Inspiring Health: Learnings from an Evolving Content Strategy

Mayo Clinic Social Media Network 2019 Annual Conference

Jane Crosby will present "Inspiring Health from HSHS Sacred Heart: Learnings from an Evolving Content Strategy" at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network 2019 Annual Conference. To learn more from Jane and other expert speakers, please join us!

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital are located 12 miles apart in west-central Wisconsin. To engage their communities and create affinity for the system brand in competitive healthcare markets, the hospitals joined forces in January 2012 to launch a community publication, Inspiring Health, in partnership with True North Custom.

Featuring fully custom content and a contemporary, magazine-style format similar to what consumers would find on a newsstand, the publication’s mission is to inspire healthy choices by sharing relevant health and wellness articles, compelling stories and timely information on local events and initiatives that matter to the community. This educational strategy helps drive engagement and build preference while garnering national recognition through elite programs like the Aster Awards, which selected Inspiring Health as a Gold Winner in the Publications category. 

Extending the Conversation

Nearly eight years later, the publication has become an important connection point between the HSHS hospitals and their communities driven by the consumer-centric approach. The commitment to guiding patients on their healthcare journey drove HSHS and True North to extend the conversation beyond the publication and develop an integrated content strategy for Inspiring Health that launched in February 2019.

The multi-channel strategy is designed to make the system’s content more:

  • discoverable through search engine optimization and online/native advertising,
  • shareable through social media promotion, and
  • actionable through calls to action and email nurturing.

At the core of the integrated strategy is the Inspiring Health content hub, where a broader audience of consumers actively seeking healthcare information can find guidance and experience stories of exceptional care and compassion. Rather than tout hospital awards or new technology, the content aligns with audience preferences and includes useful advice like Achieving Work-Life Balance as Working Parents and Decoding Medical Bills.

This modernized approach to content strategy is already generating increased exposure to the brand that will translate into downstream revenue growth. In the month following the content hub’s launch, Inspiring Health received more than 2,000 page views—including 1,500 new users—and engagement metrics for Facebook and native advertising beat industry benchmarks, demonstrating that the audience is engaging with the content at a higher rate compared to other healthcare-related promotions.

Guiding the Patient Journey

By creating the Inspiring Health content hub, marketing leaders at HSHS are addressing the increasing demand for online health content. The modern healthcare journey often starts online with 1 in every 20 searches for health-related information, and those searches driving three times more traffic to hospital sites compared to non-search visitors.

The 2019 PRC National Healthcare Consumer Study further illustrates the importance of having a strong digital presence, as data from the annual survey of 1,500 consumers found the Internet is the top source for healthcare information. Nearly a third of consumers (30%) now start online when seeking health information compared to 25% who selected friends/relatives and 15% who chose their family doctor.

With Inspiring Health, HSHS is also borrowing a page from the marketing playbook of global brands like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Costco by leveraging a content hub to drive brand and revenue growth. As these examples, the research on consumer habits, and Inspiring Health clearly demonstrate, a content strategy built around the audience will always win—whether your value proposition involves a soft drink, laundry detergent, or delivering healthcare services.

Jane Crosby, Regional Vice President, True North Custom, is a strategy lead who coordinates with healthcare partners to generate and implement strategies for building brand, increasing patient and referral revenue and optimizing marketing technology outcomes.

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“Nearly a third of consumers (30%) now start online when seeking health information”. Your org certainly understands that healthcare is digital at multiple levels, and you are taking advantage of that to directly help people. The magazine looks great too!


Far beyond amazing, thanks for the rich content.

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