New 'Follow Feature' on Maps expands GMB Outreach

Google Maps has initiated a new “Follow Button” feature as they expand GMB Features

Google continues to improve their local business features as they launched a new feature in their Google Maps Application this month. The “Follow” feature allows Google users to track their favorite local businesses on updated events, offers, and other information. You can now view local Google postings in the ‘For You’ tab of Google Maps.

Upon initial inspection, this is a step in the right direction for Google. We utilize Google posts for our clients frequently and we’ve seen the direct benefits these postings offer their prospective audiences. This improvement will help customize user content so the businesses you follow will be the primary focus of your feed. No more shots in the dark with irrelevant recommendations and advertisements. Instead, you have a tad bit more control over what businesses and content matters most to you.

The timing of this and the recent closure of Google+ is showing a renewed focus on local search and business promotion. If anything, Google is empowering local businesses by promoting these features that business owners have control of. This shifts small businesses away from being at the mercy of the the ever-changing algorithm and gives users an opportunity to customize what businesses matter to them.

The ‘follow feature’ is in its very early stages currently; it’s not available to IOS users. We can only assume that this is yet another improvement Google is making to digital marketing tactics as they monopolize small business information. At this point, the best thing we can do is continue to push content through these features. The fact remains that Google search will continue to dominate other search engines. Therefore, Your best chance at getting noticed is to utilize their improved features.


Psychology and Social Media

Working in Digital Marketing, we find a lot of our clients more closely link our expertise with sales and ROI. They believe that marketing is a means to increasing sales. They’re right. As content marketers, we look to increase the overall visibility of our clients. However, quantitative information only goes so far. Our biggest objective is translating quantitative information into qualitative copy.

How clients and prospects interact with a Brand is becoming increasingly collaborative. Managing multiple accounts for various industries, we end up being the voice that addresses client (and prospect) feedback. We seek authenticity within our role because each user needs to be addressed as an individual. The following list is something we have applied to our branding model for ourselves and the businesses we represent:


  1. Transparency: Digital marketing is not perfect. We are a team of digital marketers on the other end analyzing numbers, pulling data, and building relationships. From weekly client meetings to addressing customer feedback, there are a lot of feelings that we need to address (including our own team’s). Online engagement is only part of the picture; there is content that our clients are accountable for because collaboration works two ways.

  2. The Halo Effect: Building off of the last point, we try and steer away from getty images as much as possible when creating new content. What we’ve found is that prospects seek to know your actual business. This means staying away from blatant stock images. Currently, users have a bigger Bull-sh!t B.S. Meter than ever before. Therefore, the transparency of your content directly affects how much trust you have with your audience.

  3. Reciprocity: The idea behind this is simple, yet powerful. If someone does something good for you, you return the gesture. If our clients are helpful in getting us the information we need to generate content, we will go a step beyond the contract and give them extra marketing resources. We utilize reciprocation in social media campaigns, email marketing, and as a focal point for generating reviews on Google My Business.

  4. Color Matters: Colors affect behavior. This is why it’s so crucial to remain consistent within branding and be mindful of the graphics and content you are publishing. We need to consider how color affects the tone and voice of every client we work with. We highly advise those of you who use social media to color code every post to match your brand. Check the list below for some key examples.


  • Yellow: optimism and youth

  • Red: sense of urgency

  • Blue: trust and security

  • Green: wealth and relaxation

  • Orange: aggressive

  • Pink: romantic

  • Black: powerful

  • Purple: calm

5. Why people Share: There was a study conducted by the New York Times that examined the Psychology behind online sharing. They found five primary motivators for online sharing with a general conclusion that people are motivated to share based on their relationships with their online network. In essence, we need to focus on creating and sharing content that will enhance their relationship with their online network.


5 key motivators of online sharing are:

  • They wanted to better the lives of others.

  • They wanted the content to reflect their online identity.

  • They are looking to grow or nourish their relationships

  • They share because they like the feeling of having others comment or engage in it.

  • They want to spread the word about something they believe in.

Source: Buffer App


Indexing: Stepping Stones of SEO

When it comes to running a client’s SEO analysis; we start with indexing. Indexing ensures that your website pages are being read by Google, Bing, and other key databases. Indexing is the first step to take in an SEO crawl with clients as it shows that the page we’re looking at is able to be picked up by search engines.

Whats up with it?

At a core-level; search engines read pages and treat each page individually. In other words, every page counts towards your overall ranking. You can actually look up how your site is being indexed here. Entering the site code txt beforehand will specify that page beyond its visibility to Google. When you specify and target a domain in the search query, the pages that show up are ones that have been indexed. Therefore, it needs to examined as a crucial point of reference during an SEO analysis.

What happens when a page is not indexed?

If your site is not being indexed, the most common culprit is a meta-tag misuse within the coding, or you have disallowed robot.txt files to scan this data. Meta-tags and robot.txt  files instruct the search engine indexing bots on how to process your site’s information. Meta-tags help guide these bots through the pages individually and robot.txts scan the site as a whole.

Bottom Line

Your site has to be indexed in order to be ranked. Search engines need to be able to find and read your content in order to index. Google has very specific instructions on how your indexing is coded here. Prioritize the indexability of your content as you add onto your website.  Remember, the bottom line in SEO: Happy Robots, Happy People, Happy Business!

Source: https://searchengineland.com/the-first-steps-of-your-seo-audit-indexing-issues-296853

On the Rise

It’s well known that marketing automation is the way of the future. Given the dramatic increase in online commerce and Google searches; it’s apparent that digital marketing can benefit your organization by:

  • Increasing your sales efficiency.

  • Enhancing the ability to generate qualified leads.

  • Developing a multi-channel prospect on behavior.

  • Aligning your sales and marketing goals.

  • Improving your sales processes and offering specific ROI insight.

A new study from the manifest revealed that 99% of businesses will increase their investment in at least one digital marketing channel in the next year. Social media and Website improvements are performing much better than the traditional marketing methods. These are easy investments that yield profitable results. Analytics are measured beyond a messages initial output; Conversion rates are measurable within these methods. Therefore, businesses are able to see the process all the way through a completed transaction.


Are you improving your marketing strategy? Are you developing a plan that holds your business accountable to increasing its sales? As an operations manager I’ve had proposals go flat because the business owner claims, “We have too much business already”. There is no such thing as too much business. Your management processes should help you handle these prospects. At Deluge; we help align your sales goals with a marketing strategy that delivers tangible results. Digital marketing is a high-yield investment that helps you gain traction against local competitors and promotes your business information in multiple ways.

Source: Newswire


Key Benefits of Partnering with an Outside Digital Agency

Hiring a digital agency to handle your online marketing is a time and money saver, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be completely hands-off with your strategy. We’ve found that the best marketing hold accountability on both our agency and the business we’re working with. Working in tandem provides objectivity when planning a strategy and can also be the most effective way to optimize your marketing budget. We created a quick list of reasons why hiring an agency should be in your best interest.

A Broader Skill Set

Partnering with a digital agency gives you access to a team that has a variety of skill-sets. Chances are that each team member specializes in a certain area of digital marketing so you have access to these experts as a resource moving forward. It is extremely cost effective when you look at how much it would cost to hire an SEO, Social Media, and Branding Director as in-house employees.

Cost

It is extremely cost effective when you look at how much it would cost to hire an SEO, Social Media, and Branding Director as in-house employees. Total costs can vary based on the size of your business. The fact is that every successful business invests a portion of their earnings into their marketing budget. Are you utilizing this budget where it matters?

Productivity

When You partner with an agency; 100% of your money goes towards their production of deliverables. You don’t waste time aimlessly trying to figure out your strategy on your own, spending the energy it takes to hire in-house, or having to cover more benefits, PTO, ongoing education, ect. You are paying for a service that’s efficient and refined.

 

Source: https://seekbrevity.com/digital-marketing-agency-in-house-hybrid/

Facebook Rolls out “Recommendation” Ratings 

What Does This Change Mean?

Facebook has recently changed how they drive their users using “Recommendations” instead of their “Star-Rating” System. No longer can someone who may feel lukewarm about a business give a star rating of a “3”. This new rating system measures the experience as either “Good” or “Bad”.

This change requires businesses to take more care in reading the content of the reviewer.  While responding to reviews is critical, we are careful in doing so. You can read about this here.   In the meantime, take time to thank those who compliment you first, then if you feel the need to respond to a negative recommendation, remember you are truly talking to the public so keep it short and classy. Asking how you may have been better able to handle the situation could go a long way to those who are reading the review and the response. Sending them a direct contact number also alleviates this situation. They had a bad experience and they want to voice it publicly. Now you, as a business owner, want to confront the issue and amend the situation.

How does this look to the user?

On The Upside...

Facebook is helping businesses flag and potentially remove fake reviews. Facebook will allow a more in-depth and powerful way for businesses to get fake reviews removed from their page. According to BrightLocal, a FB review is prone to removal if:

-The Recommendation is not Relevant

-Its an Unfair Recommendation

-Contains Nudity

-Violence

-Harassment

-Suicide or self-injury

-Spam

-Contains Hate Speech

 

What have your experiences been with online reviews? We would love to hear from you! To connect with us:

FB Twitter & LinkedIn

Want a copy of our free eBook Secrets To Reputation Marketing CLICK HERE!:

 

*source https://www.brightlocal.com/2018/08/22/facebook-switching-reviews-to-recommendations/

Need for Speed

In the latest SEO updates; Google has favored websites that have a quicker load-time than its competitors. Breaking down each pages contents into its algorithm; Google ranks sites with optimized content considerably higher than outdated websites. Issues at hand include Lose redirects, lagging server response times, and unoptimized images. Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) increase user-engagement and overall site performance.

 

Google holds user-experience as a top priority within its service objectives:

 

In addition to these tools for measuring UX; Your sites security and hosting settings play a big roll in your SERP rankings. Do not let a poorly designed website hinder your digital outreach. At Deluge Digital Marketing, we make sure your site is optimized to the fullest extent. We additionally identify a content strategy that keeps your pages active and boosts your user-engagement.

Source: Jamie Pitman

Power to your Pages

Power to your Pages

 

The web is growing rapidly; there are 1.8 million pages added every day. Web-crawlers scan these pages constantly. These bots scan new pages for keywords, content, and overall relevancy. According to AHREFS Traffic Study, only 5.7% of web pages gets ranked in the top 10 search results of Google. In other words; roughly 90% of websites get zero traffic from Google.

 

Two common factors that can greatly increase your relevancy:

  1. Backlinks- Backlinks significantly help your website rank higher in Google.

  2. Targeting relevant information and content-People can’t search for things they’re unaware of; you need to publish pages about topics that are trending within your industry.

Bottom line: Link-building your blog content and proper keyword research will greatly impact your SERP status and Google rankings.

5 Forecasts of Healthcare Marketing

The healthcare market is innovating like crazy. We are in a time where consumers are getting more and more critical of their healthcare providers. Your digital presence relies on seamless design, customer-centric experience with your brand, and integrating the needs of your customers today with the demands of tomorrow. The following predictions will help you rise to these demands.

1. Consumerism will become the Central Pillar of Governance.

Businesses are integrating marketing strategy with consumer experience to create a unified brand experience. These systems are vital for growing system revenue and strengthening internal CRM.

2. Digital Engagement Spending will Double.

Healthcare Businesses are getting hip to technology. Consumers are online and on mobile devices. Healthcare Businesses need to marshal every available resource to reach them. 

Millennials may be phone-obsessed, but those born after 1995 — so-called Generation Z — spend twice as much time on their phones as millennials, and they are twice as likely to make purchases online. Healthcare marketers and strategists need to capture these future consumers of healthcare.

3. A Big Uptick in Natural Language Processing

For many health systems, much of this digital investment will move toward natural language processing (NLP).

NLP enables organizations to instantly understand and aggregate the voices of their consumers. It algorithmically analyzes patient comments, parsing out commonalities and organizing them by sentiment, demographic or any other factors a marketing team might find useful.

4. Service Recovery Will Speed Up Dramatically

The combination of real-time customer feedback and NLP makes instant intervention much easier. Patient complaints no longer have to wait for human analysis. Instead, algorithms automatically identify opportunities for essential clinical and experiential follow-up.

5. The True Age of Wellness

The brutal truth is that most consumers would rather not become patients at all. For this reason, the $3 trillion–strong (and growing) wellness industry will continue to thrive in 2018.

Given the encroachment of nontraditional providers, health system leaders will be more motivated than ever. They’ll conceive new ways to participate in wellness,” and execution will fall to those in marketing and consumer experience.

At first, these may seem like intimidating issues to manage. But it’s important to remember that they’re all facets of the same issue: a transformational shift in consumer preferences.

This shift means that solid marketing strategy and execution have never been so important. The formula for success remains the same: the right engagement, with the right consumers, at the right time. Marketers that achieve this formula will have healthier communities, healthier bottom lines and a more defensible position in tomorrow’s healthcare market.

Source: https://medium.com/ama-marketing-news/6-predictions-for-healthcare-marketing-in-2018-f81d5164d28b

Healthcare Marketing, the Natural Way

Healthcare marketing is often part science and part art. Your patients don't want to feel like you're up-selling them. They want to feel cared for! By applying proven strategies and creatively connecting with a target audience, you can appeal to new patients and maintain your relationships with current ones. Below is a round-up of tactics that are effective for doctor's offices:

  1. The Power of PPC
    Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an intelligent form of online advertising for several reasons. Prospective clients frequently begin their search for health information and local providers through online searches via Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc... You can use this bid on key words that are associated with your services, narrowing down your scope to reach a target audience. PPC is very effective for sales driven campaigns as you only pay for visitors who search for your product or service, look at your ad, and visit your website.
     
  2. Video Versatility
    Video is one of the most effective forms of communication for the healthcare industry. To this day, people are still perplexed by everyday medical situations and they constantly search the web for information about what they see or what they have. However, often times, the more information people find, the more confused they get. Short videos act as a visual aid for sharing information, making it easier for patients to understand the issues they are curious about. Furthermore, video education has proven to be the direction user engagement is heading towards as long as they are informative and snackable (We usually recommend a vid duration of 2 minutes or less, 5 min at most).
     

  3. Blogging/Newsletters
    Blogging has been proven to be incredibly effective in building brand awareness, retaining clients/patients and acquiring new patients! Why? A blog and accompanying email newsletter show your patients that your clinic is knowledgable and up-to date on current issues. A lot of our clients ask us about how to properly execute email marketing. As we've discussed in previous posts, email marketing is ineffective UNLESS you're providing your clients with reliable, customized, interesting content. When used properly together, blogging and email newsletters can be quite successful. 
     

We know marketing efforts can be intimidating to start. That's why we guide our clients through this process and even go as far as creating content for them! Our best piece of advice is to just start creating! You can't get better at something without practice. As medical professionals, you have unique knowledge, and your patients want to learn from you!

 

Creating a Community of Wellness: What Doctors Can Do to Engage Patients and Build a Cult Following

Word of mouth as we all know is the best from of advertisement. Doctors can take advantage of this beyond just being good at their job. Especially for the millennial demographic, patients value services that are multidimensional; meaning, they want to be part of a community. Looking at strategies that large companies are incorporating right now can be a great way to boost your business. For example: Tiffany’s & Co. and Gucci are opening their own restaurants to extend their brand identity and allow consumers to be part of their brand experience. Millennial nowadays view luxury much more through an experiential lens than materialistic. Health and wellness is becoming a status symbol. Doctors can incorporate the same strategy luxury companies are using to take advantage of this new trend in luxury. Below are the few things doctors can do to cultivate a following and build a brand. 

1. Develop a fitness club:

Weather it’s SoulCycle or Barry’s Bootcamp, doctors can bring their clients together for a workout class not only to promote health but also show their clients another side of themselves that aren’t so serious. Creating a facebook group centered around fitness and wellness is one method to organize group activities in your community.

 
fitness-cycling
 

2. Have a wellness newsletter:

This is a great strategy to allow your patients to be notified of your practice’s updates. This newsletter should focus on things that your patients find useful, such as which food to eat and avoid, debunk health myths, and promote upcoming initiatives. Your social media accounts should serve a similar function as well, drawing in new patients and maintaining the interest of current ones.

3. Create partnerships with other doctors of different expertise:

Creating synergy with others in your field is one of the best ways to expand your network and attract a larger audience. Developing a referral network is beneficial to everyone. 

 

It’s Almost 2018. Stop Doing These Things Because It Will Get Your Business Nowhere
 

 

Holiday season. Q4. We’re finally here – the last stretch of 2017. As 2018 approaches, it’s time to reflect on your progress and rethink your marketing strategy as a whole. Even in traditional fields such as medical, the consumer needs are constantly changing and now more than ever, businesses need to get as personal with them as possible. Consumers are immune to the generic, the norm, and the mass-produced. To help you navigate the ever-changing online landscape, here’s a list of marketing techniques that aren’t worth your time:

 

1.   Generalized Drip Campaign

Drip campaign refers to direct marketing methods such as email marketing (Think: Mailchimp). It’s widely used because companies can deliver information right in front of the consumers’ face. Drip campaigns are mainly pre-written content and are automatically sent at predetermined times in order to engage these contacts. The idea is to bombard your consumers’ inbox enough that they’ll consider buying the product or service. However, consumers are much smarter now; they do not pay attention to contents that appeared mass-produced. To make matters more complicated, many millennial consumers (age 19-35) use an alias email when signing up for newsletters; making many of the impressions from marketing emails useless.

The solution to this is to find ways to categorize your audience. Find ways to collect not only their emails, but their age/race/gender etc….Doing so will allow you to customize your content delivery with information that your consumers will find useful, which will increase engagement level. For example, we tend to build sign up forms that ask for additional information from our clients.

 

2.    Focusing on Quantity

As consumers are drowning in high influxes of information every day of their lives, the last thing businesses should be focusing on is producing more and more useless content. In the age of The Internet of Things, businesses have to be smart and produce content that is engaging, thought-provoking, and most importantly, useful to their audience. Make sure the content is focused on one subject matter and serves a particular purpose. Example: driving leads to another piece of content or supporting a recent campaign.

 

3.    Organic-Only Facebook Strategies

The misconception many people that most people have is gaining a large audience on social media is free. In 2017, Facebook surpassed 1 billion users. That is a lot of fish in the sea. Facebook organic reach is at an all-time low and continues to decline; researchers say that currently, only 2 to 6 percent of small businesses’ audience are seeing their posts. When it comes to marketing, the general rule of thumb is it doesn’t matter how many people see their content, if they’re not your audience, then it’s practically useless. Your high impression count does not matter if your reach is low. Instead of trying to do it organically, try using Facebook’s boosted posts and advertising to not only increase your reach but also ensure you are getting your message in front of the right people at the right time. It’s much more beneficial to dominate your niche pond than to swim endlessly in an ocean leading to nowhere.

 

4.    Relying Strictly On a Text-Based SEO Strategy

People are multi-dimensional. It’s time for your marketing strategy to be the same way. Today’s consumers are all about multimedia; people want videos, images, and audio. They want options. It’s important to think about how your message can be delivered effectively to your consumers in all angels. Short video format was a big marketing trend in 2017. In 2016, video marketing was on the rise but once marketers saw that people weren’t listening to the audio, they started captioning every piece of video content and the format took off. Everything is revolved around consumer behavior; therefore, it’s important to be considerate of all forms of media people consume. Just optimizing the text on your website is not enough; it’s time to optimize your video, images, and audio files for searchers. By doing this, you are optimizing your messages in all formats that the users are searching for.

 

Our closing message: Treat your customers, patients, and clients like the unique individuals they are. Be open to new ideas. And most of all, don't be afraid to challenge yourself.

 
Want to Get More Patients Through the Door? Start On the Web: How SEO and Google AdWords Can Boost the Health of Your Practice.
 

In the competitive jungle of business (yes, that includes medical practices…) the name of the game is no longer just “getting people through the door”.  That’s the final step of the process.  But nothing more.  And getting to that step at all increasingly depends on your online skill set and strategic abilities.  

Before we move on to some targeted tips to boost your practice’s profits, let’s cover some rudimentary definitions.  First on our list, what is SEO?  SEO (“Search Engine Optimization”) involves a variety of on-page and off-page strategies with the end goal of helping a web page rank as highly as possible on Google.  As a frame of reference, when you hear SEO marketers talking about that “coveted spot”, they mean the very first spot on Google’s search results for a particular query.  

Secondly, what’s Google AdWords?  AdWords is a digital tool published by Google to help companies track and optimize their marketing efforts.  Its features include keyword planning, a range of advertising options, customer engagement initiatives, and more.  

Given its bundled features, and that you only pay for results, AdWords is a must for every medical practice that’s serious about its marketing.  So, essentially, every medical practice that cares about its continued existence...

Still on the fence about this modern masterpiece of digital marketing?  Read on for 3 of our favorite features from this SEO powerhouse.  They’ll be sure to get more people on your site and more patients through your door.  

1. Keyword Planner lets you craft the perfect strategy

Knowledge (and eventual mastery) of keyword strategy is utterly vital to the health of your practice.  Without going into too much detail (you can find that here), keyword strategy is based around the inclusion of predetermined words (keywords) on a web page.  

The idea is to build a page with the goal of ranking top on Google for a certain keyword or cluster of keywords.  For instance, if you’re an ophthalmologist, “glaucoma patient” might be a keyword that would interest you.  

Keyword Planner presents you with an immense amount of incredibly useful info to help plan, implement, and track your keyword strategy.  AdWords will show you the number of local and national searches for a given keyword, which are incredibly useful in choosing which keywords to go after.  

For instance, let’s say you run a brain imaging clinic in Columbia, MD.  “Brain imaging” would be an extremely hard keyword to rank for, since the competition for such a widely used phrase would be fierce.  (You’ll be able to see all this in real time with AdWords.)  But “Columbia brain imaging” might very well be a keyword your clinic could rank for.  

Keyword strategy may be a vital aspect of SEO success, but it’s only one of the many benefits AdWords offers.  

2. PPC (pay-per-click) means there’s no barrier to entry

PPC is an elegant solution to the single largest hurdle medical practices encounter when setting up a bona fide marketing push: budget.  

The core appeal of a PPC campaign can be summed up in four words: you pay for results.  Here’s what a PPC campaign with AdWords would look like, from a financial perspective.  It’s disarmingly simple.  

You merely create your ad for free, and set a predetermined daily budget.  You’ll pay a set amount with each click on your ad, and that will continue until your budget is depleted (at which point you’ll be prompted to reset your budget).  

PPC eliminates the “budget factor” with online advertising, allowing even startup practices to compete with confidence.  

3. An emphasis on metrics means you can double down on what works

One of the largest recurring problems among marketing campaigns is a lack of emphasis on tracking results.  No expense is spared when it comes to planning the content of a campaign, the psychological triggers that will send the patient into your office and yours alone, etc.  We get it…it’s easy to get stuck there, especially if you’re new to marketing.  

But here’s the honest truth.  If you care about the health of your practice, you can’t get stuck there.  Because marketing campaigns are won and lost largely in this: emphatically watching metrics that you’ve determined to be important (local page views, keyword ranking, etc.) and then readjusting your approach depending on the results you get.  

If you can watch, you can adapt.  It’s just that simple, and just that vital.  Google AdWords offers a wealth of important digital metrics you can use to gauge the success of your campaign, according to your unique goals.  

Conclusion

Google AdWords is hands down one of the most powerful digital marketing tools at your disposal.  Just always remember (this should be part of your core marketing ethic): getting a patient in the door starts on the web.  

Piqued your curiosity about AdWords?  Good.  Click here for even more ways you can maximize your relevance and impact with AdWords.

 
 
Looking to Exude Industry Authority and Build Patient Trust? A YouTube Channel May Be Just What the Doctor Ordered for your Practice…
 

In the world of modern marketing, one core asset rises above all others in its ability to get patients through your door.  It’s not SEO (though that’s massively helpful).  And you won’t find it hiding in your social media channels, either (though, again, massively helpful, so include that in your marketing quiver by all means).  These are all vital strategic points, yes.  But the most important element comes from you, and you alone: trust.  

Trust is without a doubt the keystone of all successful marketing.  Without it, you’re getting nowhere fast.  The buzzword in marketing circles these days is “attention”….we’re in a constant battle for the attention of our prospects, who literally have thousands of avenues down which to turn their precious attention at any given moment.  But outside of shock value (probably not ideal for us medical marketers…), trust is the singular golden ticket of digital marketing.  What other benefits do you stand to gain, you’re probably wondering?  Read on.

1.Trust (no, we’re not being redundant…it matters that much).

Think of it…if trust is the golden ticket to marketing pretty much everything, how much more essential is it for medical marketing?  Your patients aren’t simply entrusting you with their money; they’re entrusting you with their physical and psychological well-being.  In other words, they’re already on high alert for a trustworthy ally in their quest for total overall health.  Trust is so important to them at this juncture, that they will be prioritizing it on the subconscious level as they surf websites and marketing materials.  

So how does a YouTube channel uniquely position you to win the trust of your clients and patients?  For starters, it allows you to leverage multiple points of sensory connection.  When you publish educational content on YouTube, you’re connecting with your prospects visually, with audio, and you’re establishing your unique expertise. Especially if you or members of your staff feature prominently in your content.  Don’t let yourself be camera or audio shy. Because guess what?  Your competitor across town who isn’t so shy is actively stealing your patients (and your revenue). 
Why, you ask?  They trust him or her more than you.  Not because of any inherent superiority.  Their practice may pale in comparison to your state-of-the-art equipment and celebrated medical expertise.  But they made the connection first.  They won the prospect’s trust and turned that prospect into a patient.  Next time, try to beat that practice across town to the punch.  (You can thank us later…)
 

2. A Modern Image (if “outdated” enters a prospect’s mind…you’re done)

Another truism in the world of marketing: if you’re not sprinting ahead, you’re falling behind, and quickly.  The world is accelerating, and marketing is one of the easiest sectors in which to verify this.  The name of the game today is integration.  Your prospects want (demand, really) access to your practice across channels, with the knowledge that you’re just a click or a swipe away.  (Double down on this fact if your team handles any sort of critical care scenarios.) 

As much as anything else, it’s what you’re implying to your patients that really gets them to pause and take note.  Again, if the word “outdated” even creeps into a prospect’s mind, you’re dead in the water.  In the realm of marketing, objective aims always apply (trust, modernity, SEO, etc.), but with the medical niche, the total integration factor is multiplied tenfold.  We really cannot emphasize that enough…
 

3. A Lot of the Work’s Been Done For You (but that doesn’t absolve you from strategizing)  

It’s important to remember that there are multiple avenues to successful marketing on YouTube (medical and otherwise).  If for some reason a full-blown content marketing approach isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps consider paid ads for your practice or any number of other methods.  

But let’s say for the sake of argument that you’ve opted to create a short ad for your practice, with the intention of running it on YouTube.  Frankly, that’s a great idea, and we commend you for your modern thinking.  But your work’s hardly done (and we mean that in the best way possible).  

Creating your ad is only the beginning.  The next step is to target which videos you want it to play prior to.  Your decision here will be based on the content of the video your ad will precede, the viewer demographics, etc.  This info is readily available through a variety of metrics tracking tools, and taking advantage of it will repay you handsomely.  But paid ads are just one of the many YouTube marketing tactics at your disposal.  

Whichever you choose, just remember: YouTube is a massive digital ecosystem.  What does this mean for you?  If you’re objective, intelligent, and know exactly who to target, you can leverage the unbelievable amount of existing user data on YouTube to take your practice to the next level more quickly than almost any other digital strategy.  

Final Thoughts

If you take nothing else away from this article, burn this one fact into your brain (and then repeat it three times daily in front of a mirror, for good measure): trust is the keystone of successful medical marketing.  And a YouTube channel for your practice is one of the quickest, surest ways to reach that critical objective.  

But we can break the matter of trust down even further, into subcategories that are every bit as vital.  Beyond building trust through multi-sensory connections (audio, visual, etc.), a well-maintained YouTube channel projects an attitude of industry expertise, and confidence in your facilities and abilities.  A modern, integrated image is more important in medical marketing than pretty much any other sector.  

Bet you’re already busy brainstorming your first video, aren’t you?  Go get after it, and good luck.  

 
Brooke Renov
How to Set a Marketing Budget for Your Business
 

In the early stages of a company's success, many entrepreneurs try to avoid setting a marketing budget. We're here to tell you, it's not as intimidating as it sounds. See our tips for getting the most for your money.

1. Define Your Marketing Goals 

A company's marketing budget should be customized to fit the needs of the company. Do you need more sales? Do you want to create brand awareness locally or nationally? Do you want to use marketing to revitalize relationships with existing customers?

2. Evaluate the Stage Your Business is in

For new businesses, it is widely recommended to spend between 8-10% of your revenue on marketing. However, there are exceptions for businesses in high-competition industries.
If you're industry is highly competitive, your budge can range anywhere from 12-20% depending on how high your operating costs are. 
For established businesses, with at least $5M in revenue, 12% is standard budget allocation. 
Additionally, understand that marketing drives revenue. Meaning you need marketing to grow as a company. Creating a marketing plan with a professional is one way of making sure this occurs. 

"Marketing Drives Revenue"

3. Test

It's highly likely that you won't KNOW the magic number until you test multiple marketing strategies, and evaluate which ones work best. This should be factored in to your marketing plan from the beginning. Marketing investment is a necessary risk. 

4. Don't Panic

Easier said than done. However, building up your marketing presence to accomplish your goals takes time. Make sure you look at how your marketing investment will pay off long term! You may not see direct results within the first couple months, but a successful marketing plan should increase your over-all revenues within the first year!

For clarification on marketing budget spending by industry, check out this helpful graph:

 
Increase Your Reach with Google Posts!

Are you using the Google My Business (GMB) platform for your business? Google My Business just rolled out Google Posts for small businesses. Google Posts allow businesses to create posts under their business listing. This gives business owners control over the information that first appears to customers in search and map results.

Promotion

This tool is best used to promote events, discounts, or new additions to your business. Google Posts is a low time investment with the potential for high returns (leads). This makes it a great addition to your business’ social media and helps to engage potential customers organically.

Free Lead Generation

With the addition of call to action buttons like “Learn More”, “Get Offer”, or “Sign Up”, you can think of this as FREE lead generation advertising. How cool is that?

Here’s how to get started:

  1.  Make sure you’ve created a GMB account. If you haven’t, click here
  2.  Log in to your GMB account and navigate to the “Posts” tab on the left side menu.
  3. Once there you have the option to upload promotional photos, write posts, and insert your one-click call to action.

Check out these examples!

Show Me The ROI!

There are many different aspects to running a strong and successful business. Ranging from managing your employees to filling out tax documents to maintaining a quality product/service that will continue to bring repeat business. Through all of the busyness of running a business, marketing can sometimes take a back seat to the immediate necessities. However, maintaining a healthy marketing strategy may be more important that you think and too often it is ignored, pushed to the back burner or a common complaint is “I have no time.”  The truth is you can’t afford to not make the time to do what it takes to bring more clients or patients in your doors.  A proactive approach is critical.

The biggest hang-up for most companies when considering their marketing plan is that they see it as an expense.  It is an investment. Expense marketing is when you pay for a certain level of promotion for a period of time. This can manifest in the form of a sponsored post on Facebook that eventually runs its course and either runs out of money for continued promotion or value by decreased consumer clicks, flyers and event promotions. Investment marketing, however, is when you invest in forms of marketing that will continue to bring in revenue and new customers on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. These include but are not limited to creating websites, reviews, business listings, training tools, compelling content for your social media including but not limited to engaging articles/blogs. These forms of investment marketing will permanently remain on the web allowing consumer traffic to flow and continuing to bring your companies name and mission to their attention at no further cost to you past the initial expense.

For most companies having a healthy marketing budget is more of a luxury than a necessity. When times a tough and you have to tighten the belt a bit, it is usually the marketing budget that takes the first cut. Although understandable, this can be a huge mistake. I rarely see those companies continue to dominate their market when they cut critical marketing that has been working for them.  Investing in your brand is how you reach audience and bring in new business. Cutting back less your future revenue options and continues dragging you down in a state of diminished profit instead of prosperity. Successful companies like Kellogg and Proctor & Gamble chose to ramp up their marketing strategy during economic recessions and were able to stand out from their competitors resulting in substantial growth during times where most businesses were closing their doors. Following examples like this and shifting your mentality towards marketing being an investment instead of an expense will allow you to grow and expand - even in a time of low cash flow. If you cut anything best to cut your print marketing in this day and age.  Let’s face it, reputation marketing including reviews, social media and targeted ads to your ideal consumers are what will set you apart from your competition and get you results.

By choosing strategies that create higher revenue than the cost to execute them will make your marketing plan more efficient and profitable. A formula for success is to pursue investment marketing avenues primarily then include some expense marketing. There is a time and place for both and each of them attracts your consumers in different ways.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 10.17.59 AM.png

Do not be afraid to branch out and try something new.  Many of my clients and medical practices have done the same marketing over and over and are sometimes reluctant to invest in modern techniques that have been proven but feel uncomfortable to them because they haven’t tried them before.  Marketing strategies have had to adjust to the age of the informed consumer. Think about how your consumers go about spending their money.  Think about the steps you take before you make a purchase.  Think about the steps your children take before they make an informed decision.  In order to continue to move forward successfully, adjusting our methods to suit our customers is vital to continued business growth. This is why we offer programs that best suit how your consumers are using reviews, search engine results, micro moments and social media to make decisions on how to spend their money and choose you over your competition because you stand out in a way that nobody else does.   Instead of mediocre, we help our business partners set them selves apart in a way that makes them the clear and obvious choice in their markets.  To us, this is clearly an investment, not an expense.

Tamela Cantor
How to Set Up a Business Page on Yelp and Google!

For most business owners, reviews are a sore subject. It feels like everyone has a story of that nightmare client. Collective groans aside, reviews are important to new clients!

So what’s the first step to getting online reviews?

Depending on the industry, certain platforms will be more important than others. Websites like Yelp, Google, Zocdoc and others provide tools for business owners once they have claimed their pages. To start you off, here’s a step by step guide to listing your business on Yelp and Google.

 
 

Yelp:
 

Step 1: Claim your business page 

Step 2: Add company information such as address, phone number, and your website.

(If you don’t have a website, feel free to contact us for a consultation. Adding recognizable photos such as your company logo will make it easier for customers to find your page.

Step 3: Make sure you respond to your reviewers!

When customers leave reviews, positive or negative, make sure you respond politely using your business account. Displaying your amazing customer service skills online will make your customers feel safe!

 

(Via- Yelp Support)

 

 
 (Via-  Google Help )
 

Google:

To Start, Sign up to “Google My Business”

Follow these steps to sign up:

  1. Go to google.com/business and click Start now at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Sign in to your Google account, or create one if you don’t already use Google services.
  3. You’ll see a map of your country with a form at the top left. Enter your business name in the first field.
  4. As you type, suggestions for possible matches will appear. If you see your business, select it from the suggestions.
  5. Complete the rest of the fields with your business information, then click Continue. You may see a potential matching business suggested to you. If this is your business, click it. If it’s not your business, click "Keep the information I entered."
  6. You'll see the option to confirm that you're authorized to manage the business. If you are, check the box, then click Continue. If you aren’t authorized to manage the business, find the person in your organization who is, then continue signing up.

Now that you've finished that, Navigate to Google My Business

  1. Search for your business using its name and address.
  2. Brands, organizations, or artists should follow these steps.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
  5. Click Submit.

(via – Google Help)

and viola! You're all set up!

You Are Handling Negative Reviews ALL WRONG

Do you have a way for your clients, customers, or patients to share how they feel when they are emotionally compelled to do so?  

What is your plan to control negative content from leaking out online?

Have you considered if and when you get a negative review, how you will handle it?

Did you realize that most searches are now taking place on mobile devices and if you aren’t showing up looking stellar on mobile, as well as on a computer, you are losing clients?

Did you know that 60% say that negative reviews make them not want to use a business?*

What is the best way to handle negative reviews?

Our clients, customers, and patients (if we are health practitioners) are important to the health and well-being of our businesses and practices. At some point, you are going to encounter a situation where an unhappy patron feels compelled to complain about your organization online. This occurrence is somewhat unavoidable so it is better to be prepared for how to handle these negative reviews ahead of time then it is to sit back and hope they never happen to begin with or then do what people usually do - handle them  ALL WRONG!

Although people post negative reviews online for a lot of different reasons (not all of them simply because they are disgruntled), the good news is that you have the power to respond to their concerns and turn it around, if possible.  

The current political climate is affecting many people's outlook on life and many have a negative mindset even before they walk through your door.  People are on edge; the smaller things tend to seem much bigger than ever before and we have seen an upswing in negative content everywhere including a surge of negative reviews online. Instead of staying up late at night, sweating over the possibility of getting a terrible online review, or worse yet, freaking out then responding badly once you get one, here are some suggestions from us on how to approach online criticism and protect your online reputation.

Don’t Panic!

Do not freeze in fear and neglect to respond to a negative review. Remember that the person finding fault with your business has nothing to lose by complaining about your business online but your reputation is at stake. Businesses have been known to respond without thinking and in a defensive manner which comes across online as arrogant and disrespectful. You don’t want that lasting impression of your work to sit there for people to share and take screenshots of – further damaging your reputation.

Also, if you spend any time digging into the history of the pe posting the review, you will often find that they are critical of many of the businesses they patronize. Starting an online war with a loony toon is never a good idea so it’s essential to take the source into consideration. This may surprise you but, in a good many cases, we don’t recommend you respond at all. It will merely escalate the problem.  If you have someone mentally unstable posting negative content, it looks worse for you to respond.  Just consider the source.

If you feel it is a legitimate complaint, it’s important to respond quickly but appropriately, showing that you care about the person’s feelings and demonstrating, publically, your desire to try to make things right.

Don’t Ignore Your Kudos

Before you start dealing with those negative reviews, take some time to engage and interact with all the positive online reviews and testimonials you have received. Thank your raving fans since they are the ones who love you and engaging with them provides more benefits than expending all your energy interacting with people determined to dislike you. Don’t ignore your kudos!

Don’t Overcomplicate Things

If you must respond, and sometimes your online reputation requires you to do so, keep your response simple. A brief, one to two sentences, is all that is necessary. Stick to the facts. Often, we suggest that you acknowledge the grievance in a sympathetic tone and give them the opportunity to speak with you offline in an attempt to make things right. That is all that is needed. No matter how heated you feel, do not go into the matter online where everyone can see the exchange.

Don’t Just Be Reactive

While you can try to get the negative review removed, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to do so. It’s true that the system is often abused but it wouldn’t work at all if business owners had the capability of simply deleting any of the reviews they didn’t like. What is a better approach? Stop obsessing over the negative and focus on raising up the amount of excellent online reviews. That same time and energy you are using to cover up the bad could be channeled into building up and even better online reputation! Put a system in place to ask for reviews and be consistent about it. One negative review will hardly hold its weight about a mountain of raving ones.  This is where we come in.  We help hundreds of businesses have a systematic way to collecting all of the content they can, push out the amazing content to all of the places that matter while preventing negative content from being seen.  Then, if someone does post directly online something you don’t want seen, we have a system to help you bury it.

Important Fact: According to the research done by Reevoo – “68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all.” Which means, a site padded with 5 Star reviews doesn’t come off as genuine or authentic and will make your audience suspicious. Let’s face it; no one is perfect all the time.

Mobile First

The people who use Mobile Internet to read reviews jumped to 61% (38% in 2015)*

What that means for you is that you need to be sure your reviews are not just being requested in a way that doesn’t allow for those to post their content on an online review site like Google, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc.  It’s great to ask for feedback.  What is not great is not getting it to the places that your audience will actually see how much your existing clients or patients love you. 

If you are in business, someone will eventually post a negative review – it’s a fact of doing business. Developing an online reputation strategy that will impact your prospects in such a way that they will want to pick up the phone and contact you first is the way to go. Consumers like to shop around online for the best solution to their problem but they have limited time and attention to do so, make your business stand out online using these suggestions.

We are here to help!  Have a question?  Book a FREE 30 Minute FREE Market Analysis and see where we can help you take charge of your online reputation today.

*Bright Local 2016 Consumer Review Survey Statistic.

Tamela Cantor
The Importance of Owning Your Business Listings

Four out of five consumers now use search engines to find local businesses. This is why you must own your business listings. Any company or individual can set up your information through places like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages and more. Some customers may have the best intentions, but others can use this as a chance to create confusion and cause your reputation to suffer.

The more of these pages (aka listings, citation sites, directory sites) you control and maximize, the higher your business will appear in search engine algorithms. The higher your visibility on the first page of search engine results, the more social proof you will gain for potential clients and customers. Being an established company is almost as important as customer and client reviews.  We have a joke in this industry. Where do you hide the dead body?  Page two of the search engines!

You want to dominate your local area search results. Your business listings are the key to doing that, and your future depends on it, guaranteed.

Not so long ago, listing your business in the White or Yellow Pages was all you needed. Shoot, you could even put an ad in the paper or send out a postcard and that would do the trick.  With GPS and mobile use dominating search engine results, over 60% of searches are now done on mobile devices, your company must get the future is now. Mobile access is becoming more important than ever. Apps like Yelp and Google Maps and even Facebook will require accurate, up-to-date information. Please note that the iPhone and other Mac products use Apple Maps Connect as their map application. With accurate listings, your customers can find you on-the-go with no fuss. Nothing frustrates a customer more than inaccurate information such as business hours being wrong or not listed at all, no feel for what the business looks like because the images are missing.

Pro Tip:  At a minimum, your address, phone number, website, and hours of operation need be listed correctly.  

The best way to control your reputation is to claim those listings for yourself, using your own logins and passwords. A note of caution here. Be very careful who you let have access. There have been nightmare stories about shady companies, prior employees, and vengeful admins who used the login credentials and administrative privileges provided to them to discredit, slander, alter, and/or delete the listings completely.

Be proactive. You want to claim them as soon as you’re able, since most business listing sites require verification of identity after an account has already been built. This can take up to 45 days in the inside when you use a company like ours, up to two months on the outside and if you do it yourself, in some cases, it could take years to be even semi-accurate.

If you find that someone else has set up an account, or if you notice that a prior owner of your establishment still has access, contact the site admins immediately for assistance. The sooner it happens, the faster you’ll have the reins of your reputation firmly in hand.  If you are unable to do so, there are ways you can access your listings, some easier than others and recently Google My Business has made it even easier.  Keep a master website address for access to your listings with logins and passwords handy and updated.  Not sure where to start or don’t have the manpower to even begin to tackle this project?  That is why we developed a program that will do it for you with no headaches.  The best advice is, while you don’t “own” your Google, Yelp or Facebook pages, you can control the content and the best way to do that is to know how to access them quickly and effectively.

Tamela Cantor