For years healthcare marketers have followed this plan when developing marketing campaigns. Countless hours are spent putting a comprehensive marketing plan together that starts out by listing all the tactics that will be used to attract prospects. From there creative is developed to tie all the messaging together which leads to a conversion point where the prospect is hopefully converted into a patient.
The conversion point is the most important part of a marketing campaign. So why not focus on that element first and work backwards from there? That is exactly what Ben Dillon, Geonetric’s vice president, introduces in his “Produce Marketing That Matters” article, which appeared in the October 2013 issue of Healthcare Marketing Report.
In this article, you’ll learn lots of tips that will enhance your efforts, like how to:
- Focus on conversions to help prove the value of marketing efforts
- Apply agile marketing principals to marketing campaigns
- Improve landing pages and types of strong conversion points
- Make constant and rapid adjustments to marketing strategies
- Set tangible goals should be set before campaign timelines
In his Ask the Expert column, “What Are the Top Web Design Trends Today?,” which appeared in the April 2014 issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, Geonetric’s Vice President, Ben Dillon, details the top design trends influenced by responsive design.
In this article, Ben covers:
- Why so many healthcare organizations are focusing on mobile-first design
- Why flat design is one of the most visible trends coming from responsive design
- What elements make up the visual storytelling design trend
- How contemporary design and the return to minimalism influence website design
- What techniques healthcare can leverage that are being borrowed from other Web experiences
Be sure to check out this article if you’re planning a redesign in the near future.
Back in February I gave a head’s up that Twitter was experimenting with a profile design. At that point only profiles deemed ‘early adopters’ received the new design and Twitter recorded how those users interacted and utilized it. Apparently Twitter liked what they saw; they’ve rolled the new profile design out to all Twitter profile pages.
Most marketers use Twitter through APIs like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or the Twitter mobile app. To apply the new profile design on your account or the accounts you manage, you need to log in to Twitter’s actual website. A prompt will appear in a blue box encouraging you to take a brief tour of the new design. The prompt highlights the major visual changes of the redesign including:
- Bigger profile header image (recommended size: 1500×500 pixels)
- Bigger profile image (recommended size: 400×400 pixels)
- Pinning a Tweet to the top of your feed
But there is more to the new design than what you’ll find in Twitter’s tour. To save you time, I made a list of action items you should apply to all your Twitter accounts right away.
Twitter gained popularity as a micro-blogging, minimalist social sharing platform focused on text-based content. The design changes they are experimenting with favor what we’ve been predicting all along: social media content is going to be increasingly visual. Twitter is trying to find a balance between keeping their current users happy while still making enough changes to attract and engage new users who are familiar with sites like Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest — which are all image-friendly.
Back in January, Twitter announced that it was “rolling out a refreshed twitter.com reflecting the look and feel of the iOS & Android apps.” The initial redesign included a white navigation bar across the top of the site showing the same options available on the mobile Twitter application. Twitter also adjusted the site layout on the Home, Connect and Discover sections to reflect the mobile design. The changes were relatively minor and made transitioning between mobile and desktop user interfaces a seamless experience.
In February, Twitter has been testing out a dramatically different profile design with a small group of users. It’s not certain if this profile redesign will roll out to all Twitter users or not — but it could. Even if the redesign doesn’t happen soon, it’s still important to be aware that anyone who is in this group of test accounts not only sees their profile with the redesign applied but all profiles on Twitter as well (including yours!). My personal profile (@nverhey) was one of those accounts and I’m able to check out the redesign and all of its features.
Today is the fifth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day! Almost every organization big and small has some form of community manager. Traditionally the role of community manager applies to anyone who interacts with the public representing their organization. Most commonly this role is associated with someone who manages the organization’s social media channels. Whenever you interact with a brand online, there is (hopefully) a community manager on the other end responding to you in a timely manner.
When I get asked what I do for Geonetric I typically don’t respond with “Community Manager” simply because it’s not a widely recognized title. If I do, most people hear the word “manager” and instantly assume I manage a team of marketers (which isn’t the case since we don’t have managers at Geonetric). Instead I tell people that I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist. The broader title is a better representation of what I do since very few community managers like me just do that one role (unless you work for McDonalds or other very large corporation).
Community managers often wear multiple hats at their organizations. We have a hand in public relations, customer service, content marketing, marketing strategy, research, analytics, branding, and can touch many other departments in an organization beyond marketing.
Before looking ahead sometimes it’s important to learn from the past. Taking a look at the popular topics from webinars, blog posts and tweets from the past year provides a snap shot at past trends. Content marketing, social media and search engine optimization continue to be hot topics for healthcare marketers. Geonetric will be here throughout 2014 to keep you informed through our GeoVoices blog, free monthly webinars, eHealth Spotlight eNewsletter, eHealth articles, white papers, eBooks and on Twitter.
Natural language search has been around for quite a while – ever use AskJeeves.com or WolframAlpha? But the shift from keyword-based search to natural language comprehension has gained much more attention since the release of virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and mobile search applications such as Google Now in 2012.
Throughout 2013, other tech giants have made moves to accommodate the growing natural language search trend as well. In March, Facebook released their natural language search engine Graph Search. Then in August Google announced Hummingbird, their latest search algorithm update. Both Graph Search and Hummingbird aim to not only understand what the searcher is asking but provide accurate and relevant search results to them. With the announcement yesterday that Yahoo has acquired natural language processing technology SkyPhase (most likely to keep up with competitors), it’s time to discuss what exactly natural language search is all about.
Ninety-three percent of marketers will be maintaining or increasing how much they are spending on social media advertising in 2014, according to a new report from eMarketer. But where should healthcare marketers be focusing their attentions to get the most bang for their buck, not to mention their valuable time?
Social media strategy in 2014 will shift focus away from increasing the number of likes/followers your brand has to engaging your target audience through organic interactions. Marketers will need to adapt quickly across many social media channels in order to incorporate micro-video, image-centric content and native advertising into the mix. And finally, if you haven’t built out your brand’s Google+ profile yet you are already behind.
Your marketing message isn’t just going up against your competitors’ when it comes to standing out to your target audience. Noise from friends, colleagues, strangers and other brands are all on the same digital channels and getting in the way. So how do you stand out? How do you succeed in this type of environment?
The secret isn’t to go viral – it’s about connecting.
Geonetric was named one of the Coolest Places to Work this morning by the Corridor Business Journal along with 23 other companies from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor. Before each company accepted their award, a one-minute video played highlighting the culture of that company. The video below was played before Ben got up to accept the award on behalf of Geonetric.
The video does a great job highlighting was makes Geonetric cool. It could easily have gone longer than one minute. Especially when it listed the part about the employees being what really makes the company rock. Here are some other things that we didn’t have time to include in the video:
- We are all about candid, constructive criticism and praise between peers and co-workers.
- Managers don’t improve team performance – teams do.
- Our company-wide monthly meetings are all about transparency.
- We have a no-hierarchy peer-accountable culture.
- Flexibility in our work hours enables us to produce exceptional work.
- It’s OK to have fun at work.
Sound like you’d fit right in? Check out our current job openings and browse the site to learn more about us. If you don’t see a job that matches your talents, send us your resume anyways! We’re always looking for bright, dedicated employees.
With the dramatic rise of mobile-enabled devices, healthcare marketers are looking for new ways to connect with mobile users. Stand-alone mobile sites and mobile apps just aren’t cutting it.
It’s time to consider a whole new approach to the mobile Web. One that is much more efficient for healthcare marketers to maintain and improves the mobile experience for visitors to your website.
It’s called responsive design.
Responsive design enables a website to automatically adjust to the device being used. Every site visitor has an optimal experience regardless of whether they are accessing the website with a Smartphone, tablet or on a desktop computer.
Geonetric’s Vice President Ben Dillon shares how Cone Health and Rush-Copley Medical Center leverage responsive design in his latest article “Connecting With Mobile Users: Responsive Design Offers a New Approach” which appeared in Issue 2, 2013 of the Healthcare Strategy Alert! published by the Forum for Healthcare Strategists.
Check out the article and see how responsive design helped these healthcare organizations meet their online goals.
If you are a non-profit headquartered in Linn County, IA we encourage you to apply for Operation Overnight by July 1, 2013. During last year’s Operation Overnight, four non-profits received brand new websites built by Geonetric’s experienced Web designers, developers and marketers. This year, it could be you we help!
In case you need more incentive to apply, here’s a sneak peak at some of the people who would be working on your site and why they think having a new website would help you.
“Having a presence on the Web is one thing. Having a high quality presence on the Web is another. Our teams will strive once again to build an experience for your site visitors that is better than what you can get elsewhere… and for free!” – Kevin Reiter
“Websites are becoming increasingly essential to the success of your mission. During Operation Overnight we promise to treat your mission as our own. At Geonetric we have experience producing strategic Web communication tools. Results? Ask any of the four non-profits we helped during Operation Overnight 2012. This year will be no different. Now it’s your chance! Apply today! Come October 18, 2013 you might be the one bragging about your new website. Let the good times roll!” – Kevin Stejskal
“It’s a no brainer – if you don’t apply we can’t select you! This opportunity isn’t like playing the lottery. There’s actually a good chance you could get a new website. You’ll find our application process quick and easy. Just tell us things you already know about your organization and how we can help create the website of your dreams.” – Molly Kovarik
“How many more lives could your organization touch and bless through a new website? If chosen, Operation Overnight could be your organization’s opportunity to expand its Web presence at no cost! Take five minutes to apply at www.operationovernight.com and tell us why your organization is the perfect fit for this gift.” – Anne Ohrt
Web writing has a different set of rules and its own best practices. Effective Web content helps attract new visitors to your site, tell your unique story, build relationships, lead visitors to take the next step and promote your services. But where do you start?
Ben Dillon, VP and eHealth Evangelist at Geonetric, goes beyond just the basics of Web writing in Get to the Point: Web Writing for Healthcare. In this white paper, Ben answers your top content questions and provides proven tips and tricks to help you:
- Write effective Web copy
- Establish your voice and tone
- Create a Content Marketing Program
- Structure your information architecture
- Learn the latest in content marketing trends
If you haven’t heard of Vine yet, you soon will. Just as Instagram turned sharing filtered photos into a social craze, Vine is poised to revolutionize video clips. Vine users create and share videos that are six seconds or less which are then put on a continuous loop.
Twitter has been the biggest player in the growing popularity of Vine since it acquired the application in October 2012 and launched the free mobile version for iPhone in late January 2013. Just as Twitter’s success is attributed to the character limits imposed on status updates, having a six second time limit to their videos should benefit Vine. Vine’s connection with Twitter will undoubtedly help the application thrive and spread quickly to other social networks as well.
So now that you know what Vine is – what’s it mean for healthcare marketing?
Vine offers great marketing opportunities for your hospital or healthcare organization. Adding Vine to your content marketing toolbox will help add variety to your marketing messaging on social networks. Another advantage to Vine is the simplicity it offers. Instead of investing a lot of time into making a “professional” video for YouTube, you can put together a quick-hit, high-impact video.
Have a blood drive coming up? Maybe you can post a Vine video featuring a few people whose lives have been saved by blood donations saying ‘thank you.’ Or maybe you want to promote weight loss surgery? A quick patient testimonial would be a great way to compliment a tweet about that service. The creative possibilities are endless!
Since Vine is still a new-comer on the social media scene, very few (if any) early adopters are healthcare marketers. If you want to talk more about Vine or other ways to differentiate your organization online, feel free to get in contact with us. We’re always ready to help our clients stand out from the crowd.