Looking for a simple and effective marketing strategy to put you over the top in 2020 and leave your competition in the dust?

In this special milestone episode of the DrMarketingTips podcast (yes, we’ve recorded 200 episodes!), Jennifer and Corey deep-dive into what a patient-forward strategy is and how it can help you fill up empty appointment slots.

Tune in to discover:

  • How to identify the best performing content on your website
  • Sure-fire tips to freshen up and tweak existing content to boost (and track) conversions
  • Why focusing on patient success stories is your ticket to success
  • Our in-house playbook to optimize content pages for regular search, voice search, and mobile


Free Healthcare Awareness 2024 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.

medical practice website healthcare media ai in healthcare Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Free Healthcare Awareness 2023 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.

Transcript Notes

Speaker 1: Dr. Marketing Tips. Paging Dr. Marketing Tips. Dr. Marketing Tips you’re needed in the marketing department.

Speaker 2: 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: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: And today we want to let you join in with us on a discussion that we’ve been trying to make time to have about how we might be able to repurpose some of the hundreds and hundreds of pieces of content that we make during any given year as we’re planning for 2020. And so essentially we always lead with our clients with the strategy that we call patient forward, meaning that we take patients’ stories in their words to tell the story for the practice. And that’s because every practice that you’re competing against, chances are if you look at their websites and you look at their marketing material, they’re leading with doctor credentials, state of the art technology, cutting edge solutions or stats on some kind of illness and helping to overcome that illness or helping people lead a healthy lifestyle.

Jennifer: If you look at the work that we’re doing with the practices that we’re working with, it’s always leading with some kind of actual outcome related to the patient. And so we lean very heavily into patient testimonials, and those testimonials are very labor intensive. And they’re labor intensive for the practice, they’re labor intensive for the marketing teams. And so we’re looking to take some of that content just because you do it once, you don’t need to treat it every time like a small project. Instead treat your content like it’s a product and it’s one of those things that it has a long shelf life if you go back and revisit it.

Jennifer: And so Corey, what I’m hoping to talk about today is the idea of revisiting some of the content that we’ve got that we know is great and what things could we do in 2020 to kind of refresh and repurpose some of the stuff that’s on websites existing now. And hopefully our listeners will start thinking about what they could do with things they’ve already got just to shine them up and make them a little bit better.

Corey: Yeah, absolutely. I think that one thing that I would hope that all of the listeners could agree with is that we’re better today than we were yesterday. And hopefully you can say that about yourself and your position. And the same goes for the content that you create. So if you have a piece of content, whether that’s a website post or a website page or something on a blog or podcast, whatever you’re doing in your practice, if you were to revisit that now, let’s say you produce that a year ago, you could probably look at that piece of content and find ways to improve it. And so that’s what we’re really talking about today, is ways to improve things that are already performing well knowing what we know now that we didn’t know six months ago, a year ago, whatever the case may be. Not only does that work well for us, but we also know that Google and other search engines really like when that content is continually sort of freshened up.

Corey: So I would think that step number one would be to identify what content does really well on your website. So you can do that. If you have a website vendor, you should just be able to ask them and they can tell you. If you don’t, you probably have Google Analytics installed on your site. So all you have to do is go into the analytics platform, look at what pages are driving the most amount of content with the most amount of clicks and then look at ways to improve those things.

Corey: And so what we wanted to do was sort of talk through some ideas where you can improve what you’ve already got and you don’t have to always worry about “I have to produce X amount of blog posts per month,” or “I’m trying to read some random metric.” If you just look at what’s performing, there’s plenty of ways to improve what you’ve already got there.

Jennifer: Yeah, and I think that you hit the nail on the head that you start with the metrics and start with the data that you’ve got. So I think that any content that you’re creating, and content can be anything that you’re putting together to tell your story out there into your community. But we like to focus on patient stories as a starting point. So the very first thing you can do is if you’ve got, let’s say you have a dozen patient stories on your website currently and you only have enough time to really optimize one of those stories, then you want to look at your analytics internally through Google Analytics, like you were saying Corey, and you want to determine the priorities based on what people are looking at.

Jennifer: And I think analytics is the starting point for any good content because, yes, when you’re doing patient stories, sometimes you just happen to have Betty and Betty’s knee surgery went really well and Dr. Jones wants to get a patient testimonial with Betty. But at other times you can go and kind of do that same reverse engineering. Do the research, see what your potential patients are looking for, do a little keyword research and then go to Dr. Jones and say, “Dr. Jones, people are interested in anterior hip replacement. They’re not interested in ACL surgery.”

Jennifer: And so we know that because here’s the data that backs it up. And then you have a content strategy that’s more data driven versus more piecemeal. And I think this applies to when you’re updating the existing content as much as it does when you’re going out there and finding new content to deliver.

Corey: Yeah, absolutely. And I would say that that same argument probably applies to website sliders as well. That’s a common question that we get is, “Well, we have a subspecialty and we want to spread the love. We want to be even to everybody in the practice. How do we do that?” And really the answer there is that with a slider on the homepage, you can’t. Nobody really looks past the first or the second one. And if you, going with the Dr. Jones example there, so if you’ve got a knee guy, a hip guy, a hand, a shoulder, you can’t have 15 sliders just because it makes everybody feel good at the boardroom table. It’s not going to accomplish anything, and then whoever’s in the 15 spot, they’re not going to get seen anyway. So then it’s a whole new set of problems.

Corey: But yeah, what you can do, let’s say Betty’s testimonial. So she got the knee problem, it’s been fixed. That’s great. That’s one of your top performing pieces of content that drives a lot of patients to request appointments. So if you look at that page, there’s probably some things that you can do to update that.

Corey: So one way that in the past we’ve always sort of set up our pages for clients is we’ll have the long form story and then we’ll have the video embed on the right. And one thing that we’re going to start doing is actually creating almost like a full width area for that video. And we’re going to put the video on the left and then on the right side we’re going to take a pull quote from that video. So that’s Betty saying, “This is the best thing I’ve ever done. I can keep up with my grandkids now,” and put a little graphic with that.

Corey: So you’ve got the video and then you’ve got the pull quotes. So that way if someone isn’t watching, or if they don’t watch the video, they get a sense of what that video is about right away. And there’s been studies out there that show that that can lead up to a 27% increase in conversions just by having this little pull quote and a very large call to action button. And I think on a lot of medical practice websites, that’s something that when you get into the content development phase, people don’t really think about. You should have a giant button on that piece of content possibly right under that video even that says, “Request an appointment, book your appointment now.”

Corey: If you have that capability with your scheduling software where people can immediately after seeing that and say, “You know what? I see myself in that story within whatever Betty is saying, and I need to book an appointment right now.” So make it as easy as possible. The more you can reduce that friction, the better that piece of content is going to work for you and help convert potential patients into patients.

Jennifer: I would even go a step further if you really want to get down into some true nitty gritty marketing and some real research about how to position that content for your potential patient. I was at a talk recently and they were talking about kind of user experience research and there’s a company called Optimal Workshop. It’s optimalworkshop.com. And for pretty inexpensive, they’ll recruit people that are basically helping you with research. And so you would say, “All right, I have an anterior hip replacement surgery page and it’s Betty’s testimonial. Show me how you would, just random person out there on the street, show me how you might navigate that page and where you would click and what information you would find as valuable?”

Jennifer: You can actually do market data research pretty inexpensively right now to help you in better ways to repurpose your existing content. It’s just about finding what those services are out there and letting your potential end user be the one who is going to help you rearrange those pages. Because we don’t know. I mean, yeah, we can do AB testing, but we kind of have to wait and see. But instead we can go directly out there to the general public and ask them through one of these services to help us find a better way to arrange our pages, whether they’re mobile pages or just desktop pages or whatnot. Let the potential end user tell us what they want and then we can craft the content to better tell the story in the way they want it to be told.

Corey: Yeah, I think we all sometimes make the mistake of assuming we know what the end user wants or what the patient wants, how they want to receive that information or the order in which, or the voice that they want to be spoken to. That’s something that we fight all the time with certain clients is they want to speak at a very academic level, and we know that most of the time the end user they want to read something that’s easy. It’s biteable, snackable, if you will. It’s on their level. It’s like eighth grade reading level or below or something like that. It’s not that collegiate academic jargon because you got to remember who your audiences and you’re going to lose them that way.

Corey: And I think one way to improve a lot of content, or at least do a pretty good test is look at again, so let’s say we’re going back to Betty here. Look at that piece of content and see how well it does and then try changing the headline and then measure it for another 30 days and then see how that does compared to the previous 30 days. If it’s better or worse, more people are clicking on it or less or what have you. And just be very specific with that value proposition like, “So if I click on this, what story is going to be told to me?” Because I know that sometimes I struggled with this too, where I get a little too cute with the headlines. I want to do something that’s like clever and fun.

Corey: But ultimately if you can tell me what’s on the other side of this click in 50 characters and it’s very explicit what’s there and it tells me how it’s different or unique or the benefit is, what have you, then research says anyway that you’re more likely to click on it.

Corey: So if you don’t have to think about it, if there’s no anxiety, there was a recent study that came out and it said that you only have two to three seconds for someone to identify what they’re supposed to do when they get to your website. So if you don’t have that clear call to action either on a post or any part of your site, then you’re going to lose somebody because you create this anxiety, the subconscious anxiety where they, all of a sudden there’s too many colors, there’s too many options, there’s an about us photo, there’s news, there’s a thousand different things they could do. So what do they wind up doing? Nothing at all.

Jennifer: So I think you’re absolutely right because I think you can’t make the assumption of what they’re going to do and you can’t make it too difficult. So maybe you don’t even… We’re talking about optimizing or updating content that’s already on your website. But I think there’s also value to be had to going back and updating your content specifically to optimize it for mobile and to optimize it for voice search.

Jennifer: Voice search isn’t driving everything right now, but you can go back and let’s look at your patient stories and then maybe you start with investigating datawise of how are people, let’s go back to Betty and her interior hip replacement, how are people searching things related to interior hip replacement? And maybe look at the headline that you like to craft the much. Take that headline, change the headline to be a question, because you know that somebody is going to search most likely these days in the form of a question.

Jennifer: And when you do that, you’re rearranging the story that you were telling into a different format, but you’re doing it specifically in the way that people would be searching on voice. And when you do that, you’re showing up in those snippets, the ones that show up… people are also searching this or it’s a little snippet that maybe they’re not clicking through to your website, but it’s four bullets and it’s showing up on that front page of Google. Maybe you’re able to tell Betty’s story in those four bullets and they’re not even having to get to your website because they’re getting the information that they want and your practices is branded top of mind.

Corey: Hey guys, Corey here, co host of the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, and I wanted to interrupt this episode just for a minute to tell you about Insight Training Solutions. So Insight Training Solutions is an ongoing employee engagement and training platform for your medical practice. Meaning employees can log on and take these medical practice specific trainings whenever and wherever they are. And each training is meant to increase employee engagement, improve practice reputation, and develop some patient service mindsets. If we’re being honest, something that we all know, some of the employees may lack. Not calling anybody out by name.

Corey: But one of the cool things about Insight Training Solutions is they’re always developing new content and they just released 10 steps to a phenomenal patient experience where you’ll learn how to create a phenomenal patient experience, strengthen job security and discover customer service secrets for your entire team. So this course is in addition to the other ones they already have, which include communication across generations and how to understand today’s multigenerational workforce, and how to develop overall patient experience. This is another course of the new approach to customer service. We’ve also got eight ways to wow patients and you can sign up for a free trial to see what everything is insighttrainingsolutions.io. That’s insighttrainingsolutions.io or just Google Insight Training Solutions. You’ll be glad you did.

Jennifer: So maybe some of the updates to our patient testimonials for next year are not updates necessarily that are visible to our clients and to the practices we’re working with. But they’re updates specifically to start tackling and getting prepared for voice search because that is going to be an enormous driver. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year, but it’s coming, and it’s specifically coming for specialties where your potential patient has their hands full.

Jennifer: So if you deal with kids, young babies, moms, everyone that’s busy.

Corey: Older patients.

Jennifer: Older patients, orthopedic surgeons, hand surgeons, people that are hard of hearing, people that are visually impaired, they’re going to use search for a lot of things. And we have to start working on it now to update pages so that they’re ready and they’re optimized for search. And this is like the wild wild west. So if your practice is doing this or if we’re doing this with our clients, nobody else is going to have time to catch up on this.

Corey: And you mentioned two things there that I want to talk about. One is, so it’s not forward facing, and I think that that’s a really good point is that, so if you’re called into a meeting and they say, “What has marketing done for our practice lately?” And it’s comfortable for you as someone that’s overseeing marketing in your practice to say, “Oh, well this past quarter we had eight blog posts and we produced an ebook that’s converted at X percent,” and you can actually like list out things. It’s less comfortable to say, “Well I changed some headlines around and I moved some content,” because then it doesn’t sound like… It sounds almost like you were twiddling your thumbs for awhile.

Corey: But if you can back that up, again going back to data. So if you can say, “Yeah, we produced a lot less, but we really focused on optimizing what we’ve got in the the past quarter or whatever, and now we’re seeing a 4% uptake in booked appointments on the website,” or whatever the case may be. As long as you keep that sort of end KPI in mind, then work toward that.

Corey: So you know that by optimizing for voice search like Jen was just discussing or changing a headline or the way that some of the content on the page is actually organized, it sounds silly, it’s one of those stupid marketer things that if you change an orange call to action button to purple, and all of a sudden you’re converting at 12% more on that page, well that was totally worth the spend of time or money to change it from orange to purple. And it’s a silly thing to sort of explain to a room full of physicians. But at the end of the day, if you can back that up with data, then it’s totally worth it.

Corey: So that I was one thing that you mentioned and the other was to focus on mobile. So I think that a couple of years ago there was a big push to make everything mobile responsive because we knew that that’s where the traffic was going. Well the traffic’s already there now. So everyone’s website should be mobile responsive. So the next step is to actually create a mobile experience. And it doesn’t mean your going to have a different website or anything like that, but what it does mean is so you know that odds are, if someone’s looking at your website from their phone, there’s going to be a couple of things that they’re interested in. They’re probably going to be either looking to book an appointment, and yes, people book appointments from their phone.

Jennifer: Yeah, they do.

Corey: They’re going to be looking for location info and doctor info. That’s probably about it. So if you have giant buttons that you say to your web developer, “I only want this giant location button or call now button to display on mobile,” then you’re going to increase the likelihood that when someone from a mobile device goes to your website, they’re going to click that button because they just don’t have to dig through some funky menu to get there.

Corey: And another thing that we’re starting to see, and we actually just rolled this out with a client, is on the bottom of the website, we added a little book now button because it’s almost like an app menu. So if you have an iOS device, you know how when you go into Facebook for example, there’s all the little icons on the bottom and that’s how you sort of navigate around the app. Well people used to that. They expect that sort of experience.

Corey: So if your menu is buried up top and you don’t have either a menu on the bottom or a call to action that’s easy and sort of within a thumb stretch, you don’t have to crawl up the phone to get there. Then you’re missing out on potential people because people are that fickle. And if they have to move their hand and they might say, “You know what, Ill just do this later,” and then they forget about it for six weeks or never come back.

Corey: So little things like that are where we’re really going to in 2020 I think optimize for our clients. We’re not going to stop producing content by any means, but what we want to do is identify what’s doing really well and then sort of go all in on those pieces.

Jennifer: Yeah. I have a couple of… I think that you’re hitting the nail on the head when you say this is stuff that maybe isn’t forward facing, but right now I really think that as we go into 2020, optimizing some of the things that are already in place is going to be something very palatable to a lot of practices out there because we have so much work on our plate, so many regulations that we’re having to make sure that we navigate properly, with a lot of privacy notifications and new regulations that are coming through the pipeline right now. We’re all super busy.

Jennifer: So how can we take what we’ve got and make it better? I have two ideas that I want to touch on for making content better. One is on all of our pages, even on Betty’s story, we might lead with the story of Betty, but really at the end of the day, we’re getting down to a story about Betty and her anterior approach, hip replacement. But we are talking about the treatment options for hip pain. We’re talking about the conditions she might be feeling, the limitations she has, and then we’re offering a solution in an anterior approach surgery.

Jennifer: But we talk about that solution through Betty’s words. And these are words directly from her with the video of her talking about the exact procedure she had. But when you have these pages, there’s no reason you couldn’t, A, splice up Betty’s video. So under the treatment section, maybe you’re just pulling out sections of the video that are about treatment. Maybe it’s just a separate condition page on your website. Maybe it’s just a page about anterior approach, hip replacement.

Jennifer: Well, then you maybe get your doctors to say in a one minute audio clip or video clip about what those conditions are for that item that you’re searching, or talk about just those treatment options, but little snippets. And maybe they’re just audio, maybe their audio that you’ve turned into a little fun videos or things of that nature.

Jennifer: And the second idea, which I think is money that we’re leaving on the table quite often, even with our practices is why are we not taking our patient testimonial stories, which are Betty telling in her own words why it works, breaking down all the conditions and the treatment options for hips, and turning those into a downloadable white paper. There’s no reason, because a lot of times we’re already using those stories on our newsletters that we’re using with clients, our patient newsletters.

Jennifer: So why don’t we take those as PDFs where we can capture a little bit of data? We know somebody’s interested in a hip replacement. We have their information at this point. We can market to them about upcoming events and educational seminars related to hip replacement, carry them through the process, and we’re just repurposing the exact same piece of content that we’ve already got on the site.

Corey: Yeah, that’s a great idea. You’re right. If someone goes to your website, you know obviously that they’re interested in let’s say using Betty’s, the interior hip replacement. So they’re on this journey, great, because they have hip pain, so they want some sort of solution. Your practice provides said solution and they learn about it through Betty. So especially if Betty is one of the top performing pages, it definitely makes sense. And you think about how much work it would really be to create some sort of checklist for how to choose the right hip surgeon or how to know if you’re the right candidate for an anterior versus a posterior. Easy stuff like that. Maybe you even get a voice memo of a hip surgeon talking about it for 30 seconds.

Jennifer: You could get a hip surgeon talking about, “Look, whether you choose me or not, this is what questions I would ask of your surgeon.”

Corey: Right. Exactly.

Jennifer: Two minutes of a video or an audio, ask your doctor these questions.

Corey: And you know that everybody that goes to that page probably they have hip pain. That’s why they’re there. That’s why they’re looking at it. Or they know someone that has it. So it makes sense to then put up some sort of a little graphic or maybe some sort of pop up or something that says, “Hey download this free checklist or resource or PDF or whatever about hip pain. It’s everything you need to know.”

Corey: And then from there you can, because they’re not a patient at that point, so you can take their email. You can then market to them afterward. Because, again, you know that they want information about a solution for hip pain. And so you’re absolutely right. That’s something that we should definitely do more of. And what’s interesting is people will, they’ll download a PDF, and if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably familiar with this concept, but the whole marketing funnel. You get a lot of people at the top and then further down the funnel, if you can reach out to them or engage them in some way where they download something, for example, a checklist or PDF, then they’re that much closer to converting and becoming either a paid customer or a patient.

Corey: So at the top of the funnel, there’s Betty’s story. You’re going to get a bunch of people to look at it. At the middle part of the funnel, people are going to download, let’s say this PDF, and then out of those people that downloaded that PDF, they are now further along in their journey, which means that a percentage of them are going to convert into patients.

Jennifer: Yeah, and once they’ve downloaded the PDF, maybe the next piece that at this point you’re sending them an email. Maybe you’re inviting them to participate either in a webinar, maybe it’s an actual event you’re hosting, where you’re doing an educational talk about hip surgery. Maybe it’s a chance to meet other patients who have had similar hip surgeries at your practice. It could be anything, but you are very close to getting them at this point to convert to a patient.

Corey: Yeah, and that sounds like a lot of work doing all of that, so totally understand where you’d be like, “Well I can’t figure all that stuff out,” but you could definitely do the PDF download. And again, if you have a web developer, it’s super easy for them to just put a little sign up form on there. You give them the PDF that they create and then it just winds up on a thank you page and you get it. Just doing that, you’ll start to see improvements from the page because all of a sudden this person downloaded this thing. But let’s say they, I don’t know, let’s say they download it, they print it, they put it on their coffee table, and then three days later they keep looking at it and they schedule an appointment.

Corey: Well, if you never gave him the opportunity to download the thing that may have never happened. So just by doing just that one step, just taking that one step from the content you already know is working. Thanks Betty. Then you’re that much closer to just converting more people. And that’s all you had to do. You do at once, and then that page is just ready to work more for you.

Jennifer: Yeah, and if you want to take it even a step further on optimizing existing content, now you’ve optimized the page, you’ve optimized it for voice search, you’ve optimized it for regular search, you’ve optimized it to really perform well with mobile. You’ve taken existing assets and created new content assets out of those assets and you’ve started looking at it from a funnel standpoint. So now you have something that you can market on social media and use the distribution channels to get it out there. You can pixel it and you can remarket to them through a remarketing campaign.

Jennifer: So then they’re going to see Betty’s story when they’re on Facebook or when they’re on whatever social network that they want to be on. Maybe they see Betty’s story, but then maybe they see John’s story and Corey’s story and Sally’s story and they’ve all had the similar experiences with the practice. So again, you’re optimizing a content page, a piece of media that you own and then you’re using the channels out there that are available to you to kind of amplify that story. And so we’re just re-purposing what we’ve all been doing but making it better than it was yesterday.

Corey: Okay. And with that, I think now you know exactly how we do what we do. You have the whole playbook, you’ve got it, you’ve got the secret sauce. It’s there for you if you want it. But in all seriousness, these are things that can really make a difference and they don’t require a ton of work on your part. And again, you’ll be able to track these things if you’re looking at analytics and if you have goals set up to where you can see how many people are converting, and just like that, you’ve got a piece of content that’s going to work 24/7. It’s going to be available when anybody wants it. Whenever they’re looking, they wake up at 3:00 AM with hip pain. They go to the computer or pick up their phone and boom, there’s Betty, she’s doing the work for you and you get to sleep like a baby.

Jennifer: Okay, well let’s leave it at this, but I’m going to really blow your mind on this one Corey. What if you take Betty’s story, you repurpose it a little bit, so you’ve changed the voice a little. You’ve turned it into a PDF, you print it out and then you go and deliver it to doctor’s offices that refer to you and you say, “Hey doc, if you’ve got people that are having hip pain, here’s a top ways that we can treat it. Here’s a couple of stories including Betty’s. Here’s a big picture of Betty. She was happy. Refer us your patients. We’ll send them back to you at the end of the day. We’ll take care of Betty Jr. for you.”

Corey: You do that and then you bring them donuts. You’re set.

Jennifer: You’re totally set. All right, let’s go. Let’s wrap it up on this one because you said donuts and I’m done. So, with that, I’m Jennifer.

Corey: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: We’ll see you next time on the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast.

Corey: You donut want to miss it.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to the Dr. Marketing Tips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, check out Dr. Marketing Tips.com for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links and goodies we mentioned during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes. And if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on iTunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.

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