With competing priorities and powerful stakeholders, stewarding your organization's content strategy can be a challenge—even when managing the No. 1 hospital blog in America.
Here's how Cleveland Clinic Senior Director of Content and Creative Services Amanda Todorovich, who also serves on the Healthcare Insight advisory board, safeguards the organization's brand voice to ensure quality, consistency and customer centricity at every touch.
Q: When planning content, how do you get clinical partners and other peers across the organization involved?
Todorovich: Every piece of content we create includes a medical expert (physicians, dieticians, physical therapists, etc.) in our organization. For Health Essentials [consumer health and wellness blog generating more than 7 million sessions per month), we interview those experts, quote them in the piece, and have them review and approve the content before we publish. For our Health Library content, we use those experts to review/approve and provide feedback before it is published. We work with every clinical area in the enterprise.
Q: To get everyone on the same page (and head off requests at the pass), how have you communicated the organization's content strategy to clinical partners and other nonmarketing peers?
Todorovich: We did a lot of this early on and don’t have to do as much today because the results speak for themselves. We consistently share the results of our content—how much traffic and engagement we are getting—and explaining that we create content patients are seeking. We bring data to these conversations to help people across the organization understand what drives the strategy. Earlier though, there were “road show” type presentations and a lot of meetings to explain our strategy and direction.
Q: What channels/tactics have you found to be the most effective/useful for complying with requests that might not align with your strategy?
Todorovich: For things that don’t align with our Health Essentials strategy, there typically is somewhere within our digital ecosystem where the content could fit. For example, we have various social media channels and parts of our website that align more to a local patient population. Sometimes it’s more of an internal message, and we’ll refer them to our corporate communications team. It really varies depending on the desired goal for the request—who do they want to hear this message and where do we have that audience for them?
Q: In a recent Healthcare Rap podcast, you referenced data that supports decisions around what content aligns with your strategy. Can you elaborate on the type of data you use when saying “no” to requests from service line managers and other peers?
Todorovich: We use data from a variety of sources in our conversations—Google Analytics, social media channel data, email performance data, overall general keyword data or search insights. We are always advocating for what our audiences want in content, which means we leverage all the data we have access to that gives us that insight.
Saying “no” is hard, but sharing what patients want is easier, and the data really helps us understand how to have that conversation.
Q: Final thoughts?
Todorovich: Documenting a strategy and sticking to it is incredibly challenging, but it is the most important thing you can do to be successful with content marketing. It takes time to see results with content, and it takes commitment to fully realize the value it can deliver to your brand.
Content can build trust and relationships with current and potential patients in ways that are sometimes challenging to measure, but for most healthcare patients, being there for them in their time of need is the most important thing we can do. More and more of them are turning to the internet—and content—in those times of need.
As you develop strategies and determine what to write about, if you understand those needs and critical situations, you will find your way to the right content.
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