Silver Cross Hospital is a rarity in the competitive Chicago healthcare market: they are an independent hospital, and they’ve remained that way for the past 126 years. While they are generally considered a community hospital, they compete at a much higher level since they partner with leading Chicago academic institutions for neurology, cancer, pediatrics and rehabilitation. They are home to the most extensive robotic surgery program in the Chicago area. And they are known as the “baby hospital,” with 3,000 births a year and opening their county’s first Level 3 NICU in early 2022.
In 2019, Silver Cross partnered with digital experience agency, Geonetric, to redesign their website with VitalSite content management system (CMS) to take advantage of VitalSite’s integrated content marketing hub was a top priority.
Investing in content marketing
Silver Cross saw the potential of delivering timely content to high-value community members, and in 2012 started IMatter, a site for women who joined the hospital’s loyalty program. The program rewarded women for taking an active role in their health through screenings and scans by giving them discounts at dozens of local businesses that were IMatter partners.
The IMatter website was separate from the main Silver Cross website and offered a blog covering health topics and news stories. The site was a great first step in content marketing but didn’t attract enough traffic or conversions to deliver real value.
When Silver Cross began working with Geonetric on the main site redesign, the team decided to integrate IMatter into the overarching content strategy and give the blog a prominent home on the main site to expand their reach.
Connecting the content marketing hub to organizational goals
As the planning got underway for the new content marketing hub, the primary goals were increasing patient engagement and retention, improving brand awareness and helping with population health initiatives by sharing wellness content. Soon after launching, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and sharing educational content about safety measures also became a top priority for the organization and the new content marketing hub.
Launching Stay Well
The new content marketing hub is known as Stay Well and features a custom design with a large hero image. To improve user experience, Stay Well has filtering to allow users to search by topic or service. Silver Cross’ custom design includes a modern card layout to highlight a featured article and display other content. Stay Well’s integration into the main site has the bonus of displaying related articles on services pages and connected to provider profiles. In addition, Silver Cross’ marketing team can easily share any article on social media.
Creating the content
Silver Cross was able to bring timely content over from the former blog to the new content marketing hub. The team adds new stories and videos on topics like upcoming health observances and key service lines. The Silver Cross team incorporates a mix of authors on the hub, including:
- Doctors who need added promotion or exposure
- Internal writers
- Patients who share their personal story
Enjoying the results
Since its launch, the content marketing hub has delivered impressive results. When looking at Stay Well landing page entrances for the first eight months:
- 13% increase in organic search traffic, bringing in an additional 126 sessions
- 56% increase in social media traffic, bringing in an additional 539 sessions
- 26% increase in direct traffic, bringing in an additional 251 sessions
- 5% increase in referral traffic, bringing in an additional 50 sessions
In addition, the team is seeing a lot of success re-using content from the blog on social media. One article that featured a video of a prominent Silver Cross OB-GYN discussing the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy received more than 1,500 views on Facebook.