How to Create a Movement and Explode Your Brand with Content Marketing: A Case Study
There is a reality to this thing called content marketing that is inescapable:
Content Marketing is NOT a “tip your toes in the water” approach to business.
Nope, not at all.
The fact is, those companies that manage to turn content marketing from a “program” (a forced set of actions) to a true “culture” (intrinsically motivated actions) are the ones doing exceptional things in their space.
And when this culture is established, the possibilities for impact are literally limitless.
How Content Marketing is Helping to Revolutionize the Healthcare Industry
Case in point, I want to take a look at a company today that is not only one of the greatest examples of building a brand and driving revenue through content marketing I’ve ever seen and been a part of, but has managed to spawn a literal movement within their industry.
This company I’m referring to is Health Catalyst.
In just over 18 months since starting Content Marketing, Health Catalyst not only signed massive clients like Kaiser Permanente and Partners Healthcare, but they’ve also become the “it” brand within their industry—the company everyone is talking about in their space and a respected thought-leader of their field.
But the question is, how did they do it? How did this small, Utah-based B2B company manage to become an industry-wide leader despite the incredibly deep pockets of competition from the likes of Oracle and IBM?
The steps of Health Catalyst’s success are a literal blueprint for any company looking to achieve amazing results with content marketing. And although *your* company may not do exactly what you read below, I would first ask you if the following would be possible…
8 Examples of Content Marketing Excellence by Health Catalyst
1. They have Amazing Leadership Buy-In
I knew the first time I ever spoke to Health Catalyst they were going to do some special things in their space. My reason for knowing this was simple—their Senior Vice President, Paul Horstmeier, told me the following statement:
“We want to be the premier thought-leaders in our industry. If hospitals and health organizations have questions, we want them to think of Health Catalyst.”
Simple, bold, and quite telling was this statement because since that time Paul has literally been the most impressive senior officer I’ve ever worked with when it comes to demonstrating leadership and vision with what content marketing is really all about.
2. They took the time to get Buy-In from staff
I’m sure you’ve heard someone in your company at one time or another say, “We don’t have time for blogging.” And if anyone should have that excuse, it would be Health Catalyst. Their company’s subject matter experts are doctors and health professionals, the last people you’d expect to “have the time” to produce content. Notwithstanding, they find the time to make things happen. Since our kickoff workshop to explain to the staff the what, how, and why of content marketing—multiple people throughout the organization have worked tirelessly to establish themselves as the true “teachers” of the healthcare analytics space.
3. They invested heavily in a content marketing team
Often times, companies think the duties of a content manager are no more than a few hours a week and certainly not the job of more than one person. With Health Catalyst, the opposite is true. The company has multiple team members working in their content marketing division and because of this, they have managed to consistently produce 2-4 new pieces of content (most of which is very technical and research-oriented) every week for over a year.
4. They focused not only on great content, but put major attention to things like SEO and Social Media.
I wish we had room in this article to show what the editorial draft of a Health Catalyst blog article looks like, as it would blow most companies away in terms of its detailed nature. But to give you a quick feel, whenever a new piece of content for the company blog is produced, it also includes the following for review:
- Page Title
- Alternative Page Title
- Unique SEO Title
- Target Keywords for the post
- Current site rankings for targeted keywords
- Corresponding articles for end of post
- Meta Description
- Customized URL
- Customized description for each social media platform (twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- And others components
Pretty detailed, isn’t it? To further paint the picture, their Senior VP I mentioned earlier, Paul Horstmeier, passionately reviews each posts as well as the SEO goals therein. In fact, there have been many times when I’ve personally traded multiple emails with Paul and his team debating over ONE single word in the title of the post, simply because they understand how much one word can matter in the grand scheme of SEO.
5. They developed a world-class website and knowledge center
I’ve spoken about the Health Catalyst knowledge center before, but I truly believe it’s the model for what great content marketing companies should look like. With all of their articles, videos, webinars, case studies, etc. housed in an easy-to-find area of the site, current customers and prospects alike can become immersed and thoroughly educated in the world of healthcare analytics.
6. They produced the entire gamut of content—from articles to eBooks to Webinars
As mentioned above, Health Catalyst understands that in order to be true thought leaders, they need to teach the industry using a variety of methods, allowing their prospects to learn in *their* preferred style—be it video, audio, or text.
7. They organized an incredible conference with hundreds in attendance from around the world
In what may be their boldest display of passionate teaching for their subject matter, Health Catalyst put on an extremely successful conference called HAS14 (Healthcare Analytics Summit) where hundreds of health professionals from around North America flew in to Utah and received two days of premium education from the likes of Billy Beane (Moneyball) and other analytics and health professionals. With over 80% of the attendees not even a client of Health Catalyst, and with no reference to themselves (pitching) from the stage, the event was an overwhelming success for attendees and the company alike.
8. They produced a heartfelt and profoundly moving documentary
If global healthcare is going to improve and people around the global are going to get the care they deserve, changes MUST be made in the fundamental way healthcare facilities currently operate. In order to show what is truly possible to others in their industry, Health Catalyst produced an INCREDIBLE documentary called “From the Heart”—a work that has since been shared hundreds and hundreds of times on social media and throughout the industry. Shown below, the documentary is powerful, moving, and extremely well-produced. In fact, I’d personally recommend you watch the following 2 minute video, as it will give you a profound glimpse into the issues currently facing global healthcare as well as the possibility of a better way.
When it comes down to it, they’re just great teachers who care.
As you can see, what Health Catalyst has done in such a short period of time with content marketing (about 18 months) is rather astounding. But the fact is, they “get it.” They are obsessed with improving their industry through world class communication and teaching. They don’t shy away from the way consumers use technology, but instead they embrace it and even push the limits of what others might think is possible.
Folks, this is how you make change with content. This is how you become a thought leader in your space. This is how you create a movement.
Well done Health Catalyst, well done.