Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Add Power Words To Your Headlines

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about the value of adding power words to your headlines.

Your headline is the first impression you make on a prospective reader. An eye-catching headline is a key factor in getting readers to click through to your content.

An attention-getting headline will capture the reader’s attention right away and compel them to want to find out more. Clear, concise, and original content is important, but words that appeal to their emotions is the magic ingredient to giving your visitors a reason to want to dive deeper.
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“Trigger” words can entice readers to your content, but use these words with caution because they can also trigger skepticism and distrust. Make sure your content carries through on the promise in the headline and always avoid click-baiting.  Always craft a headline that links to authentic and relevant content.

Your to-do list for today:

Posted in #HCSM

7 Essential Elements Of An Effective Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking to reach more patients online, then digital is an essential tool in your marketing strategy. The following list contains the essential elements you need to have in place to ensure your digital marketing is effective.

1. An Easy-To-Navigate Website

In the online world, your website is a virtual office location and the face of your practice. It acts as the initial “touchpoint” for potential patients. It showcases who you are and what you do.

A well-designed website can:

  • Boost your online reputation
  • Increase search engine visibility
  • Attract new patients

When visitors land on your medical practice website, they’re typically looking for something specific.  You may be surprised to learn that research has revealed that easy navigation and accessibility are more important to patients than reputability.

Users should be able to use your website intuitively. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask yourself how easy it is to find key information on your site. How many clicks does a visitor have to make to get to the information they are looking for?

Think about the information someone is searching for when they visit your site—and make it easy for them to find it. If your site contains a lot of information (as some hospital websites do) consider creating separate landing pages for specific conditions.

Further Reading: Digital Health Checkup: 10 Signs It’s Time To Redesign Your Medical Practice Website

2. Include A Blog

Want to increase your influence among healthcare consumers? Start blogging.

Blogs written by physicians, nurses, researchers, patients, and allied healthcare professionals add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation. Blogs are a super way to educate patients and keep content on your website fresh.  Marketing to patients with a blog can be one of the most effective ways a new medical practice can reach more patients. Blogging regularly increases awareness of your practice, as well as help your website rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs) thereby increasing its organic traffic.

Further Reading: 3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog

3. Content Marketing

If you’re serious about marketing your business online, you need a strategy and a plan to execute it. A content marketing strategy is a roadmap that not only tells you what you’re going to create but how you’re going to create it, when you’re going to publish it and how you’re going to promote it. It helps you create more meaningful, engaging and sustainable content.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, having a documented (i.e. written down) strategy means:

  • You’ll feel significantly less challenged by every aspect of content marketing.
  • You’ll generally consider yourself more effective in your use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels.
  • You’ll be able to justify spending a higher percentage of your marketing budget on content marketing.

4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of earning traffic from search engines organically — meaning you aren’t paying for ads or sponsored content placement.  If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices. SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines),  is a detailed and sometimes confusing process, and you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you. If you don’t want to hire someone, there are search engine optimization tools available to help you do your own SEO — and many of them are free. I’ve put together this list of the best free SEO tools out there to help you instantly improve your online marketing.

5. E-Mail Marketing

With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, the traditional email format may appear outdated. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.

Use email personalisation and segmentation based on a recipient’s interests and needs so they’re receiving information relevant to them. Send out a video, a current blog post or provide industry news that will give readers information on various topics. Be sure to plan these ahead of time so they are timely according to what’s going on at your organization or in the health industry.

6. Video Content

Video has become the predominant way people want to consume information and this goes for patients too. Information delivered via video vs. print equates to a much higher retention rate. In addition, patients who watch videos featuring a physician feel a greater level of trust. The type of video content you can create includes Q&As with physicians, patient testimonials, explainer videos, and live streaming.

Further Reading: How To Create A YouTube Channel for Your Medical Practice

7. Social Media Marketing

In the past decade, social networks have evolved from “a nice to have” add-on to a necessity for healthcare marketers.  With currently 2.8 billion social media users globally, expected to rise to almost 3 billion users by 2020, social media’s influence has still not reached its peak. It’s a dynamic environment in which new networks emerge, old networks evolve, and user bases continue to grow exponentially.

If you haven’t yet integrated social media into your marketing mix, it’s time to do so. Not only is social media marketing more affordable than traditional forms of marketing, but it’s also more accountable, with specific tracking and monitoring options at your disposal.

Further Reading: How To Develop A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

Tying It All Together

Digital marketing in healthcare is dynamic and constantly evolving  — there are many different elements to consider. If this list feels overwhelming to you, don’t feel you have to do everything all at once. The best place to start is with your website – prioritise it in your strategy and build out your digital marketing from there. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Here’s to your digital marketing success!

Posted in #HCSM

3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog

Have you started a blog for your medical practice or healthcare facility? Are you sometimes stuck for ideas when it comes to popular health topics to write about?

I’ve put together this list of places to find topic suggestions when your well of inspiration runs dry. I turn to these places when I need a fresh injection of ideas for my own content marketing and I feel sure you will find them helpful too.

1.Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a useful tool to find which popular healthcare topics people are searching for on social media. These are the topics people want to read about so it’s worth brainstorming ideas around this content.

In the example below, I’ve searched for the term “mental health” and you can see it’s brought up some interesting topic ideas!

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2. Keywords Everywhere

The Keywords Everywhere browser extension returns a host of long-tail phrases based on what people are searching for using specific keywords.

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Insider Tip: The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is another useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search.

3. Quora

Quora is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic. It’s a super place for market research. Make a list of those questions which you feel you could write about.

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You have the option to follow chosen topics in your niche. Once you do so you’ll keep seeing the ‘Top Stories’ (questions) in your Quora newsfeed. You can also check out the ‘New Questions’ option to see the latest questions. When you have written an article or blog post on the topic, go back into Quora and answer a question related to the topic. You can include a link to your post in your answer.

Insider Tip: Yahoo Answers and Reddit are also good places to do market research online.

Where do you find inspiration for your content marketing?  

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Build Your Email List

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about the value of creating and growing a list of email subscribers. 

With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, the traditional email format may appear outdated. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.

4 Reasons You Should Build An Email List

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Email is direct, making it more personal and personalized than social media marketing. Email gives people a way to easily contact you with their questions.

2. Email marketing keeps you top of mind

Did you know that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis? While you can go for a few days without checking social media, most people check their email several times a day.

3. Email marketing is inexpensive

Email is an inexpensive way to reach people who are interested in hearing from you and communicating with them regularly.

4. You own your list

Unlike social media which is subject to change, your list is yours. in the words of Ann Handley, email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in control. With social and other digital channels — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, paid search, organic search — someone or something else decides who sees your content and when and where they see it.

5. Email marketing converts better than social media

A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that email is a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.

Bottom line — ignoring email as part of your marketing strategy means you are missing out on potential business opportunities.

Take Action: One of the best ways to build your list of subscribers is to offer something of value up front. This email incentive known as an “opt-in offer” or “lead magnet” is something you are willing to give away for free which requires people to provide an email address to download. Check out this list of 15 ways to create your first lead magnet.

Want to subscribe to my newsletter?

Each Monday I send out a weekly digest of social media marketing tips and the latest social media updates.

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list.

Related Reading

20 Email Marketing Dos and Don’ts for More Effective Email Campaigns

 

Posted in #HCSM

YouTube: A Missed Opportunity For Patient Education

YouTube has more than 1.8 billion monthly active users, and remains the online video leader. 

People around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.  That’s a huge amount of time spent watching diverse content on the channel.  Here are some more staggering stats to consider.

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YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection.  YouTube also has live-streaming options and social tools, which it’s expanding as it works to keep in line with evolving consumer trends.

Mobile devices now account for 70% of all time spent on YouTube by adults in the US, according to research from comScore. Audience reach is bigger on mobile than on desktop for 99 of the top 100 YouTube channels in the United States.

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Mobile viewing is especially popular with younger adults (age 18-34) and women, the analysis found. YouTube mobile viewers tend to watch shorter-form videos than desktop viewers do. However, mobile viewers watch nearly three times as many videos per month, on average.

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YouTube is a platform that people are searching every day for how to solve their problems and get their questions answered. As a form of patient education and health promotion, it has great potential but recent studies show it is not being used to its full potential.

A 2013 study which examined the effectiveness of YouTube as a source of medical information on heart transplantation found it time-consuming to find high-quality videos and recommended that more authoritative videos by trusted sources should be posted for the dissemination of reliable information. Similarly, a 2015 study found that in YouTube videos related to skin cancer, there was a missed opportunity for cancer prevention and control.

These findings notwithstanding, there are some good examples of medical organizations who are already using YouTube to communicate health information. Mayo Clinic, in particular, stands out, with 50,917 subscribers to its channel and over 31,000,000 video views. 

If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it. Check out this article by Sendible which has some useful tips on how to optimise your YouTube channel for success.

Related Reading

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Twitter Threads

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to create Twitter threads. 

Not sure what a Twitter thread looks like?

If you spend any time on Twitter you’ve probably already come across a Twitter thread, but perhaps not know that it was a thread.  Threads are a series of related tweets shared in succession by one person.

With a thread, you can provide additional context, an update, or an extended point by connecting multiple tweets together. When used well, threads are a powerful way to illustrate a larger point.

Before threads, users would have to just continue replying to their own Tweets in order to link them together. This was a  way to work around the old 140 character limit.

How To Create A Twitter Thread

1. Click the “Tweet” button to compose a new Tweet.

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2. Click the new “Add another Tweet” button.

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3. This brings up a second Tweet window.

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4. Continue in this way adding threads until you’ve said all you want to say.  You can either publish the entire thread by hitting “Tweet All”….

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Or you can hit post each tweet in succession, which allows you to build momentum, perfect for a live event or an ongoing train of thought.

Publishing the entire thread gives your followers a fully-formed story — a better choice for a message you want to control a bit more, like a nuanced company announcement.

Here’s how your published displays on Twitter when complete.

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Want to learn more?

Check out this guide to Twitter threads on Twitter’s business blog.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Embrace Long-Form Content

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can add more long-form content to your content marketing strategy.

It seems ironic, but even with the popularity of video and expiring content, there also exists an appetite for longer, more in-depth content.

serpIQ did a study of the average length of the content in the top 10 results of search queries. The company found that the top-rated posts usually were over 2,000 words.

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Long-form content also gives you an SEO edge. Put simply, search engines are built to serve people the best content, from credible sources, that answers users’ questions. Google has made it explicitly clear that it now prioritizes longer, informative posts over short ones that exist only to sell a product.

Try writing posts that are 1000 to 2000 plus words. Make them a resource type post that people will want to link to when they are writing their posts.

This tactic is no short-cut to success. To write a comprehensive, long-form piece of content with practical application that people want to share and link to takes a lot of research and time.

You won’t write this sort of content every day, but if you plan to make 2020 the year you will produce just one piece of stand-out content, I promise you will look back at the end of the year and feel you’ve really achieved something worth the effort.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in #HCSM

Twitter Adds Context To Trends

I’m a huge Twitter fan. So many interesting healthcare conversations are happening everyday on the platform.

One of my favourite ways to use Twitter is to take part in Twitter chats. These are great networking and learning opportunities and a super way to engage in meaningful conversations about shared topics of interest. Think of it as a virtual meet-up for people with common interests.

When I teach social media classes, I do sometimes hear that Twitter is a confusing place for those new to the platform. It can take a while to learn the ropes and it’s not uncommon for new users to hesitate to ask about the meaning of some of Twitter’s features.

“What’s Trending” is one of those features that may not immediately make sense – even to those of us who are seasoned tweeters. It’s not always obvious why something is trending.

Twitter aims to fix this (hat tip Amanda Webb).

They are testing adding context to trends by attaching a ‘representative tweet which will give you a clue to the trend and they are also adding descriptions.

The representative tweets will be selected both by the algorithm and human beings.

Testing on mobile in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.


You might also like to read

7 Data-Backed Tips To Drive More Engagement on Twitter

What To Post on Twitter: A Cheat Sheet For Healthcare Tweeters

Posted in #HCSM

How To Create A YouTube Channel for Your Medical Practice

Earlier this month I wrote a post about the missed opportunity in healthcare to use YouTube as a patient education tool.

As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but currently, it’s not being used to its full potential.

Aside from patient education, YouTube is a significant addition to your marketing toolkit. Owned by Google, it’s the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection.

YouTube At A Glance

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If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it.

A Step By Step Guide To Creating Your YouTube Channel

Follow these simple steps and you will have your own YouTube channel up running and ready to reap rewards.

Step #1 You’ll need a Google account to sign-in to YouTube

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Step #2 Next click on “My Channel”

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Step #3 Now add your business name or your own name 

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Step #4 Create a title for your channel

Your channel title should be descriptive and briefly tell viewers what your channel is about.

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Step #5 Select Customize Channel to fill in more details 

Add a link to your website and a description of your practice.  Adding your location to your YouTube videos will make them geographically searchable,

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Step #6 Add a thumbnail image (e.g your logo) and banner (channel art)

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I  recommend you use the same picture across all online media: Facebook, Twitter, website, YouTube, etc. Aligning your video branding with that of your business creates a consistent experience for your audience. When existing and potential customers visit your YouTube channel, they need to feel that it is part of a greater whole.

The recommended size for channel art is 2560 px by 1440 px.

Pro Tip: Canva can help you create correctly-sized thumbnail and channel art.

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Step #7 Connect your social media accounts

Add in your social media accounts.

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These can be overlayed on your banner image.

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As you can see it’s super simple to set up your own YouTube channel. In my next post, I’ll show you how to upload your first video and optimize it for viewing. 


Subscribe to my YouTube channel here. I’ll be uploading new videos in 2019

Posted in #HCSM

7 Data-Backed Tips To Drive More Engagement on Twitter

Backed up by research from Hubspot, here are seven tips to help you drive your Twitter marketing forward.

1. Use Both “Title Tweets” and “Copy Tweets”

“Title tweets” start each word with a capital letter — just like a headline. They are tweets with just the title of a blog post or article and the link to that article. There are no extra words. However, a “copy tweet” presents the article or blog post as a sentence or question.

Hubspot’s research showed that their average tweet copy got an average of 98 clicks, while headline-based tweets got an average of 110 clicks.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: The fundamental rule of clickable tweets is the same as the rule of clickable headlines. No matter how amazing your content is, few people are going to click through to read it if they’re not immediately captivated by your headline. Read 15 Ways To Crack Captivating Headlines to find out more about creating better titles for your tweets.

2. Include Shortened Links

Image Credit: HubSpot

A URL shortener is an online tool that converts a regular URL into an abbreviated version that is around 10 to 20 characters long. Use a third-party tool like Bit.ly to help you do this. Here’s what a bit.ly link looks like when it’s shortened.

Insider Tip: Don’t necessarily place the link at the end of the tweet. Zarrella’s analysis of 200,000 link-containing tweets concluded that putting the link approximately 25% of the way through would achieve the highest CTR.

3. Add Images To Tweets

Adding visual appeal to your tweet is a smart way to make your content stand out among a sea of tweets.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: You can add up to 4 images to your tweets ( all you have to do is click on the photo icon after you have added your first image, then add up to 3 more images) so take advantage of this and create a carousel of images to draw a reader’s eye.

4. Ask For Retweets

Twitter uses Likes and re-tweets as indicators of popularity in the algorithm.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: Though I’d be wary of over-doing this strategy (from a narcissistic viewpoint) it appears that you can also increase your exposure by liking and re-tweeting your own content. An experiment from Buffer found that retweeting their own tweets generated significantly higher click-through and engagement rates.

5. Add A Call-To-Action

Image Credit: HubSpot

What kind of action do you want your followers to take when they read your tweet? Whether it’s “Sign Up Here” or “Download Now”, adding a call-to-action to your tweet increases engagement by 13% according to Hubspot.

6. Recycle Tweets

At about 18 minutes, tweets have the shortest lifespan of any social media post. Even though the latest Twitter algorithm means that posts are no longer displayed chronologically, Twitter is fast-paced, and messages get buried quickly. To counter this, you need to share your post multiple times on Twitter to increase visibility (use a scheduling tool to optimize the times you post it).

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: Practice writing multiple versions of your tweets. Then A/B test them by changing some keywords, playing with the structure, etc. to determine which works best for your specific audience. This doesn’t mean you should post the same update every time. Using best practice headline tips, write multiple versions of tweets to post — and don’t forget to include a compelling image too.

7. Tweet About Twitter

According to Hubspot, if it makes sense for your account to tweet about social media — do it. It found that their tweets that included links to blog posts and offers about Twitter and other social media topics received 22.5% more clicks on average than the average clicks for a tweet during a set period of time.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: From the Neil Patel playbook:

How can you talk about Twitter if your subject has nothing to do with Twitter? Try one of these:

  • Hey Twitter users….
  • Best thing on Twitter all day…
  • You needed this in your Twitter feed…
  • Twitter is raving about…

To Sum Up

The key to success with Twitter, as with life, is to work smarter not harder. Implement these tactics the next time you post on Twitter and watch your engagement rate rocket.

You might also like to read What To Post on Twitter: A Cheat Sheet For Healthcare Tweeters