6 Ways Healthcare Businesses Can Benefit from Email Marketing

Love it or hate it, email remains to be one of the primary means of communication. Despite its age, ubiquity, and versatility, most business owners assume that it is one of those things that doesn’t work. Maybe that’s even you and your practice. 

Email is actually a great option for marketing and promoting your practice. Here are 6 reasons why healthcare businesses and providers should do email marketing. 

Create a stronger relationship with patients 

According to a study that was conducted by researchers from Pew Internet, 80% of internet users have searched for a health-related topic online.

You know that there is a demand for healthcare content. People have already given you permission to email them. Now, they expect you to give them something in return. 

Email is a great place to share relevant and timely health information. You can share some tips on how to avoid flu at work or how to keep kids safe while playing in the snow. 

Your subscribers are already looking for these types of information online. By sending relevant and well-crafted healthcare content regularly, they’ll see that you care about their health and well-being. The more value you provide to your subscribers, the more they’ll look forward to hearing from you. When that happens, you’ll have a better chance of earning their trust and loyalty. 

Personalized communication

People love it when businesses and treats them as an individual. Email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show your patients and subscribers that you value and care about them. It allows you to keep in touch with your audience on a regular basis. It can be as simple as “Thank you for subscribing”, a sincere “Happy Birthday” or some healthcare tips.  

Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and read. Make sure that you address the recipient by their name. It is also a good idea to use a person’s name in the “from” field. People are more likely to trust and relate to an email that comes from a person as opposed to a business. 

Cost-effective 

There are a number of channels you can use to market your practice online. But email remains among the simplest, most cost-effective ways for you to market yourself and your practice. In fact, sending a monthly newsletter to your email list could cost you nothing more than your time. The best part? It lets you send your message around the world in seconds. 

Extensive reach 

With the rise of social media, many businesses have abandoned email marketing, and we’re not surprised. 

There are 4.3 billion internet users across the globe. Approximately 80% of them have social media accounts. That’s huge! But here’s the thing. The average click-through rate for a Facebook post is between 0.5 and 2%. If you have 1,000 followers, that means only 5-20 of them will see your posts. 

Contrary to popular misconception, email marketing has great delivery and conversion rate. Almost everyone has an email, and they check it every now and then – while eating, while working or while waiting for the bus to arrive. 

If you want to reach your target audience, you can do so through email. While not everyone will click and read the email, they are 80% more likely to do so than a Facebook post they might not even see. 

Preferred method of communication 

Email is far less obtrusive than a phone call or in-person visit. Plus, it is perceived as a more private outlet than social media. For this reason, many people prefer to communicate via email when it comes to their healthcare and medical needs. 

A decade ago, people would use email to communicate with their family and friends. But a lot of that has shifted to social media, video chat, and texting. Email, on the other hand, is often reserved for work or business transactions, especially when dealing with very sensitive information. 

Target select audience 

We all know that the content is what makes an email great. But there is no point in sending out well-crafted, high-quality content if they are directed to the wrong audience. 

Email marketing gives you the freedom to organize your contacts into segments. That means you can communicate with them based on their age, location, interest, etc. This way, you can easily customize your message for the different audiences you communicate with. 

If you’re an emergency clinic, age would be an important demographic. For instance, you can send content that is centered on slips and falls to older adults on your list. For young adults, it could be about sports-related injuries.   

By segmenting your list by age group, you can tailor the content of your email to suit the specific health interest and current situation of the recipient. When relevant content reaches the right audience, you’ll stay on top of mind with patients, establish a strong relationship, and build lifelong trust.

 

Healthcare Businesses Can Benefit from Email Marketing

6 Best Practices for Physician Referral Marketing

According to a report in the Annals of Family Medicine, 45% of physicians receive new patients through referrals. Like any medical practitioner, you want to make sure that your practice is supported by your referral partners and your community.

We know that you are doing your part in referring patients to other physicians whom you feel are the best. But are they returning the favor of referring their patients to you?

If you’re looking for ways to get more referrals, keep reading. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices your office should maintain to maximize the potential of your patient referral program.

Get out of the office

In a fast-paced hospital setting, it can be especially hard to connect with colleagues. If you want to bolster your referral network and keep your business thriving, then you need to make the decision to get out of the office, even if it’s just once a month.

Meet new physicians and healthcare leaders in your community. Reach out to existing providers who you refer to and who refer to you.

Identify physicians you want to partner with. You’ll want someone who is a good match for your practice, share your values and hold themselves to a high ethical standard.

Build a relationship

The best way to grow your referrals is to build, maintain, and improve your relationships with referring providers.

Professional referrals are based squarely on sound relationships and expertise. Doctors and their staff will only refer their patients to people they trust, like, and feel are competent.

Make a continual effort to show your referring doctors that you value their partnership. You can call them up just to see how they and their families are doing, drop by with a frappuccino for them or take them out for lunch.

In most cases, it is not the doctor, but a key staff person who actually handles the referral mechanics. If you want to grow your referral base, then you should take the initiative to get to know not only the physician but also their staff. Be certain to identify and include the key gatekeepers. Capitalize on those connections and they will be more likely to pass your business card on.

Simplify the referral process

Most doctors would simply advise their patients to book an appointment with a certain doctor.

Unfortunately, 50% of professional referrals never result in a doctor’s visit. The referral process should be quick and simple.

Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on a big slice of the referral pie. Even if the referring physician and their staff adore you, they’re not going to send patients your way if your referral process is frustrating, time-consuming, and just plain clunky.

Simplify the referral process by investing in a secure online referral portal, where they can send you the patient’s information, including contact information, suspected diagnosis, and reason for referral.

Since you already have the necessary information, it will be easier for you to decide the course of action and how quickly the patient needs to be seen. As a result, you’ll be able to serve both the referring physician and the patient better.

Make referring physician look good

When doctors refer their patients to you, it means that they trust you. Your office will serve as an extension of theirs, so they are counting on you to provide patients with excellent service.

Often, patients report back to their primary physicians about their experience. Make a special effort to accommodate the referred patient as soon as possible. Also, make sure that you take good care of the patients and treat them right.

Ensure the referring physician that there will always be room for their patients at your practice.

Be grateful

We grow up learning the importance of good manners, and that usually starts with saying “thank you”.

If a patient is referred to you, take the time to call the referring physician to thank him/her for the trust and confidence. You can also send a hand-written note if that’s your style. Let the referring practice know that you appreciate the referral.

Stay in touch with the referring physician

When a patient is referred to you, it is always vital to follow up. This is a crucial step that many physicians do not do.

One study suggests that 40% of patients that follow through with a referral never went back to their primary physician after the care is initially provided. Always send the patient back to the referring physician. The last thing you want is for the referring doctor to feel that their generous referral has cost them a patient.

Let the referring practice know that the patient has already been scheduled and that you will continue to communicate about what transpires. You want to assure the referring doctor that you’re invested in their patients’ health and that the patient will be receiving the best care possible.

6 Best Practices for Physician Referral Marketing

Lead Generation for Health Care

Today we’re going to be talking about Lead generation. We’ve already discussed Facebook advertising and social media marketing and lead generation ties into this as well as your Patient Journey very closely.

Now as we dive into lead generation, there are some basic components that we are going to discuss. The first is having a clear understanding of what your ideal patient is looking for online, then it includes creating the messaging that’s going to bring this person into the door and get them interested in learning more, followed by the technical aspects of creating a landing page a welcome email and a thank you page. as we discussed these items were going to dive into the hero’s journey and what this means for creating advertising copy that captures the attention, build trust, and books initial consultations with your patients.

Often times we see health clinics run ads that direct people to a page on their website. While this is great for building website traffic we have found that these campaigns lead to nearly zero results and a negative return on investment for health care centers. While you want to make sure that you are helping those in your community, you also need to make sure that you are understanding how the money you spend in your advertising actually relates to an increase in revenue of your bottom line.

Please – if you know that your ads just run to a page on your website, jump into your account and pause them now and don’t hesitate to contact us for a marketing consultation.

Let’s start first with the needs of your ideal patient we’ve been talking about this over the past couple of months. You should already understand your patient Journey. What brings these patients in the door? What makes them look for your services? And how can you position the benefits of coming in to see your doctors so that it answers the key questions that you are prospects have.

Watch Lead Generation Strategy

Listen to the Lead Generation Strategy on our Marketing Podcast

Transcript of Healthcare Marketing Podcast on Medical Lead Generation

00:01 Caitlin McDonald: Hello and welcome to the Social Speak Network podcast. I’m Caitlin McDonald, the co-founder over here at Social Speak, and today we’re gonna be talking about lead generation for your healthcare practice. So, we’ve already discussed Facebook advertising and social media marketing, and lead generation really ties into these as well as your patient journey which we’ve been discussing all throughout very closely. So, as we dive into lead generation, there’s some basic components that we’re going to discuss. The first is having a clear understanding of what your ideal patient is looking for online. So, then, this dives into creating the messaging that’s going to bring this person into the door and get them interested in learning more. You follow this by the technical aspects of creating a landing page, and a welcome email, and a thank you page.

01:05 CM: And so, as we discuss these items, we’re going to dive into the hero’s journey, and what this means for creating advertising copy that captures the attention, builds trust, and books initial consultations with patients. So, oftentimes, we see healthcare clinics and different clinics run ads that direct people just to a page on their website, and maybe there’s a schedule, your appointment form there. Well, this is great for building traffic to your website, we’ve found that these campaigns really don’t lead to a return on your investment. Yes, you might get a few people booking appointments. However, there’s a much better way to run your lead generation campaigns, so that you have a higher chance of getting people filling out that initial form. And so we’ll be diving into that today.

02:02 CM: So, while you wanna make sure that you’re helping those in your community, you also need to make sure that the money that you’re spending on getting people through a funnel is actually increasing the revenue to your bottom line. So if you know that your ads run to a page of your website on your website, please jump into those accounts, pause them now, pick up your phone, give us call, we are here to help you. Again, this is the number one mistake that we see health care centers and clinics make. So, again, yes, it’s awesome that you’re getting website traffic there, but are they actually been converting into patients for your clinic?

02:51 CM: So, taking a step back, let’s first talk about the needs of your ideal patient. And we’ve been talking about this for the past month or so, maybe two months, and you should already have a sense of your patient journey. So this includes what brings the patients into the door, what makes them look for your services, and how can you position the benefits of coming in to see your doctors so that it answers the key questions, concerns, and fears that your prospects have? So take the time to review your patient journey again. And, again, this can be multiple patient journeys. I just want you to think about one of them. Once you have that patient journey at the forefront of your mind, you can begin to understand how you can position the answers to these common questions and solutions to these common fears as part of the hero’s journey framework.

03:51 CM: So let’s quickly talk about the hero’s journey. The hero’s journey originates from Joseph Campbell, and really can be a framework that we can utilize in our marketing messaging. I’m not gonna go through step-by-step about what Joseph Campbell says, but more about how we can use it in your marketing language. So we actually follow this process when we are writing Facebook ads for our healthcare centers. So, the step one, first step is create an emotion. And this is really getting people involved and getting them to have a connection to the story that you are telling. Then the next thing is to determine a theme. This is an idea of how we should live our lives. Are you finding peace in your life, or are you living a life of greater success? Are you living on your own terms, and things like that? Then you can talk about the hero’s journey. So, what was their life before they started on this journey? What was the background?

05:09 CM: Then, what did you long for, what did this person long for? So, for example, if it’s somebody who has knee pain, their life before is that they could hardly get off of the couch, they couldn’t go out and enjoy the activities that they used to, they longed to dance at their daughter’s wedding and have that first dance, but they were just in pain. So you need to create empathy for the hero in your content. And so you can talk about this individual either in the third person or in the first person. We found for a lot of smaller solo practitioners, health coaches that talking about this in the first person works really well. And for larger health care clinics oftentimes having an individual tell their story works really well.

06:00 CM: So you want to show how misfortune has affected the character as a way to develop that sympathy. And you also want to make the hero likable. You can’t have a villain as that hero especially in these ads. So, the next thing is you need to present an opportunity that this main character, the main hero has faced. And so this can be an event that’s never happened to them before. So they learned a secret. They heard about a specialist in the area, they heard about one of your physicians and the services that you offer. And so the hero then takes action. And, as it transitions into this new situation, what’s at stake? What are those big questions that they have? And now it’s a chance to show how they actually pursued their goal of being able to dance at their daughter’s wedding.

07:10 CM: They took action and they accomplished their goal by coming in to see your specialist. By booking that first appointment, they were able to put their fears aside and to understand how knee replacement surgery has come a long way. And so you want to make sure that you are building up a climax and showing how this hero has taken their pain and found a solution and then actually acted on it. And then here is when you show the transformation. So you’re telling about what life was like after. You start with before, how bad everything was. They find the solution, they take action and then you have the transformation. We’ve been finding that having a testimonial within this transformation piece can work really well to provide social proof that the transformation actually worked. And if you are an expert, you are the specialist that you say you are able to help people, I’m sure you will be able to find one of those testimonials.

08:17 CM: So we really enjoy following this… Enjoy… [chuckle] We found a lot of success following this hero’s journey as we’re putting together the language that we use in the Facebook ad. So then I mentioned rather than sending somebody directly to a website that just is part of your site as a whole, really directing them to a landing page. So we take some of those key benefits that we’re identifying within this Hero’s Journey of all the things that they could accomplish after that transformation and we put those benefits onto the landing page. We can also put a video of the specialist that actually allowed that transformation to happen. And so you can do a quick video of one of your physicians, one of your doctors, or even yourself in there, just to build trust, get people to know, like, and trust your brand and to allow people to come face-to-face with who they would be meeting at your practice.

09:21 CM: From here we have that schedule appointment now. For smaller solopreneurs you could have an e-book or a checklist to grow your email list. We also do recommend that for healthcare centers. But if you really wanna see that immediate return, scheduling the appointments, having this here is a great idea. So, to build your landing page, we utilize a tool, Lead Pages. It’s just leadpages.com, you can sign up for an account there, and we build basically all of our landing pages through here, and they’re just very simple layouts. So, as I mentioned, we take the benefits, we put them on one side, we have a video, and we have the schedule now, and a headline up at the top with maybe your logo.

10:20 CM: And so it’s just very clear and crisp and has one call to action. They don’t then see all of the links at the top of the website, and start clicking around to learn more and forget that they were even there to book an appointment. This is to get people to take action immediately. From here we have lead pages actually send out an initial email to anybody who signs up for the consultation or to download a resource from you. And we have lead pages also host the “Thank You” page. So on the “Thank You” page is where you can provide even more information about the clinic, link to the website, and things like that. Sometimes we even build that “Thank You” page directly onto the website so that they can then start poking around and learning more about your practice.

11:17 CM: And how this works if somebody clicks on the Facebook ad. You’re targeting them based on interests, geographic location. Maybe there are people who have been to your website, and because you have the pixel installed on your website, or in a different landing page, you can re-market to them. Potentially you have an email list, and you can create a lookalike audience for that email list. And so you have this audience, you direct them to the landing page. After that landing page which we build on lead pages, we put the code directly onto your website, so it could be a WordPress website, you just use a plugin, it’s super simple. Other websites, you can take the HTML code from lead pages, plug it into a page on your website for more control and flexibility. Lead Pages does A/B testing, kinda just built in so you can try different designs, you could try having a video, not having a video, changing colors or language, and it will all automatically process for you.

12:25 CM: So they get to the landing page, they fill out the information, they got sent a welcome email as well as redirected to a thank you page where they can learn more about your practice. And the reason why we do this is because we really feel as though if you want to help the folks in your community who are struggling and who need your clinics support and expertise, that you need to create a system and a messaging that’s going to make it as simple as possible for them to move forward and take that next step. We have just found such great success with this process. Typically, you might start out and you might get the messaging wrong, and that’s okay, at least you’re getting the information and the data to then make a new decision in the future.

13:27 CM: So, as I mentioned before, if you are currently running ads and you don’t know how well they’re converting, or you think that they’re just going to a page on your website that may or may not have a little form on the side of the page, please reach out to us. We would love to chat, love to dive into what you do have going on, just for a free consultation where we can tell you the steps that you can take in order to optimize that advertising campaign. Of course we do also work as your external marketing department, and we can help manage those lead funnels as well. So, again, my name is Caitlin McDonald, I am the co-founder of Social Speak Network, you’ve been listening to the Social Speak Network podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in and we will see you next week.

Facebook Groups for Health and Wellness Practices

Today’s podcast is about Facebook groups and how to utilize Facebook groups to get in front of prospects, to build a community around your services, and really create that brand image where you are sharing valuable information and building conversations with your target market. So Facebook groups really have a few different purposes.

You can view them as a forum on Facebook, you can view them as a way for people to connect with a community around a certain topic or even in a specific location. And we have seen great success for wellness coaches, dietitians, nutritionists, wellness centers, healthcare organizations, creating groups were their own prospects and members as a way to make sure that they have more consistent communication with those individuals.

Listen to the Podcast on Facebook Groups for Health Care

Watch the Video about Facebook Groups in Health and Wellness Marketing

Read the Transcript

00:00 Speaker 1: Hello everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Social Speak Network podcast. I’m your host, the sweet Caitlin McDonald, the founder over here at the Social Speak Network, and over the past couple of weeks, and moving forward into the next, maybe even a couple of months, we’re going to be talking about the top 10 things that your wellness practice Health Care Center can do on digital marketing to see a return from their investment. And so today, I’m going to be talking about Facebook groups and how to utilize Facebook groups to get in front of prospects, to build a community around your services, and really create that brand image where you are sharing valuable information and building conversations with your target market. So Facebook groups really have a few different purposes. You can view them as a forum on Facebook, you can view them as a way for people to connect with a community around a certain topic or even in a specific location. And we have seen great success for wellness coaches, dieticians, nutritionists, wellness centers, healthcare organizations, creating groups were their own prospects and members as a way to make sure that they have more consistent communication with those individuals.

01:42 S1: Now, in order to make this happen, you have to really make sure that you’re not making the group about you. The group has to be about fostering a community, fostering conversations, and relationships and making sure that you’re not just talking about your own services and your own business. Yes, it’s a great way to share content that you create, but that content that you create, as we’ve said over and over again, really needs to be educational information that your target market and your prospects can take and run with. So for example, let’s say you are a health coach and you have new programs that are coming out. And so these programs, you really wanna share to your community. Now, you could go ahead and share them to your Facebook group. But rather than doing that, I would recommend creating a behind-the-scenes information that somebody might be able to find more expansive version of within the group, excuse me, within the program itself. However, you’re sharing just enough to get them started on the right path. This allows people to do it themselves if they want to, or to understand your expertise, so that they can turn to you for help with guidance down the road.

03:09 S1: Now you don’t wanna just be in there, posting about the group, excuse me, posting about your services individually, because this turns people away, it’s not interactive. Instead of doing that, post questions, answer questions, hop on Facebook live just in front of your group members and really try to foster that, those conversations. Now, it is important to note that right here, I’m talking about a group that is specifically to build a community around your services, and your practice. However, there are a lot of other more broad groups that already exists on Facebook. So, before you create that next group on diabetes, let’s say, make sure that there aren’t groups already out there that are doing a great job. If you’re trying to recreate something that’s already out there, it’s going to take a lot more time and effort to get people to join your group, because they’re already invested in these other groups. Now, I’m not saying don’t do it [chuckle] Facebook Groups are great thing to create, for your practice, but it does definitely take more time if it’s already existing in your space and in your specialties.

04:33 S1: Now, what you could do, if there is a group already made in your area of expertise, is go ahead and join that group. Offer guidance and ask questions, comment on other people’s posts and really start positioning yourself as an expert in that space, and as someone who is trustworthy or as an organization that’s trustworthy. And doing this helps you get that brand recognition, but again, you can’t talk about your services in somebody else’s group. Typically, there are guidelines about this, and it’s just not very professional behavior. We call this in, I mean in most industries, coaching clients from somebody else. And yes, a lot of times, your clients may have worked with somebody else in the past, but you don’t wanna be too salesy as you are trying to build that trust, and really come across as a figure in the space. Then the next tip about utilizing Facebook groups, and this is going back to creating a group yourself, is to be really specific about the purpose and to recognize that it’s going to be difficult to manage the group by yourself.

05:51 S1: And so in terms of understanding and being specific about the group’s purpose, this really helps set the expectations for your group members as they’re joining the group, what they’re going to see, what type of content they’re going to see, and how they can utilize the group to help further their own knowledge, education, and health. And so you want to, if you have a specific purpose and you’ve written the guidelines for the group, it’s important to actually stick to those. So somebody joins, they see the guidelines, maybe they answer a few questions before being approved, then you have to make sure that you are really sticking to those guidelines and being truthful yourself as well as holding other people accountable. Then the second piece there, was [chuckle] inviting other admins and managers to the group. So, in a group, you can have multiple managers. We recommend not just having one person in charge of the group. This really makes it so that there’s less… What we’ve seen in our experience is that there’s less interactions if there’s only one manager. When there are more managers you can even help foster discussions between one another, and people always can have their questions answered more quickly.

07:13 S1: So you can either divide the management based on your own expertise and what topics you are comfortable talking about. Or you can divide it by day of the week, or even time of day. Depending on how active your group is, you might even need somebody on call over the weekend to make sure that those questions are being answered. If somebody’s posting something in the group, and nobody is commenting back in replying, people are going to stop writing back. Now, having multiple group member, or excuse me group admin also makes it easier to keep new conversations forming in the group. So by this I mean, let’s say it’s been a quiet week and no members are really posting anything. As a manager of the group, you can then go in and post something to start spurring the conversation. Maybe you have the first week of the month, you have a standard question that goes out and you see how it changes over time. Maybe it’s asking people for their favorite exercise routine or their favorite activity of the season with their family. Potentially, it’s posting recipes that have to do with a single ingredient that’s timely or seasonal. So all of these things are things that you can do to help boost that engagement on the group, and because you are managing the group, that helps you prove your own expertise and position within the space.

08:47 S1: One other thing I recommend is having individuals introduce themselves when they join the group, and by doing this, you are getting people one, committed, two, participating in the group. If the first thing they do once they join is they start posting in the group, typically they’ll keep on doing it. If you don’t ask them to introduce themselves, oftentimes, they’re not going to. And then another thing that you can do is make sure that when somebody’s requesting to join you ask them questions prior to joining. So you can ask them what topics they’re most interested in, so that you talk about those topics, and for their email address. Now, this email address, if you have a disclosure there, you can mostly add that to your newsletter as well, or you can check to make sure that they’re already on your newsletter and they have to be part of on your newsletter in order to then join your group. So it’s a great way just to build your email list as well.

09:53 S1: So above all, the biggest takeaway when it comes to Facebook groups is really making sure that you are being considerate of others. You aren’t selling yourself too much and that your really, your main goal is to build that community and those relationships with the members of your group. So again, my name’s Caitlin McDonald. I’m the co-founder over here at the Social Speak Network. And thank you so much for tuning into our podcast on Digital Marketing for Health and Wellness Practices. Next week, Amber is going to be diving into utilizing on some tools for social media. So be sure to stick around there. You can download and subscribe to, our podcast on iTunes as well as Podbean and it’s also over on our website, the socialspeaknetwork.com. Thanks so much, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Discovering your Patient't Journey

From the moment a patient seeks medical care for an injury or makes an appointment with their family doctor to determine the cause of their recent symptoms, the patient has begun a journey during which multiple people may be involved.

Hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other providers, may all be, at one point or another, involved in this patient journey.

When we start to think of the “Patient Journey” we need to think of these things:

  • What they are going through?
  • What are their pain points before they get to you?
  • What are they experiencing and struggling with?

By identifying these things this helps you as a business owner be able to provide the right resources they are looking for.

In today’s healthcare landscape, consumers have more options, choices, and resources when it comes to the direction of their own care. This ecosystem shift slab that the patient transportation is not a linear one, but rather a multi-stage clause with many different channels and touch points along with the media (much like a tree with dozens of different branches).

A few stages of the “Patient Journey” –

Awareness: Self-assessment of barrier and symptoms, leading to online research and education, consequence problem on social media, etc. This is the start id their journey, they have recognized that something is not right with their body, or how they feel. Most people will become aware of their issue and then start the research process. 

This is where they will spend hours online on different tools like Google, Pinterest, Facebook, WedMd, etc. to try to identify what they are going through.

Help: At this point, the patient understands they need help with their symptoms and are looking for the correct place to go. This is where your resource marketing comes into handy because you have been building a rapport with your patients, they trust you and know you are the right person to start with. 

Care: This piece is where the “know, like, trust” factor comes in. When a patient chooses you to be their caretaker and help them with their issues or symptoms this is a really big deal. most people just think I am a doctor and this is what I am supposed to do, but you are doing so much more. You are becoming a large resource mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Treatment: You may be on the journey with these patients for a while, or just a couple visits. It’s important to take note of their treatment so you can use that data to help other patients like them. Treatment can be anything from home remedies, physical therapy, chemo, counseling, whether it be large or small treatment it will be a world of difference to your patient if they are no longer in pain. 

Behavioral/Lifestyle Change: Changes to reduce readmissions and promote proactive health. How has your care and treatment helped them to live a better life? This piece right here is the end goal, this is what people are looking for. 

  • Do they want to be able to walk with ease again?
  • Be able to live to see their family grow?
  • Be able to overcome their fears?

Whatever that lifestyle is for them that they will be able to achieve when they are doing work with you and your practice is the first step to your digital marketing. They are wanting something better in their life, they became aware of their problem, sought help, got treatment, and now ready to live their life again.

Ongoing Care/Proactive Health: What is the call-to-action? Do they need to come for follow-up appointments, exercises at home, home remedies, physical therapy, etc.? What do they need to do to continue their lifestyle and be proactive from here on out? 

It’s important for the patient to understand their journey and continue to improve. 

WHAT IS PATIENT JOURNEY MAPPING?

Patient route mapping in the healthcare industry is a data-driven, patient-centric approach to planning marketing activity, communications, and (to some degree) even delivery care. It’s a way to gather the facts, discover the anticipation of your patient, and then line-up that information to deliver an exemplary healthcare experience.

What testament a patient excerpt map do for you?

In short, patient section maps give you a clear guide for how to improve retention and acquisition through customer satisfaction. Exceeding patient expectation benefits your saps relation convenience twofold:

  1. It increases retention rates through patient satisfaction
  2. It increases new patient acquisition through evangelism

Word of mouth is still, and most likely always will be the best form of marketing, but if you can really connect with your patient’s on a much deeper level and be able to provide information, be a resource for them and their family. This allows you to take your digital marketing to the next level and reach more people. 

Conclusion

Active listening and putting systems in place is key! You will always want a steady flow of patient’s, and as their lives change maybe they move or find a different doctor or maybe your services are no longer needed, it’s important to keep that pipeline full with new and potential patient’s that need your services.

Digital marketing is a great way to connect with a potential patient’s in your community and be more than just a provider, but a resource. Once people feel they can trust your practice and get their questions answered, that’s when the magic happens. They start talking about you online and referring you more and more.

A few things to do when you get a new patient:

  1. Collect their email address – don’t just leave this in your system and not do anything with it, add it to your CRM like MailChimp, InfusionSoft, SalesForce, MyEmma, Constant Contact, etc. an email software so you can send them monthly newsletters with valuable information.
  2. Ask them to like you on Facebook or Instagram
  3. Invite them to leave a positive review on Google and/or Facebook once they are satisfied with their treatment
  4. Then have a strong social media presence to continue to stay top of mind

Remember, you are an important piece of your patient’s journey!

Learn more about  3 Tested Tactics to Integrate Patient Journey in Digital Marketing Strategy

Understanding your patient's journey and How to market to them online

Engaging Patients and Prospects with Empathy – Interview with Rod Thomas of Scorpion

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Rod Thomas is a Director of Regional Sales for Scorpion Healthcare, an award-winning digital marketing partner that has helped more than 250 hospitals and healthcare providers improve their digital presence and achieve their business goals.

Scorpion Healthcare

Rod has consulted on digital strategy for healthcare organizations of varying sizes and services – including individual provider practices, private orthopedic groups, addiction treatment centers, small rural hospitals and major health systems.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two amazing children.

In this interview with Rod, we focused on tracking marketing efforts, sticking to a digital strategy, and making sure your business goals, and patient empathy, stay at the forefront of digital marketing efforts for the healthcare industry. We covered:

  • How Inbound Marketing, Web design, and traditional marketing work for healthcare brands.
  • Current trends or wellness practices with digital marketing in 2019.
  • Why you shouldn’t just track Cost Per Click and Impressions with your digital marketing campaigns.
  • The top 3 things that a healthcare center should be doing online to see a return from their SEM efforts.
  • The top strategy that should be followed, but often marketing teams get wrong.

Learn more about how to use Digital Marketing for your Healthcare center.

Biggest Takeaway from Podcast

One of the biggest takeaways I have from today’s podcast is the role that empathy has in your digital marketing. It is so important to be empathetic and everything that you do online, you need to connect with a customer, with a client, with a patient who is going through a difficult health choice.

Now, maybe the health choice seeing simple for you, potentially, you’re a dentist, and somebody needs to come in for a routine cleaning. This could be somebody who is absolutely terrified and has had negative experiences with every dentist that they’ve worked with up until stepping in your door and sitting down in your seat.

So you need to understand as we’ve talked about in multiple episodes that customer journey.

What is their patient journey as they’re going from recognizing that they might have a problem to finding a solution, to actually calling up and scheduling appointments, and how can we be empathetic to them in their situation, every step of the way?

Yes, the main goal of digital marketing and online marketing is to increase your bottom line revenue, but in order to do that, you need to make sure that your story and your marketing and messaging is empathetic to the customers who are out there.

Watch the Digital Marketing Interview with Scorpion Healthcare

 

Listen to the Digital Marketing Podcast

 

Podcast Interview Transcript

Hello and welcome to the newest episode of The Social speak Network podcast. I’m Caitlin McDonald and I am so excited to have Rod Thomas on our show today. Rod Thomas is a Director of Regional Sales for Scorpion Healthcare, an award-winning digital marketing partner that has helped more than 250 hospitals and health care providers improve their digital presence, and achieve their business goals.

Rod has consulted on digital strategy for health care organizations of varying size and services including individual provider practices private orthopedic groups addiction treatment centers, small rural hospitals and major health systems.

Rod is a graduate of Northwestern University and lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two amazing children.

Caitlin McDonald: I’m so excited to have Rod on the show today, let’s give him a warm welcome. Welcome Rod, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Rod Thomas: It is a pleasure to be here. Thank you for asking me.

CM: To kick things off, tell us a little bit about your background in digital marketing.

RT: Well, I’ve been at Scorpion for over two years now and that’s really where I got my start in digital marketing. I’ve been solely focused on health care digital marketing in those two years. I entered into the space as a corporate employee and I’ve worked over that time, I’ve worked with a lot of different organizations. I’ve worked with rural hospitals, critical access hospitals. They have a unique set of circumstances, unique challenges, all the way up to large multi-hospital systems, which is another game.

I provided digital marketing for addiction treatment centers and individual doctor practices or larger physician groups. So it’s within healthcare, but even within healthcare, even though it seems like a very specific vertical, there are a lot of different the groups, business goals, and challenges that each group of faces on a regular basis.

I’ve enjoyed learning about all of those different aspects of those groups and helping them figure out what you can do online to make connections with your community because it’s all very different.

CM: That’s right, some of the messaging that you have with all of these different types of practices has to be very different. Someone dealing with addiction is going to be very different than the customer lifetime journey of somebody who needs a knee replacement. So it’s really how do you speak to both of those?

RT: Even within hospitals, I mean you have a critical access hospital and a primary objective of theirs is just to keep their market from feeling like they have to go to a big city to get a higher level of care. They often have fewer resources than the other hospital, the urban hospital, so that’s their focus.

But if you look at urban hospitals, they have competitors down the street. They are competing against all the other organizations that serve that market.

Even those two comparisons of rural hospital trying to just maintain its market versus a larger hospital in the city that’s trying to elbow its way up with the competitors, that has down the street, shows how different your digital marketing goals need to be.

CM: So Rod your business is really a one-stop solution for technology and marketing. How does this differ from a typical approach to digital marketing?

RT: Well, I don’t know that there is a typical approach. There are so many companies out there that do digital marketing; they’re not a lot of barriers to entry into the place into the space.

You can build a website and basically say, “I’ve got experience managing Google AdWords and Facebook and Facebook campaigns.” And you’re off to the races. So there are, there’s a lot of competition out there.

I think you’ve got people who build websites, on certain platforms or whether it’s an open source or proprietary platform. Then there are other agencies like us that do digital marketing. You’ve also got agencies that are more broad-based agencies that do everything from print to TV and film, branding of all of your entire marketing service line and channels.

I’d say what sets Scorpion apart is our specialization in digital marketing combined with our history and the technology platform that we’ve built.

We’ve been in the business for 18 years – that’s a pretty substantial history, and we’ve invested over that time in our platform and our systems. We are really pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and being able to drive efficiencies with that system. Having a platform where you have the website, you have your landing pages, you’re able to track and have transparency on all of those entry points into the system, so to speak. So that if, not to get too into the weeds here, but if somebody clicks on an ad, and they look at the landing page, but they don’t convert, for example they’re not making a phone call, or filling out a form, but later they come back to your website. If it’s on our system, we actually can see them, we’ve noted them, and can narrow it down to, “He clicked on the ad,” we realized when he comes back he’s not necessarily an organic lead. He is someone who actually saw an ad, they just didn’t convert until later.

But that platform, it has a lot of intricacy built into it that gives us a big advantage in the space.

CM: Awesome, and I’m assuming you’re going to come back to talk about that a little bit more when we talk about Scorpion, but let’s keep going with these digital marketing questions. So what current trends are you seeing for health centers with digital marketing in 2019?

RT: Well, healthcare tends to continue to be slow to adapt.

I’m going to give healthcare a bit of a pass on one end because health care is just different. It’s not the same as shopping at Amazon, or Target, or Best Buy Online. You’re dealing with HIPAA issues, you’re dealing with personal or private, personal health information. So there are different obstacles in healthcare to do this responsibly.

But that being said, healthcare is just not been as advanced in terms of addressing the opportunity to connect with their community online.

And when they do make an aggressive move they often just get it wrong. So that’s a trend, that’s one trend.

The other trend I would say just in terms of digital marketing in general is video.

Video is king. That type of content is really great. People respond very differently and have a closer connection with video. We’re just seeing a lot of that’s paying dividends down the road.

If you’re investing in that video and having that open to using it, that’s a huge strength.

Utilize video to help your healthcare practice stand apart online

CM: Are there any tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype, but failed to take hold or deliver the results that they want to in 2018?

RT: I don’t know that there are tactics. I think we’re often monitoring the platforms that are in popping up online like Snapchat for example, or both which maybe not to me, people know about, but those types of platforms that are all of a sudden held up as the next opportunity to connect and they don’t really take shape or don’t take hold the way that would you anticipate. And I think that comes back to a very key component, which is understand that we can’t control consumer behavior.

CM: Yes, That’s key. We can’t force people to interact on Snapchat in a way that they’re not doing naturally.

RT: Twitter is the same. You can’t force Twitter to be a platform that it’s not. And so what we have to learn to do is just be respond to what consumers to the consumer behavior that we’re tracking online and getting a message that’s going to resonate with the right person at the right time, on the right platform.

CM: I think that that’s a really interesting point. You always want to pay attention to what the data says, but you also need to pay attention to the messaging that you’re actually putting out there and if it aligns with the actions that people are used to taking on that specific social media network.

RT: You can’t just throw it out saying, “No, this is never going to work.” Find a way, if you really want to make it work, find a way to make that messaging really stick with the people who are on that network, it and find a way that you can connect with them.

The message may be on point, but it just may be the delivery system that’s wrong.

CM: So what are the top three things that a health care center should be doing online to see a return from their digital marketing efforts?

RT: Well, first of all, you have to get your economics right you have to tie what you’re doing to your business goals and we tend to get squarely on this, we… So these are business issues. You have to consider what the lifetime value of a patient is. What does that revenue look like that you’re going to generate from a patient and what is the cost of acquiring a patient?

There is a mission to healthcare, and we hate kind of talking about the economics of it, but if you’re not taking care of the economics of it, you’re going to be out of business.

So say if you’re spending more than you’re taking in, you won’t be able to serve that mission.

And so I often kind of frame this in terms of… “Look, if you take care of these business issues, you’re going to improve more business, but you’re also going to improve the health outcomes of the people in your community because you’re going to be connecting with the people who need your service, quicker, getting them help earlier, hopefully and getting them back to their life healthier and with better health outcomes.” I went off the tangent here, but I get your economics right.

The second thing I would say is, develop a strategy and stick with it.

People often are saying… “Well, I tried it for a while, I’ll try it for a month and didn’t see anything,” but that’s not adequate.

Develop a digital marketing strategy and stick with it for your healthcare organization

If you’re trying to dip your toes in and out and trying to really make a lot of adjustments and try this and then try that and try to just pull levers to see which one’s going to work, you’re not going to see the return.

Be thoughtful about developing a strategy, and then put it on the field, so to speak, and watch it. You’re not going to get it right, right away, so it’s going to require some adjustments. Don’t give up on that.

And then the third thing I would say is that you have to track everything with digital marketing.

Digital marketing is not like putting an ad in a newspaper, in the old days, or even putting a billboard. With digital marketing, you can tie consumer behavior to a marketing campaign.

You need to be able to track a variety of items in digital marketing for healthcare:

  • How many leads are we generating?
  • How many patients are we getting in the door off of this marketing campaign?

With this, you know what’s working.

In Healthcare Marketing Look Beyond Cost Per Click

This goes beyond the number of impressions or just to cost per click. If you just know the cost per click and you’re monitoring your results based on the cost per click, then you’re monitoring the wrong thing because that’s not tied to revenue.

Track Marketing Metrics Related to Revenue

You could waste tons of money just trying to get to the low cost per click, because it’s just somebody clicking your ad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the right person.

So really making sure you’re tracking the back end, to say, “How are we doing in terms of generating patients in revenue with this digital marketing campaign investment?

CM: And I like how Scorpion, with your own system, you have a way to track it, it not only if somebody became a patient or a lead that first time that they click the ad but also if they came back a week later, a month later after they’ve already seen the ad, and they come back to your website, to then book an appointment. I think that that’s so powerful because it provides even more information about that cost to acquire a patient will bring that down and really show you the long-term effects of the strategy that you have in place.

RT: Yeah, that data is important and even with that system, it’s difficult, so it’s not perfect, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

There are a lot of different data points. It’s not just somebody clicking on an ad and I shouldn’t say it’s not always… Somebody’s just clicking on an ad calling you. And that’s a conversion. This ad may be a point that they’ve talked to their friends, they’ve looked at reviews. There are a lot of different points online and offline that go into establishing trust, and that’s really what it is, connection and trust with a potential patient but the data is important, even though it’s not perfect, it’s important to make sure that what’s happening if you’re investing that money.

CM: Yeah, absolutely, so what is the top strategy that should be followed, but often, marketing teams get wrong?

RT: The top strategy as opposed to the tactic?

CM: And I want to try making a difference here – you can answer the top tactic as well. I think both are very, very important.

RT: Yeah, I think that’s good because the marketing tactics change. The tactics, as we discussed, even with different practice vs an orthopedic group, the tactics are going to be different if you’re trying to connect with a dad or a guy who’s out to a playing softball on the weekends in in a league, that’s going to be a different tactic to connect with him versus connecting with, say somebody like my father who’s in the ’70s and golf and needs a knee replacement, but he’s not looking for it.

Those are different. So, you’re going to have different tactics for your target market and who you’re speaking to in the marketing strategy.

The top strategy that should be followed but often gets wrong is empathy, it is really empathy.

Focusing on the patient.

We think the technology is the just launching a pay per click campaign, and these tech tools are going to get the job done, but it is important to realize that it is a tool.

So it’s an avenue, it’s a way to connect with someone. It is not the connection. Google, Facebook, YouTube, these are delivery systems. And so effective marketing is not about how much you’re doing, it’s about connecting with the patient putting yourself in their shoes, understanding their fears in the moment, the need that they have at that moment, in time, and then treating them with empathy.

It’s, it’s the first chance you have to serve them as a patient and if you can serve them as a patient before they’ve even picked up the phone or set up an appointment, you’re going a long way to winning them as a patient in your office.

CM: Yes, that is so important. It’s important in any industry, you have to really know your story and those pain points of your consumers or patients. So I love that answer, thank you.

RT: Yeah, yeah, I’ll say one of the things, and something that I hear a lot when I get on a call. So I was like… We need to be doing social media are we are not doing it, we need to do it as a… It’s almost like we have to check it sounds like we have to check that box.

CM: Yes, and it’s like, well, first of all, yes, there’s a great opportunity on social media to connect, but not just to do it to do it if you’re just going to do it and say Hey, Happy 4th of July from you, the doctor group, or Happy Memorial. That’s not that check in the box.

RT: Oh yes, but it’s not really thinking in terms of where you can connect, how you can connect with someone. So that’s the difference. I would kind of specifically differentiate the two.

CM: Yeah, that’s great, that’s great. So your business, Scorpion Healthcare, is to top rank digital marketing agency for Healthcare practices. Can you tell us a little bit more about your company, and the services?

RT: Sure, we’ve been in business for us at 18 years, we actually got our start in the legal industry back in the day, so the scorpion started as a marketing… Marketing agency to help law firms develop the websites get found online through SEO and through the ads to help lawyers connect with potential clients and help them build their client base.

We branched out since then. And we do home services, and we also have done healthcare for over 10 years. Our chief revenue officer and I’m going to paraphrase what he says here, he says, “we’re in the Oh-No verticals.”

In other words, everything was fine. yesterday, something happened in day and all of a sudden… Oh no, I need a lawyer or… Oh no, I need a plumber or… Oh no, I need a doctor.

And so, those moments or people are reaching for their phones now, it’s like, “Oh no, I got a need and I pull out my phone.” So that’s where the connection point is.

So over that time, we’ve developed a… Our own system, I’ve talked about, it’s a platform that is a CMS that holds the website and from the very beginning, when we started developing with SEO. We’re doing SEO services, we’re doing paid ads where on any channel, that’s online any different connecting points. So, primarily we’re taking about Google or Facebook, but that could weigh and programmatic or native advertising and retargeting and go targeting all of those different tactics. We we’re doing listings management, we’re help in a reputation monitoring, we’re doing content marketing. So as much as we can provide in terms of one partner for our clients that will solve as many issues of their digital footprint their online presence as possible, so that they’re not trying to juggle multiple vendors and trying to get everybody to work nice together.

So that’s really as we stick to really being very specific in terms of delivering our technology and our marketing expertise.

That’s our team that knows can talk and understand what business goals a particular company are, and then develop strategies based on those goals, and then help them monitor it and optimize it over time. That’s an important aspect of what we do as regularly checking in, following what’s happening, and making adjustments as we go.

Whether the business objectives are changed or whether the market has changed, if there are market conditions that require a change, that you have to make sure that you’re just not assuming that everything is working now, the way it worked even two months ago.

CM: Yeah, and I mean really a lot of digital marketing and sponsored advertising is at the whim of whoever you’re doing the advertising through. We recently saw a change with how lead optimization campaigns we’re working on Facebook and our testing almost exclusively now using the lead form directly on Facebook, rather than sending someone to a landing page. And how does that conversion rate differ? And that’s something if the platforms never changed, then I would make marketing a little bit easier, but consumers change, the platforms change and everything, so you have to really stay on top of that, right?

RT: The rules change in… So, absolutely it.

And Google’s always makes changes. Facebook so they’re trying to optimize and make sure the… So when they make a change, you’re not going to know this, fact you may not know exactly what the implications are.

CM: Lastly, are there any digital marketing strategies that your team is currently testing that you don’t think many other agencies are implementing for their clients?

I would say this platform that we’re developing on is really unique and so the advances we’re making in terms of machine learning and it’s a form of AI, where the platform itself is tracking conversions and across multiple variables, and adjusting based on those variables.

So in other words, you have industry standards, there’s certain benchmarks in the industry and I throw out I’ve heard typically mobile devices convert at a 20% better than desktop. So let’s just say that is about average, right?

And so then, is going to track that, but it’s also going to not assume that 20% is the standard it’s going to investigate, it’s going to take a look at the specific campaign, the specific industry, the specific market and it maybe in a particular market that that’s actually higher it may actually these campaigns may convert it at like 30% on mobile or less, it could be less.

And our system is what we’re developing the system that’s going to adjust the spend and adjust the budget, based on those variables that are unique to the specific campaign, unique to the specific client. So it’s adjusting geographical targets, it’s adjusting time of day, adjusting device.

It could be keywords, it could even be on the ad to content to… We have constantly been doing AB testing and a lot people do a AB test, but I have a system that is doing it automatically, as opposed to a person coming in and taking a look and having to do that comparison. I think that, I know that that is going to change the game.

Yeah, I for our clients when this system is and we tested it in a lot of different verticals and it’s really effective when you see a machine just kind of making those adjustments and shifting tactics and shifting budgets on the fly based on the actual data that it’s seeing and that’s a very powerful tool that comes from 18 years. It’s not something that someone can put together right right a way.

And being able to bring that to someone like a sole practitioner, a small Orthopedic Group, or other verticals, a couple of guys who are a couple of lawyers, or even a plumbing company being able to bring that type of power to their campaigns – it’s going to change the game for them.

CM: So powerful, so powerful, it’s exciting, it’s exciting to…

RT: I’m excited about our team that is very good at this. We get to… Often, we have meetings where we’re talking about it, learning more about it, and it is exciting to see what they’re doing and how this could really help potential clients at that way.

CM: So is there anything I should have asked but I didn’t?

RT: I mean you could have asked about my golf day but that would have been a, I’ve been Chicago coming out of the winter and my golf game is terrible.

That’s not a good question, no, I don’t think so, I know no this has been great. And I don’t know that there’s a lot of things you could have asked, but it’s been a pleasure talking to you. I really, I get a kick out of figuring these things out with clients and so it’s, it’s always a puzzle because each office is different in each market is different. My day is never the same. It’s always taking somebody where they are, whether they are just starting out, or whether they’re already farther down the road and they’re trying to get better.

CM: Definitely, definitely. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to be on our show and to answer these questions for the interview, I know that you spend some time thinking about what your answers were going to be, so I really appreciate that, and it was very insightful in hearing all of the insights.

It was wonderful having you on the show.

RT: Thank you so much, that was my pleasure, thank you for asking me to join.

CM: So thank you again to Rod for being on our show and talking more about the insights he has with Scorpion. Now, one of the biggest takeaways I have from today’s podcast is the role that empathy has in your digital marketing. It is so important to be empathetic and everything that you do online, you need to connect with a customer, with a client, with a patient who is going through a difficult health choice.

Now, maybe the health choice seeing simple for you, potentially, you’re a dentist, and somebody needs to come in for a routine cleaning. This could be somebody who is absolutely terrified and has had negative experiences with every dentist that they’ve worked with up until stepping in your door and sitting down in your seat.

So you need to understand as we’ve talked about in multiple episodes that customer journey.

What is their patient journey as they’re going from recognizing that they might have a problem to finding a solution, to actually calling up and scheduling appointments, and how can we be empathetic to them in their situation, every step of the way?

Yes, the main goal of digital marketing and online marketing is to increase your bottom line revenue, but in order to do that, you need to make sure that your story and your marketing and messaging is empathetic to the customers who are out there.

So again, my name’s Caitlin McDonald. You’ve been listening to the Social Speak Podcast, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Podbean and we look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

Engaging Patients and Prospects with Empathy – Interview with Rod Thomas of Scorpion

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

Shannon Kuykendall podcast Interview

Shannon Kuykendall (Kirk-ken-doll) is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner and the Founder of Up Automation, Linkedin Lead Generation Services. She started Up Automation in 2015 after working in the Coaching and Personal Development industry as a Technical Virtual Assistant at Creative VA Services for 12 years.

As an agency owner, Shannon struggled to get new clients in the door. She tried building a lead gen funnel, Facebook Ads, SEO, Content Marketing; you name it. Then someone told her about using LinkedIn for lead generation. They said, “that 80% of all B2B prospects are on LinkedIn”. So she put her focus there, and her results have been tremendous. Once Shannon got the formula down, she decided to stop offering implementation and concentrate on helping other digital marketing agencies fill their calendars with their ideal prospects using LinkedIn.

In this interview, Amber and Shannon spoke about:

  • How businesses can utilize LinkedIn for lead generation
  • Current trends in digital marketing in 2019
  • The Before and After Grid as you create content that brings people in
  • How do identify your potential client’s pain points to be able to gear your messaging around them
  • Why your business needs a strong LinkedIn presence
  • The top 3 things that a business owner should be doing online to see a return from their digital marketing efforts

It was such a pleasure interviewing Shannon on our Podcast. Shannon is very knowledgeable about LinkedIn and how business owners can use it to it’s fullest potential to help grow their businesses

The 3 biggest takeaways for me were:

  1. The before and after grid – how to identify your target markets pain points
  2. LinkedIn is really about building relationships and asking questions. Your target marketing wants to know what’s in it for them when you give them time to talk about themselves and share their story.
  3. The key components you need to have in your profile that will attract your target audience
LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B and it is very important to be consistent with your strategy and one bonus tip Shannon shared was about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, how to be able to use this LinkedIn tool to get in front of your audience!

Before and After Grid

before_and_after_grid LinkedIn Marketing

Listen to the Podcast Episode on Using LinkedIn to Grow your Business Online

Read the Complete Transcript Below

Hello everyone, this is Amber with the Social Speak Network. I’m so excited for our podcast today. We are talking about how healthcare centers can utilize LinkedIn to grow their business. We have Shannon on with us today.

Amber: Shannon, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.

Shannon: Hi everybody, my name is Shannon and my company’s name is a automation and we specifically do LinkedIn and lead generation for digital marketing agencies.

The main reason we started focusing on that was because I myself had my own agency and we were having problems getting leads. We didn’t have a problem getting people to get calls, we just had problem closing sales, and I needed a consistent way to generate leads and so through some discovery and some conversations we started focusing on digital marketing agencies, and then I turned my business around to completely focus on bringing people in and showing them how to use LinkedIn, as well as, maintaining their own LinkedIn accounts.

80% of the leads out there or highly qualified prospects will be found on LinkedIn. And we’ve been in business for about two years, but I’ve had my own my own business of some sort online since 2005.

A: Wow, that is amazing. So walk us through – before we dive into brand messaging and how businesses can utilize LinkedIn – walk us though the process of how agencies can gain business using LinkedIn.

One of the main things is your profile, your LinkedIn profile is the key. One of the first things you want to do is you want to completely optimize your LinkedIn Profile – from the background header, all the way down through your summary.

Those business profiles or most agency profiles that I see when they’re using their personal profile, all they do is talk about themselves and quite honestly, when your prospects are trying to find you, they don’t really care about you, what they care about is, they’ve got a pain point and they wanna know if you can solve it. Does your agency solve their pain point?

You really structure your profile in a way that addresses pain points and ask questions that hit that button. That’s where you’re going to get your engagement.

When you start connecting with people the first thing they’re going to see is your Profile.

LinkedIn Profile Optimization.

I love how you were talking about these pain points because I think that that’s one of the top things that people miss because they are so worried about talking about themselves, they miss what the WHY for their client.

And so before we jump into the pain point I talk us a little bit about the brand messaging.

How can you incorporate brand messaging into that linked-in profile and are you doing that on both your personal profile and the company page or just one or the other?

We just use the personal profile, quite honestly, the company pages on LinkedIn as far as I’m concerned, they’re useless.

The only thing that we can do with a company page, is you compose articles and you can get people to engage, but we don’t have the ability to send them direct messages. That is why we use the personal profile, because that gives us the ability to directly engage with people who are likely interested in our products or services. The way that we incorporate the brand, we go through a pretty lengthy on-boarding process where we’re asking several questions, we’re really getting into the nitty gritty of what are their products and services who are the people they’ve been working with who are the people they would like to work with and what are some of the struggles that the agency deals with, and then we get into wanting to know more about their prospects, and really where we incorporate the brand is going to be when we ask a pain point or ask a question that addresses a pain point. How we incorporate the brand is when we offer the solution for that pain point.

So do you see any trends with LinkedIn, that businesses should be really paying attention to the side?

We’re going to talk a little bit further about identifying those pain points, but do you see any trends that businesses should really be following with LinkedIn?

The biggest thing with LinkedIn is don’t message somebody and start talking about yourself again. They don’t care.

I see a lot of people on LinkedIn just sending out messages talking about their podcast or talking about a service that they can offer, something that they can help them, and what they’ve completely missed is they didn’t bother to ask a question about a pain point.

All they did was just out the gate running like Me, me, me, we do this, we do this. Nobody cares. You might get a little bit of engagement, but you’re not gonna get a lot and anything you’re gonna turn people off and they’re gonna disconnect from you, so you really, you come at it with a short question.

One of my things is for example, cold calling, do you want to stop cold calling and have a consistent flow of leads coming in the door?

That’s a great question, and yes and it’s an easy question for them to reply back. Yeah, I do, or it now not interested in it, or I… And that’s a much better way to get people to engage. Then just coming right out the gate, talking about yourself.

You’re changing that whole mindset of that conversation to about your potential client. And they’re like, “Oh they really do care about me or they really do want to know what I love.” So, just asking that question and really wanting to engage with them. People like to talk about themselves. So when you ask someone a question that allows them to talk about themselves, that’s where you get the engagement.

Okay, so I am so excited when we had our call for obviously before the podcast, you had mentioned the before and after grid, so can you explain to that to a little bit more?

Absolutely, so the before and after grid. This is how you really figure out what the pain points are of your prospect.

It’s a really short little exercise, and in the podcast description there is a link to the article by Digital Marketer. And it was going through this exercise that really helped me develop the pain points that my prospects are dealing with.

What you do is you create a grid at the top, you’re going to write Before and on the next side, you’re going to write After. Then you’re going to put four lines: Feel, average, day, and status. These are the four questions you’re going to ask when you’re trying to figure out what are the pain points of your prospects? The first thing you’re going to ask is what?

So what did your prospect have before they start working with you – are they frustrated, are they annoyed. Do they have a lack of prospects?

Alright, so you’ll write that in that box, then you’re going to ask: ‘How does my prospect feel before they start working for me?’ Will likely they’re frustrated, they’re a little concerned, they’ve got cash flow issues all these different feelings. And then next you ask, so what is your prospects average day look like before they start working for you or working with you?

Well, the average day… They probably spend a lot of time cold-calling, and nobody’s picking up the phone. And again, there’s some frustration, because they’re cold calling where they’re knocking on doors or they’re going into businesses and it takes a lot of time. And then a question is what is the status of your prospects before they work with you, and the status again kind of a repeat of the first three questions to the grid.

They’re frustrated because they’re consistently trying to reach out to people and nobody’s picking up the phone or their sales cycles too, long, it’s just they’re frustrated. That’s how everybody feels before. Well then, you wanna ask, “Well what are your prospects feeling after they start working with you?”

So alright, what do they at an… They have a consistent… Now they’ve got leads coming in, they’ve got people who are interested in their products and services, and that’s a start that I… And then how do they feel after they start working with you? They feel great, that the pressure has been released. They’ve got a consistent. They’re consistently talking to people that are interested in what they have to offer. What is their average day like after they start working with you?

They’re busy, they’re doing what it is that they love to do, they get to offer their products and services to the people that are actively interested. And again, what’s their status? After they start working with you, they’re happy. They have a little more free time because this piece has been taken over and and now they can again do what it is that they love to do they can work, they can work on their business instead of in their business, and that I as a call the before and after Grid and it’s going through that little exercise that you start to develop. Okay, these are some questions I should be asking my prospects if there is. We’re cold-calling, but I would like an easier way to get leads then that’s how I’m gonna address that question.

Now that you’ve identified these pain points as far as what they’re struggling with, and what that life looks like, before working with you or individual and then that after… How do you tie those pain points into that brand message? Are you going off of the, before content or the after or how do you marry the two?

So at the beginning of when we do our write-ups for the summary and we start to develop their prospect profile in their messaging, we go out the before, because that’s where you’re going to be able to push the buttons, that’s where you’re going to get them to react and so once they react, and then they engage in the messaging that’s when we’re able to offer up the After. The after is the solution.

Alright, and again, the solution isn’t going to go in and you’re not gonna come in and be real craggy about what your company does. Again, you’re gonna talk about… So this is the solution to what also the… And if you want to talk to me and learn more about what we do, then let’s schedule a call.

I love that. I think that the whole online sales process is very overwhelming, for, a lot of it as one. But when you break it down and you really get in that space of your target market and who they are, what do they feel like, was their pain points? That sales process becomes a lot easier because then it turns into that conversation, you’re struggling with this, this, and this. How do you wanna turn it around?

So it’s a very simple process once you overcome those pain points, and really identifying what those are.

One making this sales can be intimidating anyway. So when you think of sales is we’re gonna have a conversation I’m gonna learn about you, you’re gonna learn about me. It makes the process that much easier and when it comes to whether or not someone wants to work with you, the biggest thing is they need to know you, they need to like you, and they need to trust you. And the way that happens is to that first conversation and maybe there needs to be other conversations after that but those are some three key ingredients that need to happen in before somebody decides to close with you.

I love it. And so, a B2B businesses, and really Otto crucial is it for them to have a strong line in presence and should they’re posting their content strategy also be around these, these pain points to relate with their target audience.

I highly recommend, especially when we’re working with clients twice a week. Post some content in your News Feed, so we’re consistently building up LinkedIn connections.

You want to stay in front of your LinkedIn connections. And we also make sure that when we’re creating and putting together the profile that we’ve got their brand, their logo, something that really makes them stand out is present. So you wanna stay in front of them it takes the average of seven times for somebody to see you before they actually will engage a and so get your brand out there, post a couple of things, a week and stay relevant and stay on top of it and stay in front of the people that you’re connecting with. It’s very, very important. If you don’t do it, maybe your process will be a little bit slower, but things tend to pick up when you’re consistently on LinkedIn and your active and you’re actively engaging with the people who are engaging with you, right? And what do you think that that sales cycle… We would get asked? How long is it gonna take before we see results within and really building those connections again you’re nurturing those relationships. How long should somebody give linked in to be able to see results for their business?

So six months a 100% of six months to a… We did 4-608 leads for a company called the draw shop in 1660s and that’s almost six months.

He was very actively involved in the process with us. And that’s one of the things we tell our clients as well. You can’t just come to us and then I set it and forget it. We constantly are working with you to optimize your message so that you get the highest engagement possible. I’ve seen people get engagement within the first 24 hours of us starting a campaign and I see people not get anything at all because there are some industries that LinkedIn just isn’t gonna work for, but sometimes we don’t it until we have a conversation.

And I’ve turned business away because of an industry that I’ve already worked with someone else comes to me in that same industry. I’ve turned it away, knowing that I can’t get them the results that I can get other business I think that that’s another key point is really knowing what social media platform is the best for your business because I know with us, we work a lot with the medical industries and so, LinkedIn is a big place where the doctors and office at last were there, they’re not on Facebook. So, it’s important as a business owner to know what platform is gonna work. So as… And you’re right, sometimes that’s only to figure it out is trial and error, so it… But you also… Those pain points can also help identify if your target audience is on LinkedIn, as well, right?

Okay, so what are the top three things that a business owner should be doing online to see a return from their marketing efforts?

So there’s actually a quote by a gentleman named harm and he says If you are consistent, you will get there if you were persistent, you will get there and if you are consistent, you will keep it. And I can’t stress that enough, I find that most people don’t give anything enough time to see results. Everybody wants a quick fix, and there’s just no such thing is that you have to be patient and you have to be consistent with what you’re doing at a…

I’ve been doing LinkedIn for a little over two years now and I have some weeks that are slow, and then I have some weeks that are really fast or they are really, really busy, so… So consistency been… If you’re coming into it with this is gonna be a quick fix, then first of all, you’re probably not gonna be an ideal prospect for me, ’cause you’ve got to think in terms of the long game.

Alright, most things that are quick fixes or if anybody calls it a quick fix, it’s a fly-by-night it’s only gonna last for a couple of months and then it’s gone because everybody felt on it and then it sort of runs it for everybody. So linked in is one of those things you’ve got to be thoughtful you’ve got to be mesoa.

And do you have any tools again? And I cannot agree with you more about the consistency. I feel like I’m always saying that to our clients. And you have to be consistent, you have to have a plan strategy for every aspect of your digital marketing and with Linkin and I would assume you need to know what articles that you wanna be posting as an ice. What type of post you wanna be putting up what type of videos, you wanna be doing and then that’s just the posting piece, then what that messaging piece. Who are you connecting with? So are there any tools or things that you use to help organize that LinkedIn strategy? So one of the things that we use is it’s called LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and that’s LinkedIn, social selling tool. It’s a vital piece when it comes to identifying and getting in front of your ideal prospects especially when you start connecting with people and bringing in leads.

And the reason we use sales navigators because they have a search function that is highly robust and it allows us to save the searches so that we can consistently get in front of new people, over a period of time as a… That’s one thing I… Now, there are some third party tools that help speed up the process. Like Lead Connect to or LinkedIn helper. And I think there’s a few others out there.

You need to be careful though. I don’t really endorse using those tools simply because LinkedIn doesn’t want you to use them and… And it’s too easy for people to abuse the process because they’re trying to speed things up, so definitely should be working with somebody who knows what they’re doing on LinkedIn and and making sure that they’re sending the right message on your behalf.

So in so having that strategy, and that’s with those tools, whatever with LinkedIn platform, there’s these great tools that are out there and then as soon as somebody abuses them, I pay all the fun out of it for all of us. But really… So you use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and then do you recommend putting a strategy together for your post the topics and curated content? And stuff as well, so we don’t typically do the posting, but we do encourage our clients to do it so, and if they have post and they don’t have time to post them, they can always send them to us and we’ll post on their behalf.

But ideally, what I typically tell them again to post a week, ideally, they can go back to previous blog posts and post those. And you can also through your content, only a certain percentage of people are gonna see your content at any given time. So you have 10 articles on your blog you’ve got five weeks of content, go back through and rotate it. There’s nothing wrong with that at… So you don’t always have to have new content, it’s just about staying relevant and staying in front of your prospect.

Okay, and how can people connect with you online, if they’re interested in your services or wanna learn more about what you do? Where can they find you?

So people can find me at automation dot com and right there, they’ll be able to book a call, they’ll be able to learn more about the services. Learn more about me and what I do or they can send me an email at Shannon@automation dot com.

Wonderful, well I really appreciate your time today than… And I’m so excited about LinkedIn. And it’s definitely kind of that hidden gem that people kind of underestimate with getting leads and really building their business, but it’s a platform that can really elevate their business to the next level.

A 100%. I swear by it. We’ve done very, very well.

The clients that we’ve worked with, that really engaged with the process and understand how we work and also done incredibly well wonderful. Well, we will make sure that we have the link to the before and after grid and the LinkedIn Sales Navigator in the description below, and if you, if have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you, and again, please connect with Shannon on LinkedIn if you have any questions, check out on her website, thank you everyone.

Interview with Shannon Kuykendall (Up Automation - LinkedIn Specialist)
Healthcare Digital Marketing insights with Gold Medical Marketing Founder Daniel Goldberg

In this week’s podcast, I had the honor of interviewing Daniel Goldberg, Founder and CEO of Gold Medical Marketing.

Daniel Goldberg is widely regarded as a pioneer in Medical Marketing and Public Relations and was an integral part of the transition to Direct to Patient Marketing. Daniel’s unique knowledge of the business of healthcare and patient behaviors allow him to create marketing and public relations campaigns that reach specifically targeted audiences that maximize ROI. His ability to identify markets for potential patients allows GMM’s clients to penetrate new audiences and increase patient volume exponentially. Daniel has also lectured both nationally and internationally on the topic of Medical Marketing at some of the most esteemed medical conferences.

Daniel founded Gold Medical Marketing in 2012 after serving as the Director of Marketing and Business Development in a private orthopedic / spine practice and ASC. In the process, GMM has grown to be one of the most successful medical marketing firms and represents medical practices across the country.

In this interview with CEO and founder, Daniel Goldberg, we focused on web design, brand awareness initiatives, and transactional marketing efforts for the Orthopedic, Spine or Neurosurgery Practice. We covered:

  • How Inbound Marketing, Web design, and traditional marketing work for orthopedic brands.
  • Current trends or wellness practices with digital marketing in 2019.
  • Why you should create a Quarterly marketing budget for your health center rather than an annual budget.
  • The top 3 things that a wellness center should be doing online to see a return from their SEM efforts.
  • The top strategy that should be followed, but often marketing teams get wrong.

Learn more about how to use Digital Marketing for your Healthcare center.

I had a couple of great takeaways from this health care marketing interview and I’m sure that you will as well for your own medical practice.

Setting Goals for your Orthopedic, Spine or Neurosurgery Practice Marketing Campaigns

First and foremost, it is ever important to make sure your team understands the goals of the marketing programs that you are running.

Are your campaigns geared towards one time transactions and getting somebody in the door the first time they search for a specialty?

Are they built around branding and brand recognition?

Once this is clearly defined, you can have a greater understanding of how each campaign actually affects your customer acquisition cost and patient growth.

Understand How Your Patient Journey is Reflected in On and Off-line Marketing Campaigns

The next takeaway is to take the steps towards better understanding your patient journey.

It’s not just what happens online, but also their experience within your office. For example, if a prospect sees language online that grows enough confidence in your expertise to give your practice a call, is the front desk knowledgeable about the services that you offer?

Can they answer simple questions about the process, the physician, and generally show they place the patient first?

Are you making a good first impression with your website, with your social media, with that first phone call?

Set your Healthcare Marketing Budget Quarterly Rather than Annually

And then lastly, and I think that this is the most important, is thinking about your marketing budget, not as an annual budget, but rather on a quarterly basis.

If a campaign is working well for bringing clients in the door and yields a positive ROI from digital marketing for your practice, you do your practice a disservice if the budget for that campaign can’t be scaled over time. Conversely, if you are testing a new marketing campaign with A/B testing and optimization, you can’t decide after a week that the campaign is a failure. Work the systems, work the processes, and, if after 90 days you still aren’t seeing a return, find another avenue to reallocate and test your health center marketing budget.

Rather than thinking about your marketing budget as an annual budget, we recommend putting it into three-month increments and doing a quarterly assessment of how your campaigns have either allowed you to reach your marketing goals or where they leave room for improvement.

Please be sure to subscribe to the Social Speak Podcast for more interviews with experts in digital marketing for health and wellness businesses.

To learn more about Gold Medical Marketing visit: GoldMedicalMarketing.com

Listen to the Healthcare Marketing Podcast Interview

Watch the Digital Marketing for Orthopaedic Centers Interview

 

Complete Transcript for Interview

The Hello, I’m Caitlin McDonald, and welcome to the newest episode of The Social Speak Network podcast.

Today, we are joined by Daniel Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Gold Medical Marketing.

Daniel Goldberg is widely regarded as a pioneer in medical marketing and public relations and was an integral part of the transition to direct-to-patient marketing. Daniel’s unique knowledge of the business, of healthcare, and of patient behaviors allow of him to create marketing and public relations campaigns that reach specifically targeted audiences that maximize ROI.

His ability to identify markets for potential patients allows Gold Medical Marketing’s clients to penetrate new audiences and increase patient volume exponentially.

Daniel has also lectured both nationally and internationally on the topic of Medical Marketing at some of the most esteemed medical conferences. Daniel founded gold Medical Marketing in 2012 after serving as the Director of Marketing and Business Development in a private orthopedic practice. In the process, Gold Medical Marketing has grown to be one of the most successful medical marketing firms and represents medical practices across the country.

So please join me in welcoming Daniel, to our podcast.

Caitlin: Daniel, we are so excited to have you on the show today.

Daniel: Thank you so much for having me, it’s a true pleasure.

C: First to kick things off, tell us a little bit about your background in digital marketing for orthopedic centers.

D: I’ve run a gold medical marketing for about eight or nine years. My background in digital marketing started when I was working within a private spine practice, it was about 10 years ago. I was really at the pivotal point where Google Adwords and even social media started to become patient acquisition tools and there was a shift from traditional marketing. I learned, I guess, on the fly about SEM and about social media marketing and the power of those tools for patient acquisition. So shortly after I worked in that practice, I started this firm. We’ve grown ever since, and it’s been a fun journey.

C: Awesome, awesome. Isn’t that interesting how most people who run agencies got their start in digital marketing and social media just on the fly, you had to learn it while you were in it.

D: It’s funny to talk to some of our employees or some of the people who either majored in in college or are new to it, and they’ve done things like Google tutorials and stuff to learn it and they have a good grasp on, but they don’t.

It’s interesting to discuss with them some of the changes that have happened over the past five or ten years where what they’re looking at it historically how it worked, and it was a lot more difficult to track things like successes in patient acquisition. Now the data and the data tools are so much more advanced than they were even five or eight years ago.

C: I mean, even three years ago.

D: Yeah, absolutely, the more data that those tools include, the easier it is to work with clients and report meaningful data.

C: Great, well let’s talk a little bit about your practice and your view of digital marketing. So your business, Gold Medical Marketing really takes a holistic approach to marketing. You not only help manage social media or advertising campaigns, but you also encourage a review of website design for healthcare, and analysis of what happens off-line, which a lot of agencies don’t really pay attention to.

Can you describe how your process to digital marketing for healthcare centers differs from traditional digital marketing?

D: As you know, the patient experience, or the patient journey, is different. You have to understand this when you build your website to creating digital marketing campaigns. You have to understand how the patient thinks, how the decision-making process works, and then how to cater to that patient story.

How does your Orthopaedic Website Increase your bottom line?

Something with web design, a lot of times practices will have a website that they like or that they think is the best for them, but whether is it the mobile experience, or the content doesn’t suit the patient, is not what the patient’s looking for, aesthetically and outwardly for you as a practitioner.

Your site can look nice, it could be what you wanted, but the navigation is difficult to understand, the calls to action aren’t there, and those are the things that increase conversion.

So we have to look at things from a branding perspective of the practice, but also integrate the best practices for patient traffic and everything for us starts usually with the website. Whether it’s social media traffic, Google traffic, or even offline things like print and magazine ads, those calls to action on the ads are always going direct back to the website.

The front door of your practice is now your website.

We want to make sure that if we’re spending money, either in traditional marketing, or digital marketing, that we are bringing the potential patients to a place that has a high likelihood of actually acquiring that patient. That’s why we always look at the website first and say, “Okay from mobile perspective, is your website mobile responsive?”

Google started penalizing sites that were not mobile responsive, about five years ago, and still to this day, I’m shocked at the amount of practice sites that we look at that aren’t mobile responsive.

That has a huge influence on your organic SEO or cost per click for Google ads, just the overall patient experience. We need to look at those things plus the content and calls to action, first before we start any sort of marketing program.

Marketing with a Patient Journey in Mind is More than Content Marketing Online

C: And then can you talk about how the patient journey transcends offline again, back to when the person at the front desk is answering that call and scheduling that initial appointment?

D: So, we can you talk about how you bring language kind of all through that process. We’ve worked a lot with orthopedic centers to neurosurgeon practices. In those instances, patients have an inherent fear of seeing the surgeon because they’re going be told, they think they’re going to be told they need head surgery, so a lot of them try to delay seeing a surgeon as long as possible. They try other means, and finally get to a point where they know that they need to see a specialist.

When they’re calling and they’re doing the research, whether they’re getting a recommendation from a friend or family member, they’re recalling an ad, whether is a print or online, they’re going to do their research. They’re going to look at the physician and practice themselves, they are going to view the website.

You need to help these prospects understand that the practice understands their concerns, understands their some of the fears or potential misconceptions. It’s important once that patient is even comfortable enough to then call then the front desk, the reception staff, that’s the front line. The call is the first interaction that the patient has with your practice. So the willingness of the reception staff to be accommodating – to understand, to listen and to not rush the patient – is very important.

There is also the importance for the reception staff to be able to answer some preliminary questions. So, I call your practice and I say, “how does your doctor do this type of procedure” if the reception staff says, “Hold on, let me check. I’m not sure” that sort of lack of confidence translates to the entire patient journey. Now the patient starts to lose confidence in that practice.

A lot of patients are looking at in multiple different practices in the area. They’re calling and polling different practices. And in most cases are going to go see the doctor whose staff made that patient feel the most comfortable and feel like they’ve come to the right place.

That’s a very important part of marketing that I think is overlooked.

You can bring traffic to a site and increase calls to the staff, but if the staff can’t capture them or aren’t confident in making that patient aware that this is where they should be, then you’re spending money, but not getting anything out of it.

C: I think it’s so important that we don’t ever view, and I think we’ll talk about this a little bit later, but that we won’t ever view digital marketing just in its own little bubble. It really is integrating your practice from that first click to the website through to scheduling an appointment.

Digital Marketing Trends in 2019 for Orthopedic, Spine or Neurosurgery Practice

So Daniel, what current trends are you seeing for health centers and medical practices with digital marketing in 2019?

D: So those practices now have acknowledged the relevance and the importance of social media. A lot of them were late, they were concerned about some of the information they were conveying from a clinical ethical standpoint, what they can say, what they couldn’t say, how to deal with things. I’m sure you’ve experienced negative patient feedback, how to deal with those things.

We really try to position social media as a valuable tool in patient acquisition through Facebook and Instagram advertising platforms, then the organic side. Having an active and engaging presence where you’re not just posting content from The New York Times, The New Yorker, or from a Medical Journal each week. Your healthcare practice should be posting true work, and content that speaks to the patient about your experience, your opinions on certain things – that’s very important.

On the organic side, on the paid side it’s using the behaviors using the data that Facebook aggregates about people in the area to target, people who don’t already know about you.

That’s one thing we’ve seen a lot of practices come around to.

The second is with hospitals of absorbing more smaller private practices, and thus increasing the competition for market share, a lot of smaller private practice are saying, “We need to have a marketing budget and a marketing plan, a holistic plan to compete and to stay competitive and independent from the larger health and hospital systems.”

A lot of the small practices will never out spend a multi-million hospital marketing budget, but we have to tell them how they can be more agile, and how they can spend better than some of their competitors, but not necessarily more.

And the last trend I see is a lot of practices were exploring things like TV and print again.

They’re looking at publications that are specifically suited to certain demographics. If you’re talking about what Jonathan a reader of Style magazine who watches TV certain times of day-to-report TV, those initiatives are more brand awareness focused.

I think what healthcare centers are seeing the difference between transactional marketing initiatives like search engine marketing, and more brand awareness initiatives like TV and radio, and even things like YouTube pre-roll ads, social media, and more brand awareness concepts.

C: Gotcha, so these practices are paying attention to what they want those KPIS and the goals of each of these verticals to be, and then finding the way to reach the audience to reach those goals.

D: I think as a sure you will know it’s important for them to understand the anticipated results, the anticipated KPIS from each vertical not every pollution is the same. So something like Google Search Ads is more transactional. You are going see an ROI quicker and the sole intention is to garden new patient.

Other things like traditional media, social media, display advertising, YouTube pre-roll advertising, those are more brand awareness.

Brand awareness may take the longer time to convert a patient.

It’s important for us as marketers to clarify those distinctions, so that our clients have the right expectation. We don’t want them to think that social media and Google Ads, produce the same results in the same period of time. That’s important to them to understand. So when I think that’s something that either their understanding better themselves or us as agencies are better explaining to them.

C: That is so important, to make sure that we’re having that clear communication and that conversation about what to expect with each of the different strategies.

D: I think that you and I both know that we see people in the digital marketing space who sort of over-promise. They tell clients what they should do and how beneficial this will be for them. And that they’ll see an instantaneous return. And that’s sort of for us, true health care marketers, sort of sets us up that if a client has been with a less than truthful company in the past, they have an inherent bad taste in their mouth for marketing because it failed the first time. The reason it failed the first time, was because the expectations and the goals weren’t clear.

So, as true health care marketing agencies, it’s our job to better distinguish what the goals are and what the intentions of each platform are.

Top Three Marketing Tactics a Medical Practice Should Be Doing Online

C: What are the top three things that medical practice should be doing online to see a return from their digital marketing efforts?

D: That comes down to understanding the patient journey.

Whether it be at the start with engine marketing, you’re looking at patients your area who are looking for you right now. So, they’re searching orthopedic surgeon near me or plastic surgeon. What they’re telling you is they want to find a provider right at this moment, it’s an easy sort of one-to-one transaction.

Understanding your cost per acquisition and understanding how much you cost to acquire a new patient and then what the revenue derived from that patient is over 3, 6, 9, 12 month period is really going help you determine your ROI.

The other thing is brand awareness so not every patient makes decisions instantaneously.

Some people have a medical problem, but they choose to either self-manage them or they choose to better, I guess, better to ignore them. And have using data, and using behaviors, you can target those patients with things like display as peril ads, and social media.

We know that we might be need of our services. And you’re constantly showing them the plan.

When they find the point of decision making, the brand recall sets in… So now they’re not searching cosmetic surgeon any more. They’re searching for your name. When they search for your name, your cost per acquisition will always be cheaper.

Because it’s your name, that’s an important thing that they have that a practice needs to understand. Not every patient makes a decision that morning, sometimes takes three or six months to make that decision.

Then the most important part is ROI tracking for your healthcare practice, so clicks and impressions and shares, are very important.

But for most physicians, they’ll always say I’m black and white and I want to know what I spent, what I paid, and what I got after the call.

Having call tracking or form tracking in place on the website where it’s new patient tracking or new form tracking, it’s very important to say not all of your clicks translated to a patience of your website. Got 10,000 clicks month, don’t think that was 10,000 patients, right?

That’s not a fair measurement. Having things in place to track new patient calls, have a compliant or new patient forms, is really going to say, okay, for the money you spend, this is what your return was. Here are your new patient acquisitions, here was the cost, and then let’s talk about the bill charges and the receivables over a course of months. But a lot of marketing is destined to fail or not to perform as well as it could if there’s no ROI tracking.

You’re spending money now, but you don’t know what you’re getting for it, so, I’m sure you… Well now after three to six months, people, your clients are going to want to answer truly what the black and white data is, and if we can’t provide it to them a lot of times they see it as waste or intangible, so that’s important that we have those metrics in place so that they understand. Here’s actually what you’ve got for the money you spent.

C: Yes, I absolutely, absolutely it’s so important to always be paying attention to that data and really seeing what it means, compared to those pre-establish goals that you’ve already said for that marketing channel.

I love how you keep on going back to, in the short-term successes and then also the long-term branding that will lead to successes, but it just sees time.

So, this continuing to bring it back to that not all marketing is created with the same goal in mind.

D: Yeah, absolutely, there’s room for brand awareness, there’s one for transaction, it’s about to get the expectation of what each initiative is and what that initiative is going to produce. So that’s very important for us to be able to communicate it up.

The top digital marketing strategy that should be followed but often, marketing teams get wrong

C: Yes, definitely. So what’s the top strategy that should be followed but often, marketing teams get wrong?

D: So I think it with marketing teams, and one physician to discuss marketing what their internal team or external teams, it’s becoming locked into a budget per year. So practice was that okay, we’re only going to spend this budget per year.

It helps from a fiscal perspective and it helps from the financial planning perspective, but it doesn’t help when you have a campaign or something you were doing that’s working very well, but you can’t forgo that or you can’t add to that because you’re locked into this amount. You were spending $500 a month in Google ads and it was performing incredibly well and it was working very well and you were getting a free ROI on that.

So if you have a yearly budget, you can’t add to that because you are already allocated your money for 12 months. So your social campaigns are incredibly engaging and they’re incredibly effective and generating traffic, which is translating to new patients. You can’t then spend more money and that’s get more engagement and more brand awareness because you locked yourself into only spending a certain amount of money over the course of 12 months. So I think what practices need to look at is quarterly, the data that they’re getting from their internal external teams, what it means, what their ROI is, and then projecting another three-month.

For a lot of things as well, at it takes time to accumulate. So especially with brand awareness and social we want look at that data and that engagement over more than just 30 days, or 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, and then make strategic decisions based on the data we you’ve gathered, right?

So, it we will run an ad two weeks through on a Facebook ad and made a decision off the data. We have a limited range and limited impressions, and thus limited data. It’s helpful if we can say, “Okay, for 90 days, we’re going to run these two ads against each other, we’re going to test these different creatives or we’re going to test these different ad copies and then at the end of 90 days, we’re going to explore what the data said and then make decisions based on that.”

But it’s hard when we know the next day that we have the exact same amount of money.

If we knew that something was producing and we knew that something was effective, and it was producing an ROI. Why not poor gas into that fire? I think a lot of partition restructure is how they look at their marketing budgets. January first, your budget shouldn’t be allocated through December 31st, it should be a quarterly strategy.

C: Yeah, and you know you hear about this much more with e-commerce sites that are selling products. It’s easy, very easy to measure with that first purchase, dollar in dollar out if you’re getting that dollar and dollar-out with follow-up, purchases afterwards, adding to the customer lifetime value. It’s easy to scale, but with medical practices often having that set budget. And it’s holding you back in the long run. And because if you’re getting client in and it’s a it’s converting well and that ratio between customer acquisition costs, and lifetime value is working in your favor, keep pushing that, absolutely.

D: And a lot of times, especially in healthcare, a patient acquisition has different values of or a simple example, if a patient comes in with a season position one time for an acute injury or A to condition the provider may be 200 or 100-500. So if their class probation, a patient was 40, and their return was 150, it’s about three to one for the… That needs to undergo a complex surgery that the bills are not tens of thousands of dollars.

Well, that’s a whole different metric now.

We have to look at one e-commerce where everything has a flat rate, a flat sort of cost, produce, and then your income, all of that medical practices don’t have.

It’s so much in what the revenue generated, it’s been from the procedure itself, the insurance company to everything. There are so many variables that you can’t just sort of say, “Okay here’s your flat ROI for every new acquisition. Some acquisitions have a three-to-one is some 300-1 ROI. That’s why quarterly we need to look at things like revenue and bills charged to us to say, “And here’s what it’s actually produced in which is important.”

C: Actually, in a previous podcast episode, we were talking about how when you’re creating these marketing campaigns and thinking about the customer journey, or that prospect journey think about those follow-on services. If you’re fixing the knee, then it might be the hip, then it might be the other hip.

So, it’s one attention to all those other services and surgeries and things that your practice will be beneficial for in the future.

D: Absolutely, and then also translates to outside of just the pet practice, but any type of practice, there’s also the intangible of if you provide a good service to a patient, the referrals that will come from that patient that’s almost impossible to measure because that patient might help five with our friends to go see you and you may not be able to track that or you might not know it’s how that patient found you, but that’s ROI, as well that you can track what is important to understand. So there’s tangible ROI and there’s the intangibles as well.

There’s also the idea that if you’re a primary care provider, or you’re a dentist or you’re even someone who sees acute conditions. I have a seven-year-old son so they take my son’s the same primary care position as I see because I like him. That’s value as well to the loyalty to that practice, that’s a lifetime value. They have to look at that as well.

C: Yeah, yeah, that is so important to the tangible and the intangible and really how the network of revenue that your practice could be bringing in could stem from one person in particular and just grow out from there.

D: It’s why I think years ago, a lot of physicians went door to door to all the referring physicians, offices to solicit or for all to get there, their follow-ups are there, the things they couldn’t treat, that was the intention.

Now that’s often done a patient side where if the patient is happy you’re providing conservation good offers the patient, they’re the ones we’re going to spread the word. They are the ones who are going to refer people to you. So again, it’s an intangible that sort intangible is difficult for us to digest because we want to see the data and we want to know at everything that’s happening, but in the community, it’s very important.

Gold Medical Marketing – a top ranked agency for healthcare and medical practices

C: Great, great. So, Daniel, your business is Gold Medical Marketing and you are a top ranked agency for healthcare and medical practices and tell us a little bit about your company, and your services.

D: So we do everything from traditional digital marketing whether that be web, design Google pay-per-click, SEO content creation, social media management marketing video production a graphic design, really, the whole gamut of services for a practice. We pride ourselves and being so one stop shop for orthopedic spine neurosurgery practices, we understand that for Brand messaging and brand consistency having everything in-house is important.

I think one of our bigger distinctions is the understanding of ROI and how to quietly track ROI, and tie that down, to revenue to show a practice true growth from a financial perspective, not just from a digital perspective.

You want to take the digital data and translate that into financial data for them, so they can really understand their marketing program, and what’s being done for them. So I think we are the only from the country we specialize is solely in those three fields.

We’ve spent about 10 years figuring out not just the clinical side, but also the patient’s perspective. We like to tell a lot of our marketing around the thousands of interviews we’ve done with patients to understand how they think and then translate that to a practice, so that practice can be positioned to understand the patient and thus acquire more patients.

C: Yes, I great, awesome. And then lastly, are there any digital marketing strategies that your team is currently testing that you don’t think many other agencies are implementing for their clients?

D: I think one of the things we’ve come around to a lot more recently is display advertising. Google Adwords has gotten a lot better at where it puts this by advertising how the display network works, and we’re starting to understand better that as we mentioned earlier that not every transaction is instantaneous especially with orthopedics.

People delay seeing a specialist or delay a procedure for extended periods of time, but because of the data aggregation on Google and with Facebook as well, those brand awareness initiatives are really important.

So when that patient does make the decision were top-of-mind and then the cost per was its cheaper. I think a lot of agencies focus a lot on just search, just so just Google searches or Facebook searches. We realize that not every patient wakes out one day and says, “Okay I’m going to have surgery.” There’s a journey there.

So, it’s understanding that journey, and then using brand awareness to capture that patient is something that we’ve really… I think, one, we perfected over the last year.

C: So, rather than only targeting people at that end of the funnel, when they’re ready to make that decision, it’s about capturing them at the top of the funnel, and being there every step of the way, so that when they’re ready to finally give you a call on your practice a call, you’re already top of mind, they already know your phone number by heart.

D: That’s what we’ve seen the social for a lot of what we see the social it is very transactional we are seeing patient acquisitions, come immediately from social ads on the other side were also seen as a brand awareness tool so data we’re getting from social say, here’s the ads or the audiences that are immediately transactional and here’s the ones where they’re focused on brand awareness. It’s important differentiate those too because we do see a lot of ROI received ROI on social media marketing. It’s just depending upon what the target is, what the service line is what the focus is, that’s what we’re saying that I think for you explain it, I’m sure as you explain to your clients that not everything is instantaneous.

Yes, here’s what we’re focusing on for and warms perspective clients, here’s what we’re focusing on from a transactional perspective.

C: You have, absolutely, absolutely Daniel. Is there anything else that I forgot to ask?

D: Not that I can think of.

C: Great, great, well, thank you so much for joining us today on the social speak podcast. I loved hearing your perspective and I know it for a fact, that you guys over at gold Medical Marketing are doing a fantastic job of your clients. So thank you for being on the show today.

D: Thank you. It was a privilege to be on the show and I can’t thank you enough.

C: Wow, that was such a pleasure having Daniel on our show today.

Now, I had a couple of great takeaways from this and I’m sure that you did as well for your own medical practice. The first thing is to make sure that you understand the goals of the marketing programs that you’re running. Are your campaigns geared towards one time transactions or getting somebody in the door, right when they’re ready to come on in or are they built around branding and brand recognition, and then also understanding how these campaigns actually affect your customer acquisition cost.

The next takeaway I had is understanding your patient journey. So it’s not just what happens online in the language that they see online, but also how that translates to their experience within your office. And when they’re talking with somebody to schedule an appointment, are they knowledgeable about the services that you offer? Are you making a good first impression with your website, with your social media, with that phone call?

And then lastly… And I think that this is the most important, is thinking about your marketing budget, not on an annual basis, but rather on a quarterly basis if a campaign is working well in bringing clients in the door and that customer acquisition cost to lifetime value, or even first time value, is it leading to a positive return for your practice, you want to continue to scale that, over time. So rather than, again, thinking about your marketing budget as an annual budget, we recommend putting it into three-month increments, and doing a quarterly assessment of how your campaigns have either led your goals. Or they need where they leave room for improvement.

So thank you again, Daniel for joining our show today, and if you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the Social Speak Network, we are on iTunes and PodBean, and I look forward to seeing you in our next episode.

Healthcare Digital Marketing insights with Gold Medical Marketing Founder Daniel Goldberg