What does Health Writing or Medical Marketing Have in Common with Academy Awards and Oscar awards?

Big name advertisers, marketing our health like P&G (Proctor and Gamble) have hitched their star to those in Hollywood with social media marketing.  Even Jennifer Lopez who will be hawking a women’s shaver line for P&G will blast across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (the three largest viewed social media sites).

Advertising this way is seen as far more economical than the traditional forms of media.

Knowing that the public is clamoring for the Pre-Oscar hype, there will be a tremendous surge in the viewing of the social media sites. Hence marketers of healthcare products along with health and wellness writers will climb the bandwagon and vie for exposure on the “Big 3” sites.

Unilever will be exposing their Dove Body Wash products by attaching to the popularity of Dancing with the Stars and will have a social media blast.

Clearly, this is going to be increasingly the way we obtain our information about health and wellness in the future.

E-Books Wanted: Public Can’t Keep Up with Demand

The demand for electronic books has soared over the last year, with popular genres including health writing, health and wellness, medical writing, dental writing, business-to-business and informational writing.

According to OverDrive Inc. (global supplier of digital/e-books to 13,000 libraries) there has been a 200 percent rise in the circulation of electronic books over the span of 2009 to 2010. Unfortunately this is coinciding with a time of massive public budget cuts to libraries cites Audra Caplan, the Public LIbrary Association president.

The way in which public lending of digital books works involves the sale of ebook licenses to libraries from publishers who then lend the ebook to a user.  When returned, another reader has access to the same book.

Recognizing that ebooks are the wave of the future, regardless of the genre including the most attractive way to get information for health and wellness, medical writing and dental care, the Sacramento Library has instituted a new program.  They will lend out 100 Nooks (the ebook reader made by Barnes and Noble) with books already preloaded.

This is obviously the right time to be an Ebook writer or electronic book publisher.  This technology will be increasingly popular and will be the way that we glean our information in the future.

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Building Your Email List, Your Most Valuable Asset

The right way to play the game is not “mine is bigger than yours” philosophy.  For it is not the size of the list but the quality.  Ask yourself, do people want to hear what I have to say or offer?  Are they on the list because I bought it from elsewhere?

Nowadays, business is all about the relationships that you build.  One way to do this is not about the offer.  It is about the quality of the information that you share or the uniqueness that you bring to the table. Do you want more patients or clients/customers?  Give them some interesting information or some useful tips.

Building your list will attract more customers or patients.  It will also allow you to touch base with former patients or clients that you have not seen for a while but will keep your name in their minds.

Think of what is going on around you.  Is there a major event?  How about a holiday?  What is on people’s mind?  Linking these things to your articles will make them more widely read.

Got a newsletter that goes out?  Let everyone know about it and give them the opportunity to sign up.

Perhaps you would like to run a contest.  Many people are competitive and will sign up to win.  Everyone likes to get something good for free- a sure way to capture names and emails.

However, In order for people to appreciate what you have to say, they need to know that you exist out there. So, whether it is by tweeting or facebook, or speaking with people both online and off, let them know your url and give them the opportunity to sign up- whether it is for a bonus offering, a newsletter, a blog stream, a gift.  Have fun and be creative with it!

Make Your Tweets Count

Are you a member of a Twibe or do you stand alone?  Do you feel that everyone is tweeting but no one is reading or listening?

Ashton Kutcher had a contest with Oprah and was the first to reach one million followers.  Lady Gaga has over 8 million fans, following her tweets, making her officially the most widely followed person.

You hear and read that businesses are attracting loads of customers and health care or doctor’s offices are gaining more and new patients through their tweets but you can’t seem to get any followers.  How do they do it?

Give people the opportunity to follow you.  Many would if they knew where you were, so:

  • link your twitter name to your signature
  • List your twitter name/url to your newsletter
  • Put the twitter address on your website
  • Add details on your tweets that your patients or clients could not get anywhere else
  • Tell current clients and patients your twitter address
  • Tweet and retweet interesting articles and share information that people would find useful
  • Respond to tweets, questions and comments in a timely fashion
Sign on with Tweet Deck to see who is talking to you and about you.
The more frequently you let people know where you hang out, the more likely they will be to seek you out.
See you there!
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If Only You Had Started Social Media Sooner

Do you ever say this?

The fact of the matter is that you are not too late.  Everyone is still learning together and with the constant changes going on, everybody is still on the learning curve.

Especially with Twitter, with the ability to follow people without having to ask permission to do so first, you may be speaking with a colleague, a student, or the CEO of a company that you might not have access to ordinarily.

Harvard Business Review Analytics Service issued the results of their findings that only 12 percent of the surveyed companies felt that they were using social media effectively and needed to learn more efficient techniques.

Not only are consumers, clients, and patients sharing information on line, they are also comparing and rating your practices, services or products.  Knowing any problems will allow you to nip it in the bud and smooth out feelings to improve professional relationships.

Sharing information and useful tips is what social media is all about.

However, in order for people to appreciate what you have to say, they need to know that you exist out there. So, whether it is by tweeting or facebook, or speaking with people both online and off, let them know your url or your social media and blog sites.   Ad-ology, pointed out on eMarketer that more than half of small businesses look to social media for lead generation as its main benefit.

If you have quality content, it will be shared.  Retweet and Like buttons, make it easy to share your information on Twitter and Facebook.  Try it out…retweet this blog post.

So, remember- it’s not too late.  Jump on the bandwagon and I’ll see you there!

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Tips for Medical Marketing and Health Writing

One of the most useful courses NOT given in medical training is the business and marketing of a medical practice or private healthcare facility. While some are lucky enough to have a mentor, an older or more successful physician to show the ropes, most nearby physicians view a new doctor as competition. Mostly, one is left to figure everything out by trial and error.

This is why an article written by Dr. Giovino called “You Should See My Doctor”: Cost-Effective Marketing Ideas for Your Practice was and is still so important, despite having been published in Family Practice Management nine years ago, in January 2002. (The principles still hold true.

Telling it like it is without mincing his words, Dr. Giovino states:

“Marketing is something of a dirty word among many physicians. Mention it, and they immediately picture that used-car salesman peddling his lemons on late-night television. True, that’s a form of marketing, but it’s marketing gone wrong. Done right, marketing is not synonymous with trickery. Instead, it is nothing more than influencing choice by demonstrating the real value of a particular product or service – in this case, health care.”

Although the advice was aimed at Family Practice doctors, the marketing wisdom holds true for all specialties.

His key points are:

· Marketing isn’t necessarily a dirty word; it’s simply influencing choice by demonstrating the value of your services.

· The best way to begin your marketing efforts is by providing excellent care and service to your current patients.

· In competitive markets, physicians need to embrace the marketing methods of other industries and shouldn’t be afraid to do so.

Don’t miss an opportunity to send out the “happy birthday” letter. Kindness to patients goes a long way. Along the same lines, don’t miss out on sending the “welcome to the practice” letter to stress the appreciation for coming to the office as a patient.

Another simple marketing tool is the appointment reminder. At the time of the visit, you can already be entering into the computer or patient list, when you want the next appointment to be scheduled.

Finally, maintain good relationships with other specialties within your area. They will be a good source of referrals.

Expose Yourself To Others With Guest Blogging

Do you ever feel like you are screaming on a soapbox in the middle of Time Square or a train station? A few people stop to listen to what you have to say but most give a casual glance as they scurry about their daily activities.

This is the frustration that can be felt by some bloggers.  They are pouring their heart out onto the screen or they are doling out useful information but no one is listening, or reading actually.

If you really want to get your message out and publicize who you are or what you stand for, it is important to expose yourself to the masses.  One of the best opportunities to accomplish this is with a guest blog.

By guest blogging onto another site (obviously pick a popular or well read one and not another unknown site), you will have more readership instantly and have the potential for increased traffic with the links. You will be establishing yourself as an authority in the field for which you are blogging and make your name more well known in the public eye.  This is invaluable for branding, whether it is for a medical,dental, chiropractic office or other health related field.  New stores and businesses also benefit immensely by this.

Not only are you reaching new audiences, but potentially new clients, customers or patients.

If you are a good writer and have a message that is in line with the blogging site that you want to guest write for, you are doing the blog administrator a favor because you are freeing up that person’s time with the content that is needed.  Plus, you are varying the content on his/her site.

And as you gain in popularity, these bloggers may want to blog for your site!

Get Your Medicine Free…and Save Up to $1000.00

Having trouble staying healthy and paying for your drugs? In these tough economic times,with so many people now unemployed, many are having to struggle deciding on which of their medications they can do without. Some are not filling the prescriptions they need to survive or are alternating them in dangerous regimens.

With the escalating cost of medicines, its not surprising that so many of us are having difficulty paying for them.

The average cost of a chronic medication is around $900 a year. Now picture those who have more than one medication that they depend on. That’s a big chunk of money to be taken out of your budget!

Yet, there are still people who don’t know how to get their medicine discounted or free. Thus, I am highlighting this health or medical writing report.

Wal-Mart showed their empathy (if not good medical marketing)  when it initiated a $4 generic program but this was improved upon by “Free Medicine.

Not to be outdone with their medical marketing, there are several supermarkets that have been giving antibiotics for free (with accompanying prescription).

Stop & Shop includes as many as 36 generics.

Giant Foods has a similar program. Among the antibiotics offered are:

· Amoxacillin

· Ampicillin

· Bacitracin

· Cephalexine

· Ciprofloxacin

· Doxycyclin

· Erythromycin

· Penicilln

· Tetracycline

Two years ago, Publix started their free antibiotic program and it is still in existence now with all of their pharmaceutical chains participating. Under their program, one can get:

· Cephalexin

· Penicillin VK

· Ampicillin

· Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim

· Ciprofloxacin

With an increase of more antibiotic prescriptions being issued this time of year for the entire family, this is a big savings.

What if you need to save on other drugs?

Keep an eye out  for the next health,medical writing episode this week.

Tips to Set up Your Facebook Fan Page

So, you’ve decided to set up a Facebook Fan Page.

Great!  You will be able to establish a relationship with your clients, patients, fans and customers.

There are some important things to keep in mind.

Tips for Fan Page Success

  • Insert your URL with the logo so that fans can visit your website
  • Sidebars are useful real estate- don’t forget to make use of them.  You can insert polls, affiliate banners or a set of links as well as a signup for your newsletters
  • Make use of FBML- you don’t need to be a techie or IT guy for this.  It stands for Facebook’s version of HTML, accessing it through Static FBML (look for it in the application directory)  The advantage of FBML is that you will be able to send your patients or clients to a landing page which conveys a message that you want them to see- like “become a fan” button which increases the enrollment of your fan page.
  • Optimize the Tabs on top for your products, services, newsletters (through FBML)
  • Shoot emails to your friends, families and databases inviting them to become a fan and subscribe to your page.  Let them know what is going on in the fan page.
  • Send updates about events, new services, news flashes and products
  • Link to your page from everywhere you visit on the net to let people know about your Fan page. Hyperlink icons work well in your email footers, blogs, websites and newsletters.
  • Finally, post comments on other people’s groups or fan pages that have similar content and invite them to visit your page.

What is the Difference between a Facebook Group and FanPage-and which one do you Need?

Establishing a group or fan page is great for marketing your practice or business. But…do you know the difference between the two?

Facebook groups are ideal for promoting a cause on a smaller scale or for setting up information on a personal level.

Facebook Pages enable you to exchange information and communication with customers or fans while shielding them from your personal accounts or pages.

Pages are very useful for:·

  • Celebrities
  • Businesses
  • Music bands
  • Establishing branding
  • Doctors or Medical Practices
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Animal hospitals and Vets
  • Hospitals and Medical Facilities

You can send out an unlimited amount of updates to your database while highlighting the businesses rather than a particular person and you can grow as large as you desire.

The best thing about a Facebook page is that you are not limited to the 5000 connections cap that you are subjected to on your friend site and you don’t have to name the administrator (who may actually be a whole team at work)

Well, are you revved and ready to start one? Stay tune for the next blog.