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Tag Archives: Healthcare

J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Wrap-Up: Transformation is becoming more than just a word

Hospital, insurance and other industry executives described ways they’re trying to change their ways of doing business, in talks and meetings at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco last week.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

New Molina Healthcare CEO focused on creating a healthy balance sheet

Mission and margin can coexists, says Joseph Zubretsky, the new CEO at Molina Healthcare. Zubretsky discussed his goals for the company with Modern Healthcare during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

Top 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends For 2018

Top 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends For 2018

With 2017 almost in the rear-view mirror, it is time to start thinking about how your healthcare marketing strategy will evolve in 2018. It is a wise thing to step back for a moment, analyze the success of last year’s digital marketing campaigns and consider ways to evolve your strategy in the year to come.

Overall, 2017 was a year filled with changes and advancements in the digital marketplace. We saw the growth of ephemeral content on Instagram, innovations in live streaming, Google algorithm updates and an increased focus on unique content marketing. While it is a lot to stay on top of, these advances mean there are still unexplored roads to get inspired to improve your healthcare marketing strategy and engage your patients on a deeper level.

Most marketers prefer to write and publish digital marketing strategy pieces at the beginning of the year when everything is new and fresh, and teams are full of enthusiasm. With just three months left in the year 2017, you need to look for cutting-edge digital marketing strategies that can reinvigorate your brand in the year 2018.

If you want to stay on top of a constantly evolving digital landscape and ensure that you do not fall behind your competition regarding growth and profitability, you need to keep up with a lot of changes. This is one of the many key reasons why healthcare providers choose to work with a digital marketing agency, such as Practice Builders.

Ever wondered what makes a digital marketing agency so effective at coming up with innovative digital marketing ideas? A digital marketing agency can simplify the process of planning and executing the right campaign because it knows which communication channels can be best leveraged by a medical practice.

As you put together plans on where to focus your efforts in 2018, here are 10 digital marketing trends that can take your practice to the next level.

Top 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends For 2018

1. Consider Influencer Marketing: The need for influencer marketing is more significant today than it has ever been. Going by the statistics, nearly 71 percent of patients are more likely to book an appointment based on a reference on social networks.
Influencer marketing is all about taking advantage of “word-of-mouth” posts. An influencer is someone who has already gained the attention and loyalty of your target audience. You can ask any celebrity or a popular brand to interact with the target audience and endorse your products and service. Influencer marketing allows you to build instant authority for your brand, even if you are a new entrant in the market. More engaged patients mean more appointments and increased referrals.

2. Create Smart Content: Smart content, also referred to as dynamic content or adaptive content, is the most powerful pillar of your digital marketing campaigns. However, chances are you are not either creating or leveraging smart content as much as you could. As a reminder, dynamic content “talks” to your target audience – as if you know them. The more you know your target audience, the more likely you will convert prospects into patients. For instance, just by building your list of contacts, you can accumulate a significant amount of information in your CRM. Dynamic email can deliver personalized content to your target audience based on the information your system is collecting. While it is possible to do all of this manually, why would you? This is where marketing automation comes into the picture.

3. Focus on Market Automation: The rise of marketing automation platforms has simplified digital marketing tasks for medical practices. This is mainly because practices can now organize repetitive tasks across social networks and emails. This trend is very likely to deliver quick and measurable ROI. In addition, marketing automation platforms are beneficial to marketers in many ways. Firstly, they allow practices to see the relation between lead generation and digital strategies. Secondly, these platforms come with trigger-based systems that facilitate regular communication with potential and existing patients. Initially, these platforms were expensive and only large practices had access to them. However, over time, they have become affordable and scalable.

4. Think Beyond SEO: Until last year, gaining and maintaining website traffic was as easy as speeding up your SEO game. In 2018, entirely relying on SEO for improving your website traffic is a recipe for failure. Throughout 2017, Google has continued with algorithm update techniques. From Panda Mobilegeddon, the list is never-ending. A good number of reliable sites with useful content have suffered in the process. This does not mean you should forget all the SEO skills you have acquired over the years. Just keep them and improve them. It is essential to think beyond basic SEO techniques. However, do not hide from the fact that attracting patients in 2018 will demand more than just SEO.

5. Strengthen Social Media Presence: You can market and promote your practice until the cows come home, but if your approach is lacking, patients are going to scurry off somewhere else. Now more than ever, modern patients prefer to have easy access to the help and services they need. They do not want to make a phone call and stay on hold or send an email and wait for hours in a queue. Your patients want to post a comment on Facebook or send out a Tweet and get the help they need. Most medical practices have some amount of social media presence, but a handful of them leverage it for attracting patients.

6. Invest in Live Video: 2018 is said to be the year of video, with businesses of all kinds, including the healthcare sector, turning to video content to gain their target audience’s attention. Out of the various types of video, live video is said to attract the most attention so far. According to a study, long-form content and live video deliver the highest rates of ad completion. Another study expects the live video market to grow to $ 70.05 billion in 2021, up from $ 30.29 billion in 2016.

How can medical practices get on board with live video? There is a wide range of live video platforms available, which show the booming popularity of live streaming. Facebook Live is probably the most popular, but other social media networks including YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and Periscope also support live video. You can use live video for streaming events, interviews, broadcasting a launch or reaching out to a broader audience.

7. Build a Responsive Website: You can start the new year by increasing the effectiveness of your website. The primary purpose of your practice website is to attract and inform patients. Some of the most effective elements of a high-converting healthcare website sites are: simple layout and basic design, easy navigation, contact forms with necessary information fields, social media links, patient reviews page and a media gallery for images and videos of practice and staff. Carefully building your healthcare website around the needs of your patients will help you achieve business objectives.

8. Paid Marketing Strategies a Necessity: For healthcare marketers relying solely on social networks, a lot more than just posting updates on your social media profile will be required to win your target audience. According to Forrester Research, an average patient only gets to see 16 percent of Facebook posts of their doctors and only 10 percent of tweets. We are entering an era in which marketers will have to pay to have their content distributed appropriately. For many healthcare marketers, it may mean loosening their budget to accommodate extra costs. If you want to have a lasting impact, you will have to pay for the premium services.

9. Gather More Patient Reviews: Social proof is essential for any healthcare practice trying to gain trust with potential patients. Social proof includes patient reviews, testimonials and case studies. According to a report, one in four patients check online reviews before choosing a healthcare provider. The good part is, acquiring reviews requires little effort.

One way to market your medical practice is by getting positive reviews on popular third-party sites such as Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com. Your patients can also post reviews on social media sites like Facebook, Yelp and Google+. If the majority of your reviews are negative, or if you do not have any reviews at all, the chances are that the new patient will choose another practice.

Encouraging patients to post reviews of your practice is simple. A good way to encourage patients to post reviews is through automated emails after each visit or by including a link to the third-party review website in your satisfaction surveys.

Top 10 Healthcare Marketing Trends For 2018

10. Extensive Blogging: Medical practices are highly likely to take control of their content by creating their own blogs. Topics like office updates, patient-centric useful content and featured guest posts will allow healthcare marketers to nurture their brand and connect with more patients. According to industry experts, 2018 is going to be another exciting year for innovative ways to reach patients and increase brand awareness. Rapid development in communication technology is making it increasingly challenging, and marketers will need to experiment and adapt in order to keep up.

Final Words

Incorporating these tips into your healthcare marketing strategy can help you connect with existing and potential patients. As hectic as running a practice may get, it is important for healthcare providers to appear as approachable as possible. Marketing your medical practice in a welcoming manner will draw in more patients while encouraging them to stay with your practice for a long time.

This makes it critical to find a healthcare marketing agency that can help you build your practice while you focus on caring for your patients. At Practice Builders, we offer a unique blend of reputation management as well as digital marketing that will help bring in new patients and strengthen your brand.

If your current marketing efforts do not include online reputation management and digital marketing, we are here to help. Implementing these strategies will drive more patient referrals, improve patient retention and keep your practice’s reputation strong.
For help with building your brand and executing digital marketing ideas for your practice, contact a Practice Builders representative today.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Guest Commentary: Washington needs to stabalize the markets to move forward on healthcare

After a season of healthcare policy fits and starts, now is the time for Washington to take a collective deep breath and assess what we learned and how we as a nation can do better.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

6 ways Sharp HealthCare employees stay fit

Sharp HealthCare’s comprehensive employee wellness program, Sharp Best Health, encourages team members to incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyles by helping them reach personal health goals. It offers a variety of resources—from healthy recipes to fitness classes to personalized health coaching—all designed to help employees live their healthiest lives.

One of the most important components in the success of this system-wide program is having strong executive support. Here are six ways your organization can keep team members healthy at work.

Supportive policies
Sharp Best Health’s policies encourage a healthy workplace by making it easier to enjoy healthy lifestyle behaviors in the workplace. Examples of workplace policies that support wellness at Sharp include a smoke-free workplace, support of flexible work schedules to allow participation in wellness activities, requiring food vendors to offer healthier selections in cafeterias as well as vending machines, and support of walking meetings and regular stretching breaks.

Wellness initiatives and opportunities
Wellness initiatives at a work site are convenient, cost-effective, fun and help employees stay committed to their wellness goals while at work. Sharp Best Health offers employees numerous fitness and nutrition-related initiatives across its seven hospitals and two medical groups. Examples of such initiatives include: ongoing fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba and boot camps; on-site massage; walking/step challenges; Stairwell Days; Meatless Mondays in cafeterias; and a Community Support Agriculture (CSA)-type produce box that is delivered to employees twice a month.

Staying connected
A significant part of any workplace wellness program is employee communication and education and social media is a beneficial way to expand those efforts. Sharp Best Health has a very active online life, with its presence on a blog hosted on Sharp HealthCare’s intranet, multiple café and healthy vending machine navigation videos, a Fitbit community, a personal health portal and a Pinterest board.

RELATED: Develop a workplace culture that attracts and supports employees of all ages and backgrounds

Involvement with the community
Sharp HealthCare actively supports multiple community health events. Its fundraising and recruitment efforts usually make Sharp HealthCare one of the top fundraisers for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, the Tour de Cure and its local YMCA’s Spin-a-thon cycle marathon.

Free employee health screenings
Sharp offers free confidential health screenings to all team members to help them identify any current or future health problems. Over the span of a few months, close to 11,500 employees were screened in the following indicators: blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, random blood sugar and tobacco use.

Free health coaching to all employees
Sharp Best Health offers personalized health coaching in five different areas: healthy weight management, smoking cessation, healthy eating, physical activity and stress management. Health coaching is a collaborative and confidential wellness program delivered by Sharp Health Plan for all Sharp Healthcare employees. Through the coaching program, participants work one-on-one—over the phone—with a dedicated coach who provides individualized support and guidance in developing the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to reach their best health.

Previously published material.

HealthCareCommunication.com

5 Trends Healthcare Content Marketers Need to Conquer

5 Trends Healthcare Content Marketers Need to Conquer

With competition in the medical field intensifying, it is important for medical practices to come up with sophisticated marketing strategies to help reach potential patients. One of the best ways for medical practices to do this is by using content marketing to their advantage. According to Pew Research Center, nearly 72 percent of Internet users look online for healthcare-related information, and 77 percent of these searchers began their last search session using a search engine.

With the emergence of the latest technology, healthcare content marketing is the most recent trending technique. Traditional methods of advertising have displayed quick returns over the years, but with the rise of content as a means to promote and advertise, healthcare marketers are trying to change their ways.

Patients have become more inclined not only toward practices that are visually appealing but also that share worthwhile content. Due to this, many practices are investing in content marketing as they have realized that expensive marketing automation software or PR campaigns will not be of much use if the target audience is not engaged and reached. It may be difficult to generate high-quality content, but an effective content marketing strategy will be worth it in the end.

According to a recent study, websites that provide quality content attract 7.8 times more traffic than websites without informative and relevant content. This means patients like to be more aware of the products or services that are available, and this may become a game changer to healthcare marketers. Content marketing has been helping medical practices succeed as patients continue to rely on their information.

How can content marketing help your practice?

Tailored content can help patients trust your medical practice before they even contact you. According to research, 68 percent of customers prefer custom content because it is tailored to their needs and interests. In addition, 69 percent of customers believe they know more about a practice after reading custom content, and 61 percent of customers feel better about the practice.

Providing potential patients with tailored content allows them to have a better understanding of the services you provide and what they can expect if they schedule an appointment with your practice. It is critical to understand that the content must be written keeping the average person in mind. In order to connect with potential patients, avoid stuffing content with medical jargon that is not easily understood by your patients.

So, what can be done to make content more engaging to your target audience?

5 Trends Healthcare Content Marketers Need to Conquer

Personalization

Have you ever been to Starbucks for a cup of coffee? If yes, then you are familiar with their custom of writing the customer’s name on the cup and calling out the name once their coffee is ready.

Writing a customer’s name on a cup is similar to content marketing because it makes a conscious effort to personalize the experience and be relatable to customers. Some other examples of personalization are:

  • Blog posts or testimonials from patients
  • Infographics or video content addressing a patient or a group of patients
  • In-depth information through pictures
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses of your practice or employees

These mediums give patents confidence that they are valued and not just target customers to whom you are trying to sell your products.

More than 2 million blogs are published every day, and most of them are not read by many people. Unless your content is tailored for a well-defined audience, it is probably invisible to the world. This is why niche practices and websites grow more quickly as compared to generic blogs. If you are still creating generic and thin blog posts, you are adding to the unnecessary noise on the web.

Nearly 56 percent of healthcare marketers believe that personalized content allows for higher engagement rates as it creates a direct line of feedback, which is more valued. Your readers are looking for solutions to specific problems. Content that helps them address those issues is likely to perform better.

Email marketing

Whoever said email marketing is dead must be eating his words right now. Email marketing has never been more crucial for niche healthcare marketers as it gives direct access to your potential patient’s undivided attention. It provides the ability to build patient relationships and cut through all the marketing noise on the Internet.

Studies reveal that an email message is five times more likely to be seen by a patient as compared to Facebook. In addition, for every dollar spent on email marketing, healthcare marketers earn $ 38 on average. That is an ROI of almost 3800 percent.

In 2017, the importance of email marketing has only increased, which is why it is critical to start building a list and engage your existing and potential patients. It is essential to write emails that help you get closer to your patients, foster a relationship and drive a higher CTR.

5 Trends Healthcare Content Marketers Need to Conquer

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are the new weapon of niche healthcare marketers. In fact, this has been used for quite some time now, but the masses have just started to take notice. More than 1 billion people use Facebook Groups, and that number is growing. Facebook has drastically reduced the organic reach of Pages, which means even if you have thousands of followers, your posts will not be visible to most of them unless you spend advertising money to boost your posts. Facebook Groups do not have any such limitations. All your posts will be visible to the group members, and you will have complete control over what gets posted to the group. In addition, since Facebook Groups are closed communities, they have a higher perceived value for your service, which results in active engagement.

Social media advertising

Create informative content, share it on your social media profiles, and let the traffic flow in. This used to be the norm for most content marketers. Unfortunately, it does not work anymore. These days, the organic reach of most Facebook posts is less than three percent. So, you cannot expect to achieve any significant results by sharing your posts on social media. An effective way is to boost your posts to specific and targeted audiences using Facebook Ads. While spending money on advertising might not be your choice, what if every dollar spent on advertising brings back $ 2 or $ 3 and enhances your list at the same time? Think about it.

Why should you wait for Google to rank your posts when you can achieve positive ROI by targeting the right audience on Facebook? However, you must try to convert the ad traffic into email subscribers so that you can contact them for free the next time.

Live video

Have you started creating videos for your medical practice? If not, you might already be behind most of your competitors. Video today is what blogging was a few years ago. Those who start sharing video content today will be ahead of their competitors in the next few years. Facebook is forecasting the end of the written word and hinting at becoming a video-only platform shortly. Most of the social media platforms, including Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube, already have live video features, and Instagram just joined them. Adding video to your healthcare content marketing strategy will bring several immediate benefits.

Look at this data:

  • Facebook users spend triple the time watching live videos as compared to recorded ones.
  • Adding a video to your website or blog post can increase the chance of making it to Google’s first page by 53 times.
  • Including a video in your emails can increase the CTR by almost 300 percent.
  • Product pages with videos drive 64 percent more sales.

5 Trends Healthcare Content Marketers Need to Conquer

Do you need more figures?

Final thoughts

Over the last few years, healthcare content marketing has been an effective way of attracting new patients and growing your practice. Despite many healthcare marketers being unsure if they should adapt to this, studies prove its effectiveness and that it is worth a try.

Medical content marketing is not a short-term play. It requires a proven and thoughtful approach based on educational and helpful information. However, when done strategically, it is an efficient way to connect patients with your practice and enjoy unique SEO benefits. Whether it is a blog post, eBook or website content, you can create a treasury of free content that tells the story of your practice and the service you offer.

Are you ready to kick-start a content marketing campaign for your medical practice? Contact us today to learn more about how Practice Builders can help with your healthcare marketing challenges. More information on how we can make a difference in your medical practice can be found here.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

If you are a healthcare marketer, the odds are that web analytics is an important part of your toolkit. With its immense adoption in the market, chances are very bright that the tool you are using is Google Analytics. Undoubtedly, Google Analytics is the most effective tool for understanding your digital audience as it allows you to dig deeper into the kind of content they like, platforms they prefer and factors the determine the conversion rate. Medical practices, large and small, can take advantage of Google Analytics to adjust their strategy and make the best use of their marketing budget.

In 2014, over two-thirds of medical practices utilized Google Analytics as part of their data collection and marketing strategies. Across practices of all sizes, over half of practices utilizing web analytics software depend on Google Analytics.
At Practice Builders, we help customers extract valuable insight from data by leveraging the most powerful bells and whistles of Google Analytics.
While regular Google Analytics users are familiar with most of the reporting tools, there are so many power-packed features that go unnoticed. These features can transform how you manage your online presence. Even if you are among the most ardent users, here are five Google Analytics features that you may not be very familiar with.

1. Weighted Sort

When analyzing the performance of your web pages, it is easy to sort the table by ‘bounce rate’ or by the number of ‘page views.’ You simply have to click that particular heading, and you are good to go. However, just sorting the table by one attribute or another may not give you the complete picture. Arranging the pages by bounce rate may not put your web pages in order by traffic volume, but sorting by page views will not consider bounce rate.

This is where the Weighted Sort feature can help. This feature allows marketers to see which pages have both – a high traffic volume and high bounce rate, which are useful in identifying the missed conversion opportunities. It is simple to activate or use this feature. On any table, click the “Bounce Rate” column header to sort the rows. Then, click the drop-down next to “Sort Type” and select “Weighted.” The first web page in the list is likely to have the highest bounce rates as well as page views.

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

2. Site Search

Almost every website these days has a search bar for visitors to narrow down what they are looking for on your website. Not only is having this feature valuable, but acknowledging what visitors are looking for is equally important. The Site Search feature in Google Analytics can help you understand the search-related data. Through this tool, you can see which products are the more important to your audience as well as whether your website is easy to navigate.

To enable the Site Search feature, go to the Admin section and click “View Settings” under the website you want to start tracking. Now, scroll down to the bottom of the page and turn the switch on. Once the switch is on, two fields will appear. You need to enter your website’s search parameters into the text box in order to extract the search terms from the custom URL.

Search parameters are the words or phrases that precede a query in the URL. All you have to do is enter those characters into the Query Parameter section, and everything, except the specific search terms, will be filtered out when you view the report. Once the feature is turned on, you can see your data under the Site Search segment of the Behavior section.

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

3. Remarketing Lists

Remarketing is an important tactic in a healthcare marketer’s arsenal. This feature allows marketers to reach back out to potential patients who did not convert the first time around. Whether your initial marketing message was inadequate, or the potential patients did not get enough information to make a decision, or they were simply not in a buyer frame of mind, remarketing is a marketers’ second chance at converting leads into patients. This is a great way to make the most of your website visitors, without investing more into your marketing budget to attract a wider pool of customers.

The Remarketing Lists feature in Google Analytics works together with the AdWords account to help you build lists of potential customers that you can target in the future. However, you cannot utilize this feature without an active AdWords account.

In order to get started, go to the Admin section of Analytics and click “Remarketing” under the Property column. Then click “Audiences” in the dropdown to begin creating your custom audiences. You can either let Google select your audience through a Smart List, or you can create your own list based on new or returning visitors to your website. You can even create a list based on who visited a particular page, reached a milestone or made a purchase.

Once you have created audiences, you can then add them to future campaigns in AdWords. Google Analytics limits you to 2,000 remarketing audiences per account, but it is highly unlikely that you will reach this threshold.

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

4. Funnel Visualization

In the Funnel Visualization section of Google Analytics, many reports highlight the particular path each visitor takes through your website before he or she ends up at the final destination. You can see where your website visitors abandoned their original path to pursue something else or went back to another page to get more information, and where they finally left your site.

The Funnel Visualization report focuses on measuring your website’s conversion rate. This feedback allows marketers to analyze their goals in Google Analytics and determine whether they meet the mark or reevaluate the goals. To find and activate this feature, go to the Conversions dropdown and click “Goals.”

It is possible to view each goal’s conversion rate, thus allowing marketers to focus on the impact of a particular ad campaign or see how their marketing efforts have performed throughout the month. The Funnel Visualization report is an excellent way to tell your marketing team what strategies have the greatest impact on a particular goal. This feature helps you see which marketing goals are working well and which ones may need to be reevaluated. Using the Funnel Visualization report to get a look at your goals and then digging deeper will allow you to ensure your priorities are harmonized to convert visitors into customers.

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

5. Trackbacks

It is easy for marketers to get so caught up in the search and website elements of Google Analytics that they might forget there is a valuable section dedicated to social media and its impact on healthcare SEO.

The Trackbacks feature regards everyone who has engaged with your website’s content, whether it is a blog, downloadable content or one of your product pages. You can even see how many times the same URL has linked to your website, separating passive users from engaged visitors.

Regardless of the specialty, partnerships are vital to making a name for your medical practice and standing out as a thought leader in the healthcare community. Whether it is an opportunity to share content or to co-sponsor an event, link building is important for executing successful healthcare SEO.

5 Lesser-Known Google Analytics Features That Healthcare Marketers Should Use

Keep Up With Google Analytics Updates

Google Analytics is constantly adding new features and updating old ones, making it difficult for even the most frequent users to keep up. It is important to look at your account often and see what is new. You will likely stumble upon a feature that you never knew existed, and it may prove to be beneficial for your practice. From simply sorting data to setting goals and analyzing sources of web traffic, there is an endless number of ways to put Google Analytics to work for your medical practice.

In search engine optimization (SEO), measurement is critical to success. Undoubtedly, keyword rankings are a great way to measure the success of your healthcare SEO. However, relying solely on keywords diminishes the marketer’s role and does not paint the full picture of why healthcare SEO is critical to the success of your practice. Going beyond keyword rankings allows marketers to showcase what really matters. Thankfully, one of the best tools for measuring SEO is widely available and is probably already installed on your website – Google Analytics! Although every practice is unique and every website has different metrics, you can use Google Analytics to report the success of your healthcare SEO efforts.

Do you need help with Google Analytics?

At Practice Builders, we offer a variety of services to help you get the most out of Google Analytics, including implementation, staff training, conversion optimization, analysis and consulting. It does not matter how large or small your medical practice is, we are qualified to make your website and marketing campaigns more effective.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

GOP healthcare vote inspires another challenger for California’s Rep. Jeff Denham


latimes.com – Los Angeles Times

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Most medical practice owners usually think of hiring a marketing agency when their practice hits a fork in the road, and they need to make a decision. They could be facing one of the following scenarios:

1. They are either growing at an astonishing rate and no longer have the time or resources to manage their practice and keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the online market.

2. They are stagnating, and are finding it hard to keep a consistent flow of patients coming through the door.

3. They are losing business to competitors.

4. They are just starting a new practice and do not know how and where to direct their marketing efforts.

… They need help. It is time to make a decision.

Hiring a healthcare marketing agency for your medical practice is one of the most important decisions you have to make as a business owner. If all goes well, you will only have to make this decision once, but usually, this is not the case.

Hiring your first healthcare marketing agency is a stressful task, and hiring the second one is even more terrible. However, you can eliminate the pain and frustration of hiring the wrong marketing agency just by asking the correct questions during your initial meetings.

Here are the seven most important questions you should ask while looking for marketing agencies for your medical practice. The aim of this article is to explore the right and the wrong answers, and by the time you are done reading this blog post, you will know what to expect from the most accomplished and talented healthcare marketing agency.

Question #1. Why do I need to hire a healthcare marketing agency?

This is the most critical question you should ask before initiating any discussion with an agency. Businesses that have never worked with a marketing agency in the past often struggle to express what they are looking for, which can lead to disappointment and frustration for both sides. You must attach specific goals to your healthcare marketing plan and identify your practice’s objectives. This is because only after you have identified and outlined your goals will you be able to ensure the agency you are interviewing can fulfill them.

Are you looking for an agency that can improve lead generation and sales activities? Or are you looking for an agency to manage the online reputation and search engine optimization functions for your dermatology practice? Most agencies specialize in providing different services, so it is critical to understand which services you need before hiring the agency.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Question #2. Does your team specialize in my industry?

The Internet is a vast place, and there are many tools and techniques for marketing different specialties across the healthcare industry. You must pick the agency that has excellent experience with your specialty and specializes in medical marketing for private practices, individual surgeons and general physicians.

Medical facilities do not require the same marketing techniques as other suppliers. Hiring an agency with experience in, for instance, retail or automotive, will not make sense for your practice. A lot of legal issues accompany medical marketing. An agency that is not well-versed on what you can and cannot advertise when marketing your practice may get you involved in lawsuits and loss of reputation.

You should ask your agency about its experience and a case study, too, if possible. Based on the agency’s understanding of your industry, you can get an idea of how it would approach your marketing needs and how its approach will be different from your competitors’.

An agency that specializes in marketing individual healthcare practices will have hands-on knowledge of the latest trends and developments in your market without investing in expensive resources for extensive research. It will also have case studies showing what works and what does not so that you do not become their guinea pig.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Question #3. Is your team more skilled at local- or national-level marketing campaigns?

Exactly the way different industries require different marketing tactics, local brands require an entirely different approach to online marketing compared to national brands.

You should ask your agency about its approach, resources and expertise specifically for local marketing. For instance, local search tactics depend on geolocation and the optimization of Google My Business pages to attract local patients. A national campaign does not depend on either. Your agency should be experienced enough to understand this right out of the gate, as it is different from the link-building strategies employed by global businesses.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Question #4. Will you assign a dedicated account manager for my medical practice?

If you have handled work contracts with large businesses, you are not new to the customer service runaround. Most often, you would call customer service to ask a question but get passed around to 15 experts, none of whom can resolve your problem, before landing at the front desk where they promise to have an expert call you back. You must never accept this kind of slapdash service.
A reputed agency will assign a dedicated account manager to serve as your primary point of contact. This dedicated manager will be responsible for your customer service and answer all of your questions. If there is no one specifically assigned to your account, you will end up running around.

In order to avoid this nuisance from happening, you must ask directly who your single point of contact will be, who will take responsibility for the tasks and who will take care of any requests you may have.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Question #5. What practices and strategies do you have for measuring and reporting results?

By far, the biggest criticism of healthcare marketing agencies is the shoddy or nonexistent reporting practices that usually fail to demonstrate any measurable ROI.

The result?

You end up paying hefty fees without ever knowing how and if that money is helping your practice grow. In today’s world of big data and advanced analytics tools, there cannot be any excuse for bad results measurement. You should ask your agency to produce a few examples of a monthly report based on the standards, and both parties can agree on a format.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Question #6. What if I decide to part ways?

You can even consider asking this question first. The answer to this question may surprise you.

The answer will tell you if this agency is looking to build your practice or if it is just out for your money.

Be very careful of any agency that offers to build you a website on a “proprietary” content management system (CMS). When agencies build your practice website on their proprietary CMS, it usually means they may hold you hostage if things do not turn as expected and if you decide to part ways. As and when you decide to part ways with the agency, it will hand over the ownership of the website to you after you pay off the CMS lease. Moreover, if you do not pay, you will lose your website and all of the work you for which paid the agency so far.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

Question #7. How do you plan to execute my marketing strategy?

It never hurts to ask the agency how it plans to implement your marketing strategy. This question is especially relevant for SEO-related services. In case you are not aware, there are two schools of thought around SEO:

1. Some agencies cut corners and trick the search engines into thinking your website is the most reputable authority.

2. Some agencies do what they commit to and establish your website as the most trusted authority by posting valuable and engaging content.

The former is a short-range strategy with short-term results and continuing issues, while the latter is a more intuitive strategy with long-term results. If you are going to pay a healthcare marketing agency plenty of money to optimize your website for search engines, make sure it abides by Google’s guidelines. Fail to do so, and you will find yourself back at square one; only this time, you will be poorer by a few thousand marketing dollars.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Healthcare Marketing Agency

In the end, you are the boss!

At the end of the day, you are the one who will be paying. You hold the power. When interviewing healthcare marketing agencies, remember that their job is to make you feel confident about their performance, deliver desired results and help you understand marketing concepts in a simplified manner. Never be afraid to ask questions, as any agency worth its salt will not only have good answers but also proven practices for all of your concerns.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How Can Healthcare Email Marketing Help Your Practice?

How Can Healthcare Email Marketing Help Your Practice?

Let us accept this. Email is not going anywhere anytime soon. Just check out these facts:

  • According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your practice attract new patients.
  • For 89 percent of marketers, email is the primary source for lead generation.
  • According to research from Statista, the number of email users worldwide is likely to rise to 2.9 billion users by 2019.
  • In a digitally dominated healthcare industry, the stats convey a clear message: Email is critical for any healthcare facility. Email marketing is not just here to stay but is getting stronger with each passing year.

    Email continues to be an effective strategy for healthcare marketers looking to improve patient engagement, enhance engagement and increase ROI. In fact, patients who visit a website through email marketing tend to set more appointments.

    Email marketing is one of the strongest marketing channels when backed up by an efficient healthcare marketing strategy. Email marketing is the foundation of your overall healthcare marketing strategy. It is an effective way to keep patients informed. This is not something healthcare marketers do just because they can, and it is easy. It is a very effective tactic that helps medical practitioners and patients stay well connected.

    Email marketing is an effective way to market your services and products, and getting the word out about your medical practice. Email marketing can help you deliver content to patients, whenever it is convenient. It also helps develop loyalty and trust in your practice. With email marketing, you can build and improve relationships with potential and existing patients as it gives you a chance to speak directly to them.

    How Can Healthcare Email Marketing Help Your Practice?

    Why email marketing for your healthcare practice?

    If you are wondering how email marketing looks from the patient point of view, here is some insight. According to research, patients prefer email from the practices they are connected with. Email is a preferred communication tool for professionals. Nearly 95 percent of professionals use email, making it ideal for professional communication.

    Email marketing allows healthcare marketers to build relationships with patients and promote their products or services without spending excessive money on paper and stamps. This is the most effective way of delivering a value proposition to potential and existing patients through their inbox.

    Today, healthcare marketers want to do more with less. They need to connect with their target audience in a more personalized manner while staying on budget. Marketers that can connect with their patients in a more targeted way will be successful in improving ROI and revenue. While most healthcare marketing trends come and go, email continues to be one of the most effective channels. This is because of:

    1. Increased leads: Encouraging website visitors to sign up for your email list is one of the ways to generate more leads. Another strategy is to encourage your subscribers to forward your emails on to family and friends and to share it on social media.

    2. Improved sales: You can increase your sales by sending the right message to the right people through emails. The secret is email list segmentation. This process will help you service the right message to your subscribers at the right time, eventually encouraging them to become a customer.

    3. Driving conversions: Driving conversions is a number-one priority for healthcare marketers. In email marketing, average click-through rate is six times more effective than social media. Marketers can track the patient journey from receiving the email to scheduling an appointment.

    4. Reduced cost: One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is its low-cost nature. There are no print, postage or advertising costs. Emails can be paid monthly with unlimited plans.

    5. Return on Investment: Email marketing can outperform almost all marketing channels. According to reports, for every $ 1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $ 44.25. Practices can track the performance and impact of each email, which will enable it to calculate the ROI straight away.

    6. Integration: You can integrate email marketing with internal systems such as CRM, website analytics and social media. This will enable a practice to understand and profile its patients and see the impact of emails with other marketing channels.

    7. Automation: Automation can save time and simplify some of the marketing or operational tasks. For instance, automation is when a patient completes an action that triggers an email alert.

    8. Segmentation: The biggest feature of email marketing is the ability to segment subscribers into different groups so a practice can send targeted emails to each group. This will allow the practice to send relevant and engaging content to its patients. This can help increase engagement and conversions and generate qualified leads.

    Best practices in email marketing

    In healthcare marketing strategy, email marketing is more important than ever. In an age of ever-evolving social platforms and communication tools, email continues to be a reliable and influential digital marketing channel that connects with all demographics. However, to succeed with email marketing, it is not enough to quickly create a message and hit “send.” Connecting effectively and consistently with a target audience requires a well-planned strategy and high-quality implementation. The following best practices will help you ensure that your healthcare marketing campaigns are effective:

    1. Put security first: One of the biggest differences between healthcare and other industries is the importance of privacy. Always remember that even a general message can be viewed as personal information by many patients. Most patients are worried about the data that healthcare providers possess. In a survey of healthcare industry employees, almost 63 percent of employees believe their organization has experienced a data breach.

    The key to long-term marketing effectiveness in healthcare is trust. Therefore, you should start by ensuring that all your systems and processes are secure. This includes access to patient personal information as well as your marketing platforms. Also, as much as possible, use email marketing tools that are HIPAA-compliant.

    2. Build opt-in lists: Growing your email list using quick methods, such as buying databases or swapping information with other practices, may seem like a good idea. Our advice: Refrain from doing it. Building your own lists only via opt-in – where patients agree to receive email communications – is more time-consuming, but it is the best and the most sustainable approach. This is because the quality of these lists is better. You will notice higher engagement and fewer unsubscribes over time. In addition, the easiest way to create permanent damage to your brand is to send an email marketing campaign without permission. This damage is the worst kind of reputation hazard for healthcare facilities. Also, after you have built an opt-in list, do not forget to keep it safe and protect it. If you share this list with other marketers, you may run the risk of undoing all your hard work.

    3. Pay attention to email frequency: Sending too many emails is the biggest mistake most marketers make. When asked why they unsubscribed from receiving communications from their physicians or healthcare facilities, most patients said the biggest reason was too many emails. If you want to improve patient engagement levels and ensure that your email lists remain stable, be mindful of email frequency. You should resist sending too many emails or offers. These one-time offers may help in the short run, but in the long-term, you will end up losing valuable patients.

    How Can Healthcare Email Marketing Help Your Practice?

    4. Embrace automation: Most email services let you automate timing of sending emails, making it possible to send emails to different patients at different times according to their preference. These email services allow you to split-test various elements of emails, and they let you configure emails in a way that one event triggers another. This experience is different and personalized for each patient depending on what action they take. You must familiarize yourself with, and make effective use of, such services and features.

    5. Segment your lists properly: Nearly 51 percent of healthcare marketers rank segmentation as the most effective marketing tactic. This is mainly because of relevancy. The more segmented an email list is, the more relevant will be the messaging, and the more likely the recipient will take action. This general trend applies to healthcare, as well. In order to engage your audience, you must segment your lists properly and provide the most relevant messaging possible. When it comes to healthcare emails, the more targeted you can get with an email, the more likely the recipient will engage.

    6. Give patients something to do: One of the biggest advantages healthcare marketers have over most other verticals is that the vast majority of patients are interested in the emails. You do not need to convince recipients to care about their health and wellness. Therefore, you must think of every email as an opportunity to engage the recipient. You can consider providing links to information on your website, encouraging recipients to follow your social media accounts, and encourage the sharing of the message.

    7. Consider the timing of your emails: According to research, there is a best time and day to send emails depending on your business goals. Here are some quick facts:

    • The best time to send an email is between 10 and 11 a.m.
    • The best weekday to send emails is Monday, and the best weekend day is Sunday.
    • The best day to send emails for high open rates is Tuesday.

    It is critical to consider the time of your target audience. For instance, the time zone of California is different from that of Florida. It is important to identify where your target audience is based, and use that knowledge to optimize the timing and frequency of your emails.

    The results of these simple additions can be significant. Most patients want to engage with their healthcare brands. If you build trust, guard privacy, monitor the frequency of emails and provide a good overall experience, you will be well-poised for strong engagement with your email marketing campaigns.

    Email is not dead yet!

    Email marketing is here to stay, and it must be a part of your overall healthcare marketing strategy. Using email marketing as a tool for generating qualified leads, you can interact with patients on a more personal level, driving your practice to grow.

    Email marketing gives you a direct line of communication with past, present and potential patients. If you make these communications interesting and engaging, you will build long-term relationships that generate repeat business and grow your practice via referrals.

    As easy as it sounds, email marketing is a time-consuming process. If you could use a little help in this department, let us evaluate and automate your process. Effective email automation will ensure optimal ROI and leave you free to focus on taking care of your patients and growing your practice. To learn more about HIPAA-compliant email solutions and other ways to generate leads for your practice, contact our experts today.

    Medical Healthcare Marketing