A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event that presents patients with many challenges and unknowns. A content marketing program for the Gayle M. Jacob Cancer Center at Allegiance Health (Jackson, MI) demonstrates empathy for those facing the scary diagnosis of cancer. For healthcare marketers, it shows the power of driving superior results using content marketing strategies.
The campaign was initially developed using more traditional promotional messaging and mass channels. Advertising creative shows an illustrated scene featuring a patient facing the difficult journey ahead, asking the question “Now what?”
“As we thought about what patients go through with cancer, time after time they face new challenges and questions, going back to even before a diagnosis is made,” said Interval creative director Adam Meyer. “A lump in the breast, an inconclusive mammogram, a diagnosis of cancer, the need for chemotherapy, even with remission, there’s the feeling of facing something new, scary and unknown, leading to the inevitable question of ‘Now what do I do?’ The team at Allegiance Health wanted to show they understood that mindset, and that they would be there with the patient every step of the way to offer physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support.”
Once the campaign launched, Interval worked with the client to build a full content marketing program, featuring appropriate web-based content, videos, a blog, online cancer risk assessments and online/search advertising.
“The key to connecting with the consumer audience is to deliver a relevant message,” said Chris Bevolo, president of Interval. “Initially, much of the advertising was aimed at those dealing with a cancer diagnosis, espousing the clinical excellence and superior patient experience at the new Cancer Center. Once the content marketing program was in place, we were able to target a much broader audience in the community with efforts focused on education and helping people understand their risks for cancer.”
The results from the campaign demonstrate how using relevant messaging, content and channels can improve results when compared to more traditional approaches:
- in the first month following the launch of the content marketing program, Allegiance Health saw a 5-fold increase in visitors to the cancer section of their website compared to traffic during the prior month when only the promotional, mass advertising effort was running
- 11,700 web visitors delivered through online advertising in the first five months of the content marketing program, accounting for a 1300% increase in visitors to the cancer section compared to the five months prior (which again only featured mass, promotional advertising)
- 25,000 web visitors delivered through content marketing channels (SM, SEM, other) since initiation of program (Apr 12 – Jan 13)
- 760 people visited online cancer risk assessments in 7 months – 208 people provided their contact information
While Allegiance Health did not have the systems in place at the time to connect marketing activity (hotline calls, website analytics, video views, HRA activity) to downstream clinical utilization, the program is credited with contributing to a 23% increase in oncology volumes in 2012 compared to 2011 (before the program was in place).