Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: S is for SlideShare #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

S is for SlideShare

Owned by LinkedIn and with over 18 million uploads and 80 million users, SlideShare is the world’s largest professional content sharing community.

Surprisingly, given how the platform is optimized for social sharing, including the ability to embed presentations (as I’ve done below), it’s often overlooked and underused in healthcare marketing.

How To Use SlideShare

1. Use SlideShare for research

Get up to speed on any topic. Instead of scrolling through pages of text, you can flip through a SlideShare deck and absorb the same information in a fraction of the time.

2. Share your insights and get noticed

Show what you know through a presentation, infographic, document or videos. When you upload to SlideShare, you reach an audience that’s interested in your content – over 80% of SlideShare’s 80 million visitors come through targeted search. This can help you build your reputation with the right audience and cultivate more professional opportunities.

Take Action: Expand your content marketing and raise your online profile in 2019 by tapping into the power of SlideShare. The good news is that you don’t even have to create original content to do this. Simply find some content you have already written and get ready to breathe new life into it.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: R is for Ripl #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

R is for Ripl

If a picture says a thousand words, a video tells a million.

Video marketing can help you tell your story in a more entertaining, educational and inspiring way so if it’s not already part of your strategy, it’s time to get on board.

If the thought of creating video feels overwhelming, you can always start small using a tool like Ripl –  a mobile app (iOS and Android) that lets you create short animated videos with professionally designed templates.

Ripl

Ripl was created to empower every small business owner to build an amazing brand. We made the Ripl app simple, quick and intuitive because business tools should do the work for you, not make more work for you.

You can choose from 200+ animated designs to easily create posts that fit your unique brand. You can add your photo(s) and text, choose a design template, customize the post for your business, and share in one tap to your social media accounts.

Ripl is integrated with the major social media platforms, so sharing your final video is easy. Once you’ve connected your social profiles to Ripl, you can post directly to Facebook, Facebook groups, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more. You can export your videos if you want to use them outside of your social media platforms.

Ripl is free to download and includes an assortment of free designs. Additionally, we offer Ripl Pro—a paid subscription that offers more designs, more music options, logo and brand customizations, scheduling features and more.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: Q is for Quuu #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

Q is for Quuu

Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.  Not only is it a way of providing value and consistency to your followers, but it’s also a great way to raise your online visibility and establish you as a thought-leader in your niche (to read more about this, see How To Curate Content Like A Pro).

To do it right requires an investment of time and that’s where Quuu can help. Quuu is a hand-curated content suggestion platform that connects to your scheduling tool of choice (I use Buffer to schedule my updates).

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Just sign up, connect your account and choose from over 300 interest categories to receive suggestions that matter to you and your audience. With the free account, you can choose up to 5 interest categories, get suggestions automatically sent to your connected accounts two times a day (six for a paid account).  Relevant suggestions will be queued to your scheduling too where you can choose to manually curate posts yourself or Quuu will post for you.

Check it out at http://www.quuu.co

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: P is for Proofreading #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

P is for Proofreading

Charles Dickens described proofreaders as having “… much natural intelligence, much-superadded cultivation, considerable readiness of reference, quickness of resource, an excellent memory, and a clear understanding.”

Presenting your readers with clear and compelling copy enhances your online credibility. To enhance your proofreading skills, I’ve put together this list of 8 tips and techniques which I rely on when I write online copy.

1. Proofreading Requires Concentration And Focus

One of the biggest proofreading mistakes you can make is to leave the task to the last minute and then do it too quickly. Nothing is ever done to perfection when something is rushed Always proofread your work in a quiet place that is free of distractions. Turn off your phone, TV, and radio to fully concentrate on the task at hand. This is especially important for longer work.

2. Don’t Proofread When You’re Tired

Do you know those signs on the motorway that remind you of the dangers of driving while tired? It’s the same for proofreading. Trying to proofread late at night when you are tired and your concentration is poor increases the chance you will miss essential errors. Come back with fresh eyes the next morning if you can.

3. Read It Out Loud

This is a really useful tip. If you read aloud, your ear might catch errors that your eye may have missed. It’s especially helpful for identifying run-on sentences and spotting any that don’t flow well or make sense.

4. Print Out Your Work

You’ll always notice more errors on a printed copy of your work. Using a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you’re reading keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.

5. Pay Attention To Punctuation

Poor punctuation really undermines your professionalism. Pay particular attention to misplaced (or missing) commas and apostrophes.

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6. Keep Reference Sources On Hand

While a spell checker is useful, it can miss different meanings (for example, except vs accept). This is where a reference source such as Merriam-WebsterRoget’s Thesaurus, and The Elements of Stylare so useful. Whether it’s the online or hard-copy version, keep one close to hand as an essential guide to using the right words in the right context.

7. Check Your Facts

If you are presenting facts in your content, be sure the sources are legitimate. Check and re-check the provenance of quotes and statistics.

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8. Ask Someone Else to Proofread It

Final tip. Ask someone you trust to proofread the text for you. You will be amazed at the mistakes you’ve missed. A second person will also be in a better position to evaluate whether the sentences make sense or not.

I hope you found these tips helpful. It’s good to remind ourselves of the importance of mistake-free writing in presenting a positive and professional online impression.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: O is for Optimize #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

O is for Optimize

Optimization in business is all about maximizing your assets – to make something, as the dictionary definition goes, as good as possible.

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Today I want to talk to you about how you can optimize four critical aspects of your website so more patients can find your site, starting with optimizing for mobile search.

1. Mobile Search Optimization

Most people aren’t looking searching for information on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet. Recent studies show 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones. This means that your website needs to be easy to read no matter where your patient may access it.

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Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, not only are over half of patients searching online for health information on their smartphone, but secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly.  In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings.  To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.

2. Optimize Your Content For Google Search

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.

3. Optimize Your Content For Voice Search

The majority of patients searching for information on the web still trust search engines but the way people search for information online is changing. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet (yet another compelling reason to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile).

According to comScore’s forecasting, 50 percent of searches will be performed through voice functions in 2020 and the majority will be done without even looking at a screen.

In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions, not about focusing on individual keywords. SEO is fast becoming AEO (Answer Engine Optimisation).

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To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, “What’s the Alexa strategy?” will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”

Here are some tips to consider while generating content for voice activation devices:

  • Write in a conversational tone
  • Use long-tail keywords
  • Account for misspelled/misinterpreted words (sometimes Siri or Alexa can misinterpret what you’re saying).

4. Optimize Your Website For Local Search

If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices. And if you want to attract new patients, your website also needs to be optimized for your local area. When someone uses the internet to locate a Medical Practice nearby, it’s critical that your website appears in those results (searches on mobile devices containing the phrase “near me” has skyrocketed in recent years).

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Recommended Reading:  Why and How You Should Optimise Your Medical Website For Local Search

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: N is for Newsletter #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

N is for Newsletter

Once you build an audience (of email subscribers), anything is possible.” — Joe Pulizzi

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.

In fact, email marketing is more powerful than ever before.

Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.

The most popular type of email, especially for businesses who create online content, is the e-newsletter. Newsletters can help keep your content top of mind with readers and drive more traffic to your website.

6 reasons to send an e-newsletter to subscribers

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. The advantage of sending a newsletter is the ability to create and nurture a sense of connection with your reader over time. Once you’ve built solid relationships with your subscribers through free content, you can start sending them relevant offers via email.

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 marketer Ann Handley (sender of one of the best newsletters around) “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.

6. Email drives visitors to your website

Email marketing can seamlessly drive more visitors to your website, and provide you with a valuable way to track which parts of your website and your marketing attracts the most interest.

What should you share in your newsletter?

Sending regular emails to your list is the best way to build relationships with your subscribers.

Commit to sending high-quality content on a regular basis to your subscribers.

Each email you send should convey something actionable and valuable, such as an offer or discount, or a solution to a problem they have.

Alongside a digest of your most recent articles or blog posts, you can also include links to quality curated content from other sites, coupons, or special offers. Y

our emails don’t have to be lengthy, but they do need to be useful to your subscriber.

Insider Tip

Don’t just compete on value, but also personality. The best email newsletters show the sender’s personality and have a relatable human voice.

To quote Content Marketing Institute, “newsletters feel inherently more personal — like a personal letter. Don’t waste that unique ambiance by sticking to impersonal corporate speak.”

Using your own voice and personality builds rapport and helps your audience get to know and trust you.

Take this to the next level by opening a two-way discussion with your subscribers.

Give your audience something they can connect back to that can also provoke a conversation.

Your family, pets, sports, or entertainment are good examples. Invite them to respond to your emails or join the discussion on your website or social channels.

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.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: M is for Mistake #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

M is for Mistake

A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.    – Alexander Pope

Whether you are just getting started using social media for your brand or you are well acquainted with the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing, it pays to take a fresh look at some of the most common mistakes businesses make online to ensure you are not making them too.

Here are 3 common social media management mistakes I see happen most often — and how to fix them.

Mistake #1 Being Overly Promotional On Social Media

Posting content that focuses solely on your own offering is sure-fire way to turn people off. Sprout Social surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to determine what annoys them about brands on social, what drives them to unfollow and which industries are on the right side of the line. Respondents indicated that the most annoying thing brands do on social is over-promote.

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Try This Fix: Follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent non-promotional content and 20 percent posts with calls to action. Experiment with posting quality content from others. To quickly find great relevant content on Facebook, use the Pages to Watch feature in your Facebook Page Insights.

Mistake #2 Not Having A Content Promotion Plan

Content has no value unless it’s shared. You could have the greatest piece of content in the world, but if no one can find it, does it really exist? Cross promote each piece of content you create — but do NOT copy and paste the same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post. That doesn’t mean that you cannot create similar posts — but format each of them to meet the requirements of the specific platforms.

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Try This Fix: Use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your updates to reach more people, more often. While automating posting is fine for some things, you still need to interact with your audience to gain their respect, earn their trust, and build relationships. Always keep in mind that Social Media is just that — SOCIAL. Connect with content and then focus on building relationships by being there.

Mistake #3 Not Monitoring Social Media

Social media is a two-way conversation that requires you to listen more than you talk. It’s easy to get caught up in the metric of having the most likes on Facebook, views on YouTube and followers on Twitter as an indicator of your impact. But likes, views, and followers are not an objective measure of your brand’s true position. You need to dig deeper to find what people truly think of your product or service.

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Try This Fix: Set up keyword searches to incorporate your brand name and include words relevant to your industry.

Don’t just monitor mentions of your brand’s name. Aim to evaluate sentiments attached to those mentions. Tweets that indicate issues with your company should be resolved immediately. Doing so strengthens public perception that your focus is strongly centered on customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more about common social media mistakes?

Read 15 Social Media Marketing Mistakes … And How To Fix Them

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: L is for LinkedIn #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

L is for LinkedIn

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I sing its praises all the time.

At 500 million users and growing, LinkedIn is the social media site that boasts the largest network of business professionals.

Yet many professionals still treat their LinkedIn profile as little more than a place to park their CV and promptly forget about it.

If you’re wondering how to get more out of the platform, it may help to see what other professionals are doing there.

Earlier this year LinkedIn invited readers to fill out an interactive survey asking about their marketing aspirations for 2019.

LinkedIn has published those initial findings in a new infographic which you can view here.

Driving Leads And Building Brand Awareness Top Priorities

 

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63% of respondents see driving leads their top-most priority in 2019, followed closely by building brand awareness. Creating better content (53%), demonstrating thought leadership (40%), and better understanding marketing ROI (38%) follow in line.

Actionable Marketing Tip

Highlight your expertise, build your personal brand and demonstrate thought leadership by publishing original thought-pieces on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

When you publish an article on LinkedIn:

  • Your original content becomes part of your professional profile. It is displayed on the Articles section of your LinkedIn profile.
  • It’s shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds, and sometimes through notifications.
  • Members that aren’t in your network can follow you from your article so that your next article will be surfaced in their feeds. LinkedIn Publishing is even searchable through Google.

Ready to get started? Read How To Increase Your Visibility On LinkedIn By Publishing Articles

You might also like to read How To Brand Yourself For Success On LinkedIn

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: K is for Keywords #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

K is for Keywords

If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.

I frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their services, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. As a result, your audience doesn’t discover your website, because of a mismatch in search terms. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience.

The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is a useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search. This is a free Google tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead of or alongside your original keyword.

You will need to sign up for an Adwords account with a Gmail account but you don’t have to add any credit card details or create any ads to use the tool.

Pro Tip! Use Google Related Searches

Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

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Need some help with keyword optimization?

If you’d like more help with keyword optimization for your website, I’m running a special promotion this month for my email subscribers. You’ll find more details here.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: J is for JPEG #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

J is for JPEG

JPEG is Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, a standard for compressed pictures, widely used on the web. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality. The most common filename extensions for files employing JPEG compression are .jpg and .jpeg.

You should always use images to accompany your social media posts and the content you create.  When at all possible, its better to use original images – those you have taken yourself – than stock photo images. If you can’t do this, use one of these recommended photo sites to source your images.

Once you have found the right image,  the next step is to optimize it for use on your website or blog. Using a JPEG file extension for larger photos will give you good results with a relatively small file size.

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If you need to reduce the size of your image, use a tool like  JPEGmini, or jpeg.io. Images can have a big impact on loading times – the faster the site, the easier it is to visit and index a page. 

Lastly, be sure to add a caption and alt-text to describe what’s in the image so both search engines and people can make sense of it.

Dive deeper into the topic of optimizing images for search engines with this Yoast post.