Archive for the ‘Content Marketing for Hospitals’ Category


    by Amy Biemiller

    What do you want your marketing initiatives to achieve? Perhaps the goal is to capture the attention of people not familiar with your senior living community. Maybe you want to show how your community is different from the competition. Or, you may want to fully demonstrate the value of your community to adult caregivers. In all these examples, case studies can meet your marketing needs – if they are written correctly.

    Case studies that have effective marketing outcomes for senior communities have one thing in common: they explain, in a compelling way, how moving to your community solves a practical problem.

    “Case studies have their place as a top-performing addition to the content marketing strategy and work wonders in your sales funnel,” explains Daniel Threlfall, content marketing strategist in an article for Crazy Egg.

    Here’s how to make sure you craft case studies that work harder for your senior living community marketing initiative:

    Tell a Good Story

    A convincing case study is relatable. It tells a story from a personal point of view by explaining the struggle or challenge someone faced. Then it explains how a solution was able to overcome that challenge and produce ongoing benefit. You can apply this tactic by crafting case studies about your residents’ journeys in discovering your community, moving in and happily enjoying life as part of your community. To be most effective, this case study needs to make your residents (not your community or brand) the hero in each story.

    Be Focused

    Effective case studies focus on providing a solution to a problem or challenge relative to a specific audience. Think about your various audiences. You have seniors, adult children of seniors and spouses of ailing seniors who should be interested in your community. Each of these audiences have different concerns that you could address in a case study, such as:

    • What an independent senior couple learned about the various senior living options in your area and how your community met their list of must-haves.
    • The weekend journeys a daughter took with her elderly mother looking at different assisted living communities, and how those journeys helped both to understand the retirement living planning process.
    • How a resident came to terms with moving from independent living to assisted living in your community.

    Optimize for Search

    You want to be sure that your case study will be read by people who are searching for the kind of information the case study presents. It is important to find and use long-tail keyword phrases. These are the phrases a person would use to search for information in your case study. For example, let’s say you have a case study about how a resident who was blind decided on moving to your community. An adult child of a blind senior would not search for a community using only the terms “assisted living in New York.” Instead, that person would use longer keyword phrases such as “assisted living for blind seniors in Livingston, NY.” Those are the types of phrases you want to be sure are incorporated into your cases study if it will reside on your website.

    Add the Call to Action

    Remember to add your call to action at the end of your case study. If your case study has done a great storytelling job, your reader will want to know how to get more information about your community.

    Think About Different Formats

    Of course, you want to feature your case studies on your website and offer then as easy PDF downloads. But some of your audiences may prefer to read them online. Still others will find a slide share or video more engaging. Produce your case studies in different formats to meet the needs of the widest possible audience.

    Promote Your Case Studies

    If you want the largest possible audience to read your case studies, you must market them. It’s easier than you may think! Blog about each new case study and include a link, then promote it on social media. Email prospects or clients with a summary of a relevant case study and a link to where it resides on your website. Break out quotes from the case story to use as testimonials. You can also include case study links in press releases, sales proposals and as pitches to trade publications.

    Not enough time or staff to help you craft compelling case studies? We have an entire team available to help. Just reach out online.

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    Hospitals & Senior Living Communities: Get This Content in Your Pipeline for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

    As you prepare your editorial calendar for the final quarter of the year, be sure to create enough content around Alzheimer’s disease to take advantage of national attention in November. That’s when Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is, and when media attention is laser-focused.

    More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 16 million people provide unpaid care for loved on with the disease. Your hospital or senior living community can play an important role in educating the public about Alzheimer’s and dementia. The key is to plan your editorial calendar now so you publish the right content for the right audience in November.

    Types of Content to Get Started on Now

    Make sure your editorial calendar includes a balanced amount of different types of content for Alzheimer’s Awareness month. Consider what types of content your different audiences prefer, and what channels they engage with most. Then think about your content needs in these areas:

    Activities-Based Content: If you are planning activities and events during this month, be sure to craft appropriate content to both promote the events and for take-away material at the events.

    Visual Content: Visual content can help your brand stand out from all the content focused on Alzheimer’s disease that will be available in November. Think now how to create infographics, animated videos and slide shares as part of your editorial calendar.

    Research Updates: Help people better understand the potential that exists for new care and treatment protocols. Craft content explaining where Alzheimer’s research is and what promising discoveries are bringing hope to millions.

    News Media Column: Enhance your hospital’s or community’s thought leadership by offering your local news outlets a column or opinion piece with your president’s byline. Newsworthy subjects include: How Can I Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease? or What to Do If You Suspect a Loved One has Alzheimer’s.

    Social media content: Your audience is active on social media. Plan to promote your content with appropriate social media posts throughout the month.

    Content Theme Ideas

    Sometimes, coming up with fresh ideas to write about can be frustrating. Here are 12 creative content ideas you can use to craft Alzheimer’s-related material to please all of your audiences:

    1. Caregiver Guides
    2. Share Alzheimer’s Stories
    3. Quiz – Is It Memory Loss or Alzheimer’s?
    4. How Alzheimer’s Affects the Brain
    5. Alzheimer’s: Know the Risk Factors
    6. Myths About Alzheimer’s and Dementia
    7. I Have Alzheimer’s: Here’s What I Want You to Know
    8. Planning for Care of a Loved One with Alzheimer’s
    9. How to Communicate with a Person With Alzheimer’s
    10. Understanding Alzheimer’s Behavior
    11. Care Options Defined
    12. How to Work with Alzheimer’s Care Providers


    Let us help you get the most out of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It’s sooner than you think! Contact us today for help developing original content that will set your brand apart.


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    What happens when your hospital marketing strategy doesn’t focus on producing and delivering custom content — such as up-to-date medical web content, blogs featuring patient stories, physician advice pertaining to timely health topics and mobile health applications? Your authority becomes undermined, your value to your community decreases and your competition overshadows you.

    A Time, Inc. consumer survey found that two out of three consumers have greater trust in custom content than traditional advertising. And the 2017 Meaningful Brands survey found that consumers as a whole expect brands to create custom content that provides solutions, experiences and more.

    For hospitals and health systems, custom content is an important part of an effective hospital marketing strategy and effective in nurturing the consumer until he or she is ready for the patient experience.

    Read on to understand why consumer nurturing through custom content is so important.

     Consumers are Savvy Researchers.

    From embracing wellness to understanding a loved one’s medical condition, consumers are turning to the internet and seeking information online about the subjects most important to them. Will those in your geographic region end up on your website, or on WebMD or your competitor’s website? Make sure your hospital marketing strategy includes publishing original and consumer-centric health content that provides answers and solutions to what your audience is looking for. Optimize that content for search and publish across all your channels: print, social media, website and email. 

     Consumers Want to Know What Others Experience.

     People want to read about other people. Custom content that tells the stories about your patients, staff and community partners brings your brand to life. Talk to service line leaders and patient services departments to identify patients

    who’ve experienced remarkable recoveries, found hope and healing through new treatments and technologies or established a special connection with one of your providers. Then, tell their stories. Write about employees and why they do what they do and how they embrace health and service. And remember to tell your donors’ stories, too.

     Consumers Want to Be Part of a Community.

    People desire connection and they look online to meet that need — just look at the popularity of Facebook and Instagram. When people go online, do they find a community led by your hospital talking about their particular health concern? Your hospital marketing strategy needs to include establishment of online communities around health conditions. Those communities need to deliver information, education and value via custom content. By doing so, you’ll educate your audience and create trust in your brand.

     Consumers Want to Know Where to Get the Best Care.

    Today’s consumers make informed decisions about where they spend their money, and this includes healthcare. They are looking for cost-effective, high-quality care. And how do they define high-quality care? They look for insight that shows they will be treated as an individual, that caregivers will treat them empathetically and competently, and that the hospital environment is up-to-date, clean and comfortable. Custom content that focuses on your patients and their experiences, and your staff and their professionalism, can meet consumer needs for this information.

     Consumers Want Snackable Content.

    Your audience wants information from you, but their time and attention is limited. Make sure your custom content includes plenty of interesting photos, infographics or short videos. Infographics give at-a-glance convenience to important information like directions for recognizing symptoms, seeking care or taking steps to improve health. Engaging photos with equally engaging captions deliver big impact. And short video testimonials showcasing patient success stories drive authenticity into your brand.

     Because a customer/patient focus is important for all health system marketers, custom content can be a real differentiator. It’s key to helping your hospital stand out from others, is effective in enhancing the trust and credibility of your brand and is a powerful tool to increase your market share.

     Are you being challenged to think differently about engaging consumers and patients? We can help. Send us a quick email and we’ll provide some more insight and support to make your job easier.

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    We live in a world where it is natural to check email at least once daily. An overwhelming 72 percent of all consumers prefer communicating with companies via email, which consistently outperforms print, direct mail and TV advertising, according to data from Marketing Sherpa. And because 95 percent of baby boomers use email, email marketing is a strategic way for senior living communities to turn more leads into residents.

    To do email marketing right, your senior living community should have a clear plan about what to send, to whom and when. Doing so means you’ll keep your brand top of mind and deliver the right information at the right time to help prospects make a buying decision in your favor.

    Segment Your Email Campaigns.

    Before you start planning your email messages, consider how a lead moves through your sales cycle. You’ll probably notice that your leads can be divided into three main stages:

    Stage 1: Early Awareness

    Prospects in the early awareness stage recognize that sooner or later, they will probably need your services for themselves or a loved one. For instance, a caregiving daughter who knows she will eventually have to move her mother to a senior living community may contact you for more information.

    Stage 2: Narrowing Options

    Once a person has a definite timeline in mind for when they will need your services, they begin narrowing their options and getting ready to make a choice. These prospects will be looking for more detailed information than stage-one prospects, and answers to more specific questions.

    Stage 3: Final Decisions

    Prospects who are in the final stage of decision making have already narrowed down their options to your community and perhaps one or two others. This is where you need to understand the key factors that will influence their decision, and really differentiate yourself from the competition.

    By looking carefully at your sales funnel, you will be able to identify the various stages that your leads move through, understand how to segment your email lists, and determine the best types of information to provide at each stage.

    Nurture with Great Content.

    No matter what stage your prospects are in, it’s important to deliver content that isn’t overly promotional. The goal of your email campaign is to nurture a relationship. You want your leads to see your email in their in-box and open it, not ignore it. To do that, you must cultivate an honest and authentic voice.

    You also want to make sure your content targets the specific needs of each lead as they move through your sales funnel. According to HubSpot, leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20 percent. Organizing your email content to address common questions and concerns as your leads move from stage to stage will help you build emotional connection that will turn more of them into buyers.

    Content ideas for stage-one leads:

    • Explaining value rather than cost of your community
    • Providing senior living conversation starters for adult children
    • Inviting the lead to subscribe to your blog

    Content ideas for stage-two leads:

    • Telling engaging resident stories
    • Offering tips and insights about how to find the best senior community match
    • Extending offers for free guidebooks or whitepapers about senior life 

    Content ideas for stage-three leads:

    • Alerting to availability of residence that matches their needs
    • Offering move-in assistance
    • Inviting to special events

    As long as you take the time to organize both your list and your messaging, email can help you connect with prospects in a highly targeted way. This will help you do more marketing with relatively few resources—you can even automate much of the process once a person makes the initial contact, and still keep it feeling personalized. Done right, email marketing can be a highly effective tool for nurturing leads and increasing occupancy.


    Could you use some help crafting effective email campaigns for your senior living community? Call or email CrucialContent. We can save you time and money and help you meet your marketing goals

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    Think about the power of your hospital’s reputation. It is a critical reason why people come to work for you and want to partner with you. It’s also the reason people choose to come to you for care and not your competitors. In a Google survey,  94 percent of prospective patients ranked hospital reputation as more important than acceptance of their healthcare plan or a doctor recommendation.

    A hospital’s reputation impacts brand loyalty and has a big impact on the bottom line. A 10 percent increase in customer loyalty could generate more than $22 million in revenue for the average hospital, according to the 2016 Advisory Board Company report.

    Because your hospital’s good reputation is hard-earned, it should be expertly managed. Your marketing department’s proactive management, protection and enhancement of your organization’s reputation is vital to your hospital’s success.

    Understand Your Hospital’s Reputation.

    Do you know – really know – how your stakeholders perceive your hospital? We’re not talking about brand. Brand is what your organization stands for and what differentiates you from others. Reputation is your track record and what gives you legitimacy in the marketplace. Surveying your community as well as your physicians, employees and vendors will give you a good, honest look at how you are perceived.

    To further understand your reputation, spend time doing some social listening. Check out how your physicians are rated by consumers on ZocDoc and Healthgrades. Look into how your patients rate your hospital on sites like Hospital Compare and Yelp. Read the comments and ratings by employees on sites like Glass Door. You’ll begin to get a clear picture of how your hospital is perceived by the various constituencies you serve.

    Once you understand what people think about your hospital, you will better understand your strengths, how the marketplace differentiates you from your competitors and what areas you need to improve. That valuable data will help you formulate an effective reputation management plan.

    Content Marketing Tips To Protect Your Reputation.

    A strong reputation creates a bond of trust with all those who are important to you: your patients, employees, communities, partners and vendors. Your marketing efforts should include activities that protect and enhance your reputation. Here’s how:

    Tell your story. Be sure your marketing efforts include a consistent plan to tell your story to internal and external stakeholders. That means having others tell about your successes. Did you receive a great comment from a patient? Share their testimonial. Did you win an award? Produce a short video with employees talking about why that makes them proud. Has a new specialist joined your staff? Publish a Q&A that gives insight from the physician about how more people will receive advanced care. These are all great ways to create emotional connection and protect your reputation.

    Participate in conversations: Schedule regular visits to online communities that are relevant to healthcare. Don’t join to promote your hospital. Instead, listen and then comment only when you can provide insight. This will help establish your hospital as an authority and thought leader and strengthen your hospital’s reputation.

    Stay socially vigilant: Controversial posts and negative online reviews will happen. Dealing with them quickly and appropriately is the best way to protect your hospital’s reputation. Have one person or a small group of people responsible for monitoring the internet and social media outlets to look for mentions about your hospital. Make it a point to respond to all comments. Show your appreciation for those who share positive experiences. For negative comments, respond affirmatively and let the reviewer or commenter know you understand their feelings. Then, if there is an issue to fix, take the conversation offline to do so.

    Consistent Effort Required.

    Hospital reputation management is not a once-and-done exercise nor is it something to be managed intermittently. It requires tight governance and connectivity across your entire organization. By leveraging meaningful engagement across channels, well thought-out messaging and coordinated response to potential threats, you can effectively manage and enhance your hospital’s reputation.

    Need help with content that can support and protect your hospital’s reputation? Call or email CrucialContent.

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    Effective healthcare marketing depends on creating and publishing the content your community is most interested in. And data indicate that hospital marketing departments often struggle to create a high volume of engaging content. Keeping an editorial calendar is key. So too is staying in touch with seasonal healthcare trends so that the subjects you add to next season’s editorial calendar are those most likely to be searched by your different audiences.

    As you start planning and developing content for this spring, consider including these nine seasonal topics that are sure to generate interest and drive traffic. 

    1. Seasonal Allergies

    Different types of pollen, fungus and mold that start appearing when the weather gets warmer and wetter can cause all kinds of allergic reactions that affect millions of people. Consider developing content authored by your asthma and allergy specialists about ways to prevent and treat these allergies.

    1. Spring Fitness

    Too many of us don’t get enough exercise, especially in the winter. But as the weather starts getting warmer, more people think about getting active again. Develop some quick tips or infographics about sensible warm-up exercises to help prevent sprains, strains and low back pain.

    1. Common Cold

    Most people associate colds with winter, but spring is a peak time for rhinovirus infections, which cause about half of all common colds. Yet many people confuse colds, allergies and asthma. Develop an at-a-glance chart to help consumers understand the difference and make good home-treatment decisions.

    1. Insect-borne Disease

    Whether it’s ticks and Lyme disease, mosquitos and Zika virus, or bed bugs and lice, insects are in the news in the spring. Capitalize on the trend with content about how to avoid insect encounters and what to do if an encounter happens. 

    1. Colon Cancer

    One of the deadliest forms of cancer is also one of the most preventable—and there’s no better time to remind people about the importance of preventive colon cancer screenings than March, which is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Does your hospital provide screenings? Spring is the time to get the word out.


    Related: 4 Tips for Effective Healthcare Content Marketing

    1. Spring Cleaning

    Spring cleaning is a nationwide ritual. Take advantage of this seasonal inclination and help people understand the importance of cleaning up their medicine cabinet, makeup drawer and other places that are magnets for mold, fungus, bacteria and allergens.

    1. Healthy Eating

    While we’re in the spring cleaning mode, spring is also a great time to clean out refrigerators and clean up diets. Get your dietician involved in providing tips about healthy eating.

    1. Sports Injuries

    Many sports start up in the spring, and with them come the risk of sports injuries. Make your community aware of the sports injury treatment services you offer, along with providing advice on at-home treatments and when to see a doctor.

    1. Skin Cancer

    May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so use it as an opportunity to talk about prevention and show people how to check for possible signs of skin cancer they should have looked at by a doctor.  

    Build a More Effective Content Marketing Strategy

    An effective content marketing strategy can help you accomplish more with your budget and deliver results, but it has a lot of moving parts. Creating an editorial calendar and developing paid advertising and social media strategies are just the first steps. You also need to be able to create engaging, informative and shareable content that includes just the right amount of brand messaging.


    To learn how our team of healthcare marketing experts can support your content strategy, give us a shout.

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    Patient testimonials in video or written format are excellent ways to create emotional appeal and enhance your hospital’s brand reputation. These testimonials relate a real person’s experience, so they deliver an important degree of authenticity to a marketing campaign. That’s why they should be part of your overall content marketing strategy.

    9-Point Checklist for HIPAA-Compliant Patient Testimonials infographic

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    Your hospital website is a workhorse in your stable of marketing initiatives. It should be doing triple duty establishing and maintaining your reputation for excellence, delivering important information in an easy-to-read format and enhancing your brand.

    But how sure are you that your hospital or health system website is as effective and efficient as planned when it was first rolled out?

    Websites can often be thought of as one of those set-it-and-forget-it tools. But that’s particularly dangerous thinking for hospitals. An annual website audit – a deep examination of the look, tone and feel – can help you find and correct the issues that may be keeping your website from performing as it should.

    Audit point 1: User experience.

    A thorough website audit will help you understand how easily people are able to find the information they look for on your website. Check to see if page layout is helping a visitor access important content, no matter what type of device (desktop, mobile) they use to view your site. And see if your site still loads fast and is responsive to user commands.

    Audit point 2: Overall look.

    During a website audit, you need to consider if the overall look is still reflective of your brand and if that look is consistent across the entire website. Look for changes in fonts, colors and page layout across the site. Identify any pages that don’t work and note pages that have broken links. Also look at content to identify anything that is outdated, wrong or doesn’t have clear calls to action.

    Audit point 3: Visitor use.

    When reviewing your website during an audit, you should investigate what pages visitors are going to and what they do once they get there. If certain pages keep readers’ interest or result in specific engagement, but others don’t, find out what the difference is. Perhaps readers impatiently move off a page because it comes up slowly, doesn’t present information clearly or lacks a good call to action.

    Audit point 4: Optimization.

    It’s important that your website be easy for users and search engines to find. Your website audit should include looking at each page and learning where you can make tweaks to better optimize your site. Look to be sure there are keywords in the page title, content, images and links. Check to be sure page titles are less than 70 characters and that keywords are used in the meta description.

    After the checkup.

    Once you complete your audit, you should have a short list of pages that need to be revised. Make it a priority to fix pages that are not:

    • Easy to understand
    • Fast loading and responsive to user commands
    • Consistent with brand standards
    • Complete with calls to action
    • Optimized for search engines

    Your hospital website is a direct reflection of the care that patients can expect to receive and how engaged your hospital is as part of the community. With a thorough audit, your hospital’s website can better serve your visitors by making sure it is the robust, relevant, patient-focused experience that you want it to be.

    Interested in more tips to help your marketing strategy work better? Download our free e-book.

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    Prospective patients seeking information about healthcare already have a lot on their mind. That’s why your health system or assisted living facility must provide content that is memorable, easy to share and consume, and quickly conveys the quality and trustworthiness of your brand. Testimonial video content is especially suited to meet all of these needs.


    • Consumers want videos. Four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Give customers the videos they want, and you’re more likely to convince them that your organization can provide the care they need.
    • Videos are shareable. 45 percent of people watch more than an hour of video on Facebook or YouTube each week. Since videos are so easy to consume, they’re easy to share, and sharable content is crucial. It’s easier for people to watch videos than it is for them to parse out important information from text.
    • Demand for videos is growing. According to Cisco, video will make up more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Part of what’s driving this demand is the shift to mobile. On small screens, which consumers are using more for daily computing, text can be difficult to read. That’s why providing videos isn’t just about giving people your message in the format they prefer; it’s about them receiving your message clearly.

    Testimonial videos aren’t just great for letting patients tout your brand, they also help prospective patients understand that the people who are most satisfied with their care have been through the same experience, and have similiar needs. When you make your brand’s testimonial videos, try to show how your organization fits into patients’ own stories.


    • Let your patients or residents tell their stories. Testimonials are great for letting people talk about how great your organization is. But you should also ask the sources about their backgrounds, where they came from and what they enjoy. This makes testimonials more memorable and can help reassure potential patients that others have similar backgrounds, values, and needs. For example, take a look at Sunrise Senior Living’s series of resident testimonials. While some of the testimonials focus solely on residents’ experiences at Sunrise, others share their backgrounds and what led them to seek a senior care facility and eventually choose Sunrise.
    • Include high-end videography of your location and staff. While the focus of any testimonial should be on the patient and their family members, you should include some clips that make your staff and location look good. Consider clips of physicians and staff interacting with patients or residents enjoying amenities and participating in activities.
    • Make your testimonials sharable and easy to find. Post your testimonials on your social media sites, or drive web traffic to a microsite with a range of testimonials. New York Presbyterian’s Amazing Things page, for example, provides easy access to powerful video testimonials from many patients. You can also use testimonials as key parts of your main web pages. UC Health features a video testimonial right on their home page.

    Quality testimonial videos that are inspiring to watch and easy to share will boost positive impressions of your brand and promote the great service it provides.

    Interested in learning more about creating memorable video content? Give us a shout.

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