Setting Content Free: How Health Catalyst Gets Results With Ungated Content

Setting Content Free: How Health Catalyst Gets Results With Ungated Content

Editor’s note: Paul Horstmeier is a finalist for 2017 Content Marketer of the Year. And, traditionally, you get more subscribers by putting enticing resources behind an email gate. A few things still require an email address to gain access, but Paul ensures that gates are only put up when it’s beneficial to the audience. In this case, asking for their email address is key to giving them a great experience. By collecting someone’s email address, they can alert the subscriber when a new version is released. Content creators follow pre-publication worksheets that include listing five related pieces of content to link at the bottom of an article. I’ve never seen anything like it,’ ” Paul says. Health Catalyst’s content team spends most of its time working with thought leaders within the company. Over time they’ve developed a process to make it as easy as possible for these contributors to create content. They’ve spent a lot of time perfecting their interview skills, an important step for making the most of the time they have with busy executives.

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Editor’s note: Paul Horstmeier is a finalist for 2017 Content Marketer of the Year. We will be sharing insight from all CMY finalists in the blog before the winner is announced at Content Marketing World this month.

For many content marketing teams, the email subscriber count is a pivotal measure of success. After all, a quality email list is a vital component of a high-functioning modern marketing department.

And, traditionally, you get more subscribers by putting enticing resources behind an email gate. In other words, you require someone to provide their email address to access something of value.

But when Paul Horstmeier took over as senior vice president of marketing for Health Catalyst, he couldn’t follow this typical content marketing script. The health care audience is historically skeptical of marketing, he says, so he wanted to give them an experience that didn’t feel like marketing.

To do that, he tore down the email gates. Removing this traditional piece of the marketing puzzle has made end-to-end attribution more challenging, but it’s also turned Health Catalyst into one of the most trusted brands in the health care space. Their events, both online and in person, routinely sell out and shatter industry benchmarks. And they’ve drastically streamlined a long and complex sales cycle.

Paul is a nominee for Content Marketer of the Year, and he gave us insight into how ungating content has unleashed amazing results at Health Catalyst, a health care data warehousing, business intelligence, and analytics company.

Ungated content at scale

Health Catalyst provides a huge collection of content to its audience; we’re not just talking a couple dozen short blog posts. When we interviewed Paul, there were 612+ openly available resources on the Health Catalyst site.

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A few things still require an email address to gain access, but Paul ensures that gates are only put up when it’s beneficial to the audience.

Webinar attendees, for instance, need reminders of when the event is as well as instructions to access the presentations during and after the event. In this case, asking for their email address is key to giving them a great experience.

The same thing goes for e-books, which Health Catalyst regularly revises with updated research. By collecting someone’s email address, they can alert the subscriber when a new version is released.

For everything else, Paul says, they want readers to want to sign up for emails because they genuinely enjoy the content. “Our goal is to be such good educators that you’ll want to raise your hand,” he says.

To offer that level of value, Paul and his team work to make each piece of content enormously valuable to the audience. They turn their best articles into multimedia presentations and embed the slides on the website.

“People download them and share them with other decision-makers,” Paul says. “It’s a really easy way for brand advocates to spread the word.” Health Catalyst uses a third-party expert to create the slides, usually within a week of an article’s original publication. The…

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