upcycle content

By Megan Hamby, Editorial Director

Recently, one of our healthcare clients reached out and asked for our help brainstorming some new ideas. She had a white paper that her team had developed, but she wanted to find a few creative ways to repurpose the information into different forms of content.

I got to work immediately, highlighting sections of the 15-page white paper that I thought could be broken down into shorter e-books, strategy guides, tip sheets, infographics and more. I quickly realized that the white paper was chock full of insightful and helpful information that could be broken down into easier-to-digest pieces of content. 

If you have a white paper, blog post, infographic or other piece of content that needs a new lease on life, consider repurposing (or upcycling) it. Turn a series of blog posts into a guide; turn an infographic into a video; or use testimonials published on your site on your social media. The possibilities are endless. Repurposing your content has a number of benefits, including:

> Reaching a new audience. Everyone learns differently and consumes information differently. Repurposing your content in a new format—such as an infographic, a video or even a podcast—can reach an audience segment that otherwise might not have found it. 


> Boosting traffic. The main goal of repurposing content is to drive more traffic to your site—and improve conversion rates. One study found that organic search still holds the majority share among traffic sources. This means that publishing your existing content in new formats can boost traffic and drive conversions.


> Building credibility and strengthening messaging. Google likes credible, authoritative websites. Repurposing your content in new formats can help build credibility with Google because you have more content about a specific topic on your site. Plus, it strengthens your messaging, positioning you or your organization as a thought leader.

Ready to upcycle your existing content in new, fresh ways? Let us help. 

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

marketing tools

By: Steve Sullivan, Sales Director

After several years of attending healthcare technology conferences, I have noticed there are patterns that exist in the healthcare technology space.
 
And as with most conferences, the topics and buzzwords shift each year. This year’s buzz was all around artificial intelligence (AI)—if you didn’t have AI in your pitch, you were in the minority.
 
Change is constant.
 
But some things don’t change.  The basic issues facing healthcare marketers seem to be a constant—and we resonate with each of these challenges.
  • Aggressive sales goals
  • Elusive buyers and decision makers
  • Marketing and sales staff thinly stretched across competing priorities
  • The need to quantify and measure the effects of our campaigns
  • Understanding the language of healthcare audiences
  • Connecting with customers around the pain and challenges we solve
These marketing and sales process support challenges aren’t changing. Whether you have a full in-house agency or you’re a sole marketing practitioner, these challenges seem ubiquitous.
 
And with the sheer volume of technology and services companies in this space (many exhibit while hundreds stay home), having a solution and a plan to address these challenges could be the difference between staying in the game and getting outmaneuvered by the competition.
 
Connecting with audiences while differentiating from the competition is serious business. And those that have taken on institutional investments have heightened pressure to help drive that growth.
 
Simply put, if we don’t have the support, resources or trusted partner to fuel the growth engine, then we risk missing out on business opportunities, regardless of how cutting-edge our products appear.
 
So unless marketers face these challenges head on, the old maxim holds true: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

By John Lavey

Some people think about content marketing campaigns in healthcare as providing thought leadership, then pushing engaged leads into a call to action where they are entering the sales process. But sometimes that formula isn’t helpful enough, or you may want more tools to try when you are rolling out campaigns. 

One option that some healthcare marketers are succeeding with includes deploying more collaborative content tools, where the call to action might be an interactive calculator tool or worksheets to help guide a collaborative session. That session might help a customer work through an approach to a problem. 

This is a smart way to think about engaging your audience, as an alternative or supplement to e-books and webinars. 

Developing interactive calculator tools is a terrific option if you can do it in a meaningful way that your customer will trust. There are lots of options for how to build calculators, or you can select an off-the-shelf option. If building out a tool is too big a lift, offering to take your customer’s data and come back with a savings estimate provides you an opportunity to maintain a consultative role. 

One of our clients uses worksheets to facilitate a conversation with prospects. Given the complexity of the problems faced by some of your customers, this is a wise way to think about building a relationship. When you roll up your sleeves and sit down to help a prospective customer, it really changes the dynamic and builds trust.

If you want to be a truly consultative seller, then supporting your efforts with collaborative content marketing tools is something you should consider. It supports our highest aspirations: content that works!

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

WhatWorks

By John Lavey

By far, the most common question I receive from healthcare clients and prospective clients, or even friends when we talk about healthcare marketing, is: “What works?”

That question is really an umbrella for more specific questions, such as:

  1. What is effective right now at helping me get my message across or growing my business?

  2. What is the best way to spend my marketing dollars, and how can I be sure they are being spent wisely?

  3. How can I partner with someone outside, and what marketing staffing should I have internally to be successful?

These are the essential questions any organization will have about its marketing, particularly for healthcare companies that are trying to market to hard-to-reach buyers in provider, payer and pharma organizations. So, what works? Here are three key places to start, based on your answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you have a clear picture of what your customer journey looks like? When we dig into a company’s marketing, we take a look at all aspects of what it looks like, from thought leadership to sales support, event marketing, even onboarding and customer retention. If you have a clear idea of what that journey looks like, and then, where you are weaker or stronger, you have an idea of what needs attention. Invest to address gaps in content that supports that customer journey.

  2. Are you committed to more closely linking marketing to sales? Many organizations have embraced account-based marketing. All organizations have content management systems. Most have marketing investments. Rarely are all of these investments as interoperable as they could be, or should be. If you don’t have connective tissue between sales and marketing, you should fix that first.

  3. Are you ready for lead generation, or do you really need to generate demand? We all want to drive leads, and create opportunities for conversations about our solutions. But the reality is that some companies aren’t well known enough to be the “go to” for when a customer is ready to evaluate options for solutions. Those companies need to invest in thought leadership, and meeting demand for solutions to problems, even shaping conversations at the awareness stage, before it comes to consideration and decision making

Give us a call if you’d like to talk more about what isn’t working for you, and where you might start. 

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

paid media

By Megan Hamby, Editorial Director

One of the biggest challenges that marketers face when creating new content is promoting and distributing that content. You’ve created campaigns with engaging blog posts, thought-provoking e-books and compelling infographics—but if you are not able to ensure your target audience sees it, then what good does it really do? 

Generating qualified leads requires more than just publishing compelling content. You also need a strategy for promoting that content—focusing on all the tactics at your disposal to ensure your message reaches its intended audience. With healthcare, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, your content strategy should be highly customized and you must leverage trusted channels—industry conferences, trade media or even your own events. Another option to include in your content strategy is paid media—a way to promote content through sponsored social media posts, native advertising, paid search results, video advertisements, display ads and more. Utilizing paid media can be an effective and efficient way to reach your target audience and expand your reach.

However, when it comes to paid media, simply using Google Search ads or pay-per-click ads likely won’t help you reach your target audience or key decision-makers. Instead, turn to more specific forms of paid media, such as:

  • Social media posts: LinkedIn is one of the most effective social media platforms for B2B marketers—especially if you are implementing account-based marketing (ABM). According to Gartner, ABM is “a strategy in which a supplier targets a select group of accounts that represent significantly higher expansion or growth opportunities with tailored marketing and sales support.” Using sponsored posts on LinkedIn can target users and drive them to relevant content. On Twitter, consider promoting a post that links to high-performing content to boost it even further. 


  • Display ads: Display ads are one of the most popular forms of paid media—pop-ups, banners and videos can be found on almost every web page on the internet. However, because they are so popular, web users tend to ignore them. If you do use display ads, be sure to advertise on websites specific to your industry. For instance, if you specialize in healthcare technology, consider paying for a display ad on a site like Healthcare IT News. 



  • Sponsored content: In 2016, Business Insider predicted that sponsored content would be the fastest-growing form of native advertising over the next five years. Sponsored content can be expensive—but when choosing the right content and the right outlet, it can be effective. For example, a revenue cycle company might consider publishing a sponsored article or blog post on a site like RevCycle Intelligence.


This week, take a look at your content that could use an extra push—and look for new ways to distribute it with paid media. Need help? Give us a call. 

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

comedyclub

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I spend most of my professional life helping clients tell stories across all forms of media to accomplish a business objective. But in my personal life for the past eight years, I’ve also been part of a few storytelling groups in Nashville and have gotten up on stage in bars and comedy clubs to tell comic stories. 

Telling a story in front of a crowd has informed my perspective on marketing, and I’ve learned through great nights where I was killing it (and one or two nights where I’ve bombed) three truths about what it takes to engage an audience. I think those three truths are just as relevant for engaging your audience at a healthcare conference as they are in a club.

  1. Show, Don’t Tell—Any writer will tell you this, but you have to make people feel the details and concrete nature of a problem or challenge you face. When you are telling a story about a bad date, it matters to share details about how bad the calamari was, or how you were both glancing at your phones, and some of the specific and terribly awkward words shared. When it comes to talking about industry issues (say physician burnout), we tend to focus a lot on data-supported points (which are necessary for making a decision) but don’t engage our hearts and minds like the stories of men and women logging into an EHR at 1 a.m. after days and days of treating patients.

     

  2. Create a Story With an Arc—Most of us prefer to deliver a resolution, and when you are telling a funny story, that means to deliver a laugh line. But if you don’t take someone on a journey that shares the ups and downs to demonstrate the depth of a problem, then you won’t get the payoff of a great laugh. In talking about solutions in our work, it’s a similar dynamic. The great CEO, writer and speaker Nancy Duarte talks about the principles of good storytelling when presenting, and the importance of creating an arc, with distance between “what is and what could be.” If you don’t create the arc of a story, you are delivering a boring corporate presentation.

     

  3. Resolve With Truth—I’m convinced that what is magical about laughter is that it is a spontaneous reaction to something that we believe to be true (however unexpected). And a group of people laughing is shared recognition of something resolved, and the relief of resolving the situation you’ve shared in a way that they didn’t expect but that they believe. With your presentation, you have the ability to deliver the same resolution by accurately telling a story of a situation faced in their work and resolving the situation with something they believe. 

Storytelling and creating engagement with your ideas and solutions can be enhanced with attention to these tips, in my experience with clients, too, not just strangers in a comedy club. And that’s no joke.

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

It used to be in the marketing agency world that you wanted to be all things to all people, and have everything under one roof. The problem with that model is that it may not enable you to match client needs with the best solution. You are able only to match client needs with the best solution you have in-house. It often results in generalists tasked with meeting highly specific needs.

That is a particular problem for healthcare. The breadth and depth of this industry require a keen understanding of the challenges at all levels—in particular where the topics are clinical, financial and technical. A writer who understands how to write an article about heart health for a consumer audience isn’t always the same fit for content about pharma technology aimed at a financial decision maker. 

As rapidly as the world of marketing is evolving and changing, at Hammock we see the need to find the best-in-class provider of services every single time: writers who are specialists in their field; photographers and videographers able to be deployed on a moment’s notice where they live; experts in preferred marketing automation platforms used by clients; paid push specialists with experience in the client’s industry.

We’ve made a business out of ensuring core competencies are in-house and then working with the best people in their respective disciplines, who are contractors to us on projects and recurring contracted work, and utilizing tried-and-true processes and platforms to ensure our control over workflows and our ability to provide the best client experience and deliver the best results.

We’ve used this method of delivering award-winning marketing media for 30 years, and worked with hundreds of team members outside our walls along the way. In a recent get-to-know-you call, while I was explaining what we do, the prospective client beat me to the punch line: “So, your company has ‘The Hollywood Model?’” Yes, indeed.

Movies and TVs have been made for decades by companies that gather subspecialties to serve on teams to execute the most entertaining content we all enjoy. In our view, it’s the most successful and efficient way to meet our clients’ needs.

Do you want specialists or generalists serving your marketing needs? Welcome to Hollywood.

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

bridgecommunication

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

My conversations with healthcare organizations—providers, payers, pharma companies, technology or service solutions—show me that the marketers within those organizations need more help understanding the industry that is there to support their efforts. 

When Hammock was founded 30 years ago, we were not known as a marketing company. We were known as a custom publishing company. At the time, it was appropriate for describing what we did: creating recurring custom-published marketing media for clients (which they owned) to accomplish a business objective.

It also helped explain how we were different from advertising agencies or public relations (PR) firms. Our work went directly to customers and prospects. Advertising and PR were piggybacking on someone else’s published media to reach customers and prospects. 

During the Great Recession (2007–2009) many print newspapers and magazines collapsed. Traditional advertising agencies and PR firms also took a hit when those media failed. 

The vocabulary to describe what we do to help clients communicate and grow started changing. For example, the industry organization Rex Hammock co-founded in 1998, the Custom Publishing Council, became the Custom Content Council. 

Advertising and PR functions are still critical, of course. One consideration is who has expertise in going direct to audiences, and who is there to help efforts using someone else’s media? 

We’ve evolved new capabilities and embraced new media, from digital to video to social. But where we add value is the same today as it was in 1991. We help support and nurture the customer journey, before they are a customer, and afterward. We deliver strategy and implementation, as well as measurement of key performance indicators, and we help our clients establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields.

Everybody has a story to tell, a message to deliver, and we specialize in helping you take yours directly to the people who need to hear, read or view it so that you can continue to grow.

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

tools

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

It’s no secret that healthcare marketers had to shift gears in 2020. According to the inaugural HIMSS Healthcare Technology Marketing Survey, more than 85% of marketing decision-makers at healthcare or healthcare technology organizations reported using content marketing, social media, webinars, email marketing and virtual events as part of their 2020 marketing strategy—and more than 75% of marketing decision-makers expect to continue using these tactics throughout 2021.

When marketers were asked what marketing tools were most effective, the top five answers were: 
  1. Webinars
 (At Hammock, we think of webinars as a type of content marketing.)
  2. Account-based marketing

  3. Virtual events

  4. Content marketing

  5. Social media

It’s no surprise in a year when in-person events were so limited that webinars and virtual events were so highly rated by marketers. Notable as a rising investment by marketers was an uptick in the spend on account-based marketing (ABM)—61% of respondents reported using ABM during 2020, while 67% said they intend to use the tactic in 2021. ABM is the practice of marketing to individual prospects or customers, and tracking the interactions with those targets.

In healthcare, particularly, ABM makes sense because of the relatively small universe of buyers compared with, say, marketing to millions of consumers or small-business owners, where casting a large net is required. When marketing to healthcare providers or payers, the targets are known. The survey results suggest we’ll see a rise in ABM moving forward—39% of survey respondents reported that ABM will be in their top five marketing spending areas in 2021.

The top three areas that healthcare technology marketers indicated a desire to learn more about from a subject matter expert are: 
  1. Marketing optimization

  2. Account-based marketing

  3. Content marketing

If you would like to connect to resources we’ve developed around these topics or if you would like a subject matter expert from Hammock to present to your marketing team or leadership about best practices in these areas, please let us know

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.

 

 

 communicating through tin-can phones

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

The children’s game of telephone continues to be an apt analogy for how misinformation can be spread widely. Humans are great at many things, but we aren’t always reliable at recollection. Real information, when passed down and shared widely and inaccurately, becomes conventional wisdom.

In healthcare marketing, for example, we often hear that women make 80% of healthcare decisions. This is based, probably, on a 2014 report that indicates 80% of healthcare decisions about kids are made by women. 

Is that being picky? I’d argue it’s critical. You wouldn’t want to build a healthcare marketing strategy around the idea that your market is 80% women, if it’s not.  

In healthcare content marketing, this “game of telephone” dynamic can be particularly damaging for organizations seeking to position themselves as thought leaders. You don’t want to be trafficking warmed-over conventional wisdom for three reasons:

  1. It’s not accurate.
  2. It looks bad.
  3. It prevents you from sharing unique insights.

When you work with an outside content partner, you can expect them to help provide additional research to support the content you create. But that research should be carefully done and rely on authoritative sources. It should be accurate.

That outside partner should also understand your unique value and your unique voice. When research means warming over conventional wisdom, you are delivering poor insights and risk looking bad. 

Are you playing a game of telephone with your content?

Image: Getty Images

 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.