The first annual Healthcare Summit for Content Marketers was held last week in Cleveland — I attended and learned some great strategies and tactics both specific to that industry, and that would apply across industries.  Here’s an overview with some key take-aways for you.  You might also like to review our topic index for Content Marketing.  

Joe Pulizzi, Godfather of Content Marketing

Joe Pulizzi, host of the Health Summit, summarized a recent survey comparing Healthcare Content Marketing to other industries. More videos are produced for Healthcare, but less blogs, are among the findings.

Joe Pulizzi kicked off the summit noting that Healthcare as an industry came in about two years behind other industries in terms of their tactical use and budget for a number of marketing thrusts including Social Media and Content Marketing in a recent study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute.  He also reported:

  • Print is much more used in Healthcare than other industries
  • Web traffic is up, but time on site is low, and SEO rankings are low in the industry
  • Biggest Challenge:  Producing enough content — just 28% of those surveyed feel they are good at content creation and development
The first speaker, Margaret Coughlin of Boston Children’s Hospital, laid out the strategy and key tactics her hospital uses, and which address some of the questions Joe had left hanging.  She had some real gems for insights including:

Health Summit Slide

(click to enlarge) Another tactic Coughlin and team are using at Boston Children’s is to create a brand for Dr. Clair McCarthy as “MD Mama” (Google that), to create brand and expert awareness.

  • Social media marketing must be driven by one integrated strategy — not a separate one for Twitter, FaceBook, etc.
  • The “Purchase Funnel is changing into a Decision Journey” — it’s not a linear path prospects take toward healthcare service providers anymore.  They seek to learn, investigate, then purchase, and interact.  So you need to ask yourself “where is the point of engagement?”
  • You need impact at each point of the decision process to get them into a “loyalty loop.”
  • You are three times more likely to get the business if you are in their initial consideration set.
  • Content Strategy considerations:  The “Three F’s” – Fuel (the content itself); Force (sales force); Fear (healthcare decisions involve a certain level of fear)
  • Use “Amplification” in social media:  more than one celebrity has come into the hospital, interacted with the children then sent out pictures to all their constituencies in social venues.
  • A personal favorite of mine:  “You might have 800,000 Facebook likes, “but, who cares?” says Coughlin, “what matters is how they are engaged, and the revenue that results from that.”
  • And, Coughlin sets goals (ie. Appointments requested vs. Appointments Scheduled) to track so she can see precisely the result of the Hospitals’ marketing efforts.
Rather than make this a really long post, I will conclude with a taste of major points from some of the other speakers.  Note that Content Marketing World’s Health Summit is set to be held next year again in Cleveland after the full Content Marketing World conference the week of September 9th.
Content Consumption

Buddy Scalera, from Ogilvy’s CommonHealth marketing group shows how consumers are often in less than ideal locations when viewing content.

More key Content Marketing take-aways:

  • Ahava Leibtag, principle AHA Media Group, encouraged attendees to think about a different approach and the use of humor (which can address the fear factor in healthcare that Coughlin spoke about  She also called attention to the difference between Content and Content Delivery, asking what is the best content holder (video versus case study, for example).
  • Buddy Scalera, Senior VP of Interactive Content and Market Research for Oglivy “CommonHealth Interactive Marketing”, cautioned that “people consume differently than you think” (they’re on the go, not in a good location, watching a video at a bus stop, etc.).  He also stated, “content should never be created on a website unless it is tied back to a strategic goal”.  Here, here.
  • Scott Linabarger, Director of Digital Marketing for the Cleveland Clinic, asks, “how many of you know specifically how much revenue your content generates?”  He replied to his own question noting, “every visit is worth $4 – $6 at our site”.  And, along with a couple of other presenters, Mr. Linabarger spoke of strategies to place content in paid locations, owned location, and earned (media) venues.
  • Joe Hage, CEO of MedicalMarCom, gave us his short, three item list for what you need to know about online marketing:  How hard do you make your prospects work to find you? Will the prospect engage with you?  And, Will the prospect share information with you? (Why not?)
And that just took us through to mid afternoon on the first day.  Whew.  One closing insight comes from Lee Aase, Director of Social Media for the Mayo Clinic.  Mr. Aase, noted that while the clinic does have a professional TV studio in house complete with satellite stations, that they also nimbly create video content with inexpensive web flipcams for field interviews of doctors.  Out of 2500 videos, about 600 are done in the studio in a more expensive “news format”, leaving the bulk created more affordably and quickly with the flipcams.


Scott Frangos


Scott serves as Chief Optimizer on the Webdirexion team for both development and content marketing strategy, and is the author of the new book, "The Marketer's Concise Guide to CRO" (Oct. 2015). He is a career marketing communications professional with niche industry specialties in healthcare, law firms, and hotel marketing and holds recent certifications in Google Analytics Mastery (Udemy), and RACE Digital Marketing (Smart Insights). Scott has also taught business, web programming and eCommerce courses at colleges in the Portland, Oregon area. He currently teaches WordPress Content Marketing Power, an online course through Udemy, and has spoken at several Content Marketing conferences.  When he is not geeking out on a Mac, Nexus 7, or Google Chromebook, he enjoys Tai Chi, walking with his two dogs, and survives on Coffee and Pizza.

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