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Every engagement in content is a ‘vote’. The reader or user engages with the content and tells the marketer, “I want more of this.” But what if the content that your audience wants more of isn’t necessarily the type of content you want them to want.
For Marcia Francis, Digital Marketing Manager at the University of Kansas Health System, and Amanda Todorovich, Director of Content at the Cleveland Clinic, content serves a different purpose than for some marketers.
Amanda explains: “…We can't, as marketers in healthcare, create demand for our services. People are sick or they're not, they need surgery or they don't. It’s about that content that makes people … feel like they can trust our brand, like they can turn to us in their time of need. At the same time, I think a more important part of our mix today has become more wellness-oriented content: helping people stay healthy. [It’s] a really weird dynamic as a healthcare marketer. We don't make money unless you're in our facilities, but the reality is [we need] to be that trusted resource to people. You have to provide the content that helps them take care of themselves and their families.”
“We were preparing to do a website and a person said, 'We should have as many followers as this sports team,'" Marcia shares. “People want to follow a sports team. They don't necessarily want to follow the hospital because people want to go to a game, but they don't want to come to the hospital."
Watch as Marcia and Amanda discuss their process to producing consistent and successful content in a specialized content space, what inspires their teams, and how they grow their audience.
Sponsored by Netline Corporation
NetLine Corporation empowers B2B Marketers with the reach, technology, and expertise required to drive scalable lead generation results and accelerate the sales funnel. Operating the largest B2B content syndication lead generation network, NetLine reaches 125 million unique visitors and processes more than 700 thousand leads monthly across 300 industry sectors. NetLine's AudienceTarget™ technology drives prospect discovery, quality customer lead acquisition, and buyer engagement from real prospect intent as professionals consume content directly across the network.
Superior quality, on demand access, and advanced campaign reports enable all clients to achieve lead generation success. Founded in 1994, NetLine is privately held and headquartered in Los Gatos, California. Successful B2B Marketers Start with NetLine, visit www.netline.com.
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- So, Amanda, you're with Cleveland Clinic and you work in the marketing department. So, tell me a little bit about what you do there.
- Sure. I manage a team of all kinds of different content creators and distributors, so essentially, we're a formal content marketing department of about 25 people, which includes editors, designers, project managers, a social media team, an email team, and some project managers to kinda help keep things moving. We have grown drastically over the last five years from a three person team to a 25 person team. We have, ya know, continued to expand our areas of responsibility. We manage multiple websites, blogs, social, email, print production and brand management for the enterprise. It just keeps gettin' bigger.
- Well that's pretty interesting. So, I'm Marcia Francis and I work at the University of Kansas Health System and it's interesting 'cause I think that I'm on sort of the other side of that. I manage a team of three people and we do digital, websites, social media, and we work with agencies that we partner with to do marketing, digital marketing, search engine marketing and things of that nature. We have some blogs that we're just starting out to do and encouraging our physicians to take part in. So, it's kind of interesting. I'm part of a larger marketing department where they're writers. We use freelancers. We also have graphic designers. We have marketing managers and it feels a little like, in your case, that the digital marketing team or the content marketing team is the marketing team.
- [Amanda] No.
- Okay, see, that's the important distinction.
- It is a really important distinction because marketing and communications at Cleveland Clinic is actually about 200 people. It's a very big organization. We are, I would call us kind of the hub of marketing though because we support a lot of different areas with our efforts. So, our advertising and events team, ya know, who's really managing all of our paid efforts and things like that, we partner with them to create a lot of the content that's utilized in some of those campaigns or to develop a look and feel of the campaign. We have our service line marketing teams who are really out meeting with those clinical areas and finding out their business needs and objective or running some different strategies and campaigns for them and we meet with them on a weekly basis to determine story ideas, to figure out content needs for all those different areas. We have our PR and corporate communications team as part of marketing. So, while we're a big, important part of marketing and we support just about everything we do, it is very important to know we are not the marketing department at the Cleveland Clinic. There is a lot more going on. I also think there's a little bit of a misperception about who Cleveland Clinic really is. We're a global brand. We have facilities all over the world now. So, marketing is supporting a lot more than just a hospital in Cleveland and so, ya know, as things have expanded, so has the role of marketing and content.
- Hence the 200 people.
- Yes, exactly, it's not they have, yeah.
- Oh, I understand.
- It's just different.
- Our team, we're doing, updating websites, driving content development and we're always focusing on our strategic service line managers, talking to them about what their needs are and where they need to grow and trying to develop content around that 'cause that's been kind of a really interesting chain where they're used to promoting, like, "Why don't I show up on Google?" Right, the very first thing. Why doesn't this procedure or this thing that we're the best at in our region, why doesn't that show up? Starting to understand that we have to develop content around that so that there's something to drive that.
- Right. I think it's interesting too. We always face this challenge when we're talking with our service line marketing teams about volume-driving content versus relationship-building content. Ultimately, we know in the healthcare space, almost every search on Google is health related. People are constantly looking up symptoms and conditions and to appear in those search results, becoming so much more competitive and it's really a content game. But we can't, as marketers in healthcare, create demand for our services, right? People are sick or they're not, they need surgery or they don't. There's no coupons, there's none of that stuff that's really gonna help. So, it is about that content that makes people, I think feel like they can trust your brand, like they can turn to you in their time of need and at the same time, I think a more important part of our mix today has become more wellness oriented content, helping people stay healthy, which I think is a really weird dynamic as a healthcare marketer when we don't make money unless you're in our facilities. But the reality is to be that trusted resource to people, you have to provide the content that helps them take care of themselves and their families. I'm curious about your market. Are you regional?
- Yeah, so we kind of look at all of Kansas, but then we cross over into Missouri because we're in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri is right there, so western Missouri. A little bit of Nebraska, a little bit of Oklahoma, but we get patients, especially for cancer care and patients for the health system. We've had patients from all over every state. Ya know, certainly not quite at the level of Cleveland Clinic, for example. I loved watching when U.S. News came out and you're on the honor roll and it's like, we're proud to be number two. It's like, "Yeah," I mean, that's just--
- There's so much work into that. The U.S. News rankings are always an interesting time of year for sure. But yeah, so excited to be number two in the nation and ya know, we've been number one in heart healthcare for 23 years now, I think, running. So it's been a really fun message and an opportunity to again, kind of expand that national and international footprint. But ya know, I think one of the things that excites me the most about being in healthcare right now is that our industry is in such a state or flux and people are just kind of scared and really, I think, searching for credible information to help guide them through this changing landscape. I find it fascinating when we have conversations with our CMO about the fact that our census will be like at 95% in all of our facilities, but we're actually not making as much money as we should be because the pair mix and all of those things that factor into our business that I just think make healthcare so complicated are why people need us now more than ever, need content that explains how to navigate healthcare more than ever.
- I agree, I really, I think that's an interesting take too because the very first thing, ya know, healthcare is a national topic. It's tied in to everything right now and people have definite opinions about it. Like you said, trying to find a credible source that you can trust to tell you things that don't have anything to do with me providing a service for you and to be there for you and I love that about your blog, the whole presentation of it. It's so focused on delivering helpful information about things that might be trendy so that there's sort of like, I can balance that against the things I'm seeing on Facebook, I'm seeing a blogger but here I have another place to turn.
- That's absolutely our philosophy. We use three words to describe it really well. It's useful, helpful and relevant content. We do take a lot of ownership in making sure that consumers all over the world have accurate information. As you know, there are studies and research coming out of healthcare every single day and some of it is what our physicians like to call junk science and we take it seriously to tell people, "Don't listen to this. "Here's the facts. "Here's what the more robust research says "or a study that has more participants "is really telling us." Ya know, just making sure that people have the opportunity to see as much fact-based, evidence-based medicine and have access to experts to answer those questions as much as possible. I mean, that's really, we're doing more and more of that. I look at where we're headed with Facebook Live, for example. The ability for us to put one of our physicians out there and answer questions real time. I mean, these are people who probably will never be patients of ours but we still wanna help them. We still wanna be there to answer those questions about things that are hitting the news or affecting them that day and they just don't know where to turn. That's really what we think our content is all about, is providing that helpful resource.
- So, in a time especially that you can, like you said, your senses could be at 95% but it's still, you're looking at how to thrive as a business as well. How did you, even five years ago, start to make that, help people understand internally how to make that shift from being a marketing driven focus to this idea of content marketing where it's like, I'm shifting a little bit from talking about myself to creating a conversation or information that other people want that may not necessarily put me in the center of it?
- Well, I think five years ago, we did not go into this with this grand plan of having ya know, millions of visitors a month. That was not it.
- [Marcia] I'm shocked.
- We started small, we really did. We started with a blog that we wanted to create because we had content with nowhere to put it. It was a lot of things that we were doing in print, in a consumer piece that we didn't have a place to put online. So, we launched the blog with that intention, but what really started to build and truly how we've gotten from that point to now is the data and sharing the story every step of the way. So, even when we were really small, sharing those little wins or the things that didn't work and people didn't want any more of. We evolved to the point where we were really truly focused on this useful, helpful, relevant content and not on our own services or saying how great we were on the blog because we weed it out based on the numbers. That's not what people wanted and if our goal, ultimately, with what we were doing, was really around national brand awareness, relationship building with people, this was the kind of content that was really resonating. This is what they were hungry for and coming to us asking for. So, ya know, when a story performed really well, we were telling out leadership. When we started to share the content on social media and that really started to increase traffic, we started to do more of that. Just kind of each little ball that we had in the air just kinda testing and optimizing against that every time and then sharing that every step of the way. I mean, I have an email still to this day that I send out every single week to our CMO talking about highlights of the week. These are some cool things we did or we tried that test, optimize, iterate. I mean, we've never been, ya know, constant.
- So you're kind of
- continuing to inform internally to let people know, this is what's working, this is that, so they have something to talk about too.
- Right and even the physicians that we rely on, every single piece of content we create has to be vetted and approved by a medical expert. So, when we include them in a piece of content and we're taking up their time, we make sure to go back to them and say, "Thank you so much. "Your post reached this many people just this week." A lot of the content we do is evergrowing. So we use it over and over and over again. There's content we wrote five years ago that we still use.
- So, how do you get them to go through the approval process?
- It is not easy and it is not always fun. It's definitely not always fast but, we try to really keep the amount of requests we're making that have to be turned around super fast at a minimum. A lot of the content we produce is evergreen, so literally when they approve it, we can use it.
- You just use it at that time.
- Ya know, we publish three to five articles a day on Health Essentials. To do that, we have hundreds of pieces of content in production at any given day because we literally are at the mercy of their schedule and we know they're taking care of patients first and that's how it has to be. Now, when we have something that's in the news and we have to hit it fast, we know which experts will probably get back to us a little faster. We tend to go to them more. But again, we try to keep those asks, really when we absolutely need them and try to give them time.
- So then, I just back up. We have hundreds of pieces of content in production at any time. Okay, so that's a little mind-blowing. Just thinking about how you track all that and ya know, as a small team, obviously you didn't start out with hundreds of pieces of content.
- No, we did not. When we started with a three person team, we had a lot of agency support and help. We had lots of giant spreadsheets that never got smaller because there were three people trying to attack a giant project and we treated it that way. We've evolved away from that. It's a much more agile approach to content. We operate very much like a news room would. There's a daily meeting that we're reviewing. We have a very colorful post-it note wall of things that just move as they go through the process. But we're really working a week at a time. So, there might be lots of pieces of content that ya know, a writer's trying to schedule an interview or it might be out for approval or at various states of production but, our schedule and what we're actually slotting in to be published or our schedules on the social media channels are a week at a time or a couple of days at most. Like we're really not working too far out. We try to be as agile and nimble as we can be. Really try to make the content timely, right? So, if there is something in the news, then our schedule changes to accommodate that because a lot of times, we already have the content about that topic, we just need to bring it back on social. Or we might tweak something to make it a little more relevant again. But ya know, it's not about having some big massive, flushed out calendar as much as it is just constantly moving.
- Keeping the ball rolling.
- That's really interesting. We're working, we have a PR team, of course. They have an enterprise that's called Medical News Network and so MedicalNewsNetwork.org and they push a lot of great content out to the media there. We try to take down some of the media, some of the video and convert that and put it online. But we're always working it, ya know, like when things are in the news, how we can work together better in trying to mesh those two things up and it's sort of a challenge for us.
- It's a challenge for us too. We have the exact same thing. So, our PR department has the Cleveland Clinic News Service that's doing the same exact thing. We talk to them every morning. We do a quick little phone call just to be like, "What are you working on today? "Which experts are you using as spokespeople "on these particular issues and maybe we can go "tag along to an interview or ya know, "anticipate what kind of video we might get back "that we can utilize in our channels as well." But it's always hard. I mean, they have an agenda, we have an agenda. We're just kinda constantly trying to remind and utilize the physician's time as efficiently as we can be. But it's still hard. It's always hard because that kind of content, you're moving so fast and you do want to jump on it but, it's getting better. I mean, our teams have definitely learned a lot over the years in terms of how to best work together and it's really most important for us when we have a really big story, right? So if we've had a face transplant or a uterus transplant, that's months of work in advance having content ready to go on every platform and that, we're in lock step and there's constant--
- That was an amazing story. I watched the webinar on that. It's just like, two years of time to prepare for all that.
- Yeah, I mean we had infographics and video. I mean, we had everything, but those kinds of cases, ya know, the coordination between our departments I think just brought us a lot closer together too to work more on day to day stories, but yeah, the coordination is a challenge and they actually sit in a different city than we do. Our administrative campus is not on our main hospital campus and so, it's a lot of virtual discussions and phone calls.
- Well that's really interesting. I think another thing, because it's in that beginning of working together and we're doing pretty well with that but I think that we also try to take a step back too and know that they have to produce and turn around for the news that night. Like they have a deadline. But the interest around the story is going to last longer than that. So, they might have to hit that deadline if I can, like you said, take advantage of the person, the expert's time and let them get back to doing what they do best, saving people's lives, then I can go tell their story the next day, the day after that and make for a longer tale of that. Do you have any strategy around that or do you try to hit right on the same time?
- It totally depends on the story itself. So, if it's something that is like, I think, really causing crisis for consumers like it's something that's gonna scare people, we try to get something out there that day because it's just really again, our commitment to that mission.
- It being relevant.
- Right but, if it's a day or two later, that sometimes is better for us because we're actually able to kinda take a deeper dive than maybe they did originally or we'll get an interview with that expert and spend a little bit more time where we'll just take a different angle or cover it another way. So, sometimes it gives the story more legs and it actually ends up getting us, ya know, more coverage of the story than maybe we originally anticipated, so I think it really just depends on the topic and how urgent we feel like it is to get it out there.
- Do people in, so I'm thinking about, we have magazines, print pieces, collateral things and we're always trying to stay in touch with internal communications or corporate communications people to see what kind of stories they're covering and are they relevant externally. We're always trying to look at what is offline and what is online. Do you have that? Do you look at how you're using content and if it's relevant in offline, it would be relevant in print. Does it ever go from online to a print piece?
- Every single day. My team is responsible for all of our offline content production as well. So, we do a ton of publications and print pieces. Ya know, I would say two to three years ago, everything was like print first. There was a mentality that things had to be exclusive in a print publication. We've evolved completely away from that. We try to utilize the data around the digital performance of content to inform an investment in print 'cause print's expensive.
- [Marcia] That's great.
- So, more and more of our publications now are really the best of the best of the things that we've put out online. Where it kind of informs us are maybe in the print piece, we might take a different approach to the story or the comments on a post might thrive some additional information or a sidebar, something like that, but we really try to utilize what our audiences are telling us digitally in a more realtime fashion to inform more.
- It's like having
- a built-in focus group all the time.
- It is.
- It absolutely is and ya know, most of that work actually happens in our physician to physician content marketing.
- Oh, that's awesome.
- Yeah, so we have a consult cutie physician blog that we launched about three years ago. We'll hit more than a million visitors to that this year and that's all targeted content, really a lot of case studies, conference coverage, things like that but we have social media channels dedicated to the physician audience, especially Twitter is actually our number one source of traffic to that blog. But we used to do, I kid you not, like 50 plus print publications a year to the physician audience varied by specialty and it was all exclusively print first and then we would flip it for the blog because before we launched the blog, that content never went anywhere online. So, literally in the garbage can after that. It broke my heart, so when we launched the blog, it was like, "Oh finally!" Now, we're getting all this SEO traffic and we're getting lots of physician engagement and we're definitely really excited to kinda see that and see what physician's want to know from us because it was always a guessing game before.
- Right and now you know what is driving them. What do they wanna know more about, just like your consumer audience.
- Exactly and a lot of the social media coverage of medical meetings and conferences is giving us tons of new story ideas too because we cover those conferences like media and we're tweeting real time and we have people on the ground there doing on the street interviews and video and all those kinda of things and then we come back and then, it's a whole slue of story ideas for the rest of the year or the next coming months for that particular specialty. So, it's definitely been a digital to print transformation.
- So, for your physician Facebook Live's, I really love that idea and I know that physicians are starting to, in our organization, they're starting to embrace social media and ya know, in the beginning, anything is daunting and it's like, I do this, I don't do that. But it's all starting to merge because as you start to use it yourself, you have a better understanding of ya know, what it can offer and what it can offer to the people that you're helping. So, how has that adoption been and like you said, you may be, we may be talking about something but we're not necessarily, we're just trying to inform people to understand what might be the non-junk science around something.
- I used to have to go and beg doctors to get involved in this stuff and make the case and explain in a lot of detail about what it would be like or how to do it. Now, we can't keep them away. The amount of requests coming in to do things like Facebook Live, there's a live Tweet or they want training on social media, they want to have a personal presence on social media, I mean it's grown exponentially in the last couple of years and honestly, we have to turn some away now because we just, we can't do a Facebook Live every single day or multiple even though they would really like that. Ya know, it's been really interesting. I think part of the reason, again goes back to sharing the data with them so they understand that this is like actually really meaningful to people and reaching people. Secondly is, I think their patients bring a lot of it forward. They mention it in appointments, so they're asking lots of questions that we can answer in a blog post or we can answer online in a way that kinda saves them time in the exam room. So, they're also starting to view it a little bit more as how can it impact their own personal practice and business. So, they're finding, because a lot of the time when we go to interview them or we're looking for story ideas from that particular physician, the first thing we start with is what questions are your patients asking you? Then, the kinda light bulb goes off and it's like, "Oh yeah, those common questions, "those things that affect all of their patients." We're providing a lot of really great information. They get excited too when they see their own face on a video or they see their information transformed into an infographic in a way they never imagined. I mean, the feedback has just been phenomenal but it took a long time. I would say, ya know, when I first got to the Cleveland Clinic in 2013, we had to defend it. We had to go and chase people down and really beg, honestly. Now, that's just really not it. But again, I think that constant communication of how things are going, how we are actually connecting with people, how many people actually saw what they put that time into, has made a huge difference.
- So you've been talking about the data all along. So, what data do you use and how do you use that? Obviously, send them feedback afterwards so they can see the impact of what they did, which lends value to it for them. Now, they understand that it's not just time away from their practice, it is their practice still. So, how do you use that data and what data do you use?
- We use all kinds of data. Ya know, I think the biggest thing is that it's not about a big monthly report. This is not just looking at traffic year over year, month over month, and it's little things that make the big difference to us. So when we get together every morning talking about this, it's literally like what happened yesterday on our platforms? How did we do traffic wise yesterday? What performed well on Facebook? What happened on Twitter yesterday? We go channel by channel and really talk about what's resonating or what's working in the moment that day so that we can optimize against it the next day. That's also why our schedule's kind of fluid. There's topics that we know always get more traffic than others. If something's a much more clinical niche topic, it's not gonna drive as much as something about headache or sleep. So, we adjust kind of along the way to hit goals. We're also constantly testing things. I give a lot of examples in presentations. I give about, ya know, even our graphic designers are constantly looking at different things to test because they have to make choices about images in every post, in every email, in every social media piece we do. So, they're looking at ya know, a bowl of oatmeal with a spoon versus not a spoon and what's doing better or we're looking at, should we put the text in a graphic in a video at the top or the bottom or is it better if it's bigger in the middle? We're constantly looking at different things to test and iterate because we wanna optimize everything we put out there to reach as many people as possible, to get as much engagement as possible because content creation is hard and it's resource intensive. So, everything we can get our hands on, we're looking at, whether it's each individual social media channel data, email data, search data, you name it, we're bringing it to the table. Again, it's not a big compilation. It's not a big report. It's just informally thinking about it as you're creating and ya know, what I think I really truly believe in is that data informs the creative process. It doesn't drive every single thing. We're not constantly like, only the spoon now in every picture. But ya know, what do you take away from that? How do you kinda see those trends? We log every Facebook post we make, every Tweet we've made for the last five years because then we can go back and also look at seasonal trends. We know what performed well on this day for the last five years. So, constantly again, optimizing the schedule and just sort of iterating every day to be better.
- So, when you hear that, that's like completely get it, totally get it but when you're small, that's like trying to eat the elephant all at once instead of a bite at a time. So, you're really trying to just start to move in that direction every day, just move in that direction. I love that idea too of looking at how you did yesterday and what's happening in the minds of people right now because what they're thinking about today is not the same thing they were thinking about last week. It could be something they saw on the news that influenced that, a conversation they had in a car rider line.
- A diagnosis. It's all those things. So, we really try to just, every day, look at things. But one of the things too that I think is really important no matter what size your team is, is that you're not looking at the whole year, right? It's so easy to get caught up in annual planning or budget for the whole year. We have to do some of that. We absolutely do. But, social media and content and the health information space changes every single day and if your operating on a model that only lets you review goals or review performance on a monthly, quarterly basis, you're missing so much opportunity to connect to people in a more meaningful way in their real life all the time, right? No matter what, people are gonna need healthcare. People are always sick. So, it's not about ya know, that. Hospitals will stay in business. The business will shift and the kinds of things that we do will change as technology emerges and we see it every single day, but people still are scared all the time. They have to make decisions from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed that affects their health and our job, to me, as a content marketer is to help them every step of the way and make sure that we are listening to their needs and understanding how we can put content alongside the content they're getting from their family members on Facebook, right? Your post is next to Grandma's birthday party picture. You have to find a way to make it stand out and make it meaningful and be as worthy as Grandma's birthday picture.
- Well ya know, it's interesting, there was a while back, we were preparing doing a site and a person said, "I wanna have, we should have "as many followers as this sports team." Ya know, people want to follow a sports team. They don't necessarily want to follow the hospital because people want to go to a game, but they don't wanna come to the hospital. I think that speaks to the wellness, that wellness aspect that you're talking about in following what people are interested in because the last thing they wanna do is come to the hospital.
- Right, and if they're sick, they don't wanna be reminded that they're sick every single day all the time. Right, I mean, there's so much more to each person than their disease, so ya know, the content we create is that total balance and mix of those things. We wanna help people live with conditions because we know that they do but we also want them to stay healthy. We want them to make healthier choices and we, as an organization have committed to that in so many different ways and our content strategy just stands alongside that. So, ya know, things like recipes that are not gonna drive patient volume, never. But they help people all day.
- People love recipes.
- They love recipes because they want to be healthier intuitively and so, we just try to kind of point those things out or if you're gonna provide a recipe, tell 'em what conditions this recipe's really good for. So, if you have diabetes or joint pain or whatever, this recipe's for you. The calling out that ya know, we can help you in different ways, everybody has sleep problems we've learned. Sleep content will perform well for us any time of the day, any day of the year. So, ya know, what else about sleep can we talk about? Ya know, we're to that point, we've been doing this five years, there's only so many things. But at the same time, ya know, again, just really trying to help be relevant in a feed all the time because I think ya know, you mentioned cancer before. I think that's one of the areas that's the hardest because cancer is a sensitive thing. It's an emotional thing. It affects your entire family and again, once you're diagnosed, you don't wanna be reminded that you're living with it every day all the time. So, ya know, when you go to our blog, you're gonna see cancer content but you're not gonna see cancer content every day all the time. You're not gonna see heart surgery content every day all the time even though that drives significant contribution margins for us. We know it's really important. We're the best at it in the world. But if that's all we wrote about, we would never have two million Facebook fans. We would never have over a million Twitter followers. We would never have the engagement we have because not everybody needs those things every day.
- So, I think all this is interesting because we've been talking about in terms of healthcare but if you take out that all of this is still true. Whatever it is that you do, whether it's healthcare or you have some other kind of product or service that you're offering, it's really the same thing. It's the same thing. It's listening to what your audience wants, the things that they wanna engage in, looking at the data because you can see that they've voted for something by engaging in it.
- Exactly, that's exactly right. I say this all the time. It's not just looking at data either. It's listening to it. It's actually doing what it's telling you makes sense because so many people would be like, "Oh yeah, here's the report." But the actual analysis and then taking action from that data is a completely different thing and I think a lot of organizations, healthcare aside, don't do enough of that.
- Well, that can be really hard because you have to convince people that have been used to doing something a certain way, that they need to try, they need to experiment and this is a great place to experiment. It's not like you put out a print piece that's gonna be around and you spend a lot of money. This does require a lot of effort but you can tweak it and you can change it. It's not a permanent commitment but just go with me on the journey.
- Yeah absolutely and it completely has been a journey. I mean, even for us watching the blog five years ago to now, I could tell you when a post was written just by reading it. I don't have to look at the date because we've evolved to the point where we just do things better. We have not changed the amount of content we've published ever. I mean, we started with three to five a day. We still do three to five a day. We went from zero to four and a half million businesses a month. Because we listened to the data and got really sophisticated with distribution and started putting the right content in front of the right people on the right platform at the right moment.
- That's huge. It's almost like you should say that like three times because you think, oh we'll just do more of it and that'll generate it.
- Oh no.
- It's truly the quality.
- You have to learn.
- It's better, you've gotta be better. You have to make each piece of content special and unique and it's not just, "Oh we need an infographic "'cause we need an infographic to say we "have an infographic." Make it matter, make it count, make it meaningful and make it really different. I mean, there's so much content out there especially in our space, but how do you make it unique? How do you make it speak to the user in a way that, ya know, there might be something that's missing? We do a lot of analysis on content from a search perspective, like what can't consumers find? What information isn't out there or there's not enough? Because you know the minute somebody's diagnosed with something, they're hungry for anything they can get their hands on and when the information is this deep, it's a big problem. So, we actually spend a lot of time creating content around things that there's just not enough information out there. I started to really partner with Google on content as well because, they recognize it too. There's a huge niche. We cannot create enough content in the healthcare space but that does not mean ya just go and create whatever you want in this infinite amount. It's gotta be thoughtful, strategic, and really be meaningful and still avoid.
- So, do you do keyword research around it to find out where these gaps are?
- We do a ton of keyword research. We do a ton of competitive analysis. We do a lot of just overall analysis in terms of searches, like what are people searching for on Google? It may not even be our software on our site, but just generally and like I said, we do a lot of work with Google and partner with the Google health team. They're actually gonna be here at the Health Summit.
- I saw that.
- Because of that relationship and because we are really trying to partner with them to make not just Cleveland Clinic content better, but Google content better for health and how people can utilize search to make decisions, to get to the right care as fast as possible and to make sure people understand their disease and their condition in a way that makes making choices about care easier.
- That's kind of a good partnership, isn't it because that speaks, your core values speak to their core values too where they're trying to deliver the right information to people at the right time to continue to be the resource of choice.
- Right and the Health Essentials blog is actually part of the Google News Network, so our content shows up in Google News results, which is a hard thing to do as a brand. You have to pass a lot of tests. We were rejected a few times before we finally passed, but that also helps me be really committed to the content being newsworthy and being not about our services and it gives me kind of leverage too to have that conversation with people who asked us for things that don't fit and don't align. But we have a lot of other channels too. It's not all about Health Essentials. That's one place. We have a massive .org website with tons of health information content that we're expanding and building upon. We have the physician blog. So, it's always about finding the right platform for the message or putting it in the right place where the right audience is gonna find it the easiest.
- Ya know, it's interesting. So, you've been doing this for a little bit of time but you don't really sound like you're less passionate about it at all.
- No, I love what we do. I love my job. I love what we're doing and we're not done. I mean, it's been a phenomenal five years. No one told me though, "Amanda, you have to grow this blog "to this much or you have to generate revenue "from your content marketing," at all. I mean, it's literally because our team is just super excited about it and we're committed to constantly doing better and evolving and we ask what if every day. What if we try this? What if we did this? What if we test this? Just curiosity and trying to make sure that we're serving that audience as best we can but no, I love content marketing. I love everything about healthcare and I'm super excited that I'm in a position to be able to kind of bring those things together.
- That's awesome and influence the whole sharing of that information too. I mean, you help us all be better.
- I think we're all trying to be better.
- Very cool.
- It's fun to be able to have this conversation with you. It was nice to meet you.
- [Marcia] Thank you. That's like, I know, I love-- I like having a mission to everything I do.