Hospital Internet Marketing

5 Tips for Boosting Your Healthcare Google AdWords Budget

TotalCom Healthcare Marketing

 

Google AdWords is a highly-effective tool for healthcare marketing. When executed correctly, a healthcare organization can decrease the cost of leads, gain a deeper understanding of their patients, target a very specific audience, and increase market share.

Merely running an AdWords campaign, though, doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you want. There are many factors that come into play that have a role in generating results. For example, keywords, especially for a hospital, can be costly, so you want to choose carefully to maximize your budget.

Below we have tips to help boost your Google AdWords budget.

Monitor Your Account Regularly

Make use of Google Analytics daily. Using their tools can help you determine which of your keywords do and do not display your ads.

Also, change the view of your campaigns by sorting your cost per conversions from lowest to highest. Maximize the money for campaigns doing well, and decrease, or stop, your unsuccessful campaigns.

Use all match types for your keywords and continuously oversee their effectiveness. One broad match keyword may cost you less, but be receiving little conversions. Through frequent monitoring and adjusting, your Google AdWords campaign can become an effective powerhouse.

Use Targeting

Google allows you to target specific ages, geographic locations, gender, and much more. A thorough study of your target audience for a specific service could greatly increase your conversions, making the most out of your budget.

Track Click Through Rates (CTRs)

It’s important to track the click through rate of your campaigns. You want to make sure one keyword isn’t getting a great deal of search hits, but few CTRs.

By tracking CTRs, you can also figure out which keywords are over performing and which are underperforming.

Fine Tune Campaigns

What are patients truly searching for? Fine tune your campaigns to meet those searches. Most people aren’t Googling “emergency.” Perhaps your facility offers a specialty that others in the area do not. Focus on bringing in new patients by boosting those keywords.

To boost your budget, narrow down your Google AdWords strategy to the few keywords that are maximizing your conversions.

Check Your Google AdWords Budget

Some of the most common mistakes healthcare facilities are making on Google AdWords involve overbidding and underbidding on a keyword. Many times a business will overbid on a term to ensure their ad pops up. While effective in helping you reach PPC goals, it can greatly increase your cost per conversion. Underbidding guarantees a competitor’s ad will outrank your own. It’s important to stay in charge of a keyword, without overspending.

As you can see, Google AdWords is an extremely effective marketing tool, and will continue to be as the digital world maintains its steady progress. With any marketing strategy, consistent overview is important, but it’s imperative for Google AdWords.

Since fine-tuning an AdWords campaign is very time-consuming, your hospital would benefit greatly from hiring a professional to oversee your campaigns, so you can focus on everything else on your plate.

If you are interested in marketing your hospital using Google AdWords, contact Jimmy Warren today.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. 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!

 

Stop Blocking My Hospital’s Digital Ads! Ways to Get Around Ad Blocking

Detour ad blocking TotalCOm

It’s frustrating to spend valuable ad dollars and just as valuable (if not more so) time developing digital ads to only have them blocked by consumer-end ad-blocking software and plugins.

This is a growing phenomenon, and a burgeoning thorn in the side of hospital marketing professionals who depend on digital ads to reach prospective patients. Millions of consumers (roughly 28 percent of Internet users) use ad-blocking software and plugins on their browsers for desktop, laptop, and mobile – depriving brands of the opportunity to earn full reach.

What can hospitals do to sidestep ad blocking, thus ensuring higher CTR and ROI?

Turn to Native Advertising

One reprieve is native advertising.

Native advertising can circumvent ad blocking because promoted content isn’t always recognized by ad-blocking software as an actual ad. Furthermore, it deals with “banner blindness” – the idea that savvy browsers have become more or less blind to online banner ads and ignore them.

Spending on native ads, according to projections, will rise by 34 percent by the time 2015 has come and gone. That’s a total of $4.3 billion.

An advertorial is a type of native advertising that can be easily promoted via third-party sources and get past ad blockers. Plus, advertorials are strong advertisements anyway because they deliver useful and engaging information – perfect for building brand awareness and converting prospects to patients online.

Use Platforms that Have Deals with Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are somewhat akin to the Mob – if you pay protection money to them, they’ll keep your store safe.

That’s the sentiment adopted by Google, Microsoft, and several other leading brands that depend on selling ad space for their revenue. Google is a good example; they have a deal with leading ad-blocking software providers to “white-list” their ads, thereby ensuring that ads purchasing through Google (such as Adwords and Google Display Ads) sneak past the ad-blocking security.

Since the Google display network already constitutes such a massive presence in online advertising, many hospital marketers are protected. If you use another platform for your ads, though, you may consider using one that has reached a deal and paid the protection money to ad blockers so your content gets through intact.

Want to Learn More?

If you have questions about better utilizing online advertising for hospital marketing including optimizing your campaign for maximum CTR and ROI, contact Jimmy Warren.


 

ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. 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!

 

5 Tips for Creating Better Banner Ads for Your Hospital

TotalCom Tuscaloosa

Banner ads can be a great way to market your hospital online. You probably already know that you need a clear call-to-action and a landing page designed to seal the deal, but what else can you do to make your banner ads stand out among the crowd?

 

Try these 5 tips to build brand preference, drive more traffic to your hospital’s website and convert prospects to patients.

 

1.  Change Your Hospital Banner Ads Every 3 Weeks

We live in a culture where things are changing constantly. We’ve become trained to get bored when things stay the same. Bored consumers won’t click on your hospital’s banner ads!

 

To keep your digital ad campaign fresh, switch out your banner ads every 3 weeks or so. A new ad will recapture the attention of your target audience.

 

2.  Keep File Sizes Small

Small file sizes mean faster load times. You want a quick load time so that prospective patients don’t scroll down before they’ve even had a chance to see your ad.

 

Google Adwords suggests keeping ads under 150 kb for optimal load time. A compressed JPEG or GIF file works best for this!

 

3. Give Your Hospital’s Banner Ads a Border

The human eye is naturally drawn to framed objects, so add a border to your ad. This is especially important if your ad matches the background color of the website. Don’t let your ad get lost in the chaos of most websites!

 

On a white or black background, a gray frame looks nice. On any other color background, a black frame is the most effective.

 

You can also frame your hospital’s banner ad in colors from the ad itself. The important thing is that your ad is separated from the rest of the page, helping it to stand out.

 

4.  Use the Right Colors

In banner ad marketing, there are no good or bad colors. However, some colors have feelings associated with them that are better than others for marketing your hospital.

 

First of course coordinate the colors in your banner ad with your hospital brand. Blue is often associated with safety and trust. Green is the color of health and new life. Both of these color schemes work great for hospitals assuming they work with your logo colors.

 

Gray or white are good choices for the background of your hospital banner ad because both evoke feelings of cleanliness, order, and neutrality.

 

5.  Use Animation

Animated banner ads tend to outperform static banner ads, but there are some rules when using animation in your banner ad marketing.

 

First and foremost, make sure that the animation isn’t distracting the user from the actual purpose of the ad. Overly busy ads tend to pull focus away from the call-to-action – which is the most important aspect of the ad.

 

An animated banner ad for your hospital should loop no more than 3 times and should be limited to 15 seconds or less. Make sure your call-to-action is on every frame.

 

Ready to Make the Most of Your Hospital’s Banner Ads?

If you would like help to make the most of your hospital’s banner ads, contact Jimmy Warren today!


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. 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!

 

Attract New Hospital Patients with Inbound Marketing

Inbound Hospital Marketing TotalcomNow, more than ever, it is important to actively attract new patients to your hospital. In the past, most people chose their healthcare provider based on geographic location. Therefore, the hospital closest to home was generally the hospital of choice.

However, in the past four years, the number of people who go online to find healthcare information has doubled. The rise of the Internet and the ability to find reviews online has led to a more consumer-based approach to finding doctors and healthcare services. Therefore, your healthcare marketing strategy must include an online strategy.

Hospital marketing is no longer about touting your services or showcasing how great your doctors may be. Today it’s all about engaging your potential patient and ensuring your doctors and facility have positive reviews online. Patients go online looking for a healthcare provider they can connect with and feel like they can trust – even before calling or walking in the door.

It is critical that we shift our hospital marketing approach from product-centered to patient-centered and utilize the Internet to reach our target audiences.

Inbound Marketing Is the Answer

The goal of inbound marketing is not only to drive traffic to your website, but to also engage those users and convert them into patients by answering their questions and building trust.

In order to be effective, you first have to attract the right kind of traffic, which is done by providing relevant and targeted content that is designed to educate the target audience.

While outbound marketing relies on purchasing ads and email lists to build brand awareness, inbound marketing works to naturally attract consumers to your site based on their interests and concerns. You then build trust with the consumer by providing them with information they were already looking for and setting up your facility and doctors as an authority.

One of the greatest benefits of inbound marketing is the cost of implementation. Inbound leads actually cost approximately 61% less than outbound leads and traditional marketing efforts. In short, inbound marketing is not only effective, but is also incredibly affordable.

Another benefit is that inbound marketing is easier to track than other traditional methods since it is digital and therefore has a plethora of tools for tracking purposes. The ability to track lets you know exactly what is working and what isn’t, allowing you to tailor your methods to what is providing the biggest return-on-investment.

However, it is important to remember that inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix; therefore, allow ample time for results when tracking its effectiveness.

How to Implement Inbound Marketing for Your Hospital

Get the Most Out of Your Website

When it comes to online marketing and advertising, your website is ultimately at the center of everything you do. Therefore, make sure that your website is user friendly.

When people visit your hospital’s website they should be able to find all the information they are looking for quickly, without much effort. Include clear calls-to-action on every page. Use photos and videos to add interest to your hospital website and highlight your doctors and facility with visual media. Always think about your design from a consumer’s point-of-view.

Another way to utilize your website’s potential is through proper search engine optimization (SEO) and local optimization. Optimizing your website for search traffic and local inquiries will help your website with being seen by potential customers.

Generate Updated Content Through Blogging

According to a recent survey by HubSpot, 82% of marketers who blog daily report positive ROI for overall inbound marketing efforts. This is because fresh content helps you stay relevant in search engine results, which increases traffic to your site and your overall online visibility. You should use your blog to educate about current health concerns, proper preventative care, new technology and procedures, or anything related to the services you offer.

Social Media Marketing Builds Your Brand

Do not underestimate the marketing potential of social media for your hospital. Over 40% of consumers say that information found through social media affects their health decisions. Social media is a great way to share your blogs, keep consumers aware of current events at your facility, and engage your audience on a personal level, all in an effort to keep your hospital top of mind. In addition, your hospital’s social media efforts greatly impact your search results.

In Conclusion – Inbound Marketing Is Key

These are just a few inbound marketing strategies you can use to promote your hospital online and reach your target audience when they are in the market for your services – before a decision is made about where to go or who to see. There are many others, including white papers, monthly email newsletters, and lead nurturing campaigns. All of these have a common theme – they are always patient-focused and designed to educate prospective patients and build trust, which leads to them choosing your hospital over the competition.

At the end of the day, use inbound marketing to focus on the needs of the patient. Match your marketing efforts and content building to those needs in order to convert prospects into patients.

Contact Jimmy Warren to learn how to use inbound marketing as part of your overall hospital marketing strategy.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. 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!

 

Marketing Your Hospital with Google Adwords

Adwords Hospital Marketing TotalCom

Fifteen years ago, Google changed the face of digital advertising forever with it’s launch of Google Adwords, a self promoting advertising service any business can utilize to reach their target audience.

Even today, the potential this platform offers companies is exponential, with Google owning 67.6% of U.S. search engine shares.

Understanding Google Adwords is imperative to marketing your hospital in this competitive digital world.

Search Ads – Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Google Adwords uses search ads, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC), that allow your message to appear above or to the right of organic search engine results. You can specify which area of the page you want your ad to appear, and you only pay when someone clicks your ad. The cost-per-click varies, depending upon the competition.

When creating PPC ads, it’s important to stay extremely precise.  Use keywords that will help you reach your goal or objective. Take note of your top competitor’s ads to see what keywords are giving them high-ranking scores. Then, focus on what makes your hospital different from the keywords competitors are utilizing and try marketing those differences.  Your goal is to help viewers click your ad instead of the competition’s.

Landing Pages Save You Money

When you set up a PPC campaign, you are including links to a destination page. It’s a common mistake to make this page your hospital’s homepage.

Creating a landing page for your PPC ads increases the likelihood of achieving your goal and can improve your ad relevance, which decreases the cost-per-click. On the landing page, it’s essential to make sure there is a call-to-action. For example, you can create the page so visitors can fill out a form to request an appointment or sign up for a health screening event.

Use Site Link Extensions

Finally, make sure to take advantage of Google Adwords’ site link extensions.  Site link extensions increase your ad space and make you more relevant to any given search.

Advertisers have reported a 30% increase in click-through-rates (CTR) in the last year by using these extensions. Location and review extensions are seeing the highest CTR increases, and are extremely important for hospitals in-particular.

Hospital care is usually received locally, therefore, including a location link makes your hospital more relevant and accessible in a search.

Likewise, review extensions establish credibility. Patients want to receive quality care and if your hospital has great reviews, then seeing the high reviews beside your ad can make your hospital stand out among the competition.
It’s important to note that adding these extensions do increase the cost-per-click of your ads.

Without a strong knowledge on how Google works, the return on investment tends to be minimal. The only way to keep your hospital ahead is to join your competitors in competing for relevant Google Adwords.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. 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!

Marketing Your Hospital to the New Generation

Marketing to Millenials There is no doubt that in today’s digital world that marketing your hospital has evolved to include more than just traditional marketing and advertising efforts. Today, everything from search engine optimization to social media plays a role in getting people to choose your hospital over the competition.

While Millennials are likely not the majority of cardiac, cancer, and some other service lines, they are your future patients and often assist their parents and grandparents in making key healthcare decisions, often doing the research online for their parents and grandparents.

Be Social

Statistics show that social media is essential for reaching the younger generation.

Did you know that 90% of 18 to 24-year-olds trust healthcare-related information if it is shared by someone they are connected to on social media? (Statistic provided by Search Engine Land.) Therefore, it is essential that your hospital is not only active on social media platforms, but that you should also encourage happy patients to mention your hospital on social networks.

Despite this statistic, only approximately 26% of hospitals within the United States are active on social media (statistic provided by DC Interactive Group). Social media isn’t going away – if your hospital is not active on these growing platforms, now is the time to start.

Monitor Reviews

Before determining which hospital to visit or doctor to use, most Millennials search online for reviews and other, relevant information about the doctor or hospital. Therefore, it is essential that someone is monitoring and responding to online reviews not only for each of your hospitals, but also each of your doctors.

Fortunately, there are several tools that allow you to quickly and efficiently monitor reviews across the Internet, providing you with real-time emails to notify you of new reviews.

Use Online Advertising

In addition to being social and monitoring reviews, you can help improve the overall recognition of your hospital through affordable online advertising. There are a variety of ways to have your hospital and doctor profiles to show up across the Internet – plus, it is incredibly affordable when compared to traditional advertising methods.

Not only can you track the results, but you can also choose which websites your ads appear on, who sees your ads (by choosing demographics), and the geographical location that you are targeting.

At the end of the day, with Millennials relying on the Internet when choosing which hospitals and doctors to trust, it is important that your hospital is showing up online. Get active on social media, monitor and respond to reviews, and use the power of online advertising to help your hospital stay in the mind of your target audience.

 

Contact Jimmy Warren to learn how you can better market your hospital and monitor your reviews online.

 


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. 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 grandkids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

Hospital Advertising: Are Banner Ads Really Effective?

Perhaps banner ads have become so ubiquitous they are ineffective. They certainly aren’t very creative.

155425841Web banner ads have been around for 18 years and are the standard for web advertising.  As all other marketers, healthcare marketers have used them to create a web presence for their hospitals.  But are they effective?

Surely we can all agree they are mostly devoid of creativity.  And space limitations prohibit providing very much brand information.  And the scary thing is that some research indicates they are mostly ignored.

Digiday published some rather alarming facts about online advertising.  Here are some of them:

1.  Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)


2.  That’s 1 trillion more than 2009. (ComScore)

3.  The typical Internet user is served 1,707 banner ads per month. (Comscore)


4.  Click-through rates are .1 percent. (DoubleClick)


5.  The 468 x 60 banner has a .04 percent click rate. (DoubleClick)


6.  An estimated 31 percent of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)


7.  8 percent of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks. (ComScore)


8.  Up to 50 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)


9.   Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)


10. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. (Solve Media)


11. 15 percent of people trust banner ads completely or somewhat, compared to 29 percent for TV ads. (eMarketer)


12. 34 percent don’t trust banner ads at all or much, compared to 26 percent for magazine ads. (eMarketer)


13. 25-34-year olds see 2,094 banner ads per month. (ComScore)


14. 445 different advertisers delivered more than a billion banner ads in 2012. (ComScore)

These are startling statistics.  I would not go so far as saying banner ads have no value for hospitals.  Simple brand awareness and brand recall are valuable.  But we should be aware of the limitations of web banner advertising and invest your hospital’s media dollars accordingly.

Tools for Monitoring What’s Being Said About Your Hospital

104762790Use monitoring tools to know what people are saying about your hospital and respond appropriately.

People are most likely talking about your hospital.  Conversations are occurring about your brand.  Do you know what they are saying?  You should.  Some marketers had rather not know.  They prefer to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist.  This is neither good nor responsible.  Conversations about your hospital are happening and you should know what they are.

Sarah Johnson in an article for intuit mentioned three important and instructive points about knowing what people are saying about your hospital.

1.    Set up alerts and conduct regular web searches.

At the very least, set up Google Alerts for the name of your hospital or healthcare organization  (put quotation marks around any proper names to get the most accurate result).  In addition use tools on social media sites to search those particular sites.  With these two, you will receive notices of mentions of your hospital on the web and on the social media sites you monitor.

2.    Invest in a monitoring tool.

The alerts and searches mentioned above are not totally effective.  Mentions often escape their filters so it’s recommended to invest in a monitoring tool that does a far better job than Google Alert.  The good monitoring services will monitor and report mentions of your hospital across the entire web and across all public sections of social media sites.  Some to consider include Social Comply, Trackur and Radian6.

3.    Make people feel they’re being heard.

It’s important your hospital is perceived as responsive and caring.  Respond to issues that appear and to disgruntled consumers.  Take the disgruntled person offline, express your concern and offer to make it right, if possible.  If not, assure the complainant that you will do as much as possible to insure the perceived wrong is not repeated.

It may be important to also make a conciliatory statement in the same venue to show your hospital has a heart and a concern about any dissatisfaction and state that steps will be taken to correct any issues.

It is also important to show appreciation.  When good things are stated, acknowledge it and be appreciative.

People are talking about your hospital.   And as a brand advocate for your hospital you need to know about those conversations.  Monitor, listen, learn and be proactive.  Your hospital’s brand reputation may depend on it.

 

 

Healthcare Marketing: Do Consumers Prefer Digital or Traditional?

Digital or traditional media? Consumers prefer one but marketers the other.

New mediums and vehicles show up practically every day.  And as healthcare marketers we are always looking for an edge.  Something to create an advantage over our competitors.  And like other marketers, we are exploring digital options more and more.  And why not?  That’s where consumers are.  On the internet, on social networks, on blog sites and hundreds of other places that are digital.  But is that where are emphasis should be?vintage radio

A recent study by Adobe found that 51% of marketers now believe online advertising as more effective than traditional forms.  And although, the percentage of healthcare marketers may not be that high, we have certainly given it a lot more attention over the past few years.  But the surprising part of the study found that almost 70% of consumers identified TV adverting as the most effective.  Consumers preferred traditional advertising to digital by a large margin.

EMarketer, commenting on the Adobe study, noted that marketers prefer digital because it’s more easily measureable.  But it’s important not to confuse measurability with effectiveness.

But even this creates challenges.  Traditional mediums have become increasingly fragmented.  Just look at television, with the proliferation of cable channels and the option to view TV programming on-demand at later times than the original airing and the use of PCs and mobile devices to consume TV content.  And even those who are watching on a traditional television set, it is estimated that 77% of them are multi-tasking by simultaneously using a PC, a tablet or a smart phone.

So the challenges are enormous.  But the study from Adobe would suggest we should not abandon traditional mediums.  The study found that what consumers really want is to be told a unique story and not just to be sold.

As healthcare marketers, the challenge is to understand consumer preferences and their media habits as well as media and device fragmentation.  And with that information discover how to effectively tell smart and compelling brand stories across multiple channels.  It’s the combination of creatively using multiple media channels to drive home our brand’s story and make it meaningful and memorable that will be most effective.