Want to thank Joe and the team for inviting me today. My name is Ken Ericson and I lead content marketing for Xerox– I’m based outside of Washington DC, Why I’m here today is to talk about xerox’s healthcare content site, called HealthBiz Decoded.((Photo))
So when you hear the word Xerox– I bet I know what you’re thinking. The old copier and printer company; the stuff our parents used when they worked in offices that looked like the set from “Mad Men.” I love these old photos, but when you think of our brand, this is what most people think of, right?
But that’s not us anymore. We’ve transformed.Xerox is still in the copier and printer business, but that’s less than half of what we do. We’re still the world’s leader in document technology, but now we’re also a business services company because of an acquisition the company called ACS Xerox made a few years ago.Now we’re in all sorts of industries now, helping simplify how work gets done.For example, when you drive through that E-ZPass we make sure the accurate toll is deducted from your account We process credit card and student loan applications. We manage IT operations, And even customer care for big brands.
Another industry we’re laser focused on is healthcare.Most likely a surprising fact to you: We’re among the biggest players in healthcare, managing back-office functions and helping payers, providers and governments make the shift to electronic health records and comply with the massive changes brought on by healthcare reform.
With all of that said, you can probably understand our marketing challenge. We have brand advocacy and belief – HUGE brand advocacy and belief for our copiers– (here’s a page from the AP Stylebook)
But with healthcare, not so much.
So how do we create that advocacy? Outside of doing an awesome job and delighting our customers, we have to be seen as a knowledgeable in the space, which of course, we are, AND we need to join the conversation.Those are a few of the drivers in why we launched HealthBiz Decoded, a editorial knowledge site– OR A NEWS SITE-- on the business of healthcare.Our audience is healthcare business decision-makers, and in our space that means administrators and operations.I’ll be talking a lot about how we execute on the site, but to be clear first– we’ve designed the site to create belief– not sell. It’s not a lead generation site– and we’re not tracking performance against sales results. Beneficial the way our business is structured. Hc businesses are separate. I’m part of corporate.A quick tour of the site: three featured stories at the top, previous stories at the bottom of the page and that grey stripe in the middle, those are stories we curate from outside sources using Percolate, which is a content discovery tool. We feel like this gives us a good mix of pieces and a we’ll rounded site.
When we started thinking about content curation in general, we worked really hard to understand the landscape– we moved slowly and deliberately.We did a pretty exhaustive research project with Visible technologies to understand the online conversations in this space and the delta of where Xerox fit in and where our voice would resonate.We developed personas to understand who we’re speaking with– what’s important to them and their pain points.We made an editorial commitment- deciding this was going to be an editorial site, and a newsroom model, driven by editorial decisions and written an independent and editorial kind of way. In other words, I was given permission to tell people in the organization no from a content perspective.
Here’s a slice of some of our stories.
Here’s a slice of some of our stories.
Here’s a key part of our thinking as we were thinking about the site><See the teeny-tiny Xerox logo in the upper right? There’s a logo at the bottom of the page– and these are the only logos you’re going to see.As you see, in comparison to Xerox-dot-com,the site looks nothing like the Xerox brand and there’s only a small logo at the top of the page. That’s totally intentional, and I’ll tell you that’s one of the issues we struggled with as we created this site was how close to the brand it would be.In this case we decided to take off the brandcuffs.So why did we do that? But we wanted it to believable and credible and not give people the impression that they are reading marketing material– and if remember-- not many people know about Xerox in healthcare-- we want people to believe in the site and trust the content that they are reading each day.Think about it this way, if we did COPYBIZ DECODED, we probably could get away with being a LOT closer to the brand.
So…We launched HealthBiz decoded in April after a few months of preparation.We have teamed with Group SJR for content production– we work very closely with their team to determine which stories we do. They also designed the site
We produce one piece of content each day, whether it be a news article, video, or an infographic. We amplify the stories through social channels and the stories are also distributed to other media to gain that credibility in the marketplace as a knowledge source. This gives our PR team great new information to pitch,An interesting point and I’ll use the video interview we had with Doctor Farzad Mostashari– the outgoing National Coordinator for Health IT. So when we called Doctor Mostashari’s office for a sit-down interview, it’s not Xerox calling. It’s a healthcare website – HealthBiz Decoded calling. But when people ask, we’re transparent, the site is sponsored by Xerox.
We run it like a newsroom, where we have an editorial process and editorial calendar. There are weekly editorial meetings with group SJR and the Xerox team where we decide what stories to do, the elements that will be in them and how we go about reporting them.We make editorial decisions from the outside in: We don’t necessarily think about it as what stories does Xerox want to tell today, but rather we look for interesting stories in the space and see if there’s a Xerox point of view. We don’t force it but only insert ourselves when it’s relevant.Our stories go through multiple levels of approvals to make sure that they have the right editorial balance and style and fit the standards. In other words, if we’re missing an angle or there’s a question in a story we haven’t pursued enough, we go get it. We have an editorial calendar– so we know what we’re doing for maybe the next two weeks– but we’re flexible enough to quickly make changes– here’s a few examples– after the tornado in Oklahoma we turned a quick story about HIEs and disaster preparedness, and after the delay of the employee mandate we were able to do a q-and-a with one of our experts on the implication of the change.
So I want to give you a bit of a look at how we treat stories about us– again, Xerox is mentioned only about 30-percent of a stories.Story about private marketpaces– our consulting arm buck consultants rolled out a solution earlier this year. Again, we’re not going to publish a news release, and we don’t automatically commit to a story on everything we do. But we thought this was newsworthy, assigned a writer to it– to do a story about the subject, not that fact that we were planning to roll out an exchange, but we did see it as an element.
Here’s a few paragraphs from the story.Not only did we mention other vendorsHere’s our newsEven spoke with another vendorThis, I think, was pretty fair treatment and the way we should handle the story given our charter.
One of the things we started to realize after rolling out HealthBiz decoded was the amount of really good thought leadership content we already create. NOT brand content, but thought leadership content.What you’re seeing is a newsletter that our government healthcare line of business sends to their team and external clients once every two weeks about changes in policy as well curating some interesting piece in the news. It’s not about us and not intended to sell but rather to make our employees and clients smarter.So what it does is help explain, or rather, decode (get it) the ACA
So we want to expose others to this content.So what we are doing is a lift-and-shift, putting it right on HealthBiz decoded and amplifying socially, and it does pretty well for us.
And we’re creating credible and timely contentSo, how close are we to the conversations that are out there? That’s always hard to tell, but there’s a few examples that we found interesting.In late July, we did a story about hospital price transparency and what’s happening at the surgery center of Oklahoma, talking with its leaders, you see there, Keith Smith.
A few days later, I find this on the web page of the NY times, a story about the surgery center of Oklahoma– and if you go further down, an interview with Keith Smith.It was a bit of a watershed moment in our understanding of the site– while we knew we were committing journalism, this told us we were covering the right stories, the right way.
And we travel to cover stories, too. This is some of our coverage from TEDMED in April right after the site launched– TEDMED, as you know, is the yearly event where thought leaders from all disciplines get together to talk about solutions to problems in healthcare.Xerox was a sponsor for this year’s event and obviously this is such a good fit for the stories we want to cover.For HealthBiz Decoded, and independent of our sponsorship, we covered it as an event and sent a reporter there to cover it as a traditional reporter would, filing stories each day about the event– not from a Xerox perspective, but from a journalistic one. We filed day-of stories so there would be a post from the day’s session on the site by late in the afternoon– we had a mechanism in place to make sure we able to quickly approve and post the story.You’ll see that we did get a retweet from TEDMED, another validation of our work.As we speak, editor from HealthBiz Decoded just got back from MESC, the Medicaid leaders conference in south Carolina. We’ve had coverage on the site for the past few days, filing stories on the day of Again, not from a xerox perspective, but from an outside journalist looking in.
So we’ve been at this for five months.In the past few months, a few of our key learnings include:Paid needs to support the strategy: most of our early growth thus far has been organic, but we found that we really wanted to expose more people to the site, so we started putting some paid placements behind it about a month ago. It’s not going to drive the strategy, but support the work we have in place. The day we started paid, we had as many hits in one day that the site gets in a week. Yes, it drives the metrics but this is really about exposing new people to the site.
We need to be smart in our editorial thinking and leverage the channels of those we interview or become subjects in a story. This seems like a total no-brainer and we were doing it to a limited extent. But we’ve really tried to ramp it up and when we have an option to interview someone and we can use a bit of discretion in who we choose, we’ll gravitate to the person with the higher online profile.
We know that some stories drive clicks– we’ve started to produce somelisticles or Q-and-A stories. Not something we did in the past and by no means are we trying to turn healthbiz decoded into buzzfeed, but found this as an opportunity that seemed to pay off for us.
Multimedia perform best over social channels, we get good sharing with infographics and videos.
Another thing we learned is that we’re fueling our internal content engine. We’ve produced over 100 pieces for HealthBiz Decoded Lastly, does it make sense to show how this also is a content engine for our owned social channels (@XeroxHealthcare and blogs)? Maybe show how the LOBs are creating newsletters for the sales org to drive even more distribution while building thought leadership at the sales rep level.Another way we are connecting people with the content is through a weekly newsletter people can sign up for. While this is an external resource, you know Xerox is a big company, so we’ve found that many internal folks sign up for it too. So while I have this time, here’s my pitch, go to the healthbiz decoded page and sign up– it’s at the bottom of the page. ((which you should all do!)) so I’m assuming you will all sign up for it.
So, you’ve heard a lot about what we do, but how do we measure success?Some of it’s tangable, some isn’t:We focus on site metricsBut think back to the reason we built the site in the first place-- We want to increase attention for our brand and our people, and we want people to understand that we’re a trusted healthcare partner. WE’RE HERE TO BUILD ADVOCACY AND BELIEF.So let’s talk about the metrics– we look at some of the goal we set when building the site– we feel like we’re doing well in achieving them– the paid campaign certainly helps– but we also look at engagement, time on site, and return visitors. AND, now that we have a few months under our belt we can also start to see which story topics do better than others.
Another way, as I mentioned, we are measuring success is by increased influencer and media attention. Here’s one really good example.A few months ago, we wrote a story on beacon communities in San Diego, which is in the process of transitioning from federal funding to a nonprofit organization and expanding throughout California.After we post the story, as we do with all of them, we’re out pitching the piece for placement in other publications as a way to grow the site. Remember– through this process we’re providing new, pitchable material for our PR team.
So here’s what we saw a few days later.-- we start to get quoted as a news source, which is pretty cool.
Here’s another example, and it starts with an original infographic, which we thought was really well done- elegant and informative-- about the presence of electronic health records and e-prescribing in each state, based on federal information.
We were thrilled to see a few publications picked it up ((thanks Chris for the hit in MedCity)) and Tweeted about it, but here’s one thing we thought was fascinating, as we become a publisher…
Is that a few other brands– dell and 3m – who we might just compete against in some space--tweeted about it to their followers. If there are folks here from Dell and 3M– thank you very much.
So, are we moving the needle influence-wise?– and when we talk about this we mean the xerox brand in general in healthcare, as HealthBiz decoded is really the centerpiece in our larger thought leadership initiative.On a regular basis, we’ve been measuring the success of our programs in this space through Appinions, which is a useful tool to gauge brand influence. The research, from Appinions, measures what influencers say based upon impact — not a tally of social mentions. We did a benchmark before launching HealthBiz Decoded earlier this year, and you can see these are the most recent numbers at the end of August.Here’s how we’re closing the gap in EMR/EHR, which we talk a lot about and regularly have commentart on the site from The Breakaway Group, which is a Xerox company that focuses on Health IT adoption.
Healthcare consumerism– another issue we talk a lot about on the site
Innovation– something we talk a lot about on HealthBiz Decoded.Our brand is associated with innovation and within our healthcare business we are applying xerox research from our centers from around the world
So I want to leave you with a few keys to success:First for us is support for the top: this initiative is a big deal for Xerox and our CMO christacarone and I’ve gotten the resources and support to make it happen. It hasn’t been perfect along the way, I got frustrated early on that we weren’t more quickly gaining steam but the senior marketing team has placed a premium on quality, given me a long leash, lots of editorial freedom and the ability to say no as much as I say yes. So my job is to make sure it’s good.I am a former journalist at the associated press and before that spent a long time in local TV– so the company looks to me to make sure the site has the editorial chops and quality you might expect being associated with Xerox.
Have a strong content partner. We are aligned with Group SJR on quality and they found the domain expertise in a strong editor to help us quickly become credible. They also totally understand and embrace the newsroom approach, and by the way, they did the design for the site and push us regularly to think big. They also get the quality part– and I mean that--- when stories are written they go through a few reviews on the agency side before the get to us. So we’re really fine-tuning as opposed to tearing something up and starting over. We like their outside persective because we don’t want to have tunnel visionAlso, I like the outside-in view that they take. I think it’s easy to get tunnel vision
Editorial focus. I can’t say this enough because any confusion on this issue would be a huge distraction. We know the types of stories we want to do, but at the same time keep an open mind to new ideas. But also the fact that there is an editorial focus is a big deal, so there’s no confusion as to what the site is.
Few cooks in the kitchen– because we knew where we wanted to do with the site, we used a small team that worked quickly and efficient. Now that we’re in production we work the same way-- given that we are turning a piece each day, we have to be efficient in the production and approval process– that doesn’t mean days, that means hours. Had we made this a multi-level process in the beginning, I don’t think this would work– because we said early on this is an editorial site, that’s been really helpful.
Xerox and HealthBiz
Director, Content Marketing, Xerox
Betcha Don’t Know About Xerox:
Years of healthcare
dedicated to healthcare
Million people served
by government health
Percent of the top ten
Of the top 20 US
plans are clients
Of U.S. insured patients
are touched by our
U.S. states supported
by government health
We Have Brand Advocacy For Copiers
But not for healthcare.
How Do We Create Advocacy?
• We joined the conversation
with HealthBiz Decoded, an
editorial knowledge site on
the business of healthcare
• Designed to build belief and
join the conversation, not
Understanding The Landscape
• We did our homework:
where we fit in
• Developed personas
• Made an editorial
How We Measure Success
• Site Metrics
• Increased influencer/media attention
• Increased demand for our thought leadership
• Increased awareness of Xerox as a business
partner in healthcare