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Tag Archives: marketing

Marketing Eye to Eye: Don’t Let Your Computer Get in the Way

Marketing Eye to Eye: Don’t Let Your Computer Get in the Way

Medical marketing may get you thinking about websites, social media and email campaigns, and while those are all important components, there’s no substitute for the power of a good doctor-patient relationship. Not only is a good doctor-patient relationship a good end in and of itself, it can also yield tangible benefits to your practice. Patients who have a good relationship with you will be more likely to refer you to friends and family. They will also be more likely to give you positive reviews online and to insurance companies, leading to more patients and cash bonuses for your practice.

Don’t let the computer in the exam room become a barrier to that integral one-on-one time with your patients. When it comes to both the room’s configuration and your interaction during the appointment, here are some strategies to ensure your time at the computer does not harm that essential rapport with your patients.

Configure for Common Experience. How is your exam room set up? If you have a computer and a computer desk, make sure it does not function as a physical barrier between you and your patient. If you have the computer screen facing so the screen is visible to you and to the patient, you can involve the patient in your data entry time if he/she can see what you are typing. Also make sure your configuration does not turn your back to your patient while you’re sitting at the computer.

Keep Some Time Screen-Free. It’s human nature to form impressions in the first moments of an interaction, especially when it’s something as sensitive as your health. Stay cognizant of this by keeping the first moments of the appointment focused on the patient. To avoid having to sit right down at the computer to access the patient’s record, pull it up before you enter the exam room, whether it’s a paper chart or logging in to a different computer. If you head straight for the computer when you walk into the exam room, the message you send your patient is one that comes off as impersonal and transactional.

When talking about something sensitive, keep that time technology-free, as well, and be sure to maintain eye contact.

Communicate While at the Computer. When you do need to sit down at the computer, help patients feel involved in the process by explaining what you are doing and why. This will increase understanding so your patients know how this is part of you taking care of them. As part of letting your patient know you are keeping their health information private, make sure your patient sees you log off.

MedPage Today recommends involving the patient even further by sending your patient this information, if they would like, via secure online messaging or even personal email. Just be sure you let your patient know what the security risks may be. If you’re worried about this violating HIPAA, MedPage Today says you shouldn’t be. The open lines of communication will help increase trust, and if your patients opt-in with awareness of any risks, then this is actually to your advantage.

The computer is a valuable tool for doctors, but be sure you don’t let it come between you and your patient. The relationship you have with your patients is the foundation of any medical marketing plan, and good relationships with your patients will lead to positive ripple effects for your practice in reviews, number of patients and your practice’s bottom line.

For more ideas about how you can foster good communication in the exam room, email info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Is Email Marketing Right for Your Healthcare Practice?

Is Email Marketing Right for Your Healthcare Practice?

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

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

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

-Do you have content your base wants?

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

-Can you deliver it consistently?

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

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

-A good email list

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

-Good content and design

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

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

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Email marketing missteps to avoid

Like most bad habits, a lazy and aimless email marketing strategy can be tough to turn around.

Despite marketers’ opinions, familiar email marketing strategies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Brand managers will continue to send out templated emails, and they’ll still hope to see increases in sales, brand loyalty and interaction.

Instead of twiddling your thumbs while you wait for a response, data from Reachmail suggest avoiding these common pitfalls to ensure success.

Here are a few highlights from the data and how to turn bad habits into positive outreach:

Write clearly, cleanly

Don’t be too cute—or confusing—with the language you choose.

Data say you should cut out the buzzwords and lingo and focus on your message.

From Reachmail’s blog:

It’s tough to strike a balance between exciting and informative, but a good subject line should strive to indicate what the email is about. Get in the habit of communicating clearly and people will appreciate you more.

Make sure your subject line matches the body text of your email copy.

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Just as grammar pros hate dangling modifiers, consumers wince at copy that feels disconnected from its subject line.

To improve the flow—and look—of your copy, hire an editor. Doing so will make your emails look and read more professional.

Avoid “bait and switch.” Strive to be genuine with your tone and offer. An underwhelming email is preferable to a deceptive one.

Put your subscribers first

To improve results, data suggest abiding by four key rules:

1. Stop emailing people who never opted in.

2. Honor the requests of those who unsubscribe.

3. Make it easy—and painless—to unsubscribe.

4. Avoid over-emailing.

Brand loyalty is an important part of an email marketing strategy. If you leave a bad taste in subscribers’ mouths—or inboxes—their trust will diminish.

To build trust, Matt Zajechowski, senior outreach manager at Digital Third Coast, says marketers should avoid sending emails that lack authenticity or come across as spam.

He adds:

Too frequent emailing, as we all know, is terribly irritating and does little to foster a good relationship between the brand and the customer. It inches you closer towards the dreaded unsubscribe, which ends the game—and your relationship with the consumer.

Don’t bombard consumers’ inboxes with repetitive emails. Be courteous of their requests and concerns. If someone wants to be removed from your subscriber lists, have them removed—and don’t make them feel guilty about it or delay their removal.

Optimization and design

Imagery is often viewed as a necessary component of a successful marketing email.

Is it possible to overdo it?

Zajechowski thinks so:

Email marketers should note that some of their subscribers are consuming emails in a text-only format, so it’s important not to embed crucial information in images they’ll never see.

Sending emails with too many pictures and design elements can overwhelm, confuse and test consumer patience.

From Reachmail:

Emails are meant to be opened and read quickly. We’re a society on the go—make your point and make it fast. Be careful not to bury important information within images.

To reach mobile consumers, ditch lengthy sentences and quirky fonts.

Make sure your emails are easy to read on smartphones and tablets. Catering to mobile consumers will broaden your reach and increase your views and compressions.

What alternatives to email would you recommend?

HealthCareCommunication.com

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.

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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. 

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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?

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