New White Paper: How to Modernize Your Content Marketing Strategy

by Jason Skinner, Chief Marketing Officer - 05/08/14

To help modernize your approach and maximize your investment in content marketing, True North Custom has developed a new report highlighting three proven techniques.


While content marketing has been prevalent for years in retail, finance, and other business-to-consumer sectors, healthcare marketers are just beginning to adopt this contemporary alternative to traditional advertising. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that 43 percent of healthcare marketers increased their content marketing budget in 2012, versus 54 percent of industries overall. Similarly, health care spends 23 percent of its marketing budgets on content, while other marketers spend 31 percent. Along with limited time and resources to develop content, the challenge of remaining HIPAA compliant continues to hamstring healthcare marketers.

As content marketing makes its presence felt in health care, marketers need to know how to use this versatile tool to drive patient engagement and population health, while demonstrating its value through sound ROI measurement. Here are three proven techniques.


According to a 2013 study by the Topline Strategy Group titled “The Changing Landscape of Hospital Marketing,” more than 60 percent of health systems with $1B in revenue and more than 40 percent with $500M to $1B in revenue have deployed hospital grade CRM systems.

A 2014 study by the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development found that the use of sophisticated technology, like CRM systems, to manage a healthcare organization’s interactions with current and future customers is “becoming routine,” with half of senior-level marketers now focused on managing CRM databases.

This wealth of health-related data, including diagnosis groups, EMR data, demographics, and survey responses, as well as response to specific marketing campaigns, will continue to lend itself to more personalized marketing and clear proof of performance. This will become increasingly important when patient well-being is monetized for the provider. Finding out exactly which content, on which platforms, has the desired effects on specific groups of patients will help marketers craft their messages. A structured process for turning data into insights and action is a must for healthcare marketers in the modern environment.


In health care, the cross-platform model has a few nuances specific to the industry. First, when consumers want information, accessibility, or personal data quickly, they usually have a specific need or question or action in mind. News about a hospital’s qualifications or amenities is less immediate and useful, no matter what platform it appears on. By contrast, platforms should be chosen to find consumers where they are and meet their needs conveniently. Additionally, as healthcare consumers tend to be older, print materials should make up a versatile and robust share of the platform mix.

A lushly illustrated recipe in a hospital’s print magazine, a blood pressure app for iPhone that uploads test results to a patient’s electronic patient portal, or an online quiz entitled “Is My Parent Safe at Home?” that allows users to submit a question to a geriatric specialist, are all examples of content marketing across multiple platforms that use each platform’s strengths. Each example makes the patient’s life a little easier, and each provides opportunities for the healthcare organization to position itself as a valuable contributor to the patient’s well-being.


“Marketers are realizing that content is the lifeblood of every interaction,” says True North Custom Chief Marketing Officer Jason Skinner. “By delivering educational content that focuses on the recipient’s lifestyle, interests, and well-being, healthcare organizations serve as trusted advisors for their local community and gain competitive advantage in a crowded market.”

Research by True North Custom reveals consumers far prefer content that reflects personal interests to information about hospitals or health systems. A typical healthcare consumer, a working mother balancing career and family, expects her content to be directly meaningful.

“She needs help managing her household and staying healthy on a tight timeline and budget,” says Skinner. “Help her solve these problems, and your hospital will be the trusted advisor when it’s time to make healthcare decisions.”

Want to read more? Download the full report and discover how to modernize your content marketing strategy.

Download the White Paper


Topics: Content Strategy

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