How do you build believability for something that nobody knows you do?
That was a big question the team at Xerox asked themselves this past February. Believe it or not, the company doesn’t have any issue driving brand advocacy for copiers. They did, however, need to focus on creating believable perceptions about other parts of the business. With the primary goals of providing knowledge, expertise, and trust to build belief and value — not sell — the Xerox marketing team make a commitment to produce trusted and relevant editorial content.
“This is hard for people in our business to understand,” noted Ken Ericson, Director of Content at Xerox, during his case study presentation at Real Time Marketing Lab this week in New York. “But if you go into marketing conceptually, as far as building advocacy, this is the right thing to do.”
And that’s what Xerox did.
Healthbiz Decoded is an owned microsite focused on the business of healthcare — an editorial site that, in Ericson’s words, is intentionally far from the sun (of sales, that is). The web site hosts editorial content designed to make sense of the changes in healthcare brought on by technology and regulation.
Here’s the cycle of why it works:
- It’s an information concierge. The web site’s mission is to educate and provide valuable information about topics relevant to the healthcare industry. But it’s not a sales circus, by any means, because only about 30% of the stories that run on the site have a connection to or mention Xerox.
- A manager with the appropriate skill set is overseeing the initiative. A former broadcast journalist and most recently assistant managing editor of the Broadcast group of The Associated Press, Ericson noted, “We didn’t make a commitment to marketing or to tell people how awesome we are. We made a commitment to editorial.”
- It’s a social and earned media goldmine. @XeroxHealthcare and the hashtag #SimpleHealth has earned the brand significant social media impressions. New followers, new tweets, impressions, are enabling Xerox to join the conversations relevant to their audience.
Xerox Measures Success in:
- Site metrics
- Increased influencer/media attention
- Increased demand for our thought leadership
- Increased awareness of Xerox as a business partner in healthcare
- Awareness driven by advocacy
- Influencer gap
Why the web site works for marketing:
The site is editorially driven and managed. The team’s “real-time newsroom” meets once a week to come up with story ideas based not on what they believe to be interesting, but about topics that are relevant to the healthcare audience. Affordable Care has been a significant topic of value recently.
They’re down with OPC (Other People’s Content). “When we have a story and don’t have a piece in it, we may go talk to another vendor,” Ericson said. That’s right — Xerox may put a story on a site it owns with commentary from another company.
They create content that is getting pickup. HealthBiz Decoded’s infographics help support media attention and traction to position the brand as a news source. Other vendors also amplify their work.
It’s an integrated marketing initiative, still. Xerox sponsored TedMed in Washington, an event focused on problem solving in Healthcare. To support real time engagement via @XeroxHealthcare, topical credibility, and influence, HealthBiz Decoded tapped healthcare industry influencer Jon Lynn to craft content for the blog. They produced content in real time during the event, and centralized the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #simplehealth.
Is your organization producing editorial content sites? Tell us in the comments!