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Welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips Podcast, your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better, and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes, and sharing successes. Let’s get started.
Jennifer: Hey there. Welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips Podcast. I’m Jennifer.
Corey: And I’m Corey.
Jennifer: And we are here today to talk about probably something that you’re thinking about as you’re looking at what you’re going to do in 2019, and that’s what kind of new things can you be doing, or cool things can you be doing moving forward that are going to make your practice stand out? Corey had a client come to him recently and asked him a couple of questions about some new things that they might want to try in 2019, and Corey immediately slammed on the breaks, said, “Hold on a second. Let’s talk this through.” We thought this might make a good episode. With that, Corey, tell us about what happened.
Corey: Yeah, so I’m just going to read a snippet of the email here to get started. It says, “I wanted to see what you thought about doing webinars with a live Q&A. We need to really hit the marketing hard in the coming year to expand and grow the practice. We’re open to new ideas and marketing techniques as well. They want to what we think about doing a webinar. First, my thought was why you want to do a webinar. A webinar, just in case you don’t know, is basically where you’re sharing your screen. It can be live or it can be pre-recorded, but there’s a piece of content on the screen. People can sign up to watch it. Then essentially the physician or whoever’s presenting it will give that information. If it’s live, you can include a Q&A component, so if I’m sitting in the webinar, I can actually type up a question and it’ll pop up on the screen. The physician can then answer it. If it’s pre-recorded, obviously you can’t do that part of it.
Corey: First thing I thought was, “Let’s talk about why you’d want to do one of these.” There’s some good reasons and there’s some bad reasons. Some of the good reasons to do a webinar include generating patient leads for an expensive or an elective procedure. As an example, we’ve set up a webinar for an orthopedic client of ours that is now doing stem cells. Essentially, the webinar, people sign up for it. It’s pre-recorded and they watch a 10-minute presentation on what stem cells are, what their capabilities are, some of the treatment and outcomes. So far, since we’ve launched that, we’ve got 53 signups and over a thousand page views to watch this webinar, so about 5% of people that land on the page wind up watching the webinar, so it generates those patient leads, we collect a little bit of information, and then hopefully the people watch the webinar and they kind of funnel down into becoming a patient, ultimately getting a stem cell procedure. That’s a great reason to do one.
Corey: It also helps position yourself as an expert in the community. You’ve got a physician, he’s answering these questions and he’s providing this free education resource. That is a great reason to do a webinar. There are some bad reasons too, and I think that this is where this particular client was coming from, where the doctor heard the term recently or participated in one and said, “Hey. We should do one of those. Why don’t we do that?” No rhyme or reason, just we should do that. No thought about what actually goes into that, some of the planning, some of the expenses, some of the expectations. The worst reason to do a webinar is if I ask you, “Why are we doing this?” And you say, “I’m not really sure,” which is something that we’ve come across too. As you’re preparing one of these, it’s important to take a look at why you’re doing it, and then ultimately what you want the outcome to be because if you’re just doing it to do it, it’s not going to be successful.
Jennifer: Yeah. I’ll even go further. I think that some people in their mind, they hear ‘webinar’ and they think one thing, but the fact is webinar actually may mean, based on who you’re talking to, may mean something completely different. For me, I take it as a webinar are these pesky emails that I receive all the time asking if I want to join a live webinar. Nine times out of 10, yeah, I absolutely do because I know it’s going to be great information, but nine-and-a-half times out of 10, I don’t have the time to sit down and devote an hour to a live webinar. So I’ll either do one of two things. I’ll have somebody else go on the webinar and then do a screen recording so I can watch it, or I’ll wait until after the webinar has become on-demand and then I’ll go grab the information there, but most of the time I just forget about it after the fact and I don’t go back to it.
Jennifer: I think that understanding what a webinar means to a person, to the potential, to the provider … Does this mean live? Does its mean on-demand? We have some clients that will interchange an audio, like a podcast, with a webinar and not even realize that they’re doing it. A webinar to some may mean like a Live Facebook thing. I think that it begs to the bigger picture of you want to do something new in the new year, you want to do something that not everybody else is doing. Maybe that is something where you’re interacting at a different level with your potential patient, and maybe a webinar is one tool in the toolbox, but at the end of the day, you want to understand, like you said, the good reasons and the bad reasons and then take it a step further and realize that it can be a bigger picture item. You just want to reach patients in a new way, and is a webinar one of the right tools to use from your toolbox? I think that’s just important when we’re planning new things for the new year.
Corey: Yeah. You don’t just want to get into a situation where you’re just sort of reacting, where a physician comes up and says, “Hey, why don’t we do one of these things?” Rather than react, you want to respond. I think the difference is, if you’re reacting, you don’t really have a plan. You’re just saying, “Oh yeah, no. We should totally do that. I was actually thinking about putting one on tomorrow.” You’re just making something up. If you have a plan to respond and you know why you’re doing this, what you’re doing, how you’re going to do it, and what goes into it, then you can really plan for a successful webinar. I think part of that planning is setting the expectation. You could have two people sign up if you’re doing a live webinar, like Jen mentioned. You can try and solicit these people, but sometimes they just can’t make it and you wind up with two people in the room and then you’re going to have an upset doctor on your hands, and nobody wants that, or you could have 200, which is awesome.
Jennifer: If you like what you’re hearing and need some help marketing your medical practice this year, be sure to check us out at insightmg.com. That’s insight, M, as in marketing, G, as in group, dot com. Don’t think you’ve got a budget for this kind of stuff? Think again. We’ve got you covered. Make sure you schedule a free consult today.
Corey: And if you want to include a Q&A part, you just have to remember that sometimes there may not be people in there to Q. There’s not going to be people to ask questions. You have all the answers, but no one to ask the questions and kind of tee it up. That’s when it comes down to deciding on a format. Jen touched on this earlier. Is it going to be a live one? Is it going to be pre-recorded? Live, you can do the Q&A and the recording, assuming it goes well, but some docs, and we have some that we work with, they don’t present well. They get caught up on their words. They’re wonderful physicians, but they just can’t speak to a group.
Corey: Pre-recorded, you get the chance to put your best foot forward. You can edit some things down if you need to. You can change angles. You can add information and then really use it as a one-time use of the doctor’s time. I need you for a half an hour to record this thing, and then that thing, the webinar, is going to live on and you can market it indefinitely. Whereas if it’s a live event, you get the one time out of it.
Jennifer: Yeah, and I think it’s also important when you’re deciding on format. Like Corey said, we have these doctors that are great from a doctor/patient relationship standpoint. They’re great at practicing medicine, but dear Lord, I don’t want to put them on camera. So when you’re deciding format, you also need to decide is this a video where they’re going to see the doctor’s face? Is this something where it’s going to be recorded and the lighting of the room is going to matter? Is this something where it’s going to be recorded and the lighting of the room is going to matter? Is this something where it’s just a voiceover on top of a PowerPoint presentation? Is it a little step further with a split screen? How are you going to deal with those Q&A session pieces where there aren’t many Qs coming in because nobody else is there? Do you have other staff on hand?
Jennifer: If it’s live, do you have a backup plan of how you’re going to deal with the fact that nobody showed up, you wasted the doctor’s time even though you and I know it’s not a waste of the doctor’s time, and how are we going to feed the doctor’s ego a little so he feels like people are there interacting? Do we have that backup plan if technology fails? Or if it’s pre-recorded, how are we going to manage those expectations as well? I just think there’s so much more that goes than just saying like, “Hey, let’s do a webinar. Let’s tackle something new this year because the hospital down the street did, so now we know how to do it.”
Corey: Right, exactly. Then to that point too is you’re trying to figure out what the expectations are and how the format’s going to be. Also, think about the audience. Is it the medical community? Because that’s a very different PowerPoint than it would be for a new patient that’s interested in a specific procedure, and so you have to remember who you’re talking to and the PowerPoint has to reflect that.
Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. We have a doctor that we work with who is launching a podcast this year, and his podcast, he’s having really high-level discussions in his podcast with other physicians within the field he’s in, but his marketing is going after it feels like more of a consumer, like a lower-level patient who maybe isn’t as educated. I think if you’re going to tackle any of these endeavors, and I’m not saying that a podcast or a webinar isn’t a great idea marketing your practice. It depends on your practice, but there are just so many questions that you need to answer leading into it.
Corey: Absolutely. Let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to create a webinar. You’re going to need some technology and you’re going to want to work through those kinks early because the worst thing that can happen, Jen just alluded to it, is have something go wrong with the technology side of it. As the physician comes in, he’s got half an hour exactly and you go to hit play and then something crashes.
Jennifer: Or the audio doesn’t work.
Corey: Right. Yeah. Exactly, or suddenly the camera’s not working, and yeah. All kinds of stuff can go wrong. Bring in IT if you have the opportunity. Remember, if you’re running on an old Windows XP machine from 2008 that can barely open a Word document, that’s not going to be the machine that you want to do the webinar on. You’re going to want a mic, so small investment there. If you Google Blue Snowball, and I know that sounds weird, but Blue like the color and then Snowball, they actually make a great microphone and they’re like 60 bucks. They’re cheap and they work very, very well. You’re also going to need some sort of software to do this webinar. If you’re going to do a live webinar, you’ve decided that’s the format you want to go with so you can have the Q&A and hope that people come and fill up the “seats” to listen at a specific day and time. There’s a couple really good platforms out there.
Corey: GoToWebinar is a very popular one you’ve probably heard of. Webex is a popular one you’ve probably heard of, and Zoom. Those would be our recommendations there. If it’s not live, you have a bunch of options. If you’re running on a Mac, you’ve got QuickTime built into your Mac, so you can just use that and record the screen. If you’re running on a PC, you can download something for free called OBS Studio. It will essentially do the same thing as QuickTime. It’s a little bit more complex, but learning curve’s easy enough, or if you’re using Google Chrome, you can use a tool called Loom. Loom is a free plugin extension within Chrome and it will record any window on your computer, not just within Chrome.
Jennifer: No, I think those were good points and I think that … Here’s the thing too. I don’t want our practices that are listening to us to be turned off by the technology piece because I think that it’s pretty simple to do a webinar. If you can do a PowerPoint and you can basically hit record on your computer, then the tools are right there are your fingertips or they’re really close by, and so don’t be turned off by the tools, but the fact is you’ve got to have your game plan when it comes to the tools, especially if you’re going live because you don’t want to waste anybody’s time, including your own time. You don’t want to waste your own time in this effort.
Corey: Yeah, exactly. You just need a little checklist to run through, but nothing about it is complex.
Jennifer: Nope. Not at all. It’s just a matter of, like anything, it’s a matter of sitting down and just doing it and finding the time to do it and making it part of your overall plan. Corey, if you’re going to do a webinar where you’ve got a video recording, what kind of things should a practice be thinking about?
Corey: Well, one thing to think about is if the physician’s going to be on the screen the entire time, this sounds silly, but you’re going to want to make sure that he’s presentable. You’re not going to want him to come straight out of surgery, let’s say, so he’s in scrubs necessarily. You may want that depending on what the procedure is that he’s wearing the scrubs, but you don’t want him with his hair messed up looking scruffy. You want him to look somewhat like his headshot. I mean, as close as you can get to the headshot. The room is also going to have to be well-lit because bad lighting is going to make for a bad webinar. People are going to get caught up on that.
Corey: Some other things to consider is try and find a spot that’s quiet, preferably not near a bathroom or a front desk where you can always hear people talking or opening and closing doors, toilets flushing, sinks coming on and off. We’ve been to many practices. Some of the conference rooms, they’re right next to a bathroom, so you’re in the middle of making a point and you can hear the toilet flush. It’s just kind of distracting.
Jennifer: I have more than once sat down with our video editing folks and said, “I think that’s a toilet. You’ve got to get rid of that noise.”
Corey: Yeah, exactly.
Jennifer: More than once, I’ve heard a door creak open and have to change that.
Corey: Yup. It’s something that you don’t think about. You find the right room. You want to put a sign on the door that says what you’re doing. You probably want to send out a memo or at least talk to some of the folks that are around that station so that they know that you’re recording something in there. I’ve done one of these before where we did not put the office phone on silent, and so the physician got paged. Luckily, it was a pre-recorded webinar, so we just started over and edited that part out, but live and learn. You want to make sure the phone is either unplugged or on silent. Make sure all cellphones are on silent, watches, beepers, any other sort of device that’s out there.
Corey: Then I think it kind of goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, you want to make sure that you have a really good PowerPoint. This is supposed to be a marketing initiative, which means that it should look good. The PowerPoint is a reflection of your practice and it is a reflection of your brand, which means use the latest logo. We’ve seen practices before use an old logo. Their physicians put together the PowerPoint. They don’t know there’s a different logo or that the colors have changes, that they’re now blue and yellow, so they use teal and purple.
Jennifer: Don’t stretch it out.
Corey: Yeah. Right, so it’s pixelated. You want to avoid that. I would say also make sure that you’re not doing more than 10 to 15 slides because even if you’re only doing, let’s say, a 10 or 15-minute PowerPoint, if there’s so many slides to go through, it can be really distracting. If you market that it’s a 60-slide PowerPoint, you may even turn people off right there. Don’t use a lot of scientific terms if the audience is going to be a new or potential patient because you’re going to be talking above their head. They’re going to lose interest and just duck out of the webinar, and always remember that people signed up to find out what’s in it for them, so every slide, as much as possible, should sort of convey that message. You don’t want to really change or dilute what the physician or presenter is saying, but you do want to make sure that, whenever you can, you can sort of guide that message to say, “What’s in it for me? Because that’s why I signed up to watch this thing.”
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Jennifer: Yeah, and I think, as it relates to the PowerPoint, you said it early on, but this is a marketing effort and so this is a great opportunity for the marketing team to come up with a slide deck that translates across the practice. That slide deck can then build you kind of that AdSense that goes out there when you’re in the community and you’re delivering a slide presentation. It’s the same slide deck or something similar, maybe multiple sub-specialties within the practice. Maybe each slide deck is a different color based on what you’re doing it for, but this is an opportunity for marketing to provide some continuity when it comes to your marketing materials, and so it’s just so important for somebody to have a final say when it comes to the PowerPoint and maybe that final say … The doctor should be the one to have the final say on the content, but the marketing department or whomever is in charge of your brand standards should really use this as a final say in the way that things look and feel and get translated to the potential patient.
Corey: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you can’t even put together a PowerPoint, why would you operate on me? You know what I mean?
Jennifer: Yeah, totally.
Corey: Yeah. It all has to sort of play together in making you look like you know what you’re doing.
Jennifer: I’m going to say this final on the PowerPoint. Don’t use any nasty photos. Same thing with social media. Don’t use gross photos. Know your audience.
Corey: Yeah, exactly.
Jennifer: If you’re going to rip them open, don’t show them the inside of somebody’s body. That’s just scary.
Corey: Jen was just mentioning marketing, so that’s the last thing that I wanted to touch on was, obviously, you’re going to want to market this thing, so give yourself enough lead time to actually put people there, especially if you’re doing it live. You’re going to want at least probably two to three weeks, arguably a little bit more. Then some ideas that you can do to actually get people there, just going to run through a few. You can put fliers out or signs in the office. You’re going to want a handful of social media posts. You’re going to want to do some digital ads if you have a small budget to do that because you can target the audience that you want. For example, I would mention that stem cell webinar earlier. That’s someone that is a little bit older, but they’re still active. Thanks for the Facebook targeting tools, we can actually put an ad right to them that …
Corey: Let’s say they have an interest in biking, so we can create an ad that says, “Maintain your ability to cycle without surgery. Check out this webinar to learn more.” You’re also going to want to have an email list of past patients. That’s a great opportunity to reengage them. On your website, you can also use a blog post or create some sort of a landing page or a popup notice that says that you’re producing this webinar and invite people to attend that way. It’s a mix of things that you can actually do in the office and online to get people to sign up for the webinar.
Jennifer: Absolutely. I think a couple takeaways that I have as I relates to a webinar, for me, I have practices that come to us all the time and they’ll say, “Look. I got 10 doctors, 12 doctors and I can’t just do one webinar focused on one doctor or one area of the practice. I need to do a lot of things.” Well, from a content planning standpoint, you could do a different webinar every month. It’s one of those things that you don’t need to do it live. It’s kind of fun to do something live, but you could do this as pre-recorded, can it, launch every month, you have a different webinar available per doctor, and then literally have 12 different doctor campaigns running at once. These are all things that you can quantify and really come back with numbers and say, “Hey, doc. You spent an hour of your time doing this. We spent about 20 hours putting it together, but you’ve generated a thousand page views, a 5% turnover. It equated to nine people actually making an appointment, and three of those are surgeries that are some of your higher ROI surgeries.”
Jennifer: I think that a webinar is just another piece of content that you can include in your toolbox of content-delivering methods, and webinars are one. Then the second thing, I’ve been focusing a lot on the employee engagement customer service patient experience training that we have been putting together for the new year. We use it as an example a lot in the patient experience training is that patients, they just expect a higher level of customer service nowadays than they did in the past. For example, you come in for a surgery or you come in to have your knee checked and you’re kind of scared but you get like six minutes with the doctor. You walk out and you’ve got all these questions that are left that you want answered before your knee surgery coming up, or your whatever surgery it is.
Jennifer: In the old ways of customer service, you might ask somebody at the front desk or maybe you call back the next day because you have questions because your surgery is leading up, but wouldn’t it be beneficial if you had a series of webinars that were on-demand, a series of videos that you could say to that potential patient, instead of having to ask their questions after the fact, once they forgot about it? That webinar was “10 Things You Need to Know Before You Have Your ACL Surgery,” or “10 Days Before Your Surgery: What You Need to be Doing from a Planning Perspective,” because patients are expecting information in different ways than they used to. If you’re focused on overall patient experience, the webinar or any kind of new content delivery can play into that and help meet those patients where they’re expecting to be, which is online.
Jennifer: I think if you start looking at delivering new elements of content from the perspective of not just attracting new patients, but how can you use webinars or podcasts or new pieces of content or videos to drive positive patient experiences and use them as another touch point, then it’s a win-win. Understanding why you want to do a webinar, not just the pros and the cons or the different tactics that are going to go into it, but understand truly why you want to deliver this new type of content, that should be the driving factor in whether or not you want to do this for the new year, moving forward.
Corey: Yeah, absolutely. I think, to sum it up, like you said, the moral of the story is figure out why you’re doing this. Then you may want to make sure that you have the technology, the PowerPoint, everything in order before you start so everything is ready to roll. Give yourself plenty of lead time and then keep those fingers crossed that it’s going to keep performing for you. Then if you do that, you’ll have a successful webinar whether you’re using it as a lead-generation tool or as an educational piece of content, like Jen was alluding to there.
Jennifer: Yep. Absolutely. I think that webinars are great for looking at what you’re doing for next year, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to understand the why, and your why may be different than my why, so pay attention to the morals of the story and then have a game plan to go hit the ground running.
Corey: Yep. Exactly.
Jennifer: Alright. With that, I’m Jennifer.
Corey: I’m Corey.
Jennifer: And we will see you next time on the Dr Marketing Tips Podcast.
Corey: Thanks, guys.
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