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Tag Archives: marketing

How health care organizations prove ROI through digital marketing

In the past, health care organizations relied on doctor referrals and inefficient mass advertising to reach potential patients.

Today, it’s possible to tie the procedures booked and the income earned to specific campaigns. You can glean digital data from apps and the internet—and even from billboards and print ads.

A new tip sheet from Ragan Communications and Blackbaud, “Digital Marketing Musts for Health Care Communicators ,” offers ways to track your return on investment. The free download offers tips and tactics for making the most of your marketing campaigns.

Modernize your marketing, and you’ll no longer have to speculate which campaign or communications effort brought in a patient. Learn from experts at Mayo Clinic, Riverside Healthcare and others how to capture data and tie your marketing efforts to the bottom line. There are ways to serve the needs of your patients—and your marketing requirements—and do it all ethically.

“Health care is one of those unique industries where there’s a lot of data,” says Adam Brase, chair of marketing at Mayo Clinic, “but we have to be careful how we collect data, and how we use that data to better serve our customers and our patients.”

Multifarious methods

The tip sheet covers a range of ways you can find out where you are getting the most for your marketing dollars.

Hospitals have something valuable to offer—medical expertise. If you provide useful information, your grateful audience will provide data in exchange. Find out how to do this.

“You have to give them something of value, so they will give you their email address,” Ujjainwalla says.

By next year, two-thirds of interactions with health care facilities will occur by mobile devices. That makes apps an increasingly important means of reaching and engaging with potential patients.

Mayo Clinic’s main application provides strong engagement with offerings that range from an appointments function to useful content. Learn what kind of content keeps people coming back time and time again.

Many organizations struggle with proving the ROI for print and billboard advertising. There’s a simple way to gather that data, enabling you to trace incoming patients right down to the street corner where they first saw your ad.

Brand journalism can play a part. Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee, Illinois, launched a stroke campaign that included blog posts, videos with specialists, Facebook posts and other elements, says Judy Pretto, manager of marketing and communications.

“This is about planting the seed for when the need is there,” Pretto says.

From cultivating advocates to customer relationship management systems, from Google AdWords to harnessing the data of website searches, find out how other health care organizations are making the leap to smart marketing.

Don’t be left behind. Download your free guide now.

HealthCareCommunication.com

30 jobs in the PR and marketing world

Where is the best place to get pizza in Chicago? (I’ll keep my opinion to myself—for the purpose of this post, at least.)

What gym has the best trainers to help me get a jump start on my New Year’s resolution?

Which spa will provide the most relaxing massage?

These are just a few questions that people ask every day.

Two former PayPal employees recognized this and believed that consumers should be able to consult one another to find out which organizations offer outstanding products and services and which ones are lagging.

In 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons raised $ 1 million to start a company that could help users answer and get answers to their purchasing questions.

Now, millions turn to Yelp for consumer reviews on everything from making reservations at a restaurant, booking an appointment with a doctor or calling a plumber to fix a leaky faucet.

Do you think your résumé would receive a five-star review? Yelp is looking for an associate manager for consumer marketing in San Francisco.

Interested candidates should have a strong background in email marketing and excel in project management.

Yelp describes its ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate brings a data driven approach to decision making, a keen creative eye, and has experience in email marketing. A successful candidate has experience supporting world-class marketing programs and is comfortable leveraging marketing automation technologies. They are relentlessly process driven, a stellar communicator, and detail-oriented.

Just starting your career? The company is also seeking a marketing intern in Miami.

[RELATED: Join us for the Social Media #Mashup at Disneyland.]

Not the job for you? See what else we have in our weekly professional pickings:

Media manager—Chanel (New York)

Marketing manager—Snap Inc. (Australia)

Public relations coordinator—Belkin (California)

Coordinator, marketing—Sony Music Entertainment (New York)

Assistant marketing manager—Oxford University Press (North Carolina)

Creative editor—Instagram (United Kingdom)

Director of email marketing, North America—Groupon (Illinois)

Public relations manager—Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau(Tennessee)

Marketing manager—Facebook (California)

Marketing manager, health enterprise—University of Texas at Austin(Texas)

Corporate public relations lead—Target (Minnesota)

Public relations specialist—Hudson’s Bay Co. (Canada)

Marketing and public relations specialist—Denver Health Medical Center(Colorado)

Senior director of community relations and marketing—Oregon StateUniversity – Cascades (Oregon)

Marketing communications manager—General Electric Co. (Virginia)

Junior account executive—Litzky Public Relations (New Jersey)

Marketing and development coordinator—Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center(Kansas)

Public relations coordinator—The Ohio State University (Ohio)

PR manager, Amazon Books—Amazon (Washington)

Director of communications—Mashable (New York)

Marketing director—Chick-fil-A

Market associate—Expedia (Canada)

Senior director of public relations—Utah Valley University (Utah)

Marketing manager—Pet Smart (Arizona)

Digital communications manager—Michigan State University (Michigan)

Marketing manager—Community Health Network (Indiana)

Manager of digital marketing and analytics—YMCA (New Jersey)

Marketing manager—Embassy Suites (Florida)

If you have a position you’d like to see highlighted in PR Daily’s weekly jobs post, please email me a link to the listing.

(Image via)

HealthCareCommunication.com

Why Social Media Marketing Is Essential … Even for Orthodontics

Why Social Media Marketing Is Essential … Even for Orthodontics

Are you looking to market your orthodontic practice without spending a fortune? According to recent research, nearly 92 percent of healthcare marketers in 2014 agreed that social media marketing was necessary for their practices, with 80 percent of marketers indicating that social media marketing efforts increased traffic to their websites. What does this mean for your orthodontic practice? Having a strong social media presence is an efficient way to attract new patients and build stronger relationships.

Social networks provide a way to leverage what is unique about your orthodontic practice – strong relationships with patients, team culture and sharing informative content. Not only are social networks an easier and cheaper way to market your practice, but they also help attract new patients and turn existing patients into brand advocates. The key is to create and share informative content on your social media pages. It is not mandatory that everything you share be educational or a special offer, but it should add value to your patients’ lives and encourage them to be a part of your practice.

Social media conversions reveal how modern patients are making their decisions based on other patients’ experiences and opinions. Instead of calling your office, most patients will direct their questions and concerns via social networks. According to Google research, more than 50 percent of Internet activity is driven by social networks. Social media is one of the top Internet activities, and Americans spend more time on social networks than any other Internet activity, including emails.

Regardless of the size of your orthodontic practice, you are missing out on vital opportunities for growth if your practice is not tapping into the power of social media marketing. According to experts, the impact of social media on healthcare-related decisions is startling. Simply put, social networks have transformed the way patients choose their medical providers.

Here are five reasons why every orthodontist needs social media marketing and what it means for your practice:

1. Gain visibility and attract new patients: If your practice does not have a robust online presence in today’s digital world, it might as well not exist for many potential patients. You would not want your office location to be difficult to find or to be far away from the places frequented by potential patients. Similarly, you should not have your practice’s online presence be compromised, or separate from the online sites frequented by potential patients. You should have an updated and easy-to-navigate website. You must be sure to establish links between your website and social media networks. More traffic to and from your social media profiles means new patient opportunities. The more people see your practice online, the quicker they will be to contact your office.

2. Build credibility and improve online reputation: Potential patients use the Internet in a variety of ways while searching for healthcare providers. Most patients use search engines to look for dentists and then go to the dentists’ websites as well as refer to online reviews sites as they weigh their options. When visitors find your practice online, will they see reviews from patients and activity on your Facebook page. During a patient’s decision-making process about an orthodontic, every bit of reinforcement helps. Your website, pictures and videos of your office, online reviews and your practice’s recent activities on social media will work together to improve your credibility and enhance your appeal. If you want insured patients to come to you as an out-of-network provider, then your marketing should make a good case for why they should prefer you over your competitors.

Why Social Media Marketing Is Essential … Even for Orthodontics

3. Spread word-of-mouth and gather patient reviews: Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Referrals are crucial to the success of your orthodontic practice. After all, most prospective patients will trust their friends and family. Social media marketing is, basically, word-of-mouth marketing on a much larger scale. Even if you only have a few hundred followers on social networks, your potential reach may extend to the friends of your friends. You must share quality content that encourages patient engagement, which will reap the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing.

4. Reach target audience: Gone are the days when a “one-size-fits-all” approach worked well. Today’s digital era demands a customized social media marketing strategy. For every service, there is a customer out there. The task is to find these potential patients and pitch your offerings. Social media marketing is the answer! With plenty of social media platforms, you can instantly reach target markets and specific groups anywhere across the globe. For instance, Facebook and Twitter allow you to search for specific groups based on demographics. This means you can advertise and promote your orthodontic practice to the right patients and increase your number of leads.

5. Strengthen patient relationships: Patients’ demands are changing, and to stay at the top, you must meet these ever-evolving preferences. This means you must be updated and aware of what your patients are looking for, what they need and what they dislike. This information is vital for marketing your orthodontic practice for future offerings. Traditional marketing methods are usually one-sided, where the information is placed for potential patients to view, offering zero interaction. On the other hand, social media marketing provides plenty of engagement opportunities with potential and existing patients. Using the relevant social media networks, you can interact with your patients, gain valuable insight on their preferences and build a stronger healthcare marketing plan.

How to start with orthodontic social media marketing?

So, you want to utilize social networks for your orthodontic practice. To begin with, you must decide how many tasks you are going to do yourself and how much work you want to outsource. You can either outsource social media-related work to a professional or to a staff member.

Next, you have to identify which social media networks will work best for your practice. It is best to focus on good-quality content posted to fewer platforms, as opposed to posting poor quality across all platforms. Make your social media choices based on where your potential patients will be able to see you better.
When you are getting started, it is better to invite your employees, colleagues and friends to follow your accounts.

Be personal, not pushy

Be more friendly and personal in posts aimed at patients. Do not talk about them, rather try to speak with them by posting engaging content and by encouraging patient interaction in the form of likes, comments and shares.

Why Social Media Marketing Is Essential … Even for Orthodontics

You can set up notifications to enable your staff to promptly respond to comments and messages from your followers. It is critical to maintain consistency in your messages and voice across all social media platforms.

Be cautious not to sell in every post. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is essential to find a balance between sharing content to sell services and sharing content to engage patients. If your posts are overly promotional, patients will stop following them altogether. You should only share content that is informative, relevant and fun. In addition, avoid posting mundane or controversial content.

Be active

Depending on the social media platforms, you must post daily or at least twice a week. You should never let your account stagnate or reflect poorly on your practice. As you gain momentum, make a plan for posting regularly without disrupting your daily routine. A content calendar can be of great help to you. Prepare a strategy to achieve your social media marketing goals, and do not hesitate to recruit if you need any help. For your content strategy, you can start once a week to ease in, and then increase the frequency as you get the hang of it and see how your content works for your practice.

Social media marketing ideas for orthodontic practice

The key to communicating with your patients through social networks is understanding which social network can be used for what purpose. For instance, your practice’s Facebook page can be used for posting oral hygiene updates, office holidays or events and sharing informative links. On the other hand, your LinkedIn profile can be used for blogging and marketing efforts. This segregation will also help keep your accounts organized and easy to update.

However, it is advised to check the quality and accuracy of the information you are sharing with your audience. This will ensure that your patients get only what is useful for them.

There are a variety of ways healthcare practitioners are utilizing social networks to promote their services and enhance patients’ experience. Here are the top ways orthodontists are using social media networks:

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform and the best choice for promoting your orthodontic practice socially. If you plan to focus on just one platform, make it Facebook. Start by creating a business page, and get it verified. In addition to regular Facebook posts, you can use specific Facebook Ads to target potential patients. Facebook is a great place to solicit patient reviews, as well.
Orthodontic marketing ideas for Facebook

  • Photos of your staff, office and events, particularly for engaging your patients.
  • Links to blogs and news updates.
  • Important updates about your practice.
  • Contests and other promotional activities.
  • Business hours and holiday calendar.
  • Dental care tips.
  • Helpful resources for patients.

Twitter

If you have time for frequent updates, Twitter will be an effective channel for your orthodontic practice. Due to its fast-paced nature, Twitter may demand more time commitment and. therefore, can be more than it’s worth. However, if you still want to get started, follow your patients, industry leaders and local communities. Learning the art of hashtagging can prove to be helpful.

Orthodontic marketing ideas for Twitter

  • Participate in relevant conversations and chats.
  • Post links to blogs and latest news.
  • Share relevant content from those you follow.
  • Post Live-tweet from conferences and other industry events.
  • Respond to questions about dental care.

Why Social Media Marketing Is Essential … Even for Orthodontics

Google+

Set up a Google+ Business Page even if you do not plan to be active here. This is because Google+ gives you the ability to keep separate circles of followers so you can engage with multiple groups on the same platform. Soliciting Google reviews from existing patents is highly recommended and helpful.

Orthodontic marketing ideas for Google+

  • Updates about latest technology and techniques.
  • Industry-related blogs and news articles.
  • Promotional posts and periodical updates.
  • Host hangouts for contests, if relevant to your business goals.

Instagram

Instagram is primarily a visual channel, so it can work better if you have a cool-looking office or unique benefits that can be shared visually. If you focus mainly on orthodontics, you can utilize Instagram to post images that build a positive side of your brand and services. You can start by creating a business page for your practice, and learn to use local hashtags and tags. Do not overuse image filters, and educate yourself on ways to present beautiful images.

Orthodontic marketing ideas for Instagram

  • “Behind the scenes” images of your office.
  • Post photos of patients taken in your office. However, you have to be extremely careful of HIPAA regulations while posting information or images related to your patients.
  • Before-and-after images of patients, but only with patients’ permission.
  • Event promotion.

YouTube

You can leverage YouTube to post videos that are embedded on your website, or you can augment this platform with a steady stream of video content. However, you have to be realistic about what you can produce and what your existing and potential patients would be interested in watching.

Orthodontic marketing ideas for YouTube

  • Virtual office tour.
  • Staff interviews.
  • Patient reviews.
  • Compilation of photos and video clips from your team’s experiences.
  • Oral hygiene tips.

Conclusion

Now that you are aware of social media marketing ideas for orthodontics, make sure you follow these tips to create a successful brand online. In addition, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends and continuously improve your engagement with your followers. Moreover, keep track of your social media performance through analytics, which will help you enhance your reach and attract more patients to your practice. For more information on how to develop a social media strategy for your orthodontic practice, please contact us at Practice Builders. Our marketing specialists have the skills and experience in social media marketing that your orthodontic practice needs.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Plastic Surgery Marketing: 7 Essential Elements of an Engaging Blog

Plastic Surgery Marketing: 7 Essential Elements of an Engaging Blog

The data is convincing. Blogging rules!

With more than 330 million people reading blog posts at any given time, studies reveal that 70 percent of readers would rather learn about your plastic surgery practice or service through blogs rather than ads. 330 million people cannot be wrong.

Blogging is an efficient tool for driving traffic to your plastic surgery website, generating leads and acquiring more patients. In fact, medical practitioners who write three to four blog posts every month get 20 more lead submissions, 800 more website visits, 60 more Twitter followers and 50 more Facebook likes every month than practitioners who only write two blog posts per month.
An effective blogging strategy makes these numbers work.

Are you trying to write the perfect blog post that attracts clicks, likes and shares? An effective blog is one that gets read all the way through and has a profound effect on readers.

If used correctly, a blog can establish you as a leader in your niche, give you content for social media posts and drive traffic and conversions, not just in the short term, but for years after you hit the publish button. What does it take to create a successful blog for your plastic surgery practice? Here are seven key elements that define the best blogs.

1. The headline

It does not matter how much time and effort you have invested into the writing of your blog post, if no one is clicking on it because the headline is not appealing enough, you might as well not have written this blog post at all.

The headline of your blog post must be interesting. It does not have to be funny or mysterious, but it must be relevant to the body copy. Creating a headline based on a few simple tips can make all the difference in the world.

According to research, including numbers in a headline has the power to draw eyes and clicks. There are many explanations around this research. Some experts say it is because numbers are more attention-grabbing than words; others are of the view that numbers tell readers exactly what to expect. Whatever the reason, numbers work. This is why list posts mostly do well.

2. The hook

After you have convinced readers to click on your blog post, the next step is to secure or hook their interest right from the first sentence. That first paragraph in your blog post is the most critical in determining whether the readers will leave the page within seconds or hang around to read the complete blog post. Having a hook is essential.

What can serve as a hook? You can try asking a question. This is because once a question is posted, the readers’ natural response is to look for an answer. Another successful approach is to tell a story. Nothing grabs readers’ attention more quickly and thoroughly than a story. You can experiment with various hooks to see what works best with your target audience.

Plastic Surgery Marketing: 7 Essential Elements of an Engaging Blog

3. Visual elements

Reading the text on a computer or mobile screen is different from reading it on paper. There is something about the Internet that has conditioned us to prefer shorter blocks of text over long, dense ones. While a magazine article can have long paragraphs and complex sentences, readers prefer blogs to be visually broken up in a way that provides plenty of white space around and between the lines.

One way to achieve this is to use either bullet points, numbered lists or subheaders. Short sentences and paragraphs will help keep readers’ attention. The ideal length for a blog post is a matter of debate. Some experts say 250 words or fewer is better, while others maintain that 1500- to 2000-word dense posts are more informative and practical. However, 500 to 600 words is a common standard.

Regardless of the size of your blog post, as long as it is broken up into smaller chunks, it will look welcoming to readers.

Appealing images often attract readers to your post. High-quality images and graphics will help break up dense copy, and videos will help convey your message using fewer words. However, make sure the images are relevant. This is because the right images will complement your writing, while the wrong ones could confuse your readers.

4. Engaging content

An engaged reader pays attention to every word and takes in all that you write. However, the only way to attract engaged readers is to create engaging content. It all starts with who you are and what you write. Here are a few tips to help you create engaging content:

  • Include questions: This does not mean to have an incomplete post. The idea is to include questions that make readers reflect on how they can use the knowledge you have provided.
  • Write a promising introduction: Ever wondered how quickly readers make judgments about blog posts? This is because most readers decide just by reading the first few sentences if the blog is worth reading. An engaging introduction will make them want to read the complete post.
  • Weave stories: You can consider weaving a story into your blog post. Stories can also help convey a critical point. Adding a story to your blog post will also make it more engaging.

Plastic Surgery Marketing: 7 Essential Elements of an Engaging Blog

5. Attention to spelling and grammar: To err is human. Mistakes happen. It is possible (and normal) for a typo to slip through. However, while you must try to avoid it, you must also be prepared to accept it.

Here are some helpful tips for proofreading and copy-editing your posts:

  • Simply put your thoughts on the page – organized, in the correct sequence, but not proofed. Just write the blog post. Do not find faults, analyze or fix spelling and grammar.
  • Wait for a day or at least a few hours. You will be able to look at it with fresh eyes when you start copy-editing it.
  • You can rewrite or fix the blog during the copyedit phase. This is where you give the blog a renovation. You may change content, move sections or adjust your approach. The goal is to make the blog readable.
  • Proofread the blog post. Examine every punctuation and spelling issue. This is where you make sure your article will be read by thousands of online readers.

6. A call to action (CTA): This is the magic ingredient that will make your blog post worth it all. You have long informative content with a beautiful structure, internal links, good-quality images and flawless grammar. Now what? Every blog post needs a CTA. Your readers are ready to respond, to click and to engage. What do you want them to do? Whether your goal is to capture readers’ email addresses, sell a product or download an ebook, you need to have a prominent CTA for each command, every time. CTAs are helpful for bringing in more conversions.

Plastic Surgery Marketing: 7 Essential Elements of an Engaging Blog

7. Highlight your services: Your blog is one of the best forums for educating both current and prospective patients about your products and services. For instance, you can create a series of posts discussing different methods of facial contouring in order to help readers decide which service is right for them. You could also educate them about any precautions that need to be taken pre- and post-surgery. This information can help them to become aware of their own healthcare needs and better understand when to call for appointments.

Concluding remarks

A few final points about writing the perfect blog for your plastic surgery practice:

Do not treat a blog post lightly. It is hard to write, and it takes time and effort to put together engaging blogs that educate existing patients and attract new patients. The proper headline, grammar and keywords are a must. When you copy-edit or proofread your blog, ask yourself:

  • Are there any words or sentences that I can take out?
  • Have I given the readers the most updated information I possibly can?
  • Is this information complete?

Are you too busy to manage a blog for your plastic surgery practice? Let Practice Builders help! We can plan an effective plastic surgery marketing strategy to get potential patients interested in your products and services. Contact a Practice Builders representative to learn more.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Social Media Marketing For Dentists – The Ultimate Marketing Weapon?

Social Media Marketing For Dentists – The Ultimate Marketing Weapon?

Social media can be intimidating to many dentists. However, the truth is, it can also be a significant and cost-effective marketing asset. Social media is ripe with opportunities for growing your practice, improving your reputation and spreading the word about your dental practice online. Whether you are starting a new dental practice or just looking to expand your patient base, social networks should be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

Here are 10 quick and easy ways to promote your dental practice on social media.

1. Find where potential patients congregate online: It does not make sense to set up your office building in the middle of nowhere with no potential patients for hundreds of miles around. It also does not make sense to set up social profiles on platforms where your potential patients never go. It is important to understand where your current and potential patients spend their time online and build your social media presence accordingly.

While your patients may assemble in a number of different platforms, do not even try to be everywhere at once. You will spread yourself too thin and will not be able to make a concerted effort on any one network. You must choose one or two social networks with the strongest patient presence, and start from there. You can consider Facebook as a good starting point.

2. Share relevant information: A lot of patients search for dental information online, but they often find unreliable resources. Your social network page should provide patients with the ability to access critical information quickly. You must look for newer ways to share general information such as treatment reminders, oral hygiene tips, etc. Sharing the latest news regarding some prevailing health hazard is an effective way to provide useful information to patients. You can also consider providing updates on the latest procedures, introduce staff, share pre- and post-treatment care information, and provide the latest updates related to your dental practice.

3. Encourage patient participation: In order to encourage active participation from patients, you can consider ending your posts with a friendly suggestion to post a comment. You can also ask questions or post remarks that encourage patient participation. It is advisable to keep questions open-ended and relevant to your dental practice. You can also ask your patients to share their health and wellness stories regarding their experience with your practice. By allowing patients to share their experiences, you will attract positive reviews to your social media page. Patient engagement is one of the biggest benefits of social media. By gathering patient reviews and comments, you will demonstrate that patient satisfaction is your priority.

4. Create online communities: Creating online communities is one of the most recognizable opportunities offered by social networks. Illness can be very isolating for patients. This is where online communities and support groups can help patients cope. Online support communities prove to be more helpful because of their immediacy and accessibility. Almost every social network leverages shared interests to bring potential patients together in an online space, where they can feel comfortable sharing their stories. Building an online community where your patients can interact with you, as well as with fellow patients, will allow them to connect on many levels. It also can give patients the opportunity to explore something they may not feel comfortable doing during a face-to-face interaction. Building online communities can help patients come together with others who are experiencing similar problems.

Social Media Marketing For Dentists – The Ultimate Marketing Weapon?

5. Respond to patient feedback: Two-way communication between a dentist and patient is critical to the success of any dental practice. Dental practices that interact with patients through social media networks enjoy more loyalty.

It is important to search for your dental practice mentions on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and respond to patient reviews. Your concern will make patients feel that they are important and their opinion counts. Once you have addressed patient feedback, you must let patients know about changes and improvements, and thank them for sharing feedback.

6. Improving patient satisfaction: Social networks hold a lot of promise for improving patient satisfaction due to seamless communication. The overall presence a dental practitioner might have on a patient’s Facebook newsfeed will go a long way in making the patient feel cared for and involved in his/her treatment options. Through involvement in various dental care campaigns and seeing oral care tips, patients will feel empowered in maintaining their oral hygiene. Social networks also play a major role in developing a sense of trust and confidence in your patients for your dental practice. This is because once you are active on social networks, your patients will ask you questions and seek your advice. Be sure to answer their questions in a polite, professional and timely manner, and they will look forward to your inputs. This is one of the best ways to earn your patients’ trust. Even if you cannot answer all of their questions, just the fact that you are acknowledging their problems will show you care and are concerned.

7. Share good-quality images and videos: Social media marketers are increasingly using pictures and videos in their online campaigns. Visuals have greater impact and are proven to have greater engagement. The visuals are likely to catch a patient’s immediate attention. According to studies, visual content is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text-based content.

In addition, content with visuals attracts 95 percent more views than those without visuals. Therefore, you must use high-quality visuals to convey your message to your target audience. Keeping HIPAA guidelines in mind, you can even publish before-and-after shots of patients.

8. Advertise your appointment process and availability: While posting your office hours in your profile is important, social media offers opportunities for promoting your practice’s availability for taking appointments. You can post information about flexible hours around the holidays or let patients know in real time that your services are available for last-minute call-in appointments.

9. Become a thought leader by sharing informative content: There is nothing wrong with sharing jokes on Facebook and Twitter, but social media can prove to be a key vehicle for establishing yourself as an expert in your field. If you are a family dentist, posting tips or sharing articles from other medical websites about common procedures or treatment options may encourage patients to keep coming back to you for more information. This will build confidence among patients and keep you at the top of potential patients’ minds for future references.

10. Foster strong relationships with patients: Social media is all about nurturing relationships, whether through sharing informative content or answering questions posted by patients on your Facebook wall. You must respond to questions and comments and provide helpful feedback when needed. You can increase your visibility to friends and family of your patients and social media followers, and word-of-mouth will eventually take over.

Social Media Marketing For Dentists – The Ultimate Marketing Weapon?

How can social media benefit your dental practice?

By utilizing social networks, you will not only stay in the game but also enjoy significant benefits of maintaining a strong online presence. So if you are looking for a cost-effective yet influential way of marketing your dental practice, social networks are your ultimate destination. Social media marketing can help you grow as a dentist by introducing you to valuable connections and keep you updated.

1. Increased brand awareness: Social networks offer valuable opportunities for sharing relevant content and increasing your brand visibility. You can use social networks as channels for promoting your practice’s mission and goals. This is important because it will make you more accessible to new patients and familiar to existing patients.

2. Increased patient loyalty: According to a report by Texas University, dental practices that engage on social media networks enjoy greater brand loyalty from patients. Therefore, practices should take advantage of the tools offered by social media networks for connecting with their target audience. A strategic social media marketing plan can influence patients into being your brand ambassadors.

3. More leads generation: Every piece of content that you share on social media is an opportunity for converting visitors to potential patients. As you grow your online fan following, you will have greater access to existing and potential patients. Initially, your click-through rates may be low, but the number of opportunities that social networks present are enormous.

4. Improved conversion rates: Studies have proven that effective social media marketing for dentists can result in higher conversion rates. The fact that dental practices become personalized by interacting on social networks is the biggest contributor toward increasing the conversion rate. Moreover, social media has a 98 percent higher lead-to-close ratio than other marketing activities. A large number of social media followers can help increase trust and credibility in your dental practice, representing social proof.

5. Make valuable associations: One of the biggest advantages offered by social networks is the networking opportunities. Social networks allow dentists to connect and collaborate with colleagues and associates all over the world. In addition, dentists get to participate in useful conversations taking place online. If you are not involved in conversations on various social networks, you are missing a chance to understand important issues. From discussing the latest treatment options to HIPAA issues, social networks can keep you informed. Using professional social networking channels can help potential patients notice you. Having a solid presence on professional sites may help you increase your search rankings and improve your online reputation.

Social Media Marketing For Dentists – The Ultimate Marketing Weapon?

Creating an active social media presence is one of the best ways to market your dental practice. Social media marketing for dentists improves patient engagement, drives dentist alignment and fosters a healthier society overall. Practice Builders offers innovative solutions for promoting your dental practice, engaging with current patients and attracting new patients, and educating the community. To receive a free consultation, call us today.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

6 Key Elements of a High-Performance Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan

6 Key Elements of a High-Performance Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan

The drastic transformation of the customer journey means patients are now in the driver’s seat. Not only this ‒ informed and aware patients are taking the lead and steering the course of their treatment. With so many choices empowering them to make decisions, patients are in complete control of their healthcare process.

Especially in the cosmetic and plastic surgery market, patients are comparison-shopping and taking much time to evaluate their options. A significant part of the patient journey is now invisible to the traditional sales view. In fact, the vast majority of the patient journey ‒ about 70 percent is complete by the time a potential patient engages with sales. So, marketers have a new challenge. They must learn how to get in front of patients, get involved in their journey much earlier and adapt to their evolved needs and preferences.

A plastic surgery marketing plan may not be at the top of a healthcare marketer’s task list, but it should be. When a plastic surgery practice is looking to grow and succeed, the first course of action is to create a robust and proven marketing plan.

Just as someone would bring along a GPS device when going on a trip, medical practices need a marketing plan to help them reach their ultimate destination. Without an effective marketing plan, medical practices may find themselves off course.

An effective marketing plan will give a healthcare marketer a clear idea of the opportunities available in the local market, as well as a deep understanding of target audiences and competitors. Using this information, marketers can develop a strong strategy to guide them to success and growth.

Needless to say, one practice’s marketing plan will be different than another’s in depth, objectives and tactics. Even practices within the same area will find they have different business goals and marketing strategies based on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. However, there are guidelines for a marketing plan that every practice must follow. Here are the six essential elements of a robust plastic surgery marketing plan.

6 Key Elements of a High-Performance Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan

1. Keep patient front and center: The first step to creating a high-performance marketing plan is to focus on five essential objectives throughout the patients’ journey. Reason? This will keep your patients at the center of your planning. These fundamental goals are:

  • Attract: You need to attract patients and gain their attention by establishing trust through thought leadership.
  • Capture: Set up a mechanism for capturing their information.
  • Nurture: Grow the relationship by educating and engaging potential patients in a way that feels personal.
  • Convert: By this point, potential patients are ready to convert to a customer.
  • Expand: Continue to foster a healthy and positive relationship with patients.

2. Conduct a situation analysis: Many practices start with a SWOT analysis. This involves identifying their competitors, understanding how they operate and becoming familiar with their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

  • Strengths include competitive advantages, skills, expertise, talent or other factors that improve your practice’s position in the marketplace and cannot be easily imitated. For instance, a well-trained staff, low staff turnover and low treatment costs due to latest equipment and technology.
  • Weaknesses include factors that reduce your practice’s ability to achieve its objectives. For instance, outdated equipment and tools, insufficient staff and a lack of staff training.
  • Opportunities help your practice to grow and be more profitable. These include expanding into new markets, adapting to technological changes and addressing patient needs. You need to look at how your practice’s key skills can be utilized to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Threats are nothing but barriers to entry in primary markets. These may include staff shortage, legal hurdles or too many competitors.

3. Finalize budget, timeline and target audience: When trying to figure out how to start with your marketing strategy, it is critical to identify budget, timeline and target audience. Identifying these three elements will help you focus your efforts and determine what will work best for your practice and business objectives. If you have a limited budget, try focusing your marketing strategies around social media, which will have the greatest impact for your hard-earned dollar. However, if your budget is flexible, you can look at paid ad campaigns that focus on branding. Having a defined timeline will help you stay focused and will ensure you complete the first objective before moving on to next one. If your marketing efforts are time-sensitive, paid ad campaigns are one of the most impactful channels that deliver almost instant results. If you have the staff to help you execute marketing plans, make sure everyone is on the same track and your objectives are aligned.

Properly defining your target market will help reduce unnecessary ad spend. For instance, while an extensive Facebook ad campaign will look impressive, if your target audience is not using Facebook to search for a nearby plastic surgeon, even the best campaign will not yield the desired results. Similarly, if you are trying to target millennials, then allocating your ad budget toward traditional radio as opposed to LinkedIn or Pinterest may be a missed opportunity.

When thinking about your marketing efforts, it is critical that you do not only focus on what you can manage, but also how you can maximize your ad spend by leveraging the most effective channels.

4. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) tactics: Having a strong plastic surgery marketing plan that includes SEO tactics will fill the gaps in your marketing efforts. In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, it is not enough to post Google Ads focused on popular keywords. There is a much larger target audience that can be captured through search engine presence, thus making SEO an integral piece of the overall digital marketing puzzle. High-quality, keyword-specific content can increase the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, while providing value to your patients, improving your search engine ranking and establishing your online reputation.

5. Include social media marketing and paid search marketing to jumpstart your efforts: Merely posting on Instagram once a day or making a comment on Facebook is not social media marketing. You will need to sit down and come up with a clear and consistent messaging strategy across all social media networks. For this, you will have to integrate a healthy mix of various content types, such as informational, promotional and engagement. As with any marketing strategy, an effective social media strategy should be simple and clear and include business goals that are measurable and time-sensitive.

If you are working with a team, make sure all stakeholders understand your goals. Make sure your brand image stays intact and is identifiable from one platform to the next.

If done correctly, social media marketing and paid search advertising are the most profitable marketing channels and can increase the number of leads coming to your website. You can start by conducting keyword research to determine what your patients are searching for in hopes of finding the type of services you provide. Plenty of online tools can help you conduct strategic keyword searches, rather than throwing a wide net that is more likely to produce a lower ROI. Once you have identified your keyword focus and have your ads set up, you can move on to your next marketing initiative.

6. Monitor and analyze data: There is nothing more critical than ensuring your plastic surgery marketing plan is on track and effectively working to accomplish your business goals. Regardless of the marketing strategies and channels, all data should be tracked and analyzed regularly.

Tools such as Google Analytics and SEMrush can help you keep track of your marketing campaigns and website performance. These tools can provide valuable insights into where clicks are converting to sales, how patients are being acquired and at what stage they are being lost. Using this data, you can analyze your campaign performance and adjust strategies accordingly.

6 Key Elements of a High-Performance Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan

Closing thoughts

Overall, a high-performance plastic surgery marketing plan is one that addresses your patients’ needs at every stage of the customer journey – even when they are not considering your services. A successful marketing plan is one that is flexible and adaptive and meets your patients at every touch point of the patient journey. After all, modern-day patients do not have just one path to reach your practice. There are hundreds of ways for your patient to find you, connect with you and schedule an appointment with you. Ultimately, the best plastic surgery marketing plan should focus on what really matters: your patients.

If you are ready to create a marketing plan for plastic surgery practice, but are not sure how to do it, contact our team at Practice Builders today. We have extensive experience with developing and executing plastic surgery marketing plans and would be happy to provide a free consultation to review your plastic surgery practice and discuss marketing opportunities available to you.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don’ts of Patient Reviews

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don'ts of Patient Reviews

Online reputation management is an essential part of your dental practice’s success. What your patients say about your practice online has a substantial impact on your bottom line. Consider these stats:

  • 88 percent of patients read reviews to determine the quality of a local practice.
  • Merely 12 percent of patients do NOT pay heed to online reviews.
  • 72 percent of patients admit that positive reviews make them trust a practice more.
  • 72 percent of patients usually take action after reading an encouraging review.
  • 62 percent of patients are unlikely to visit a practice with unpleasant reviews.

When it comes to online reviews, the saying “If you cannot beat them, join them” applies aptly. As annoying as they can be, online reviews are not going anywhere anytime soon. It is important to accept online reviews, recognize their benefits and learn to use them to your practice’s advantage. If you are not sure how to handle online reviews, here are some dos and don’ts for dealing with them:

1. DO optimize your dental practice for service quality. Don’t optimize for patient reviews.

Instead of saying, “We need more reviews,” you should be saying, “We need more satisfied patients.”

At 27 percent, reliability is the most important characteristic a patient looks for in a dental practice, followed by skills (21 percent), then bedside manners (18 percent). Instead of focusing on random metrics such as quantity of reviews, you should focus on implementing and strengthening a process that will help you improve patients’ experience and exceed their expectations.
If you optimize your dental practice for service quality, you will get plenty of positive reviews.

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don'ts of Patient Reviews

2. DO pay attention to patient satisfaction. Don’t pay attention to the number of reviews.

The only metric that is important is whether your patients were satisfied with the overall experience at your practice – from consultation to post-treatment.

Review count is just a quantitative metric. In fact, giving unnecessary importance to review count will prevent you from your main objective of improving your patients’ experience. Coincidentally, improving your patients’ experience will lead to more reviews.

Instead of giving undue importance to the quantity of reviews, focus on quality and keep measuring patient satisfaction.

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don'ts of Patient Reviews

3. DO include reviews as a measure of patients’ experience. DON’T make reviews an ‘afterthought.’

Make reviews an integral part of patients’ experience rather than a “drive” you conduct when you “need more reviews.”

The only way to achieve this is by creating a process where measuring patient experience is the final step in every patient’s journey. Your aim is not only to measure patient satisfaction but also to encourage loyal patients to leave an online review and to identify and fix negative feedback.

Three basic steps:

A. The first step is to create a survey to identify positive and negative sentiments. You can either create a form on your website or print out a questionnaire to give to patients.
Note: In the questionnaire, stick to questions that allow your patients to grade your performance on a scale of 1 to 10. You can include the following four questions:

 

  • Will you recommend this practice to your friends and colleagues? (scale of 1 to 10)
  • What do you like best about our practice?
  • How would you describe your overall experience? (very poor, poor, OK, good, great)
  • What can we do better?

B. If the patient was satisfied and his or her experience was good, you could send a follow-up email thanking him or her for the time and ask for an online review.

If the patient said his or her overall experience was poor, or very poor, you must follow up immediately to investigate the reason and fix the problem before the patient leaves a negative online review.

By making patient reviews an essential part of your overall patient experience, you will have better control over the conversation.

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don'ts of Patient Reviews

4. DO provide patients with a choice. DON’T be rude or forceful with patients.

In one recent study, a practice had sent more than 1,000 emails to patients asking them for reviews. Not even a single patient left an online review when given only the one choice of Google+. However, the second when patients were given Facebook as a choice, the review responses increased by 3 percent.

The top three review sites:

1. Google+ (32 percent)

2. Facebook (21 percent)

3. Yelp (18 percent)

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don'ts of Patient Reviews

5. DO abide by security and privacy laws. DON’T risk your credibility.

As a dental practice owner, it is your responsibility to comply with the safety and privacy laws related to the use and acquisition of reviews and testimonials. It is your responsibility to comply with the different review sites’ bylaws, however absurd some of them may sound.

Here is what you should not do:

  • Solicit many reviews. Most review sites will block massive waves of reviews at once. This is not illegal, but it is not an intelligent way of amassing authentic reviews.
  • Reward patients based on their public endorsement of your practice without explicitly stating the offer.
  • Ask patients for reviews on your website.
  • Incentivize reviews on sites such as Google+, Vitals or Facebook. Though you may be able to get away with it in some capacity, the long-term consequences are not worth it.
  • Use reviews on your practice website that highlight positive aspects of your dental practice and employees.

Dental Practice Marketing: The Dos and Don'ts of Patient Reviews

Key takeaways

Acquiring patient reviews for your dental practice is hard work. In fact, nearly 78 percent of patients will never leave a review for a practice and about 16 percent of patients will leave a review occasionally. However difficult it may seem to acquire patient reviews, they still play a pivotal role in how potential patients perceive your practice. Implement the suggested DOs, avoid the DON’Ts, and always remember the following key points:

  • Optimize your dental practice for credibility, expertise and professionalism.
  • Implement a process for delivering and measuring patient experience, and make it a fundamental part of your patients’ experience.
  • Don’t stress over the number of reviews. It does not matter.
  • Acquiring patient reviews is an ongoing process. This is not something you can campaign for once every few months.
  • Provide your patients the option to leave reviews on multiple sites that support both mobile and desktop.

Follow these basic guidelines, and you will be successful in building credibility and attracting more patients. Are you looking for an effective way to market your dental practice and get more patient reviews?

Discover how to attract more patients to your dental practice with our proven strategies. To learn more about how we can help you with dental practice marketing, call today.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

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

Medical Practice Marketing: The Art and Science of Storytelling

Medical Practice Marketing: The Art and Science of Storytelling

Storytelling is an age-old means of transferring knowledge. Most stories we heard when we were children were passed down from our parents or grandparents and from one generation to the other. Storytelling is a great communication tool that has been used to impart valuable life lessons.

Stories touch emotions. One goal of storytelling is to persuade the audience. We have all heard of Noah’s Ark, The Odyssey and Shakespearean plays that discuss sentiments and moral values. Today, the same age-old storytelling is taking the digital marketing arena by storm. Putting traditional advertising strategies to rest, most businesses are telling their own stories, and healthcare is no exception.

Any business can benefit from storytelling in its digital marketing strategy. However, for medical practices, there is much more on the table. Storytelling engages patients at an emotional level. In medical practice marketing, storytelling humanizes a medical practice, builds trust and communicates values. By knitting the warmth of stories with knowledge, storytelling builds trusted brands and stronger relationships.

The potential of storytelling is no secret. Stories stimulate our brains. People remember stories and react to them. According to anthropologists, storytelling is a universal feature of every culture and country. According to OneSpot, Americans consume more than 100,500 digital words every day, and almost 92 percent of them want these words in the form of a story.
Why do stories encapsulate the mind?

A “story” and the art of “storytelling” each have their benefits. Here is why stories are more effective than plain data talk:

  • The human brain is designed to think in specific story terms. We understand experiences better when narrated in the form of a story.
  • Human memory is enhanced by the story. According to research, we tend to remember the information shared through a story than the one presented through points.
  • Stories create compassion.

The complexity of healthcare services, combined with the emotional suffering associated with illness and diagnosis, can be addressed through effective storytelling.

According to research, 78 percent of customers trust recommendations from family and friends, and 63 percent of customers believe healthcare information from friends is credible even if those peers are not experts. When these statistics are fused with an understanding of how our brain processes stories, it becomes apparent that information, when presented in the form of stories, can create real users of the products. Storytelling is the most effective strategy to build a lasting connection with a target audience.

Stories are easier to understand and remember because the emotional response helps the brain break down complex facts. The story acts as a medium to explain something much more complicated.

In the past, healthcare marketers have been hesitant to create stories around diagnosis and treatment options, thinking such topics are too serious for storytelling. They forgot that the heart plays a crucial role in engaging the brain. Stories take away our fear. People do not feel alone when they are listening to, or imagining, a story.

Storytelling as a strategic business tool

Storytelling for practice marketing is more than just an entertainment factor. If your patients cannot see themselves as a character in your story, they will not remember it or learn from it. If your patients can put themselves into the story, and feel the positive result played out by the characters, they start participating emotionally. Once they start participating emotionally, they become engaged.

Now, more than ever, there are tools and solutions available in the market to help healthcare marketers understand what makes patients tick. It is important to appreciate the needs, wants and habits of your patients in order to be relevant in an incredibly competitive marketplace.

In addition to boosting organic search rankings and engaging with your patients, storytelling is important to your medical practice marketing for a few key reasons.

Storytelling is a foundational aspect of your practice marketing strategy. Neuroscience indicates that storytelling makes things “click” for customers. Research has revealed that stories create stronger ties to influencing how customers act. All of this data points to positive outcomes in improving patient engagement. But how can you do it? What “stories” should you showcase?
How can you reach your target audiences?

Every day, medical practitioners are flooded with thousands of questions. The industry is growing, and the rules are changing. Most of you would agree there is an education gap. As a medical practice owner, you can use relevant incidents to help your patients understand his or her illness or treatment options.

Medical Practice Marketing: The Art and Science of Storytelling

How to tell better stories?

Anyone can tell engaging stories when he or she has the right tools, relevant information and enough support. Your healthcare facility can empower its storytellers by encouraging their talents, finding stories worth telling and removing barriers along the way.

1. Investing in talent: The first step to telling engaging stories is to empower your storytellers. You must invest time and resources in the storytelling process. You must have people in your facility with unique healthcare stories to share. However, do not expect them to add storytelling tasks to their already full workload. Successful storytelling takes time. A significant part of storytelling is an honest assessment of your team’s skills to identify where you may need help. In addition to quality content writing, good storytelling includes multimedia content. Whether it is graphics, images, videos or other engaging content, make sure your team members have the resources they need to tell great stories.

2. Finding stories worth sharing: The key factor is relevance. Your patients will not engage with your stories unless they understand how and why these stories matter to them. Your patients are not interested in listening to the kind of news that other healthcare facilities put out in press releases. Relevance is the overlap between what you want to say and what your patients want to hear. Relevant stories comprise a wide range of topics, including:

  • Informative material presented in thought-provoking ways
  • Actual engagements with staff and patients
  • Strong and useful points of view on controversial yet healthy topics
  • Brainstorming on timely issues
  • Patient-centric topics

3. Removing barriers to successful storytelling: Some barriers may keep coming up. Probably the most common concern is about patient privacy under HIPAA. Of course, patient privacy is important, and you must have permission before discussing their stories. However, many patients are willing to share their stories with the community, so do not hesitate to ask.

Another barrier to storytelling is approval. This is when a piece of content needs to be approved by so many people that it never sees the light of day. Simplify the approval process to as few people as possible.

In healthcare content marketing, your overnight success will take much longer than overnight. The purpose behind creating engaging stories is not to go viral, though it will be a bonus if it does. The aim is long-term relevance and reaching your business goals. Creating and distributing better stories can help you achieve those goals in the long-term.

How can storytelling help your practice grow?

The mission of medical practices using storytelling as a marketing tool should be to help patients relate the stories to the benefits of their services. Telling stories that do not connect to your brand or services will entertain, but it will not offer value or increase your revenue.

When developing stories, you must identify how your services help your patients. What problems do your products and services solve? What makes your practice different from the competitors? The answers to these questions will help you create compelling content that has business value.
Here are five of the most compelling advantages that storytelling brings to your medical practice:

1. Engages patients: If the story is good, you will have the listener’s attention. When you have their attention, you have almost won. With storytelling, each word can spark emotions. If you succeed in touching your patients’ feelings, you can also influence them to engage with your brand.

2. Is sharable on social media: If your patients read a piece of content that they connect with, they will share it on social networks, which will make your content more visible. By reaching people across your patients’ networks, your content can get more views, and your practice could acquire more patients.

3. Creates a connection: Every business has stories. By creating your content around an interesting story, you can easily relate to your target audience. When patients feel connected to your practice, you will gain their trust and loyalty.

4. Establishes authority: When you focus on storytelling and start creating relevant content for patients, you demonstrate that you share their concerns. Storytelling is 92 percent more effective than traditional advertising at increasing awareness and establishing authority. This is because when your patients have a problem, they think about you as their potential problem-solver.

5. Creates repeat readers: When patients like what they read, they are likely to come back for more interesting content. Repeat readers can help you establish patient loyalty as the online content acquires “followers” and subscribers.

Medical Practice Marketing: The Art and Science of Storytelling

Conclusion

Having said all that, how do you plan to embrace storytelling in your healthcare content marketing? We are not suggesting you revamp your blog or website. In fact, you can add storytelling techniques into your already established blog in order to enhance the user experience without tweaking your high-quality content. By making your content more relatable, you will give your patients even more reasons to come to you for their healthcare needs.

In healthcare, as in any other industry, there are plenty of storytelling opportunities. All it takes is a keen eye and a willingness to take the path less traveled. By sharing information in the form of a narrative, rather than a white paper, you will garner more attention, engagement and respect from your patients.

Stories are not a waste of time. They are good for practices like yours. Identify the stories in your practice. You can choose to promote the stories behind your patients and their recovery, the stories that connect your values to your business goals. Unique stories and effective storytelling are at the heart of medical practice marketing, doctor marketing and physician-patient relations. In order to experience successful practice marketing, tell better and unique stories. We help medical practices uncover and communicate unique stories. Are you ready to share yours?

Medical Healthcare Marketing