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

Before You Spend a Dime on Your Next Marketing Campaign, Know Your Customer

Know Your Customer - Questions to Ask Yourself

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

Two years ago, when we started HD Medical Marketing, we believed (and still do) that every video created should fit into a larger marketing strategy for our medical and dental partners.  It is a content strategy after all, which supports brand, SEO, social, leads, and better ROI.

To us, the most important consideration in designing your marketing strategy is this: know your customer.  You're likely to fail if you don't nail this one. Or, be highly successful if you do.

The business of figuring out who is a viable customer and who is not worth your marketing dollars can feel overwhelming and perhaps, like a waste of your precious time. But the truth is, this information clarifies who you are speaking to and why it matters to them.  Understanding the connection between what you offer and who your customers are is fundamental to all of your marketing efforts.

Why think about it?

The better you know your customers, the more precisely you can tailor your message to reach them both in and out of your office. When you know your target audience, you waste considerably less effort on disinterested patients and improve your ROI.

How to do it

Tackle this step by asking yourself some focused questions to clarify your customer base, their needs, and their habits. To get started, consider the following:

  1. Who are your customers?  Perhaps they are women in their 40s. They may be stay-at-home moms or professionals with greater discretionary income. Who they are will determine what they seek, how much they spend, and how well they match up with your services.
  2. Where do they go for research and fun? Your customers read magazines, take vacations, join clubs, support organizations, and sign up for new activities regularly. By discovering their interests, you can more easily align with their needs and passions.
  3. How do they shop and buy? Some people take two weeks to research before purchasing a product or service, and some people take two years. Determine how much your clients shop around and if they seek in-person or online consultations.
  4. Who influences their decision-making?  In addition to family and friends, these influences can include online forums, research, prominent authors, and thought leaders.
  5. Which competitors do they look at?  Nobody likes losing hard-earned customers to the competition. Research as if you are seeking the services you provide. Who pops up on searches? Knowing the field and all its competitors helps you better position yourself for potential patients.
  6. What objections do they have?  Most often it’s cost, but what about recovery time or fear the procedure won’t go as planned?  What if they have seen a lot more reviews from another doctor in the area? Get ahead of these objections and become a regarded resource.
  7. What makes your product or service different?  How you distinguish yourself from the crowd makes all the difference with your customers. Your job is to figure out how best to communicate your unique qualities and offerings to potential patients.

As you answer these questions and more, the connection between what you offer and who your customers are becomes clear. Your practice can then operate around specific personas - all email communication, web content, video content, office art, brochures - every message your practice puts out should be with these customers in mind. Intimately knowing your customer enables you to fine-tune your message and your message channels to more effectively stay in touch with them every day.

What to expect

Once you know your customers' needs and habits, you can expect to reach more of them at a quicker pace and convert them to paying clients at a lower cost to you. Expect your vendors to be more accountable in reaching your audience with a clearer strategy and expect more actionable learnings to improve your performance over time.

Knowing your customers is an area of continual inquiry, so as your customer base grows, it requires ongoing evaluation of who they are and how they interact with your practice.

Download the entire Marketing Checklist for Medical and Dental Practices for free. Download full PDF.

YouTube vs. Facebook – YouTube as a Social Channel

YouTube and FaceBook continue to battle in the race for unique users.

YouTube and FaceBook are neck and neck in the race for unique users.

What was once a platform to post cat videos, bootlegged TV interviews, and your kid’s star turn in the school play, has evolved along with the rest of us. YouTube is now a living, breathing social network – successfully battling with Facebook for unique viewers on a daily basis. In June of 2014, YouTube surpassed Facebook for this honor, but they've arguably traded places more than once since then.

As you read this, Facebook and YouTube are hashing out their roll in the new social networking landscape. Each has its strengths, perhaps simplified by giving YouTube the prize for videos with staying power and Facebook the award for fleeting, feel-good videos.

Marketing blogger, Brian Honigman, noted YouTube’s ramp up in community-building. YouTube understands the value of their enormous network of creators and promotes community among them. In turn, these creators develop their own communities of devoted viewers.

These viewers are not just watching YouTube videos, they are subscribing to channels so they can see your next video, they are commenting on videos - what they love and what they hate, and they are asking questions when they want to know more. They are sharing videos that move and inspire them. They'll even share videos that don't appeal to them, but they think might appeal to someone else! YouTube offers a truly powerful brand-building opportunity with an engaged community of viewers. As we duly noted last week, you need YouTube!

Since forever, YouTube leads the online space for video play. But with 500 years worth of YouTube videos watched on Facebook every day, it was only a matter of time until Facebook got their video act together. In the last several months, Facebook did just that, and surpassed YouTube for the most videos played and viewed per month.

Facebook now has more video watched per minute than YouTube.

Facebook’s new video autoplay feature is largely responsible for this increase. Instead of user-initiated views, FaceBook videos play automatically as users scroll through the feed. It’s a great tool to ensure your video is watched (and that your analytics look good for number of views!), but does nothing to ensure engagement. As always, content is king. No matter where you post it or how the view is initiated,  if the content is not interesting to your audience, it’s not worth the gigs on your hard drive.

So for now, we closely watch the video experience on the social networking platforms of YouTube and Facebook... and continue to post engaging, optimized videos on both!

Find out more about video and other marketing essentials with our free download "Marketing Checklist Essentials".  We will email you a downloadable file.

Why Do I Need YouTube?

YouTube has surpassed Facebook in the race for viewers. You need YouTube!

YouTube has surpassed Facebook in the race for viewers. You need YouTube!

 

By now, we’ve established that as a brand and a business, you need video. Remember? Video is the fastest growing marketing medium in history! Videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined!

You need videos embedded on your website, you need videos in your email marketing, you need videos on Facebook and Twitter, you need how-to videos and Q&A videos for efficiencies in customer service, and you need a YouTube channel.

YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. More than 700 hours of video are uploaded every minute and more than 4 billion views occur each month. With more than 1 billion unique users each month, YouTube has surpassed Facebook. Consumers love YouTube, they are on YouTube, and they are one click away from finding your video on YouTube.

 

 

The good news is that YouTube and technology have opened the doors to anyone who wants to create video. With some good lighting, a video camera (even an iPad!), and well-prepared video cast and crew, you're in business.

For additional YouTube statistics visit http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html

Next week, we’ll talk about the nuts and bolts of setting up your very own YouTube channel.

Want to Drive Traffic to Your Website? Try YouTube Annotations!

Clickable links on YouTube

Drive traffic to website with YouTube Annotations

If you don’t have annotations on your YouTube videos, you are missing a huge opportunity to drive viewers to your website or to direct them to more of your videos.

What is a YouTube Annotation?
YouTube annotations allow you to layer text on your video and create clickable links as a call to action for your viewers. “Click here to schedule a free consultation!” “For more Patient Testimonials, click here!”

YouTube offers 6 different annotations, but the most useful for driving traffic to your website is the Note and the Spotlight. With these two types of annotation, you enable engaged viewers to click on a link and take the next step in their research process.

4 Crazy Awesome Tips for YouTube Annotations

1. Make sure it’s clickable!
You can add titles and text to your videos, but by adding a clickable link, viewers can easily find their way to your website or to more of your videos. When viewers mouse over the call to action, the text box is highlighted and one click gets them where you want them to go.

2. Wait at least 30 seconds for videos one minute or more!
Give viewers some time to get into your video before prompting them to take action.

3. Provide a visual with the doctor’s prompt!
If the doctor invites viewers to call for a free consultation, include an annotation with the phone number. If the doctor references before and after photos, use an annotation with a clickable link to the practice’s photo gallery.

4. Put annotations in a smart spot!
Avoid text boxes that block the speaker, have text that does not contrast enough with the background, or are just generally ugly or somehow unappealing. You’ve seen tacky, steer clear of it!

For more info on how to use annotations in your videos, visit the YouTube Creators Academy

Or, watch one of our videos to see them in action.

Annotations drive engaged viewers to your website. These are the valuable visitors interested in taking the next step in their research process.