We’ve crunched the numbers, donned our data scientist hats and drafted the copy. And now that the 2016 Digital Marketing Trends in Healthcare Marketing Survey is available, I’m excited to dive in and share some thoughts on what the data reveals. There’s a lot that healthcare marketers will find of interest in the results, but some of the things that I find exciting relate to the changing trends in healthcare marketing, how these fit (or don’t) into the larger forces shaping B2C marketing, and what takeaways are important for healthcare marketers going forward.
The problem is real, and one you’re likely familiar with: your digital marketing budget is supporting an increasing number of activities and you’re under growing pressure to connect the top of the funnel to the bottom, delivering business value in terms your CFO and CEO care about.1 What tactics do you prioritize if you’re going to actually start running marketing as a revenue center? How will you measure your progress and communicate it throughout the organization? For healthcare marketing leaders it’s more important than ever to find answers that help you solve the new and evolving marketing puzzle you’re faced with.
Note: The 2016 survey is now closed, but you can still sign up to be notified when the results are published.
Part of my job as a strategist — and no doubt part of yours as well — is to maintain an awareness of how marketing is changing, how the industry is changing and how our competitive environment is changing. I call this the “market context” in which we work, and the fact that it’s ever-evolving is what makes this profession so interesting.
An understanding of the market context is also essential when deciding where — and where not to — invest our marketing dollars. These decisions are at the heart of strategy, and can result in growth for your healthcare brand (and patient census) or stagnation while your competition eats away at your market share.
And this is why I look forward to the comprehensive Digital Marketing Survey we conduct every few years. Not only does it collect strategic insights from across the healthcare marketing industry, but we invest in making sure all healthcare marketers have access to the resulting analysis.
Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your success is as important as choosing the right partner, but it seems that with each passing day, the decision gets more and more complex.
Depending on your specific situation you may have internal politics to navigate, and balancing the disparate agendas and opinions within your organization can be no small task. Whether it’s an IT group eager to showcase their capabilities to the rest of the organization, the opinions of influential stakeholders in the C-Suite, or even your very own board of directors, internal stakeholders can easily turn a decision quagmire into an outright minefield.
There’s a new project in town that promises to influence how your content performs in search and how your users experience and consume it. If you’re a healthcare marketer responsible for the search and experience side of digital strategy, you’re going to want to keep it on your radar. Early indications already suggest that it has the potential to reshape how you publish content to the web.
So what is this new project? It’s the new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project.
Marketing campaigns aren’t easy. In such a noisy world it takes a lot of energy, talent and persistence to even get noticed by the audience you want. More still to get them to your landing page. And once there, the last thing you want is for them to bounce right off because of simple-to-avoid mistakes. And yet that’s often exactly what happens.
While landing page optimization is both an art and a science, there’s no excuse to flub the basics. Let’s walk through a few common problems that are easy to spot and resolve.
There’s been a tremendous amount of interest amongst healthcare marketers recently around publishing physician ratings and reviews on physician profiles. And for good reason. When done right, organizations often see a number of benefits including an SEO boost, reduced reliance on paid promotion, more engagement with physician profiles and improved patient acquisition. I covered some of this in my previous blog post, and wrote about it more extensively in our new physician promotion ebook. In this post, however, I’d like to cover a few important aspects about physician ratings and reviews you may not think about immediately.
If you’re anticipating implementing physician ratings and reviews on your website, there are some things you need to make sure you have in place before you go live. Getting these things taken care of will ensure that your physician ratings and reviews are trusted by site visitors and provide tangible value to your organization.
An important part of creating an effective physician profile includes demonstrating the physician’s skill and expertise. It’s important because consumers look for and use this critical information as they engage in the process of selecting a physician. In our Physician Promotion eBook we outline a number of ways to effectively highlight your organization’s physician’s skills and expertise, but there’s one increasingly important way that deserves its own treatment: physician ratings and reviews.
From Amazon to Netflix and beyond, consumers are increasingly accustomed to seeing evaluations of the goods and services they shop for. Often these take the form of an iconic star rating system that’s become the Internet’s at-a-glance method of conveying user satisfaction (or other subjective measure) with the product at hand. But it’s not just for shoes and movies anymore. It’s also for your physicians.
Your hospital is probably well established on Facebook. Maybe you’ve even found traction on Twitter, or are having luck with Pinterest. Social media is an effective way to engage and connect with health consumers, reaching them on platforms they routinely use to get and share information.
While most healthcare organizations are relatively good at using social media to build brand awareness, there’s still tremendous opportunity to use social media to promote physicians and fill their schedules. But doing this requires the active participation of your physicians. If you have physicians in your organization with a passion and commitment to use social media, it’s worth cultivating their skills to bring new patients in the door.
Not sure where to begin? Just want to make sure you’re on the right track? Check out our top ten tips for getting physicians involved and making sure their efforts deliver value.
As healthcare marketers, we often like to jump right to the tactics and bury ourselves in campaign work in the hopes that it will make a tangible difference. And sometimes it does. But more often than not, results are disappointingly modest, leaving us with the sense that we’re investing more and more just to maintain current performance.
Sometimes in our rush to do “stuff” or chase down the next great idea we lose focus of the fact that we’re choosing the work we do based on how clever it sounds and not by how it supports the patient journey.
The Five Things You Need to Do To Prepare for April 21
- Check your mobile traffic in Google Analytics
- Using your smartphone, look for the “mobile-friendly” tag in search results
- Check your pages with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
- Review the Mobile Usability Report in Google Webmaster Tools
- Check the Mobile User Experience score on Google PageSpeed Insights
Rather than amplifying the message that the end is nigh, I’d like to cut through the noise, describe the pending change and share some of the concrete steps I’m taking to figure out what sites are well poised for the change, and which ones need to be worked on.
We’re living in a world of change. More so every day. Industry consolidation, legislative mandates, and new competition in your market means that a physician promotion strategy starting and ending with “just being there” is increasingly irrelevant. Let’s face it, yesterday’s local competition has grown increasingly savvy, and tomorrow’s competition for patients may very well come from the very pharmacies your patients used to get their prescriptions filled at. At the end of the day, the primary goal of your organization’s physician promotion strategy is as simple as it is clear: patient acquisition. In service of this goal, there are some fundamental content and SEO considerations that will help ensure your physician profiles work to bring new patients in to your organization.
Late Thursday afternoon before Labor Day, John Mueller, notable Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, dropped some news that gave some of us enough heartburn to last through the celebrations and festivities of the long weekend. Writing in a post on Google+, he revealed, “[W]e’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.”
If you read this and subsequently spent your weekend alternating between your bottle of Pepto and whatever beverage you happen to hold in your beer koozie, here’s a quick take on what happened, and what it means for your content plans going forward.