Why You Need Content Copy in Health Marketing

Posted by barbarahales

Content Copy and health Marketing your practice goes hand in glove. Here’s why it is crucial for health marketing, whether it is for physicians, medical practices, hospitals or medical homes.

First, what exactly is content copy?  Simply it is the manner of sharing  information and messages that you would like to convey to your patients and prospective patients as you grow your practice and reputation.  It is  the 3 I's- Informative, Interesting and Interactive.

Perhaps you don't know where to start or you've started but don't know how to continue.  It might have been confusing...But not anymore!  Read on.

Informative

You have been sharing information with your patients on a daily basis.  You've been providing solutions to their problems, advice on how to care for their health, breaking news on the medical front, preoperative care, postoperative care, how medical devices work and what their various options are for medical treatment.  Providing information is not new to you, just the way it is done.  Whether it is a blog, article, social media, or whichever channel your patients can be found on, it is important to know that each time you publish your information, it be restricted to one idea that you expand upon.  Patients are constantly looking for information online, why shouldn't it be coming from you?!  Doing so confirms your position of authority and makes you stand out in your community above your colleagues.  Remember to provide content that is in keeping with your message and image.  Make the information relevant to your patients, not about your hobbies but about your specialty and your practice.

Interesting

Now is not the time to be erudite.  Using large words or professional jargon to seem more intelligent is a common mistake.  Your information must be entertaining, captivating and compelling.  To achieve this, your information must be understandable.  Presenting your message in a boring fashion ensures that your patients will hit the delete key (as soon as they wake up!)

Interactive

You want your viewers to interact with you, to respond to your information and contribute their ideas as well as putting forth their questions.  Making for a lively discussion will attract other viewers who want to participate or to read the comments that your articles draw in.

Not only do more and more people seek to read your information or opinions as an authority in your field, it also helps boost your search engine rankings.  This in turn also helps your practice grow.  As people go into a Google search (or other search engines like Bing, Yelp, etc.) for health information, they typically click on the first few entries on the first page.  If you are not on the first page, chances are that you might as well not even be listed...and it stands to reason that if you can't be found, new patients will be calling whoever is on the first page.

That could be you!

For more ideas on how to create content, check out “Content Copy Made Easy” on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=content+copy+made+easy

5 Strategies for Medical Blog Success

Posted by barbarahales

  1. Comments   Encourage readers to leave comments.  Invite conversations and reactions to your posts.

2. Topics

Decide on what topics you want to blog about and develop a schedule or calendar with topics plotted out.  It will get you in the habit of providing content regularly and your readers in the habit of expecting something from you.

Bare in mind that it does not have to come from you directly.  Have a staff meeting and find out the interests that they have.  Assign a topic or day of the week that each of your staff members can contribute to your blogs.  Not every post needs to come from you.  However, it would be in your best interest to view them before posting.  Not everyone may be able to write as well or in the fashion that you would like to portray your medical practice.

3. Styles

There are many different types and styles of blogs including written word blogging to video blogging to photo blogging.  Include multimedia in your posts like videos and images.  These can get the audience's attention which is important in today's society of short attention spans.  Medical practices lend themselves well to videos and images as you can show techniques of procedures that you perform, services that you provide and images of medical devices and staff members themselves.

4. Less is more

Make every word count.  Give the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words.  However you say it, the bottom line is- time is infinite and people are infinitely busy.  Blast your knowledge into the reader at the speed of sound.

5. Value

Needless to say, one of the most important aspects of a blog is to make it interesting and create valuable content.  Find out what makes your content valuable to your readers and target market and then give it to them!

Make your blog posts do double duty.  Once you have posted, you can populate your blogs to your social media sites.  This will give you more visibility and more readership may spell more prospective patients and practice growth.  In addition, the increased visibility increases your positioning as one of authority and the more people see of you, the more likely they will be to contact you for advice.

Use information from your blog to publish articles.  Bylines with the articles gives more visibility not only to your patients but also to search engines which then increase your rankings.

Consider publishing a book from the compilation of your posts.

Need help?  No problem!  Contact Barbara Hales, M.D. for a free consultation and we can discuss your needs.  Call 561-325-9664.

 

7 Tips for Medical Blogging- Make your Blog Stand Out

Posted by barbarahales

Make your opinion known

Patients like blogs- that's why the read them!  They like blogs because people and not corporations write them.

Patients want to know what you think and the information as a physician that you can provide.

Maybe it sounds a bit out-there, but in this virtual age, where most communication between people happens online or via text messages and not iin person, one of the best ways you can get your message out viraly besides writing and distributing an ezine, is through blogging.Blogging provides people all over the world an opportunity to belong- to gain validation for their way of thinking...of not feeling so alone.  It's a way to communicate your opinion in a safe environment- no one's going to hit you if they don't agree with what you say.  So, go ahead, say what you've got to say, exactly the way you want to say it.

Link Up

Support your posts with links to other web pages that relate to your post.  This will give additional viewers a chance to read them.

500

Shoot for 400-500 words as your target length.  Google and other search engines may not recognize your post if they are consistently too short.  However, you can mix it up for personalization and have 250 word posts on occasion.  Even some short humorous stories or quotes can make the occasional appearance to maintain your reader's interest.

Make Headlines Snappy

Not only does this give you "ranking points" by search engines when you have your keywords within the headline, but it needs to grab the attention of your reader.

Studies show that 85% of your readers will never get beyond your title if it is boring.  Instead, it will make it into the trash bin.  With so much entered on the web each day and a severe shortage of time to view it, everyone has gotten really adept at using the delete key!

Include Bullet Point Lists

We all love lists.  Patients are no exception.  Lists structure the information in an easy format that allows us to scan the information and use what we need- no more, no less.

Consistency

Patients like to know what to expect.  Once you have settled on a style for your audience, stick to it.  Also be consistent on the days that your posts come out.  Patients will come to the site looking for them and if they are not there, will be less likely to look for them again.

Edit, edit, edit

Before hitting the submit button, reread your post and cut out the stuff you don't need.  Add in things that will help patients understand the information better.  Then go ahead and fix all of those obvious grammar and spelling errors.

Then edit again.  Proofread, proofread, and proofread.  Read it out loud just to make sure.  Then and ONLY then, hit submit.

Remember, you are the professional and you want to read like you are one as well!

No time for blog posting?  Need help with your blogs?  No problem.  Contact Barbara Hales, M.D. for help at 561-325-9664.

5 Ways to Get Followers to Your Medical Website

Posted by barbarahales

There are several ways that you can get more viewers to your website and keep them coming back.

1) Questions
People love to test their health knowledge and see how much they really know.

Consider giving a list of 5 questions that deal with a specific treatment or ask which treatment matches a particular medical problem.  Consider the disease of the month and ask questions about it.  Even better, consider asking questions on how to prepare for a procedure or exam.  The patients will have fun with it and at the same time, you can see how much your patients have listened to your advice.

2) Contests
Your contest can be as simple as viewers contributing a caption to a photograph that you have taken and the best contribution wins.

3) Sharing

Sharing is caring.  Make sure that your viewers can share the information that they find on your site.  Have icons for an RSS feed and the social media sites that you participate in.  Each icon should be hyperlinked so that with one click, the viewer is giving you a vote for popularity and showing others that your site is the one to visit and read.

4) Be Keyword Savvy

Ask yourself, "What are all the problems and medical conditions that I provide solutions for?".  "What words could be used to describe each service or feature?"  These are keywords.  Use a keyword tool to run your selections through.  This is vital for success.  While you may have chosen keywords which seem perfect, your patients may not have the same mind frame.  Entering your keywords in these programs will confirm how effective they are.

Not only will keyword tool programs show how effective the keywords you entered are, these programs will also suggest word combinations that most people search for so that you can add these to your list for consideration.

5) Blog Posts

Remember the 3 E's: Engage, Educate and Entertain.  If your blog is interesting, educational and entertaining, it will cause people to want to engage with you.  Dare to be different and useful.  Make sure that you are in tune with your patients.

Decide on what topics you want to blog about and develop a schedule or calendar with topics plotted out.  It will get you in the habit of providing content regularly and your readers in the habit of expecting something from you.  Start with a memorable, attention-grabbing headline.  Nothing attracts people to your blog like a catchy title.

Encourage readers to leave comments.  Invite conversations and reactions to your posts.  The reward to having a successful blog is more engaging, personal content taht grabs your audience's attention.

If you have questions, give me a call.  I would be happy to discuss your needs at 561-325-9664.  Speak to you soon!

 

Do You play the Medical Numbers Game with your patients?

Posted by barbarahales

Medical Numbers Game

When you hear the word "list", you think of list-building or developing your data base.  While this is crucial for visibility to garner more prospective patients and build your practice,  I would like to talk about "list" in a different way, since this is "Tip Tuesday"!

According to ClickZ in their 3/25 issue, viewers love reading lists.  This is great news because your patients win and so do you!  It is not difficult or time consuming for you to write a list for symptoms, treatments, therapies or differential diagnoses.  Yet, patients find this informative and fascinating.  The list works both online and offline as a tip sheet.

Readers utilize your information as a checklist and because of the defined structure, it is easy to read and scan.

Bullet points allow you to feature captivating titles that people are drawn to while still discussing the medical conditions that you treat in your practice.

Numbers are also appealing to readers as it enables them to know there is a small bit of information for them to digest (e.g. 7 symptoms that suggest a slow thyroid, or 5 tests that diagnose a specific ailment)

The use of numbers is also a good technique to incorporate into your newsletters and tip sheets since patients are curious as to what the 5 or 7 facts are on your list.  It is harder to pass your article by without clicking to read it when you put numbers in your headline.

Try using this tip for today and see the increased response that you get.

A reminder- if you need help keeping up with your blogs or newsletters, shoot me a call at 561-325-9664.  Speak to you soon!

Consumers Drive Telemedicine- Do They Know You’re Onboard?

Posted by barbarahales

The public is becoming more proactive in their own healthcare.  They seek flexibility, availability, convenience, and high-quality care which they can access at any time during the day or night.  This is especially true for the older individual or the one who is either housebound or in a rural setting miles away from medical care.   Telehealth offers this.

Physicians also see the benefit as it is convenient to see their patients through this medium in lieu of getting in the car and dragging themselves to the emergency room in the dead of night or the office on weekends. Instead,doctors can communicate through iPads, laptops, and smartphones to patients with Skype, video conferencing or FaceTime.
It's growth has been exponential over the last year. Not only do patients want this, but also interest has been peaked with insurance providers who can save money with patient-doctor interactions by making healthcare access available with great quality at home settings instead of the more expensive hospital environment.

 

It is no surprise as to why this is becoming so popular.  Telemedicine replaces emergency room and office consultations saving hugh sums while still providing low-cost options to individuals.

The thing is, once you have adopted telemedicine, do your patients know about it?  Do all the consumers which are prospective patients know about it?  If they did, your practice would grow considerably.

So how do you get the word out?

These 8 strategies will put you and your medical practice or health facility front and center with virtually no negative impact on your budget:

  1. Send news releases about new products and services, contests, awards, open houses, speaking engagements
  2. Write how-to articles for newspapers, magazines, trade publications and newsletters.  Offer lots of free advice.  It helps establish you as an expert
  3. Get onto the speaking circuit to community groups and trade associations.  It's a wonderful way to create a buzz about your practice. These groups are constantly looking for new speakers.
  4. Create a website that offers advice, reciprocal links, articles by and about you, story ideas about your practice, an electronic media kit and a list of experts the media can contact
  5. Start an Ezine ( an electronic newsletter) which helps you promote your services to an audience and costs almost nothing.  You can send the ezine to reporters who cover your industry
  6. Look for photo opportunities like local newspapers, TV stations, trade publications and other media which are always looking for interesting photos.  Call the media with ideas or submit your own photos
  7. Give free classes and demonstrations at health fairs, adult education programs or at your own medical practice.  Invite the media to attend
  8. Participate in social media discussion groups and offer lots of helpful advice.  Reporters lurk here and if they're impressed with your messages, they might contact you for a story.

Need help or ideas with your marketing plans?  No worries!  Contact Barbara Hales, M.D. at 561-325-9664.  Get a free consultation to discuss your needs.

 

Inbound marketing to Grow Your Medical Practice

Posted by barbarahales

It's hard enough these days that we have to worry about  diverting our attention from the "business" of seeing patients to the "business of medicine".

Now it is reported that inbound marketing can attract ideal patients organically and help grow our medical practices.  That's great but what the heck is inbound marketing?

Inbound Marketing

Simply put, inbound marketing is a way to share information with prospective or current patients who are actively seeking this information or the solutions to the problems that they are experiencing.  This is much better than traditional marketing where you are fighting for attention, especially in medicine where marketing was taboo until recent years.

Inbound marketing is becoming crucial to the medical practice and consists of:

  • Health blogs: the most personal and effective technique for attracting new viewers to your website. The right individual will be the one who is sparked by your message and finds answers in your blogs.
  • Ezines: enables you to convey the latest medical breakthroughs, the services that you provide and information to various medical problems.
  • Newsletters
  • Content creation
  • SEO (search engine optimization): incorporation of selected keywords that describe your medical practice enables the search engines to find you so that when patients are doing a search, you are the one that pops up and gets a prominent position in the list.
  • Social Media: the various channels provides an avenue to share information with individuals and engage with prospective patients and enables interaction so that they can get to know you, your personality and the services that you provide.
  • Analytics: tools help demonstrate which messages are appealing to your prospective patients and the topics that they find most interesting.

Customize your content to the specific needs and interests of the viewers and your demographics. Integrate it through various channels to approach people where they dwell. We want to attract those individuals who will be right for our practice as opposed to just writing for everyone.

Benefits of Inbound Marketing for the Medical Practice

Inbound marketing strengthens your brand and gives you greater visibility enabling you to become a household word in your community. It puts you together with clients searching for information about your medical practice and the service you provide to:

  • Boost online visits each month
  • Enhance search engine ranking
  • Leads cost 62% less than leads from traditional advertising
  • Better  conversion rates—a higher percentage of visitors become leads
  • Gain thought leadership and credibility positioning yourself as an authority in your field
  • Get more effective use of your marketing budget enabling you to  measure results to the dollar

Need help with your inbound marketing? Ask your questions at Support@CompleteContentPackage.com and they will be answered or for more personalized engagement, call 561-325-9664.  Let's discuss your needs!

Latest Trends in Medical Marketing

Posted by barbarahales

Why is knowing the latest trends in medical marketing so crucial for your practice?  Simply by knowing which gives you the highest rate of investment (ROI) or rate of return is important to know where to concentrate your marketing dollars and which you may want to devote less of your budget.

A report was recently issued by Opticall which reflects their 2015 marketing review and how each category garnered more patient appointments as a result of marketing using a specific technique.

They ranked 9 categories and showed which increased and which decreased.

booked appointments as a result

  1. Referrals                                51.49%
  2. Internet                                  27.9%
  3. Radio                                       9.1%
  4. TV                                             2.6%
  5. Signs                                         2.05%
  6. Insurance company                1.67%
  7. Print                                         .90%
  8. Direct Mail                              .59%
  9. Health Fairs/events               .53%

Only the first two categories increased in the last 16 months and the rest declined.

It is no great shock that the highest number of appointments booked were due to word of mouth referrals by other patients, neighbors, friends and family members.  This has been the case for a long time.  The thing is, the percentage of patients booked as a result of referrals increased over the other marketing channels.

Capitalize on Referrals

  1. Staff: No matter how great physicians and healthcare providers are, patients want an overall good experience.  That means that each staff member that the patient will encounter, must also provide a great experience.  Interactions should be polite, respectful and helpful.
  2. Profiles: Even though the initial referral may have been the result of someone that they know and trust, prospective patients will then go online to check you out.  Besides Yelp, there are many physician ranking sites that are available.  Know what they say about you.  A great way to capitalize on the exposure, is to have a stellar profile on each site (which is available for you to enter data on).  In addition, you can create stellar profiles on social media sites and it is a great opportunity to let patients know more about you, your practice, services that you provide and staff members.
  3. Loyalty Program: implement an incentive program to entice your current patients to refer you.  This can be an eBook, tip sheet or other information that your patients would be interested in.  Don't forget to send a thank you card for referrals.  Acknowledging your patients for their efforts goes a long way!
  4. SEO: remember to incorporate keywords into your blogs and digital newsletters or ezines so that search engines can find and rank you higher.

Need help with content marketing for your medical practice?  Contact me at 561-325-9664 for a free consultation.  Let's discuss your needs and get you going down a more efficient path!

Helpful Tools for your Medical Blogging and Health Articles

Posted by barbarahales

Blogging is all about getting your message across while strengthening your brand and gaining visibility.  While this may seem intuitive, how to go about it may not be.

There are tools that help you achieve readership and make your messages more captivating:

The Readability Test Tool:

In trying to convey your message, it is easy to get caught up in medical terminology and complex explanations which you may think sends the impression that you are knowledgeable about your topic.  Unfortunately, your readers may not easily get what you are trying to say.  Ideally, since you are writing for the general public, you will want to stay between grade 8 and 9 in comprehension.

Since you may have an impressive vocabulary, it may not occur to you that certain words are more difficult for others.  This is where the readability test tool comes in handy.  Highlight what you have written and the tool will let you know the average age level that your content is geared to.  In addition, it will highlight words that you could simplify to achieve the reading level that you are after.  You may think that simplifying your material is insulting, but throwing in words that they would have to look up to define is a way to turn off your viewers instead.

Pictures

Images that convey your story and that appeal to readers, helps attract eyes to your articles and sprinkling into the body of your content goes  a long way to captivating your viewers.  These images don't have to cost a great deal of money.  There are several sites that you can visit.  Two that I like are:

Pixabay- while some photos here have a charge, most are royalty free and can be downloaded without charge. Look to see if the photo is designated as public domain.  Others can be used with a simple credit under the photo to the photographer.

Unsplash- site that provides copyright-free photos for you to download.  The stipulation with this site though is that there are only ten new photos posted daily.  By visiting often, you can amass a library of photos that will be useful for your future articles.

Highlighting Keywords

It is crucial that as you compose your content in blogging or articles for publication, that you incorporate keywords that reflect your medical practice and help with your medical marketing.  This is where the next tool comes in:

Soovie (soovie.com)

Typing in your practice keyword allows you to find out which keywords are the most effective in all the major search engines. (i.e. Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Bing, Wikipedia, YouTube).  As you type in an entry, each search engine reflects the most used keywords on their site.  In addition, you can discover which keywords are the ones used most on a daily basis.  This captures new viewers as prospective patients in the future.

soovle

Try these tools out and let me know how it went for you!  Contact me at Support@CompleteContentPackage.com  When you do, I will let you know more helpful tools that are not listed here.

6 Smart Tips for Better Medical Blogging

Posted by barbarahales

Now that you have committed to being consistent with posting your blog and getting your message out, keep the following tips in mind so that your blogging is well-received and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Don't Be a Bore

This is the most important rule to keep in mind! People appreciate the written word but in general are more entertained by dynamic content.  If possible, include video or audio when thou get a chance.  Most blogging platforms today can easily integrate content from YouTube or any video site.

Be a Collaborator

You don't have to be the author of all your blog postings.  Collaborate with colleagues.  This is a great opportunity for cross-promotion.  "You write for me and i'll write for you".  This also gets you viewed by a wider audience of patients that might not have seen you otherwise.

Do it the Easy Way

Don't get complicated with your blog.  If you have to depend on someone to maintain it for you, make sure it's someone you can count on.  The moment the blog stops being fun, the moment your interest starts dwindling because positing is complicated…that's the moment your blog starts to die.

Be Hard on Yourself

Make sure you have the discipline to post at least twice a week if you want to create a disciplined following.  Be consistent about when you post new info. If your posting schedule is all over the place, you stop being a reliable source of information and people are going to place their attention somewhere else.

Tag, You're It!

Make sure to tag all your articles and entries.  This will make it easier for the search engines to find you and can be used to navigate better on your own blog.

Let a Pro Do the Designs

Even the tastiest morsels of information are hard to swallow when a Blog looks dreadful.  A badly designed site has a negative impact on your credibility; it's like showing up to work unwashed, unshaven and in your old clothes.  In most cases, people will have a hard time getting to your message be causes your appearance is not consistent with it.  So, unless you're a designer, leave it to the pros.

Use a professionally designed template if possible or hire somebody that knows the way around blog design.  If you're not comfortable with your writing skills, consider hiring a freelance copywriter to handle the task for you.

Contact me at 561-325-9664 and we can discuss your needs, or email me at Support@CompleteContentPackage.com.  Let's get you started!