Why did seven orthopaedic surgeons want to meet with Jennifer at 7 a.m to discuss their practice’s marketing strategy for 2020?

They were keen to learn the latest digital strategic tools to:

  • Revamp and improve the search ranking of their website
  • Engage their patients and employees
  • Increase their potential patient base and fill empty appointment slots

In this episode of the DrMarketingTips podcast, Jennifer and Corey break down the first of three biggest things medical practices should focus on in 2020 to bring both marketing and operations to  a whole new level (plus: your competition won’t be doing ANY of it).

Tune in to discover:

  • Why voice search is the next big thing and what you need to do to get ready for it
  • How online, patient, and employee focus groups can boost engagement and knock your website out of the park
  • How you can harness invaluable knowledge from employees and patients to enhance operations and get more traffic through the front door
  • The power of email automation to increase sign-ups, keep prospective patients invested in your practice and pay huge dividends down the road.


Morning Brew

The Skimm

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.

2024 Healthcare Awareness Holiday Calendar for Medical Practices

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.

Transcription 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 am Jennifer.

Corey: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: Corey, why don’t you tell our listeners what it is we’re going to talk about today?

Corey: Yeah, so we’ve actually got a couple part series coming up where we’re going to break down the top 10 things that we’re focused on for clients coming up in 2020. So we’ve got a list of those 10 things, we’re going to run through that, and then we’re going to talk about the top three today. So in part two of this, we’re going to talk about the next three and then in part three, we’re going to do the four that are remaining.

Jennifer: Yep. And, so I think let’s… I think we should go through actually our top 10 list so that our listeners have it. And then just so that everybody is aware, we’ve been doing a ton of client meetings and strategy. And we work on these strategies throughout the year, and they’ve kind of been percolating. We think that they’ve risen to the top, that these are the real things that we are focused on with our clients. And, so a handful of these… Actually I had a meeting yesterday Corey with about six surgeons at 7:00 AM. And they were so intrigued by some of these and want to put them into next year’s plan that they have now decided they want to meet again to really dive through it over the course of a couple of hours.

Jennifer: And, so I think that there’s some real meat to these and I think we’re going to see them in the medical practices that we’re working with in 2020 and beyond. So I think it’s a timeliness issue in having this episode or this series now. So I’ll go into the first three, like that I’m really paying attention to.

Jennifer: One is voice search and SEO page revamp. Number two is focus groups followed by number three emails.

Corey: And then part two we’re going to cover community management versus reputation management and social media. Patient onboarding is going to be the next topic we focus on and then employee communication is going to round out part two of our series.

Jennifer: Yeah, and then the third part we’re going to focus on employee engagement and training. Which was a huge topic at a conference that I attended last week with a bunch of medical practice administrators. Then we’re going to discuss website chat and some of the operational challenges that go to that. How important kind of communication on your website is to the overall patient experience. Then you’re going to share a lot on the resource libraries. And then we’re going to talk about a trend that we’re seeing more and more, which has really sparked some interest with some on the larger practices that we work with, which is the idea of owned media.

Jennifer: So I think those are some really kind of good kind of 10 strategies that people need to be thinking about for next year. But let’s go ahead and dive right into it. So Corey, let’s get started with voice search and SEO page revamps.

Corey: So a lot of what we’ve been hearing from different conferences and different folks in the industry that we’ve been talking to is the rise of voice search. So voice search is being picked up and used at a rate that’s faster than mobile. So if that tells you one thing, it means you’re already behind the curve, you’re behind the eight ball.

Corey: So one of the things, one of the top things in fact that we’re doing for our clients next year is revamping and basically going back into previous pages and posts on websites and formatting them so that they can show up for voice. So if you’ve ever used the voice assistant, you’ll know that you call out your Alexa your Siri your Google what have you, and then you ask it a question typically. So when you’re looking at your website, you want to actually lead with a question. And then instead of being cute in the intro and sort of burying the answer within the content, you want to bring that right up to the top. And you can do some technical things on the back end to help with that. But the goal is to show up as the voice search results and there’s only one voice search result winner.

Corey: So depending on what the topic is, you may or may not be able to be the winner there. But if it’s a very niche topic, you can, in fact, see a pretty big upticks or so we’ve been told. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to start doing that for a large number of our clients. And at the same time, we’re also going to focus on SEO revamp, which is essentially linking different articles and posts and pages within their website together. And including some rich media assets that we now have, we didn’t have in the past.

Corey: So those are things like videos, gifts, photos, anything that… Let’s say we put together a post three or four years ago, which I’m sure you guys probably have in the past. Where you’ve put this post or a blog or something together and then you just kind of forget about it. So it’s time to go back and spend some time and reorganize those things. Update them, add some rich media if you’ve got it. Maybe you’ve got a new doctor video you can throw on there. Link them together, change some of the copy around, change the headline so it’s a question. And then move the answer right up to the beginning. And you should see a pretty big bump in your Google analytics and your search based off.

Jennifer: And I had yesterday, so when I met with a bunch of docs, I presented the voice search as one of our strategies for 2020. And immediately had a doc asked me, he said, look Jenna, I think it’s great and all, it’s a big undertaking for their site because they have like 620 pages, and we’re estimating about an hour and a half per page. So there’s definitely some prioritization that needs to occur. But the doctor was like, look, I think that using Alexa or Siri or something like that is great for finding out the sports scores or the daily news or like some piece of trivia. But he didn’t really seem to think that health was going to be so high up on a search.

Jennifer: And, so I shared with him two things. One is when we were at Content Marketing World this past year that I sat in on a session with the company that did all of the voice search revamp for a chain of children’s hospitals throughout the state of Texas. And they had the data to support that parents especially or patients or potential patients that have mobility issues are very high adopters of voice technology. So I think in terms of, if you think about that, if you’ve got a patient base that has kids where they may be holding those kids, they might be more apt to use search. If you have folks with orthopedic issues, they may be more apt to use search. And I’m sure there’s a slew of other subspecialties to go with that too.

Corey: Yeah, I mean I would say that from a broad standpoint, like if you just sort of imagine you’re yourself and like day-to-day use, it can be anything from like, how high of a fever is too high? Like that’s a question I could see myself standing in the kitchen where I don’t feel well and asking a voice assistant that. Or like does Botox really work? It’s just simple things like that because if you use a Google assistant, it’ll say according to the website, blah, blah, blah, Botox will effectively, and then it gives you an answer. And, so I would push back on that a little bit and say that people are going to, we already see it, they use voice in ways we’d never would have thought of six months ago. So in another six months it’s going to be even that much more prevalent.

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. And we were talking about it. I mean there’s a lot of info here for the listener because we’re talking about it specifically with some of our clients that have a retail component. So they have something where they want to get somebody in the office because maybe they have an ancillary. Ophthalmology groups are a good example. Like if you want somebody to come in and buy new lenses why not give them a free Alexa device? They’re having a site impairment, why not give them something where they don’t have to sit in front of a computer and read. They can actually talk to it and make voice part of your retail strategy as well as part of your SEO strategy.

Jennifer: And, so yeah, the doctor was really… The surgeon was looking for, he was a sports bet guy. He was looking for specific examples of other health care providers who are leaning into voice next year. And, so I also shared with them the full day kind of marketing patient experience summit that you and I attended that was hosted by Cleveland Clinic and all of their vendors. And I shared with the doc that Cleveland Clinic is leaning into voice and has actually hired an entire team of people that are focused solely on voice and Alexa type apps and health tips of the day. And, so right now if you went and subscribed at Alexa for the health tip of the day, that would actually be Cleveland Clinics health tip of the day.

Jennifer: And, so there’s a lot of conversation around voice. Is it going to be like super fast adoption you got to have your act together in January of 2020? No. Can we guarantee that you’re going to see something from it? No, but what we can say is that this is the next big thing from a search standpoint and why would you not do this? Because every time if you really want to get local, local, if you’re focused on local and directory listings and things like that. That all ties into voice search and, so there’s a big conversation. But the practice managers out there need to know that voice is something that you need to be at least versed in to start having these conversations of where you’re going for 2020 and beyond.

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, improved 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. 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, strengthened 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, 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 about at insighttrainingsolutions.io. That’s insight training solutions.io or just Google insight training solutions. You’ll be glad you did.

Corey: And at the very least if you are updating your website and you just think about attention spans these days. And you’re going in and you’re changing some of your most viewed pages to the questions and then providing the answers to them. Even if it has nothing to do with voice, the users and potential patients that are on your website are really going to appreciate that. And you will I think see a difference there as well.

Jennifer: Yeah, I totally agree. So let’s go on into the second one, which is one that I’m really excited about and have been focused on, and that is focus groups. I’m kind of looking at it in three different ways. We’ve got online focus groups to help us with a user experience from a user experience standpoint. We have patient focus groups, both group level, and individual level focus. And then we have employee focus groups. And so the online focus groups, there are some services out there. We’re going to be doing this with a handful of clients. But there are some services out there where we can sign up relatively inexpensive and pick our demographics of a potential client and potential patient. Send them to the client’s website and have them go through some sort of action.

Jennifer: And, so I’m looking at it in terms of an ortho practice that I was with yesterday, the same one. Picking a handful of patients out, running them through the system. And asking them, how would you choose your knee surgeon? You have knee pain, how would you go about it? And not tell them anything other than the website where I want them to end up. And watch them from start to finish, schedule an appointment and then offer feedback to us on how we can make improvements to the website.

Jennifer: I’m super excited about this. And then focus groups in person. So we have a client down in the state that we’re in down in the Southern side, and they’re dealing with a large hospital group that’s moving in. So they’re trying to get some data related to themselves and the hospital group, and how the community perceives them. And, so we are actually next week doing a series of in-person focus groups with their patients. And I’m really excited about that because that data’s going to be so valuable in the plan that we’re putting together for the next year.

Jennifer: And then we’re doing a series of exit interviews with patients themselves. Where we’re going to ask them the same questions as we do in the group focus segments, but we’re going to ask them in an individual one on one setting because we think that you’ll get different data based on one-on-one versus group.

Jennifer: And then finally next year I’ve got into a couple of the different plans that I’ve been working on doing employee focus groups. I’m really looking forward to using focus groups as a tool for engagement. And then using an opportunity to, like at lunch or in an afternoon where we’d take 10 20 employees. Put them in a room, and ask them to take a look at maybe our different things that are going on social media. And seeing if our marketing messages are reflective of the employees, which really are a good representation of the population of the community. And then also just the sheer number of ideas that will come from people within a focus group environment. And so we are really bullish on focus groups. And really taking some of that traditional marketing, and bringing it into the practices that we’re working with. And I think there’s a lot of little takeaways that our listeners can get from this. That they could also lean on their employees and patients to find out how they can improve.

Corey: Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s definitely a lot to unpack there. But I think the main takeaway is that we as management, or directors, executives, et cetera, physicians too, we assume that we know what the patients think of us and what they want and need to hear. But we don’t often ask them what they want and need to hear. So the focus groups are a great way to do that, both in a group and an individual setting.

Corey: And then the same thing can be said for the employees. You know, these are the folks that are literally on the front lines every day. They’re seeing where there’s operational hiccups. And they’re seeing where there’s opportunities for new service lines, or messaging or just tweaks. And again, it’s the same thing. A lot of times we don’t really engage them the way that we should. So the focus groups, yes, we’re going to use them for marketing, but we’re also going to use them from an operational side, specifically for employees. And then I think that one that’s going to give them some ownership so they feel like, Oh wow, I do have a voice. People are listening to me. And then two, it’s going to show that they’re a part of the team. They’re a part of the culture. So it’s nothing but a win-win in any way you slice it.

Jennifer: Yeah, I totally agree and I’m excited about it. And it’s relatively inexpensive if you’ve got a plan. And I think it just makes us all better. So what’s kind of the third one that we want to talk about today?

Corey: So the third one for today is all about email. So specifically what we’re going to roll out for some clients of ours are a list of automations that people can sign up for. So there’s not specifically like any sort of PHI being exchanged here, but it’s basically saying, okay, so you come to the website, you’re interested in, let’s say learning more about the cataract surgery. So if you give us your email here, we will send you a list of five emails over the course of five weeks or five days, whatever. And the first one’s going to talk about what a cataract is. The second is going to talk about the different types of lenses. The third one’s going to talk about how you should choose your surgeon, et cetera, et cetera. And it’s just informational emails.

Corey: And at the bottom there’s going to be a little sort of call to action to say, Hey, if you want to learn more than you can sign up here. If not, then check out the email tomorrow or next week or whatever the schedule ends up being. But we’re rolling that out across different service lines and different treatments for a lot of our clients. And it’s going to be interesting because, with the automation data, you get so many analytics back. You can see when people open it, when they’re looking at it, if they click on anything. So we can try a lot of different headlines and calls to action. And it’s really just going to give us a ton of valuable data about what people want to learn about. And it’s a great way to keep these potential patients engaged and show that we are invested in educating them. Which is something that not a lot of practices do.

Jennifer: Yeah, I think it’s interesting because I was at a, I shared that I was at a conference, the Digital Marketer Conference up in New York a couple of weeks back. And they are really excited about email. And the reason being is that we’re just so busy and there’s so many distractions on a regular basis that we feel very safe in our email. And we like at this point people are more responsive to getting the email, keeping the full story within the inbox and not forcing you to click on to something else. I think we’ve got theSkimm. What is one of the other ones that…

Corey: The Daily Brew is another really good one.

Jennifer: The Daily Brew, theSkimm. There’s quite a few companies who have now built… Their entire business strategy is nothing but delivering fantastic content through email. And they’re doing this because it’s working again and it’s really about going back to the basics. So email, email newsletters, drip campaigns, automations. There’s a tremendous amount of data that we can all learn from. And I promise you as a medical practice, if you go heavy into this email kind of strategy for 2020 and you do nothing else, you will see dividends here. And your competitors will not be doing this because of how much work it is.

Corey: It was quite a lot of work. I can attest to that.

Jennifer: I promise you that. Okay, so that is voice search focus groups and email strategies and those are kind of our first three that we’re going to do in this series. You got anything else to add for today, Corey?

Corey: No, I would say bonus tip, if you haven’t signed up for theSkim or The Daily Brew then go ahead and do that because they really are fantastic. And it’s a great way to get a lot of bite size information. So that’s a little bonus tip.

Jennifer: Yeah, I think that’s a great tip and if you don’t get the Dr. Marketing Tips email from us every single week, then you need to make sure that you’re on the list. All you got to do is pop over at our website. It is worth it because we give away a lot of great free content.

Corey: Yeah, I just assumed that everyone listening, was already signed up. So if you’re not, definitely make sure that you do that.

Jennifer: That’s awesome. All right, so with that, I’m Jennifer.

Corey: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: We’ll see you next time on The Doctor Marketing Tips Podcast.

Corey: Thanks guys. Thanks.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to the drmarketingtips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, check out drmarketingtips.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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