David Meerman Scott Embraces Agile, Sort of…

agile-methods

Doesn’t it sound fun to go diving in the Caribbean or to go camping alongside penguins? It does! And the people who market these types of adventures do so in creative ways that don’t feel like marketing. They create great content – the kind of content that consumers love to read and want to experience themselves.

And, according to David Meerman Scott’s opening keynote at the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies conference, healthcare can market this way too. No, you don’t need sand or ocean water or even penguins.

What you need is to write interesting content. How you ask? The key is relevance.

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CMS Training from Geonetric: It’s Like the ‘Easy’ Button Really Does Exist!

easy-button-cms-training

Remember the easy button? One simple push and everything just magically works out! Well, that’s the approach Geonetric takes with training new clients on our VitalSite content management system (CMS).

Learning new software can be overwhelming for some people. I understand that feeling based on my own experiences installing new software on my personal computer. And sometimes installing software is easy the easy part — figuring out how to use it can be a time consuming endeavor!

That’s why one of the first steps after you partner with Geonetric is to learn how to use VitalSite, our proprietary CMS. We provide our new clients with personalized, one-on-one training. We believe that making sure our clients begin the process with a real person on the phone to help them learn the product increases the speed of their adoption and helps them move forward with a higher degree of confidence.

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Enhancing Web Content Through Storytelling

great-storytelling-in-healthcareblogDrama. Likable characters. A happy ending.

Keys to a great story, right? They can also be keys to compelling Web content – as we learned last month at Camp Reboot, Geonetric’s ninth annual eHealth Symposium.

For those of you who weren’t able to join us, here’s a recap of a presentation from a member of our content team:

Great storytelling can expand your healthcare brand, according to Michelle LeCompte, Geonetric’s director of content services. Stories capture attention, connect with the reader and continue to resonate after they’re told. Stories engage our emotions – and have been proven to convert behavior. Michelle shared:

“Brands that connect with their buyers on an emotional level will see two times more impact than marketers trying to sell functional value.”

Her point? When it comes to marketing, feelings win out over facts every time.

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VitalSite Notes: An On-Page Space for Your Editorial Conversation

page-notes-image

With the recent release of VitalSite 8.0, we introduced Notes, a helpful new feature designed for the teams and individuals responsible for planning, creating and maintaining the content of hospital websites.

Because Notes are right next to the content they describe (but are visible only to administrators and never to the public), content teams can easily communicate with each other about the pages, panels, providers, services, locations or other VitalSite objects they work on and govern. If you’ve worked on websites for any amount of time, you know how helpful this type of capability can be.

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Taking Hold of Your Hospital’s Web Content

cycle

Have any of these ever happened to you?

  • You discovered new content (or entire websites) halfway through a project?
  • You struggled to decide what content was in or out of scope for a project?
  • You were afraid to look at some of the content on your site out of fear of what you might find?
  • You’re constantly debating whether you have too little or too much content?
  • You spent more time developing content than anticipated?

If you’ve worked with websites for more than a couple of months, you can probably relate to some of these situations. If you’ve been around for a couple of years, you’ve probably experienced them all. If these problems are so common, how do we wind up in these situations?

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Geonetric Clients Really Like Us!

When I review the results of our quarterly client satisfaction survey, I feel a lot like Sally Field felt when she won the Oscar® for Best Actress in 1985.

“This time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now you like me!”

There is no denying the fact that our clients like us. And that’s a really great feeling!

To put some numbers behind those emotions (because we’re all about the data!), this quarter’s survey again surpassed our targets for both participation level AND satisfaction ranking.

  • 72% of our clients completed the survey, slightly higher than our 70% goal.
  • Clients ranked us at 5.21 on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest), well above our target of 5.0.

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6 Resources Everyone in the Search Marketing Industry Should Be Using

ace-up-your-seo-sleeve

One question Geonetric hears from clients is, “How do you keep up with all these changes in SEO, PPC, and social media?” Good question!

I shared my reading list with attendees of Geonetric’s 2014 eHealth Client Symposium: Camp Reboot, and thought others may benefit from this list as well. A word of caution: these blogs will turn you into a search marketing geek in no time flat.

So, what do I read in my free time to keep up with Google, Bing and the other cast characters in search and social media? Here’s my current reading list:

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Analyze Your Videos with YouTube Analytics

Screenshot of Geonetric's YouTube Channel

We all know the importance of YouTube on the Web today. It’s a go-to destination for many users looking for entertainment, how-to and health-related videos. Knowing who is watching your videos, how long they watch, and where they watch can be very valuable, especially as you make content creation choices.

Luckily, YouTube is providing more and more data to channel managers via YouTube Analytics. You can pull all sorts of data about the users who view your YouTube content on your channel or across the Web. You’ll find data such as:
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Don’t Get Left Behind: Twitter’s New Profile Design Rolls Out

new twitter profile header

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.

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Measuring Your Content Investment

cost-benefits-content-marketing-roi

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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Rating Healthcare Rating Systems

rating-healthcare

We know patients want to choose providers that deliver the highest quality of care. They tell us so in survey after survey, after all. The trouble is – how do healthcare providers tell them they’re good or, at the very least, better than local competition?

The business of communicating quality is a tough one. There is no one clear definition of what constitutes quality healthcare. I think this surprises many people not involved in the field, but those of us who spend our time here realize the complexities of our discipline.

Every specialty has its own elements of quality. But even within a specialty, there are many different ways organizations measure what quality means to them. The number of cases performed can be important, the training the care team has completed may be a factor, adherence to best of breed practices and protocols may be the key as can be the high tech tools available at the facility.

Add to this that no two patients are alike – arriving with different levels of progression with a disease, differing basic levels of overall health and a range of comorbities, all of which adds layers to the quality picture. With all of this complexity, you begin to see the difficulty in delivering solid quantitative measures of the relative quality of, for example, cardiology programs.

The quality data that’s reported to government agencies is little help here. Truly, most patients would be shocked that one of the key metrics for the quality of a cardiology program is how long it takes for a patient with symptoms of a cardiac event to receive an aspirin!

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Building a Democratic Workplace at Geonetric

worldblu certification

Today Geonetric was certified as a Democratic Workplace by WorldBlu. We’re proud to be a company that values its employees and actively works to create such a positive workplace culture.

Geonetric has always been a great place to work. About 18 months ago, we took that a step further – we said “great culture” has to mean more than just amenities like free food and a flexible work environment. So we eliminated our formal management hierarchy and instead created self-organizing, self-managing teams. That was a pretty major step toward a democratic workplace, even before we knew that was a “thing”.

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Google’s Universal Analytics Arrives. VitalSite’s Ready.

Google Universal Analytics Graphic

Well, it’s official. Google’s Universal Analytics (UA), the next generation of the ubiquitous Web analytics tool, is now officially out of beta and ready for prime time. According to Google, “all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics are now available in the [Universal Analytics] product, including Remarketing and Audience (Demographic) reporting.” This is good news for those of us interested in taking the plunge, but unwilling to sacrifice any of the functionality we’ve come to depend on in the classic Google Analytics (GA).

Of course, it’s not just about feature parity between old and new. From custom dimensions and metrics to new approaches to cross-domain (and sub-domain) tracking, there are a bevy of new features and capabilities in Universal Analytics that will be of interest to most Web marketers and webmasters.

If you’re a Google-watcher, you’ve no doubt been keeping your eye on Universal Analytics for some time. And if you aren’t a Google-watcher, rest assured that we’ve been watching on your behalf. In fact, we’ve been planning for this announcement for quite some time.

That’s why the just-released VitalSite 7.0 includes a new Site Root Script Manager built specifically with Google’s Universal Analytics in mind.

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Value, Release Frequency and VitalSite CMS

vitalsite 7 cms

A number of years ago we took pride in the fact that we released VitalSite updates every quarter. Not only was it a significant differentiator from other software developers who struggled to deliver even one release a year, but frequent releases just seemed like the right thing to do. Why? Quarterly updates allowed us more opportunities to help our clients manage their top performing hospital websites. And that’s hard to do when you have to wait a year or more to take advantage of new features.

Over the last few years we’ve been resolute in our commitment to frequently delivering software, and the rate at which we release updates has increased manyfold. In fact, we now consider a quarterly release cadence to be slow and often symptomatic of problems on software development teams. Such problems can be the result of:

  1. A software development team that is incapable of responding quickly to changing market needs, or of quickly deploying fixes and updates to clients. This can be because of anything from code quality to management problems. Regardless of the cause, it should be considered a warning sign for many types of software.
  2. A vendor who has decided to withhold valuable changes and updates from their clients until the marketing team decides that they have ‘enough’ new functionality for them to bundle it all in a release and promote it in the market. This approach is common among software vendors who just want to rack up new sales and have little regard for existing clients.

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