Savvy Healthcare Marketers are Focusing on These Top Digital Trends

healthcare marketing tactics

As a marketer, you have a lot of tactics at your disposal to reach and engage your target audiences. Wish you knew which ones were gaining traction with your peers and competitors? Well, according to Geonetric’s recent Digital Marketing for Healthcare survey, healthcare marketers are picking up email marketing, blogs, Pinterest and content marketing in 2014.

So let’s see why these tactics are topping the digital marketing charts:

  • Consumers want more personalized messaging and email marketing is a great way to send more targeted messages. After languishing in the shadow of social media up-and-comers in recent years, email marketing will be added by an astounding 15% of health systems in 2014.
  • Consumers (and Google!) want fresh content and blogs are a great way to go. Frequent updates, strong SEO and a casual voice makes this format more engaging for health consumers and more sharable to boot!
  • Consumers want sharable content and Pinterest is a great way share stories in a visual way. According to the survey, 48% of hospital respondents currently use Pinterest, with (10%) indicting they plan to have it in the next 6 months.
  • Marketers want measurement and digital channels make it easier to see what’s working – allowing health systems to be more nimble with their marketing.

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The Hidden Power of YouTube

YouTube in Browser Window

If you’re looking to build an audience, YouTube is a great place start. After a few minutes of surfing around the popular video site, you’ll notice many successful individuals and organizations making a name for themselves on YouTube alone (some don’t even have a real website!).

Even more surprising? Some of the most popular videos are not exactly “professional” productions. (Thumbs up, everybody! Rock and roll!)

The Evolution of YouTube

If you spend much time in your YouTube account these days, you’ll notice many more options and features for content creators. YouTube has evolved into a true platform for content creators to build their audience and make a name for themselves or their brand.

So, how can you use YouTube to build your healthcare organization’s following?

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Twitter’s Possible Profile Redesign: What You Need to Know & Actions to Take Right Now

nverhey-twitter-redesign-2014_1

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.

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Show Your Community Manager Some Appreciation!


Betty White Facebook and the Twitter GifToday 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.

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Geonetric’s Top Five Webinars, Blog Posts, and Tweets of 2013

Happy 2014 From Geonetric

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 webinarseHealth Spotlight eNewsletter, eHealth articleswhite papers, eBooks and on Twitter.

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Attention Healthcare Marketers: You’ve Lost Control of the Conversation

ATT vs TMobile on Twitter

Take off your “work hat” for a moment.

Let’s pretend you’re having a routine physical at your local medical clinic. The day has come, so you drive to the clinic, follow all of the instructions you’re given, and proceed with the appointment.

Unfortunately, you had to wait an extra 30 minutes and when you finally got in, you felt rushed by the staff at the clinic. Your doctor was pleasant, but rushed, and the billing situation afterwards left a lot to be desired.

And then? You do it. You let your entire social media following know just how disappointing your experience was. From Facebook to Twitter, your message knows no bounds. Oh, and like many savvy social media users, you were sure to name the clinic and tag them in all of your posts too.

You wouldn’t be alone. These days when someone has a poor experience with a brand or organization, the first thing they fire up is their smartphone.

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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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Fresh Perspectives: Build a Rewarding Long-Term Patient Experience

arms lifting ornate mirror into air

As healthcare marketers we enjoy being in control. So coming to grips with the fact that sometimes we’re not in control can feel quite uncomfortable. This growing reality was difficult to swallow a few years ago and even more so today. We need to embrace the fact we can’t control every single piece of the consumer experience. Sounds radical doesn’t it? Not being in control goes against the very nature of who we are as human beings and how we strive to become even more valuable as marketers to our communities.

Does giving up control mean losing control of your story or message? I submit to you, if done correctly, it does not.

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Question: Who Should Own Social Media? Answer: Yes.


nails and thread

Last week I had the great pleasure to attend the Mayo-Ragan Healthcare Social Media Conference in Rochester, MN and I found myself amazed at how far some healthcare organizations have come in their use of social media. However, while there are trailblazers, many more healthcare organizations are still trying to figure out how the proliferation of channels fits into their communications strategy, and how to be effective given their limited resources and ownership of social.

The conference format was heavy on case studies, but often light on models and theory, so what follows are my personal insights from the sessions:

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Dr. Mom Blog Engages Health Consumers

Do a little research and you’ll find a lot of reasons why your business should blog: acquire more customers, share your expertise and create a two-way conversation with your audience. When Dean, an integrated healthcare system in Madison, WI, was looking into ways to further engage its primary target audience, they turned to Geonetric to help them.

As we explored options, we could have taken a more traditional approach to this request. Instead, we found a unique solution that allowed Dean to put together a section of content that resembles a blog. Using a product called Disqus, we are able to add a commenting feature to any page the custom template is applied on. Dean wrote the content on these pages to resemble blog posts. Because the Disqus code has been added to a VitalSite template, Dean was also able to take advantage of VitalSite’s SmartPanels to cross-promote other meaningful content within these pages.

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Google Giveth and Google Taketh Away

Not Provide in Analytics

There’s been a noticeable increase in the level of griping by SEOs about the way that Google has been treating them. The complaints are mostly focused on the rapid growth of (Not Provided) keywords from Google searches. While SEOs struggle with the changing tools available to them, what Google is trying to accomplish is much larger than frustrating the search optimization business – they intend to fundamentally change the way we approach our organic search strategies and I believe they’ll succeed.

(Not Provided)

About two years ago, Google started to slowly shut off our ability as website managers to see what searches brought visitors to our sites. Google decided to hide the keywords used by anyone using the search engine through an encrypted (https) connection and clicking an organic (non-paid) result – primarily those logged into Google when doing a search.

Their argument was that this is a privacy issue. Google explained that they should protect the browsing habits of anyone using an encrypted search. These users wanted greater privacy – that’s WHY they used an encrypted page, after all. Functionally, this meant anyone logged into Google for any reason including Gmail, Google Voice, YouTube or Google Analytics would now have their keyword searches hidden from destination websites.

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Join Us on Google+


We’ve had a lot to say recently about the growing importance of Google+ in the digital strategy of healthcare organizations. In fact, it should be part of any organization’s digital strategy. Including ours.

Because of this, I’d like to announce Geonetric’s new Google+ Page. Come add us to your circles, and to the circles of the pages you manage. We’re always glad to reciprocate and look forward to continuing the conversation on this channel!

Google+ Is Not An Optional Component of Your Digital Strategy

google-plus

Ahhh… Google+, the social media property that we all explored eagerly, and then ignored. Neither as convenient as Twitter, nor as familiar as Facebook… for a good long while, nobody really knew how to use it for business.

But that has changed. And if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to dust off your Google+ account and do some work.

This is because Google has decided to make Google+ the lynchpin for several of their endeavors. Many new features from Google require it:
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