need it most. We rely heav­i­ly on our ana­lyt­ics tools and have used dig­i­tal user test­ing to gath­er the insights we need to make data-dri­ven decisions.

Q: What are your favorite tools for planning, creating or measuring content?

Amy-Sarah: I love, love, love SiteIm­prove. It hits the sweet spot of being easy/intuitive to use while at the same time pro­vid­ing enough robust data and cus­tomiza­tion to allow for accu­rate report­ing. We mea­sure read­abil­i­ty, acces­si­bil­i­ty, usabil­i­ty, SEO and con­tent qual­i­ty for dif­fer­ent con­tent seg­ments, and we’re able to use num­bers to show improvement—very clear, help­ful met­rics for demon­strat­ing the out­comes of our efforts with our doctors.

[I also love] the Hem­ing­way Edi­tor, a free web­site that allows you to paste in text and see right away where and how you need to sim­pli­fy the con­tent to cre­ate more con­cise, effec­tive writ­ing. This can be real­ly valu­able for online edit­ing, espe­cial­ly when you’re forced to edit yourself.

Kris­ten: I use SEM­rush con­stant­ly for key­word research, con­tent ideation and opti­miza­tion. I start every morn­ing by check­ing Google Trends to stay up to date on rel­e­vant top­ics that are trend­ing. I also log into our Google Ana­lyt­ics account on a dai­ly basis to mon­i­tor con­tent per­for­mance; we use Tableau to help with data visu­al­iza­tion and tell the sto­ry of what those num­bers mean.

Q: What is your perspective on content marketing in what some are calling the “post-click” era?

Amy-Sarah: What’s inter­est­ing is that the actu­al strat­e­gy of devel­op­ing good con­tent that meets the needs or answers the ques­tions of the con­sumer patient doesn’t change. Whether a user clicks through to our web­site or not doesn’t change that. What does need to change is how we under­stand our dig­i­tal pres­ence and how we mea­sure suc­cess. Instead of think­ing of our web­site like a hos­pi­tal build­ing, where we serve patients only with­in the walls of the struc­ture, we have to expand our reach beyond the site, just like we’re doing with pop­u­la­tion health in extend­ing our ideas of health care beyond the hos­pi­tal foot­print. So we meet our patients on YouTube, we meet them on dis­ease-spe­cif­ic forums. We focus, not on click-through rates and online appoint­ments, but on engage­ments and inter­ac­tions. And, we find a way to make it as easy as pos­si­ble to offer ser­vices where they are.

Kris­ten: We’re try­ing to take advan­tage of Google’s grow­ing num­ber of fea­tured snip­pets, and right now have ben­e­fit­ed from pro­vid­ing con­tent that answers users’ ques­tions and queries. Con­sid­er­ing voice search as part of that post-click era, we’d con­sid­er it a suc­cess when and if a user found their answer from us, even if that didn’t end up with a click. While the met­rics we track may change as SERPs evolve, the role of con­tent mar­ket­ing will remain impor­tant, because it’s all about pre­sent­ing the most use­ful con­tent in the most use­ful way for the end user.

Q: The head of the Content Marketing Institute believes that “print is making a comeback.” How does print factor into your content strategy?

Rebec­ca: Print is a key com­po­nent of our strategy—but again, we believe the lines are blurred. Print is valu­able if your con­sumer reads it. Video is valu­able if your con­sumer watch­es it. Radio is valu­able if your con­sumer is lis­ten­ing. But none of these work if you don’t have built-in audi­ences. Our strat­e­gy is to dig deep ear­ly in the process so we know who is read­ing, watch­ing or lis­ten­ing. What­ev­er we pro­duce must match the exist­ing audience—and that’s what is tricky is our world right now. That is what we see con­stant­ly evolving.

What works for a woman in her 60s may not work for her daugh­ter or son or grand­daugh­ter and grand­son. We have to be rel­e­vant to all of those audiences.

One seg­ment that has been very suc­cess­ful is a part­ner­ship with the Hart­ford Courant. We have an arti­cle that runs on Sun­day high­light­ing a strate­gic ser­vice line. That arti­cle then lives in social chan­nels and pre­views a Face­book LIVE con­ver­sa­tion at noon two days lat­er. The arti­cle high­lights a patient sto­ry and the sub­se­quent Q & A allows poten­tial patients access to our experts in real time. This has been tremen­dous­ly suc­cess­ful, with more than 80K views per seg­ment, lead­ing to hun­dreds of appointments.

Kris­ten: Sit­ting on the dig­i­tal team, I can’t say that print is a focus for our con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­gram. How­ev­er, we do not work in a silo, and work­ing with our team mem­bers, we have awe­some oppor­tu­ni­ties to uti­lize our con­tent is a vari­ety of local pub­li­ca­tions, patient hand­outs, and even get requests for print­outs for schools and physi­cian offices.

Amy-Sarah: This is where I think we have to stop divid­ing up strate­gies by plat­form, i.e., dig­i­tal vs. print, or inter­nal vs. exter­nal, online vs. in-per­son. We know that peo­ple cross plat­forms, cross per­sonas and cross con­texts all the time, and try­ing to pin peo­ple into behav­iors won’t always work. The patient expe­ri­ence encom­pass­es all the var­i­ous touch­points we impact.

We know that plen­ty of times our patients need infor­ma­tion on paper and in their hands. Our cur­rent approach requires part­ner­ship between our dig­i­tal and print teams, as well as align­ment with the team cre­at­ing patient edu­ca­tion. We all share a com­mit­ment to plain lan­guage, and we work to coor­di­nate efforts. We want to give patients the choice to find what they need where and how they want to. Our print doc­u­ments pro­vide online options, but we don’t mea­sure suc­cess only on the URL visit.

If you missed the pre­vi­ous arti­cle in the series:

Part 1: Keep­ing Up With Trends 

Part 2: Pri­ma­ry Goals, Audi­ences and Channels

Let’s Talk Timing (and More)

Our health­care mar­ket­ing experts are ready to tai­lor a strat­e­gy that ensures your con­tent reach­es con­sumers, physi­cians and oth­er audi­ences at the per­fect time.

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