The Well is a manifestation of Northwell Health's mission to make a difference as an honest, trusted and caring partner. We're connecting with consumers to provide them with personalized, authentic content (think: no stock answers, less stock images and more original photography, no clinical jargon and no sugar-coating) that reduces their stress, makes them laugh and ultimately feel more confident and capable on their healthcare journey. The Well is about meeting our audience in the moment - through content tailored to life's planned and unpredictable events and mini-media campaigns for each piece hyper-targeted to the people who need the piece most. If our platform has an editorial heart, it has a CRM brain; and it is becoming the soul of our organization.
With the launch of The Well, Northwell Health aimed to:
- Reduce content creation costs
- Drive measurable outcomes with content (e.g. book appointment, subscribe, attend event)
- Increase media spend efficiency (i.e. improve CTR and CPL rates)
- Drive email database growth
- Generate leads for nurture campaigns
- Send referral traffic to Northwell.edu
In studies and original research we conducted to drive our strategy, we saw a pattern: Women - especially daughters who are also taking care of aging parents - bear an unequal burden of stress regarding family and community care. She is responsible for her own health, and the health of her family, and feels responsibility for her outside community. They are Chief Medical Officers of the household and they are our target audience. And when they do find time to look for help, they find slideshows of symptoms, celebrities hawking bizarre health trends, or health brands publishing overly sanitized content that overwhelm the senses and stoke the stress they are looking to quell.
Our strategy was to meet our audience in these moments - through content tailored to life's planned and unpredictable events, hyper-targeted to the people who need the piece most.
What do we mean by moments? In our audience research, we observed "flares" in activity around certain moments people experience at any given time in their lives:
- Nagging guilt flares ("This will be my last cigarette")
- Routine flares ("Is a colonoscopy going to hurt?")
- Obsession flares ("My favorite actor just died from a heart attack, could that happen to me?")
- Extreme flares ("I just found a lump.")
All of these trigger a flurry of activity that's bound to result in online research and then, like clockwork, spike anxiety. These were the moments that mattered most to our audience, and the moments they would most need and appreciate our help. We take this hyper-focused and personalized approach to content creation and distribution so that we can map a content solution to each pain point a potential patient might have and so we can establish a relationship before, during and after the healthcare event.
We've implemented the strategy on multiple platforms across Northwell Health:
- The Well website: a digital publication designed to attract traffic into the Northwell ecosystem and drive strategic referrals (more than 100,000 so far) while collecting email subscriptions. The centerpiece of our content marketing campaign.
- The Well newsletters: The Well newsletters: vertically driven, interest-based newsletters with editorial positioning of their own and personalized digests - at a 45%+ open rate it is exceeding benchmarks and expectations
- Northwell Health social channels: Northwell Health social channels: each piece of our editorial content is micro-targeted to an audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Depending on the piece, we select a channel and an audience subsegment and have a series of independent mini-campaigns. The result? 10-20x improvement of click rate and lead gen rate leading to huge cost savings through media spend efficiency
- Influencer content co-creation: we partner with individuals who have their own spheres of influence and find a unique story for them to tell to our audience.
- Search: we mine the long-tail of search through editorial franchises like Dear Doctor - a Q&A based advice column where our thousands of experts get to be the expert voice but with ghostwriting help and copyediting polish
- Partnerships: we find common interests with partners and create content and campaigns around those interests
Our approach to marketing has made us think about metrics differently. Instead of talking about the number of visits or page views we've received, we think about:
- Content creation costs: we've reduced content creation costs by 5x by developing a hybrid in-house/freelancer model
- Relevance Score: Our average Facebook relevance score has jumped from an average of 3-5 to 8-9
- Growth of reach: Since launch, our stories have been read over half a million times (735,660 times to be exact). It is the fastest-growing publication ever produced by Northwell Health and is spurring unprecedented growth in search, social, and referral traffic.
- Audience engagement: From a flurry of positive social media reactions surrounding nearly each post (a testament to our strategy of creating content for a specific woman in a specific moment in her life - and pairing that with hyper-targeted media spend), a tweet from a veteran New York Times health reporter to one of our stories, to competitors referring to us as O, The Oprah Magazine for health.
- Media spend efficiency: The Well has shifted our advertising strategy - allowing us to promote our content to connect with our target audience which is resulting in us using the same spend as our prior campaigns but are reaching up to 20x the people with the same budget in some cases.
Video for The Well by Northwell - Revmade
- Referral traffic: The Well referred nearly 75,000 visits to Northwell.edu in less than 6 months - the visits have 2x the engagement rate as the standard .edu visitor