The Keys to Creating Great Content


You know it was a great workshop when you took away so many great points you couldn’t even fit them all into one blog post!

As I mentioned in my Invest More Time in Developing Content for Digital Properties post, I recently attended the content marketing workshop at the Healthcare Marketing Strategy Summit in Scottsdale, AZ this week.

One great insight I heard is the fact that truly great content marketing happens at the intersection of user needs, resources and business strategy.

As Ed Bennett, Scott Linabarger and Shel Holtz explained, to create great content, adhere to the following strategies:

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Invest More Time Developing Content for Digital Properties

Stylized image of wavy lines on a blue background

In truth, we should be spending more time on content and less on functionality, organization and design.

This was the underlying message in a content marketing workshop at the Healthcare Marketing Strategy Summit in Scottsdale, AZ this week. The workshop, led by industry heavyweights Ed Bennett from University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Scott Linabarger from the Cleveland Clinic and consultant Shel Holtz not only discussed the growing importance of good content, but also focused on steps to develop and promote this information. Here are just some of the highlights:
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Thomas Goetz Tells a Healthy Story


During a general session at the Healthcare Marketing Strategies National Summit this week, Thomas Goetz told a great story about engaging health consumers.

It’s the story of Jean Nidetch, a 1960’s housewife who battles with her weight for many years. There’s new research at the time indicating that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and become more active. While this is common knowledge today, in the 1960’s this was a revelation.

This new information is so important, in fact, that the New York Department of Health decides to take this new information directly to the public through a series of community meetings and Mrs. Nidetch attends.

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eHealth Symposium 2013: Creating, Innovating, Pushing Boundaries

Last week we held our 8th annual eHealth Symposium. Clients from all over the country came to Iowa to work together on pushing the boundaries of healthcare marketing. With a jam-packed agenda of topics ranging from the latest website design trends to agile marketing methods to newsjacking, clients left with brains full of new ideas, knowledge and relationships:

Clients also received a healthy dose of Iowa hospitality, which consists of overwhelming friendliness, and over-the-top food:

It helps that we hold the event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, which is unlike any hotel you’d expect to find in Iowa:
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Building an Extraordinary Mobile App

I’ve weighed in before on when to use a mobile app rather than a mobile website. But once you choose the app route, how do you create something that consumers will actually use?

This was the question posed to a panel of application developers at the mHealth Summit. Their thoughts provide a great framework for anyone approaching the app market.

Start Out by Solving a Problem

Many apps fail right off the bat because they are based on a clever idea that just doesn’t appeal to the consumer. Don’t build first and then try to find a market for the app! A better approach is to find a distinct pain point for a group of people and then solve that problem with the app.

One way to find a need for a consumer-focused app is to mirror the patient’s journey with their health challenges. Condition-centric apps tend to deliver more value after diagnosis, educating consumers about their condition, connecting them with a support community, encouraging lifestyle change and helping with the long-term management of their disease.

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Social Media and Doctors: Risky Business or Good for Business?

Yes, social media has risks. But that doesn’t mean providers shouldn’t be using it.

This was the key message from Kevin Pho, MD’s opening keynote at the 12th annual Healthcare Internet Conference.  Pho is an active user of social media and a practicing family physician.

Eight in ten online Americans look for health information on the Web and one in three read about others’ health experiences (check out our new infographic with more statistics on how health consumers engage online).  This presents one of those key opportunities to influence health consumers while they’re evaluating care options including treatments, physicians and hospitals.

Unfortunately, the majority of consumers aren’t good at assessing the quality of the healthcare information they’re reviewing.

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5 New Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame Inductees

While our industry is growing and evolving at a mind-numbing pace, it’s important that we don’t lose our roots – those individuals and organizations that paved those early trails and took the risks on bringing “that internet thing” into the healthcare realm.  Today, what was once a risk is not only routine, but a critical part of our communications and care delivery infrastructure.

The Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame (HIHOF) was founded last year to begin recognizing these individuals and organizations.

It’s been my great pleasure to be a judge for HIHOF’s 2012 class and I’m excited to share this year’s inductees:

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Community Management Best Practices for the Healthcare Marketer

If you manage your hospital’s social media channels, blog, or really any area where your customers interact with your organization online and offline then you, my friend, are a community manager. Unless you work at Dell or McDonald’s, community management is likely only one facet of your role within the marketing department. But it’s a very important one.

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ROI and Social Media – The Awkward Date

Here at Geonetric, we’re constantly cooking up new and exciting ways for our clients to engage with their patients. These days that engagement conversation often turns to tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others.

You know – that social media stuff.

But along with generating creative ideas, we’re in love with measuring the tactics we use. Some might even call it an obsession.

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When it Comes to Your Healthcare Website: Start With Content

Seems obvious, right? Websites – and most everything else we want to share – start with content. Got something to say? That’s content.

Content Rules

According to Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, content rules. The pair literally wrote the book on the subject – Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Recently revised to keep up with the constantly changing world of social media, it’s one of the best books to help you get started in your content development efforts or remind you of options when faced with information overload. Whether you consider the title as directive or cheer, you’re right!

What’s Next?

Conversation? Community? Add them to content and you have a solid base for your business in a world where social media captures an ever-increasing share of the way we communicate with each other.

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SHSMD Connects Us Together in a Time of Great Change

Another SHSMD Annual Conference has come and gone. The theme this year, “Connections 2012,” was appropriate, as we attempt as an industry to tie our rafts together to better weather the storm on the horizon.

What follows are my big take-aways from the meeting. Whether you were at the meeting in Philadelphia or just followed the conversation on Twitter, I hope you’ll share your thoughts on the conference in the comments section of this post.

Bring your experience to the table, but let go of your preconceptions.

There were a lot of disciplines represented at the conference, and from strategists to marketers to physician’s liaisons, we’re all trying to define what our industry and our own organizations will look like in just a few years’ time. What healthcare gets delivered, where it’s delivered, who does the delivery and, of course, the economics supporting it along the way are all in flux.

It’s the time of transition which promises to be most challenging for our organizations. Dr. Maulik Joshi, PhD, President of HRET, the American Hospital Association’s research foundation, said it best, “We stand with one foot on the dock and the other on the boat.” Healthcare organizations will be under strain as we seek to find new models and structures that work, effectively disassembling and reassembling the airplane while having to keep it in the air throughout the entire process.

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Value-Based Service: Not Just another Client-Facing Business Model

On day two of the SHSMD Annual Conference, Ari Fleischer spoke about his experiences as the former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush.  Ari’s compelling comments reinforced my belief in an action-based commitment model to serve our clients. Understanding that each client shares a different expectation for how their level of service is fulfilled.

Now I know the very mention of Ari Fleischer automatically triggers opinions of our own political beliefs. Understandable. However, I am not here to debate politics. So please take off your political glasses for a moment as we explore a few of the many powerful examples of service-based efforts.

Take for instance a recent conversation I overheard in our booth (808) where Toni Donina of Baldwin Publishing  graciously offered a guest who was accompanying her, this statement ‘… and Geonetric is one of the 4-5 players in this space whose clients actually like them.’ Talk about a powerful message. What great evidence reaffirming what we at Geonetric strives for every day.
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AHA Leadership Forum – Our World is About to Change

“Our world is about to change. Now, let’s figure out what that might look like.”

That is, in essence, what my week at the AHA Leadership Forum in San Francisco was all about. We all know that there’s a tremendous wave coming in healthcare. The recurring theme was actually “the second wave” representing the shift from pay-for-service to the new models of healthcare reimbursement that are on the horizon. And the conference focused on determining what the industry will look like in the future.

As much as we’ve discussed the changes, much of that talk has either been very conceptual or very tactical – in essence missing the forest for the trees. The various legislative efforts that have gotten this ball rolling (ARRA, ACA) are really applying leverage at the edges of the healthcare system. But they don’t do a good job describing what the core of the system will really look like when it’s all said and done, let alone what will happen as we work through the processes of transformation.

While it may add to our collective discomfort, this is fundamentally a good thing. For all the complaints of politicians trying to change a healthcare system that they do not fully understand, we should be happy that they haven’t attempted to dictate the details. They’ve set out meaningful goals specifically around the reimbursement model and then stepped out of the way to allow the healthcare system work out the details.

It’s clear that we don’t really know the details just yet – at least not all of the details. We do seem to understand where enough major challenges lie to keep us occupied for a while, however.

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The Editorial Board: Your Chance to Maintain Consistent Voice in a Siloed Organization

This past week I had the opportunity to attend STC Summit 2012 in Chicago: three days of back-to-back sessions covering everything related to communications from MarCom to agile communications practices to information design and video training. Among the insightful talks was one by Elizabeth Reese, a senior editor at Microsoft. Her presentation described how Microsoft uses collaboration and a service-oriented editorial board to create and maintain a single voice across the organization. Coming away from her session, I realized three important and portable points about the issue:
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What’s a HIHOF?

Know someone who’s an innovator in the healthcare Internet industry? A person or organization whose contributions have changed the way healthcare organizations communicate digitally? Someone whose groundbreaking work should be remembered by those who come in the future?

That’s what the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame (HIHOF) is all about!

HIHOF was launched at the annual Healthcare Internet Conference last year by conference sponsor Greystone as a way to honor outstanding contributors to our field and remember them for the future.

Nominations for the Hall Of Fame are being accepted now, and the deadline has been extended to June 15, 2012. I am personally honored to be amongst an auspicious list of inaugural judges for HIHOF.

Nominees can be individuals, organizations or products. Guidance on the criteria can be found on the HIHOF website.

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