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Tag Archives: Healthcare

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Brand Your Healthcare Practice

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Brand Your Healthcare Practice

Even if advertising isn’t your specialty, you can probably conjure up in your mind a variety of brands that you recognize and personal associations to go with them. Branding for your healthcare practice is similar in that your brand is what sets you apart from everyone else in your field. Your brand is your identity, which is solidified by how patients perceive and experience your services. Ultimately, it’s what comes to patients’ minds when they hear your name.

Branding your practice isn’t just about coming up with an amazing logo, business card and website. While those all play a part in sculpting your image, so does cultivating a friendly and caring environment, training your staff on cohesive patient/employee communication skills and remaining flexible and professional. But why does creating a brand for your practice matter so much?

Here are the top six reasons why you need to invest in branding your healthcare practice:

1. Gain a positive reputation. Top-notch customer service, scheduling flexibility and a friendly, clean and caring environment are all part of your branded image. When you excel in these areas, you’ll gain an amazing reputation for your practice in the community… which will be reflected in reviews patients write about your practice on sites like Yelp and Healthgrades.

2. Establish yourself as a specialist. Which procedure or condition that you treat brings in the greatest return on investment? Market to that specialty. When you target your marketing in this way, you position yourself to drum up more business in that arena and also make a name for yourself as the provider of choice for that service.

3. Build staff morale. When you create a reputable brand for your medical practice, your staff will take pride in that. You may also find a greater number of applicants coming your way because you’ll also establish a reputation for your practice as a great place to work!

4. Establish credibility and trust. The more your name gets out in the community with positive associations, whether they’re built around the caliber of your treatment or your commitment to customer loyalty, both current and potential patients will be willing to put their care in your trusting hands. News like that gets around fast!

5. Increase referrals. A well-branded medical practice with satisfied customers will gain you more referrals. Plus, other physicians will be happy to refer their patients to you when you prove your worth in the local medical community. Sometimes, even, if your specialty is hard to come by, your referrals may filter in from a greater regional area.

6. Boost your bottom line. You’re in the profession to help people, but from the business aspect you need to remain profitable. If your practice is the type whose services aren’t covered under most insurance programs, like plastic surgery, your patients generally pay out of pocket. They are more apt to do that with a well-branded office that has established credibility, trust and a positive reputation.

Not sure where to start when it comes to branding? Make sure you do it right. Contact us at info@practicebuilders.com or 800-679-1200 to sign up for a free marketing consult with our Practice Builder experts, and we’ll get started!

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Is Email Marketing Right for Your Healthcare Practice?

Is Email Marketing Right for Your Healthcare Practice?

The good news is email marketing is effective – really effective. According to Mawazo.ca, email marketing is 40% more effective than Facebook or Twitter. Before you integrate email into your healthcare marketing plan, however, there are some factors you should consider.

What makes email different than other online marketing forms is the fact that it is directly delivered to your target audience. Where social media and the sea that is the Internet at large are filled with unwanted advertisements and blasts, email is a place of relative quiet where (ideally) only the people you’ve invited can reach you. That is its main advantage, but it also means you need to be responsible with that privilege. In short, you need a plan before you begin.

To think through if email marketing is right for your healthcare practice, ask yourself a couple of questions:

-Do you have content your base wants?

To justify showing up and to earn your patients’ trust to continue showing up in their inboxes, think about what’s in it for them. If your email marketing is only to ask them for something or remind them to come visit, your patients will likely just trash your emails and unsubscribe. Think about what content or offers you can provide for your patients via your email marketing. For instance, offer patients 20% off glasses frames or your professional tips for maintaining healthy eating habits in the busy back-to-school season.

-Can you deliver it consistently?

Email marketing campaigns are most successful when the emails are delivered on a consistent basis. It could be once a month, once every two weeks – as long as it is consistent enough that your patients know to expect it. If you wait too long, patients may forget they signed up for your email list and unsubscribe.

If you answered “Yes” to both these questions, then you will need to put some things in place to launch your practice’s email marketing campaign. You will need:

-A good email list

Gather email addresses by asking patients to opt-in when they visit your practice and your site. Here your work from before will pay off: When you ask patients for their email address, tell them something specific about what you plan to do with it.

-Good content and design

You can plan out your emails in advance. Again, make sure you are considering your patients’ point of view and be sure you are providing them something valuable. To make sure your emails are not doomed to be unread or trashed, you will need an enticing subject line and more than just a block of text. Give your email a colorful banner or design. You do have to make sure you include information on how patients can unsubscribe, but make your email so worthwhile and engaging that they won’t want to.

If you’re ready to learn more about adding email to your healthcare marketing strategy, we would be happy to help you get it off the ground. Email info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Best Tips for Writing Emails to Market Your Healthcare Practice

Best Tips for Writing Emails to Market Your Healthcare Practice

Email marketing allows you to communicate directly with your patients, so don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Once you have email addresses and a strategy for an email campaign, here are some important aspects to keep in mind as you craft the actual emails. Let’s look at each component of an email and what to keep in mind for each part.

Subject line: This is the first thing your patients will see in their inboxes, so make sure it’s enticing enough that they will actually open it. A good subject line should pique interest and do so concisely enough that it will all show up on a mobile device. You can use numbers, “5 Things Every Parent Should Know for Flu Season” or create a sense of urgency, “Limited time only: 20% off sunglasses.”

Preview text: Keep in mind the beginning of your email may also appear as the preview text. Frontload your email’s text with the information or call to action you want to be sure your patients immediately see.

Sender email address: Make sure this is a recognizable email address with your healthcare practice’s name prominent in the address. This will help patients know it’s you and so increase your chances of actually having the email opened and read rather than trashed.

Email design: You want your email to look more interesting than a plain block of text but also avoid being overwhelming to your patients. Incorporate a clean design that prominently features your logo. This will make your email look more inviting and also help your patients recognize it’s you.

Email text: Use an inverted pyramid approach, meaning you should structure your email so that your copy grabs attention at the beginning, then builds anticipation in the middle and ends with a strong call to action. Throughout, put important information in bold. Don’t overdo it; just bold the text that you don’t want your patients to miss.

Call-to-action buttons: Make responding to your call to action even easier for your patients by creating a button they can simply click. For instance, if your call to action is to remind your patients to book an appointment, then a button reading “Book Your Appointment Today” can take them straight to your site where they can do just that. The call to action could also be as simple as “Follow Our Blog” and the button can take them to your blog.

Drafting and testing: Make sure you proofread your email well before you send it out. You should also beta-test one (send the email to a few staff members first) to make sure everything appears appropriately and iron out any glitches.

After you send: Keep track of various factors like which type of subject lines worked and what time of day works best by using analytics.

We can help you get started with your healthcare practice’s email marketing campaign today. Email us at info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Why Healthcare Practices Should Use Video

Why Healthcare Practices Should Use Video

We’re not telling you to create a Gray’s Anatomy episode. But posting video content on your website is a great marketing tool for your practice. Video humanizes your practice, increases engagement with new and current patients and is easy to pull up on a phone or tablet. Healthcare providers should consider incorporating educational videos as part of their online marketing strategy. Let’s break down the elements that make video a great tool in your healthcare marketing strategy.

It’s a Mobile-Friendly Format.

Thanks to the smartphone, patients are searching for their content on their phones or tablets about 50% of the time, according to Forbes.com. Sifting through written content designed for a computer screen becomes tedious on a mobile device. This means even if you have great written content for your site, it might be pushed aside half the time simply because of the format. Video, however, is very mobile-friendly and easily ingestible on the go.

It Proves You’re Human.

Patients are more apt to connect to a human face and voice than to stagnant words on a screen. They want to know they are being cared for by professionals who are real human beings. Consider a video interview with a doctor explaining signs she looks for to tell the difference between a run-of-the-mill mole and ones that could be cancerous, for instance. Your patients, current or potential, will like the sense of connection from seeing the doctor’s face and hearing her voice.

Also consider using videos of patients recommending your practice. Participation is voluntary, of course, and patients should not divulge specifics of their medical history. They can speak to why your practice is beneficial to them and how the doctors and staff are helpful and trustworthy. Again, this can help establish your practice’s credibility more than written words on a screen. Patients like getting recommendations for healthcare services from people they know. Videos of real patients recommending your practice are the next-best thing.

It Creates More Searchable Avenues to Your Site.

If you first upload your video to a video site like YouTube and then embed the video into your practice’s page, you’ve created multiple, searchable access points to your video content. Like blog posts, videos are searchable based on keywords. Your video content can come up in YouTube, in a search engine like Google and on your site. Videos are also easy to share on social media for even more avenues for patients to find your content.

Get started with video marketing for your healthcare practice today by emailing Practice Builders at info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to create a social media calendar for marketing your healthcare practice

How to create a social media calendar for marketing your healthcare practice

When you run an active healthcare practice, it might seem impossible to keep up with the demands of an active social media slate at the same time. How do you generate enough new posts every week to remind the world of your work?

That’s where a social media calendar comes in. It can be a saving grace for a busy practice, helping to lay out a road map for months worth of content. Best of all, it can radically reduce the amount of time you spend on social media while radically raising its effectiveness. Below are a few tips for creating a social media calendar to help market your healthcare practice:

  • 1. Identify your networks. Quality matters more than quantity, so pick a few social media networks to really focus your attention on. Use a visual icon to identify each network on your calendar, and you’ll be able to see when you’ve over-posted or under-posted to one of them. Keep in mind that some networks demand more frequency than others; experts recommend posting at least five times a day on Twitter, while Facebook can thrive with as few as three posts a week.
  • 2. Create or mine your content. Decide on the content you want to post, and make a plan to get it! If you’re linking to a blog post on your website, make sure that your calendar includes a reminder to assign a writer to create that post in advance. If you have special events or deals to offer your patients, be sure to spread the word several times across your networks well in advance of the date. If you want to share images, be sure to assign a staff member as designer or photographer. And if you’re sharing health-related content from other sources, be sure to identify the system – such as Google Alerts – you’ll use to mine that content.
  • 3. Humanize your content calendar. Content comes not just from within your practice but from outside it, as well. Search for important healthcare dates, such as National Nurses Week, updates on MACRA, even staff birthdays, and put them on your calendar to be posted. Human touches light up your social media presence.
  • 4. Use your calendar as an analytics tool after the fact. Calendars aren’t just for looking forward! Mark what kinds of post generated the most views, interactions and shares, and use that information to design next month’s content and posting frequency.

With this detailed social media calendar saving you time and work, effective social media marketing is easier than you think. You’ll see the direct benefits when your online interactions help to bring new patients in the door.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Norton Healthcare CEO Stephen Williams will retire this year

Stephen Williams, the long-time CEO of Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare who became a hospital administrator at 22, is retiring at the end of the year. Norton named President Russell Cox as Williams’ successor.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

How Branding Affects Your Healthcare Practice’s Marketing Strategies

How Branding Affects Your Healthcare Practice’s Marketing Strategies

Are you struggling with your medical or dental practice’s overall online marketing plan? It may be because you haven’t developed your brand yet. Creating a brand for your business, be it retail or healthcare, will help direct your company and inform all of your future marketing choices.

Branding is really like having a map for your practice; it creates a mission that lets you, your staff and your patients know what you’re about and where you want to go. Because it acts as such a blueprint for your company, your brand can really affect your entire healthcare marketing strategy. Here’s how:

Content and Messaging

Your content is the first thing to be affected by your brand. If you’re trying to develop or promote a certain message, you want to make sure that all your written content has the same theme and intent. Every time you write a blog post, consider how it supports your brand and your mission. Are you reaching out to your patients effectively through your content? Are your expertise and specialties the focus of your content creation?

Your brand will also affect the types of articles you post from which publications. Does a certain online magazine have the same message as your healthcare practice? Or is the tone of an article differing too much from the tone you’re cultivating for your practice?

Accounts You Follow

When you want to stay on brand, you also want to make sure that who you align yourself with also supports your mission. Be sure to follow accounts that you support as a medical profession and as practice. You want to ensure that your followers understand your missing and message, so who you follow, share and retweet plays an important role in that.

Your Website Design

From your logo to your mission statement, your brand will affect everything about the design of your website – even images. The graphics and images you use will help inform your website’s visitors of the atmosphere of your practice.

Do you need help developing a brand for your healthcare practice? Our talented healthcare marketing consultants can help get you on the right track. Contact us today at 800.679.1262 or info@practicebuilders.com to learn more about our healthcare practice branding services.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Why Online Content Is Important for Marketing Your Healthcare Practice

Why Online Content Is Important for Marketing Your Healthcare Practice

Do you have a content strategy in place for your healthcare practice? Even in 2016, content still ranks high as an effective healthcare marketing strategy. If you’re looking for ways to use content to draw potential patients to your website, here are the main benefits that original content can provide your site:

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Developing your own content, whether it’s a blog post or an online video, will help keep your audience engaged when they visit your site. Providing original content allows you to showcase your expertise and cover the specific topics that your patients are interested in. It also gives you the opportunity to create posts that your competition doesn’t have, potentially increasing your ranking on search engines because of your unique content.

Content Matters for SEO

In 2016, content matters even more toward your SEO standing. Google has changed its algorithms to include bounce-back rates. If your audience doesn’t find what they’re looking for on your site and goes back to the search engine results, it will negatively affect your SEO ranking. Original content on your site will help answer queries from potential patients so they can find what they’re looking for on your site.

Link-Building Opportunities

It’s actually okay to reference other articles and data in your own content – provided you give credit where it’s due, of course. Linking to other articles on your practice’s website can also help your SEO ranking through link-building. Link-building can help increase your SEO ranking as long as it’s natural and relevant. Learn more about link-building for SEO here.

Increase Your Social Media Presence

You may not go viral, but creating your own content gives you the opportunity to increase your profile on social media. Original and unique content can potentially get more shares or retweets from your followers than repeated content can.

Do you want to increase your current original content creation output? Are you not sure where to start? We can help! Contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants today at 800.679.1262 or info@practicebuilders.com for more information on how to develop original content for your healthcare practice.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to Create Content for Your Healthcare Practice’s Mobile Site

How to Create Content for Your Healthcare Practice’s Mobile Site

If you have a mobile site for your healthcare practice (and in 2016, you definitely should!), it’s important to think about mobile logistics when you’re creating content as part of your healthcare marketing strategy. Because of the dynamics of mobile sites and apps, there are different things to consider when you’re developing content than if you were just creating content for a desktop site exclusively. You don’t need to come up with totally different content for both of your sites. But here are some things that you need to consider when it comes to content on your mobile site:

Think of the Size

This is probably the most logical point, but consider the significant size difference between the screen on a desktop computer and that of a mobile phone or tablet. It’s important to find a way to scale down your content for a mobile device, whether it’s by making it smaller or making it “tappable.”

Make Your Content Engaging

To attract a mobile audience, you want to ensure that the content is unique, relevant, interesting and engaging. One way to attract an audience’s attention is to focus on creating a hwinning headline for your content. Other ways to ensure that your content is what your audience wants is to address patient questions and concerns and to see what potential patients in your area are searching for online through Google Analytics.

Consider Scrolling

When users are reading on a mobile device, it usually involves a lot of scrolling. You don’t want to cater exclusively to mobile devices when creating content, so you don’t want every piece you create to be short and sweet. On the other hand, having exclusively long-form content might not track well with mobile audiences, so it’s important to have a mix of both for both audiences. But if you keep your longer content engaging and sizable to a mobile device, you can still engage your mobile audience as well.

Use Graphics

Infographics can be used for both desktop and mobile content since it parses a lot of information in a visually engaging and easy-to-read format for your audience. You can also add more infographics to your content-creation strategy to help engage and draw in a mobile audience.

If you’re looking for more information on how to add mobile content strategies to your healthcare marketing plan, contact our healthcare marketing consultants at 800.679.1262 or info@practicebuilders.com. We’re here to help!

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Get Your Healthcare Practice’s Website Mobile-Ready

Get Your Healthcare Practice’s Website Mobile-Ready

With so many new mobile devices on the market, it’s no surprise that mobile data use has increased by leaps and bounds year after year. If you’re not getting your healthcare practice a separate mobile site, your healthcare marketing plan is significantly behind the current online marketing trends.

That being said, even having a mobile site isn’t enough. Search engines are now logging bounce-back rates and mobile data, so it’s important to have a functional mobile site, as well. If you’re considering making the move to mobile, here are some new mobile site design tips that you should consider for 2016:

Use Layered Interfaces

Mobile screens are significantly smaller than their desktop counterparts. That’s why layered interfaces are becoming such a popular trend for mobile sites. Layered interfaces allow users to open, close, switch tabs, swipe and remove windows quickly and easily. Using this new trend will help keep your mobile site functional and user-friendly since it mimics how people are using their mobile devices on other sites.

Remember to Swipe

Being on a mobile device is all about our fingers. With no mouse to use or click, your mobile site needs to have the functionality of a mobile phone or tablet. Using a swipe motion to scroll through your mobile site is a natural gesture for app navigation and a big trend for mobile site design in 2016.

Keep It Simple

As with desktop website design trends, they biggest design trend for your healthcare practice’s mobile site is minimalism. A clear, simple design will ensure that your site is functional and user-friendly and will also help keep you on-trend.

Consider Your Brand

If you’ve created a brand for your medical, dental or physical therapy practice, be sure to use that when developing your mobile app. With so much importance placed on mobile apps and sites, it’s not enough to just create a smaller version of your desktop site. Your mobile site has a life of its own – brand it to get your message across.

If you want to design a mobile app or site for your healthcare practice, contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants today at 800.679.1262 or info@practicebuilders.com to learn more.

Medical Healthcare Marketing