TRENDS: Storytelling with Brand Journalism

UPDATE – 2018 Trends playbook available for download

The 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends Playbook is available! It goes a step further than previous years, including ways to leverage each trend for quick wins and impactful, lasting influence on your organization. It also includes examples from leading marketers who are leveraging trends for maximum impact.

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Corporate media trumps the press release

Brand Journalism, or Corporate Media, became a buzz word in 2013 and will continue to gain momentum in 2014. Us marketing folks refer to it as content marketing, but brand journalism is taking on a life of its own. While content marketing can include newsletters, white papers, and statistics, brand journalism focuses more on storytelling, features, human-interest pieces, and real-life examples. By companies and hospitals covering their own stories, and distributing it to their audiences via their website and social media platforms, healthcare brand journalism is replacing the press release. In fact, some think that by 2015, the press release will be a thing of the past.


Brand Journalism places an emphasis on the audience – who they are and what they are looking for. Hospitals should aim to help the audience(s) by creating content that is valuable and relevant. In the past, the goal of content was to be funny or entertaining, but now people want to benefit from what they are reading. To be successful, you need to research what problems your patients have and present solutions in your content.

Because of this trend towards brand journalism, organizations are reducing the amount of money they are spending on advertising, and increasing their budgets for content creation and promotion. In some cases, this includes expanding internal staff with content creators and in-house journalists. For the first time we are seeing a decreased reliance on paid media, and a higher utilization of owned and earned media.

Rewarding Content Creators

Author bylines boost Google search rankings
Something to consider when planning 2014 content marketing strategies is Google “author rank,” which rewards content creators by their byline. Unlike in the past, author rank puts value on a history of consistent quality content, instead of just the use of keywords identified by an algorithm. This also means that curating other people’s content isn’t enough; Google is looking for original content published by a trusted source.

In addition to high-quality content published by a credible author, author rank is placing a higher value on long-format content. This means that having a social media presence won’t be enough in 2014. Organizations will need to move beyond 140-character snippets of information and back to the blog to publish longer posts rich with information relevant to patients.

To read more, download the white paper, “Healthcare Marketing’s Top Trends for 2014” here.