Creating great content is all about finding the right balance between being exciting and being credible: It’s important to spark strong emotions with your audiences, but it’s also essential to come across as well-informed and competent.
Healthline has found this perfect sweet spot. The provider of health information steadily publishes superb content that is educational, inspirational, and compelling all at the same time.
Recently we chatted with Tracy Rosecrans, SVP Marketing and Product at Healthline Media, to learn about how the company tackles content development, and to find out which pieces she’s especially proud of.
Check out the Q&A below:
Q. Starting broadly, what do you think the difference is between good content and bad content?
Good content adds to the conversation instead of simply restating in a different way what has already been discussed.
All of Healthline’s content is rooted in market research. After our editors have that research, they are asked to create a differentiated piece of content on that particular topic through a variety of means: ranging from incorporating expert or influencer opinion to creating a more comprehensive, in-depth article.
Q. We love the #BreakUpWithSugar pieces, including the videos; can you talk a bit about how that campaign came about?
Healthline’s vision is to build a stronger, healthier world. We’ve hosted several You’ve Got This campaigns in various chronic condition areas. You’ve Got This encourages those that have been living with a chronic disease to record a short video to give advice and hope to someone that is newly diagnosed. And for every video created, we donate to a major non-profit, and often try to to participate in one of their walks.
Following on the success of You’ve Got This, we wanted to build a campaign that reached a wider audience. Given all of the recent research around the dangers of sugar, we felt it was one issue given our reach and audience that we could tackle in a meaningful way.
Q. How do you build an audience for Healthline’s content? How do you reach the people you want to connect with?
We think first about reaching our audience where they are. The two primary channels we focus on are search and social, and we have two types of content that map to those channels: feature content and demand content.
The intended purpose of the two types of content is very different.
Demand content typically serves as reference or clinical content. Roughly 5% of all queries in Google are health related, and we strive to reach these users with credible, approachable, and actionable content.
On the other hand, the purpose of feature content is to inspire emotion and build a sense of community. Instead of answering questions, feature content connects with individuals to help them feel less alone.
Our process for creating both types of content is rooted in research. For demand content, we use a variety of keyword research tools coupled with a competitive analysis methodology. For feature content, we leverage social listening tools and qualitative analysis.
Our methodology has paid off. Today, Healthline sees over 60M total sessions every month and less than .5% of our total sessions are paid.
Q. What’s a personal favorite piece of Healthline content? Why?
One of my personal favorites is this comic on things only someone with ADHD would understand.
Normally, one wouldn’t think that comedy and chronic illness go together, but it turns out that laughter can be the best medicine.
This particular article went viral, reaching over two million people in one week. We understand that humor walks a fine line between being funny and offensive. To avoid the latter, we worked closely with a variety of individuals diagnosed with ADHD to create this content.
Q. Finally, which digital content/marketing trends are you watching closely right now?
We are particularly interested in video as a new mode for communication on social media, especially Facebook.