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Blog to Boost SEO for Healthcare Providers

In today’s episode we are going to be talking about blogging for your healthcare center or your wellness practice. Blogging is one of the best ways for you to share your knowledge and your education with prospects and with your network online.

Additionally, a well-written blog post helps to boost your search engine (SEO) rankings for your website thus driving more traffic, to your website for specific keywords and keyword phrases.

It’s always important as you’re writing a blog post to keep both that end user, or that potential patient in mind as well as keeping the search engines in mind too.

How do you go about finding topics to blog about, how do you go about writing that blog post and structuring it, and how do you share it after it’s written?

These are the key elements that we will be covering today in the video about How to Blog to Boost SEO for Healthcare Providers.

For a step by step guide to blogging, please visit: How to Easily Write a Blog Post.

Watch the Episode

Listen to the Health and Wellness Marketing Podcast Episode

Read the full digital marketing for healthcare transcript:

00:00 Caitlin McDonald: Hello and welcome to the Social Speak Network podcast. I’m Caitlin McDonald and I am the co-founder of Social Speak. And today’s episode we are going to be talking about blogging for your healthcare center or your wellness practice. Now blogging is one of the best ways for you to share your knowledge and your education with prospects and with your network online. Additionally, a well-written blog post helps to boost your search engine rankings for your website thus driving more traffic, to your website for specific keywords and keyword phrases. So it’s always important as you’re writing a blog post to keep both that end user, or that potential patient in mind as well as keeping the search engines in mind too. So how do you go about finding topics to blog about how do you go about writing that blog post and structuring it and how do you share it after it’s written. So that’s what we’re going to be covering today.

01:19 CM: So the first part of that question is thinking about what topics you should blog about. Now, it’s always important to blog about something that you are knowledgeable about. So you want to make sure that you’re blogging about topics within your practice or industry that you actually know about and care about. If you are not the specialist in that topic, find somebody in your practice who’s better suited to write about it or who can at least edit the information that you’ve put out. We find this often especially with some smaller health care centers where they have one person who’s in charge of doing the blogging. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily have the expertise in whatever specific topic there is. For our team, for example, when we are going into a new practice, we make sure that we are matching that practice up with a writer who’s going to be suited to talk about those topics. If we’re talking about Pediatrics, or if we’re talking about pain management, we might have two different writers for those two topics. They’re very different, and they require a different level of understanding of who that patient is, what that patient journey is and everything like that. So let’s get back to writing that blog post, so to find a topic to write about one make sure that it’s something that you are very knowledgeable about two, make sure that some people are searching for it.

03:03 CM: So what I typically recommend doing is taking out a pen and paper, and actually writing a list of different topics that you talk about with patients and with prospects. So by this I mean, what are the questions that people are asking you what are their top concerns what are they looking for, what benefit does the practice provide to them what are the specialties of your practice, what additional things can your services and specialties help to solve for your patients? Now take a look at this list and what I recommend doing is hopping on over to Google and starting to type in these, the phrases, what you’ll see is that Google will pre-populate other searches that are related to it, or searches that other people search for. Now, there are also tools that you can use to do this research. So, I like first starting out doing your own brainstorm looking at Google search results and just set your timer take about 30 minutes to do this exercise, make as many notes as you can.

04:22 CM: I often find myself hand-writing them, probably it would be a little bit more streamlined if you do this for yourself, in a spreadsheet so that you don’t replicate work over time. The next thing to do is either head on over to Keyword finder kwfinder.com or over to Neil Patel’s Uberselect app. Now this is a new app that he has brought to the market and it currently is completely free. So what you do is, within this app and I’ll have a link down below, excuse me Ubersuggest not Uberselect, Ubersuggest app. And so it’s Neil… Excuse me, app.neilpatel.com/en/ubersuggest is one way that you can get there or you can just do a Google search for it as well but what you do is there is a related keyword ideas sort of tool within there, and so you can actually type in some of those keywords and keyword phrases.

05:30 CM: And you can see what other search results folks are looking for. Keyword finder you can do the same thing, however, now it is limited to just a few searches per month on that free account. So I do recommend jumping over to Neil Patel’s tool. When you are utilizing this tool and I don’t have it up in front of me. So that’s going to be a whole new blog post and tutorial about how we utilize it. But when you use it, you can see one, what keywords your competitors are looking for and two what those related search terms are for the ones that you enter into that search field. Now, we recommend filtering these results so that you are looking for keywords with a low keyword difficulty score. We recommend to start off if you’re just starting off blogging, putting in a keyword score, a maximum keyword score of about 20, maybe 30.

06:30 CM: Now, this means that it is hypothetically easier to rank for these keywords, you’ll find that typically the result that pops out there is going to be a long-term keyword so a keyword phrase rather than back pain for example, another thing that you can do is you can plug in the number of searches per month for that keyword. Now as you’re starting off blogging we recommend writing blog posts and trying to rank for keywords that don’t have as many searches for them. So I would plug in a number like 500 here.

07:12 CM: So you’re looking for searches where there are fewer than 500 searches for them and where the keyword difficulty score is fairly low. The reason why we do this is, and I’m taking this from one of our interviews a while ago, I is because we follow the skyscraper approach to keyword research and blogging for that SEO benefit. What this means is, if you visualize the Skyline, we are targeting the low-buildings, So we’re targeting the buildings that, Yes, they don’t have as much traffic, but they also don’t have as much competition for them. Then over time, as you’re proving your worth to Google, you can start bidding for those higher skyscrapers. So you can start writing content that has more searches and a higher keyword difficulty, score. So you’ve done your list of your brainstorm of all the topics you’ve jumped over to the Ubersuggest app on Neil Patel’s website, you’ve done your keyword research there and you’ve chosen a topic now what do you do? This part is actually my favorite, and it’s seeing what other people have written about that keyword phrase.

08:39 CM: And so what you want to do is just type it into Google and take a look, open up a few of the searches excuse me, search results that come up for that phrase. When you open up the articles I recommend, not reading them word for word, but doing a cursory skim, just to see what other headlines and sub-topics people are talking about. Then close all of the windows take out either your notebook and piece of paper again or jump over to your spreadsheet or a Word document, you could even open up your blog post if you want to a blog post draft and write the outline that you want to follow for that blog post. Now I always recommend putting that title, excuse me, putting that keyword phrase as the title of the blog post or at least in the title of the blog post this will help you rank even better and also make sure that people who are searching specifically for that phrase know that you are the place to go when they see it up in the organic listings. So you’ve done the cursory outline for your blog post and now we recommend filling in the content.

10:03 CM: So what you’re going to have, what you should see on your paper are major topics that you want to cover, sub-categories or sub-topics that you want to cover, And then maybe a couple of bullet points that you wanna make sure that you touch on. So underneath each of these items, type in two to three or more sentences or bullet points for each of these. Now, if you do that, and if you are putting together a robust outline, you might find that at that first go, you already have a 1500-word blog post. I’ve done this before where I’ve done an outline and the outline itself, was over 500 words long. That makes writing a longer blog post very straight forward. Now, let’s say you sit down to fill out these bullet points and you just have a mind block, you can’t think of anything to put down. I recommend jumping over to Google Docs, and under, if you open up a new doc, you can click tools and then you can do voice record. So if you do this you can actually record yourself speaking and make a transcription of what you’re going to say and so you can create a few sentences, if you feel more comfortable speaking rather than sitting down in writing, you can at least talk through some of the bullet points, so that you have something that then you can convert into a nicely written blog post.

11:35 CM: Now, if all else fails, if you have this outline that’s put together and that’s tapping into your knowledge about what topics should be talked about, you can then Hop on over to WriterAccess or Upwork on, to have somebody else fill in the blanks and write the content. This is an easy way to make sure that you’ve done the research in terms of what other people are looking for, you’ve added your expertise on that specific topic, and then you’re just getting someone to fill in the blanks now to make a blog post work even better for your business there are a few additional things that we recommend adding, the first is video so you’ll see in all of our videos excuse me, in all of our blog posts. We have a video embedded in the blog post as well. Now, having this video adds a multi-media element to your blog post, the multimedia element, allows different people to come and view it. People who wouldn’t necessarily be reading your blog post, maybe they’re more interested in listening to it or watching it.

12:46 CM: So, this adds additional SEO benefit because you’re keeping people on your page longer, and you are uploading the video to YouTube which is in fact the second largest search engine and also owned by Google. So you might be adding an additional place for your name and brand to show up in search results. Another thing that you can do with this video is you can create a transcription of it. So I talked about transcribing with the Google Voice On the Google Doc in order to write the content but if you do a video, that goes into deeper detail on one or two of the topics that you talk about in the video, you can actually create a transcription of that video and add that to the bottom of your blog post. I believe it’s something around 10 minutes of speaking typically equates to about 2500 or 3000 words. Now, imagine what that can do for the content on your website. Now, after you write your blog post, it’s important to make sure that you’re going through for formatting.

14:09 CM: When we go through for formatting we take a look at the outline that you originally created and make sure all of those main topics are header twos, then those sub-topics are header threes, and the topics below that are header fours. Typically within a longer blog post, you’ll see something like two header twos, three to five header threes and four or more header fours. This allows Google to see what those most important categories are and if your website was structured properly in the CSS and the styling those elements are going to be bolded, or have more, more prominent on a page rather than just the written text. Additionally, we recommend linking two services pages from that blog post. So again, let’s say you’re talking about back pain and you have a service that is great for back pain. It could be massage it could be a surgery, or a specialist. You want to make sure that that Back pain topic excuse me, the back pain text is linked to the services page or more information about how you can help with back pain. This is called inner page linking.

15:27 CM: And so by doing that again, you’re getting people to more resources. You can also add a section of related posts to your blog post so let’s say you’re talking about one specific specialty within your blog post link to or add the related blog post that also have to do with that specialty or potentially this is a physician interview link to the other blog posts that have physician interviews And it helps keep people on the site longer, so that they know like and trust you more. It also signals to Google that people are finding the information that they want when they view your site and that helps to increase the Domain Authority and where your website is positioned compared to competitors, in the organic search results. The last thing to do with your blog post for your health care and wellness center is to share it to the world. So the past few weeks we’ve been talking about a lot of different tactics that you can do to make this happen. The first would be sharing it to social media, the second sharing it to your newsletter, the third making sure that you are sharing it through sponsored advertising on Facebook. This could be as a boosted post. Your organic reach you’re going to find is fairly low. And we talked about this with the reach apocalypse the other week. So you are going to have to boost the post with at least a little bit of money behind it in order to make sure that it is reaching your audience and other people who might be interested in reading it.

17:11 CM: Now, I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any questions about how to write a blog post for your wellness center please don’t hesitate to reach out. We have blog posts and other resources about how to do this over on our website at socialspeaknetwork.com, And we would love to chat with you to see how we can help with the process. So thank you so much for tuning in. My name’s Caitlin McDonald, I’m here with the social speak network and I can’t wait to see you next time on our next podcast episode.

Digital marketing is becoming the new wave of healthcare marketing. With the growing competition in the healthcare industry, it is important to stay on top of digital marketing and keep your organization at the forefront of change.

Ever wonder what it takes to create a successful healthcare marketing campaign?

We listed down some tips that you can incorporate into your marketing plan right away.

Know your target audience

A successful healthcare marketing campaigns starts with knowing who your audience is and what they value. To produce great results, you first need to create a well-defined persona profile.

Vividly picture who is it that you want to attract to your doorstep and what matters most to them. The more specifically you define your audience, the more likely you are to inspire a positive response.

Carefully and precisely defining your target audience will ensure that you’re not making the wrong assumption about what your audience values. Plus, it will improve your efficiency since you’ll have a good idea about what media to use and how to shape a compelling message that brings a response.

Combine healthcare and social media

Today, social media isn’t just a place for family and friends to stay in touch. It also allows doctors and medical experts to connect with their current and potential patients.

Now that you know who your target audience is, use social media to reach your key audience. Tapping into online communities and sharing health information can be a game-changer in your healthcare marketing plan. Keep in mind, though, that each platform has its own voice and audience. When you create social media content, make sure that the message is tailored to different audience and channels.

Make wellness a lot more fun

Health and wellness is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean that your campaign should be boring and uninspiring. Let’s take cues from UnitedHealthCare’s successful healthcare marketing campaign – We Dare You.

UnitedHealthcare created an interactive campaign that dares people to make one small change to live healthier lives and document it on social media. Each month, there are new challenges and quizzes aimed at inspiring people to live a healthier lifestyle. There are prizes involved too.

The multi-awarded “We Dare You” campaign not only led to healthier habits, but it also fostered an interactive online community of brand loyalists.

Establish an email marketing plan

Email marketing is an effective means of transmitting messages to your current and prospective audience. In fact, studies suggest that email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers as compared to Facebook and Twitter. When done right, it can help you grow your practice and reach a larger amount of patients.

With email marketing, the audience is openly receptive, and relative cost is low, and the rate of return can be exceptionally high. You can promote your services in a cost-effective way while building a relationship with your patients.

Google yourself

Studies suggest that physicians and other medical practitioners receive up to 45% of new patients through referral. Though most patients would consider the referral of other doctors, family, and friends, the majority of them will run a Google search of your name and check out your reputation before booking an appointment.

The survey revealed that 60% of patients wouldn’t book an appointment with a medical practitioner that has bad reviews. This is why you should Google yourself now.

By running a quick Google search of yourself, you’ll have a good idea of how your practice looks from a consumer’s perspective and know where to start when creating your digital strategy. 

If you unearth some negative results when you Google yourself, try to have the post taken down. But if that doesn’t work, then the best thing you can do is to suppress them with positive content.

Be a source of helpful information

In today’s digital world, most people’s inclination would be to open up a browser in Google and research about their own or their loved one’s condition. With so many people turning to the internet for answers, it is important that healthcare marketing is there to be a helpful and supportive guide.

Regularly post high-quality content that answers people’s questions and help them learn more about medical conditions they may be searching or procedures they may have to undergo. It is also a good idea to share important and relevant medical information to help people improve their health. This will help build your credibility and position yourself as an authority in your field. People may not run off and make an appointment, but you will be in their minds the next time they get sick.   

6 Tips for a Successful Healthcare Marketing Campaign

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.