And the Snow, ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Content Marketing Winners Are …
Healthcare marketers got prominent brand placement during yesterday’s snowstorm, educating consumers about staying safe in the cold. Other winners included a nonprofit and government organizations. Here’s how they did it.
With the National Weather Service saying 42 percent of the country was covered in an average of three inches of snow after a storm alternately called a “Bomb Cyclone” and “Winter Storm Grayson” hit yesterday, marketers were out in force providing educational content marketing to publishers.
Content Marketing From Healthcare Marketers
Educating consumers without trying to sell them something makes them trust marketers more and come back to them when they actually need treatment. For instance, when they don’t listen to advice from the representative of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who spoke to Time about those in the path of the storm staying inside or — if they must go out — limiting that time, layering to keep warm, covering as much skin as possible and not overexerting themselves. Patient First, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Sentara Healthcare provided similar advice to consumers via The Virginian-Pilot.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health added that consumers need to carry that advice over, too. Getting into the Time content via its research, the Harvard facility’s findings were:
“Heart-related hospital admissions decrease by 32 percent on the day of a winter storm, but jump by 23 percent two days after a snowfall. Perhaps because at-risk populations tend to stay indoors — or are unable to get to a hospital — during the storm itself. Cold- and fall-related injuries also increase in frequency for roughly a week following a storm, the study found.”
This message serves to extend the shelf-life of the content, but in an authentic way.
In a perhaps less desirable situation, emergency situations put brands front-and-center when they need help. On WWMT.com yesterday, the headline “Snow Significantly Impacting Blood Collections in Michigan” quotes Dawn Kaiser, director of donor services for Michigan Blood:
“All it takes is one bad accident, and our inventory could be wiped out.”
(Veterinarians are included in the nonprofit subhead, because their content more closely matched the nonprofit’s information.)
Content Marketing From Government Organizations
Similar to Johns Hopkins, abc10.com advises residents to not bring in outdoor items like barbecue grills and generators, and to keep generators a safe distance from homes due to the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. But abc10.com was quoting the city of Sacramento and the subject was keeping dwellings in good shape. This is educational content hardware stores or home improvement retailers could also provide to consumers.
Sacramento did provide a counterintuitive bit of advice for the cold weather — allow faucets to drip to avoid frozen and burst pipes. Providing new information will keep consumers returning, hoping to find more.
Here’s hoping consumers stuck indoors with their loved ones have had a flu vaccine. The satprnews.com article published yesterday says:
“So far this flu season, there have been 12 flu-related deaths reported to the Division of Public Health. Flu can be a serious illness, especially for adults older than 65, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease.”
Marketers who didn’t create this content could also have ads nearby. For the latter subject, pharmacies and general practitioners are among the healthcare marketers who could advertise. For satprnews.com’s suggestion that consumers ensure frozen food still has ice crystals if they’re concerned about food safety following a power outage, which did happen for many in the cold snap preceding the cyclone, grocery stores may be interested.
Content Marketing From a Nonprofit
Knowing their audience, doting pet owners, The Humane Society of the United States put out a statement picked up by the York Dispatch yesterday that advised them that the main thing they were probably already doing was the right cold weather precaution: Keeping pets indoors. This serves as emotional reinforcement, which may provide consumers with a positive image of the Humane Society’s brand.
Next, the society and veterinarians prescribed the amount of time animals, particularly dogs on walks, should be outside. (Between five and 20 minutes, depending on the source and the temperature.) Plus, wash off paws upon return to get rid of pet-unfriendly salt, antifreeze, etc. This is new, relevant, timely content marketing.
Finally, the Humane Society adds in a couple of surprise tips, per the York Dispatch:
- Bang on your car's hood to ensure no animals are hiding underneath it during the winter months.
- Voice concern to pet owners who are keeping animals out in the cold.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: The Copywriter’s Checklist