The following is a guest article by Dalton Patterson, Digital Marketing Manager for CorroHealth
2020 has been a crazy year for all of us both professionally and personally. Not only have we all endured the impacts of COVID-19, but every facet of our professional roles and responsibilities have been impacted, as we have been forced to further digitize our offerings and communications. For me, we also decided to throw a baby into the crazy mix of 2020. My wife and I had out first child during COVID-19 lockdown. But as with all things 2020, that wasn’t everything on the plate for this Healthcare IT HITMC Rising Star. We were also in the middle of rebranding 4 healthcare companies as the product of a merger from January 1, 2020. The upcoming roller coaster would change my career forever.
At the end of the coaster ride, we emerged as CorroHealth! I currently operate as the Digital Marketing Manager for the organization that combined 4 legacy companies TrustHCS, RevCycle+, VisionaryRCM and T-System. CorroHealth was created to help healthcare payors and providers achieve their financial health goals. Across the reimbursement cycle, our scalable solutions and clinical expertise help solve programmatic needs.
At the time of the merger, I served as Marketing Program and Communication Specialist for TrustHCS. It was fun to be given the ability to become the internal consultant for all of these brands, eventually becoming the manager for each brand’s digital marketing initiatives. This is where the roller coaster reference above comes into play.
I had to quickly, yet efficiently, “learn the trade” of three other healthcare entities and quickly pivot to figure out the best way to consolidate strengths and messaging for all legacy organizations across their various social media platforms. Through the entire process of moving to the CorroHealth website and social media presence, there are several tangible tips I feel obligated to share with my peers:
Stay on Brand
This seems like a basic concept, but when you are trying to focus multiple existing brands back to the mothership where services and offerings are being sold, it becomes important to keep the message consistent. There is an added challenge with the brand launch; prior commitments to support tradeshow, webinars, or software with a solid digital presence.
We took some time processing through the best plan of action for our CorroHealth launch and landed on #WeAreCorroHealth for both LinkedIn and Twitter. We kept the legacy brands with plans to remain live through the end of 2020. However, the legacy social profiles and legacy websites immediately communicate the same message. We are CorroHealth. Crazy to think that some things really are as easy as a hashtag when months of planning goes into the launch!
Aesthetics vs. Navigation vs. Accessibility
What a finnicky combination. I think that we can all collectively agree that our target audience wants to move quickly, efficiently, and not be bogged down by text. Have you ever seen the acronym WYSIWYG (/ˈwizēˌwiɡ/)? What you see is what you get. This is a great concept even if you are not coding HTML.
For CorroHealth, we know our audience wants to get in, get what they came for (content, blog, subject matter, webinar registration, white paper download, etc.) and get out. There are many things that Colin Hung and I both agree on, but one thing specifically is that no one “browses” a website anymore. With this being said, the three nouns above are good starting points as you think through site-mapping and wire-framing the digital communications associated with an organization, whether new or veteran. For CorroHealth, we thought about the following:
- From graphic to text, how does the page flow? While an overabundance of text is artistic in MANY instances, web pages are not generally one of them. As marketers, one of the main goals that we love to see is continued engagement. Remember Dori from Finding Nemo? Just keep scrolling… Just keep scrolling… There will always be an opportunity to inundate your target with the awesomeness that is your organization on a discovery call, until then, give them what they need to know to prove its worth talking to you.
- From header to footer, how does the site navigate? While your reduced amounts of text and creative branded graphics are catching the attention of your target, can they easily get where they need to go on your site? I try to run with a 5-5-1 rule. Have 5 points on your menu bar, no more than 5 subpoints under each button on the menu bar, and 1 hyperlinked logo that will always take you back to the beginning if you get lost in a rabbit hole. Now, if you are managing a corporate site, you will naturally have more than 26 pages. That does not mean that every page needs to be accessible from the menu bar, though. https://www.healthcarescene.com/ is a perfect example.
- Simply put, how easy can we make it for people to reach us? This takes on 2 different roles in our world; Are we showing up when we are searched? When somebody lands on a profile of ours (either social or corporate site), how quickly can they connect with us?
If you have ever had a conversation with me, you know that I am a society and worldview guy. Our society is driven by instant gratification. We want what we want as soon as we want it. This impacts buyers’ purchases every day. Sometimes it is as easy as an obvious “Contact Us” button on the menu bar, or a chat feature that goes directly to an agent, either way we need to make sure that people can get their inquiries addressed quickly and efficiently.
SEO, post promotion, PPC, and a multitude of other tools are crucial to making sure your brand is being made known in the industry. This does not necessarily mean that you are sinking big bucks into prioritization, but being intentional with the organic reach associated with your content and the influencers you are engaging with. We could dive MUCH deeper into this, but it is a conversation for another time.
In a recent #HITMC chat, I had a brief exchange with Melanie Hilliard where we agreed that our segment of the healthcare industry is very competitive. If I am going to quote is specifically and be completely honest, we agreed that it was “So flippin’ competitive!!”. This will always be true, but regardless of how competitive it is, it will always be fun.
The white noise that happens during breaking news can be hard, and if you wait long enough there will be another competitor on the block, but I believe that taking these tiny steps in propelling healthcare marketing forward are important. From documentation, to tech, to actual patient care, what we are doing here impacts people in the best ways. Just like anything else in life, these tips included, continue to refine, learn, and push forward!
About the Author
Dalton Patterson (@MrDollyPat on Twitter) resides in the Heart of The Ozarks (Springfield, Missouri) with his wife, son, and two dogs. He currently serves as the Digital Marketing Manager for CorroHealth. He has a passion for healthcare marketing, new age technology, marketing tactic, and seeing the combination of the two propel healthcare marketing forward. As a proud member of the Health and IT Marketing Community, he is always up for a great conversation over a good cup of coffee.