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Communicators promoting blood donations with video, infographics and more

When it comes to blood types, can your patients distinguish between universal donors and universal recipients?

For that matter, can you?

That simple bit of knowledge can help boost blood donations during winter months, when need runs high and contributions tend to wane.

This chart on the American Red Cross website allows you to visualize the impact each blood group plays in the transfusion process:

It’s not the only way health care communicators are eliciting donations, though.

The Red River Valley Blood Center offers a list of 50 Fascinating Blood Facts on their website, including these pertaining to patients who benefit from blood donations:

The following video from University of Maryland Medical Center makes its point in just over a minute:

Another video, using upbeat music to set a positive tone, humanizes the experiences of first-time donors and introduces the viewer to a woman with an autoimmune disease who needs monthly transfusions:

Marketers can also opt to use social media; these Facebook posts for Mississippi Blood Services are helping the organization sound the alarm to their 12,000 followers. A severe inventory shortage has prompted daily blood drives throughout the state:

This infographic from the American Red Cross delivers facts and figures about Blood Donor Month, held each January since 1970.

The Independent reports that a simple but effective Swedish campaign thanks donors by text message and lets them know when their blood has been used. Donors quickly responded on social media and shared their experiences.

Donors in Sweden also have access to website that shows how much blood is contained in the current inventory in the hopes of prompting more donations before a crisis can develop.

How is your hospital or medical facility soliciting donations?

Through these efforts, some donors have agreed to be contacted through email and social media, or by text message, to remind them to donate again.

9 Ways to Make Your Practice’s Website More Responsive

9 Ways to Make Your Practice's Website More Responsive

The very first encounter many of your patients will have with your practice is their Internet search for you, making your website your first opportunity to attract and convert patients and boost patient satisfaction. The user experience you provide should be one that loads quickly, states information clearly and navigates effortlessly. Many desktop sites don’t offer this when viewed on a mobile device. According to a KCPB Internet Trends 2015 report, people spent more of their Internet time on their phones vs. other computing devices. Bottom line: If your website isn’t responsive, you’re already missing the mark to attract patients and achieve high scores on those patient satisfaction surveys!

The concept of responsive web design is simple: One single website designed so that it adapts on-the-fly to fit various viewing devices (screen sizes, orientations, etc.). Eliminating the need to maintain multiple websites, designing a responsive website is crucial for the success of your practice.

Here are nine tips to make your website design more responsive:

1. Avoid flash. Keep videos and large images to a minimum, as they increase the loading time for your pages.

2.Make sure your viewport accommodates various sizes. A viewport is a meta tag at the header of a page that tells browsers how to display the site’s content. If you do not have a viewport meta tag, mobile browsers will default to desktop dimensions, which is cumbersome on mobile devices. You also shouldn’t specify dimensions in the viewport information, but leave it as width=device-width to accommodate for different screen sizes. Google has a step-by-step tutorial here.

3. Create “tap-able” links and buttons. Fingers on touch screens need a larger target than someone working with a mouse at a desktop would. Make sure the buttons and links are spaced far enough apart that mobile users don’t accidentally hit something else.

4. Enlarge fonts and image resolution. For fonts, 16 pixels is the recommended minimum. For images, use high-resolution photos that can withstand the scrutiny of high definition screens and the ability to zoom in.

5. Include a working telephone button on your website so that users can tap it and call your office right away.

6. Keep the most important information at the top of the page. Remember that mobile users have to scroll. Don’t force users to scroll through a lot of content in order to find out how to contact you or make an appointment. Put that information – how to make appointments, find your office, etc. – toward the top of the page.

7. Listen to Google. Google has a list of factors it considers part of mobile-friendliness. Get familiar with them so you understand how your site’s usability stacks up and what the problem areas may be. You can peruse the “Mobile Usability” section of their Search Console guide here. Google also provides a free Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

8. Use YouTube for videos. To make sure your videos display properly on devices of all sizes, upload your healthcare site’s videos using YouTube. YouTube’s code is responsive already, meaning it will show up in the right proportions based on a device’s screen size.

9. Test your site on multiple mobile devices to spot any trouble spots. Try each button, video and link, and fill out any forms on your site on each device.

A responsive website is a crucial part of your healthcare marketing plan. Practice Builders will give you a free marketing consult to evaluate your website and create a plan of action to make it more responsive. Sign up for a free consultation with us today; simply call us at 855.898.2710 or email us at

Medical Healthcare Marketing

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ launches to more than $71 million on Friday

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” launched spectacularly at the box office Friday, bringing in an estimated $ 71.1 million in more than 4,100 theaters.

The film is expected to finish the weekend in the range of $ 140 million to $ 150 million, making it the second-best all-time December opening, behind… – Los Angeles Times

6 Easy Ways to Research Your Competition so that You Can Attract More Patients

6 Easy Ways to Research Your Competition so that You Can Attract More Patients

If you want to stay ahead of the game, you’ve got to know your competition. We’ll show you how to do your own market research so you can get the scoop on competing healthcare practices. When you know their strengths and weaknesses (and understand your own) you’ll be better-positioned to strategize your own marketing efforts and increase your patient load.

Here are six stealthy ways you can dig deep to understand competing healthcare practices:

1. Find them on the Internet. You likely already know at least one competitor in your local region, but first you need to seek out who you’re vying with for patients. In this case, your friends are Google and Google Tools. Do a search to figure out who your local competitors are, and then go one step further and employ the help of Google Trends and Google Alerts. You’ll feel like a secret agent as you discover all you ever wanted to know about your competition!

2. Peruse their website. You can learn a lot about a medical practice by their website! A company’s mission and values will clarify what their primary goals are, staff bios will introduce you to the caliber of their employees, patient testimonials will reveal what sets them apart, and a blog will display some of the practice’s personality.

3. Follow their social media. Following a competing practice on Facebook or Twitter is a great way to discover what they’re doing in the community, how they engage their patients and even what their patients think of them. Speaking of reviews, check out Yelp and see what lurks there. Don’t forget to search on your own practice, too. Many healthcare practice’s strengths and weaknesses come out via social networking channels.

4. Call them, incognito. You don’t want to make a call from your office phone, because caller IDs are a clear giveaway of who’s on the other line. But call a competing practice and put in a few inquiries to find out a little more information about them. You’ll also see how their customer service stacks up.

5. Sign up for their newsletter. Again, incognito. You might feel like a snoop using your work email address, so use a personal account and sign up for your competitor’s monthly newsletter. Similar to social media and a blog, a newsletter will reveal how a practice educates their patients plus give you a glimpse into a practice’s upcoming events and past accomplishments as well as how they interact with their patients.

6. Listen to your own patients. Some patients may willingly volunteer information to you about why they were dissatisfied elsewhere. It’s also a question you can ask, especially new patients who may have recently left a practice. If you’re uncomfortable digging in the dirt, simply ask what brought them to you. You may not find out a specific practice pain point, but you’ll still come out ahead in understanding how your own marketing efforts are paying off.

But you don’t have to research your competition alone, because that’s our specialty. Let Practice Builders help you do the right market research and create a marketing plan that suits your needs and goals. Contact us at or 800.679.1262 to sign up for a free marketing consult with us, and we’ll get started!

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Report: Marketers are spending more on digital vs. traditional tactics

Digital marketing revenues are expected to outpace traditional ads by 2018, according to new research from BIA/Kelsey.

The group’s US Local Advertising Forecast 2017 reports that mobile advertising for local markets in particular will jump from $ 44.2 billion in 2016 to $ 50.2 billion in 2017.

Traditional advertising in local markets is expected to drop from $ 101.1 billion in 2016 to $ 98.6 billion next year.

“A large part of that is because of a decline in revenue going to print media, including newspapers, magazines and direct mail,” Mark Fratrik, senior VP-chief economist at BIA/Kelsey, told Advertising Age.

RELATED: Tell better brand stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and your blog.

In a statement, Fratrik attributed the boost to “an improving US economy, increased spending by national brands in local media channels, extraordinary growth in mobile and social advertising, and the continued expansion and selection of online/digital advertising platforms.”

Another report that revealed data around Facebook spending supports the BIA/Kelsey study.

Marketing tech groups Kenshoo and Merkle released data recently that suggests that investment in Facebook marketing continues to rapidly grow.

Facebook ad spending increased 14 percent in the third quarter year-over-year, according to Kenshoo. The company attributes that to dynamic product ads, which accounted for 42 percent of all ad clicks. The amount of money spent on video ads increased 155 percent year over year, and the amount spent on mobile marketing jumped 61 percent in that time frame.

Merkle’s third quarter report revealed an overall spending increase of 63 percent year over year.

Both reports found falling costs per click and rising cost per thousand impressions.

These HD TV sets use more energy than you’d expect, group alleges

An environmental group is accusing three major television manufacturers of misleading consumers and regulators about how much energy their high-definition screens devour and that sets from two of the companies are designed to draw less power during government testing than in ordinary use.

The report… – Los Angeles Times

CHS will sell more than the 12 hospitals currently on the market

Community Health Systems this year expects to sell more than the 12 hospitals that are already up for sale, Chief Financial Officer Larry Cash said Wednesday.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

At biker rally, Trump calls for U.S. allies to pay more for their defense

Libertarians pick Johnson again; Sanders sees California as the ‘big enchilada” May 29, 2016, 12:44 p.m. Bernie Sanders continues to traverse California ahead of June 7 primary. In Orlando, Gary Johnson ekes out victory at Libertarian convention Sanders pledges to defeat Trump , but warns Clinton… – Los Angeles Times

Why having a food allergy costs more for the poorest kids

What is the financial toll of having a kid with a food allergy? The answer may depend on how much money you have.

A new study published this week in Pediatrics found that food-allergic children from households that earn less than $ 50,000 a year incur 2.5 times the cost of emergency room visits… – Los Angeles Times

Attract More Patients With a Better Online Reputation

Today’s patients have become increasingly smarter in terms of choosing the right healthcare practitioners for them. The rapidly growing trend is checking out a doctor’s or dentist’s online reviews before arranging a first consultation. Whether you are a doctor, a dentist or an ancillary health provider, it’s more important than ever to solidify your practice’s reputation online.

What people read about you online largely determines how they assess your medical or dental practice. A good review is a plus-point, while a bad review can do serious damage to your reputation. For doctors and dentists to remain competitive in the healthcare industry, it is important for them to maintain good online reputations. A solid strategy for online reputation enhancement and management is no longer optional. It’s a necessity.

Remember, a disgruntled patient or a sneaky competitor could be saying something negative online against you. One bad review may be shared with another user, which in turn may also be shared with another user. As a result, there will be an exponential rise in the number of times the bad review is shared. The same holds true for good reviews.

Online reputation management is about shaping people’s perceptions. This process involves mitigating bad reviews, facilitating and managing good reviews and maintaining a strong online presence with an easy to navigate, patient-friendly website.

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