Category Archives: Online Marketing for Professional Medical and Dental Providers.

Blogging Keeps Content Fresh & Search Relevant for Doctors and Dentists

Example of medical practice blog incorporating video.

 

 

Excerpt from Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices. Download full PDF.

What to know

More and more medical practices have embraced the importance of incorporating video into their marketing plan, but blogging should not be left behind! In fact, adding video to your blog is a doubly strategic idea.

Blogging is meaningful content that provides your customers with the information they need to make decisions. This marketing tactic helps you connect with new clients, educate your inquiring audience, and update current clients. Blogs are still a trusty marketing tool, especially when you’ve done your homework and make your blogs more easily found via tags, titles, descriptions!

Why think about it

Blogging has been one of the best ways to create new content on a consistent basis - a smart SEO tactic.  Each blog is one more indexed page on your website and search engines reward active sites with high engagement. Blogging also allows your practice to seamlessly add new content about hot topics that resonate with your audience. New trends, new techniques, new before-and-after stories—these all make excellent material for blogs and content for your website.

How to do it

If you can write the blog yourself, do it. Blogs are not technical white papers, so if you are comfortable writing, it is always going to be more effective and less expensive than hiring someone to do it for you. Another option is to have someone in your office write for you. The closer this person is to your patients, the better. The last resort is to hire a blogger –and there are a million bloggers awaiting this opportunity. If you go this route, be sure you are clear on the editorial calendar and final draft expectations. Act as the final reviewer of all copy to ensure the information accurately reflects your services, philosophy, and your personality!

What to expect

Expect to spend 1-2 hours per blog entry (or 15 minutes if you embed video and transcript). You will likely see increased web traffic and search engine relevance.

If you are looking for a writer to help you create high-quality blog content, contact us at info@hdmedicalmarketing.com or call (206) 295-2973.

 

Download Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices

Lights, Camera, Action? Tips for a Great Experience In Front of the Camera

Whether you’re a business executive or a medical professional, the expectation is that you perform well in person and on camera. You’re an expert! You know your material inside and out. But even the best of us experience anxiety when the director calls, “Action!” 

We recently sat down with Jenna Lange and Maria Iams of Lange International to discuss tips and techniques for effective messaging with video. Lange International is a high-stakes communications consulting group who works with some of the biggest companies in the U.S. preparing executives for speeches, presentations, video shoots, and much more.

In this video, Jenna and Maria describe their Three Pillars of Communication to prepare you for your day in front of the camera:

Know Your Audience – Think about who is watching your video. Where are they watching from? What time of day is it likely to be? What might they have been doing just prior? These questions can really drive what you say and how you say it. Plus, you’re more likely to appear at ease in your conversation when you know who you are talking to.

Know Your Key Messages – A concise message is more likely to resonate. Think about the top three things you would like to communicate. Emblazon these topics on your brain so that, if you start on a tangent or forget your train of thought, you can quickly get back to the message you intended to deliver.

Rehearse – Maria reminded us that rehearsing in your head does NOT equal practicing in front of the camera, out loud. A helpful tip she provided is to memorize your first one or two lines. Typically, when you know your topic (your business!), the rest will flow and you’ll avoid looking scripted and disingenuous. When you rehearse, think about your tone of voice, making eye contact, and using appropriate gestures for emphasis. Body language is as important as what you are saying.

Have other questions about how to prepare to be on camera?  Let us know!

Watch our video or read the transcript below:

Jen: Hi, I'm Jen Longtin, founder and CEO of HD Medical Marketing. Today, I have the pleasure of having Maria and Jenna here. Jenna is the founder of Lange International. They are both high-stakes consultants and coaches for executives. It's critical for all of us to find comfort in front of the camera. So today what we'd like to do is just talk to Jenna and Maria and get some tips on ways that everyone can feel comfortable and confident answering questions and connecting with their audience. So welcome, thank you so much for being here. Jenna, if it's alright, I'd love if you would maybe just tell us a little bit more about what you and Maria do for your clients.
Jenna: Absolutely. So we are consultants and coaches in the area of high stakes communication and what that means is when there's a lot riding on what you say and how you say it, the video environment is a classic example of that, lots of people watching you, lots at stake, and you have to perform your best.
Jen: What are some of the most common fears that people have when you start working with them?
Jenna: They're very afraid of speaking. There's a lot riding on what they say. Groups come to us as well because they want to be more persuasive with their messaging.
Jen: What are three tips that you recommend for any professional or anyone getting on camera? What do you recommend they do before that red light goes on?
Jenna: So something that helps, particularly on film, is practicing the questions that you're going to get and then establishing pillars for the response. So you ask me, what are the top three things we need to think about: Know Your Audience, Know Your Key Messages, Rehearse. I've got three pillars and now I can elaborate on any one of those if I choose to. So for example, Know Your Audience. Questions we like to ask are, "How do they feel as they are sitting there watching you? What time of day? What were they looking at right before they starting watching you and listening to your story? What really drives them?" So you ask all these questions and completely changes what you are going to say. And it makes you more comfortable to have a conversation.
Jen: It's amazing when you're looking in the camera and you're seeing that person in the camera how different the subtleties of your body language is versus if you're just trying to remember what comes next. If you're thinking about the person that you're having that conversation versus the other way around, it's subtle, but it's significant. Body language is important.
Maria: Oh, definitely.
Jenna: With Key Messages it's really about rehearsing our senior leaders. What are the top three things that you want to get across? And some of those calls take place via Skype at 9:00 at night to get them ready for that next day's meeting. What are going to say? Say it again, say it again, make it more concise, make it more relevant.
Maria: And just to piggy-back on what Jenna was saying, about know your Key Messages, it's really critical that you know those because you can always come back to them when you start to stumble and feel like you're going to forget what you were going to say.
Jenna: And then we do a lot of rehearsing.
Maria: We do a lot of rehearsing with our clients. This is often a step that people are very reluctant to engage in and even rehearsing in one's head is not the same as saying it out loud. So something that I've done a lot with clients is have them almost memorize the first two lines that are going to come out of their mouth because I find that if they have those two lines memorized, the rest just starts to flow. And, with many clients, just one in particular I'm thinking of, getting her to do it in the right tone of voice, with the most powerful eye contact, the right gestures attached to what she's going to say, it sets her up so much more to be successful for the rest of the conversation. So that's the sort of precision we're talking about when we say rehearse. You don't necessarily have to script the whole thing, but really starting off strong can help you for the rest of the presentation.
Jenna: I would say one thing we like to do is watch, just become a consumer of quality video. Become a consumer of quality speaking, great executives who command attention. So as you are thinking about this, go online and check it out, see who's highly rated. See what they do that you like and see what they do that you absolutely will never do and learn from them.
Jen: Excellent.
Maria: And do it. And practice. So do it, get on video, watch yourself, do it again, keep doing it. Same with public speaking. The more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get with it.
Jen: And I love that you have a profession where you are offering this to people because I look at speaking a lot like personal training where if you don't sign up for it, you're going to find every excuse to not do it because it's not part of your practice so to have somebody like you that can call and practice and that's what you do. It makes it easier and easier to get out there run that half marathon or whatever it is that you're training for, then it becomes actually a joy and something that you feel like you are able to extend beyond just your everyday. I love it. Well, Lange International is the business with Jenna and Maria. Thank you so much, this has been so informative. We will continue to post more tips on how to prepare for video and how to make the most of your video so that you're connecting with your audience, you are converting clients, and you are feeling good about what it is that your reputation is online. Thank you so much.

Why Search Engine Marketing (PPC) for Doctors Is Worth It

Are you on page one of Google? Or are you just waiting for your SEO to kick in?

Pay-Per-Click advertising often gets a bum rap,  but the truth is people do click on sponsored ads if they are ready to take the next steps.  According to http://www.wordstream.com/articles/google-ads, almost two-thirds of clicks go to sponsored results for high commercial-intent keyword searches. Even better, 89% of traffic generated by the search ads is new traffic outside of the organic reach.

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What to know about PPC

It is appealing to think that natural searches and rankings can drive all traffic to your site, but in truth, Search Engine Marketing (also called SEM or Pay-Per-Click or PPC) should likely be part of your marketing plan. If you don't use it, and your competitors do, it is almost impossible to grow your customer base and your business.

MediaSmack does a nice job explaining SEO vs. PPC.  In a nutshell, SEO is an expensive, long-term approach to ranking well in an organic search. PPC is a more immediate way of ranking high and converting users. PPC advertising puts you in front of potential customers whether or not your site appears on the first page of search. Functionally, it interfaces directly with the effectiveness of your SEO. The more relevant your site is, the better your pay-per-click marketing performs. In turn, Google rewards you for relevance with better placement or better rates.

Why think about PPC

While we whole-heartedly believe that content marketing is best for organic/relevant search and key to any marketing strategy, it's hard to imagine a doctor wouldn't pay $200 to acquire a patient needing a $10,000 procedure.  If you look at PPC as a complement to your other marketing efforts, it makes sense.

How to do it

The key to effective SEM is fine-tuning your strategy before agreeing to pay-per-click charges so that the dollars you spend on clicks are most likely to convert into clients. This takes you back, once again, to knowing your customer. Are your clients male or female? Young or old? Where do they live? What procedures do you offer that they want most? Over time, you can adjust your placement and pricing to ensure the necessary return on investment for this marketing outlet.

As with SEO, you can set up SEM on your own, but SEM experts are plentiful and a worthwhile investment. There is an art and science to PPC and these professionals will save you tons of time evaluating the most appropriate SEM programs. As with all of your marketing tactics, the more research you and your SEM vendor conduct, the more accurately you target your customer at an ROI that works.

Be sure to tie your PPC program to Google Analytics (see Google Analytics post). This is one more nugget of valuable customer insight.  Google Analytics can track all PPC data for Google Adwords to help you get the most from your investment.

What to expect

Effective SEM will require up-front planning on keyword strategy and good control over a clean client database so you can target your marketing geographically. Once your campaign launches, review results regularly!  Look at click rates, conversion rates, bid rates, and cost-per-lead numbers to optimize your program. You’ll want to routinely test ad copy and landing pages to maintain – no, maximize success! It’s really an ongoing review and tweak-as-necessary process. As the program pays for itself, plan to increase the amount of your budget you spend on SEM

For more information about PPC and other essential marketing tactics, download our Marketing Checklist for Doctors and Dentists (Download PDF for Free)

Simple Metrics for Smarter Marketing – Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Excerpt from Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices: Download full PDF here.

Our clients have a million things requiring their attention these days, from marketing to state requirements and inspections to yes, being a doctor.  In an effort to save time and increase reach, we have set out to explain some of the marketing tools out there, why they're valuable, and how to get started. Today, we demystify Google Analytics and offer tips on utilizing the treasure trove of information at your fingertips.

What to know

Google Analytics is a free service that gathers information about how many people visit your website, which sites or search engines they came from, where they clicked while on your site, how long they stayed, and more. These factors help you determine where to advertise and evaluate how your site is working.

Why think about it

This information powers smarter marketing decisions. Google Analytics provide a window into your audience so you understand who they are and how they interact with you online (visit our post about Knowing Your Customer for more ways to identify your target audience). When you understand the behavior of your audience like where they go on your website, how long are they on each page, what site referred them to you - you can tailor your marketing and increase the odds these visitors become your patients. In the past, small business owners haven’t had easy or affordable access to this type of data, so take advantage and avoid spinning your wheels with ineffective content.

How to do it

Set up a Google Analytics account or use an existing account. To avoid accidental overlap of business and personal content or any other activities you conduct with your current Google account, sometimes it’s easiest to establish a devoted gmail account for this purpose. Once logged in, visit Google Analytics where you will be guided through the process of setting up your account with the various features you need.

If you have a vendor who is managing your website, your search engine optimization, or your pay-per-click ads, simply request to add Google Analytics setup and regular reporting to your services.  You likely already have an account so it’s just a matter of requesting the data.

It’s worth spending some time with Google Analytics and exploring the endless amount of topics for analysis and numbers associated with your site.  This data dump can be overwhelming so we’ve trimmed the analysis possibilities and recommend you review the key evaluators listed below on a monthly basis.  Over time, compare these statistics to 1) the previous period and 2) the previous year.

  • Visitors
  • Time on Site
  • Bounce Rate (how quickly do they leave)
  • Traffic Sources
  • Landing Pages

 

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Google Analytics Pages

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Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Traffic Sources

We also suggest adding a goal to track how well your site is converting ("Goal Conversion Rate"). Each page on your site which contains a form the visitor completes to contact you should result in a “thank you” page. Tracking visits that ultimately land on the thank you page provides an informative snapshot of conversions.

What to expect 

Clients who regularly track the metrics above will see patterns around visitors, their interests, who is driving them to your site and who is ultimately converting visitors into patients.  It will help you understand the dollars you spend on referring sites and the value it truly brings to your marketing strategy.

Feedback on your site's usage gives you more insight into your customers, which helps you decide how to adjust the structure and content. Doctors typically find, for example, that before and after photos and prices are the most popular pages on their sites. As you learn what pulls visitors in and keeps them, refine your site for even better results.
Excerpt from Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices: Download full PDF here.