Category Archives: Digital Marketing

A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter

Posted by admin

I recently came across an in-depth article by Paul McNamara discussing why nurses should be on Twitter and many great tips for nurses to get the most out of Twitter. It was one of the most practical articles that I’ve read and felt it was worth sharing.

“To borrow a quote from Jane Caro (you’ll find her on Twitter too), social media allows nurses and midwNurse's Guide to  Twitter headerives unmediated access to public conversations for the first time in history. Empowering stuff.” This quote from the article sums it up nicely.

But, in case you prefer bullets with what’s included in the article:

  • Twitter at events; the best way to catch everything at a conference
  • Twitter discussions; scheduled chats about a specific topic
  • Twitter tips; LOTS of tips about using twitter and setting up your twitter profile
  • Twitterisms; how to speak the language of Twitter
  • Suggestions for nurses to follow

If you are a nurse and want to share information and interact with other individuals that have the same interests, then take a few minutes to learn why Twitter may be an ideal conversation platform for you.

Read the article here: http://www.ausmed.com.au/twitter-for-nurses/

Thank you to Paul McNamara for this great content.

Quoted and shared with permission.

Top Three Instagram Marketing Options for Healthcare Marketers

Posted by admin

shutterstock_292931069AccrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing would like to introduce our first guest blog post. ‘Top Three Instagram Marketing Options for Healthcare Marketers’ was written by Nancy Grace from iDigic.net. Nancy is a social media writer at iDigic.net who also contributes for hundreds of other blogs. Her articles predominantly focus on Instagram marketing and are widely followed by readers from all over the world. AcrobatAnt does not endorse any third party companies, but seeks to provide useful information to our readers. 

Last year, Instagram caught the attention of healthcare marketers from around the world when it surpassed Twitter and became the second biggest social network on the Internet.

Are you promoting your healthcare or hospital services on Instagram? If not, then the following tips are just for you. Even if you already have an Instagram account for your healthcare organization, chances are that you haven’t started using the following techniques to advertise your services.

Advertising options for healthcare marketers 

For over a year, Instagram was allowing only a selective list of native brands to post sponsored ads on the network. But late last year, it opened its door to businesses of all size and scope to post premium ads. Below is a list of ad options you could try for your brand promotion.

1. Carousel ads - One of the best ways to improve your ad performance is to use the carousel format. These are ads that consist of 3-5 images with captions, URLs and clickable CTAs. Users can easily swipe through the images one by one, which is much easier than scrolling down the page.

How to apply this technique in your healthcare marketing campaign: Create a series of photos of your services and put them in a carousel format showing your followers the various steps involved in the making (from step 1 to step 5). This technique would apply well for short ads but if you want to post something a bit longer, then video ads would be a great option.

2. Direct response ads - Direct response ad format works best when you are looking to get an immediate response from your followers. Most businesses use it to drive more traffic to their website. You could include CTAs like “Learn More” to encourage visitors to explore your services and “Sign Up” to increase your newsletter subscriber base.

How to apply this technique in your healthcare marketing campaign: Post images of fun-filled cooking activities in your cookery classes and include a CTA button in the post. If you are endorsing a fundraising campaign, let your visitors know how they can contribute.

Always remember, capturing the attention of your audience is what matters the most; getting them to follow you or interact is next.

3. Targeted ads - Most businesses prefer targeted ads because they put you right in front of your potential buyers. By using this ad format, you can customize your advertising content for people’s interest, gender and location.

How to apply this technique in your healthcare marketing campaign: If you are offering a product or service for women users in your area, put your ads in front of relevant people. To boost the success of your ad, come up with custom ideas for your end users like creating images with women in the picture.

By the way, before implementing these techniques for your business promotions, see to that you already have a loyal following. If you don’t people aren’t going to pay much attention. Accounts with more followers, even on Facebook and Twitter, are the ones that steal the limelight. If you wish to jazz up your profile with 10,000 real followers in just 48 hours, get in touch with iDigic.

A quick tip to boost your website traffic: The high-quality images that you have created specifically for Instagram marketing can also be shared on other popular content sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr. Even better, you can just copy the URL of your shared image on Instagram and use it on any online marketing platform for better visibility.

 

6 Smart Moves to Get Started with Healthcare Content Marketing

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

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Smart healthcare marketers understand that today’s healthcare consumers have virtually shut off the traditional world of marketing and chosen messaging that makes them stop, think and behave differently.

It’s no wonder then, that content marketing is now a cornerstone of inbound marketing efforts in healthcare marketing. So what do you need to get started? This is the first question of many that marketers ask themselves.

For starters, a carefully planned strategy and well-coordinated implementation is required to be successful. In the content marketing efforts we manage for clients and ourselves, we’ve discovered six components that are crucial in getting started on the right foot.

  1. Establish your target market. Who will you talk to? Everyone? Think again. That net is much too wide. Is your target a specific age group? Parents? Women? This is one of the initial steps to take before one piece of content is created. Establish who your target audience is for your content marketing plan and base it on age, location, income and other demographic information.
  2. Create reader profiles (or personas). This technique is fairly simple. Start by identifying the attributes needed for someone to be your patient. The goal is to describe who you will attempt to write for or who might already be reading your content. Going through this exercise will help to personalize your writing, identify ways to connect with your healthcare consumer and create more practical content with their needs in mind.
  3. Determine digital distribution. How are you distributing your content? Before you create it, decide where you will host, publish and post it. A website or microsite is one of the more common platforms because you can disseminate your healthcare content through a blog, photo gallery, videos, podcasts, webinars, Tweet Chats, etc. From it, social media should play a major role as distributor, refer to Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing, as it can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your healthcare consumers.
  4. Research keywords. What words do users type when they are searching for health information? It’s of the utmost importance to do the research and choose words with the highest number of monthly searches and the lowest competition.
  5. Think like a publisher. Publishers use editorial calendars to monitor dates, track specifics of content ideas and keep content consistent and relevant. It also allows you to see connections within your content, get ideas on how you can repurpose it and ensures you have key information for SEO.
  6. Report, analyze and adjust. One of inbound marketing’s biggest benefits is the ability to track and measure your progress to see what’s working. Then you can adapt to optimize results.

All of these are the critical components of a successful healthcare content plan to put in place that will ensure you are on the right path for success.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

Four Signs of Digital Readiness in Healthcare Marketing

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

marketing paradigm shift

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn introduced the idea of “paradigm shift.” He argued that advancement is not evolutionary, but rather is a “series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions”, and in those revolutions “one conceptual world view is replaced by another.”

Marketing has evolved depending upon the different stages of economy. Before industrialization, marketing as a discipline wasn’t prominent except for the limited purpose of exchange or barter. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that the concept of mass production came to be as a way to dispose of marketable surplus profitably from producer to consumer.

Marketers outside of the healthcare arena argue that we are – and have been – in the throes of a paradigm shift. The labels used for the crux of the shift are many; push vs. pull, transactional vs. relationship, monologue vs. dialogue, single channel vs. multi-channel, product-centric vs. customer-centric, acquisition vs. retention and satisfaction, mass consumption vs. mass customization, product driven vs. value-driven… and the list goes on and on.

There’s no denying there’s been a shift. Or that there is need for change in how marketers connect to their healthcare audience. Healthcare marketing is in dire need of change. The mentality pervasive in many organizations is similar to Henry Ford’s widely quoted remark about the needs of automobile buyers “They can have any color they want as long as it is black”. Does that feel like an attitude present in conversations with members of your internal teams?

People want what they want, and don’t want what they didn’t ask for. 

The shift that is occurring in healthcare marketing is a move from the old paradigm of dependence on mass promotional campaigns, to the new one that embraces digital marketing and content marketing, thereby giving people what they want, when they want it. This isn’t to say components of traditional marketing are going away, they just need to be relegated to their proper place.

The type of change we’re talking about is hard. Very hard. It’s a lot of work and you have to constantly fight against the desire to do things “the way we’ve always done them.” Status quo dominates because it is relatively easy, it’s what we know and it’s what the boss wants, right? But according to Darwin, following status quo is a recipe for failure.

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it’s the one most responsive to change.” —Charles Darwin

Being responsive to the type of change we’re talking about requires something Chris Bevolo—healthcare marketing expert—calls “digital marketing mastery.” He spoke at a recent healthcare marketing conference about what it takes to help you define healthcare digital marketing mastery and how to track your progress toward it.

  1. Digitally driven. A digitally-driven organization is one where digital strategies, channels and tactics are a priority, not supporting elements. Marketing plans, efforts and budgets focus on digital first over mass media strategies. Web strategies start with a “mobile-first” mentality.
  2. Brand-powered. A brand-powered digital approach means your organization’s desired brand position and attributes are reflected as much as possible in all channels. Digital marketing is leveraged as a way to build brand whenever possible. Traditional mass marketing are very limited in their ability to truly build or change brand. Since we know brand isn’t what you say but what you do, digital marketing can go beyond mere communication and actually impact your healthcare consumer’s experience in a deeper way.
  3. Content relevancy. Relevancy is about audience, but it’s also about context. Digital marketing allows for more accurate and flexible use of relevant content to specific audiences. The goal is to understand the audience, situation and context to avoid delivering irrelevant and unnecessary content and resources.
  4. Goal-oriented. All digital marketing efforts should be easily tied to strategic business/marketing goals. Digital channels, tools and content provide you an opportunity to have a two-way interaction with your healthcare audience where you can leverage relevant calls-to-action wherever appropriate. This is one of digital’s greatest assets.

Think of mastering digital marketing in terms of a marathon, not a sprint. Moving to the new paradigm will take time, so be patient. But most of all be responsive to change, by being an agent of change in your organization.

Chris Bevolo is a well-known healthcare marketing expert, speaker and author of Joe Public Doesn’t Care About Your Hospital, a book I highly recommend every healthcare CEO and marketing professional read. His sequel, Joe Public Doesn’t Care About Your Hospital II is due out this fall. To be notified of its release, sign up here.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

20 Takeaways from #HCMPS14

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

you are what you publish on the webI attended last week’s Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit in Orlando with 600 other healthcare marketing professionals. The gist of the three-day event was aimed to help organizations struggling with:

  • How can we communicate more effectively with patients, consumers, and physicians so that we not only connect, but build engagement and lasting relationships?
  • How can we ensure that our brand is more than just a name, but a promise that is reflected in all that our organization does?
  • How can we improve our use of, data, analytics, and measurement in accomplishing marketing and physician strategy objectives?

If your organization is asking these same questions or want to know what healthcare marketing’s emerging trends are, then read on.

  1. On the web, you are what you publish.
  2. Market like a human.
  3. Content Marketing is the art of communicating with your healthcare consumers without selling.
  4. Fear is the biggest barrier to creating engaging content.
  5. Content is a conversation that is happening between healthcare consumers and your brand constantly, on different channels and platforms. And it is happening, whether or not you are a participant. The conversation is yours to control.
  6. More often than not, a healthcare consumer’s brand experience begins online.
  7. In order to boost your content marketing efforts, consider your online efforts to be an ecosystem with which you can cross pollinate your content.
  8. High deductible health plans are driving consumers to retail-like behavior. Patients are consumers. And vice versa.
  9. Brand journalism is content written by, not about, your company.
  10. Pre-tailing: healthcare consumers search websites, blogs ratings and brands before purchasing.
  11. Embrace C2B as the new model in healthcare marketing. Consumers have “reverse engineered” marketing. If you aren’t serving up content at all points along a healthcare consumer’s path to purchase, you are missing out on opportunities to connect with them.
  12. Data is the manifestation of our interconnected world. We can find those connections.
  13. Healthcare consumers trust hospitals, physicians and nurses more than any other source for health information. Leverage this in your content marketing efforts.
  14. The key to content marketing is making sure your healthcare brand is represented where it makes sense.
  15. The essence of brand journalism is to not sell, but to help. Be a trusted source.
  16. Great customer service is marketing. Period.
  17. Content mapped to the buying cycle is critical to success.
  18. Personal Search – 80% of internet users have looked online for health topics, such as a specific disease or treatment.
  19. Content marketing is more effective on awareness and engagement. The optimal mix: 60% original content, 27% curated content (cherry picking the best content that is important and relevant to share with your healthcare community) and 12% syndicated content.
  20. To be on the leading edge of marketing’s paradigm shift, healthcare marketers need to move from dependence on mass promotional campaigns, to the new paradigm of embracing digital marketing and content marketing.

For you Twitter heads out there, visit #HCMPS14 or my profile page (@kfiddner) for a record of the live, tweet-by-tweet account of all three days.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

Alternatives to Appointment Setting in Healthcare Marketing

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

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In today’s demand economy, we must deliver on our healthcare consumers’ expectation of being able to access information, entertainment and commerce how they want it, where they want it and when they want it.

Healthcare consumers are able to retrieve information at the click of a button. Therefore we must constantly innovate in order to win and keep them. One way of meeting their demands is to reconsider how we deliver health information, such as seminars.  

Creating a speaker’s bureau for physicians and consistently hosting seminars for the community is a great way to build brand loyalty and patient volumes. However, with the busy schedules of consumers and the increasingly younger age of patients (e.g. 43 percent of joint replacement patients are under 65), having mid-day or evening seminars aren’t as convenient as they once were. So, how do we make seminars more accessible to potential patients?

Recording seminars, lectures and community talks by hosting them on your website is a great way to offer your healthcare organization’s content to your healthcare audience at their leisure. While this does let them consume the content and build the credibility of your physician and hospital, it does limit the interaction you can have with them.

Streaming your seminars live is another means of allowing a potential patient to view them from the comfort of their home, and at a time they so desire. Live streaming does provide flexibility for call-ins or chat questions in real time. Pre-recorded webinars are also available for viewing anytime, but you might consider staffing a call center or ‘chat’ person who is immediately available to answer questions and schedule appointments for an increased window of time. Patients may be more likely to ‘chat now’ with someone and get information about how quickly an appointment could be scheduled or get other questions answered versus actually calling a physician office.

If you aren’t sure how your healthcare audience will respond to this type of content being available 24/7 online, then experiment with it. Hire a videographer (which can be done very inexpensively) to record your next event, put it online with a clear path to access the content, and then promote it. You’ll want to monitor your web analytics for spikes in traffic so you can see the results.

Photo credit: Marcin Wichary via flickr

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

Key Marketing Insights about Today’s Healthcare Consumer

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

consumer_insights

Having a grasp on our audiences’ perceptions about the healthcare system gives us the opportunity to improve our path to quality healthcare. 

Every year since 2008, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions polls 4,000 adults in the U.S. about their behavior in and attitudes about healthcare. Those surveyed are asked about overall performance and personal use of the healthcare system, improvements needed and needs that are currently being unmet. I’m not going to distill the entire report for you, but I have extracted insights that I believe are important to our efforts in marketing healthcare to a consumer audience.

Healthcare is deeply personal to our audience. Our healthcare consumers’ understanding of the “healthcare system” is based almost entirely on their personal experience with it and, therefore, they hold very strong opinions about it. The perception is that it is complex, wasteful and lacking in value. Organizations with a desire to cater to today’s healthcare consumer will keep these perceptions in mind when creating consumer paths to “purchase.”

The healthcare system impacts everyone and they use it frequently:

  • 8 in 10 consumers have a PCP
  • 3 in 4 sought medical care from a doctor in the last 12 months
  • 76 percent are satisfied with their PCPs
  • Almost half received care in a hospital in the last year
  • 65 percent of those who used a hospital service were satisfied with the care they received
  • Those who were dissatisfied with their hospital care noted cost-related reasons, customer service issues and access/availability reasons

 Healthcare consumers want improvements that will add value to the delivery of care:

  • 52 percent believe an integrated system (versus a system of independent practitioners and hospitals) has greater potential to reduce cost, provide more value and deliver better quality care
  • Half believe a NP or PA can provide primary care comparable to what a physician can deliver
  • 25 percent will visit a retail clinic if a physician isn’t available

Given these insights, organizations need to respond to healthcare consumers’ demands by making improvements that satisfy their needs to improve the healthcare experience for everyone. 

Download the entire Deloitte 2012 Survey of U.S. Healthcare Consumers report here.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

Seven Ways to Connect with Millennials in Healthcare Marketing

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

marketing_to_millenials

Healthcare marketers opting to engage Millennials will create differentiation and give your organization an edge for long-lasting relationships with this generation. 

Millennials have grown up. They are the largest generation in U.S. history – even larger than the Baby Boomers. Their ages range from 16-34 and the older members of this group are beginning to enter their peak earning years. One thing we need to consider as healthcare marketers is that they are starting families.

According to research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Millennial expectations are very different from the generations coming before them. The marketing tactics that have worked in previous generations won’t work with this group. What does this mean in the context of healthcare marketing? It means we need to rethink our brands and marketing strategies for our healthcare services, from primary care to maternity services and pediatrics.

1) The message isn’t about “me.” Millennials have grown up being treated as individuals and expect personal experiences. Therefore, they want things their way and don’t want to be lumped into a “general” category. For you as a marketer, this means not grouping them under one label, such a “women’s services,” or you risk being ignored. Opt for personalized information over general enewsletters and general direct mail pieces.

2) Use photos more than text. Millennials are a visual bunch. Videos and photos generate much more engagement with this group than text does. This means those 20-page patient booklets and packets are worthless to a millennial. Convert this type of information to bullet-sized copy points or videos.

3) Offer convenient care and fast access. This group values speed, convenience, ease and efficiency in anything they do. This includes technology, but envelopes everything else too. Consider online access to information such as lab results, prescription renewals and appointments, and text reminders about medications or appointments.

4) Engage them or you’ll lose them. BCG data reveals that 60 percent of Millennials rate products and services online and upload videos, images and blog entries. Give them the opportunity to share and they’ll take it, or let them read what people are saying about your healthcare brand. 79 percent of this group use social media platforms to connect with friends in real-time. If your organization isn’t cultivating your brand on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or other platforms, it’s missing huge opportunities with this group.

5) Get mobile-minded. Millennials are mobile. There is no question about this. And at the very least, your website should be mobile. Text reminders and mobile payments are two functions that you should be deploying in the near future. Apps are also something you should be looking at to provide mobile convenience for appointment scheduling or information on medication.

6) Good design is expected. Millennials have grown up with computers and other digital devices, so good design isn’t a differentiator for them. It’s expected. Conduct a thorough review of your online processes, such as customer service, registration and admissions, to see if you might be losing potential patients due to bad design. If you know it’s bad, then fix it. Millennials are always in a hurry and want the quickest means to an end.

7) Make Millennials part of the team. You need the older members of this group on your marketing team to help steer you through the nuances of marketing to Millennials. Non-Millenials don’t really get how this group consumes media so you would be wise not to put one in charge of your Millennial strategy.

For more on BCG Millennial consumer insights, check out The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

Why You Need to Focus on Earned and Owned Media in Your Healthcare Marketing

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

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“Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.” - Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey

In a Nielsen global survey, word-of-mouth, recommendations from friends and online consumer reviews are the most trusted forms of advertising. Althought ad spending in paid media is on the rise, consumer trust in these mediums continues to decline.

“Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.” - Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen

The terms “earned, owned and paid media” have become popular as a way to categorize and prioritize all of the media options available to us. To be sure we are speaking the same language, I’ve provided a summary of how each is defined below.

  • Owned media: Owned media are the channels your hospital brand controls, such as your website, mobile site, blog and Twitter account.
  • Earned media: Earned media occurs when consumers become the channel. It includes word-of-mouth, buzz, “viral”.
  • Paid media: Paid media are the channels you pay to be on, such as television, radio, display ads, paid search and sponsorships.

Earned media is a result of listening and responding and can be achieved through a well-executed, well-coordinated owned and paid media campaign. One of its drawbacks is the lack of control when it comes to negative feedback or comments. But this shouldn’t prevent you from being in this space because the reality is that you can’t stop it.

The most important thing to remember is that earned media is an opportunity for your hospital or health system to engage with its healthcare audience. And a big part of engagement is responding to any and all comments you get – the good and the bad. You will want to treat every interaction as an opportunity to convert a consumer into an advocate for your healthcare brand, even if the reason they contacted you was a negative one.

To review more insights from the Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey, click here.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912

Three Consumer Tech Trends Affecting Healthcare Marketing

Posted by Kelly Fiddner

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The shift in marketing that is, and has been, evolving into a consumer-driven model is one that healthcare marketers need to take seriously. 

What do consumer electronics and healthcare marketing have in common? Consumers. So when I was reading Accenture’s consumer tech trends for 2013, I immediately recognized three consumer trends that are most definitely affecting marketing to our healthcare consumers.

1. Consumers are dumping single function devices for multipurpose ones.

Nothing is just a phone, television or camera anymore.

The customer experiences that multi-functional devices deliver and functions they perform are constantly evolving and not being matched by single-functional devices. The bottom line is that simplicity, accessibility and the endless variety of uses make the most sense for most consumers. Additionally, consumers, are opting more and more to simplify the amount of stuff it takes us to enhance our lives. Why have another thing piled on your nightstand when there is an alarm clock on your phone? Why have a GPS watch when your phone will track your route, mileage, heart rate and time while playing your run and sweat playlist?

We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to apps and medical devices that hook into our smartphones, from capturing ultrasound images and charting heart activity to measuring blood pressure and monitoring blood-sugar.

2. Consumers trust the mobile ecosystem. 

In fact, consumers are very trusting of their mobile devices and apps. More than other types of technology, mobile devices are typically personal to an individual, almost always on and with the user. A Harris Interactive online survey I read found that close to 75 percent of people keep their phone within five feet of themselves most of the time. I’ll vouch for this because I know I’m guilty – whether I’m cooking, sleeping or running.

3. Consumers are adopting cloud-based services and apps at an increasing rate.

Apps and cloud-based services are accessible from any platform and therefore are logical for consumers whose technologic maturity continues to grow. Services such as Evernote, Box.met, Dropbox, Google Docs and Spotify cater to consumers who demand anywhere, anyplace, anytime accessibility. According to the Accenture report, the usage of online services increased substantially in one year for online mailbox services, games, photo storage, movie streaming, data backup, music streaming, calendar and document creation.

Download Accenture’s full Consumer Electronics report here.

AcrobatAnt Healthcare Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAntHealthcareMarketing.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK
74120
918-938-7912