Posted in #HCSM

10 Places To Find The Best Free Images For Your Healthcare Marketing

Do you want your content to stand out in today’s crowded social media landscape? Then it’s time to get visual with social media.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that great visuals make for great marketing. Visual content can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, one that increases message association, brand awareness, and encourages engagement and shares. The brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text. Additionally, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

The continuing growth of visual platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, confirm that incorporating visual content into your social media strategy is a must. Not only do these platforms drive more traffic and shares, but research has also shown that tweets and Facebook posts with images encourage more engagement.  You should also add an image to every single blog post you write and use images to break up the tedium of text.

Whether it’s growing your brand identity or improving medication adherence through instructions, visuals are a key to interacting with and empowering patients. But when it comes to using images don’t be tempted to reach for the nearest stock photo.

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These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images you can find all over the web. In this article, you’ll learn my favorite recommendations for sourcing images you can use to enhance your social media posts – and best of all they’re free!

1. Freepik offers users, high-quality graphic designs: exclusive illustrations and graphics resources. It operates on a freemium business model which means, the majority of the resources offered at Freepik can be used for free, only having to credit the author of the illustration to Freepik. In addition, for a small fee, you can subscribe to the Premium plan and use the illustrations without any accreditation whatsoever.

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2. Gratisography is a collection of free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects, free of copyright restrictions.

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Image Source: Gratistography

What I really like about this site is many of the images are quirky and fun — no cheesy stock images here!

3. ISO Republic provides over 3,000 images under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for personal or commercial purposes with no attribution required.

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Image Source: ISO Republic

4. Life of Pix is a collection of free high resolution stock images donated to the public domain by the Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal.

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Image Source: Life of Pix

Their sister site Life of Vids offers royalty-free videos, clips, and loops for you to use to your heart’s content.

5. Morguefile is a free photo archive “for creatives, by creatives.” The photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals.

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Image Source: Morgue File

6. Pexels provides over 3,800 high-resolution photos, collated from other free image sites — making it one of the largest free image directories.

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Image Source: Pexels

Pexels has also added a large library of stock videos to its site under Creative Commons license. Use the site’s list of popular searches to find the most in-demand stock videos.

7.  Picjumbo is free stock photo site created by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013.

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Image Source: PicJumbo

Users can click through the different categories of over 600 free high-resolution photos, with the option of upgrading to Premium for new unpublished images to power your social media marketing. No attribution is required.

8. Pixabay hosts over 650,000 free stock photos, vectors, and art illustrations free of copyrights under Creative Commons. On the home page, you’ll find a small, curated collection of images and a search bar for more targeted results.

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Image Source: Pixabay

Pixabay also has a collection of stock videos for use in your marketing.

9. Rawpixel prides itself on having the most diverse collection of stock photos on the web. It wants to change the face of stock photography by creating design resources that reflect today’s society as it really is. To this end, it has started the (one) world face project with the ultimate goal of photographing people from every nation in the world.

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Image Source: Rawpixel

10. Unsplash gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos. You can subscribe to receive ten new images every ten days directly into your inbox.

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Image Source: Unsplash

Creating compelling visual content can be a powerful way to connect with your audience. People connect more emotionally with images than text, and in an increasingly crowded digital landscape, when our minds are attracted more readily to content that draws our eye, images can break through the online content clutter to quickly communicate your marketing messages.

Spend some time this week perusing these sites and download a selection of your favorite images to your desktop. Then get creative with the help of an image editing tool such as Canva and edit your chosen images into something more interesting for your brand. Save these images to a Dropbox folder so you now have your own library of unique images to draw on each time you write a new piece of content or post something to social media.

For more image editing tools check out my weekly cool tool recommendations.

You might also like to read How to Add Visual Appeal to Your Social Media Campaign

Posted in #HCSM, weekly round up of news

What Role Will Marketing Play in the Evolution of Healthcare?

My weekly marketing newsletter has just gone out to subscribers. In this week’s newsletter you can catch up on an interview with Ritesh Patel, Chief Digital Officer of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, who shares his views on the role marketing will play in the evolution of healthcare.

The modern healthcare marketer has to combine the knowledge and skills of marketing, brand building and customer experience, as well as work within a highly regulated environment and navigate the new media landscape that most other marketers in industries like consumer goods take for granted. – Ritesh Patel

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There’s a round-up of wisdom and insights shared at last week’s gathering of marketers at Content Marketing World including quotes like this one:

Marketers should opt for sustainability over speed. — Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

Plus an investigation into which marketing channels have the best ROI measurability, three social media marketing legal issues you should be aware of, the latest updates on Twitter’s new, longer tweets, and six key changes implemented this week by the leading social channels.

Catch up with this week’s newsletter here

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

HealthCare On Pinterest

My latest SlideShare is based on an article I have written for HealthWorks Collective. There is a common misconception that Pinterest is only for women posting images of shoes, home decor ideas and recipes, but the examples I have chosen in this presentation clearly demonstrate the potential to leverage the site for healthcare marketing.
With over 70 million registered global users on Pinterest, and 83 billion monthly page views, the site drives more traffic to online publishers than Twitter, Linkedin and Reddit combined. According to a 2013 study done by ShareThis, it dominates all social sharing on iPads with 48.2% of all shares happening on Pinterest. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make approximately 80 percent of the health care decisions for their families today. Now combine this statistic with the same number of women on Pinterest – 80% and you can clearly see that this is a demographic healthcare need to tap into.
Posted in #HCSM

4 Essential Steps to Healthcare Social Media Marketing Success

Crowd Clip ArtAs the Internet increasingly becomes the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important channel for healthcare marketing.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, healthcare marketeers who are not using social media as part of their strategy are missing out.  In today’s post,  I will outline the four essential steps required for successful healthcare  social media marketing.

The first step is to gain a clearer image of who your audience is and what they are saying about you. Only then will you be able to create compelling, relevant and valuable content to fuel the social media engine.

(1) Identify and segment your online audience

Your healthcare marketing efforts will be much stronger if you can identify your target market and segment it so that you can tailor your content more specifically for them. Unless you take this first step, your social media marketing activities will remain unfocused. If you can clearly identify your target market, then you can plan the best combination of email marketing, social networking strategies, SEO, Pay Per Click, Banner ads, etc. You are looking to drill down deeper to discover their geographic location, their gender, level of education, family status, which social media sites they use, what conversations they are having online, how they are engaging with you, your competition and your online partners.

(2) Plan your social and digital media channels

Armed with this information you will now be able to plan which social media channels are most suited to your target market and direct your efforts accordingly. For example, if you identify that your audience is predominately female, you might direct some of your healthcare marketing efforts to Pinterest, a site whose rapid growth and success has been driven by women.

(3) Join in the online conversation

There is a support and community group for just about any medical condition or interest online.  To further expand their reach and focus on patient care, these groups need the input of qualified healthcare practitioners to help validate the information discussed on their sites and to ensure balanced views that are in the best interest of patients. Participating in these communities by providing advice, educational podcasts, guest contributions to widely read blogs and websites can help you broadcast your brand and build your reputation, while providing valuable support to the group.

(4) Monitor your online reputation

Consistency, credibility and connection are the cornerstones of maintaining your healthcare brand’s integrity.  It is important to listen to what is being said about your brand, not just to know what is going on and whether you are receiving any negative publicity or comments that need to be addressed, but also to know what you are doing right, so that you can do more of it. At a minimum keep an eye on tweets, comments and messages on your Twitter, blog and Facebook accounts. You should also set up Google Alerts for your brand and industry.

There’s no question that social media is growing in importance in the healthcare field and it is no longer an optional marketing strategy.  The conversation is happening online with or without you, so for the sake of your healthcare brand, join it!

Posted in #HCSM

Top Ten HCSM Articles Of 2012

These were the ten most popular blog posts on  Health Care Social Media Monitor ranked according to page views in 2012.

5 Google Tools To Rock Your Healthcare Marketing

When it comes to Internet dominance, Google is king. So, if you are looking for online tools to rock your healthcare marketing, Google is a smart place to start. Check out this list of free Google tools proven to be effective for social media marketing.

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4 Essential Steps To Healthcare Social Media Marketing Success

As the Internet increasingly becomes the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important channel for healthcare marketing.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, healthcare marketeers who are not using social media as part of their strategy are missing out.  This post outlines the four essential steps required for successful healthcare  social media marketing.

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The Rise Of Patient Communities On Twitter

For over 2 years, Symplur has collected health conversations on Twitter and analyzed them across thousands of variables. The result is produced in this video, a visual representation of   c. 2,000 different health communities or topics.

How To Create a Pinteresting Healthcare Social Media Strategypinterest-pinning-c

How can you leverage the potential of Pinterest for health care social media – particularly given that success on the site is predicated on pinning visually interesting content and blatant marketing is discouraged?  The answer lies in creating a strategy to promote your healthcare brand creatively so that it fits with the network’s user base and vision. Here are 9 ways to leverage the potential of Pinterest for healthcare social media.

Using Social Media To Market And Brand Your Medical Practice

As the Internet has become the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important part of how your medical practice gets found online.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, doctors who are not using social media as part of their marketing strategy are missing out.  This article gives you an overview of why and how you should brand and market your practice online, along with examples of those physicians who are leading the way with social media marketing.

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Chaired by Dr. Ronan Kavanagh,the .Med Conference brought together some of the top thinkers and innovators in medicine to speak about how we can harness new technologies to improve the quality of medical care.

Social Media In Healthcare Engagement

Presentation from the Cleveland Clinic on how they have utilized social media to bring in new patients, increase brand awareness, provide education and promote research.

How To Create A Healthcare Infographic

Infographics are valuable tools for healthcare providers to present complex information, educate patients, and brand and market a healthcare service in a creative and visually attractive way. 

The Essential Guide To Twitter

Infographic. Did you know that 11 new Twitter accounts are created every second?  That 175m tweets are generated every day and 69pc of Twitter users determine who to follow based on friends’ suggestions.

A New Breed Of Physicians Engaging With Social Media breed

A new breed of physicians is texting health messages to patients, tracking disease trends on Twitter, identifying medical problems on Facebook pages and communicating with patients through email.

Posted in #HCSM, Facebook, Hospital Marketing

Healthcare Marketing: Customer Service Expected Component of Social Media

MARKETING YOUR HOSPITAL

Almost half of Facebook followers of your brand expect a customer service component.

Consumers are expecting brands to provide customer service options in their social networks.  A survey conducted by Oracle found that online users of social networks expect pathways to customer service from the social media site.  The expectations include click thrus to customer service departments and instant messaging.

Forty-six percent of Facebook users expected brands to provide customer service options through the social network.  Twenty-nine percent of blog followers expected customer service options compared to just seventeen percent of Twitter followers.

Not only do consumers expect customer service options, they also expect quick responses.   Over half of Facebook users and eight out of ten Twitter users expected responses within 24 hours or less.  Social media is always on and responses to concerns and issues are expected quickly.

The most common reason to follow or like a…

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Posted in Marketing

Using Social Media to Market and Brand Your Medical Practice

As the Internet has become the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important part of how your medical practice gets found online.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, doctors who are not using social media as part of their marketing strategy are missing out.  This article will give you an overview of why and how you should brand and market your practice online, along with examples of those physicians who are leading the way with social media marketing.

But first, what exactly does “branding” mean?

Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. (Business Dictionary.com)

There are many elements which make your brand more readily identifiable, ranging from tangibles like your logo, tagline and promotional materials to the more intangible – how telephone calls are answered in your practice and how you are perceived by your patients. Doctors position themselves in the healthcare market by speciality, but also by the quality of their work, their reputation, and as an acknowledged expert on specific medical conditions.

Identify and define your brand

Properly identifying your brand means you will be able to define your offering and market your communications more effectively to your patient (and prospective patient) base. Ask yourself the following questions to help you define your brand more clearly.

  • What can patients find with you that they won’t find with another doctor?
  • What are your strengths when it comes to patient care?
  • What aspect of medicine do you most enjoy?
  • Do you have knowledge of a hobby or special interest which patients would benefit from your expertise on?

Promote your brand with social media

Health topics are one of the most searched terms on the internet and it’s becoming increasingly important for doctors to get involved in the online discussion. Engagement with social media networking sites provides you with a unique opportunity to position and market your brand, add value, and differentiate your practice from your competitors. It also helps attract new patients, build existing patient loyalty and opens up new opportunities outside of your practice.

Social media gives you the tools to find where your patients are meeting online, build relationships with them, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Many of your existing patients are already online, and regular communication with them will help cement your relationship. Remember that unlike traditional forms of advertising, social media marketing is about talking with, not to your audience; it is about adding value to the conversation. Healthcare organizations whose strategy is to simply post information (for instance on a static web page) are missing out on the true essence of social media, i.e. two-way communication.

Opportunities to brand your medical practice are plentiful online. There is support and community groups for just about any medical condition or interest. To further expand their reach and focus on patient care, these groups need the input of qualified clinicians to help validate the information discussed on their sites and to ensure balanced views that are in the best interest of patients. Participating in these communities by providing advice, educational podcasts, guest contributions to widely read blogs and websites can help you broadcast your brand and build your reputation, while providing valuable support to the group.

Establishing and maintaining an online presence will keep your brand to the fore of people’s minds – not just your patients, but your peers. It is a great way to build positive exposure and credibility for your brand and to create what marketers refer to as “top-of-mind awareness.” Adding more touchpoints with your patients and prospective patients through social media helps create this top of mind awareness.

Maintaining brand integrity and monitoring your online reputation

Consistency, credibility, and connection are the cornerstones of maintaining your healthcare brand’s integrity. Once you have a clear vision of what your brand is about, the key to establishing and maintaining it is being consistent and credible across all on and off line platforms you connect on. It is also important to listen to what is being said about your brand, not just to know what is going on and whether you are receiving any negative publicity or comments that need to be addressed, but also to know what you are doing right, so that you can do more of it. At a minimum keep an eye on tweets, comments and messages on your Twitter, blog and Facebook accounts. You should also set up google alerts for your name, your practice and your partners.

Physicians leading the way online

There are many examples of physicians with successful online brands.  One of the best known is Kevin Pho, MD, an internist from Nashua, N.H., who started his KevinMD blog in 2004. Eight years later KevinMD is one of the most popular medical blogs online and has gained Dr Pho national and international attention as an opinion maker. He is frequently asked to contribute to print and TV discussions and is a regular speaker at conferences around the world.

Howard Luks, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Hawthorne, N.Y., who consults on digital media and medicine issues, champions healthcare social media and is unequivocal in his assertion that “to ignore the intersection between healthcare and social media is to potentially ignore our own relevance as a health care practitioner”.

Deanna Attai, MD, has focused her career exclusively on the care of patients with benign and malignant breast conditions. She provides advice to breast cancer communities on blogs, Twitter and Facebook platforms and is one of the founders of #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media), a regular online gathering on Twitter. Through her effective use of social media, Dr Attai has humanised her practice and become a credible and trustworthy source of advice and support to the breast cancer community, which has a very active and vocal presence online.

There’s no question that social media is growing in importance in the healthcare field and it is no longer an optional marketing strategy. Access to health information online is empowering patients and forcing medicine to become part of a more consumer driven market. For doctors to distinguish themselves from each other, they must respond to a digital society which now demands transparency and engagement. Joining in the online health conversation gives your patients a sense of belonging and emotional connection; it positions you as an expert in your field, helps you stand out from your peers, and inspires your staff. Word of mouth is the most valuable form of referral you can get and social media can harness this power and spread its reach in a way that traditional advertising cannot.

Finally, don’t think because you don’t appear online doesn’t mean you aren’t being talked about. With the advent of patient review sites, and online discussion forums, you risk leaving your brand reputation in the hands of others. The conversation is happening online with or without you, so for the sake of your healthcare brand, join it!

This article originally published on Health Works Collective