Implementing Content Strategy to Remake Healthcare Information Discovery

Content Science Guides FootSmart’s Health Resource Center Foot and Lower Body Ailment and Wellness Content

Editor’s Note: The Customer Experience Recognition Awards made their debut in 2014 to recognize the role of content in creating great customer experiences. Content Science and FootSmart received the 2014 CERA for Information Discovery and the overall Best in Show.

CERA-logo-150A well-designed and carefully implemented content strategy can provide real, tangible results for businesses of all sizes in any industry. To get to the stage of supplying informative, engaging content that has the power to create loyal customers from information seekers, the team at FootSmart knew they needed help in understanding their customers’ journey. FootSmart selected Content Science to spearhead its Health Resource Center project, to remake its content efforts and ultimately its overall brand.

content-science logoThe Content Science team began by evaluating all of the clients’ existing assets, uncovering inconsistencies in timing, tone, approach and purpose that resulted in content that failed to resonate with its core audience, women over the age of 50.  They found that sections of the original FootSmart website were “too salesy,” pushing products well before customers were ready to buy. Other sections contained large amounts of encyclopedic information so dry as to discourage visitors.

Keep the Content Strategy Front and Center at All Times

Content Science developed a content strategy that focused on FootSmart’s business goals, used personas to develop the tone and approach of the content, and discarded any content that did not support the brand goals of being a trusted source of information about foot and lower body health. To win the trust of future customers and the loyalty of existing customers, Content Science carefully mapped the provision of compelling, easily digestible content to the right point in the buyer journey. The persona of a “Caring Podiatrist,” a knowledgeable, approachable personality, helped the brand connect with its core audience, and allowed customers to discover products that met their needs without heavy-handed sales tactics.

FootSmart and Content Science worked closely to create, curate, and review relevant content with the desired voice that fit the overall vision for the FootSmart Health Resource Center. “Content Science only used subject matter experts for feedback about content substance and accuracy,” explains Colleen Jones, president of Content Science.” It was important that subject matter experts did not write the articles, and Content Science kept an important division of responsibilities between writing expertise and subject matter expertise.”

These clearly defined content roles, including project coordinator, content expert, and subject matter expert reduced confusion and overlap. The content published on the website ran the gamut from articles and slideshows to photos and videos. Visual imagery is a distinct part of the overall content strategy, because visuals more easily engage customers. It also reinforces key messages and streamlines the use of text.

The first year of the revamped FootSmart Health Resource Center provided the numbers that support the integral role of content strategy in information discovery and brand support. The project increased FootSmart’s natural search traffic by 76% over the previous year. On certain search terms, FootSmart content now outranks WebMD, a popular online source of medical information. Foot health content pages showed a 200% increase in visits over the previous, more traditional content format. In financial terms, the project produced increased incremental sales of approximately $17,000 per week. These positive results validated the investment in content strategy and encouraged FootSmart to consider expanding the FootSmart Health Resource Center in the future.

CERA, Business Development, and Content Industry Credibility

Even the most successful project produces valuable lessons learned. In the future, Content Science says they will integrate mobile strategy to a greater extent. They also plan to leverage structured content tools as much as possible, and ensure that writers, technologists, and product managers use a consistent structure across their various functions.

Content Science noted that winning a CERA and garnering the Best in Show title provided their organization with new speaking and business opportunities, as more and more organizations look to produce the kind of results FootSmart achieved through implementing the right content strategy for their business.

“Overall, sharing our success story through winning the CERA enhanced the credibility of content work for the industry as a whole,” says Colleen. “By tying together the benefits of content strategy to real, tangible business results in such a public way, Content Science helps everyone involved in the content industry better understand and make a business case for content work.”

FootSmartHRC

Stacey Plowright

Stacey Plowright is the current Communications Manager for STC Toronto. A soon-to-be graduate of the Technical Communication program at Seneca College, she has deep roots in both publishing and customer support. Stacey advocates strongly for clear, concise communication and seeks to provide knowledge to those who need it when they need it. She can be found on Google+, and through LinkedIn.

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Connie Giordano

Connie Giordano is a partner in INKtopia Limited and editor of TechWhirl's Tech Writer Today online magazine. She has been a list member and contributor since the days when 14,400 baud was high speed communications, and Windows 95 was state-of-the-art.

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