Healthcare Digital Marketing

How Tech-Savvy Are Seniors?

We’ve all made at least a few jokes about seniors and technology. We ask children to help grandpa find Netflix on the TV. And we laugh when grandma signs her texts “Love, Nana” like we don’t know they’re from her.

These endearing examples give the impression that older adults aren’t technology savvy. And because adults 65 and older make up a large segment of healthcare’s target market, you feel the need to rely heavily on other mediums. But baby boomers and above are using technology—at the highest rates we’ve ever seen. Here, we take a closer look at the statistics of tech use among seniors.

Senior man reading online news on smartphone outdoors.
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Adjusting Your SEO Strategy for Semantic Search

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Hospital marketers have been conditioned to think in keywords since SEO became a buzzword in the late ’90s. But it’s time to go back to thinking—and writing—like a human. That’s because, today, semantic search reigns supreme.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Local SEO

Yes, it would be incredible to rank on the first page of Google for “total knee replacement.” But chances are, that’s not going to happen unless you work for Mayo Clinic. (Or Johns Hopkins, as it turns out.) And that’s OK. Because what you really should be focusing on as a community, local or regional hospital is improving your local SEO.

local search marketing vector illustration design concept
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female businesswoman talking with senior doctor in hospital - creating better hospital marketing strategies

Grow Your Patient Base With These 3 Hospital Marketing Strategies

Every hospital and health system wants to grow its patient base. That is the job of hospital marketing: to increase brand awareness and build positive relationships between the hospital and potential patients.

There are a lot of methods that hospitals currently use to market themselves. From buying billboards to airing TV commercials, creating a Facebook page, and even sending out direct mail, marketing strategies can work together to create a total-package approach that targets a patient from multiple angles. (more…)

telemedicine conference call with doctor - hospital marketing trends

The 3 Hospital Marketing Trends You Need to Know

Hospital marketing is competitive. Only in rural areas do you have only one hospital provider, and even those systems have to compete with private practice. So, in all markets, hospital marketing is essential – and yet it can be difficult to differentiate.

By understanding the latest trends, you can outperform your competition that may not be following those same trends. There is a lot going on in the marketing industry now that is exciting and effective – and your hospital needs to take notice.

Live Video Is Becoming King

Video has long been a major player in marketing. Video creates more engagement than any other format and creates positive associations between a brand and viewers.

The latest trend in video comes in the form of live, real-time, streaming video. Whether you see it on Facebook, YouTube, or an individual website, live video is dominating because it generates a lot of engagement.

Hospitals can take advantage by streaming health-related content, which is enormously popular. Just look at the fact that WebMD is the 129th most popular website in the country. Video can be better at communicating information because it naturally captivates people and catches – and holds – their interest better than text alone.

Consider the health experts you have at your disposal. Find personable, relatable, camera-friendly personnel to go live and present the latest findings and tips in medicine to help your target audience.

Telemedicine Is Becoming More Popular

For years, hospitals shrank away from telemedicine because it was expensive and limited. Now, those barriers have fallen away, and telemedicine has become more accessible to hospitals – and more in demand from patients.

If you can create a telemedicine service, that gives you a huge advantage from a marketing standpoint. There is also a natural synergy between telemedicine and digital marketing. People who are prospects for one are natural users of the other. Put another way, if someone can be reached effectively through Facebook, Instagram, or mobile search, they are more likely to enjoy the benefits of telemedicine.

We encourage you to at least consider and evaluate telemedicine as a service option, not just for better patient satisfaction, but for more effective marketing options.

Location-Based Marketing Is More Important than Ever Before

Hospitals depend on geography for their patients. Patients tend to go to the closest hospital. That is not just dependent upon where they live, but where they are at that moment.

Location-based marketing, through geofencing, can deliver the right message at the right time to the right place. If someone is in a particular area, you can target them with your message and ads through their mobile device while they are on the move. You can also target them through other methods if they are in a home or office within your service area.

You can even target specific neighborhoods if you want to increase the number of patients you see from that neighborhood. A rigorous analytics approach at your hospital can tell you where your patients live – and where they don’t live. The same goes for where they work. You can then use geofencing to market accordingly.

What are some ways you can use these trends in a creative manner to get better results?

TotalCom is a full-service hospital marketing and advertising agency that believes in getting great results from telling great stories. Contact us for more information and see what stories we can tell for you.

digital healthcare marketing resolutions

Digital Healthcare Marketing Resolutions for 2018

We’re at the beginning of a new year.

Now is the perfect time to take a step back, analyze the what you did over the past 12 months, and build a strong plan for 2018.

This may seem like a daunting task. That’s why you should start planning now. We’re giving you a checklist of the most important things you should do in the coming weeks.

  • Ensure business listings are accurate

If you’re not already on top of this, potential customers may end up someplace other than your healthcare facility. Don’t let old phone numbers or former street addresses drive your customers to the wrong hospital or clinic. Fix whatever data errors you can this year, and make a New Year’s Resolution to keep an eye on it during 2018.

  • Add special hours to Google My Business

With the end of one year and beginning of a new one, hours can change. Maybe your clinic is changing hours in the new year. Either way, add your new or extended hours to your Google My Business page. No customer wants to show up at your clinic and find you are closed for the day when Google says differently. Negative brand impressions lead to negative reviews of your healthcare business, so check these hours twice.

  • Social media ready to go

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Pinterest that your customers rely on most, start brainstorming ideas for healthcare content in the new year. Don’t leave it to last-minute scrambles to think of something to say. Make a spreadsheet and schedule days and content for your posts.

  • Website pages updated

Been putting off updating your site’s blog or adding that new employee to the site? Get on it now to ensure everything is crossed of your list when January rolls around. Customers like a completed, up-to-date site, and you will too.

While many people are cherishing this time of year and in the jolliest of moods, there will still be unhappy reviews coming in. Be prepared for reviews, both good and bad, in 2018. Come up with a strategic plan on how to handle and respond reviews about your facility in a timely manner. Make sure everyone in your company who handles reviews is well versed in the plan as well.

The start of a new year is a great time to get started on these healthcare marketing resolutions. But get ahead of your digital resolutions now so they don’t get pushed aside until 2019. If this list seems too daunting to handle on your own, let TotalCom help! Contact us today.

iPhone X Facial Recognition

Could the iPhone X Change Digital Advertising?

You took the plunge about the iPhone X and you’re not even sure if you’re supposed to say iPhone X or iPhone ten.

But what’s the big difference between this model and the one you had before collecting a new monthly payment added to your stack of bills?

Facial recognition is the big difference. Are you unlocking your phone or is it unlocking you? This could bring in a new era for marketers. Since the announcement of the iPhone X, facial recognition has quickly become the topic of dinner conversations everywhere. Facial recognition used to be reserved for top secret labs or something you saw the President use in a movie. But now we have access to it as well (celebrities, they’re just like us!)

While this feature is marketed as a security function for unlocking your phone, a consumer device used by the masses is a seriously powerful technology.

It is said 90% of personal communications is nonverbal. Every day there are instances where we don’t understand the nonverbal cues of the person on the other end of our screens. We use emojis and GIFs to try and share emotion within our digital interactions.

For all of us in the communications business, we know good experiences lead to trust and loyalty while bad experiences lead to brand rejection. So what could we do as marketers if we were able to obtain real-time reactions from a consumers? Imagine a world where we have access to consumer’s facial expressions and emotional cues in reaction to products and brands?

If we could access the facial cues from patients waiting for an extended time in the emergency room? The excitement on someone’s face when they try out a restaurant’s new dish. Or the skepticism on your face when you’re indulging in a purchase you shouldn’t be.

Currently, Apple is keeping detailed facial recognition data local on the phone and not storing it on its servers. App makers can use the iPhone X, with the user’s permission, to read a rough map of a stream of facial expressions. While Apple may never store this information for public use, it’s interesting to think about a world where we design advertisements based on the most unique human feature. This technology would tell us more about our consumers than we’ve ever known before.

Digital advertising can be hard to keep up with, let us do the work for you. Contact TotalCom today.

healthcare budget

Healthcare Marketing: Why You Should Increase Your Paid Social Budget

These days, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are changing the way patients interact with their healthcare providers. Social media is certainly something that you can’t afford to ignore.

Paid social is having a banner year in 2017. Analysts from HootSuite predicted that social ad spending will top $35 billion this year.  Judging by the past several years, which have each seen consistent growth, that growth will continue into the future.

As long as you do it right – paid social is an excellent investment in your healthcare marketing plan. Here are 3 reasons why.

Paid social is a necessity if you want your brand to be seen on social media.

When you post something on social media, you’re competing with what feels like 1,999,999 other healthcare businesses- and we’re just talking about ones that are advertising. Realistically, there’s no way that your posts are going to get engagement from more than a few people unless you pay to promote them. With social media algorithms becoming more and more complicated, it makes it even harder for current and potential patients to see your content.

Organic social is still important, but if you want your posts to be seen, it’s time to set aside some budget for paid social ads. 

Paid social allows you to target users with incredible specificity.

It’s really amazing how specific you can get with your ad targeting these days.

Look at Facebook, for example. You can customize your audience by everything from level of education and field of study, to online activities, to simple demographics.

This ultra-targeting means that you’re a lot less likely to be wasting your ad dollars. Instead of showing your ad to people who almost certainly aren’t going to buy what you’re selling anyway – men and gynecologists, for example. Through targeting, you won’t be annoying people with ads they would never be interested in and you’re cultivating an audience that may eventually lead to a loyal customer.

It’s highly resource- and cost-effective.

When you’re just starting out with paid social advertising, you don’t have to know it all. You can create relatively basic ads with a relatively basic audience and budget. You also don’t need a huge budget to begin with. Base your budget on factors including your company size, the number of people you want to see your ad, etc… This is especially helpful when your hospital is just starting out and not sure where to begin.

The key is to be patient and be proactive. Watch your analytics, stick to your goals, and don’t be afraid to experiment when needed.

Social media can be hard to navigate, to improve your chances of succeeding, allow TotalCom to help you.

A Guide to Keyword Research for Your Healthcare Facility

There’s no need for me to go on and on about why keyword research is essential for your hospital’s marketing success. It is important however, to note there is no universal approach to executing keyword research. It will vary based on:

  • Website (authority, number of pages, quality of content, etc);
  • Goals and objectives (branding, exposure, traffic, leads, sales);
  • Budget, resources and deadlines;
  • Industry and competitive landscape.

I am going to give you a keyword research framework that can easily be adjusted depending on the goals and resources of your healthcare facility.

  1. Evaluate top healthcare websites.

By doing this, you can identify the most common navigation items and categories on leading industry sites. Just by studying your niche well, you can discover some great keywords.

  1. Use advanced search operators.

While searching for top healthcare websites, you can use Google’s advanced search operators to dig even deeper. You have operators at your fingertips that can provide significant and useful information.

Example: Searching “related: health.com” will bring you to sites similar to health.com. From here you can find more content and common keywords on other sites in the same industry.

  1. Google Suggest

The best free tool for keyword research is Google itself, especially with all of the features it uses to help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for. Google Suggest, is the feature that drops down a list of suggestions from the search box as soon as you start typing. For example, Google “doctor” and don’t hit enter. Instead make note of the drop-down search suggestions.

  1. Google Keyword Planner

Using Google’s Keyword Planner, paste your saved keyword list from the steps above into the “Product or Service” category and then evaluate the average monthly searches and competition for your area. Keyword planner will also suggest keywords and phrases to use based on your categories. Remember high competition is not always a reason to give up on a keyword. It all comes down to the balance between the business value of that keyword.

 

Since it all begins with words type into a search box, keyword research is considered one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the digital marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your healthcare website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.

 

Let us do the keyword research for you! Contact TotalCom to learn more about our healthcare marketing options.

Market Your Hospital to Stand Out

Market Your Healthcare Facility to Standout from the Rest

Are you taking advantage of new opportunities for generating exposure?

When potential patients do not have a recommendation from family or friends on what healthcare professional or facility to use, they typically turn to conducting their own research online. This could entail using anything from search engines to social media – as long as the information they find is trustworthy and extensive.

Ensuring your healthcare facility is listed everywhere that potential patients are searching online is key to driving more traffic to your hospital website and therefore, more foot traffic.

Create content that educates

 Creating content that educates is beneficial for SEO, driving long-term traffic from search engines to your website. More importantly, quality content in the form of blog posts, articles and social media helps give value to readers and build trust between your patients and your facility.

Put yourself in the patient’s shoes when you write your material and then ask the following questions:

  • Can I easily interpret the information?
  • Are these health terms and definitions understandable, even if I was only 12 years old?
  • Is the content accurate and informative without being overwhelming?
  • Is the explanation sufficient?
  • Are all my questions answered?

Fun with Facts

Consumers like facts, especially in healthcare. Weave facts and statistics into appropriate content to complement the information.

The true beauty, however, is the simplicity. Health facts are short and to the point. They are easy to digest, easy to generate, easy to verify.

Video Marketing is Important

 Last, but certainly not least, spend time on video marketing to really stand out. Offer testimonials from your patients. Ensure they are genuinely interested in speaking on your behalf for more authenticity and effectiveness.  Create videos to introduce doctors and put a human touch to the faces patients will be seeing.

Utilize YouTube as a hub for your video marketing efforts online. Embed those videos throughout your website. YouTube is a search engine owned by Google, making your uploaded video content discoverable in search results and wherever the video is embedded (like your website.)

Again, just like the written content being produced for your web properties, your video content must educate your audience on your expertise in the healthcare industry.

Marketing for the healthcare industry doesn’t have to be difficult. We just need to think about who the target audience is, understand what information they want and of course how best to reach them. Let us do the thinking for you. Contact TotalCom today to learn more about our healthcare marketing options.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications with over 30 years experience helping many kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience is in the healthcare industry.  He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!