Choosing the Best CMS for Healthcare Marketers

The following is a guest blog post by Eric Martin, Vice President of Web Solutions at Influence Health.

As healthcare provider organizations quickly transition to more retail-like businesses, marketing leaders are under pressure to create seamless, personalized multichannel consumer experiences – spanning responsive websites, mobile apps, social channels and other digital touchpoints. To achieve this, marketers need to be honest in their assessment of the capabilities of their current content management system.

Traditional web content management systems (WCMS) lack intelligent solutions for sharing content across channels and devices, limit design choices and make it difficult for marketers to tailor their messages to individual consumer preferences. Contemporary decoupled content management systems, on the other hand, allow content to be created, stored and managed in a dedicated environment, independent of where it may ultimately be published. This creates unlimited design freedom, while standards-based APIs make it easy to integrate the CMS with other marketing systems.

In order to completely own the front-end presentation and consumer experience that today’s healthcare landscape demands, healthcare marketers need to pursue a decoupled CMS solution that provides their teams with the following five must haves.

  1. CONTENT MANAGEMENT AND PUBLISHING

The first step in evaluating a CMS platform is to ensure marketers and content editors find the solution’s content authoring, editing and publishing interface intuitive, helpful and highly efficient. If non-technical users can’t create and publish original content independently, in minutes without HTML, marketing leaders should move on. An elegant inline editing feature to help users visualize how content appears in the mobile or desktop environment should also be included. Finally, marketers should be able to create custom content approval and publishing workflows that go through the stages of ideation, authoring, editing and publishing very rapidly, without any IT intervention, to a variety of devices and channels including web, mobile apps, and digital displays.

  1. DIGITAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

In today’s dynamic digital environment, content is being displayed and published to more devices and across more systems than ever before. In fact, every minute Google receives over 4 million search queries, blog writers publish 1,400 new posts and Facebook users share over 2.4 million pieces of content. This puts healthcare marketers under huge pressure to produce more and more content to a consistently high standard. Therefore, they need a system that automates key content governance processes, making identifying and fixing errors and inconsistencies simple for content authors and editors.

When vetting a solution, marketing leaders should ask if validation rules and tooltips are built directly into the authoring experience. This ensures content is compliant with standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 accessibility requirements, as well as SEO and mobile best practices and the organization’s own brand standards. Strong preference should be given to a system that notifies users of misspelled words, broken links, or forbidden terms, before and after the content is published. By ensuring that these post-publishing auditing capabilities and workflow tools are included in the digital quality management system, users can identify and correct errors and quickly find instances of outdated content that need to be updated or removed.

  1. DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT

As digital marketing teams work feverishly to feed each consumer’s ravenous appetite for digital content, a CMS solution with an integrated Digital Asset Management is now a necessity. This ‘must have’ helps teams maintain brand consistency by streamlining
and simplifying the way they manage digital assets in a central, secure way across the enterprise. This feature should track and organize digital assets with native platform integration to best-of-breed data and content sources where image files, audio and video are stored. It should also allow users to filter and classify digital assets by tagging attributes such as file type and meta-data tags (e.g. “Ortho photos”) or by creating named collections (e.g. “Oct. 16 breast cancer awareness campaign”). Further, based on their permissions, teams should be able to browse, search, move and manipulate assets across the entire digital experience portfolio from a single interface – eliminating asset redundancy.

  1. HEALTHCARE CONTENT AND INTERACTIONS

Great digital experiences enable consumers to quickly find information related to products and services and make it easy for them to complete their desired transaction. In healthcare, that means finding a physician that matches exact criteria, scheduling an appointment, getting driving directions or a phone number for a preferred location, registering for classes or events, applying for a clinical trial, and so on, easily! If not, today’s consumers are just as likely to switch providers as they are hotels.

Healthcare marketers therefore, need to seek a CMS solution that contains a robust set of healthcare-specific applications that will allow these user experience requirements to be fulfilled without expensive, time-consuming custom development. They should also ensure these solutions integrate with third-party data sources, such as physician credentialing systems and contact center applications, and are built to allow marketers, not developers, to modify the front-end presentation.

  1. DASHBOARDS AND ANALYTICS

Subtle adjustments to an organization’s content and conversion strategy can make all the difference in marketing performance. Healthcare organizations need to implement a CMS platform that displays key analytics in the same interface where their users manage content, to ensure that important insights are always front and center. They should also confirm that a solution integrates with all major analytics platforms and allows their team members to measure site traffic, A/B test results and social engagement in real-time. Further, dashboards, reports and widgets need to be fully customizable to meet each team member’s unique needs.

Ultimately, by selecting a decoupled content management system designed for healthcare, marketers are equipped with the ability to test new campaign ideas, experiment with new delivery methods such as mobile, and nimbly respond to changes and challenges in the marketplace without requiring IT handholding at each step.

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John Lynn

John Lynn is the Editor and Founder of the nationally renowned blog network HealthcareScene.com. The Healthcare Scene network currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 7000 articles. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. Plus, Healthcare Scene recently added Health IT focused career resources HealthcareITCentral.com and HealthcareITToday.com to the network.
 
John also co-founded two companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. Plus, John is the Founder of 10 other blogs including the Pure TV Network and Vegas Startups. John’s 25+ blogs have published over 15,000 blog posts, garnered over 30 million views and had over 122,000 comments. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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