#22: How To Own Your Audience With Editorial Content with Andrew Hanelly

Creating good content isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. Andrew Hanelly is here to talk about why your content matters and how to leverage its potential - both for the short term and the long term.

Andrew’s experience is wide and varied. Spending most of his career developing and experimenting with strategies for publishing, audience growth, and monetization for Fortune 500 companies, he draws on a wealth of experience for his current occupation.

But before we get there, let’s hear his backstory.


Andrew’s story begins as a rockstar. No, really. That’s the career path he was headed down. But then in college he changed plans and turned his creative side in a different direction.

He joined his school newspaper. That’s where he discovered a deep interest in journalism. Then after college, he joined a magazine and worked in publishing for the next stint of his career.

During his time in publishing, he’s seen a lot of change and progress in the industry. And that’s probably what has made him so keen on developing marketing strategies that really connect with current culture.

Eventually, he found his way into brand marketing where he specialized in developing content that builds audiences. He’s become a bit of an expert in this field, and now he’s leveraging its potential in new ways.

Then his wife pitched the idea of founding her own company that implements the best of media and publishing into marketing agendas. Andrew knows a good idea when he hears it and was all in.

Now they’re partners in Revmade, helping companies build sustainable marketing strategies for the long run.


How editorial differs from content

Revmade uses the power of editorial to build trust and connect with target audiences. What Andrew has discovered is that marketing often gets very salesy - to the point that no one listens. Editorial, on the other hand, is simply offering your audience useful, helpful material.

In talking about editorial, Andrew isn’t so much referring to a different category of marketing. He’s more referring to a powerful sub-category of content.

Content is basically presenting your audience with information while editorial takes this a step further and adds a specific point of view or perspective. For example, editorial can include telling customer stories or perspectives.

Why use editorial-driven campaigns?

Orators and storytellers have brought people together for centuries. And that’s effectively what editorial does for your content. It builds relationships and trust through humor, relatable stories, and personal experiences.

While companies need short term transactions to keep their doors open, editorial platforms can supplement these traditional strategies. In fact, the most effective marketers are able to wield both short term strategies and editorial content strategies at the same time.

For instance, advertising campaigns have their place but over time have diminishing returns. Editorial campaigns, on the other hand, are a long term asset to your brand, opening up thousands of more cost effective opportunities for marketing to your target audience.

Solid editorial strategies are built to last. Plus, in our media saturated culture, they are a breath of fresh air as companies try to give back to the market that needs their products.

How to use editorial effectively

Our modern attention economy has predisposed consumers to completely ignore or avoid engaging with brands. Therefore, ads aren’t always effective.

However, those same people who have 8 second attention spans will binge watch Netflix shows for hours. What does this tell us? People direct full attention to things that matter to them AND have value in them.

For marketers this means we need to be creating content that gives back. That being said, your marketing should be an asset that builds your brand and drives towards transaction. And the best way to build brand awareness is to build trust.

Here are four goals you should have in creating editorial content that gives back to your community.

  1. Create the best storytelling you can

  2. Earn attention in a media saturated landscape

  3. Improve consumer engagement with your brand

  4. Drive your market closer to your brand (as opposed to some other brand)

Ideally, your editorial content will merge with marketing and sales by making your target audience WANT to engage with your brand further.

For instance, they may click on a link to learn more or to download your lead magnet. Or they may want to take a quiz that helps them analyze their strengths and weaknesses. This is how you create brand loyalty and drive sales.

A case study of editorial marketing done well

Andrew shared a solid example of how editorial platforms can drive brand awareness. In working with Northwell Health, he helped create The Well, giving the health community an editorial presence.

This platform spoke to the pain points of patients. For instance, they created first person photo essays that walked patients through procedures they may be facing. In doing this, they helped patients deal with anxiety about medical operations while increasing brand loyalty.

The whole point is that you can give back valuable material to your community while growing your company through the same means.

Advice for health tech startups with small audiences

It all comes down to doing something great… consistently. However, “great” looks different for different people. For instance, It could be as simple as documenting your process of learning the industry through a photo caption.

Or you could take an approach that helps you build editorial while also networking. For a HIT startup focusing on patient engagement, they could interview one patient every week with a five question survey then post the answers on LinkedIn.

Another option is to interview a key opinion leader and use it to create content for your blog. By using this approach, you start to borrow authority from another reputable source.

All of these options point to one overriding principle - start small and keep doing it.

How to start the brainstorming process

Many of you are startups with limited resources for healthcare marketing. For those with marketing departments made up of one person, Andrew says it’s vital that you get plugged into the community you want to serve and sell to.

So spend time getting well-versed in your community. Figure out some way to collaborate with people who are also creating great content.

If you’re operating on a low budget and aren’t a writer, hire a freelancer or journalist who can interview you and then create blog content.

As a marketing department of one, you need to experiment and go with your gut. But above all, you need people. People who know the field you’re in and the audience you’re trying to reach.

In fact, if I were to sum up what I’ve gleaned through this whole podcast series, it’s this: marketing is all about relationships.

The thing most people get wrong

Andrew says that many companies don’t let journalists do their thing. Instead they insert their own agendas and hinder the progress of editorial marketing. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

Allow your writers to exert their craft and do it well. It takes a tremendous amount of restraint to not sales pitch through your content. But as you do it, you’ll gain buyer trust that allows you to promote events or products and be received well.

Carefully map out how you’re going to do this, though. You don’t want your marketing to answer questions but drive your audience to your competitor. You can do amazing stuff with your editorial, but in the end it needs to drive business.

Must-read book

Andrew recommends the book Contagious. It’s a fantastic read about why messages will be shared among people. By delving into social psychology, you can learn how your marketing strategies can influence people to share your content.

The other book he highly recommends is Made To Stick. If you want to learn how to make your ideas memorable, this is the book for you. It’ll teach you why people may (or may not) remember what you say.

Want to connect with Andrew? Find him here:

Twitter: @hanelly

LinkedIn: Andrew Hanelly


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And, as always, if you need help with your marketing…

Let’s talk. You can book your free consulting session with me today.