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.

Stephen Merrigan SEO Podcast Interview

In today’s healthcare marketing podcast we have the privileged of interviewing Stephen Merrigan of Merrigan media. Stephen has a track record for success when it comes to marketing online.

Through a combination of marketing and copy writing for advertisements and sales, Stephen Merrigan understands how to target the right customers and make your product or service appealing to them.

Though multifaceted in the field of marketing, Stephen has become a true expert in relates to developing an online marketing strategy that ties in perfectly around your product or service. With his online expertise, you can rest easily with the knowledge that your website is going to generate interest with eye-catching copy that your future customers are going to want to read.

The link mentioned in this Podcast interview on Search Engine Optimization is:

https://gsnedders.html5.org/outliner/

 

Listen to the Podcast Interview with Stephen Merrigan

Healthcare Marketing Podcast Interview on Search Engine Optimization Transcript

Caitlin: It is my pleasure to welcome Stephen we’re so happy to have you on the show today.

Stephen: Thank you that it’s a pleasure to be here, thank you. For having me, great.

Caitlin: Well, to get things off. Tell us a little bit about your background in digital marketing.

Stephen: Yeah, I started back in the early ‘2000s now, I guess it would have been as an affiliate marketer, back then, if you had any kind of search marketing, no matter how rudimentary, it was like printing money. Affiliate marketing, basically is arrangements with other companies who give you a commission based on the sales that you send them.

And so, I would create ads and develop search marketing strategy and send business leads and the profit I made was much greater than what I spent on the ad, so it was just invest a little to make a lot. Unfortunately, as more marketers learned about this, it became a lot more competitive, and then not only competitive, the search engine themselves had to come up with basically rules. More rules to sort of govern this to make sure there was no scanning to say the least. And by the time 2008 rolled around the margins were so then it just wasn’t economically viable any longer, but I had already amassed all this expertise and experience. I decided to start using that to consult businesses who there was no commission. They get 100% of the profits so that paying from my time.

C: Great, great. I found that a lot. I interview viewing different agency owners that if you’re one of those businesses that’s been around for a while, really, it was learning kind of as you go to start and then creating something that you can replicate over and over again, for clients.

So your business focuses on inbound and search marketing. Can you describe how this differs from content marketing or digital marketing in general?

S: Yeah, in general, in digital marketing, sort of encapsulates all marketing through digital media, as a whole. Whereas, I don’t know if you’re familiar, like back before digital marketing, we had this concept of paid, owned, and earned media and it still applies in digital marketing. There’s paid media, which is sort of your CPC ads, then earned media which is your Facebook shares or people blogging about you, and then your own media, which may be your website.

So what we have is we have what I focus in the search marketing is more of paid and owned, media

I pay for… As I send it to your own media, your website. Whereas content marketing is more focused on earned media, using own media but focus on earning that which in turn is actually comes back the search marketing as sort of a tool that earned media and how it creates the owned media reinforces your SEO, right?

C: So do you recommend if somebody’s working with you do you recommend that they’re also doing content marketing as well?

Can your solution really be stand alone?

S: No, it can’t be stand-alone.

The things that I do that sort of prepare the website for SEO, but content marketing is also a big piece of that and search engine optimization. The SEO guy works very closely with the content marketers. The content markers going do what they need to do to get earned media. It doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have some SEO applications in mind, some key words and things that work together, but they’re there two distinct expertise.

C: What current trends are you seeing for health centers with search marketing in 2019 or in general?

S: Yeah, so in the last few years is a big thing as millennials, right? And they’re very savvy, and they are just, they’re getting all their information from search from their phone, quick. And so what you’re seeing is a lot of these health centers and especially the Mayo clinic, and others, you’ll see they are focused on making sure that the answer is readily available in the search results.

Millennials don’t want to dig through a lot of information, they want the answer quick, and then they’re going to move on, because they’re busy, they’re going to move on to the next task.

C: One thing that we’ve seen work well because we focus a lot on the content, marketing side, but what we’ve seen really well, going along with that, is answering that question in the first couple of sentences and then providing that keyword of fluff, content after you answer the question, in order to have a maximum benefit for us for search engine optimization.

The trick to SEO is to answer the question in the first couple of sentences then write the rest of your blog.

But you’re providing people what they want immediately.

And then Stephen are there any tactics that were expected to perform well or have a lot of high but failed to take hold in 2018?

S: Yeah, honestly I don’t subscribe to any hype. After two decades and early doing this, you learned there’s a right way and there’s no other way.

There’s really no shortcuts in doing this. The trick is always been the same. It’s creating engaging usable media that provides what the users want and it’s always been that way and always will be that way, right?

Search engines, they’re a business too… And no matter, no matter how you share your media, Facebook, anything they have a business model and their business model also needs to be profitable and if they’re providing people with bad solutions or bad search results, then their business models failing and people are going to stop using them. So if you stick with that in the back of your mind that these are businesses as well, and their model depends on people getting the information they want, then you can never see yourself wrong.

C: That’s a great perspective to have there. Stick with what works, stick with providing that valuable content and it most likely it will work out.

S: Yeah, yeah, no tricks, and need it, just do what’s right, eventually it’ll work out.

C: Great, great, and then what are the top three things that a health or wellness center should be doing online to see return from their digital marketing efforts?

S: Yeah, I talk three things that I look for right away and I look to optimize, if there’s any issues is your site hierarchy. And that’s basically the way the site is built and organized, to how the information is organized on your website from page, which is using your tax properly H2 tag, etcetera, to how your menu is organized and the menu would be organized by the URLS and making sure you’re using proper subdirectories and lining everything up in a organized method. 2 – Site speed is also critical slow website, especially with millennials you’re going to get a high bounce rate.

C: Well, especially with mobile viewing increasing, there might not be a good connection or if something like that. And so it’s really, really important to have the site streamlined and load quickly.

S: Yes, yeah, it will kill your SEO efforts, your all your organic efforts if it’s slow and it will also increase your bounce rate and kill your paid efforts. So, it’s not critical.

C: Now, let’s talk about that just for a little bit. We’ve seen a lot of our clients, they want to have their site visually appealing, and everything, and so they send over the highest quality photos that they can find. What techniques do you have for anyone who’s just updating, let’s say, a WordPress website for their practice or something updating a blog post, what advice do you have for people to shrink those image sizes or to make sure that that page low time is fast?

S: Yeah, so I’m not the dev expert, but I do provide information to them through my tools that I get. So what I see a lot is there’s a way to compress images and especially in WordPress there are plug-ins for compressing the images and site speed. So I would talk to your dev look at… Have him look into those plugins. The number one thing you can start with is just go to Google Site Speed, you can just Google… Google Site Speed, and it will check the speed on your website in both desktop and mobile, and it will provide you with literally a list of things you can do to speed up your site.

So easy absolutely free – that’s the first thing I do.

C: That’s great advice there. And then I think you had one other thing, one other top tip, as well.

S: Yeah, and I think I look at is the site copy – the content.  and is it engaging what happens is for organic search especially if someone comes to your site and the search result and they don’t find that content engaging, and they leave Google and other search engines will see that as a signal that, ‘Hey, that web page was not interesting for that person who use that search term’ and it will just demote you. So you have to make sure you’re not just put in keyword stuff content. It actually has to be engaging and keep people on the site and engage them for a certain amount of time, so that when someone uses that search term, and they do make it to your site as you start getting some ranking, that they stick to it.

Then you keep that ranking. Sometimes you look in Google Analytics and you’ll see that a huge spike an organic traffic for a day, and you’ll wonder what happened there, it’s that you’ve got some rank and it didn’t stick and then you lost it.

So that is a huge, huge thing that we look for was making that website sticky.

C: Yes, absolutely, and something that we’ve seen work really, well is let’s say it is a blog post that you’ve written put links to other blogs in there, put links other resources in there, try and get somebody to stay on the site as long as you can.

S: Well, even if you get someone to leave the site, what happens is that they took action on that site. It goes from being a bounce to a non-bounce.

Huge benefit. Even if you’re taking it to another site to get more info, it’s better than them leaving your site.

C: Yes, what great insight that is definitely perfect. And then, what’s the top strategy that should be followed but often, marketing teams get wrong?

S: Yeah, they’re all top strategy, right?

But the one thing that people miss out on is we’re always focused on links, blogs, the content, sharing social paid ads, and what most companies just forget about is the website itself and how it is built, the site hierarchy. t is so crucial that the data is organized in a, in a way that search engines can read it. And what you have is you have a lot of developers that are they’re really smart, they’re really keen, but they may not have any formal education in it, and they can build beautiful websites, they’re very artistic, but the foundation isn’t behind that website to set it up for success.

So the number one thing that I look at as I mentioned a minute ago is the site hierarchy. How it’s built and if search engines can read it.

Great, and is there any way to check your website if you’re getting worried that maybe yours isn’t structured properly?

Yeah, HTML5 O-Liner is a free tool

C: Oh great, so I will put that link in the description. So if you’re listening today, please go to that description if you are curious or wondering about your site hierarchy and if everything is working as well as it could be for you?

S: Yeah, it’s HTML 5 O-liner, it’s absolutely free, and very basic. If you forget the url Google it and it’ll come up, but the URL is G-S-N-E-D-D-E-R-S, I have absolutely no idea what that means.

https://gsnedders.html5.org/outliner/ 

HTML 5 dot org for outline right, I will be sure everybody gets that link.

I’m sending it through to you right now, just to be sure, it’s a in the fall because I know that’s kind of a weird URL.

C: Perfect, I got it here. A cool wonderful, great, Steven. I want to learn more about your business. You started Merrigan media, you focus on search engine marketing. Tell us a little bit about your services, your company you’ve alluded to some of the things that you do, but let’s see if we can understand it a little bit more.

S: Yeah, I sort of start with grass root plans from building the inbound marketing strategy, full and down marketing strategy that we’ll discuss in a minute. How I can’t do all of it but building to the overall in-bound marketing strategy, looking at the website, making sure with the foundations or solid, working on SEO keyword research, paid advertising, taking that all together, and then I start working with outsourcing, and working with other teams of content marketing website development, social media marketing, etcetera, I pull them all in together, with what I have from my clients to build it in a great integrated marketing strategy across all those segments. Pay media earned media.

C: And what type of clients do you focus on mostly?

S: Yeah, I get clients from every vertical a lot lately have been startups actually they’re basically, they got their funding, they have some history of success maybe they have a new product and they need the folding down, they need to make sure that their investment is going right, they have that exposure first, they understand it’s not going to be direct response from the beginning. Some of this is a high-ticket price. Some of the SAAS has stuff, it’s $10’s of thousands a year, right?

So, it inbound is very, very important how to lead, nurture, once they learn of your product, keeping it back on line. So when a year from now when the tenders come to… And they need to make that big purchase decision we are there.

C: Awesome, that’s great, that’s great. So let’s see, lastly, are there any search engine marketing strategies that you’re currently testing that you don’t think other agencies are really implementing for their clients?

S: I’m not testing anything, but there is something that other agencies are missing out on huge clients are missing out on it and it’s structured snippets and it is literally a gold mine or a business.

And I’ve been doing this for a few years since they started and we’ve had huge success. Now the markets send it out a little bit, but there are not enough people use in structure snippets. And what structure snippets are it’s like when we talk about millennial’s, when they search a question and the answer comes right up in the search results, right?

That is because a website has structured snippets, it’s a little bit of coding on the page that will trigger it, so it will come up in that search result. Not near enough people are doing this and it’s literally Google just handing you a golden ticket. Well right now and a couple of years when everyone’s doing it, it won’t be any longer but your website could have a rank of 20th, but if you have a structure of snippet for a question that no one else has, you’ll still get that top spot.

So, if you answer that question, and no one else does, even though your rank is so low, you’ll have that position and if they click to learn more than your website link will be there, above all else, and if, when people click on that link, the site is actually engaging, like we talked about earlier, then that will help the overall SEO increase.

C: Yeah, and structured snippets. They have been out for a few years and you’re absolutely right, you might implement them every once in a while, but not on every side or not on every page. And so that is something that’s very easy once you know what you’re doing, it can be very easy or your web developer can do it. Just to make sure that you’re getting that extra boost. It has been kind of a slow, slow implementation process. You’re right. It’s a gold mine, but not many people are doing it, they’re not.

S: I still have clients every day someone contacts me, and they have no idea what I’m talking about, and they’ve been trying to market their business for years. And this is, like you said, it has been over a few years and it’s me. First thing I do help structure snippets… You’ve got a blog, you’re putting a answers in that blog and we need to make sure it’s on those pages.

C: Absolutely, what great insight, thank you then. Is there anything else I should have asked? But I didn’t?

S: I don’t think so. I like to keep a little bit to myself 🙂

C: Well, perfect, thank you so much for joining us today. Stephen a pleasure learning some of your expertise and hearing about the site hierarchy, Google Site Speed, making sure your website copies all lit up to date where it should be, and then also that link. So we’ll be sure to put that link into a the description of this podcast as well because that is very important to make sure, that you’re checking out,

S: absolutely, and don’t forget about the Google Site Speed, it’s a free tool, and also critical to you use and I’ll send you the link to repetition.

C: Well, wonderful, thank you again, Stephen, I appreciate you being on!

So again, that was Stephen Merrigan with Merrigan media and it was such a pleasure to have him on the show today. If you take a look in the description of this podcast episode, there are two links in there that you should be sure to look mark on your browser, and at least share with your web developer and if your practice has on the first is that HTML5 site hierarchy tool. And then the second one was the Google Site Speed.

So both of those will give you insights into if there is room for improvement with your website and then additionally ask about those site snippets, the page snippets if you do a Google search for some sort of treatment or ailment typically WebMB or another notable website and company will show up there, but you can also show up there with a page snippet, as well.

So, thank you again to Steven. I’m Caitlin McDonald this is the Social Speak Network podcast:

We are on iTunes and PodBean. If you found this episode to be educational and helpful for your marketing, I urge you to subscribe. Thanks so much and I’ll see you on the next podcast episode.

 

Best practices for Search Engine Optimization with Merrigan Media

7 steps to creating an FAQ Page that attracts new clients for your Medical Practice

7 Steps to creating an FAQ Page that attracts new clients for your Medical Practice

In this blog post I am taking a look at the steps for you to take to optimize a FAQ page on your website so that it not only is indexed in Google, but also so that it attracts new patients and can be repurposed in additional digital marketing for your medical practice.

FAQ sections of your healthcare website at one point were incredibly important, they then, however, were looked down at by a a lot of copy writers and website developers because the questions should be answered elsewhere on your website. The professional digital marketers at Social Speak Network used to even argue that an FAQ section would be better served by creating blog posts rather than having each of the questions listed on a single page. Our tune has now changed.

FAQ sections, whether they are single pages devoted to answering commonly asked questions or sections spread throughout a website that appear on specific services specialties pages, can drastically effect the performance of your health center website. These FAQ sections:

  • Increase search engine optimization (and possibility of having a Featured Snippet on Google search results)
  • Increase the likelihood of matching voice search (increasing Mobile SEO for your medical practice)
  • Build brand authority
  • Get prospects to know, like and trust your clinic
  • Create digital marketing collateral that can then be repurposed in email marketing, initial consultations with prospects, and social media posts.

Additionally, you can still provide expanded answers to these commonly asked questions in the form of blog posts and article. Now, before we dive deeper, let’s take a look at what a Featured Snippet is on Google.

What are Featured Snippets in Google Search Results?

When users ask questions in Google Search, one of the answers that appears may be a Featured Snippet. The information that appears here is extracted from a webpage and displayed to the user. Whereas you can utilize Knowledge Graph or Rick Snippets to display additional information within your search results, you cannot actually control what shows up for a Featured Snippet.

Featured Snippets are a part of the search results. In simple terms, Google finds content that matches the question asked and displays this result at a Featured Snippet.

Because of Google highlighting and emphasizing what it deems as the best answer to a question asked, it is incredibly important to add an FAQ section(s) to your Medical Practice Website.

So, how do you Create a FAQ Page that Converts on your Health Center Website?

The process to creating an FAQ section on your website is fairly straight forward. In this blog post we take a step by step look at how to create a well-functioning FAQ page on your medical practice website.

  1. Group Questions at top of the page
  2. Add headers or sections within the questions so they are easier to navigate
  3. Link questions to their respective answers lower on the page
  4. Create a concise and clear answer to each question
  5. Record a video of the answer to each question
  6. Add your brand name or a physicians name to the first line of the question
  7. Add a link in the answer to the service or next step in the sales funnel for the individual to learn more.

Look for “People also ask for” questions on Google Search Results

  1. Group questions at the top of the page.

    When you group questions together, this could either be at the top of the page or at a top of a section on a page, you are making it easier for the user, or prospect, to quickly jump to the information that appeals to them.

    Having a user-friendly website increases trust in your medical practice brand.

    faq questions grouped
    This also helps to keep an individual on your site for longer if they do not need to scan through all the content and questions to find exactly what they are looking for.

  2. Add headers or sections within the questions so they are easier to navigate.

    Here, you want to make sure, again, that the answers to common questions are easy to find quickly. For an orthopedic practice, for example, you may have sections for:

    • Your Initial Consultation
    • Preparing for Surgery
    • What to Expect at Your Appointment
    • Recovery Post-Procedure

    Within these sections, you may have numerous questions, all of which are talking points for your physicians to patients and prospects. To figure out what questions to include on your FAQ page, think of the different steps within your patient lifetime journey.

    Focus your Commonly Asked Questions on the Patient Journey

    What are the first questions they will have for your healthcare practice as they are first realizing they may need care? What questions do they have for your specialists to best prepare them for a procedure, and what questions will they have for a quick recovery? As you are writing the content try to predict what related questions an individual may ask. Additionally, ask the admin staff and the specialists at your medical practice what common questions they answer.

    Google also can provide insights into commonly asked questions. Type in a broad question into Google. For example “What to expect the day of knee surgery?” When you scroll down in the search results, you will notice a section titled “People also ask” – Google is providing you with additional questions to consider for your health center FAQ.

    Google search results for knee surgery(You’ll also notice that for this search, there also is no Featured Snippet – time to get working on that FAQ…)

  3. You’ll notice that I’ve followed this advice in this blog. As you grow out the list of commonly asked questions for your medical practice, it makes it much more navigable to list the questions first and the link to the answers. Having a link that goes directly to the answer also allows you to share this answer in correspondence with patients, prospects, and on social media. It makes repurposing content that much easier for your business.

    Create HTML links for each question and answer within your Healthcare Center FAQ

    To create a link to a specific place in the text, use the following code:

    Create the Link: 
    Where you are adding the link, rather than entering a complete destination URL, simply enter #destination-id (use the respective ‘destination id’). In the page HTML, this will look like: <a href=”#destination-id”>Link Text</a>
    Select the Destination: To identify where you would like the link created above to go to, you will assign a div id to the content. In the HTML of the page, add: <div id=”destination-id”>Content Header to Link To</div>

  4. Create a concise and clear answer to each question

    This ties directly into the previous points described about writing a powerful FAQ section on your health practice website that drives traffic to your website and new patients to your clinic.  When you write an answer to a commonly asked question, you want to make sure to be as concise as possible and then drive the reader to another page/blog post/to schedule an appointment to learn more.

    When you purposefully don’t answer specific questions and when you leave your answers short, you can lead the prospect through the sales funnel.

  5. Record a video of the answer to each question.

    Videos, videos, videos! Video marketing is one of the most important strategies for your medical practice digital marketing. We highly recommend having physicians in your clinic film their answers to these questions.

    video in faq
    If a prospect can put a face to a name and if the physician provides a clear-concise answer, your practice is set up to quickly build trust and authority with prospects. Videos help to:

    • Build trust with prospects and set expectations about what the process is like with your health center.
    • Create additional opportunities for Search Engine Optimization. Videos are indexed in addition to the content on your pages. We recommend publishing the video on YouTube and then embedding it on your website. When you use the question being answered in the title, your video is very likely to appear in the search results.
      Google video search results
    • Lastly, having videos embedded within your health care commonly asked question, adds additional content for your marketing team to share on social media, email marketing, and in advertising.

    One of our favorite parts about video marketing for healthcare is that you no longer need to create a $10,000 5 minute video. In fact, just using a newer phone and a $20 microphone will do the trick. Authentic videos that are not highly edited work well for FAQ sections on your website.

  6. Add your brand name or a physicians name to the first line of the question

    Rather than just answering the commonly asked question, make an effort to include your health practice name or a physician’s name in the answer. Not only does this increase credibility, but it also builds name recognition.

    While we have had some digital marketing clients tell us that the content reads strangely with the practice name at the start of each answer, also realize that 1) your readers won’t be reading every question if you are structuring the content so it is easy to find what you are looking for (eg grouping questions by category) and 2) if one of your Q&As are selected for a featured snippet on Google, you’ll benefit that much more if your practice name also appears.

    Social Speak often recommends having the name of whichever specialist is in your video have their name in the answer, as well. This is an easy way to have the content be cohesive.

  7. FAQ pages on your medical practice website fulfill a much needed role of predicting what prospects and patients are going to ask. While you want to be thoughtful of answering as many commonly asked questions as possible, you also want to lead users (prospects mostly) through the patient journey of scheduling and coming in for an appointment.

    Include the answers to questions, but also lead people to additional content and ultimately to pick up the phone or click the link to schedule a consultation.

 

 

How to Create a FAQ Page that Converts on your Health Center Website
 How to Create a FAQ Section on your Health Center Website that Actually Attracts New Patient
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
Medical Practice Buyer Persona and Digital Marketing Advice for Healthcare Centers

Marketing articles often talk about understanding your buyer persona or your target market, but often times you need to read between the lines to find tactics that you can implement for your health care center.

In this article we take advice from some of the top marketing experts for medical center marketing and highlight how you can tailor your marketing towards your practice’s target market by:

  • Using interactive resources
  • Creating campaigns that are specifically geared towards immediate leads and long-term brand recognition
  • Creating an in depth FAQ section on your website to address both services and conditions.

Before diving into these tactics, it’s important to understand the strategy behind your buyer persona or target market. When first considered, we often to grouping all patients together and looking at broad identifiers. I’ve heard our clients proclaim our patients consist of men and women aged 40-65+. Honestly, this doesn’t do much.  The goal should be to find sub-groups and niches within your specialties and communicate to the heart of that niche.

What is your Medical Practice Buyer Persona?

Rather than grouping all patients together, start by understanding your specialties. Let’s say you work for an orthopedic center and specialize in joint pain and back pain as two key conditions – who are the specific candidates you can target for these two specialties.

Chris Carr, CEO of Farotech, recommends thinking about what are people doing when they need your services. For example, if a specialty is shoulder pain, you could target baseball players, specifically pitchers, or you could target someone who does handy-work around the home and fell off a ladder. What other services, however, are these people going to need? You treat the individual who fell off a ladder, and they might not necessarily have other ailments. You treat the baseball player, and next thing you know they are coming back for knee pain, back pain, and other ailments they may have been putting off.

Another example is knee pain. Most people put off their decision to have knee surgery, are they grateful after they come in? Yes! After a good experience are they more open to considering intervention for their hip or their other knee? Yes! Having brand recognition for these individuals can greatly improve the customer (or patient) lifetime value, something all practices should strive to do. To understand this target market, you need to understand the emotional journey they go through as they take the steps to pick up the phone and call your practice.

The first exercise to understand your buyer persona is to write a list or create a spreadsheet with your practice’s specialties, what patients typically come in for these, and what other services they may need after the fact. Once you have completed this exercise, rank the specific buyer personas based on both low hanging fruit (or who will schedule calls quickly) and typical customer lifetime value (folks who often have more than one procedure once they schedule their first appointment).

Abby Thompson of Salted Stone recommends also performing a quarterly review of who is coming into your practice – what are their symptoms, how did they find you, etc. Actually speak with your patients to understand their journey and to further your understanding of your target markets outlined in the spreadsheet you’ve created.

Once you have a clear understanding of your patient personas, you can start integrating them into your medical practice digital marketing strategy.

3 Tested Tactics to Integrate Patient Journey in Digital Marketing Strategy

Tactic 1: Create Interactive Resources that speak to the main concerns, questions, and pain points of your niche target markets.

Thompson has started utilizing quizzes, ebooks,  and interactive video to draw prospects in, engage them, and increase ROI. To create these interactive elements, focus your attention on answering the most daunting questions and concerns of your target market.

Some ideas to think about could be a step by step guide to exercises to do at home to build strength prior to a surgery or a video interview with a physician explaining the exact process used in a procedure. Capture the name and contact information of the individual interested in the resource and send them targeted information that brings them further along in their patient journey.

Tactic 2: Build advertising campaigns that are specifically geared towards immediate leads and long-term brand recognition.

As mentioned, some prospects are ready to call your practice right away whereas others take time to nurture. Daniel Goldberg, founder and CEO of Gold Medical Marketing, tends to emphasize with his clients that you can’t have the same goals for every campaign. Some advertising campaigns should be designed to capture leads immediately, but others need to align more with the patient journey.

Your practice needs to build brand recognition and instill trust with prospects before they are ready to pick up their phone for an initial consultation. Here, specifically think about display ads and retargeting campaigns.

Tactic 3: Create an in depth FAQ section on your website to address both services and conditions.

This is one of the most common techniques, and most valuable techniques for your practice to build an organic reach, create content that speaks to your buyer personas, and increase brand recognition.

Both Carr and John McAlpin, SEO Director of Cardinal Digital, highlight the importance of utilizing FAQ sections to interact with your buyer personas. Just as Thompson and Goldman recommend paying attention to the key concerns, questions, and pain points of your target patients, creating an FAQ section of your site or an FAQ section on each specialty can increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy exponentially.

Carr recommends creating short videos to answer each question in addition to a written answer. These videos can then be repurposed as you send targeted emails to your buyers and can be shared online through social media and other channels. As you map out the full buyer-journey, each video will serve a specific purpose.

McAlpin on the other hand focuses on the technical SEO benefit to an FAQ section of your specialty page. Every specific question and answer creates an opportunity for your website to rank more prominently for Voice Searches. By appearing in organic search results you can build trust, brand recognition, grow your website traffic, and ultimately reduce your patient acquisition costs.

When pooled together, these tactics work to provide the answers to questions and settle the fears of your prospects as they move through their own patient journeys.

As you are working through ways to incorporate your buyer persona and patient journey, don’t hesitate to reach out for a complementary consultation. Our team works closely with marketing directors at healthcare centers to ensure their marketing is reaching the right prospects as they progress through their own journey. We use a combination of techniques from building brand loyalty to capturing lead contact information, and systematically converting prospects into patients as we help you to grow your practice’s bottom line.

Medical Practice Buyer Persona and Digital Marketing Advice for Healthcare Centers
Social Speak Podcast chris carr with Farotech

Farotech is a comprehensive, growth-driven digital marketing agency that implements a systematic approach to lead generation, nurturing and conversion by utilizing scalable web design, cutting edge inbound strategies, and creative video development.

In this interview with CEO and founder, Chris Carr, we focused on inbound marketing, web design, and video marketing for the healthcare industry. We covered:

  • How Inbound Marketing, Web design, and video for large orthopedic brands relate to short-term and long-term strategic marketing decisions.
  • Current trends for wellness practices with SEO marketing in 2019.
  • Tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype, but failed to take hold in 2018.
  • The effect of video on digital marketing for healthcare.
  • 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.
  • Marketing strategies Farotech is currently testing that many other agencies aren’t implementing for their clients.

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 Farotech, click here.

I had a blast during this interview with Chris, and was blown away by how in depth and actionable the information was that we discussed. Some key takeaways included:

  1. Don’t just change your website if you think it can work better to reach the KPIs you’ve identified for your practice. Install software to create Heatmaps. These heatmaps show how prospects are engaging with your site and allow you to test different layouts and understand how design effects conversions. [6:50]
  2. Dive deep into your buyer personas or patient personas. Your goal is to create content that creates an emotional connection about how their life can be after they come into your practice. Cast a wide net, but also tap into individual niches. [14:23] and [27:01]
  3. Though you will benefit from a professional video on your homepage, lower cost, authentic videos for asset pages or pages that answer commonly asked questions about your specialties. These can then be repurposed for a variety of uses. [16:45]
  4. Dive into both Local and Traditional SEO tactics. First consider the commonly used, but less competitive keywords to grow your domain authority, then progress to the more competitive keywords when writing your blog content. Additionally, create and follow an editorial calendar to be more Proactive in your marketing rather than reactive. [32:11]
  5. Hiring a scalable team of specialists can be less expensive that hiring employees in house. [3:18]

Transcript of Podcast Episode with Chris Carr

Hello and welcome to the newest social speak podcast episode. My name’s Caitlin McDonald and I am one of the co-founders at Social Speak Network and today we are joined by Chris Carr, the owner and founder of Farotech, a Gold Star HubSpot partner. Farotech, is a comprehensive growth-driven, digital marketing agency that implements a systematic approach to lead generation, nurturing, and conversion by utilizing scalable web design cutting-edge inbound strategy, web design, and creative video development. So, let’s give Chris a warm welcome as he joins us on this podcast episode.

Caitlin McDonald: Chris, thank you so much for joining us today.

Chris Carr: Yeah, thank you, thank you for having me.

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

CC: Well, I started Farotech in 2001, so it’s been nearly 18 years and we started out just as web development company. It was just myself and then, eventually one other individual. Now we have about 50 people working for our agency and we service companies throughout the United States in healthcare who are business to business, business to consumer, you name it. We started about 18 years ago, it started out as a web development company. And then the natural progression would be “Hey you know what, you guys create a really great website but nobody can find it.” And so we went from a web development company to really getting into SEO. And then the next progression after that was, “Hey, you create really great websites. I’m on the first page of Google, but for some reason my phone isn’t ringing, my email is not blowing up, what do I do about that?” And so we spent the latter half of the last 18 years really, talking about conversion science.

Hitting traffic at the wrong part of the buyers turning they’re not going to convert. So it was really important for us to solve the actual problem that they had not just give them marketing ease or marketing answers because that’s easy to do. The sales are down. I’m like, “Yeah but I got… Yeah, 100 Facebook likes.

CM: Right exactly, those vanity metrics aren’t going to cut it anymore.

CM: Your business, Farotech, focuses on inbound marketing, web design, and video for large orthopedic brands. Can you describe how the three of these relate to short-term and long-term strategic marketing decisions?

CC: Sure, well let me share my screen.

One of the things we try to do is, we try to really affect the hiring decision and reason why I’m saying that is that the average orthopedics practice usually might have one person who’s in charge of marketing. And when you see on the slide here, you can see my computer, correct? [3:18]

Marketing is moving extremely fast. The expectations have never been higher. Most marketing directors expect their health practice to be on the first page of Google. They expect it to be a thought leader. They expect you to have a social presence, you name it … Basically, the list goes on and on and usually what happens is orthopedics go and they hire a marketing professional or CMO or something like that, and we call that person, it’s a HubSpot term, but they call a Marketing Mary a Marketing Mary wakes up one day and realizes that all of this stuff is more than a one-person job. And so they need support.

And so what happens is, is that Mary usually finds a content writer and then they maybe tap on the shoulders of a social media vendor or something like that. All the PowerPoints and all design stuff still needs to be created. So maybe they might have a project manager doing that.

Then you have a web designer and basically you’ve stressed your web guy and everything has to look pretty with graphic design, what happens is you wake up one day and you got a lot of money going out the door. We sort of got the niche is we do what’s got a team-based solution and the team-based solution allows your marketing person to still stay in place, but we become your team behind that marketing person.

And so what happens here is with the really large or small practices need to scale, but they don’t want to hire five people to do so. So what they do is, is they hire an organization like ours that is scalable and we’re able to do all the things that they don’t have time to do.

A lot of times we bring our expertise and our approach to it, but sometimes it’s just that we have the time that they don’t have.

How does it affect the short-term, in the long term? Well, the short term is, is that we try to implement a strategy, but the long term is that we hope to be your solution to scaling your marketing team.

CM: Great, great. So providing those the quick positions that need to be filled, but also long-term growth of the team when the organization is growing as well.

CC: Yeah and then they like it because if they don’t like their writer, we can deal with it.

CM: Well let’s jump into trends. What current trends are you seeing for the health industry with inbound marketing in 2019?

Current Digital Marketing Trends for Orthopedics Practices in 2019

CC: There are a lot of trends and one of the things that I wanted to talk about is fighting the trends first and then adopting the trend second.

So usually what happens here is, let’s pretend like it a website company or a decision to basically take on a marketing campaign.

Usually what happens is that if you see you on the bottom left corner, you go and you create a really great website, right? [6:50]

Website Evolution for Orthopedics Clinics

And then what happens is, is that a lot of Orthopedic practices get really busy, and then they don’t continually evolve their website. And so a couple of years later if someone’s like, “Oh well, you know what, we really need to create a new website” and they do. Maybe two to five years later. They create another website in another website. But if you were really ask some hard questions, like What did you learn from website number one that made you decide that you needed website, number two, what about site number three?

And usually what happens is that they don’t really have a clean answer they just know that it has to be better than it is now, and obviously graphic design ages with time.

It’s pretty funny. I can look at a website and think oh look 2007. What our view is that every time you change that website or that campaign, it’s like reinventing the wheel.

But if you can basically be in a scenario, like you’re seeing here, you can develop a system and a foundation. If you look at the orange line, we recommend that orthopedic practice develop a strong foundation and then make micro adjustments along the way. learning and learning and learning and learning. And so, let me show you how we do some of that continual adjustment.

CM: And just for everybody listening to the podcast I will create a link that goes directly to this place of the video so you can see that graphic as well, so that will be down in the description. [8:20]

CC: So usually what happens here? So I go and I built that website. It’s the foundation, right?

I usually recommend that orthopedic practices put on heat mapping. This is about one of my clients, but this is their old website. You’ll notice that one of their critical buttons had no… Basically, no high balls on it. Or basically people’s mouse proofs as were going there, and they spent a tremendous amount of money and effort on these videos, but the people go into that, so they had to make adjustments, on the website and they did. Other things that I got graded on is how many appointments could I get for this organization?

You notice 15% of the audience. Did they scroll down far enough?

We do the same testing and mobile.

You look at all the clicks that they’re going to do, of a variety of different filters such as search terms. What part of the country or how long are they take to click? So the ore in a new drip marketing is going to be better to know it at 6 O’clock at night or 10 AM on a Tuesday morning.

  • We look at every KPI that they do, and we basically try to make adjustments on each of the smaller goals too.
  • We look at mouse movements to find out what parts of the website are confusing. We look at your forms to figure out why people aren’t converting.
  • We look at pages that aren’t converting and try to create attribution pages, and then later on, we’re going talk about video, but I’ll talk a little bit about it.
  • What we try to do is as we try to look at videos and we have a scale to figure out our videos too long or people dropping off at certain points.

So when you know all this usability data about your website essentially what you’re able to do is you’re able to create basically a system that if you imagine it’s like a spear you’re making this spear sharper and sharper.

Heatmaps help your practice to understand how you health center website helps you reach your digital marketing KPIs.

CM: That makes sense that absolutely makes sense. So creating new heat maps is actually something that any website can have on them. There are different apps out there, different softwares and programs out there that your team has access to and can just install a code on your website so you can start gaining traction and insights into how people are actually acting and reacting to your own website.

And so Chris, thank you so much for bringing that up. It’s so important, rather than having a new person, a new marketing director come in and say “we need a new website,” really think clearly about what those goals are and see how your websites currently performing compared to those goals. because you might be surprised that the thing that you think everybody’s clicking on not getting a single click.

CC: Yep, we’ve adjusted words on the home page and a five to 10% up-tick. Honestly, sometimes we did it by accident” on for measuring and so we’re like, “Okay good.”

CM: Exactly. And it might not work the same way the next time, but for that one center it works great.

So, you brought up video, so let’s jump into a video. Can you tell us how video effects, digital marketing and what you’re seeing with video right now?

Video Marketing for your Health Clinic

CC: Sure, well, I think the first thing you want to probably say we are using the word orthopedic practice but if you’re a healthcare and let’s just say it’s interchangeable, but I’m going to keep using that word.

So they were on a level playing field. Essentially, what you’re kind of doing here is, is that in terms of video, you need to realize that each practice is unique.  So a lot of times it comes down to the quality of care, the quality of outcomes, the resources as the technology provided all that stuff. But at the end of the day if I tore my ACL I need my ACL fixed that. So one of the things that’s going to be really important is that you are not only your home page, but also your specialty pages really trying to display differentiation.

And so, we do this in a couple different ways. The first thing we want to be able to do a video is you need to know the way the audience thinks.

And what I mean by that is that there are different parts of your buyer’s journey, such as the beginning stages, you are in the awareness stage, and then later on, as the pain lingers on or you’re really in a spot where it’s critical, you’re in the decision level stage.

What we try to do from a video perspective is a video that’s neutral to each of those stages, but that explains how you’re different from other practices. Very simply – as simple as we can.

Use simple videos for your digital marketing – our attention span is only 7 seconds.

There’s this running joke that I tell our beat to death is that the average goldfish has an eight-second attention span and the average human has a Seven second attention span.

Essentially… we’re losing to gold fish.

So what that means is that it’s really important when they come to your website that you give them the information they need as quickly as possible, and in different formats, because some people are readers, some people are video watchers.

I personally am a video watcher, I don’t know what it is, but one of the other things that video gives you the power to do is, in my opinion, if you were to say what is in marketing is a race to emotion.

And earlier I can get you involved in that process, the more likely I’m going to get you to convert. So of course, they want to get their ACL fixed, that video is going to say, “Do you want to dance at your daughter’s wedding?”

It doesn’t matter why you’re here, what you want to be able to do is life beyond treatment.

So we try to create videos that are going to do that, but we use the technology in a really cool way as well. The first thing we do is we use a technology like this to find out how long videos should be. [14:23]

You’ll see that on the top right-hand side, you’ll see that this graph is dragging down to the right. Alright, you’ve seen the video over to the left. But through critical calls to action, whether it’s at the beginning of the video, the end of the video or even 15 seconds into the interview, I’m able to collect people’s information into our database, so we could drip market to them.

What’s really cool about this is I’m able to find out who’s watching my videos by name. So if you have these two case studies here you have Oliver, who watched 98% of the video.

Utilize drip marketing and remarketing to individuals based on how much of your video they watch

So if you’re going to talk about treatment options at the end of the video, Oliver knows the full story, now, 10 Bailey as you can see here an OR and she’s wrong a couple of times but he’s only watched 59% of the video.

So what our system will do is is that when Tim leaves the website, we’re going to be able to deliver emails about features and benefits and cost of progression in testimonials, things like that.

Yeah, there’s going to be this blanket statement. I do need to make early and so I do. You’ll get comments and crazy stuff, but I… Obviously, HIPAA does apply. So make sure that you’re getting counsel on how you communicate. We’re well versed in this but just know that we know, that heaters, not only to you but also to us as your agency, yes, is that an important thing to point out? You need to make sure that you are HIPAA-compliant with everything that you’re doing when it comes to collecting names and email addresses and re-marketing to them. But this is pretty incredible that you can even tailor that follow-up series based on how far they’ve watched that video.

CC: Look at kind of explain a little bit more on video.

So let’s say a patient is your site map in the buyer’s journey that I explained before using an ad, you’re going to have awareness, consideration, little content and decision level content.

We do something and lead core in which basically means we give visitors a certain level of points for every time that they come to our website, and they embrace it. Engage with marketing. So, what we’re able to do is we’re able to… We’re able to find ways where individuals come to our website and so they go to our hand and wrist page, assuming they’ve got a cookie on their computer, when they leave, the website and email automatically gets kicked out to them and that email we’ll have a video in it, that’s 30… 60 or 90 seconds long.

So what we’re trying to do is get video in the hands of as many people as possible, and if they haven’t gone deep enough into our website to get the critical assets, we create a system that if you’re not going to come down so we’re going to get it to you.

One other factor that I would say here is we also to try to develop these asset pages. [16:45]

What asset pages are, are all the most frequently asked questions or common objections about a certain treatment, area or something like that, but they’re all on one page. But what happens, this is the one they click on that answer that question we have a video that plays for them that is maybe 60 or 90 seconds long. What we’re doing is we’re giving them quick and simple information in a format that is digestible. Because it’s a video format I can use that asset on my website, I can use it in my social media, I can use it in my drip marketing, I can use it in apps, you name.

So the more video assets that I can create sort of the better scenario, that is a better outcome, I can have.

CM: And so, I’m going to stop you right there. So one thing that we hear time and time again, is to re-purpose content so video Chris is describing that video is such a great asset to have in your database because you can use it over and over again, you can use it on the website to answer question, social media, email marketing, and apps, really all of all of the different channels that you could be marketing on video fits in there. So thank you for bringing that up. Is so important to reiterate that don’t spend your energy trying to recreate something new for every single channel, you use the same thing that you’ve already created.

CC: That’s right, yeah.

I think one of the reasons why we always say that is because the research and the original writing is the most expensive part of the journey. So why do you keep repeating the most expensive parts when you’d rather be really solid on one critical area and then be in a scenario you’ve created great content that I can scale rather than just constantly… We use a phrase here we call “making the no nuts.

We were in a spot in 2015-2016 when the Google hadn’t totally grabbed a hold of quality versus quantity, we were at a spot as a company, we were putting out about a thousand content pieces a month.

And what I mean by that is that Don’t do what I did. My point is focus on great content.

CM: Okay, so were there any tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype but failed to take hold in 2018?

CC: Yeah, and nobody’s going to like this, but social media.

So if you were to check out some of the largest orthopedic brand in the States a ton of money goes into social media. [20:24]

This is a Forbes article and this talks about the… And if you’ll notice right here and he calls it the reach Apocalypse. A Jason was on to something. And it’s something that we’ve experienced essentially, what it means is, is that we go and we really try really, really hard to get Facebook likes or things like that, right?

The reality is, is that Facebook is a publicly traded company. And so let me read this one line here.

It says basically, organic reach. Which you’d think I’ve got a 1000 people to like my page everything I post a thousand people are going to see it. And you are in for a wild ride here. You would be lucky if it’s like 11% of the people seeing the content.

Organic Reach on Facebook Moves Inversely to Facebook’s Stock Price

I’ll read this. As organic reach dropped from approximately 12 to 6% (and now often at 1%) Facebook’s stock moved from nearly $50 to nearly $70, adding billions of dollars in marketing capitalization.

What does that mean? Facebook wins when they show your audience less of your materials.

The result  is go on Facebook, go on social media, we’ll get your content to your audience. You just have to pay them to do it.

So all these companies, all these practices go, we have to get really big and social media.

Well, for what? Unless you’re willing to pay for social media, you’re not going to see results. Now, you absolutely have to do it, but you do not bet the farm on it.

I’d much rather my double my energy on SEO, paper advertising, content marketing, establishing yourself as a thought leader, PR, all that stuff, rather than resting all my hopes and dreams on social media.

CM: It’s one of those things that you still have to be on social media, but just don’t think it’s going to change your practice.

CC: This is the approach that we use [23:22].

Alright, so we believe for all practices that you need to know who your buyers are inside and out – your ideal buyer patient personas, then you want to be able to do a thing we call usability conversion notes. It was all that heat mapping stuff didn’t show – How are your clients resonating?

SEO, content strategy, lead nurturing, which most practices do not have. And I can talk about that social media, but only if you were on the pay-to-play, then you still do it but you just don’t do it nearly as hard. Have a really firm grasp on your analytics and your data.

Some value –added services, I usually call this video, and pay per click advertising budget provides it, yes, what you’ll notice here, as I’ve mentioned, almost everything in the marketing circle, if you believe in silver bullet marketing that says, “You know what, I’m just one SEO campaign away from it,” you’re wrong, you need the whole thing.

So if you were to make a cake and you just… I don’t know, I’m not a baker .. focus on one ingredient, but everything else was horrible. It’s going to taste terrible.

Yes, but we do it all the time, in marketing, because it’s sort of a path of least resistance type of stuff.

Don’t rely on just one marketing effort to grow your orthopeadic practice

CM: Yeah, and you hear of that one case where just focusing on email marketing transformed the practice, that’s one case, it’s not everybody. So maybe you’re going to find that one email sequence or the one way that you can use email to really transform your practice and I do believe email can transform your practice, but at the same point, you’re going to have to do all this other digital marketing to see what combination works for you in your own business.

CC: I would I couldn’t see it any better.

CM: Okay, so what are the top three things that medical centers, orthopedic Centers, should be doing online to see return from their digital marketing?

I think you kind of just nailed it on the head with this description right here, but are there three bullet points, things that marketing team should be focusing on?

CC: Yes, I… Let me show one [25:35] and then I’ll talk about two.

Obviously with orthopedics, you’re going to have a wide net, right, you’re going to… Let’s say, daily, you have multiple specialties at your organization, so that’s hips and joints, and spines, and other stuff like that. You want to cast as wide a net, as many patients as possible it.

And as many patients as possible to your practice, but other things that you want to be able to do is you want to be able to find niches within or communities within your group and get really solid with those communities. So there’s one of the large orthopedic practices is low kid in Philadelphia, one of our clients, one of the things that they do is that they find these sub-groups of these niches and they communicate right to the heart of that niche. They’ll do that with a number of different things. What they do is they create marketing materials directly to that niche.

So, right, not only do that, they also so market to the influencers. Because in behind a man with the pain, there’s a wife who’s tired of her in about.

Narrow down your audience to niches and then work to build influencer relationships and created tailored messaging that fits their buyer journey

So what happens here is that what we try to do and we recommend you do, would you probably won’t because it takes time, is is that you literally sit down and you have a really hard… A really deep dive into who are your buyer personas? [27:01]

Left hand side, we want to ask were really great questions about who are it patient personas, and I want to be able to find out is how do the answers to these critical questions change from one patient persona to the next patient persona.

Because what you don’t want to do is have a one-size-fits-all marketing plan. If I have a torn ACL, I don’t want to hear about your spine center.

I start hearing about knee pain and my conversion rates are going to go way up.

We want to basically find niches in communities and we want to market to them about the things that matter to them, most rather than just blanket. Due statement marketing that we hope that resonates with all.

CM: So do you feel as though it’s best to take your time, just go through all of these different patient personas, and then choose the one that you feel is that lowest hanging create all the resources for that and then slowly create all the other resources. If you don’t have the time or the budget to have a team like yours jump in and create everything at once.

CC: Well, obviously, you want to make sure that your foundation is good. So I talked about the wide net. Don’t go in unless you have the wide net.

Let’s pretend like you do have the wide net, what I would probably try to do is try to find organizations that would fit multiple buyer personas.

And what I mean by that is, let’s say hypothetically, I’m just going to use a random scenario here. Say I want to market specifically to roofers with bad knees or climbing a ladder. It’s a tough job.

A lot of individuals who have torn their ACL or hurt their knee really bad they get treatment, from a Northrop practice. So, you’re communicating to roofers and you’ve got them for needs. What’s great about… Well, not great, but let me rephrase this a tendency that also happens, this is that once they get their new fix their hips next. Same with baby boomers. Same thing with student athletes, or athletes.

So that the… Yeah, so if I market to a niche of baseball players because I’ve got a really great shoulder department, that’s a really great idea.

CM: So what are the next two things that you recommend?

CC: Obviously, we talked about video. What I would recommend you do is have a really strong home page video, but the other videos that you do well, it might feel like you’ve really lowered the bar. I would rather have a lot of content, even shot with an iPhone right that is very authentic.

Then you saving up all year long to create a 1000 videos over and over and over again, so you can buy a 20 microphone from Amazon, you connect it with an iPad, your iPhone. What I even recommend again, is there’s 15 the disease gambles so you don’t have shaky hands-on I but what I do is, is that I would just have these candid interviews with doctors in your practice or physicians.

Start to talk about just issues better in relevant at the time or tendencies that they say, “You know what, let’s say Lindsay Vohn, she takes a nose dive at the Olympics, right?”

Get a doctor, and says, “You know what, looks like your knees really banged up it’s like, “Well let me tell you, this is something the tendencies that we see with skiers because your feet are clamped in it. torques and then it’s the first thing to give because it’s a, it’s a pliable it’s plantings, like that. go a long way in a in…

So we talked about buyer personas, know your ideas, we talked about video. And then the other thing I would probably say that you would need to do is that you want to be good at two forms of SEO.

One is local SEO with your pin packs and your maps and then the other one is more organic SEO, and let me give you a real quick, I’ll give you my hand pitch on SEO real quick. [32:11]

Alright, I usually… What happens here is that if I’m a knee specialist I need to be found locally with these local impacts, and then I also want to be found organically.

Understand the difference between Local SEO and Traditional SEO

Now what happens is is that there’s a different science for local SEO than there is for traditional SEO, so if you’re going to work with a vendor make sure that they know the difference.

Okay, so, so when I’m talking about… obviously you want to be in a scenario where you’re getting the best keywords.

These are the keywords that everybody wants. Everybody’s going to type in to find your services.

The problem is, is you’re probably not the only orthopedic practice in town and there’s also national providers or at least real providers that have much deeper pockets than you, so they’re going to try to gobble up the sky screeners. These are the really big key words, right?

Yes, so what we recommend is to try to get found on the first page of Google for a number of other keywords, keywords that have really high visibility but with less competition, and what we’re able to do is that you’re able to reach a tipping point.

So if I’ve gotten clients on the first page of Google for hundreds of keywords, I’m increasing what’s called my domain authority. And then once your domain authority, reaches a certain level, you’ve essentially to earn the right to be heard in the eyes of Google.

That means is you can actually go after some of these skyscrapers later on because you’ve sort of earn that klout.

Other things you need to know is if there’s algorithm changes, and if you cheat to try to get to the top, you’re going to wake up one day and you’re going to see something like this.

CM: Now, when you are focusing on as is this in addition to the site structure, are you creating content that’s tailored directly towards those long-tail keywords that aren’t those big skyscrapers, but kind of those lower-tier ones that’s right, some longer-tail keywords are sort of the smaller buildings.

CC: Yeah, I so what happens here is, is that when you start to go after a lot of keywords here, I blocked out the name of this client, but when they found us, I basically they were promised around a 25% increase in the number of keywords on the first page of Google.

We’re able to increase that to 247%. It translates to traffic.

Yeah, no work word. You do the better to where you do it. Basically, it works.

So, this organization just their blog alone, we were able to get them to increase in entrances by 856% or 63000 people were reading their blog to now over 607,000.

I might say, “Well how do I know that’s even quality traffic? Well, I increase their pages by 639%, so people were staying on online 700% or 600% longer. What we believe is the more educated consumer usually converts.

CM: Yes, now with this, I can hear a lot of Marketing Directors seeing these numbers and saying, “Oh my gosh, there’s no way that I can do that.” Can you give us a perspective of how many new pieces of content you created for this organization?

Utilize Editorial Calendars to remain Pro-Active rather than Re-Active with your Inbound Marketing Efforts

CC: Yeah, now this was over three year. The first year, I was the mill. We do about three blogs a week.  Those are all SEO optimized blogs, and stuff like that.

We write everything in collaborative documents.

Everything should be connected to an editorial calendar.

You would know, what’s going out in the next 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, a year or whatever it is. So you are proactive rather than reactive.

One of the major problems I see what practices they start out, they can get all fired up to get into marketing and then fires happen and then you look at their blog and it’s like the last blog was in 2017.

No, it just gets away from you. But if you live and die by an editorial calendar, you’re going to create content.

But what’s great about the content that you produce, is that a lot of companies will have technology that will allow you to optimize for a certain keyword and, you’re probably not going to have the in-house, but vendors basically marketing companies will say with technology like this that I’ll say, “you know what, before this contents even published Live to the web, I can see the rating here is poor. I can see that the readability is below the target, and just even the number of words on the page is less than the 840 where Target wooly using two out of the 20 keywords that need to be used.”

If I loaded this I published this piece of content I should have no hope that it’s going to be the competition, right? So this software is going to basically look at the top 10 results and it’s going to say, “You know what, you’re going to have to be critical adjustments.” It’s better to know this early rather then publish and pray.

CM: Yes, and that is one of the reasons why that editorial calendar is so important is that you can write that blog a month two months, however long before it needs to be published so that you have the time and you’re not feeling that “time Prince before you click Publish to actually look at these stats and everything, to say. Oh, you know what, if I just click publish, it’s not going to do anything for my business correct, yeah, right. So what is the top strategy that should be followed? But often, marketing teams get wrong?

CC: They try to do it all in-house.

Even if she’s working 180 hours a week, or is that possible at Ellen in A, the I alone the Lorimer is she doesn’t go home, she just works, right?

Yes, I can be able to be a specialist in SEO. It changes every day. She is not going to be a specialist in social media. It changes every hour. So what happens is, is that you need to make sure your marketing person is the quarterback who’s running a team of specialists and those specialists only focus on their area of expertise.

You can get a team-based system for the price of hiring one other employee.

If you imagine that Mary marketing is one employee and then the whole team is just another employee, the price you’re paying an initial team is about comparable to hiring a second employee, it’s scalable.

It’s profitable, and it’s fireable.

CM: Yeah, I oh yes, absolutely. shift the blame to someone else.

Oh goodness, let’s see… And I just have it just a couple more questions for you. You’ve shared so much valuable information for our listeners.

You founded Farotech and it’s now a top ranked inbound marketing agency. Do you want to just dive into your company and services a little bit, give a little pitch?

CC: I think the sales pitch that we would say is, is that we are truly partners. By being true than partners is if you’re looking at you, the company, you’re hiring to do your marketing as a vendor right, you’re always going to treat it like a vendor and the results are going to act like a vendor.

Now a partner is responsible for the things that you are responsible for. So if I’m the CMO and my job, my dependency is about getting appointments, making sure that critical physicians are seeing, you’re opening up a new practice, making sure that I have enough walk through traffic, digital traffic, whatever it is.

I want to make sure that as a partner that they’re on the line for the same things. And that is what we do and I, we sort of put ourselves in the line, we find out what matters to you most we bring strategy, we bring people but we bring accountability.

Yeah, and that’s the critical part for us is that our butts are on the line too and so if you’re going to walk out on the ledge we’re going to walk out there with… So you yeah, and so how do we plug ourselves? Would you really great work?

We obviously see we had really very results we work a really large brands, but we also work with some medium such brands as well.

But what’s exciting for us is just the transparency we have with our clients. It’s funny I got married and I had clients that weren’t even invited to the actual wedding come to the actual reception. I’ve got clients that call us and say, “Hey, what do we say about this particular treatment area?” We’re so ingrained that you know what I mean.

And so, then they do a critical they say they’re going to expand they come to us first, because not because we’re getting the commission, but they come to us first so they know what data they need to know before they make decisions, and that’s what I live. A good partnership looks like. And what I believe a good vendor looks like, and I think that’s what a good marketing company looks like.

One other thing is, is that I hire, I love the 99.9% of all my employees. I hire really great people that are passionate about their clients. That’s important because you’re going to spend, you spend most of your waking hours behind a desk, so right, so if you don’t love what you do don’t work here at Farotech and don’t work for my clients.

CM: Yeah, great, I love that. And then lastly, to wrap this up, are there any marketing strategies that your team is currently testing that you think other agencies might not be implementing for their clients?

CC: Yeah, one of the things that we’re trying to do right now is being a scenario where we’re doing a little bit more outbound email.

So here’s what happens. Let’s say, hypothetically, on your patient intake form they work for a really large provider, say a pharmaceutical company, right?

So oftentimes, we don’t go back and look at our database as the source or the well of where people are. And so what happens is I can go back and I make sure that I ask “Who is your employer?” And I also ask what your business title is. And the reason why I’m doing that is because if I know your employer and I’m able to get email addresses to your employers and do lunch and learns at your employers.

That’s a really good thing. So I want to be able to go to each of the large providers in my area and be that guy that practice, or that organization.

I want to be in a scenario where, let’s say, the medically, it’s a C-level executive, I can’t guarantee it. The people at the bottom of the totem pole are in the same place as the C-level executive is. So I want to know how quality is my list. And if their middle-of-the-road, or the title feels been on the road I freeze it.

Other things that it does is it says, you know what, if this guy went to my practice and his insurance basically he’s covered by his insurance at my practice basically his insurance is valid. I know that everybody else in that company.

That’s right, that’s right, and right. So I’ve been doing orthopedics for a long time, my wife has to drag me to go to the doctor’s office, drag me like literally, I know better. I know you have to figure that for every patient you have, there’s 10 patients that have nagging pain that are just like me, that just refuse to get there.

So if I’m going to get you a market and create really critical arguments for an idiot like me.

CM: Well Chris, thank you so much for your time, thank you for the valuable insights and information that you’ve been able to share. Are there any questions that you feel I should have asked that I didn’t?

CC: No, I think usually what happens is, is that the first question I get is, “How long does it take?

It really depends on how much do you want it? If you’re willing to put it in the hard work, and get your foundation straight and get your blogging straight and consistently stay proactive not reactive, and you can see how your results work by the 90-day mark, and you can know how it should progress.

If you are sitting in the dark, if you are not in a scenario where if you’re a reactive marketer we’ll never know when this is going to pay off.

Get that editorial calendar, get focused, work hard, and know what the next 90 days, six months, one year.

CM: Thank you again, Chris, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show, thank you, I appreciate it. It was wonderful, it was a wonderful experience for me to know right I so thank you again to Chris with barite for joining us today it was such a pleasure hearing about his expertise and about some of those tactics that you should be implementing for your own health center.

So again, my name is Caitlin McDonald, and please tune in for a next episode of The Social speak podcast.

Social Speak Podcast John McAlpin

John is a technical SEO expert who’s deeply engaged in the local and national SEO community. With over 15 years of web management experience, John has led digital strategy for many enterprise healthcare companies such as Epic Health Services, Aveanna Healthcare, Cornerstone Healthcare Group, and more!

Founded in 2009, Cardinal Digital Marketing has been ranked the #1 fastest growing agency in the Southeast (The Agency 100). In addition, they have been consecutively named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held US companies in 2014 and 2015. The agency has also been a multi-year recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Pacesetter Awards as well as selected as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®.

Cardinal keeps pace with rapidly shifting trends in Digital Marketing, and develops engagement strategies that are not defined by a platform or a category, but leverage the best marketing vehicle to solve every unique challenge. They approach every situation with the client’s customer in mind and measure success not by increased traffic or impressions, but instead higher client profits.

Services offered include Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Advertising, Social Media Management, Web Design & Development, Mobile Marketing, Online Reputation Management, Web Analytics, and more. What are your specialties?

In this interview we focused on SEO and search marketing for health and wellness businesses. We covered:

  • The difference between SEO and Search Marketing and how this differs from other types of digital marketing.
  • Current trends are you seeing for wellness practices with SEO marketing in 2019.
  • Tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype, but failed to take hold in 2018.
  • 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 it wrong.
  • Marketing strategies your team is currently testing that you don’t think many other agencies are implementing for their clients.

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

Podcast Transcript:

Hello my name is Caitlin McDonald, and welcome to the most recent episode of the Social Speak podcast. I am so excited, today we are joined by SEO expert John McAlpin. Now, John works for Cardinal Digital Marketing. Founded in 2009, Cardinal digital marketing has been ranked number one of fastest growing agencies in the South East. In addition, they have consecutively been named on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in 2014 and 2015.

Cardinal keeps pace with the rapidly shifting trends in digital marketing and develops engagement strategies that are not defined by a platform or a category, but leverage the best marketing vehicle to solve every unique challenge. They approach every situation with the client’s customer in mind, and measure success not by increased traffic or impressions, but instead, higher client profits. Services offered include search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, mobile marketing, online reputation management, web analytics and more.

Our guest, John is a technical SEO expert, who’s deeply engaged in the local and national SEO community. With over 15 years of web management experience John has led digital strategy for many enterprise healthcare companies such as Epic Health Services, Cornerstone Healthcare Group, and more so let’s give a warm welcome to John.

Caitlin: Welcome John, we’re so excited to have you on the show today.

To kick things off. Tell us a little bit about your background in digital marketing.

John: Sure, it actually started way back when I was 11. I started building websites when I was 11. I found it interesting and saw my dad doing it So, I found W3 schools and started teaching myself how to do all that. But at a professional portion of my career I started in the corporate side, mostly in a tech field, international e-commerce, and then I moved into healthcare and fell in love immediately. I was doing full digital strategy for a healthcare company, and then from there, I transitioned to a agency life and never looked back really. I love agency life. It’s nice to get a little mix of everything.

C: Yes, it definitely is. There’s always a new project to be working on … So John a key aspect of Cardinal digital focuses on SEO and search marketing. Can you describe how this differs from other types of digital marketing?

J: Sure, on it’s own this is a really interesting topic. A lot of people get confused about the actual true definition of SEM. I even heard people consider Social media as a part of SEM and so I think it’s really important to know the difference. Search engine marketing is any type of marketing that has to deal with a search engine. Specifically people refer to it with paid search, like PPC or CPC however you want to refer it to, or SEO. And so that’s essentially search engine marketing. While things like social media channels, have a search box that’s different than a search engine. It is important to note. And so search marketing really is just another form of inbound marketing and what’s unique about it compared to other things, is you’re catching both people during the discovery phase, where there’s no intent to purchase, and during the intent to purchase phase.

C: Great, great thank you for diving into that. So what current trends are you seeing for wellness practices with the SEO and SEM in 2019?

J: What people are in healthcare are starting to do is find alternative ways for people to book appointments. Traditionally it starts with a call then developed. Now we’ve got great technology to book appointments on the website, but now it’s gonna find alternative way to give people more options, to book appointments.

Something that we’re doing is Google My business is actually having features to help integrate their platforms truly need to visit your website, to book an appointment, you can even text or even other direct links. There are some other third-party industry sites like if they’re a directory that we can book appointment straight from there. For example, in the restaurant space Yelp, you can order straight from Yelp. And so, the future is hoping to get voice functionality working out. So all you’re a home assistant, such as Alexa, to help book appointments, that’s a future hope. I don’t know if you were gonna get there, in 2019, but it’s definitely in pain that see a lot of people going towards.

C: That’s pretty incredible. So I’d just be able to say “Alexa, schedule my appointment with this center,” and to be able to do it.

J: Right. I predicted to see a specific company, not a healthcare company, but a technology company developing an application. There’s a lot of partners with it, who are trying to work together to develop this type of technology, so I see it being… You signed up with a partner and they will add you to their list, of preferred vendors, and then you would be able to use their system. That’s the place I see this going.

C: That is incredible, that’s wonderful. Now, in a previous podcast episode, and this isn’t something that we talked about previously, but in a previous podcast episode one of our guest Abby was talking about how interactive websites is actually really helping out with SEO because people have more time on site. A lot of health care centers, direct people off-site to do the scheduling and booking. Is it better to have the scheduling tool actually embedded on your website, rather than directing someone off-site?

J: So, that’s an interesting topic because there’s a couple of things that you wanna think about here. Not just your SEO interactivity, but also how you track conversion. A lot and people who have booking on their site or using an Iframe, which means that your analytics may not be able to track.

And so, really it gets to the point where Google is aimed more to the user experience and that’s where people get that time-on-site type of metric, and technically it’s better to have people to book on your site versus off because it’s less steps to take an action, but in a perfect world we be able to develop software to have booking on our site, and have our own proprietary thing. But, not everyone has those kind of resources. And so it is really however you can get the job done. An Iframe will work. Just be careful about what you’re tracking. As marketers, it is hard for us, so we don’t always have the ability to track it. Cardinal specifically does a good job of working with a whole lot of vendors to make sure that we can get the information that you need, but a lot of agencies don’t have that reach or those resources so be careful.

C: Alright, so let’s jump to the next question, are there any tactics that were expected for well or had a lot of hype, but failed to really take hold in 2018?

J: Voice. I think, voice is gonna be a big one. It’s not the future. It’s now. Some data scientists are predicting that 50% of all searches, are gonna be voice by next year. And I think this is a little confusing because people are getting confused between Voice Search and Voice Assistance.

Asking for the weather, asking certain time or something like that. It’s just those are voice assistance not voice search. And so right now we don’t really have a good way to track search. Also, it is important to note that your Search Console data, a lot of these queries can be voice and Google won’t be telling you which are voice.

I’m sure they will, but they’re not telling you right now. It’s also important to know that as far as asking questions that come from your website, all answers are first position featured snippets. They wanted to be voice focus on getting those featured snippets ranking high. And it’s important to know that feature snippets can appear anywhere in the search and only 30% are in position one.

C: Is there any way to be able to do research about how voice searches and the phrases and terminology that people are using and search differ from me typing into a search engine for something?

J: So as far as tracking or as far as optimizing?

C: As far as optimizing.

J: Sure it’s really just answering commonly add questions that you can relate to your business. Anyone can really get a question answered, but that doesn’t really lead to a conversion or help your branding at all.

So if you really wanted to optimize for voice, currently, before the future hits, it’s really answer the questions as quickly as you can. One of two sentences, the question needs to be answered. A lot of people will try to think about word count, not word quality. So they add all of these filler words. Work to really answered the question directly, in a first two sentences. The rest of that page can be or filler content.

Yeah, and those first two sentences, then you can work your brand name and according to Dr. So and So, at whatever your business name, is, the flu can be treated if caught earlier.

That was a the brand recall there. They can go and search that later or if they just are searching that question online at all, on the paper knows your name at the features on it. Oh, the that’s who I heard that from. And they can follow group.

C: I assume that that’s going to be one of the answers to this next question, but what are the top three things that a wellness center should be doing online to see a return from their SEM efforts?

J: Actually, it’s not one of the three in a lot of the…

There a more important foundational things that people need to worry about. A as far as voice, yes. One of the things I focus on Q+ A answer format. Include all of your services include all of your conditions on separate pages and have a way to inter-link them, Focus on your internal in-between them, so that they can relate and people can learn more information.

One of the first things they need to do is focus on having clean citations and for people that don’t know is a caption. That’s just your directory listing thing about Google My Business, Yelp. And then also think about your industry-specific citations.

Rate My doctor and things like that.

These directories have a huge impact on voice search and how business appear – having a consistent citations in.

So there’s a lot of tools that help it is or you can do it manually, but a lot more work, but you can pay more to have is, will do it for us if a lot of out there for it so I think the biggest factor that wellness centers and we really need to focus on is the user experience.

You can do SEO to a crap site. But if it doesn’t convert and people are turned off by it, they can’t navigate through it, it doesn’t mean anything that is so important.

Yeah, you can put a Band-Aid on it. But it’s not going lead to the results that you need in the end. And I feel as though Google with its algorithm,  says, “Well it’s ranking site’s higher that have that positive user experience. People are staying on the site longer, they’re going directly to it.”

C: And then, let’s see, what is the top strategy that should be followed but often marketing teams at these health and wellness centers get wrong or other agencies, just get wrong?

J: So SEO, technical SEO, that’s the first thing I noticed that it’s wrong, but really the biggest missed opportunity is having a holistic digital marketing strategy and having your teams to silo doing their own things, not so picking on the same goals or focus or when teams are working on different  ways to achieve different tactics towards the same goal.

Specifically, they need to be blending to the technical side of SEO, PPC, social media and their content. Repurpose your content for different channels.

C: That’s great, that’s great. You work for Cardinal digital, which is a full service agency and one of the top-ranked inbound marketing agencies in the US. Tell us about your company and your services, because you do really merge all of those different silos together for work with your clients.

J: As a strategy partner, we use the term partner, because it really is a relationship that we try to build, we try to build long-term collaborative relationships with national enterprise healthcare companies, because not one company is the same as the other, and everyone deserves a customize strategy. There’s no recycled formula for everyone … See what works best for everyone. We also have a really strong paid media team, and extremely simple track or record merging all of our tactics that blended to re-All full welcome out strategy.

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

J: Sure almost doing a lot of the same one-off tactics and traditional SEO things, and payments paid media, but one of the things that we do is that I’ve seen that I have not seen other agencies really focus on is develop cascading edge tracking software.

We’re trying to use every tool the book to make sure that we can unlock the most insights so we can do the best action because really we put the data in the hands of our clients.

This is what we’re seeing our recommendation and this is how we collaborate with our clients, so, but they are fully aware of every step and they can make the best position possible because we give them the best information possible, and that to be anything from, not just keyword tracking, but also heatmap tracking it seems… How users are actually interacting on their site, so we can have the full holistic US experience.

C: Definitely, definitely, that’s great. And then, John, is there anything that I should have asked but I didn’t?

J: Yes, a lot of questions, I don’t know. I think you have a great job…

C: Awesome, well thank you so much for joining us, has been such a pleasure learning about your experience, your take on SEO and SEM and some of what Cardinal Digital is doing for their clients. So thank you again for joining us today.

J: Thanks so much for having me.

C: Wow, thank you, thank you, thank you to John for joining us today. He shared such wonderful information and it’s no wonder Cardinal digital is such a top-ranked agency with talent like John.

We spoke today about optimizing your directory listings, including both services and conditions pages on your website, as well as how to increase your exposure for voice search by having an FAQ section on your website. All of these are simple tips that you’ll be able to implement on your wellness website to help out with SEO and SEM.

Thank you again for tuning in, thank you to our guest, John for joining us today, and I will see you on the next episode of The Social speak podcast.

Podcast Interview on Inbound Marketing in 2019 with Abby Thompson from Salted Stone

This week we have the privilege of speaking with Abby Thompson from Salted Stone, a Diamond Tier Partner with Hubspot. Salted Stone is a global agency with an award-winning team. They provide end-to-end solutions for clients focusing on strategic marketing programs, tactical support, and project engagements.

In our podcast, Abby and I took a deep dive into some of the key concerns for health and wellness centers when tackling Inbound Marketing.

In this episode, Abby provides insight into:

  • Current trends she is seeing for wellness practices with inbound marketing in 2019.
  • Tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype, but failed to take hold in 2018.
  • The top 3 things that a wellness center should be doing online to see a return from their digital marketing efforts.
  • What is the top strategy that should be followed, but often marketing teams get it wrong.
  • Inbound strategies Salted Stone is currently testing that you don’t think many other agencies are implementing for their clients.

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

Before jumping into the transcript of the Podcast, I wanted to highlight eight key takeaways that you can implement in the digital marketing strategy for your wellness center.

8 Ways to Master Inbound Marketing in 2019 for your Wellness Center

Takeaway 1: Inbound marketing is a comprehensive journey. It is about creating opportunities for your target market to find you and interact with your brand in a way that encourages them to take action.

Takeaway 2: Current trends in Health and Wellness for Inbound Marketing in 2019 include building authenticity into how you position yourself online. For example, wellness brands are moving away from partnering with Influencers that alienate their target market and working more with people who welcomes and builds trust.

Takeaway 3: Not all technology trends played out in 2018. Salted Stone expected AI to be much more advanced for content creation, but it still is failing to create content that seems authentic to the brand. Additionally, be on the look out for more advanced functionality for Chat Bots in 2019.

Takeaway 4: Wellness centers should focus their digital marketing efforts on creating Interactive Content. Interactive content increases time on site, prospect engagement, and ultimately helps to build trust with your brand. Examples include: quizzes, calculators, dynamic landing pages, product or service walk-through videos, and more. In general, clinics with interactive content at the center of their digital strategy see a higher ROI than those who don’t emphasize interactive content.

Takeaway 5: Encourage user reviews and value the transparency and authenticity of both positive and negative reviews. Don’t hesitate to incentivize patients to leave reviews about their experience with your practice.

Takeaway 6: Track the correct KPI’s, such as your customer lifetime value to your customer acquisition cost ratio. Vanity or glamour metrics, such as the number of Likes or Shares a post receives, won’t move the needle when it comes to best marketing your practice online.

Takeaway  7: Marketing is not a one-size-fits all proposition. A health clinic in NY may find that different marketing tactics work to book appointments than a wellness center in OH. You need to dig deep and understand your ideal patient.

Takeaway 8: Don’t think you need to be everywhere online. Talk to and interview customers and prospects to find out where they spend their time. Then, focus your Inbound Marketing efforts on growing these channels. Be strategic about where you market yourself and what tools you use.

So, with that covered let’s jump into the Podcast to hear from Inbound Marketing specialist, Abby Thompson.

Inbound Marketing Tips Interview Transcript

Caitlin: Hello and welcome to the newest episode of The Social speak Network podcast. I’m Caitlin McDonald, and today I am joined by Abby Thompson. Abby is the Director of Marketing at Salted Stone, a global agency with an award-winning team of humans, and dogs, where she spends her days spearheading lead generation and strategic initiatives. Abby is a Boston native with a passion for mission-driven business development, branding, and technology. So please, let’s give a warm hello as we welcome Abby, to the podcast.

Abby we are so excited to have you on today, first to kick things off, can you tell us a little bit about your background in digital marketing?

Abby: Yes, absolutely, thank you so much for having me on. I’m excited to be here.

Prior to joining the team at Salted Stone, I was working with a sustainable and renewable energy education company based in Portland, Oregon. We offered online courses for engineers and professionals who wanted to learn more about solar and wind energy and sustainable building. I was responsible for assisting with editorial campaigns on our blog, social media marketing, sourcing, managing experts, building courses with them, and answering questions from prospective students, as well. I got a chance to handle initiatives that followed all ends of the buyer journey.

I created Inbound content for marketing purposes, and also used chatbots to qualify leads and even sell to site visitors, worked with the instructors to build a new courses, and then sold and cross-promoted to them.

It touched on marketing, sales and customer success, as well. After I left that company, I joined the team at Salted Stone about two years ago. I started as an intern and then I worked in our PR and earned media department and now I lead marketing specifically for the agency. I’m a little bit less client-facing now, and I’m really in charge of lead generation and strategic initiatives over here for our agency.

C: Awesome, I love it. So you’ve really been able to have your hands in all different aspects of digital marketing, and now you’re really just marketing the business, which is great.

A: I’ve got to work on the business and in the business which is really cool.

The Difference between Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, and Inbound Marketing

C: Salted Stone focuses on Inbound Marketing, can you describe how this differs from content marketing or digital marketing? There are so many catch phrases out there. What are they?

A: There are so many buzz words. From a high level, Inbound is a technique that really turns the old-school concept of pitching, advertising, and finding and courting leads or buyers on its head. So where in the past, you were always making cold calls, buying leads lists, trying to push your message with an outbound approach, now you’re creating opportunities for folks to find you and interact with your brand in a way that encourages them to ultimately take an action. So, of course, content marketing, content creation, and dissemination of the content that you create are a part of Inbound Marketing.

Certainly a tenant of Inbound is to write or design really helpful guides, blogs, e-books that folks will find and enjoy. And in that process, of course, they’ll get to know the product or solution that you offer, but Inbound is about a lot more than that, really. It’s ultimately about optimizing every domain you have on the web to move people closer to the point of sale, or to renew, or to evangelize your brand and come back again and tell others to come back again.

Whereas digital marketing itself, might be an umbrella in which a lot of these actions, fall, Inbound is really about creating a comprehensive journey. So say someone finds you on the internet because you have a great website that’s keyword optimized with good domain authority.

And maybe they’d spend some time clicking around, chat with someone on a live or scripted bot, look at the resources you might have to offer, download something, maybe they get enrolled in an email marketing nurture workflow and eventually, hopefully, you become your buyer. It’s really it’s a bigger picture, long-term mode of thinking for brands rather than just focusing on SEO for example, or a lot of folks, they just say, “Oh you know what, I’m going to blog…” It’s really much more comprehensive than that.

Flywheel Approach to Marketing from Hubspot

The folks over at HubSpot, who coined the term, they call it now the Fly Wheel way of thinking. Basically the customer is at the middle and then around the customer is sales, marketing and customer success alignment. So you’re making sure that from the point of time where they’re finding them on the internet to when they decide that they want to spend their money with you, you’re really making sure that they’re happy, that they love your product, still that you’re being consistent in your messaging, as soon as they become a client, and just making sure you’re investing in equal measure in all parts of that journey for them. That’s really what Inbound is about it.

Current Inbound Marketing Trends for Wellness Practices in 2019

C: Now, as you know we focused a lot with health care and health and wellness what current trends are you seeing for wellness practices with Inbound Marketing in 2019?

A: Yeah, absolutely, I think we undeniably live in the age of an elite and often unrelatable influencer or social media star, and I think prior to now, many brands have made the assumption that the star power of a person endorsing your product or your service is enough to persuade buyers. But the truth is most wellness or fitness influencers don’t really live life like your buyer does.

And I think you are sending a message with a little bit of dissonance there. And I think marketers have now really caught on that. It sends a sort of phony and unattainable message to have people who don’t live anything like your buyer promoting your product, or… So now I’m basically saying wherein companies embrace this idea, and really tailor they’re Inbound initiatives around fitting their initiatives into the lifestyle of the whole market. Not just that one demographic that can live like those influencers. And to me, that just makes business sense it. Why make your club, the club that only a few people feel they can connect to or join. Why not eliminate those sort of alienating messages and images and open your brand up to folks who want to spend money with you.

Because so many people in the past, if you’re just using sort of elite Influence or marketing, many people probably felt that they weren’t welcomed, or desired customers of your brand.

C: I love that, it’s creating a much more authentic presence for your business.

A: That’s right, And there’s so much to be set of course for using powerful influencers as sort of like an aspirational sort of token. I think that’s powerful still, of course, and there’s so many influencers that are fantastic and very real about their lives and everything, but I think I’m seeing a lot of wellness brands really understand that maybe it can be influencer with a little bit of user-generated content sprinkled in then showing real people using your product or your service ultimately, I think the best word of mouth, comes from your friend on Facebook, who’s probably not Kendall Jenner, with all due respect. I think the authenticity carries. I think people know it, and they recognize it, and they appreciate it.

Marketing Tactics that had Hype in 2018 but Failed to Take Hold

C: A great insight, thank you Abby.

What tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype around them but failed to take hold in 2018?

A: Beyond what I mentioned before, one that we’ve seen and it isn’t necessarily specific to the world of wellness or fitness, but really, it got a launch through marketing is the role of artificial intelligence in content creation, specifically.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Content Creation Still isn’t where it needs to be in 2019.

So I know at the onset of 2018 we were seeing all these new tools and software is being rolled out and we were expecting folks to be using more of those machine learning services that for example would turn out keyword packed blog posts or write ad copy for you.

It seems like the technology really is isn’t fully there yet, where the whole AI component, just isn’t quite sophisticated enough to write like a human and in many cases, it’s really quite expensive still.

So that’s something we figured we’d be coming up against a lot and contending with a lot and it just hasn’t taken all the way I think many people expect that it would.

C: Oh very interesting. A recent to study did just come out by co-schedule saying +67% or more of marketing directors felt like they didn’t have the technology that they needed in order to really have a robust content marketing strategy. [Actual Fact: Marketers who use automation tools say time is the biggest barrier to advanced marketing while those who don’t automate say that budget is their biggest barrier. (Openprise)]

It’s interesting that you’re talking about the AI and content creation and how it really doesn’t seem like it’s lived up to the hype. So it’s probably not the right product that the audience or the market is looking for.

A: Yeah, it’s true and we’ve seen a few examples and it’s almost the technology in some instances, when it’s applied incorrectly can create sort of no offense intended, but remarkably bad blog posts where you can tell that no human had any part in the creation of it, because it’s just a string of words that doesn’t really make a lot of sense when put together. I have faith that I’ll get there, it’s just it hasn’t taken off the way folks thought it would in 2018.

That goes back to that authentic presence too, do you want to just have a blog post out there or do you want to actually capture your voice, and your brand and draw people into your story?

C: Were there any other tactics that you were expecting to perform well last year and just didn’t live up to the hype?

Obviously, there’s still a lot to learn about, and this actually kind of still falls under the AI cannon, but there’s a lot for us to learn still about chat bots and about live chat and the things that it’s capable of. I certainly wouldn’t say that it didn’t perform or didn’t live up to the hype, but there certainly is a lot more to learn in terms of using chat bots to lead qualify and things like that. I expected that a lot of the products and tools would be a little bit more sophisticated at this point. And they still many of them still have a lot of components to be built out.

The Top Three Things a Wellness Center should be doing online to see a return from their Digital Marketing Efforts

C: Yes, absolutely a great point there. So let’s jump on to the next question, what are the top three things that a wellness center should be doing online to see a return from their digital marketing efforts?

A: Yes, great question. The first is in our opinion and what we’ve seen work for our agency and for our clients is just use interactive content.

Use Interactive Content on your website and in your marketing to see a return from your digital efforts

Offer quizzes, calculators, dynamic landing pages, blog posts with clickable interactive elements, products walk through. These have just proven to result in infinitely higher engagement. We’re seeing better conversion rates, and in some cases, they allow marketers to close more deals. Our statistics around adding interactive components to sales proposals and how that has increased the likelihood of people closing. These interactive component pieces also encourage folks to stay on your website or your page longer, and ultimately that’s beneficial for many reasons. They’re more likely to consume the information, they are likely to want to spend money on your product or service, but ultimately, time on page gets factored into how high up on a search engine results page you’re going to sit.

If folks are spending time, using a quiz or a calculator, clicking around, really enjoying that user experience, it is also going to factor into how you rank on Google or Bing, or any of those search engines.

Interactive Experiences creates an exceptional ROI for your healthcare center

So invest in interactive experiences from marketing to sales to success, it’s just an exceptional ROI because there are so many tools out there now that really enable users to make this type of content without breaking the bank.

We’re agency partners with a couple of really great tools that have enabled us to make this kind of content and do it quickly, but still make it beautiful and effective and genuinely helpful and interesting for folks who come to the site.

C: It’s almost as though five years ago or so, everyone was all about social media in order to have a conversation and to communicate with your prospects online. Now, it’s really about having a conversation with every single thing that you do online, whether it’s a calculator or questionnaire…

A: And let people have the power. I mean the cool thing about interactive content is that it enables the user to decide what they want. Blog posts and e-books have a very important place and they’re not to be overlooked but ultimately when people read them, the brand that they’re reading it through is talking at them.

There really is an opportunity for them to abandon that and just decide they’re going to do something else, but if you’re offering something like an interactive product walk through, and that’s if you have the software or if you have a physical product to great for both that’ll kind of enable folks to at their own leisure figure out what it is that they want to be learning more about.

And it also, on the back end, if you have great reporting set up, it really tells you where your visitors are spending the most of their time as well. So we’ve rolled out interactive components for software companies, or for physical products, and it’s enabled us to really see “Oh Wow. People are interested in the hardware” or people are interested in something we might not have even necessarily known would be a point of differentiation.

C: Yes, the power of data.

A: Yes, for sure!

C: Data driving every decision. So even if you have a strategy and a plan set up, the data may point in a completely different direction.

A: That’s right and you can’t fight the data.

C: We talked about the use of the interactive content. Are there any other efforts that wellness centers should really be focusing on?

Encourage User Reviews on Yelp, Amazon, G2 Crowd, and Google to Build Trust and Authority

A: The second thing I would say is to make sure that you’re encouraging user reviews on sites like Yelp, Amazon, G2 Crowd, Captara, Google and make sure you’re demonstrating those reviews in your marketing collateral. There’s remarkable power in social proof, what we call social proof. And we believe that consumers today really should look at user reviews, as a trustworthy source of insight. As marketers, we know that a lot of the content that we’re reading on the Internet has been funded or branded by a company looking to sell a service so it’s really important that consumers, today, take a look at what actual users are saying.

So we’ve been crafting review strategies on behalf of our clients, and for our own purposes for a while, and as long as we’re asking for honest feedback, and showcasing all truthful testimonials, even the ones that don’t really make you look like the best brand in the world.

Those bad reviews will happen, of course, we’re all people, but as long as you’re asking for that honest feedback, there’s no reason not to incentivize reviews as well. You can show them off on paid ads, and emails, on your web pages. People trust people, way more or then they trust brands and if authenticity is kind of the unintended theme of the day, there’s really no more authentic route to go than to just give people the choice, and the opportunity, to talk about your brand from a real-world perspective.

Make sure you track the correct KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to truly understand success in digital marketing

And then the final one is really to make sure that you’re tracking the right key profit indicators, KPIS, or Key Performance Indicators. We found that it’s so easy to pay close attention to what we would consider more like glamour metrics like engagement on a social post or identifying which of your email campaigns garnered the most clicks, but ultimately some of the more technical metrics will help you glean a solid picture of the return on your investment and really figure out where to invest that money going forward.

One of the ones we’ve been paying closer attention to now is looking at your customer lifetime value to your customer acquisition cost ratio. Which is kind of a mouthful, but it’s really important because it measures the relationship between the lifetime value of a customer, how much they’ll spend with you over time, and the cost of acquiring that customer. It’s pretty easy to determine with just a little bit of math. You just divide the average lifetime value in dollars by the average cost it took to get most customers through the door.

C: This is so powerful. Let’s take a step back for a second. So let’s say you are a marketing director at the healthcare group down the street.

A: Yeah, this seems like something very difficult to transact.

C: And for me, I love data, so I’m all were just jumping in. What tools should these health centers use?

Most health care centers do have some sort of custom or software where they are able to see and how many times somebody comes in the average cost of their visit, so that’s really adding that up over the whole life cycle of the patient that’s coming in. That would be the customer lifetime value correct?

Customer Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio = Average Lifetime Value of Patients / Average Cost to Get New Patient Booked

A: Yes, exactly. So that is going to be, whether it’s a service or a product, it’s really going to be throughout the lifetime of your customer. And that usually obviously, I mean life time with your brand, not the entirety of their life, but that value that they’re going to add in the entire time that they choose to work with you.

If you sell the products to see and how many times they’ve bought that product, if you tell a service, that’s how many times they’ve renewed or upgraded, it’s really just the amount of time that an individual is going to spend with your brand over the course of the time that they work with you.

C: And then in that acquisition cost is something that say they came through a paid advertisement, right?

A: And then there was a, the depending on the length of the selling cycle because of course it… It’s drastically different if you’re “B2B or “B2C it’s drastically different if you’re a software versus a service. That’s really going to vary quite a bit, but figuring out how you acquired that customer. We do this often by persona, we won’t look at an individual that it would be hyper-granular and a little bit difficult to make the patients so we’ll do it by persona. I will take a look at how much a certain group of people have made our clients and then we’ll pay attention to how much it caused to bring those people on.

And if it’s an instance where we know that a huge group of folks came through, say Instagram advertisements, we can break down the cost that we allocated towards Instagram ads, and compare that to the customer lifetime value by just dividing those two numbers.

C: You don’t need to have a person-A, person-B, person-C really, you’re looking at your practice as a whole, just to get a sense of what that percentage breakdown looks like in the ratio looks like there.

A: Exactly… And so we, for a real world example, we at Salted Stone, were a HubSpot Diamond Tier Partner, so we get a lot of leads and a lot of interest coming through the HubSpot partner directory. So if you know that a certain segment of our leads come through there and they spend X amount of money per year with us or over the course of their lifetime with us, we could take a look at what it cost us to have that directory listing at HubSpot, and to keep it maintained, and we can figure out that ratio. That to us has lead to some incredibly important business decisions. I mean, in a situation like this, it’s “Okay. We know that we have a lot of money coming in through that great partner directory. How do we make sure that we’re still adding value there? How do we make sure that we’re allocating our funds to keep that active?” So it’s really, it’s helped us inform some of the bigger decisions we’ve ever made.

Salted Stone as your Trusted Inbound Marketing Agency Partner

C: Yeah, that’s great. Now tell us a little bit more specifically about what you do as a Diamond Tier Partner with HubSpot. Tell us about your services and your company.

A: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll give you the higher level picture of Salted Stone first and I’ll talk a little about our involvement with HubSpot, as well.

So we’ve been around for over a decade now, we’ve got to all over the globe, we have FAO teams in Australia, in the United States and in the Philippines, and hopefully within the coming year we’ll actually be spreading out even more. So that’s kind of exciting. We call ourselves, a lot of people ask what it means to be a full service digital agency, and we call ourselves that because ultimately we really do everything for our clients and we do it all in-house. So if you need a website, a marketing video, a custom CRM integration, I mean a direct mail campaign sale systems, even training for your business development, everything from logos to booths decor for a conference. You can come to us and we’ll take care of it all with the team that really gets to know the context of your industry and is deeply familiar with your goals, and that’s the benefit, really. I’ve also working with teams that keep everything in-house, is that they can share that information with each other.

For example, if we have a designer creating an infographic, for you that designer has been working with the account manager and the people who are focusing on your brand voice and the folks who help you identify what your new fonts are going to look like. I mean everything, we keep it all within the team, and that’s led us some really, really cool brand experiences for folks. Additionally, we scale our services up and down in terms of that scope size, so we can either be your fully embedded strategic partner where we’re basically your marketing agency of record or we can just produce a one-off deliverable for you.

So that’s a very long-winded just about Salted Stone, and we’ve been a Diamond Tier Partner, I want to say for about three years now. But we’ve been involved with the Hubspot ecosystem for closer to six or seven. Basically our CEO when we started off, we were just a Search Engine Optimization agency, we were doing a lot of work, but just making sure, websites were getting in on that early algorithm for Google and ranking highly, and then, we like everybody else, noticed the shift where folks for getting pretty tired of constantly being advertised too, and wanted to instead learn more and make decisions for themselves. That really empowered consumer mindset took hold at Salted Stone, for sure. So we decided to invest in Inbound and invest in HubSpot as a tool that we use and that we deploy for clients. And it’s been a really, really fantastic partnership. They just have an exceptional team, and exceptional product, and it’s been amazing working with them.

We certainly work with companies outside of HubSpot, as well, part of Salesforce, Marketo, really whatever folks need we’ll take care of it. So we’ve talked a lot about Inbound in this episode, and HubSpot is the parent of Inbound it’s where it all came from. So we’re really so thrilled to be connected with that with that organization.

Unknown Inbound Strategies that can put your Practice on the Map

C: Wonderful… And as a business, as a whole, are there any Inbound strategies that your team is currently testing but you don’t think other agencies are really implementing for their clients?

A: Yeah, a good question, and I actually, I talked to our strategist, all the time now that I’m not as client-facing as I used to be I talked to our strategies all the time, about some of the more outside the box initiatives, or things that they’re doing that they’re really excited about that’s working for their clients, and what always emerges is really one central theme and that’s Salted Stone works from where our clients’ businesses are at, from a maturity perspective, to move forward.

A lot of agencies take a sort of one-size-fits-all approach to strategy.

When you do that, you’re really not immersing yourself enough in the context of what needs to happen next in order for a company to grow. So we’ve worked with some B2B companies to combine what would be considered kind of more analog modern call center tactics with hyper-personalized, email workflows or retargeting.

We’ve done direct mail campaigns, we’ve been crafting strategic event or activation campaigns that use micro-influencers, so thought leaders of specific to spread a message. And those are folks would say, 20,000 followers, not 6 million followers, so we’re constantly gathering context, we’re constantly meeting companies where they’re at in their development and trying to set all these really realistic, but often still really aggressive goals instead of just making it a sort of canned approach to marketing and that’s not at all to put down those agencies that are taking that approach because of course, in many instances, is absolutely going to work. But I just… One thing that our team is really, really good at is making sure our clients understand where they’re at, and we do that through ways that I think sometimes surprise them a little. We do really comprehensive stakeholder and customer interviews, we talked to thought leaders and influencers in the industry sort of independent of our clients, we make sure that we paint a really complete picture of exactly where they’re at and make those steps really tangible for how they can be moving forward in a way that’s smart. That way they’re allocating budget towards things that have staying power towards growth that is sustainable and scalable, and I think that that’s one the… A lot, I see a lot of agencies not do quite quite as much, and maybe that’s less so a differentiator and it’s just me being very proud about the fact that it’s worked really.

I think it’s so important. I didn’t really understand where customers are now, and where they want go, understand their unique customer set. It is something I feel like a lot of agencies talk about, but don’t necessarily do.

I think often, even happens with sort of in-house marketing teams, as well. Where it’s kind of viewed as a nice-to-have, and not a need-to-have to keep refreshing your understanding of where you’re at in the market and who you’re selling to, and what they want. So I, I think there’s this idea in marketing that your key selling points are fixed and your buyers are always going to be looking for the same thing and your differentiator is always going to be the one that resonates, but that’s simply not the case. And you have to be constantly asking for feedback, for reviews, for honest discussion about who you are in the market, and ways you can be better reaching people and meeting their needs and I think… And taking that bespoke approach to work with our clients has just been better in the long run as well for a relationship with them too, because it garners trust when you’re able to just be honest and say “Here’s where you’re at, here’s what we suggest, let’s work together to make your goals or reality.”

C: Absolutely, that’s a breath of fresh air that you do that. Thank you to everybody in the industry.

A: Oh no, thank you, thank you so much.

The key marketing strategy most wellness centers get wrong

C: I meant to ask this earlier, actually. What is the top strategy besides not doing these customer reviews frequently enough, but what some… One strategy that should be followed by a Wellness Center, but often marketing teams just get it wrong or decide that it’s not a priority when it should be.

A: Yes, absolutely. So I would say the sort of top strategy that I see happening a lot, we do get a lot of clients who are very concerned with and rightfully so, because they’ve been showed messaging that indicates they should be, but they’ve been very concerned with making sure that they’re on every platform, all the time. That they’re pushing out content, that they are absolutely churning, they are investing in the newest technology, they’re on every feasible social media network, and that’s a message that we understandably take in and think we need to apply to our business, because all of these social networks, all of these tools, they’re trying to sell to us.

Of course, you’re going to believe that if your Pinterest profile and your YouTube account and your everything is not immediately up-to-date, you’re going to believe that you’re going to fall behind. But the truth is taking time to genuinely identify the channels that your leads are coming in by, or that your ideal audience is hanging out around that is so important and it leads to much better decisions for how to use your bandwidth and how to use your budget.

It’s easy to fall prey to the idea that if you are a software company, you have to be doing webinars.

It’s easy to open the idea that you need to be advertising on LinkedIn, but that might not necessarily be how folks are going to find you and how they want to interact with you.

I would say that a one-top strategy is just making sure you know your customer and you’re constantly updating your customer.

But be strategic about the way that you invest your money and your time and do it all feel like you need to be everywhere across the internet.

Don’t try to be everywhere online – choose those channels that already engage your target market and fully invest in nurturing relationships there

There are many markets where it doesn’t really make sense to keep an active Pinterest profiles, and there’s many markets where it makes sense to not run advertisements everywhere.

Just be strategic, how I have a really strong vendor evaluation in place as well. We certainly do in-house here, but we just have a checklist of things that If we’re deciding to work with a vendor, either for ourselves or to use with our clients, we’ll go through rounds of phone calls, demos, we’ll bring in different members of our teams, we’ll have comprehensive checklist to make sure that this investment we’re making is one that’s intelligent, scalable, and going to work for everybody. It’s so easy now to find all of these companies that claim to really be a the solution that’s going to get you a head, when the truth is if everyone saying, that it certainly can all be true. So, be strategic and don’t feel like you have to be everywhere.

It’s something that we see brands do a lot and while it often doesn’t necessarily hurt to have platforms everywhere, it’s just a lot of time and often a lot of resources and a lot of money that you could be directing towards something that brings in way more value and get you in front of the right people.

C: Yes, absolutely, and something just to tie on to that as well. If you do decide that Instagram or YouTube or LinkedIn, is going to be the place where you’re going to reach your customers stick to it, don’t just… It works, the strategy for two weeks or a month or even three months. Stick to it and pay attention to the data.

A: And hear people out, always trying to make sure that a lot of our e-commerce clients, and a lot of our B2C brands, we always make sure that, say if they are running a Facebook, is it integrated with marketplace is an integrative with shop.

If they’re running ads, are they doing it in a smart way? Are they constantly responding to messages from a customer support perspective? If folks have questions about a product or they need to return something, is that omni-channel operation set up correctly? Because if you’re going to be investing in something, social media marketing is just a great example because there’s so many things you can do, is it now if you go at any… So, if you are an ecommerce brand and you’re going to be investing in something like Instagram or Facebook, just to make sure you are truly doing it right, you’re listening to customers, you are constantly running searches for your brand name, and any sort of sentiment, run sentiment analysis, use listening tools just pick your avenues and make sure that you have made them as robust and sustainable as possible.

C: Great, great well… Abby, I am just blown away by the answers that you gave. Thank you for being so transparent about what your team is doing for clients as well as what clients should be doing for themselves with their own in-house marketing teams.

Is there anything that I should have asked but I didn’t?

A: No, this is perfect. I think it’s all really comprehensive grouping of questions, and it’s made me think so much about our business in a way that’s really cool. It’s been really fun to step back and think through how we do things here. So thank you so much for having me. This has been really great.

C: Wonderful, well we really appreciate you coming on the show, as a guest, and I will be sure to add the link to Salted Stone to the description as well, so listeners, if you want to go check out Salted Stone, I do urge you to. They are a great, great agency and as you know they take care of their clients.

Thank you again to Abby for joining the show from Salted Stone. We talked about a lot of really important topics for your healthcare practice, and your marketing team to follow. Really it is all about creating an authentic presence and tailoring your Marketing Strategies, directly towards the consumer and directly towards your ideal target market persona.

One of the things I loved, is tracking the correct KPI’s – What is that customer lifetime value? This is something in your tracking software, you’ll be able to pull that.

Just take even the number of clients that come in over the course of a year, and divide that by your profit or your revenue for the year, then take a look at all of your marketing expenses. This is just such a simple way to find that ratio between the customer lifetime value and the acquisition cost.

Go out there, make sure you’re focusing on a strategy that makes sense for your unique clients, your unique target market, and don’t try to do everything. Focus on what’s going to really make a difference and have an impact for your business.

So, thank you again to Abby and I will see next time on the Social Speak Podcast.

Best Content Management Technologies of 2019 #inboundmarketing #contentmarketing

With all the tools out there it can be difficult to know which content marketing strategy tool you and your marketing team should be utilizing to make sure everybody is moving in the same direction.

In this blog we take a look at the most prominent content marketing calendar apps that are available for many different sized businesses. For small businesses, including those with just one marketing manager, you can get away with organizing your ideas in a Word document or a Google sheet.

However, once you have multiple people working towards that same goal of making sure your business is found and sharing the correct message in your marketing strategy, it is important to consider upgrading to a scheduling and management interface that allows everybody to clearly see where their piece of the pie fits in with the larger content strategy.

To keep you from signing up for each of these tools, I’ve taken a look at:

  • What type of organization it is best for
  • The main features
  • How you can implement it easily into your team
  • The price point.

Many of the applications discussed including Monday.com, HubSpot, CoSchedule, and MeetEdgar have a variety of price points. Again, in our experience, if it is just you, typically you can get away with organizing your ideas on a spreadsheet.

So, let’s dive into there popular content management platforms.

CoSchedule Technology for Digital Marketing Management

The first application that we are going to discuss is CoSchedule. CoSchedule creates One calendar that allows everybody to be on the same page, it allows everybody to communicate in one place.

Additionally, with the more advanced plans of CoSchedule, you can organize everything from event planning through to email marketing, social media, and blogging. CoSchedule is incredible tool for large teams and complex marketing organization. One of my favorite aspects of CoSchedule is the ability to create ongoing follow-up social media links to blog posts in one or two clicks.

CoSchedule for Solopreneurs

For solopreneurs, CoSchedule is a little More expensive than other options. Solo plans do start at $0 to $20 per month, with most individuals looking at the $40 per month option – typically a spreadsheet along with one of the less expensive tools will do the trick.

Where CoSchedule really shines is with in-house marketing teams looking to manage full-scale campaigns.

The professional plan starts at $400 per month, and allows workflows approval flows multiple calendars and comes with a dedicated account manager. From a project management standpoint, this plan reduces the need for multiple individuals providing guidance on any given combination of marketing strategies.

Hubspot vs Coschedule for content management software

Best Content Management Technologies of 2019, Hubspot vs Coschedule for content management software, #inboundmarketing #contentmarketing

Best Content Management Technologies of 2019, Hubspot vs Coschedule for content management software #inboundmarketing #contentmarketing

Best Content Management Technologies of 2019, Hubspot vs Coschedule for content management software #inboundmarketing #contentmarketing

Best Content Management Technologies of 2019, Hubspot vs Coschedule for content management software #inboundmarketing #contentmarketing

HubSpot for Content Marketing Management

Many of us are very familiar with HubSpot. HubSpot has a combination of three tools and complete inbound marketing management resources. HubSpot places the emphasis on collecting inbound leads from your social media and digital marketing content. Though there are numerous tools that you can use to create the same systems and processes, HubSpot’s value proposition is that everything is in one place.

HubSpot for Larger Teams

Our favorite plan within HubSpot, is again there professional plan. Though the Enterprise option has much more advanced settings such as predictive lead scoring, it is a much higher investment. With the professional plan at $800/month, you have access to SEO and content strategy, social media, calls to action and landing pages.

Additionally, there is a/b testing marketing automation, smart content, and the ability to add teams.

The workflows are easy to set up, and create very systematized automation within your marketing and strategy. This tool, HubSpot, is a great option for businesses that have a marketing team, and want to make sure that every aspect of their marketing is working together. Again, HubSpot places inbound leads at the forefront of all of their software.

Next up, is Monday.com.

Monday.com to Organize your Content

Monday allows you to customize your workflow and dealt out strategies to multiple different teams. Monday is a great project management tool, however we found it a little difficult to manage a Content strategy and editorial calendar. The use of Gandt charts seems like a great idea, but it made projects difficult to understand exactly what steps needed to be completed and if we were on track. Many of our processes tend to be one or two steps, so again it seemed like a little too much for social media management.

Monday for Project Management

With plans starting at $25 per month, and unlimited boards, Monday is a great opportunity to integrate into your workflow if you need to do more project management rather than content creation and syndication. Because there is no central calendar, it can be difficult at times to see how each of the boards really work together.

Another positive for Monday, is the time tracking capabilities, so each member of your team can have a clear understanding of the time spent on each task. This allows you to easily understand if some aspect of marketing is taking much longer than others.

Additionally, Monday.com could be used for larger marketing promotions, however, most businesses need a tool that also works for day-to-day management.

The next tool we will take a look at is Edgar.

Edgar for Content Marketing Organization

Edgar is a great option for businesses looking for a simple tool to manage their social media posting. Typically, we recommend you create a database of content. The content strategy video below, provides tips for places we recommend Gathering content ideas. Once you have all of the content, click go and Edgar will talk into action.

MeetEdgar for Small Business Social Media Management

We recommend small businesses and solopreneurs look at Edgar as an option for their social media management. One issue with this, is that it does not allow you to clearly see the complete marketing strategy picture.

Each aspect of your digital marketing content calendar and content strategy still exists in its own space. Meet Edgar is a great tool for teams to use that do not have very complex marketing promotions in place. If you are one person team it can be an excellent resource for you.

Because I mentioned meet Edgar, I also should mention that for social media management, we utilize at such as Tailwind, Later App, Buffer, and HootSuite. I won’t go into it because he’s here, because they are more for just social media management.

Our blog on Social Media Content Strategy shares additional information regarding how to use each of these tools and where they fit into your social media marketing management strategy.

Create Clear Goals for What you want to accomplish with a content marketing technology

Before settling on a tool and diving into figuring out the setup and on-boarding your team, make sure you are clear about the goals you hope to achieve through using the software. Remember, choosing a tool to help keep track of marketing campaigns and content creation still requires that you understand what topics you plan to discuss and having your team actually write the content.

We have other blogs and videos that cover how to identify key topics to include in your content marketing editorial calendar, as well as a structure to follow for creating your editorial calendar. We often recommend starting with a word doc or spreadsheet rather than immediately hoping into the software you choose. Again, this helps to make sure your team is all on the same page as you move forward with your inbound marketing strategy.

For more reading please visit:

How to easily write a business blog post in 2019
How to Easily Write a Long Blog Post for your Business
Finding Topics Your Tribe Will Love [Video]
How to Use Your Values to Create Exceptional Content for Your Business
Content at your finger tips
Hubspot vs Coschedule for content management software

Ultimate guide for businesses for moms

How many blog posts have you read about businesses for moms or stay at home businesses for moms? They all include great lists of businesses you could consider, but let’s be honest, they don’t really share the steps to get started and thrive.

In this blog, I’m specifically looking at a handful of businesses that you can start today as a mom. These businesses include:

Creating a Mom Blog
Starting an Etsy Store
Building a Dropship Store
Jumping into Freelancing as a Mom

My goal isn’t to list off all the businesses you could start as a mom, but to give you the actional advice in this ultimate guide that you can follow to get your business off the ground and running.

Now before I dive in, any business you start should be driven by your passions, expertise, and values.

Why? as a mom, and more specifically, as a mompreneur, you will always face competing priorities. From swim lessons to soccer, homework, meal planning, even corporate jobs, starting a side hustle with the goal to grow it into a thriving business takes time, commitment, and a lot of energy.

Your success will come from wanting to work on your business after a long day or before the day has begun.

Your success will come from knowing your industry or craft like the back of your hand and utilizing tools to help manage those other business processes and technologies.

The mom businesses described below are not hypotheticals. I personally have spent years researching the most effective and efficient ways to start each of these businesses (in addition to an MBA) and have started a mom blog, etsy store, dropship store, and added to my freelancing business all since growing our family.

The guide to mom businesses below covers the exact tips and steps that I recommend to get you off the ground and running towards freedom and flexibility as a mom.

Quick 31 Steps to Launching Your Freelance Business

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Whether your goal is to build a creative outlet or start the foundation for a business empire, I am so excited to learn about you and your vision. As a mompreneur, you are allowing yourself to create exactly the type of business that fits your needs, interests, and goals.

Take a moment to consider your dreams.

  • Are you yearning for a creative outlet beyond children’s crafts?
  • Would you love the flexibility to make your own schedule?
  • Do you hope to contribute financially to your household?
  • Can you not go another day without adult interaction?
  • Are you trying to be the best positive role model for your children?

Moms start on their journey to becoming a mompreneur for a lot of different reasons. I’m here to help provide you with the actionable steps you need to turn your interests into a successful business that can help you fulfill your dreams. From bloggers to Etsy store owners, Amazon dropshippers, freelancers, and more, I’ve worked with individuals who seek to contribute and leave their mark on the world just like you.

With a background in digital marketing (yes, I’ve owned my agency for nearly a decade), my advice focuses on the online aspects of creating, growing, and sustaining your business. My resources aim to help you start strong, scale fast, and sell more while you use your own strengths to create the business of your dreams.

What does it mean to be a Mom Blogger?

Mom bloggers, or really all bloggers, produce content that is published on a website.

Mom Blogging often has the connotation that you need to be writing about parenting tips, home improvement, or recipes, but trust me, there are a LOT more mom blogs out there than just these topics.

Start thinking about your PASSIONS and INTERESTS.

Could you create high quality content every single week or multiple times per week on this topic? Is it something you would grow bored with after a year, or does this interest transcend into all aspects of your life?

To be a Mom Blogger, you need to be diligent about creating high quality content (between 2,000-5,000 words) each week and then sharing this information to gain readers and followers of your blog.

Bloggers typically make money through affiliate commissions, advertisers on their site, and digital products. You also may have the perk of freebies from other folks within your industry.

Is Blogging for You?

Blogging isn’t for everyone. To start a blog and see results fairly quickly you will need to spend about 4 hours per day growing your digital network, creating content, putting together your systems, building an email list and sharing the information you create.

To run a successful blog you can’t sit in a bubble and you should try to view your blog as a way to connect and communicate with others who share your interests.

When you have your systems in place and traffic is coming to your website, you will typically find that running your blog only takes 2 hours per day. From here, your income potential can really skyrocket.

Income Potential

There are many mom bloggers who make $20,000+ each month, but far more who only make a couple hundred dollars per year.

It’s not that these bloggers aren’t working hard, they may be focusing their attention on the wrong avenues or may not be giving their blog the chance to really thrive.

What if you don’t like to write?

That is okay! I’ve worked with a lot of bloggers who start first with video or audio and turn transcripts from these into content for their website.

Starting with video or audio allows you the chance to showcase your expertise and your personality. What better way to grow a blog than have this multimedia on your website.

What to do next as a mom blogger

Brainstorm a list of your interests or passions. Narrow this down to the idea that you would want to write about for years into the future.

  1. Who else is writing about this topic? What are they doing well? What would you improve?
  2. Is there one person in particular who you would like to write for? Who will make up your tribe? Be specific! If you know someone who would be interested in your blog, write down their name.
  3. What are your top 5 values? How can you incorporate these into your Blog’s Brand? What are your brand colors and is there any emotion or feeling you want your blog to elicit?
  4. Create a list of all of the topics you can think of that relate to your blog idea. Think about topics that you can tell stories about from personal experience, topics people likely are going to be searching for on Google, and topics that appear to be getting a lot of traction from blogs on the same or similar topics.
  5. Which other bloggers can you partner with?
  6. Jump into Technology! In order to run a blog, you will need a website and an email account. I won’t go into detail here, but I do have a blog post on this at SocialSpeakNetwork.com.

To jump start your blog, I recommend committing to write a blog every other day for a month. Why? This creates a database of content for your blog that you can then link to and share online.

After the first month, you can slow down to 1 blog per week. Just remember, each blog should be high quality (and at least 1,500 words long).

At the same time you are working on this first set of articles, start reaching out to people you know to see if they would be interested in joining your email list. As a blogger (or any digital business) your Email List is the most important asset to your business.

Wrap up to  Blogging as a Stay At Home Mom

Being a Mom Blogger can be incredible rewarding if you are willing to put in the time and energy. The first thing we think of when we hear bloggers is a website with articles on it, but in reality it is about building a community around your passion or interest.

Even if your goal is not to make money from your blog, being a Mom Blogger can be a rewarding creative outlet that connects you with others who share your passions and interest. Could there be anything better?

Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

 

Starting an ETSY Store for Moms

The next topic for mompreneurs is Etsy! I love Etsy both as a seller and as a consumer.

Etsy is a great avenue for converting your hobbies into a business through selling crafts and designs. Just as with any sales channel, you need to think about whom you are selling to and how you can best position your products to sell to them.

Broadly, Etsy is a platform for crafts (wo)men to sell their handmade goods online. Products include everything from greeting cards to knitted hats, digital downloads, screen printed t-shirts, and antique gifts.

I like Etsy as a mompreneur because it is already a portal that your tribe is using to find unique and handmade products.

You don’t need to build a complete ecommerce website and find ways to get traffic to the site, instead you just need to have your products to sell and optimize your titles and descriptions to gain traction.

Is running an Etsy Shop for you?

In order to run an Etsy store, you need to be able to make something handmade or have a collection of goods that others may want to purchase. If you don’t have a craft/hobby (paper crafts, sewing, graphic design, woodworking, etc) or if you don’t have a collection of goods (teacups, antique bread boxes, etc), Etsy may not be for you. Now there is some wiggle room if you don’t necessarily have something handmade to sell, which I’ll describe below.

If you do have a product(s) already, they running an Etsy shop may be a perfect fit. The marketplace is already built, making your shop easy to get up and running, but the most popular stores have at least 15 different products to sell right off the bat.

You’ll need to make sure you have enough of whatever you want to sell in many different designs and variations in order to build your store quickly.

The workaround to Handmade Goods

Okay, so you might be interested in selling on Etsy, but you don’t really have a craft that you could turn into a viable business. This is where you can have a little fun. Let’s say you are a graphic designer or have some Photoshop experience.

You can create designs and then place this design on t-shirts, mugs, dog bowls, bags, etc, using a print on demand service to actually create the products.

This is how I manage my Etsy Store for Yip Yap Woof.

In fact, I have it set up so beside creating the designs and product descriptions, I don’t touch anything when an order comes in.

My silk-screener gets notified of the order automatically and creates my products to be sent out with my branding to customers.

You can set up similar systems for your Etsy shop, too, by using services like Printful* to create the products.

How to get started with Etsy as a Mom

The next steps for Etsy are fairly straight forward and you can get up and running within a few hours! Of course in order to run an Etsy shop that is sustainable you should create an audience and build your email list, just as with blogging, but the first steps are straight forward.

  1. Just as with creating a mom blog, think first about your target market and brand before you set up your Etsy shop. Who will be your core customers? Who else is selling similar products?
  2. Next you can create your Etsy account and start filling in basic information, hold off on uploading your products for the time being.
  3. Creating your store is easiest if you compile all of your information before you get started. This includes:
    1. Keywords to use in your product descriptions
    2. Your product descriptions (make them fun and personal)
    3. Prices and shipping costs (I often just do flat rate shipping or free shipping with the estimated shipping cost built into the product price)
    4. Pictures (At least 3-5 for each product)
  4. After you have your products created and updated, it’s time to build a community around them. Instagram can be a great place to create your community, showcase your products, and post beautiful images.
  5. If you want to take your store to the next level, don’t hesitate to post the product information on Netxdoor App, Craigslist, and Ebay. Additionally, local fairs, markets, and festivals can help you gain local exposure.
  6. Just as with any type of business, your email list can make the long term stability of your new business much more achievable. Start building your list from day 1!

What ideas do you have for your Etsy shop? Can you see yourself growing a community around your crafts and hobbies?

Next up we’ll be chatting about Dropshipping businesses, which are where you resell products from wholesale accounts, but never need to hold an inventory.

This is the second half of my Yip Yap Woof shop where I resell dog beds on Amazon and Ebay and my suppliers ship the orders directly to the customer for me.

create bluehost website

Starting a Dropship Business as a Stay at Home Mom

Stay at home moms often don’t first think of dropshipping as a business solution when they are first getting started.

Why? Even though platforms exist to create your website and easily find products, it can be time consuming to figure out the ins and outs of deciding upon products, branding yourself, and growing your network.

As there Is quite a bit of competition in most industries for drop shipping, it can seem daunting to find a way to stand apart with a limited schedule.

So what can mompreneurs do to help decrease the amount of time needed to grow their online dropship store?

Just as with the other tips and techniques, I recommend first analyzing your passions and interests and formulating a game plan around what types of markets you should approach.

Below I talk about my experience of drop shipping as a mompreneur through first finding a pet product company I could stand behind.

I knew I wanted to help people find the top dog products for their pups, but didn’t exactly know where to get started. At first I listed and tried advertising every product under the sun, but soon found my margins (the amount I made) were WAY too low to:

  1. Cover my advertising costs
  2. Cover my time to actually place the order

Looking back at the drawing board, I realized there were products, specifically dog beds and extremely large dog crates with margins high enough to offer free or reduced shipping and cover extra fees like listing the product on Amazon, for example.

Here is my overview for sales through Amazon for a specific dog bed from 11/20-12/13

(Please note, I’m not trying to say that I’m the poster child for how well through this channel with sales, but it is just a REAL example of a fun side hustle that takes 10-15 minutes every few days)

After Amazon fee’s and the monthly subscription to Amazon, I netted $491.20. Now, this number does go down because I needed to buy the dog beds, ship them, and pay for the company’s dropship fee (their extra fee to pay for sending the package directly to my customer).

Let’s take a look.  

  • Sell for $129, my Cost (including shipping and dropship fee) $83.50. Gross profit: $26.10
  • Sell for $109, my Cost (including shipping and dropship fee) $73.50. Gross Profit: $19.14
  • Total $83.55 in my pocket

This is just for one type of dog bed I sell on Amazon and you see how the profit diminishes drastically when all fees are taken into account.

But hey, that’s another $1,000 in my pocket every year for very limited work and not selling to my network. Imagine if you are listing more products, larger margin products, and products where you’ve already built an audience of interested individuals!

In addition to these beds, I do sell a few other high-end dog bed options, as well as some dog food and health and wellness items via Ebay. All of these are drop shipped, so I never need to worry about moving my own inventory.

I must warn you, however, I just needed to purchase my order from another supplier for a product that sold and my profit was a whopping $0.56! Ha. Talk about cutting it close!

In the following video I provide an overview of drop shipping for stay at home moms as an option to gain more flexibility and freedom.

The next type of business we’ll be discussing is creating a Freelance Business for Mompreneurs! But, if you’d first like to read the dropship business transcript, please click here!

Start a Freelancing Business as a Mom

Starting a freelance business as a mom may be one of the most rewarding ways to get back into the business world and feel connected to adults outside of your family.

Yes, you can forge similar relationships through reaching out to digital business partners, but become a freelancer opens so many more doors!

As a mompreneur you will often find yourself alone with your thoughts and second guessing your ability to run a successful endeavor. Being a freelancer, however, allows you to form lasting relationships with your clients.

Do I sound partial to starting a freelance business? Perhaps. But this stems from the joys I’ve found in connecting with my clients as I work with them.

Please note, I find the same to be true for coaches, counselors, service providers, etc, but if your business is 100% online, it can be difficult for a lot of women to forge the same type of relationship because often communication boils down to Facebook posts, commenting, and emailing.

Unless you are committed to thinking about digital networking the same as face to face or networking on the phone, it is difficult to create real relationships with people you’ve never actually spoken to.

With freelancing, you are given an opportunity to turn one-off projects into recurring revenue streams for your business.

AND, working with your clients month after month creates an avenue for you to grow your new relationships in the business world without having to give up time with your children and family.

You can take on as many new clients as you have the capacity for and scale up and down as needed.

Types of Freelance businesses for Mompreneurs

As you think of your passions and interests, think of how you may be able to help other people and businesses with completing tasks that relate to these interests. In the digital world, some common freelance gigs include:

  • Graphic design
  • Website management
  • Branding
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Website Development
  • Copy Writing
  • Proofreading
  • Process Management
  • Etc

How can you structure your fees?

I recommend freelancers try to steer clear of hourly work, but often that’s what it comes down to. As a mom, however, trying to track your time doing freelance gigs while running to sports practices, cleaning dirty diapers, and figuring out preschool options can be quite the challenge.

Rather than setting an hourly price, do what you can to create monthly packages or retainers. In my marketing agency, we collect fees from:

  • One-off projects (Marketing strategies, website development, etc)
  • Group Coaching (6 month small group coaching on social media and digital marketing)
  • Marketing Management (We become your outsourced marketing department with set tasks we agree to complete each month)
  • Hourly consulting (even I haven’t been able to get away from this after nearly a decade)

How to get started as a Freelancer

Starting your path towards being a successful freelancer can be fairly organic. Some freelancers wish to jump in head first into their new business while others are okay growing their client base at a pace that fits their lifestyle.

As you get started, think about:

  • How quickly you want to grow
  • The hours per week you wish to spend freelancing
  • Your availability for meetings, travel, networking, sales
  • Current commitments during the working day

Depending on how much time you have available to commit to your new freelancing clients, you may find that a slow growth fits your current commitments.

Knowing this can help you identify the steps you wish to take to get your new mom business up and running and to set your goals appropriately.

Start your freelancing #business in 31 days, 1 month to start freelancing, mom freelancing, freelancing as a mom, how to start freelancing, learn to freelance

Quick 31 Steps to Launching Your Freelance Business

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Start your #freelancing business in 31 days, 1 month to start freelancing, mom freelancing, freelancing as a mom, how to start freelancing, learn to freelance Start your freelancing business in 31 days, 1 month to start freelancing, mom freelancing, freelancing as a mom, how to start freelancing, learn to #freelance

Steps to kick your freelancing business into high gear

Now that you know your availability, it’s time to get started! Just as with the other mom businesses you can start, it is paramount you first identify your ideal client.

  • Create your client avatar: what industry or business do you want to target, what are their fears, how many employees do they have, what revenue do they have, who makes the buying decision?
  • Build out your service offerings: within your target industry, what services can you offer, what will you charge?
  • Make a list of personal connections that fit your target market or may know someone who would benefit from your services: think about your connections from your pre-kid career, as well as, family, friends, neighbors, etc.
  • Think of complementary services that you could build into referral partners. For example, if you are a copy writer, partnering with website development agencies could lead to immediate work for your business.
  • Create a quick website describing who you are, your services, and providing a glimpse into your expertise.
  • Reach out to your connections and your potential referral partners to introduce them to your new business.
  • Join local networking groups to increase your exposure to local business owners.
  • Sign up for Thumbtack and Nextdoor to browse for folks looking for your services.

Now, you notice I mention only building a quick website at this stage. Contrary to popular belief, though some folks may look at your site, only a handful of referrals actually will.

Your first freelancing clients will most likely be people you know personally.

Additionally, as you talk with prospects and start selling your services you will find that your target market may respond more favorably to one way of describing your services or that the packages you should be offering are slightly different from your initial brainstorm.

You don’t want to spend months making the perfect site when in reality your messaging and offerings are completely off.

Through using BlueHost you can get a website up and running for $3.95/mo with a domain-specific email address and easy 1-click WordPress installation. It’s worked as a great platform for my clients and for my own sites.

With Freelancing as a mompreneur, the best way to get started is to put yourself out there without worrying about not having all the answers.

Top three steps to starting a freelancing business transcript available here.

As I mentioned before, the best way to grow your new business as a mom is really to dive into something that you are passionate about, an expert in, and that aligns with your values. Without this, it is much more difficult to push through and really experience that freedom and flexibility through business ownership as a mom.

If you are interested in learning more about how your values can shape your business, please take a look at the following posts!

Quick 31 Steps to Launching Your Freelance Business

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Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

Starting a Dropship Business as a Mom [Transcript]

Today I am going to discuss with you about dropship businesses. What are drop ship businesses? How do they work? How can they fit into your lifestyle?

Basically, drop shipping is when you have an online storefront. When somebody places in order, you then turn to the wholesaler and they actually ship that order out for you. I run a business, Yip Yap Woof, and amongst other things, we sell dog products. One of our top selling products is a dog bed from a company out of Montana that uses organic cotton and it’s made in the USA.

It’s a great dog bed and we get a lot of sales through Amazon for this, as well as, through our website. So how drop shipping works in this case is somebody places an order through Amazon or through our website (or even through eBay). Now we don’t have an inventory, I don’t have a closet in my house just stocked up with dog beds, but I just quickly jump over to the wholesale website, place an order with my own credit card information, and then they charged me a small fee on top of the typical fee for shipping. Then the customer gets the dog bed. It’s packaged in the West Paw Design packaging and everything, but the package slip does have our information on it. I can offer more discounts and promotions for other products that I offer, as well. And so with each of these orders, yes, I’m not making the full $30 or $50 markup that I would have if I did hold my own inventory and do the shipping myself, however I still do get you know between $10 and $20 dollars per order.  I can the either reinvest this back into the business or enjoy them a nice lunch out.

How to Start a Dropship Business

Starting a dropship business is actually pretty straightforward there are plenty of websites out there that have whole databases or products. Again, taking dog products, there’s a Pet Store USA and Wholesale Pet USA, as well as a bunch of other stores like this where there is a database of different dog products. It also lists whether or not the company dropships the product or if you just get the wholesale account.

Once you find the products that you’re looking for, you can then list them on Amazon, Ebay, or on your own website. If you’re listing these products on Amazon or Ebay, you will find that there are additional fees that you will incur. Amazon’s fees are actually quite a bit, so that $20 margin or markup that that I  would get ends up going down to about five or ten dollars.

You have to pay attention to whether or not you’re actually going to be making money from the product or if it’s all just going away in these fees. It does definitely take some calculations. On Amazon, for example, I won’t sell a product that’s under $100, just because it’s not worth my time and energy to make fifty cents for an order that comes in.

I’d much rather see a thirty dollar kickback rather than just a couple of dollars here and there.

So, setting up that dropship store is quite simple once you have the product that you are going to be selling. You can set it up on Shopify, for example. Shopify is great because it syncs with a lot of these different dropship networks.

If you have an order placed on Shopify, they can actually make it so the order automatically flows through to the wholesale or drop shipping store. This way you don’t even have to touch the order.

You can also make a storefront on WordPress, for example, if you don’t want to have that monthly fee like Shopify. The benefit of Shopify is it’s really easy for you to manage taxes and things like that, but I actually just got rid of my Shopify store and I’m working to just building a more simple blog storefront with WordPress.

The reason is because most of my orders come in through eBay and Amazon rather than through my store itself. I think that that’s just a product of being a newer store, so I haven’t done a lot of work to build up my own audiences.

What I recommend doing is creating a blog for your business where you’re just working to send out valuable content and information. I found the blog to be a great way to gain exposure and also Instagram. Again, I’m just posting pictures of my dog and my daughter. We now have over 1,500 followers on Instagram and so that’s been a great way to get traffic to the Etsy store.

Building up an audience and an email list is should be your number one priority if you are running any type of e-commerce store.

Creating a Dropship Brand

Additionally, you should know who your brand is and you can think of it almost like a real retail store with a storefront. So think about, what’s your brand? What type of customers are you trying to attract? Then post things that these people are interested in and try and grow that network online. This way, when you have the products that you’re going to be selling, you can easily turn them on into it. They already know, like, and trust you.

These individuals have found value from following you, so you can start reaching out to the wholesale companies and organizations.

I always recommend not just listing any old product if you want to make your business more fulfilling. I recommend finding products you have tried and ones where you believe in the company brand of mission. As you’re getting started, try to create a selective group of products that you’ve tested yourself and that you know people are just going to absolutely love. Typically someone is actually searching for these products on Amazon or on eBay, so again, if you’re listed there, you have a better chance of being found.

This is just a quick introduction of what it means to dropship. Dropshipping is definitely very rewarding and easier to set up than businesses where you need to carry an inventory.

 

 

Top Three Tips to Starting a Freelancing Business as a Mom [Transcript]

Today we’re going to be talking about creating a freelance business from your passions and your expertise. Now creating a freelance business is a great way to add be creative, have adult interactions, and to find freedom and flexibility.

Until MK was able to walk, she actually came around to every single meeting with me. We were just coffee shop buddies and bounced around here and there. She’d be sleeping most of the time at meetings, but the flexibility that I had with my clients just to bring her along wherever I went was really quite incredible.

At the time, I was even the president of a local networking group and she came to many of the meetings with me. As long as I didn’t act as though I was distracted by her being there, other people followed suit. Owning a freelance business as a mom really is a great way to kind of have the best of both worlds.

MK recently turned 2 so we are finally looking at daycares and preschools that we can potentially have her attend towards the end of the summer. But, keeping her at home until she was 2 was a big goal for us. The flexibility of running a freelance business created the opportunity for this goal to come true.

Now, the BIMS Team is much more than a Freelance business. But freelancing really did create the foundation for all the work and services we provide today.

Different Types of Freelance Businesses for Moms

What types of freelance businesses are there and you can be a freelancer? There are many different types of Freelance businesses you can jump into including:

  • A graphic designer
  • A website developer
  • A freelance copywriter
  • A social media marketer

There are a lot of different freelancers out there and you might hear some freelancers referring to themselves more as consultants rather than just freelancers.

The big difference here in my mind is who’s doing the work.

Our team provides consulting for a lot of our clients where we are teaching them how to do the marketing themselves, but we have other clients where we are really taking on their voice and managing the marketing on their behalf.

It can be kind of a blurred line whether you call yourself a consultant or a freelancer. Either way, you can go into a lot of different industries.

How to decide on your Freelancing focus

As a mom, you probably have limited time between work (if you are starting freelancing as a side-hustle), children, family, and your own commitments. This makes it incredibly important to make sure you choose freelance projects that you already have the skills to complete.

Think about the areas of expertise or focus that you had in a previous career? Consider your own passions and interests. When you combine these two elements, it won’t even matter to clients that you don’t have a lot of experience working on your own and they will appreciate what your past experience can bring to the table.

If you are worried about lack of experience, that is fine, too. You can even be honest with your first few clients, but position this as a strength because you will be incredibly focused on their business and the work you can do for them.

As a new freelancer, how can you get new clients quickly?

There are a lot of different ways that you can go about getting clients when you are a freelancer. I have three favorite techniques.

Right when you get started, head on over to thumbtack.com. Thumbtack is like Craigslist for freelance jobs. Folks post there from different businesses that need help with X, Y, or Z. You can find local companies or ones that are in other parts of the US.

My husband recently started his own freelance business and I instructed him to go to thumbtack. Sure enough, he quickly was able to reply to a handful of folks requesting exactly his copywriting services. These were job proposals he was sending out the first day of running his own freelance business.

Now my husband had never actually run a copywriting business, and he was the director of software development at his last job, so nothing to do with copywriting, but he was an English major and enjoys writing. On the side he actually had been writing for years for some of our clients, but he never mentioned to his first clients that he was just kicking off his business. He knew he could fulfill his promises.

What about Upwork (formerly Odesk and Elance)

In the past we did utilize Elance for finding projects to bid on, but it is easy to get caught up in pricing and not being able to charge what you are worth.

If you do find yourself on these job sites, I found success submitting bids for Project Based freelancing work, such as creating a marketing plan or a LinkedIn Strategy, and then offering to implement the strategy. We actually are still working with a handful of these businesses 7 years later.

Again, make sure if you are submitting bids you aren’t selling yourself short. I remember one client I got right when I started my freelance business ended up being a $750/mo client, but at $20/hr, I was hardly living the dream.

It’s much easier to manage five freelance accounts with each of them paying $5,000 a month versus 50 accounts with $100 a month.

Attend Networking Events To Grow your Freelance Business and Refine your Messaging

The next place to look for clients is going to networking events to meet local business owners who can benefit from your freelancing services. The strategy typically has a slightly longer turnaround, but is very fruitful and something Amber and I both still do.

Beyond meeting new people and getting that adult interaction as a mompreneur, networking is wonderful because it allows you to refine your message.

When I first started my freelancing business, I thought that I was going to be doing mostly data analytics. In my mind, marketing decisions should be driven by data. I am a math nerd and data analytics geek and trust me, that doesn’t get many other people excited. Some of my favorite clients truly appreciate data, too, but a majority of our clients don’t care about the data behind the scenes.

As I was talking to folks in these networking events, I would just see their eyes glaze over. I realized that people understood they needed someone to help manage their marketing, but would be doing it themselves already if they cared about the solutions.

When you attend networking groups as a freelancer, you will be able to more quickly refine your messaging.

Now networking groups do require you go somewhere in person, so it may not be worthwhile to pay for a babysitter while you attend.

I’d look for groups that meet first thing in the morning (so your significant other can lend a hand before work) or ones that meet later in the day, again, so you can more easily find a helping hand.

These networking events also come in a lot of different forms.

One issue I see over and over is that new freelancers waste too much time attending groups that don’t actually lead to new clients. Don’t just go to the most popular Meetup group or group that meets over happy hour.

I’m an introvert, so I always found myself listening to conversations more than engaging with others in these more open events.

However, I came across BNI about 5 years ago and absolutely LOVE their meetings (and the clients/referrals that come from members).

I’ve since been the president and vice president of the chapter and as a member, you feel like you are actually creating relationships with the folks in your group, who then actually do go out and sell for you.

There are plenty of other more localized groups that follow the same structure as BNI, but BNI is an international organization, so most likely you have a chapter or two (or more) in your area to check out.

Be selective about the networking groups you choose to attend as a freelancing mom.

So, we’ve covered thumbtack, networking groups, and then the third way to grow your freelancing business is through referral partners.

How to use referral partners to get more freelance clients

As you’re going to the networking groups, you will be meeting new partners. You don’t want to just sell to the people in front of you, you want to gain access to their networks. This third piece is taking creating referral partners a step further.

First things first, jump over to LinkedIn and clean up your profile. Then, start researching other professionals and businesses that service your same target market and provide complementary services to your own freelance services.

I had my husband run through this when he was starting his business and within a month he had signed two $5,000 dollar contracts. One of them is still sending clients his way and then the other one actually now is my client and we have my husband do the blog writing.

It all comes down to figuring out who else is servicing your target market.

For my husband, a copywriter, I told him to email social media agencies like mine because I had been sending him business frequently. We also decided on website developers. Now he ended up just emailing the website developers because of the technical side of his background.

After proving himself in an initial blog or writing sample, some of these initial contacts send him any new website build that needs content created.

By creating these relationships with referral partners even if there’s a little bit of overlap in services, there can be short term success landing new freelance clients and provide long-term growth of your freelancing business.

The best thing about tailored and individual email outreach like this is that it takes a whole lot less time than attending 50 networking groups every single week. [Insider Tip: You can also write the emails after your kids go to be and schedule them to send the next morning with the Boomerang App for Gmail).

As long as you’re clear about the expectations with your new referral partners, you shouldn’t have any trouble really diving into those relationships.

So there you have it! The three steps to getting clients as you are starting your freelance business: Use Thumbtack, Join Local Networking Groups, Cold Email Referral Partners

First, immediately respond to those freelance proposal requests on thumbtack or create your profile on Upwork and see what projects are out there.

Secondly, join a local networking group and get to know the business professionals in your area. Again, I recommend finding a group that has structure and that actually shows that it’s passing leads and referrals with each other. I like the structure because I’m an introvert, but you might really thrive if you’re an extrovert with less structure. Still don’t join a group if they aren’t accountable for passing leads.

We see a lot of leads being passed within our group, as do other BNI groups, just as an example.

Lastly, the next item is figuring out who your referral partners could be and reaching out to them.

Now if you notice I’m not focusing on building your website or anything like that.

As you are working through these three steps to starting your freelancing business, you will be learning a lot about the language people are using to describe your specific services.

Just have a home page or landing page to start and then build up more from there.

See how many freelancing clients you can get through the three ways described above and you will be well on your way to a successful freelancing business!

My best advice is to start a business now and give freelancing a shot. Freelancing is incredibly fruitful and it allows for that creative outlet, adult interactions, and again that freedom and flexibility that we all crave as moms.

Thank you so much for tuning in.

Again I’m Caitlin with the Social Speak Network.

Please feel free to subscribe to our channel and head on over to our website. We have a lot of great blogs, videos, and different resources that can help you on your journey to becoming a freelancer.

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

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