How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow your Healthcare Practice

As a healthcare practice, it is really important to stay top of mind with your current patients and also future patients. By using digital marketing there are so many ways to stay connected.

One question we get asked a lot is:  

“How do we increase our engagement and promote our practice with digital marketing?”

Well, that answer is a little tricky since there are many different options out there. It’s more of a combination of different tools to make your digital marketing work for you. In the digital marketing world, it is about trial and error, seeing what your audience responds to the most and how to start those conversations. 

In this blog, I am going to talk about 5 ways to help increase your engagement and promote your practice. 

Word of mouth and referral marketing are still the best ways to grow your practice, but with people being able to access information from SO many places we have to be a little more creative and think outside the box to build those relationships and loyalty.

Once they have come into your practice you want to make sure you stay top of mind, more importantly, you want to make sure you have good online profiles so it is easy for your audience to refer you.

How many of you have wanted to try something new with digital marketing but just don’t know where to start or what to try?

Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to get in front of your current audience and potential new patients.

You can do this organically or implement paid ads as well. This is not an overnight success, it does take time, but it does work!

Let’s talk about the 5 Ways to Help Increase Your Engagement and Promote Your Practice:

1. Instagram

We have been talking about Instagram a lot this year and we will continue to do so, it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with the average age 35-65-year-olds. Instagram is all about the visuals, from building a strong brand presence on your feed, having font styles on your images, color scheme, image theme, etc. this makes your feed look clean and interesting. Let’s dive into how to master Instagram Stories

This biggest thing with Instagram right now is the Instagram Stories, these stories only stay up for 24-hours, so this is a great place for:

One really cool thing you can do with these stories is “Highlight” them, this saves them into an area about your feed pictures, you can categorize them so all your stories go to the correct boards.  This turns into a great resource for your audience, each video on Instagram Stories can be 15 seconds long, you can record a 45sec to a 1 min long video and then use this app called CutStory and it automatically cuts your video into 15-second increments for you to share.

How to highlight Instagram Stories

You can also create branded Instagram stories images with Canva, they have different themes you can choose from, you can use your own font styles, brand colors, logo, and images.

Now, you may be thinking what if I do a video that is more than 1-minute long, where should I put that? Well, don’t worry, Instagram has you covered and that is where IGTV comes into play. This is similar to YouTube but it allows your audience to watch the full video on Instagram, they don’t have to leave the platform.

A few ideas to create IGTV videos around are:

  • New mother tips
  • Birthing Plan
  • Vaccines
  • Physical Therapy
  • Counseling Tips
  • National Observance Days
  • Surgery Tips
  • New medical practices
  • Interviews with nurses and doctors

Instagram has a lot of bells and whistles you are able to tap into and really grow a long-lasting relationship with your audience.

2. Video Marketing

It’s 2019 and it’s all about the videos! Video marketing is huge and will continue to grow. Videos are great because it allows your audience to connect with you quicker. We wrote a blog a few months ago about “How to Create a Strong Video Marketing Strategy” videos are something you either love or hate.

Videos can be educational for your audience, videos with closed captions are even better. Here are a few good stats about video:

Let’s dive into the statistics behind healthcare marketing with video:

  1. About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (Source: Eloqua)
  1. Video is now the sixth most popular content marketing tactic, as 70% of B2B marketers use some form of online video with their overall strategies. (Source: Eloqua)
  1. Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewery)
  1. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
  1. Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%.(Source: Mist Media)
  1. Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
  1. Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  1. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz
  1. 59% of senior executives prefer video over text. (Source: Brainshark)
  1. Having a video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google(Source: Mist Media)

Source Here

When you think of video marketing, most people think you have to have a studio, pay a professional, take a lot of time on editing, props, backgrounds, and more. In all honesty with the technology of the newer smartphones and HD cameras, you can really shoot your own videos in office. Actually, the more authentic videos are the ones that get the most engagement online.

A couple of things to remember when shooting a video from your smartphones when you are recording a video for Instagram be sure to have your phone vertical, and when shooting a video for YouTube, Blogs, or Facebook you will want your phone horizontal.

Let’s start recording! Be Authentic, real, give value, and have fun!

3. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are climbing higher on the list for digital marketing, gone are the days where just having a Facebook page worked, Facebook pages work great if you plan on spending money on ads.

There are a ton of Facebook groups out there that your practice can join, you can even start your own group.

For example – Let’s say you are a women’s medical office, Your services include OB-GYN, birthing center, primary care, pediatrician, etc. But, one special thing that your office focuses on is wanting to help new mothers with education. Vaccines, breastfeeding, car seats, home care, feeding, etc. Most of your patients come from within a 25-mile radius of your office, you can create a group on Facebook called “Tips for New Mothers YOUR CITY” in this group you can invite your current patients to join, post daily, as your group continues to grow you will post two or three times a day. You are creating a community of women that are going through the same thing and want answers. You can allow the members of the group to post questions and concerns for your practice to answer. This is a wonderful way to create trust with your patients. You can then start to mention the other services your practice offers.

In this video below, I will show you how to start a group from scratch and also how to search for groups to join.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is NOT dead, I know some may think that email marketing and newsletters are a waste of time, but they actually work great. It is a convenient way to stay top of mind with your patients. With social media marketing and the algorithms it’s hard to really know who has seen your organic posts, then to monitor the engagement. Now, the insights and analytics on the social media platforms tell you how many likes, comments, and shares you had on posts. With email marketing, you can actually see who opened your emails, who read them, and who clicked through to your website.

There are a few ways to incorporate email marketing into your plan:

  • Content Upgrades, also known as Free downloads. This is a piece of content you put together for your ideal patient to download, in order for them to download it they have to submit their name and email. For example – if we go back to the example in number 3, you could create:
    • Newborn checklist
    • Going home checklist
    • Breastfeeding Tips
    • New Momma Myths
    • Top 10 products to have at home for your new baby
    • etc.

This pdf would then be uploaded to your website and linked into MailChimp or Leadpages to create a landing page with the form for name and email, you can then push this out to social media, your current email list of current patients. Over time you will create quite a few content upgrades. Make a list of different checklists, ebooks, resources you can create for your patients now and then you push that out to gain new email subscriptions to grow your email list. This is an example of what a sign-up form looks like:

  • Newsletters – You can send weekly or monthly newsletters to your lists, in some cases you may have multiple lists and can customize a newsletter for each list based on your audience. It is important to understand what your audience wants to know about so you can pack your newsletters with valuable content. It doesn’t matter if you do weekly updates or monthly, what matters most is consistency. Whatever you choose to do be sure to stick with it. You can also incorporate your videos into these emails, this allows you to build those deeper relationships!

5. Blogging

Blogging serves dual purposes, it is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it allows you to show your expertise. When you are promoting your practice on social media your end goal is to get them back to your website to sign-up for your email list, book an appointment, or fill out paperwork, how do you give them an incentive to go back to your website?

When blogging just like everything else we have spoken about it is all about consistency. One blog per month or two, as long as you do one each month, these are no longer 300-500 word blogs, these are cornerstone blogs which means 1500+ words per blog. We recently wrote a blog on how to share your blog, in that post there is a FREE download, a blog checklist, you can download it here.

Your blogs should cover content that your audience wants to learn about, whether this is myths around vaccines, childbirth, new momma tips, etc.

This is where you tie the above 1-4 items into your blogging. In each blog post you will be:

  • Making an image you can share onto Instagram
  • Make a “teaser” video for Instagram with 3 inside tips from your blog
  • Create a longer video for IGTV about your blog
  • Create videos to go inside your blog post – you will place these videos on YouTube then insert them into your blog posts
  • You can also create a content upgrade or call to action for your readers to sign-up for your email list. Here is an example of a great blog post

Your website/blog is your hub, you want to drive traffic to your hub. Once your blog is complete you can then share it to multiple platforms with links back to your site, this helps reach new potential patients as well.

As you can see through these 5 different marketing platforms, they each allow you to grow your practice and connect with your audience on a deeper level. They all work based on consistency and planning. This is why having a digital marketing plan is so important.

If you are ready to take control of your digital marketing and want to see how to implement these tasks into your marketing plan please schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with us today! 

How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow your Healthcare Practice

SEO and blogging

In this overview we review the topics covered by Social Speak in April, 2018.

Additional posts referenced in the video include:

Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Research, and Blogging for your Business, Video Overview of Blogging and SEO
How to make your blog look good with header tags

Have you had a chance to read Caitlin’s blog post from Tuesday? She really helps break down the process of writing a 2500 or more blog post. The key to writing a good, long blog, is to break the content down nicely into chunks and make it look ‘pretty’. In this video, we walk through the backend of WordPress to show you how to add your Header 3 Tags, break up your content and more! The font and color for your header tags can be changed within your theme settings.

Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following videos:

Creating Infographics With Canva 

How to Create a Landing Page Using Mailchimp

Finding Topics Your Tribe Will Love

 

how to write high quality blog posts quickly

You’ve been told that you need to write blogs for your business, you now understand these blogs need to be >2,500 words, but how do you find the time in your schedule to actually write a good blog post?

Everything in marketing always comes back to finding systems that will work for your schedule to write an educational and informative blog post quickly.

In this post I’ll be going through my top tips for writing a good blog post quickly.

If you are just tuning in, over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about how to perform keyword research and find related keywords to include in your blogs:

Ok, so let’s jump in an get started.

First and foremost, when you write a piece of web content, it should be about something you are knowledgeable about.

If you are a psychotherapist who specializes in EMDR, but have never done Brainspotting, don’t try to write a blog post explaining the intricate details of Brainspotting. (I’m not an expert in either, so for our psychotherapist clients, I pass the writing of those blog posts to one of our all-star copywriters.)

As you are creating your content strategy and your blogging calendar, try to include blogs that are timely and relevant, but make sure you feel comfortable actually sharing information on them.

A 2,500 blog post may seem daunting as you are getting started, but it really doesn’t need to be when you follow the tips outlined below.

Tip 1: Once you have your topic, see what other articles have been written about it

Before you even get in the writing zone, do a quick Google search about the topic you want to write about. Remember, you want to get a sense of what those related keywords are to include in your content anyways, so this step has a dual purpose.

For this post, my search was for Write a Good Blog Post Quickly.

Guess what comes up?

A blog titled 5 Ways to Write High-Quality Content – Fast

5 Ways to Write High Quality Content Fast

Hey! That looks right on the mark for my blog post.

Ehh, actually after a quick read-through, this blog doesn’t include all the information I want to, but that’s okay! I know it is highly ranked on Google for my proposed keyword and includes super basic topics:

  • Have a brainstorm of ideas you can pull from
  • Batch your time
  • Know your own self and when you are most creative
  • Write ahead
  • Keep it simple

These are great tips, but again, I want to be more technical in this blog post on easily creating systems for writing a blog post quickly.

Don’t worry, my efforts to research what other people are already writing haven’t gone to waste.

If you do find a blog post that nails your topic on the head, make a quick note of the outline they follow including:

  • The headers they use
  • What keywords or topics stand out
  • The general flow

Then … CLOSE THE WINDOW. This is your blog and you need to make sure you aren’t plagiarizing. You want to make the blog post your own not a word by word replica of what you just read.

So why is it okay to open up an article or two that just don’t include the information you want to include? Well… It could be that you want to write about something completely off the grid or it could be that nobody has actually taken the time yet to post a detailed enough guide on the topic you want to explore.

If I open up an article that just doesn’t seem to include the information I want to share, I take a moment to consider what I would include in my blog post that is missing from the blog I just read.

Not sure what Keywords to include in your Blog?

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Tip 2: Take a Moment to Write Down What is Missing from the Blog Post you just read

Let’s go back to 5 Ways to Write High-Quality Content – Fast. Though the author has some great content tips, he’s missing some major items that help me write my own blog posts effectively.

Namely, the author is missing the steps to:

  • Research what other pieces of good content are ranking on Google
  • Create an outline for your blog post
  • Transcribe audio or video to create not only great written content for your website, but also to include multimedia in your blog posts.
  • Include filler adjectives and words
  • Outsource writing for blog posts

The post also has an incorrect fact about how short, concise content is the way to go. You don’t want to ramble on and on, but you want to give valuable information that will actually benefit the reader rather than a quick 300 word blog post (I’m already at 800 words and only on tip 2 for writing high quality blog posts quickly… you better buckle up).

Creating a list of what is missing from the example blog posts will help you create an outline for the informational blog that you want to write for your website.

Tip 3: Write down an outline for the content you are writing for your blog post

You now have the list of elements that are typically included in blogs related to your chosen topic.

You also have the specifics that are missing from the posts that you would like to include in your blog post.

AND, from before you even started your blog, you have the keywords you wish to include and the related keywords from Google.

Even though you already have this information compiled, I always find it helpful to write an actual outline for your blog post.

Why?

There are a number of reasons why you should, but most importantly it is because:

  1. You are a busy professional who will get called into a meeting or be interrupted by a conference call.
  2. You are a mom (or parent) like Amber and myself who will need to change a diaper, make sure homework is getting done, or run their child to T-ball.
  3. Do you really have the focus to write 2,500 words in one sitting?

As you get interrupted, it may feel like you can jump right back into the task at hand, but in reality, it takes your brain a few moments to get back on track and figure out where you are with your blog post.

Creating an outline allows you to more easily spend 15-30 minutes here and there on the blog without out feeling like you are spending half the time rereading what you’ve already written and trying to decide where to go next in the blog post.

Having an outline also keeps you on track for the final parts of your blog. Many writers often cut their blog short towards the end because they are just over the process of writing. Having an outline allows you to take a break, but not loose focus.

This process is called Batching your time (see I am including some of the information from the blog post example).

Tip 4: Batch your time while you are preparing to write and actually writing the blog post for your website

As I just mentioned, batching your time is the process of focusing on one at a time rather than trying to multitask.

Here, it means not checking your email or jumping to Facebook while you are writing.

Each time you shift your focus, your brain needs to reorient itself.

In the process of writing your blog post for your website, there are some things you can do to help you batch your time:

  1. Focus on each step in sequence: Keyword research and finding related keywords, researching similar blog posts, creating your outline for your own blog, actually writing the blog, going back and editing the blog, finding images for your blog, writing the title of your blog post.
  2. Don’t try to edit your blog post until you’ve gotten all of your information down.
  3. If you realize you need more information to write thoughtfully on a topic, but you’ve already done your initial research and are in your writing stage, make a note and then jump to the following section that you can write about. Unfortunately, if you jump back to reading articles, trust me, your blog will take 10 times longer to write.
  4. I’m sure I have more, but because I am using this blog as a way to show my own blog writing process, I’m jumping to the next section because additional points are not coming to me at this time. I may come back and add them, but for now, I move on. 🙂

So again, you want to think of writing your quality blog post as a process. Just like anything else in business, processes help to make you efficient and effective. Batching is one way to help you write your long blog post quickly.

Tip 5: Don’t Write! Transcribe from Audio and Video to Create your Blog Post

This is one of my favorite tips for busy professionals who just don’t seem to have the time to get into a writing groove.

10 minutes of audio creates a blog that is about 2,500 words long.

So, after writing your outline for your blog post you could use an audio converter or record a video to transcribe your words to text to include in your blog post.

Some tools I recommend are Google Docs and YouTube.

Let’s take a look at Google Docs first. 

Head on over to Google Drive and click to create a new document. Better yet, you could create your outline as a Google Doc so you can add to it on the go if needed.

Under Tools, there is an option for Voice typing (Ctrl+Shift+S).

voice typing google

Click this, start talking, and your document will start filling up with words.

Now when I do this speech to text, I do find that I need to edit the text as I go. I’ll talk for about 5 sentences, stop the recording, and then edit what was written. You may be able to do the entire document based off your outline and notes, however.

The iPhone speech to text works well, as well. I’ve actually ‘written’ blogs while out for walks with the girls, but Apple will stop transcribing every couple of minutes, so you need to make sure you don’t keep talking with nothing being written down.

I’m sure there is other software you can use that also records your audio for use in a Podcast. Or you can send the audio file off to Rev.com for transcription at $1/minute. Totally worthwhile if you have spent hours trying to get into writing, but not filling the page with any content.

The other option is to use YouTube to transcribe a video.

Using your computer camera or your phone, record yourself talking through the outline you created.

When you upload your video to YouTube, you may need to first verify your account (enter in your phone number in the settings) to post videos that are over 10 minutes long.

Typically, most of our clients who generate a transcription of their blog upload their videos as Unlisted or Private, though I am all for listing these videos as Public to get more of a reach – blogs with videos perform really well, YouTube is a search engine, and you can share your video to social media (always think of how you can repurpose your content as you create it). Make sure the space you are in looks professional if you also plan to publish the video as Public and include it in your blog post.

After you have uploaded your video, click in to edit it and find the link that says Subtitles/CC.

youtube subtitles

You will be prompted to select your language (I use English though at times I’m not sure).

Then, click under Published where English is listed again.

subtitles for youtube

On the next screen you can download the subtitles created by YouTube as .srt.

save subtitles you tube

 

I’m not sure what a .srt file actually is, but all you need to do is convert it to a .txt file online and you will be able to open it with your computer. In the past I’ve used Subtitle Tools for the conversion, though a Google search for “Convert .srt file to .txt for free” will work just fine.

The text that is created will be formatted a little strangely with about 7 words per line and no punctuation. Honestly, I get a little overwhelmed by this, but the ability to create the video and written blog in one go is well worth the effort to run through your post and edit it.

Your outline makes this easier as well. 

You can work through small chunks and sections by pasting the text under the corresponding blog header. Please let me know if you often work through your transcripts, I’d love to feature more tips about converting a YouTube video into a blog post.

Again, if spending $10-$20 isn’t a problem, you can submit the video to Rev.com and utilize their transcription services.

Tip 6: Outsource your Blog Writing

We frequently outsource blog writing. I’ll keep this section short, but you can find experts in your industry who cost anywhere from $0.03 per word to $0.65 or more per word. So, depending on your budget and time you have available to provide an outline and edit your blog post, you may decide for yourself what budget for the blog writing really makes sense.

We utilize freelancers on Upwork.com and WritersAccess.com to find niche bloggers for our clients. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not an EMDR or Brainspotting expert, so why would I spend hours trying to write that blog post when someone else can write it for a fraction of the cost of my time to research.

Depending on your industry, you can also probably find Guest Bloggers who would write a post on your site for free if they can include their bio and a link back to their own website.

With Guest Bloggers, just make sure their content is unique and reserve the right to edit it slightly so the headers include your focus keywords and related keywords.

I love guest bloggers because they often then will share the link to their own networks or link to it from their website, which then in turn helps get new visitors to your website and helps in SEO.

How to quickly write a great blog post for your business, #blogging #bloggingtips, learn how to write a long blog, how to blog for your business, blogging for business

How to quickly write a great blog post for your business, #blogging #bloggingtips, learn how to write a long blog, how to blog for your business, blogging for business, #business

Wrap Up

Writing a high quality, long blog post doesn’t need to be a difficult task. Depending on how you work you may find that you are better suited to transcribe and audio or video file rather than sitting down and typing.

The most important starting point for any blog, however, is to make sure that you create an outline. I just sat down and busted out this blog before 9am, but it is on a topic I am VERY familiar with (have you checked out our blogging course yet?).

You may not have time to finish a blog in one chunk, so be sure to batch your time to most effective and efficient.

What long blog posts are you working on writing? I’d love to check out your work!

Not sure what Keywords to include in your Blog?

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Interested in learning more? Take a look at these articles:

Blogging in 2017 – The Startling Truth About Blogging

Blog SEO Checklist

4 Reasons Why Contests Should be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Topics Tribe with love

Content is King… When you know which topics you should be writing about.

This video is an excerpt from our NEW COURSE: Secrets to Effectively Blog For Your Business (which is included in the membership for our paying members).

In this video, we take a look at 3 of the ways you can find topics to blog about for your business:

1. A personal brainstorm
2. Your competitors
3. Industry and Trade Journals

And how you can utilize these topics to create a content calendar for your business.

As you tune in, be sure to have a pen and paper handy to start your brainstorm process.

How to Use Your Values to Create Exceptional Content for Your Business

You’ve heard you need to have identified core values for your brand and business, but what does this actually need?

We recently posted a video about how your core values are a set of standards for your business and how values drive how people perceive your business. Now it is time to take a look at translating this into the content you create. Here, we are going to be taking a look at a few different facets of your marketing:

  1. How to use your values to identify your target market
  2. How to use your values to create content that will move your brand forward
  3. How to use your values to understand ways you can react to both positive and negative reviews online.

Your brand and your mission need to flow through every aspect of your business and online, content is one of the main ways prospects can get a sense of who you are and what it would be like to work with you (or purchase your products). Do your personalities align or do they clash? Do you focus your attention on the same details your clients care about? How can you put your best foot forward online?

Let’s start with utilizing your values to identify your target market.

I’m sure you’ve been told that we work with people that we know, like, and trust. I must tell people this every single day. When your core values flow through your business, people with those same values will tend to be more attracted to working with you. They can help you really connect with those individuals who can then turn into raving fans.

A process to identify your target market that starts with your values.

Unlike most exercises that drive you towards creating a description of your target market, I invite you to think first about your values. More and more business experts are discussing how your employees should encompass your brand values, especially if they want to be more fulfilled, so why not bring this same notion to your consumers? Rather than focusing most heavily on the demographics of your target market, take a look at the psychographics. This includes the more personal characteristics of a person, including:

  • Values
  • Personality
  • Lifestyles
  • Attitudes
  • Behavior
  • Interests/hobbies

Think about how your product or service actually fits into your target consumer’s lifestyle, how will the product be used?

By going through this exercise, you open yourself up to thinking beyond just age, income, and location. You allow yourself to better understand what actually drives your consumers and what matters to them. Where do your business values come in? Well, ideally, your consumer’s values align with those of your business.

The next piece of your brand values is to use them to create content that moves your brand forward.

Here we will discuss possible topics that your business can write about that will better position your brand.

There are many different ways to come up with topics to discuss in your blog, so, just as a disclaimer, here I’m really only discussing one element of creating your content strategy. Your content strategy should be diverse, but there are ways to make sure within your strategy, your brand messaging and values come across loud and clear.

Actually discuss your values

We recommend sitting down once a quarter, or at least once per year, and actually write a blog about your values. This may seem strange the first few times, but provide examples about how your values have dictated what products and services you offer. Or create a blog emphasizing your attention to detail and customer relationships that also highlights testimonials from your clients. There are a lot of different ways to highlight your values in a blog post, but one thing I do want to emphasize is how important it is to try and relate these articles back to the benefit for your clients.

Nobody wants to read something only about you, but how interesting would a story be of how you found your supplier because of their fair trade employee salaries or how you came to be a life coach because of the struggles you had before you started living aligned with your values. These are things people can relate to, and topics that can help you form a real connection with your market.

Understand who you are writing for – and use words that convey your values

Okay, so this really ties into the first part of the blog where we look at psychographics to identify your target market. By understanding the values of your market, you can use language that they will relate to more clearly. Let’s say you are a winter sports company who is marketing ski helmets to parents. The language you should use should highlight the safety and comfort of their children. However, let’s say the company is edgy and markets to the park-rat. Do you think they should focus on comfort and safety?

No! Their target market wants to look cool and may care about being connected to their devices. They want a way to easily show off the sick tricks they are throwing in the half pipe while jamming out. Everything from the imagery the company would use to the verbiage would have to shift.

The same is true for your business. Who are those different consumers you are trying to work with? Do you find that you are intuitive when you work with clients or are you very process driven? Work to find what words you can use in your marketing that conveys your brand values.

Lastly, we are going to take a look at how to use your values to understand ways you can react to both positive and negative reviews online.

Creating a process to respond to reviews online

Far too frequently, businesses with high integrity receive negative reviews online. Often times we actually see this for our clients’ when they work with individuals with conflicting values to the business, but here we really should focus on what you do after you receive a review.

First, visualize that you have just received a notification of a 1 star review. What is your gut reaction? You’ve worked years to build a reputable business and now everyone will see this negative review, who wouldn’t be upset?!

Before you do anything, STOP. Think about your values – how do you want to be perceived?

Most business values include some sort of idea around integrity or relationships, so you want to make sure that how you respond also projects this. Unless you are a business like Shinesty or Cards Against Humanity, where you embrace an ‘in the face’ brand presence, we recommend the following:

  • How would you respond if the reviewer was speaking to you directly?
  • Was this an issue that you had tried to resolve and were aware of?
  • Is the customer actually right? Often times with negative reviews, the customer just can’t get over something (or maybe even be a competitor posting as an irate customer), but other times we can actually learn from legitimate negative reviews.
  • Think about what else could be going on in the individual’s life. If you truly think you did everything you could and that you bent over backwards, perhaps this individual is having the worst week of their life. Changing perspective can help you to calm your nerves and think more clearly about a situation.
  • Draft a reply comment in a word document that explains that you are sorry they are disappointed with your service, that you take pride in X,Y,Z, and that you are available to speak offline via phone or email.
  • Sit back an hour and reread your draft response. Check it for any spelling or grammatical errors, then copy and paste it as a reply to the review.

Following these steps will make sure you aren’t jumping in with your gut reaction, but rather that you are allowing your values to dictate how you will treat others online.

Positive reviews are easier to respond to, but many businesses fail to actually write back each and every time they receive a review. Again, think about your values. Let’s say Community is a brand value, what better way to showcase this by taking the time to thank each reviewer and reestablish your invitation to them into the community that you are building.

In this post we’ve taken a look at how to use your values to find your target market, how to write content that exemplifies your brand values, and how to respond to reviews in a value-driven way. Just remember in every aspect of your marketing and service to clients, your values can and should act as your compass.

 

Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business

What Are Core Values?

Core values are a set of standards for your business that everyone involved in your business must use in order to deliver the best possible product or service.

Core values force you to raise the bar and set the standard, the tone, and the cadence of your business.  Make sure you are doing what you can to set the right standards for your business to get the outcome you are looking for.

This video will help you establish core values for your business.

Blogging in 2017

Ahh! Run for the hills, blogging is dead!

Wait, what? After all this work blogging every day for 2 months, I’m now saying blogging is dead? Let’s step back a moment.

There is always someone talking about social media being dead or blogging being dead, but the truth of the matter is that even if one strategy isn’t working as it used to, another strategy jumps in and takes its place.

Let’s take a look at blogging.

[Disclaimer: I do not think blogging is dead. It has absolutely changed in the past year or two years, but doesn’t everything shift, change, and get better over time?]

In 2015, Hubspot reported ideal blog lengths. The report stated that:

  • Shorter is better for blogs. In fact, Forbes even published an article stating “After 750 word — or sometimes after only half that — you risk losing your readers’ attention.” [Source]
  • Most posts on WordPress were only 280 words long.
  • In general, however, for this short blog post strategy to work, you needed a large network and needed to post frequently. In essence, your blog feed started looking more like a social media account news feed.
  • Around this time, articles also started popping up that stated blogs under 750 words received the most shares, whereas blogs over 1,200 or 1,500 words ranked the highest organically.

Blogging in 2016

As the months passed, this shifted drastically! By early 2016, it started becoming clear that not only was content still king, but LONG content reigned top. The longer the content, the more shares and inbound links you would find. But, it wasn’t just articles 1,500 – 2,000 words long. We were now talking 3,000 – 10,000 words long!

Shares by Content Length

 

What this means is that even though in 2015 bloggers were posting short blogs frequently, they were overlooking the importance and response they could get by going more in depth in a topic. Most bloggers weren’t taking the time to go into depth about their topics. The surge in shares for pieces of content that were between 3,000 – 10,000 words went against older common sense that people would lose interest in longer articles. The truth was that these longer articles actually capture more of the reader’s attention!

Looking back at 2015/2016 it actually was that bloggers didn’t want to spend the time going into depth.

During this time, as well, Medium.com completed a study on the optimal post length to capture a reader’s attention. Not surprisingly, considering the data we’ve already reviewed, the best length was approximately 7 minutes, or  between 1,500 and 1,750 words. Again, however, we see the same trend that a majority of posts on Medium represent 3 minute reads. These 3 minute reads were viewed the most frequently, because there are more of them, but the best length for engagement was at the 7 minute mark.

Total Engagement or Time on Article

Total Views By Post Length

Okay, so it is pretty clear from this data that blog posts generally have been getting longer and readers tend to enjoy this longer content. We see this in not only the time people stay on a longer article, but also the number of times longer content is shared and the organic rankings of longer content. This is still all in the past, however!

Let’s jump to 2017, what can we do now to make the optimal blog post?

Researchers are still pointing at longer blog posts and unfortunately tend to reference older data to stake their claims. There are, however, some incredible insights about what this data now means!

In 2017 long form blog posts are where you need to be. It is more difficult for some people to create this content than others, but if you are hoping to use blogs for SEO and to appeal to clients, you need to make sure that a majority of your blogs are over 1,500 words and at least a few blogs every month are in the 3,000 to 5,000 word range.

Why is this?

As you write more in depth on a topic, you are utilizing more related keywords. Google and other search engines are able to pick up on these related keywords and understand the topic you are talking about more clearly. Think about it… the longer your content, the more words you use, and the more likely the words you are using relate to one another.

You want to be mindful about these related long tail keyword phrases you are using.

One way to double check your work as it comes to long tail and related keywords is to simply turn to Google.

Let’s say your keyword was Search Engine Optimization. Type this into Google. The text box automatically pulls up other keywords people often search for. Here we see definition, how to do, techniques, etc.

search engine optimization related words

These words and others also appear at the bottom of the search results page. Just scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see a section titled “Searches related to search engine optimization”.

How to use Related Keywords

Each of these words can make great long tail keywords to include in your content. You can also get a sense of what spin you should take in your writing. Are people looking for how to’s and tips or for more informative background or even specific products relating to your content?

Include media embedded in your longer blogs to make them more shareable.

Longer pieces of content also tend to have more media inserted. Blog posts with at least one image tend to outrank and be shared more than those with no image.

When you have a longer piece of content, you also have more opportunities to insert images, videos, and podcasts. Each of these then may appeal to one individual or another. Take the time to build graphs, infographics, and other imagery that can help your content stand out.

Internal and External Links in longer blog posts for SEO

Additionally, writing longer content creates more opportunities to increase your internal linking and provides more incentive for external websites to link to your content. As you are writing, you are showing your expertise and knowledge on your subject. As you write, be sure to add links to other blog posts you’ve written. These longer blogs also create an opportunity for yourself to then highlight an eBook or freebie on your site.

Longer blogs create prompts for additional content on your site.

Often times, a longer blog post actually works very well as a starting point for your marketing for webinars and products. When you write the blog you are cultivating the information that can then be shared through different avenues. You are better able to repurpose your information that appears in the blog post.

To repurpose content, start with your blog post. This information can then be expanded upon in an eBook, which can be used to collect email addresses. Your email newsletter then in turn works as an avenue to share additional blog posts that are on information related to the eBook.

From here, you can measure which topics get the most response from your own market. These topics that get the highest engagement rates, then provide the basis for more in depth blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and finally products that you can sell online (or in person). Each blog post should also be shared on social media, as LinkedIn articles, and through sites like Quora and Medium.

Through repurposing the content you are building even more links between pages and reaching even more individuals.

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Lastly, we need to look at where the industry is heading.

In the future, I don’t think studies of blogging will only measure effectiveness based on how many words appear in an article. Recent trends show that it is becoming increasingly important to include video and audio in blog posts. My hypothesis is that the research on blogging effectiveness is going to shift to measure the effectiveness of having these more personal elements. This unfortunately means a lot of us are going to have to step out of our comfort zone!

If you take a moment to consider how we choose to work with certain businesses and individuals, it really boils down to us knowing, liking, and trusting the person. Video is such an incredible way to tell people who we are and to show our personality.

As a Recap

  1. In the past, shorted blogs worked well for business
  2. Businesses and bloggers still tend to write these shorter posts, but need to dive into more detail
  3. To run an effective blogging program, you need to write posts that are 1,000-5,000 words long
  4. In these long posts, be sure to include Related Keywords, link to other blogs on your site, and share the posts to your other networks and email list
  5. Base eBooks and freebies on your site on content repurposed from your long blog posts as a way to manage your time more effectively
  6. Start stepping out of your comfort zone and include audio and video in your blogs posts in addition to images and infographics