Measuring Your Content Investment

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You know how great it feels to lock in that final jigsaw puzzle piece and see the entire picture. Wouldn’t you love to capture that same warm glow when you look at the website content for your hospital or health system? Of course you would! And you can—if you apply relevant metrics that will help you discover the value of this major marketing investment. So, what does it take to measure content ROI?

Business Goals Drive the Bus

Everything starts—or should start—with your business goals, which should incorporate your users’ goals too. You can figure out what’s important to measure by understanding what you and your users want to accomplish. But stay focused. Don’t bite off more than you can chew—at least, not when you’re getting started. Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should. You don’t want to get sucked into the big black hole of tracking data for data’s sake. You want to focus on meaningful measurements in order to get results that can truly help guide the decisions you need to make about creating valuable content.

Take the Long View

Whether your healthcare organization wants more patients to pay their bills online or you’re interested in expanding your social media relationships, the key is to set up measurements that will track your goals. And it’s important to remember that you must stay in the game for the long haul. Arnie Kuenn, experienced content marketer and president of Vertical Measures, notes: “Content marketing is different from other forms of online marketing in that it does not always deliver ROI quickly. It may take weeks or months for a piece of content to be discovered by people and the search engines.” So don’t give up too early. A week’s worth of data doesn’t tell you much; a month’s worth—or a year’s worth or more—really starts to create a valuable knowledge base that can inform your next steps and make all the effort worthwhile.

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Death by Complexity in the Modern CRM

crm-complex-customizeEveryone knows customer relationship management (CRM) is important. It’s the main source behind lead conversion and revenue recognition for many companies. But using many of the CRM systems available can be difficult. Especially because out of the box, they might not fit your needs. If that’s the case, you should consider customizing the system. It’s easier than you think.

That’s the great thing about CRM systems today – they can easily be customized to your organization’s business model. However, along with the positives of easy point-and-click customizations, such as new data fields, also comes the increased risk of creating useless and unreliable data. In a recent article I read The Five Data Management Practices B2B Marketers Are Overlooking, author Derek Slayton cites research from the Aberdeen Group that says companies that actively manage their marketing data for hygiene and improved segmentation require just 64 marketing responses to generate a customer. Those that do not require 329 (industry average) or 622 (laggards) touches!

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How Can Healthcare Marketers Optimize for Natural Language Search?

Natural Language Search With iPhone Siri

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.

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5 Social Media Trends that Will Change How Healthcare Marketers Approach Strategy in 2014

5 Social Media Trends for Healthcare Marketers

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.

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Keeping Online Forms Simple


Maternity Pre-Registration Form

Who actually likes to fill out a form? What if that form is five to eight pages long? Would you finish it?

Probably not.

Online forms are created to gather information from a site visitor. It can be anything from a contact us form to a pre-registration form. Getting this information should be easy and seamless. Unfortunately, a lot of hospital websites out there throw an eight page form at the potential patient. Many site visitors will not even get to the last page to submit the form and either end up calling, or worse yet, go somewhere else for the same service you provide. We don’t want this to happen to you!

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Understanding Your Goals and Analytics Through Dashboards and Scorecards

Let’s face it, most online marketers (especially in healthcare) have trouble understanding their online goals and initiatives. Heck, a lot of organizations don’t even know what their goals are or how to generate good goals (I am not going to touch on how to generate good goals today, that’s for another post). And a lot of times, when organizations do have goals, they aren’t measurable.

One of the workshops I attended at the SHSMD Annual Conference this year in Chicago, IL was centered on dashboards and scorecards — specifically the right and wrong ways to do them and the information that should be going in each. Let me first go over what all of these different pieces are.
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How Important are Web Conversions, Really?

I was recently interviewed for an article on digital marketing. We covered a range of subjects around measuring marketing effectiveness, processes for continual improvement and how to build better ROI.

Then the whopper of a question came — how important are conversions, really? I was a little taken aback. This is someone working in hospital marketing and someone I know is very Web savvy. Isn’t this obvious? Isn’t this what we’re all working for?
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Is Dynamic Content Right for Your Hospital’s Website?

SmartPanel Personalization

The Web is a great channel for engaging health consumers, making connections and converting them into patients. It’s natural, therefore, that we’d want to tailor the digital experience based on their individual interests – an approach that’s becoming more and more popular on retail websites.

But what works well for retail isn’t necessarily useful for healthcare. People use our sites differently. Failing to recognize this can lead to a site that’s awkward, creepy or even risks HIPAA violations. So how do you know if using dynamic content is right for your hospital’s website? Let’s explore.

What makes a site dynamic?

Dynamic websites are based on content management tools where the content lives in a database rather than static files. Pages are assembled as users access them, pulling the most relevant and up-to-date information together at that moment.

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VitalSite 6.7 is Here!

Last week our engineering team released VitalSite 6.7. It contains a slew of new features, fixes and enhancements focused on helping consumers find your site and the content within it. This release includes enhancement to site search, schema.org support, and a range of tools for webmasters.

Site Search Enhancements and Schema.org Support

Screen shot of VitalSite's module search showing provider directory
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Stop Gambling with Your Marketing Dollars

Campaigns.inddMarketing channels and audience behaviors are evolving rapidly. Traditional marketing campaigns take months to implement and even longer to see tangible value. And they’re much too rigid to work in today’s fast-paced marketing environment.

Geonetric approaches marketing differently. We launch Responsive Campaigns ― campaigns that not only help healthcare marketers prove their value, but also solve many of the flaws inherent in traditional campaigns.
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Why Would You Try to “Cheat Death”?

At first I thought it was a joke. But no. As part of the re-branding effort of Gaston Memorial Hospital to CaroMont Regional Medical Center, they also launched an edgy new tag line:

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The re-branding was done by local ad agency Immortology which did nothing to convince me that the announcement in early April wasn’t just a big April fool’s joke. In fact the announcement included employees unveiling “Cheat Death” t-shirts and signing a pledge to help local residents lead healthier lives.

The backlash from the campaign was severe and the campaign was taken down within a few days — ultimately leading to the dismissal of the CEO two weeks later.

Honestly, I feel bad for the CaroMont team here. They were trying to be bold and a little controversial to get attention. Something that, quite frankly, we see too little of in healthcare marketing. Furthermore, the slogan overshadowed what appears to be a serious program intended to promote wellness and stave off disease. Again, a step that many healthcare organizations know that we need to be committing ourselves to and one that more than a few organizations give little more than lip service.

But it all went bad over two words: “Cheat Death.”

What can we learn from this?

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It’s Time to Take a New Approach to Marketing Campaigns

goldfish

Marketing is a fast-paced discipline. Every day, new tactics and opportunities for getting your message out to your target audience are uncovered and vying for budget. Which tactics are best? How do you know if you should put your eggs in the billboard basket or the PPC basket? And how do you measure these tactics in a meaningful way, tying clicks and passerby’s back to actual procedures and service line volume?

No amount of gut instinct can tell you for sure.

A New Approach

That’s why we take a different approach at Geonetric. We launch Responsive Campaigns — campaigns that are flexible, nimble and easy to adjust.

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Data Puke vs. Actionable Data

data-puke

There is a misunderstanding with some online marketers that simply believe looking at your website’s visits and pageviews is indicative of the successes or failures of your site. Really? Come on, you can do better… a lot better.

I challenge everyone to dig deeper, but not so deep that you generate data puke. Data puke is the difference between ‘Web Reporting’ and ‘Web Analysis.’ It’s a term that Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, uses heavily and it’s one that has stuck with me ever since first reading about it. In essence, most of the time Web reporting generates data puke, where Web analysis generates actionable data.

In Avinash’s blog post, The Difference Between Web Reporting And Web Analysis, he gives readers a list of 10 signs you’re doing Web analysis in hopes that you can identify data puke when you see it. While I agree with what Avinash has to say, I would like to put my own spin on this list and share with you 5 signs you are generating data puke and then give you 5 signs you are generating actionable data through performing Web analysis.
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Awareness is a Crutch When Measuring Marketing Success

awareness billboard

Healthcare marketers track consumers, communicate with them, engage with them, build relationships with them, and then convert them. That’s the true goal of marketing success.

So how is it that so many of us have come to focus on awareness as our key success measurement?  Look at our marketing today. Campaigns that say little more than “look at me, look at me!” Billboards and TV ads with no call to action. Web efforts measured by the number of visits.

Does any of that really matter? Does it move the needle of success for your organization? Does your CFO care?

The answer, of course, is “No.”
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How Metrics and Transparency Will Make You a Better Digital Marketer

Site Analytics

“You can only manage what you can measure.”

– Peter Drucker

It’s easy to get obsessed with numbers and metrics when you’re working with the Web. There’s no shortage of information about what’s happening with your website, app or campaign. The cup of data overfloweth.

For a certain set of people, and I count myself in this category, data is just fascinating. I find myself getting lost in spreadsheets and databases while attempting to tease out just one more insight.

But the point of data isn’t in the data. It’s often not even in the insights that come from the data. The point is the act of measurement itself.

Measurement creates focus. This is really the reason why we do it. This is really why it matters.

If you’re doing your metrics properly the process starts with defining goals. Aiming only matters if you know what your target looks like. So you start with goals and the goals lead to metrics.

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