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Tag Archives: 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

How to thrive in content marketing

You probably already know how important it is to incorporate content into your marketing strategy.

What you might not know is how to get started, or how you’ll put out good content day after day.

The important thing is that you begin the process. Here’s how:

Assemble a content team

The first step is establishing who will be developing and promoting your content. Your team should be led by a content manager (someone who sees the big picture). You’ll also need at least one writer, a graphic designer and a promoter.

When you’re just starting out or if your company is small, members of your team might wear more than one hat.

As your content volume and mix of formats expand, your team can grow, as well. For more on forming a team that works best for you, check out Corey Eridon’s “How to Structure Your Content Marketing Team.”

Define your goals

Before you create content, you need a good understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish (and how you will know if you succeed—more on that later). How will your content support your business?

In “ Two Essential Elements for Getting Started With Content Marketing ,” Michele Linn, Content Marketing Institute’s VP of content, suggests asking these questions:

  • Do you want to raise awareness for your brand?

  • Do you want to build your email list?

  • Do you want to nurture prospects along their buyer’s journey?

  • Do you want to convert your audience to paying customers?

  • Do you want to retain customers and/or increase their purchases (up-sell/ cross-sell)?

  • Do you want to convert customers to evangelists?

Write a mission statement that outlines your target audience and what your content will do for them. You must know your audience to create content that is relevant to them.

Setting clear goals and writing a mission statement will help guide every piece of content you create. Conversely, each blog post, video or infographic you make should support these goals.

Diversify your content

Maximize your reach by creating a varied mix of topics and content types—including blog posts, infographics, e-books and podcasts. Audience members consume content in many ways, and each social or promotional channel does better with specific formats. Think about the different formats that will attract your audience, as well as which types will be best suited to the platforms you use most.

This doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch with each piece of content. You can easily—and effectively—repurpose text and data from one format to another.

“A single blog post can be purposed into an infographic, a SlideShare, a podcast; multiple blog posts on similar topics can become an ebook,” writes Gal Rimon in “ Getting Started With Content Marketing: 9 Takeaways From One Company’s Experience .”

Create an editorial calendar

Plan ahead—it’s difficult to create content that supports your goals (or even think of what to write) on the fly.

Sit down with your team, and brainstorm content ideas for the next three to six months; then map out a schedule of posting and promoting them. Of course, as you develop your calendar, you should think carefully about your goals and your audience.

Support your content with strong SEO

Once you’ve created fantastic content, make sure your audience can find it. A big part of being “findable,” of course, is search engine optimization.

Linn writes in “ The Basics of SEO for Successful Content Marketing ” that there “is no downside to optimizing your content for SEO.” Adding metadata such as keywords, tags and meta descriptions to your content postings will greatly increase their visibility. (Not sure what “metadata” means or how to use it? Don’t worry; Linn breaks it down clearly.)

However, SEO is just “one part of the puzzle” when it comes to your content promotion. Paid search, direct site visits, social referrals and email campaigns help get eyes on your content, too. Don’t neglect any of these essential channels in your promotional strategy.

Even more important, says Linn, don’t let SEO become such a priority that it overtakes creating high-quality content. SEO “should not be your primary consideration. … Write compelling content about the things your target audience would be most interested in.”

Match your content to various channels

SEO is only one part in what should be a multi-channel distribution plan. Prioritize the platforms favored by your target audience and those best suited to a specific piece’s format. 

[RELATED: Learn new strategies to tell your story with social media, images and video]

It’s also crucial to consider the ongoing relevance (or lack thereof) of the topic at hand when promoting your content.

Measure your success

As you set your goals, define how you will measure progress toward them. This means first identifying metrics you’ll use as benchmarks for success, then consistently tracking, analyzing and implementing them.

A rule of thumb from Lars Lofgren’s “ Metrics, Metrics On The Wall, Who’s The Vainest Of Them All?”: Good metrics help you make decisions about what to do next.

Although analytics can be daunting, there are many tools and tutorials to help you. (Keep in mind that you’ll need a combination of tools to follow what’s happening on all your channels.) Google Analytics is free for basic functionality, user-friendly and accompanied by tutorials. Dashboards such asHootSuite, Buffer and Hubspot help you manage and track activity on social media platforms; they also provide advice for making the most of your data.

With some research and thoughtful planning, you can take the content marketing plunge now—and soon see its benefits.

Deirdre Breakenridge is CEO of Pure Performance Communications. This story first appeared on the Pure Performance blog.

HealthCareCommunication.com

3 ways to overcome content marketing obstacles

Content marketing has generated enough consistent success to become a mainstream marketing activity.

A recent study of 1,000+ marketers shows that 74 percent have seen an increase in lead quality and quantity as a result of their content marketing efforts. Many organizations have embraced it, with more coming to the table daily. However, many companies lack a documented content marketing strategy, and many of those organizations’ marketers feel they’re just not doing it right.

Most know they should be driving customer acquisition with content, but an effective strategy can be elusive. Seventy-five percent of organizations are increasing their investment in content marketing. However, only 30 percent of B2B marketers rate their use of content as “effective” or “very effective,” according to the Content Marketing Institute, which defines effectiveness as “accomplishing your overall objectives.”

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Why the discrepancy?

Three content marketing frustrations seem to top the list whenever marketing teams are surveyed:

1. Insufficient resources: There never seems to be enough time, staff or money to create the required content.

2. Limited productivity: Fifty percent of marketers find it challenging to generate sufficient volume of high-quality content.

3. Lack of focus and strategic direction: Too many companies lack a documented content strategy. Although 83 percent of B2B marketers have a content strategy, almost half (48 percent) fail to document that strategy. A documented strategy increases focus, alignment and content’s ultimate impact.

Addressing the third item in this list—lack of focus and strategic direction—will help marketers be more effective with their content, including correcting the first two items. With a documented content strategy in place, marketing teams can accurately prioritize their resources and maximize content’s effectiveness.

Keys to a content marketing strategy

Forrester says that successful marketers create interest and relationships with customers by producing, curating and sharing content that addresses specific customer needs and delivers visible value. The components touched upon by Forrester are key parts of the content market lifecycle.

These components include:

  • Strategy: Personas, content audits, concepts, keyword selection and content campaigns/pyramids.
  • Production: Creation and curation, editorial calendar, content asset tagging and workflow.
  • Promotion: Publishing, advertising, promotion across earned and paid media channels (e.g., contributed content, Tweets) and sales enablement.
  • Analytics: Shares, page views, leads generated and influenced, sales opportunities generated and influenced, revenue influenced and productivity metrics (e.g., content performance by writer, content volume).

How to develop and execute your content marketing strategy

Organizations typically have two main problems when it comes to content production: creating too much of it and being unable to create enough of it.

The trick to solving both problems is to focus on what content you and your organization ought to create, and then to create as many iterations of your best content as possible. This ensures the best use of your resources—such as product marketing teams and designers for content creation—and it delivers greater content ROI because the content created (and reused) is higher quality and more relevant.

The content marketing pyramid

One framework proven to be successful in addressing these challenges is the content marketing pyramid. This documented, strategic framework enables execution of a content campaign, assuring optimal content consumption, reuse and reach.

Each pyramid represents a content campaign—a group of assets intended to accomplish a specific set of objectives to support overarching marketing and corporate goals.

A pyramid begins with content creation from primary research (e.g., surveys or interviews), secondary research and/or innovation. This “heavy” piece of content—which is typically gated for lead generation—is then atomized into bite-size pieces.

The pyramid process is best explained in an example.

Curata sought to establish its expertise in content marketing metrics, so the marketing team collaborated with product management to create an e-book on the topic. This gated asset serves as the “intellectual property” for all content related to this pyramid.

The pyramid was then built out by creating derivative content: webinar presentations, long form and short form blog posts, infographics, SlideShare presentations, social media content and curated content related to metrics.

As we move down the pyramid, content becomes more “bite-size” and easier to absorb. This content is also intended to be used across owned, earned and paid media; thereby using different types of promotional channels. Some content components are created with a specific segment or set of accounts in mind to support an account-based marketing strategy.

The result? Across all assets in the content marketing metrics pyramid, there have been over 16,000 social media shares, 40,000+ page views and more than 3,800 leads.

Big rock, little rock framework

Jason Miller, author of “Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social Media and Content Marketing up to 11,” similarly suggests building a strategy around a significant asset—what he calls “big rock” content (similar to the top part of the content marketing pyramid). He suggests that the asset be valuable and relevant to your prospects.

To create a big rock asset of true value, Miller writes, “I recommend starting simple by answering the biggest question your prospects are asking.” Miller then suggests breaking this big rock into little rocks—just like atomizing the top of a pyramid into smaller content assets. Doing so is a super way to increase your content’ss utility and promotion across different channels.

Turkey and turkey parts framework

Another method is the turkey and turkey parts framework, an analogy made popular by analyst Rebecca Lieb in a Marketo blog post. Your content campaign should begin with the turkey—a large asset such as a white paper or e-book that serves as the main course for your audience.

This turkey can be cut into smaller parts that are more digestible for your audience, such as blog posts or infographics. Other parts of the turkey meal can support your content campaign, such as gravy (curated content) and cranberry sauce (social media content).

The following infographic—taken from a Thanksgiving post—provides several parts of a turkey meal to build a content strategy.

Experimentation is also important to a content strategy, in discovering effective approaches for reaching prospects and building trust and relevance. Try reserving some portion—possibly as much as 20 percent of your content marketing activity—for approaches that aren’t driven by a formal, structured framework.

Without an effective strategy, the content you and your team create has a short shelf life and gets repeated and underused; meanwhile, your budget gets depleted, and you fail to improve the company’s bottom line.

Using a documented framework for developing and executing your content strategy—such as the content marketing pyramid, big/little rocks or turkey/parts—provides a cohesive and comprehensive method to execute an effective strategy.

It ensures that each piece of content performs multiple roles across a variety of formats and channels, and it creates the kind of customer experience that develops a productive pipeline of sales leads and conversions.

Pawan Deshpande is the founder and chief executive of Curata.

(Image via)

HealthCareCommunication.com

4 legal considerations for marketing pros

I am what one of my colleagues refers to as a “reformed lawyer.”

After law school, I spent 12 years handling complex litigation, in particular large class actions. Mid-career, I moved into business development for a leading legal administration firm, where I am now the company’s senior marketing and development executive.

I would argue that my colleague’s tongue-in-cheek assessment is mostly correct: Although I don’t officially wear a lawyer hat anymore, there will always be that lawyer in me.

As a marketing executive, I find there is always a bit of tension between my PR/marketing strategy and my legal training and experience. Simply put, it is my job to talk about the exciting things our team is doing for clients, but it is also my Socratic-method-drilled instinct to question the legal implications of every public statement we make and every contract we sign. Though these competing considerations can make the process a bit of a back-and-forth, I sleep better at night knowing the marketer and the attorney in me are both doing their best for the company.

Every situation is different, of course, and you should always do your own analysis (see how I added that lawyerly caveat there?), but here are four legal considerations that we, as marketing and PR executives, should keep in mind.

1. Know thy legal department and/or outside legal counsel.

First, recognize that legal counsel is an ally, not an obstacle. Good counsel understands how marketing fits within the framework of an organization, and they have the necessary company background in mind when undertaking their legal analysis. Having an evolved relationship with counsel allows you to move forward efficiently, rather than be paralyzed at crucial junctures. I talk with my legal department so regularly that they generally know right away what marketing answer I really want to hear. When they tell me “no,” I trust that they understand the implications—and we can go back to the drawing board together. 

[EVENT: Learn to find your leader’s real voice at the 2016 Leadership and Executive Communications Conference.]

2. Respect restrictions.

Be aware of any communication limitations to which your company may be subject. Prior successful projects or client experiences are compelling tools to show your team’s accomplishments, but are you allowed to tell those war stories? It’s our responsibility as marketers to be aware of any restrictions on sharing that kind of information—or at least to pose the question first.

In the legal administration industry, court orders or client contracts can prohibit us from discussing our work or client relationships. These restrictions aren’t always black and white. For example, some contracts allow discussion of relevant work successes with a prospective client in a confidential pitch setting, but prohibit using that same information in public-facing marketing materials.

The potential to unintentionally cross the line is high, unless you have a way to track and manage your obligations. Our legal department maintains an evolving master list of any communication restrictions. That list, and any updates to it, will be disseminated to marketing, business development and operations team members who might have a reason to discuss our work in an external setting.

3. Watch your language.

Be circumspect when crafting public statements and materials so as not to stumble unknowingly into legal issues. Avoid extremes and sweeping statements, as these can be misleading or even construed as blatantly false in a worst-case scenario. For instance, don’t use “essential” when a safer alternative such as “significant” will suffice. Words like “always,” “never” and “guarantee” make the attorney in me very nervous.

4. Get it in writing.

Finally, as marketing and PR professionals, we routinely work with third parties and vendors—perhaps a creative agency, a website design firm or an event company. Avoid potential problems by making sure your contracts with these parties are thorough and accurate. They say good fences make good neighbors—well, good contracts make good vendors.

Having everything in writing is key. That may seem obvious, but it is not uncommon for vendors to begin work before the paperwork for deliverables has been finalized. You might engage an outside firm for services, with goals and outcomes being determined during the initial planning phase, for example. It is important that the paper trail is thorough, because these conversations will serve as the basis for those services and results. If those conversations are documented in writing, you are in a far better position to keep the project on track.

I’ll leave you with two final points on contract negotiation.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to negotiate for better pricing or enhanced services. Get in there and get the best value for your company or client. You’ll free up money for new ideas. It’s a good rule to run all contracts by your legal department before you sign them. Reformed or not, a lawyer’s perspective can enhance your success as a marketing or PR executive.

Christi Cannon is senior vice president for marketing and development at Garden City Group, where she serves on the executive and leadership teams. Follow GCG on Twitter: @GCGNews.

HealthCareCommunication.com

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

A guide to better video marketing

In marketing, effective storytelling is essential to reaching audiences.

What makes certain stories more effective than others? It has to do with drawing a special “something” out of the reader, listener or viewer.

The goal for many of today’s marketers is to inspire their audiences and elicit an emotional response to their content. What’s the best medium to do that? Many marketers would suggest video.

According to data from VidYard’s Video Marketing Handbook, more and more brand managers are presenting powerful themes through visuals. A recent report even calls video “the storytelling format to rule them all.”

Thinking of adding a video component to your next marketing campaign? Have a story to tell, but you’re not sure whether a visual element is the best way to tell it?

If you seek to share your organization’s values and message with your audience through a brand-focused video, here’s how—along with highlights from the report:

Make people feel something

Engagement often starts with a desire to “strike a chord with your audience” or “better understand your customer.”

Tapping into your audience’s mind, body, soul (or wallet) begins with a feeling. To break down your target audience’s emotional wall, you must elicit inspiration, humor, happiness, sadness, anxiety or fear.

From VidYard:

It doesn’t really matter if your audience is laughing, crying or feeling inspired at the end of your video, but they better be feeling something or you’ll be easily forgotten. Your goal is to convey an implied voice or brand persona and have people resonate with it. Whether it’s your on-screen talent’s wit, the language you use to speak about your brand’s beliefs, or even the topics you choose to cover, you’re trying to create content that triggers targeted emotions and trying to tie these high-power feelings to a specific action you want your audience to complete.

The way your brand delivers its message—and when—requires the ability to persuade.

If you seek to sway consumers and direct them toward your brand, VidYard suggests adopting an all-hands-on-deck approach.

The report says, in part:

There’s no doubt that video can now be used for much more than brand awareness. Video is no longer a marketing-based silo and can actually involve every business unit from your creative team, to your demand generation experts and your sales reps.

Here’s more:

Video stories can be sourced from all parts of the business. From R&D to your interns, there are tons of stories to be told, it’s just a matter of finding them. To encourage employee advocates to contribute stories, the culture must clearly support risk-taking and failure.

How can you unify departments and get everyone working toward the same goal?

Hone the emotional aspect of your campaign; then refine your strategy.

Here’s more fom VidYard:

One glance at the types of videos brands are releasing these days is enough to see that there’s a huge trend toward content that makes people feel. Times are changing and gone are the days when creating an especially impressive video was the only piece of the puzzle. Today you need to refine your video strategy and start monitoring your performance as it relates to ROI. Marketing technology has evolved to fit the bill and you can now track exactly who’s watching your video content, and for how long.

Find out what drives consumers

Depending on your brand’s product or service—and its price—VidYard data suggest digging deeper into your customers’ decision-making processes.

RELATED: New tactics to incorporate storytelling into your everyday writing

Jacqueline Jensen, a community evangelist at Piktochart, says customers’ overwhelming response to certain videos is simple science.

From Jensen:

If you aim to share a story that appeals to your audience, is easy for them to comprehend, and will be something they remember, we are finding that the science points to using visuals, including images and videos. Visuals and videos are recalled much more promptly than text or other sensory inputs – 65 percent for visual content, versus 10 percent for pure text.

Most consumers don’t want to sit through a boring informational video, let alone associate that video with a brand they trust. To migrate away from yawn-inducing content, YidYard advises being realistic about your expectations:

There are only a few things you can actually achieve with each 90-second video spot. Consult with your team on the one essential point of the video (the main objective that aligns with the goals of the business). Remind them that you’re not looking to include all of the messaging points in your video, rather you’re aiming to create a provocative, entertaining spot that gets people talking about—and remembering—the issue that your company can help them solve.

Target your niche

If approaching your entire target audience with one video seems like an impossible task, take things one niche at a time.

From Jensen:

Great content isn’t always found in the same bucket as advertising-focused content. For example, with [a recent] Blab series, we talked to a PR professional, a well-known sketch-note artist, and the CEO of Blab. With each expert interview, we were able to target those in our community who are interested in those specific topics.

VidYard calls that “narrowcasting.” To do it properly, the report advises getting the quest for viral videos completely out of our heads:

“Going viral” is a naive approach to video marketing because, in reality, you can only secure millions of views if you have an audience with millions of people in it to begin with.

Instead, the report says to start here:

If you narrowcast a targeted message that capitalizes on the pain points of your ideal prospect, your video will retain viewers who are actually interested in what you do and likely have the budget to spend on your offering. In other words, you’ll attract and maintain the leads worth following up with.

Getting your video out there

Although marketers may thrive when conceptualizing a strong storyline and marketing strategy for their video content, that confidence can quickly turn to fear once production is underway.

From VidYard:

As companies get started with video there are always questions about budget, outsourcing, expectations around production value, and how to create great assets without breaking the bank.

Start here:

  • Determine whether your video will be produced in-house, or if you will outsource production. If your budget falls under $ 10,000, outsourcing might be more feasible. If the sky is the limit moneywise, perhaps it’s time to hire a full-time videographer. VidYard advises choosing someone with directing experience and a great sense of timing when it comes to editing.

  • Outline your expected output. Data say more than one-third of large organizations produce roughly 100 marketing videos annually. If you plan to use video marketing for the long haul, VidYard says to increase staff. Though many marketers might think in-house creative video teams are only an option for large outfits, any organization can hire or assemble a dedicated video team.

This VidYard graph shows how various organizations are approaching video:

Make sure it shares

Social media and video are becoming a marketer’s peanut butter and jelly.

If your target audience is on Facebook, post your videos there. If you want to expand your reputation with a variety of social media users, use your content to interact with them directly.

From Jensen:

[We started a] “User Stories” series using video because we’ve found a beautiful video is a powerful way to share a user’s story. For us, it’s about going behind the scenes and showcasing to our 5.5 million users worldwide how [our brand] has impacted one life.

We have found video to be one of the most transparent and powerful ways to take our community behind the scenes of the company and what we value. We are open to trying different platforms to see which experience resonates most with our community of users. As we explore, utilizing video, community interest and engagement guide us.

Here’s how VidYard’s report advises sharing your content and maximizing your video’s reach online:

• Post your video on multiple pages on your brand’s website (blog, a resource hub, product page, etc.).

• Use marketing campaign landing pages.

• Insert or link to your visual content in outbound email marketing campaigns.

• Establish a presence on social media channels. (Pay close attention to the sites your prospects use.)

• Start a YouTube channel.

• Create your own, dedicated video resource hub.

How do you use video in your marketing strategies? What additional advice would you offer?

HealthCareCommunication.com

How tech, marketing and Gen Z combine

Just when you think that you’ve got millennials pegged, Generation Z is poised to come along to confound us all.

Definitions vary, but Generation Z members were born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s. They are the first generation to not have known a world without Internet.

Mobile devices are not only ubiquitous to this generation, but they’ve always been “smart.” To them, flip phones are what corded phones are to millennials. They spend more than 17 hours interacting with tech each day.

[RELATED: Master social media methods to turn skeptical millennials into brand advocates.]

They’re spending a ton of time on social media, loving YouTube (73 percent) and preferring Instagram (46 percent) to Facebook (38 percent) and Twitter (19 percent).

They also have next to no loyalty when it comes to the apps and browsers they use to access information. That, combined with their willingness to view video ads (45 percent) offers several opportunities for marketers to reach these growing consumers.

Check out the infographic from the Halo Group for more on this generation:

How do you reach this group, readers?
HealthCareCommunication.com

Your Healthcare Marketing Guide to Snapchat

Teaser: If you have a millennial in your life, you’ve probably already heard about Snapchat. This video and photo-sharing app is slowly gaining enough momentum to become the new social media platform of the day. 

If you have a millennial in your life, you’ve probably already heard about Snapchat. This video and photo-sharing app is slowly gaining enough momentum to become the new social media platform of the day.

When you’re creating or revamping your healthcare marketing plan, it’s important to consider the new apps of the moment to see if they’re right for your medical, dental or veterinary practice. Here are some ways that Snapchat can be useful when marketing your practice online:

Keep Ahead of the Pack

Since Snapchat is still gaining a wider following, using it now will keep you ahead of your competitors. This gives you the opportunity to create an effective and creative strategy to establish followers, connect with patients and market your practice before other practices have even heard of the app.

Gain a Younger Following

Using Snapchat will also allow you to focus on gaining a younger audience. If you want to connect with the millennial generation and convert that audience into potential patients, using the latest social media app is a great way to do just that.

Plus, being on an entirely new social media network allows you to connect with a fresh audience that can potentially lead to new patients.

Curate Shorter Content

In an age of digital marketing and short attention spans, shorter can be better when it comes to your content. Snapchat photos and videos come with a time limit, so using this app can help you curate shorter content that you can also apply to other areas in your marketing strategy.

Use More Video

Creating a Snapchat account for your practice is a great way to start adding more video content to your marketing plan. Instead of having to schedule video shoots, this handy app allows you to shoot video and post it directly to your account. You can also download the Snapchat video you create to share on other social media platforms.

Snapchat videos can help give your followers, patients and potential patients a sneak peak into your practice and, as mentioned in this Forbes article, will help you relay a direct message to your followers.

Stay Relatable

Like all forms of social media, Snapchat is meant to be very casual and fun. Embracing this tone, especially though the Snapchat app, can help make you more relatable to your audience.

It’s important to remember that being casual doesn’t mean you’re not professional. Using a more relatable tone can help you pass on important health or dental advice and expertise to your audience in a way that they find approachable and helpful.

If you’d like to learn more about how Snapchat and other apps can be useful to your practice, feel free to contact one of our experienced healthcare marketing consultants toll-free at 800.679.1262. Or email us your questions at info@practicebuilders.com.

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Your Healthcare Marketing Guide to Facebook

Using social networking sites is an easy and modern way to market your medical, dental or veterinary practice. Since many healthcare practices are using social media as part of their healthcare marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the basics of each site, so you can gain the benefits of using social media – namely, more exposure for your practice, brand building and gaining new followers, patients and referrals.

Whether you’re a new user or want to learn more ways to market your healthcare practice on Facebook, this guide will help you create an effective social media marketing strategy that you can use to promote your healthcare practice:

Photos

When you’re creating an account for your practice, Facebook allows you to add a number of photos to help create and promote your brand. From cover photos to display photos to full photo albums, these images can be used to tell the story of your practice or display your logo to create a brand. You can also use the photo albums to share photos of your practice and staff to create a more personal experience and connect with your audience.

Followers

Like Twitter, Facebook allows you to follow other business accounts. By following other experts in your field, you can connect to a wider audience and stay on top of their latest news.

If your patients have a Facebook account, ask them to follow your healthcare practice’s account. This way, you can share the latest news about your practice with your patients and encourage them to share their comments and questions. This will help you connect with your patients and build a brand that fosters referrals.

Shares and Links

On Facebook, you can share posts from other users if you follow them, which can help you connect with other experts in your field and share info with your own followers.

You can also post your own links. These links can be anything from an article to a blog post or an online video. Plus, Facebook allows you to add a description as well as a link, so you can describe what you’re sharing. Sharing inspired and relevant content can help you connect with your patients and, if they share your updates, you can gain a wider audience and new referrals. You can also use this feature to share news and updates for your healthcare practice to keep your patients in the loop and create a rapport.

Hashtags and Trending Topics

Hashtags can help you make your news more noticeable to other users. For example, if you want to share new information regarding cancer screenings and treatments that your healthcare practice offers, you can add the following hashtags to your post so other users can find it: #cancer, #health, #CancerScreening.

Trending topics are popular news items that other Facebook users share with their followers. Staying on trend for health news will keep your Facebook account relevant and may also help you gain new followers from users searching for more info on what’s trending.

Reviews

Like Yelp, Facebook business accounts also allow followers to review your healthcare practice. While not every review may be positive, it’s important to engage with those who leave a review, so you can rectify misunderstandings to foster goodwill with potential and current patients and help build a successful brand.

Messages and Comments

Your followers can also send your business account direct messages and leave comments on what you post. It’s a great way to engage with patients, so it’s important to reply to any questions and comments in a professional and timely manner to promote your brand and create a good reputation.

When used to the best of its capabilities, Facebook can be an effective way to raise awareness of your practice, connect with your patients, build a brand and gain new followers, patients and referrals. If you’d like to learn more about how to add Facebook to your healthcare marketing strategy, contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants at 800.679.1200 or info@practicebuilders.com.

Take a look at our previous blog post about the basics of Twitter to learn more about how to add social media to your marketing plan.

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