Workshop Digital is a digital marketing firm in Richmond, VA that believes in accountable, measurable results achieved through custom digital marketing strategies created by real people. The blog is a contribution of all employee efforts, primarily focusing on industry trends while also highlighting cultural events and happenings internally.
In my current role, I’m a marketer who markets a marketing company (try explaining that to your mother…). It’s up to my team to promote our agency’s services in a way that attracts new leads and current clients.
This content is inherently different than the type I’ve created for clients in previous roles. From social posts and blogs, to industry-specific ebooks and guides, we create content around the greater marketing funnel. Increasing brand awareness means introducing our services to prospective clients—and catering and customizing our offerings to fit their unique needs.
The goal of our content is not always to sell products. Unlike other industries—in which sales-centric ad copy is the name of the game—our goals are varied. They may include driving awareness, nurturing leads, or providing insight to readers (as is case with this specific post!).
Naturally, the metrics we measure vary.
How to prove the value of content marketing.
Quantifying creativity can be challenging. Just because something reads well—or looks pretty—doesn’t mean it’s successful. There are numerous factors that contribute to the success of a display ad or blog. The digital age has opened up a world of possibility for us wide-eyed creatives. Now, we’re able to tack KPIs to individual pieces of content.
While by no means a comprehensive list of all metrics that marketers must track, below is a quick and dirty list of which ones you should care about.
Traffic is one of the most obvious starting points for most marketers. As one of the foundations of SEO, organic traffic finds your content by searching for keywords or phrases on search engines. Therefore, unique page visits are an indicator of authority. It shows exactly how much organic traffic individual posts are receiving—and how optimized your efforts are.
Within the total number of traffic, however, marketers can zero in how much of that traffic is from original or repeat users—which ultimately, provides insight into the reach of your content. Google classifies new sessions as a “visit from a new visitors” and return sessions as a “visit from a returning visitor.”
So, what’s the best for your efforts? It depends. Not all traffic is good traffic. It can be argued that attracting new visitors means your outreach efforts are effective, or that your content is optimized around your end users. On the other hand, return visitors may be revisiting a blog for specific reasons.
Google Analytics also allows users to track the geographic location of their readers. As marketers, this insight can be leveraged when executing hyper-local campaigns. Regardless of the source of your traffic, however, it’s important to track how they interact with your content marketing.
Which leads us to my next point…
Traffic only tells you so much. While unique visits are an essential indicator of popularity, keeping your readers engaged is an equally important objective. What’s the average time spent on a specific landing page? Are users bouncing—or leaving your blog post—immediately?
Bounce rate and time on site are two metrics that help answer these questions. They also calculate the engagement of your traffic. Low bounce rates indicate that your users are invested in your content. And time on site metrics show how long users are spending on your webpages. When paired together, these two data points help illustrate what’s resonating best with your audience.
While these two measurements show how long users are
sticking around, heatmap tools take things one step further and provide insight
into which parts of each post or page are most popular. Heatmap tools like HotJar (which we use at the Workshop)
visualize human behavior and show where users are scrolling, clicking, and
stopping their interactions.
This user feedback is used to increase improve conversions. Which, again, leads me to my next point…
As an internal marketer, one of my biggest focuses is on lead generation. My team spends days—sometimes weeks—creating campaigns around specific verticals and industries. They span the entire sales and marketing funnel and guide users down the next respective stage.
The more high-quality leads we attract, the better
conversations our sales team members have. That’s why it’s essential to
optimize conversion rates.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) turns existing traffic into qualified leads and potential clients. It uncovers the best ways to communicate business value propositions to your customers. It shows which components of marketing collateral are driving action. For example, A/B testing button copy and placement helps refine content marketing efforts. And knowing how and when users are converting helps optimize your efforts.
Ultimately, I pay the most attention to noticeable growth—whether that’s embodied by page views, email subscribers from blog pop-ups, or ebook downloads. Tangible increases illustrate user interest in specific content pieces and validates that your efforts are paying off.
We’ve talked recently about some of the similarities that search engine optimization (SEO) and compliance have in service of a great customer experience. You may know that compliant marketing is ideal marketing. The question remains: How do you get started if you’re new to compliance? After all, select few marketers are lawyers, and vice-versa.
Ready to get started creating compliant digital marketing messages? Read on for our beginner-level tips.
Compliant digital marketing messages are clear about what the customer gets—or doesn’t
Misleading the customer is the easiest way to produce marketing copy or collateral that doesn’t fly with regulators (or legal counsel at your competitors). Worse yet, it’s an unfair experience for your customers to get information that doesn’t give them the full picture of your offer, promotion, or product. Building loyalty and return business relies on trust, first and foremost—so handle your customer’s attention with care when you have it.
The most compliant marketing messages tell your customer exactly what they’re getting when they spend money with you or provide you with their personal information. Tell them they’ll be getting a discount, but be clear about when the offer ends. If there’s an exclusion on a promotion for your most popular products, come right out and say it. If something’s really not “free” or “included”…well, you get the point.
It’s common knowledge that promotions and offers, especially in the digital space, are extremely competitive. Don’t get your team into hot water by not being up front with your customers.
Your industry’s marketing regulations are your biggest asset
Once you’ve ensured your digital marketing messages have the clearest, simplest message possible, you’re ready to subject them to the scrutiny of your industry’s regulations. If you’re in a large organization, you may be fortunate enough to have a legal and/or compliance team you can lean on for support. If this group is not already embedded in your team’s marketing workflow process, this is a great opportunity to start bridging the gap. For some of our clients, a seamless marketing and compliance workflow can substantially increase their speed-to-market—all while helping educate other teams on how to operationalize compliance. Your teams are allies, after all!
The regulatory world can seem scary or intimidating to the uninitiated. But truthfully, regulations in the marketing space are meant to be shared—and you should be able to find exactly what you need with a simple search. The following resources are great places to start:
The Federal Trade Commission: The original backstop for compliance and protecting U.S. consumers. We recommend looking through their basics list (beware of nostalgic old resources in there!) and their guide for small businesses which is useful for a firm of any size.
If you can’t talk to a regulator, try to think like one
The regulator’s ultimate goal is to protect consumers by upholding existing regulations and laws. But if you’re not a lawyer, or don’t have a photographic memory of the above resources, how can you think like a regulator? You have your own job to do, after all.
Creating compliant marketing messages is not just about doing what’s legal. It’s about doing right by your customer with the work you produce—regardless of the medium. Here’s just a sampling of questions you can ask yourself when working with your team to put together a compliant slate of messaging for your next campaign:
Does the marketing collateral you produce make the customer’s life easier or more informed?
Does it add to their confidence in a buying decision?
Is it clear and coherent at the first read?
Is it clear what they’re getting from you and what they’re not?
Scrutinize your work. Get a second or third set of eyes on your ads. Think about what the consumer could misinterpret, and prepare for that possibility. Simplify what you say. Be as customer-focused as you can be.
Think like a regulator and you’ll be well on your way to developing compliant marketing messaging for the long haul.
Disclaimer: Workshop Digital is not a legal firm nor a consultant on legal or regulatory matters. We simply provide digital marketing with an eye toward compliant content and execution. If you believe your team requires the expertise of a legal or regulatory team, please retain those services. This article is not intended to provide legal or regulatory guidance whatsoever. Workshop Digital and its employees are not liable for any company’s legal or regulatory actions.
This is a question you may ask yourself repeatedly. However the question isn’t actually going to be “Is digital marketing right for me?” Instead, it’s more about what type of digital marketing is beneficial for your firm. The “right approach” in advertising is a loaded question—and every firm is different and requires a specific strategy.
Are you looking for phone calls, chats, or lead forms? Or, are you looking to generate brand awareness and promote yourself on social media? Your goals will shape your strategy and provide a clear path on what needs to be done to have a successful law firm digital marketing campaign. After all, there’s nothing more stressful than running a campaign and having it fail to deliver the quality leads you’re looking for.
PPC for Lawyers
Perhaps you’ve tried paid search in the past and had no success, but that doesn’t mean you should give up entirely on the approach. When you think of pay-per-click (PPC), Google is probably the first thing that comes to mind. You may also think about high cost per click (CPC) costs and large amounts of competition. However, Google isn’t the end all be all of paid search. And simply setting up a simple Google Ads account isn’t going to cut it anymore.
The keywords “lawyer” and “attorney” are two of the most expensive keywords on Google and Bing, sometimes costing more than $100 per click for searches like “personal injury lawyer” and “auto accident attorney”. With this being the case, law firms can easily spend $50,000 to $100,000 per month on PPC just to keep up with competitors. Keyword choices, geo targeting, and practice area focus are just a few of the many aspects of PPC advertising that can help keep a firm stay competitive.
Attorneys must take a holistic approach to their paid search strategy—and not only promote services on Google, but Bing as well. This helps diversify their marketing initiatives with a cost-effective alternative that works in tandem with Google. Clicks are considerably cheaper with Bing. And because Bing isn’t as popular as Google, there’s less competition. This means a lower CPC, without an impact in your positioning on search pages.
Lawyers sometimes have to get creative to find solutions that work. When it comes to PPC for lawyers, creativity is key to drive new leads. Your ability to connect with relevant traffic, get more clicks, and outrank local competitors depends on how well your strategy works in tandem with other marketing initiatives.
Social Media For Lawyers
Facebook and Instagram have changed the way we communicate and connect with others—and these platforms are now increasingly relevant in the communications between lawyers and their clients. With an exceptionally large user base of up to 2.38 billion monthly active users, Facebook enables law firms to reach a larger amount of potential clients.
There are two key ways to attract clients on Facebook: organic and paid ads. Organic Facebook advertising allow you to provide valuable content, like blog post, contests/giveaways, and general interactions with the public and potential clients. Paid ads allow you to interact with new or returning visitors to your site, or with specific targeting criteria like locations and interest.
Facebook marketing is often underutilized by many law firms. This platform can give you a distinct edge over competitors. Use organic Facebook marketing to develop strong relationships and a trustworthy, credible online presence. And use Facebook Ads to help push people further through the funnel.
Customized PPC Strategies Drive Results
While experience matters, it doesn’t always make an agency good at paid search management. Having the knowledge of what works—and what doesn’t—is critical to running successful PPC campaigns. From helping personal injury lawyers attract local traffic and attract high quality leads, to helping criminal defense lawyers lower their CPCs in Google Ads, Workshop Digital offers customized digital marketing strategies that drive results for law firms.
As marketers in a highly regulated industry, you’re probably familiar with the struggle behind delivering consumers SEO-friendly content and adhering to compliance regulations. For those that may focus on things like the copy and intent behind web pages and campaigns, marketing compliance can often take a back seat.
Creating a marketing strategy doesn’t need to be this way. You may be surprised to learn that SEO and compliance are two sides of the same coin. When paired together with a solid SEO strategy, compliance can even improve the customer experience.
Think about it. Both compliance and SEO can significantly affect the growth of financial services firms. Compliance standards are all about providing customers with transparent brand experiences. And at its core, SEO is about delivering quality web pages to users based on their search intent. When viewed in this context, compliance becomes less of a necessary evil.
Implementing a compliant digital marketing strategy can improve your customer experience.
How does compliance boost your bank marketing strategy?
Compliance is an essential component of any financial team’s underlying operations. Organizations must strike a balance between following regulatory laws and providing an excellent customer experience. These laws are largely designed to protect consumer privacy and information.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which passed in 2010, overhauled financial regulation following the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. It also led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which advocates for consumer protection in the financial sector. The primary goal of the CFPB is to change how financial companies interact with consumers, primarily by increasing the control of regulations.
It’s true that compliance is ultimately the realm of lawyers, compliance officers, and other lawmakers. However, regulation helps consumers find exactly what they’re looking for online. Compliance standards are designed to protect people and provide them with truthful, non-deceptive experiences. And in the banking industry, this often means changing the relationship between consumers and financial institutes.
Marketing compliance provides a better customer experience.
Much like regulatory measures improve the coexistence of banks and their customers, digital marketing follows a system that helps deliver ethical online experiences. SEO ensures that websites are rewarded by Google and other search engines—and that businesses are appealing to the questions and concerns of their consumers.
As we’ve mentioned before, financial institutions fall under the Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) page category. Google defines financial information pages as “webpages that provide advice or information about investments, taxes, retirement planning, home purchasing, paying for college, buying insurance” and more. Because these websites affect users’ financial stability, Google has high standards for these pages.
Using this logic, it’s essential to know the purpose of each page. Google announced earlier this year that E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) is now an important Page Quality metric. While this announcement is not designed to improve the accuracy of content—nor does it significantly change the guidelines that human quality raters use to evaluate websites—it does illustrate some underlying similarities between SEO and compliance.
The goal of web pages is to provide useful, relevant information to your consumers. Delivering a trustworthy online experience means understanding the goals of your consumers. This means answering their questions with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. In doing so, you’re providing your audience with an optimal online experience.
From blogs to website copy to online ads, financial organizations must incorporate marketing compliance standards across all content creation efforts. While guidelines are constantly in flux, there are a number of regulatory guidelines that banks and credit unions must follow throughout all creative efforts.
Disclaimer: Workshop Digital is not a legal firm nor a consultant on legal or regulatory matters. We simply provide digital marketing with an eye toward compliant content and execution. If you believe your team requires the expertise of a legal or regulatory team, please retain those services. This article is not intended to provide legal or regulatory guidance whatsoever. Workshop Digital and its employees are not liable for any company’s legal or regulatory actions.
The healthcare industry is changing rapidly, and vision practices are feeling the speed of innovation very acutely. While medical and technological advances that make examining, diagnosing, and treating patients easier are often welcomed, the changes in what patients are able to learn about their vision health options are intimidating at best.
Consumers have more information and power than ever to make decisions about exactly what they buy, why they buy, and from whom.
In times past, consumers had little ability to make healthcare-related decisions the way they did with things like computers, luxury goods, or entertainment. But now, consumers are interested in knowing how your service fits in their bigger life picture—not how they fit within yours. The narrative around practically all purchase decisions is now about, “What can you help me do?”
This means the buying process for healthcare services has lengthened and expanded beyond the realm of insurance companies, TV commercials, and accessibility in the local town shopping center or office park. The digital space creates an opportunity for patients to ask questions, research, and compare providers and alternatives—all before they make their first move.
In marketing-speak, we’re talking about top-of-funnel activity where potential patients (and honestly, even current ones) make choices about how they’ll solve their problem. This funnel is bigger and more competitive than in the past because of the dominance of the internet, mobile technology, and increased competition across the healthcare space. And for better and worse, LASIK is in the middle of this major transformation.
So, how does a growing practice compete with ever more options, like other practices, large ophthalmology networks, hospitals, and yes, the rise of popular purveyors like Warby Parker?
SEO Can Boost Your Ophthalmology Marketing Efforts
It can seem difficult to think about what a practice’s digital presence can do, aside from providing more screens to promote your offer or more social media posts with single-digit likes.
But a digital presence can work well for your LASIK practice if you understand how websites work—and what tools can help.
Even though they require a device to access, websites are simply digitized systems of file folders. Each time you click through a website’s main navigation and select something—a subtopic, for instance—you’re actually accessing a document living within a folder. A website is just a document.
Enter Google search. Digital marketing agencies that specialize in SEO aren’t magicians or hackers (well…they’re that cool, but maybe not THAT mysterious!). But they do have the skills to translate what search engines like Google are built to do—and how online properties can be optimized to attract search engines’ attention.
SEO is a central component of a digital strategy that helps your service, brand, or offering show up more competitively (read: higher) on search engine results pages. If we continue with the document/folder metaphor, SEO helps your company’s folder—ideally, the part of a document where patients can learn about your practice—stay on the top of a cluttered desk.
It’s not only disruption in the healthcare, vision, and LASIK industries that’s moving at warp speed, though. Google is known to change their search engine algorithms anywhere from 500 to 600 times per year. That’s an average of almost twice per day! SEO strategy is constantly changing and needs active support to stay effective.
SEO Is Essential to Your LASIK Marketing Strategy
Because the ophthalmology marketing landscape has changed for LASIK and vision firms to compete for patients. You need to understand the intent of your patients, what they’re interested in achieving by engaging with your practice, and ultimately, why they want to undergo an actual procedure.
This may sound like a scary statement. An impossible task. But it’s easier than you think—and it carries enormous upsides.
It’s important to ask the right questions. What do your future patients think about or research before they decide on your LASIK practice? What will help them make a significant life decision? Thinking strategically about the new LASIK shopper can strengthen your digital efforts—and help you find new patients in an increasingly competitive healthcare landscape.
Welcome to another Tuesday Talk at Workshop Digital!
If you haven’t heard, we’re an award-winning digital marketing agency and one of the fastest growing companies in Richmond. Our clients range from leading local businesses to multi-billion-dollar corporations, and we offer employees some of the best benefits and culture anywhere.
And we’re pretty picky about who we hire. None of us got our jobs due to luck, but according to academic research, that exact thought has crossed most of our minds.
Why is that? Impostor Syndrome.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
In 1978 doctors Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined this term to describe an inability of high-achieving people to internalize their accomplishments and, therefore, sometimes fear that they’ll be exposed as a fraud. Studies have shown that anywhere from 40 to 70% of people experience these feelings at some point in their life.
Impostor Syndrome Symptoms
Those who experience impostor syndrome tend to dismiss their own achievements and abilities, and they tend to do this in a few different ways:
“I’m lucky.” Those dealing with Impostor Syndrome often write off accomplishments due to luck or timing. For example:
Person A: “Hey, that campaign you ran was amazing! How’d you get the conversion rate so high?”
Person B: “Well, I think I just got lucky…Who would have thought people liked photos of llamas so much?”
“I’m nice, so they’re being nice.” Those with impostor syndrome may honestly believe their charm or likability deceives others into thinking they’re more intelligent and competent than they believe they are. For instance, high-achieving people tend to seek out relationships with supervisors in order to increase their knowledge or skillset, but when they receive praise from these same mentors, they may believe that it’s based on friendship and not ability alone.
Person A: “That was really awesome client feedback, you must be killing it for them!”
Person B: “Thanks, I mean…I think they just kind of like me because my mom’s in their quilting circle.”
“I had a lot of help.” And, very commonly, they might try to attribute their success to others instead of themselves.
Person A: “I heard your presentation helped us land a new client!”
Person B: “It did, yeah! I mean, I just really helped Joe. He did most of the work—he’s really smart.”
Can you guess who is quoted below?
“I’ve written 11 books, and each time I think ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find me out now.’ I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”
That’s Maya Angelou! Someone who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won five Grammy Awards, has 50 honorary degrees, and who even knows what else. Deep down, she still felt like a fraud who didn’t have a clue what she was doing.
And the list of successful people who have experienced Impostor Syndrome goes on and on: U.S. presidents, best-selling author Seth Godin, screenwriter Chuck Lorre, Neil Gaiman, best-selling author John Green, comedian Tommy Cooper, Sheryl Sandberg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and actress Emma Watson—which is ridiculous because you know Emma Watson is the real deal.
So you may be thinking: “Okay, if these extremely talented and successful people feel this way sometimes, then it’s okay for me to feel this way. This is just humility, and it won’t hold me back.”
And that’s partly true. There are benefits to feeling like an impostor. Namely, you work harder to prove yourself. You push yourself to acquire as much knowledge as you can to make up for your perceived lack of ability.
But it can negatively affect you if you don’t become aware of these thought patterns. Your impostor syndrome needs to be addressed if:
You Self-Prescribe Limits. The more knowledge you acquire and the higher levels you reach in your field, the more likely you are to find yourself in new terrain—and therefore feeling like you’re winging it. You may eventually feel like you have reached the pinnacle of your achievements and may fear going any further because the risk of failure or being “found out” is too high.
You Avoid New Experiences. It may keep you from trying new things you’ve never done before because you feel like a “fake.”
You Don’t Enjoy Your Achievements. Impostor syndrome may keep you from enjoying what you’ve worked hard to achieve.
If any of these sound familiar, there are a few things you can start doing to overcome your impostor syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome Treatment
Own Your Successes. Just as we take responsibility for failures in our personal and professional lives, we must also take responsibility for our successes. Minimizing them serves no one. So if you sometimes feel undeserving of your successes, try writing a list of all the key things you’ve accomplished over the last five years, or even the last 12 months, and it will help you see how much you’ve really achieved.
Cease Comparisons. Comparisons are always subjective, often biased, and rarely helpful.We are acutely aware of how hard we’re working to keep our head above water in work and life, and often we mistakenly assume others are getting by effortlessly. The reality is that many, many people are stretched just like you, with their own unique set of challenges.
TL;DR: Your healthcare marketing blog may be the most undervalued tool you have in your digital marketing arsenal.
Just think about it. Your medical blog improves your organic search rankings. It builds credibility in your industry and increases your authority with the search engines. Finally, effective content creation improves your visibility and makes you easier to find online—which, in turn, can build relationships with current and prospective patients.
However, blogging is more than simply jotting down a few thoughts and calling it a day. Effective content creation takes time. There’s no way around it. If you plan on running and maintaining a successful blog, it’s essential to dedicate enough resources to your efforts.
To make the most of your healthcare marketing strategy, let’s review how to write a healthcare blog.
How to write a medical blog post.
Get the right people to write your posts.
Most physicians simply don’t have the time to write blog posts on a regular basis. Even if they do, they don’t have the same skill sets that marketers possess. While almost anyone can string together a sentence or two, it takes a level of expertise to organize and optimize blog posts so they’re found by search engines and enjoyed by readers.
As intrepid marketers, it’s your responsibility to find ways to highlight the expertise of your clinical team. From ghost writing and SME interviews, to video and audio blogs, there are numerous formats to explore. Figure out which makes the most sense for your efforts—and be sure to test which method works best.
Organize your medical blog.
It’s also important to standardize your blogging efforts by following an editorial calendar. Maintaining an editorial calendar allows your marketing team to organize your efforts by campaigns and topics. Keeping your titles and topics consolidated in a centralized location enables you to keep a birds-eye view of your efforts and eliminates the chances of repeat or duplicate content.
There are hundreds of tools out there, but I prefer a simple Google Sheet to keep my content efforts orderly. Organizing blogs by title, topic, industry, and campaign helps ensure that my team covers all its bases—and that we don’t inadvertently write about the same topic twice.
Focus on your readers.
Writing a healthcare blog requires you to reach the right people. According to Search Engine Journal, content in 2019 should focus on a specific audience. While there are many ways to focus on your readers, here are just a few things that SEJ suggests you consider:
Keywords: While SEO copywriting has evolved, keyword research is still essential to blogging. Instead of using outdated keyword stuffing techniques, however, it’s important that your efforts cater to your readers. This means relating keywords to user intent.
Readability: When content is understandable, it keeps audiences engaged. And when this happens, it is rewarded by the search engines. Skim reading is the new norm—so make sure your content is easy to digest.
Depth: While word count is a constantly debated topic in the marketing world, in-depth, longer-form content is a big trend in 2019. By expanding your focus, you can explore multifaceted angles and provide even more relevant information to readers (and search engines!).
Page speed: The speed of your website—including your blog pages—greatly impacts its ranking. And if you haven’t considered your site speed by 2019, it may be time to contact an SEO agency for a site audit.
You don’t need me to remind you that there’s a surplus of content out there—especially in the crowded, competitive healthcare space. Resources like WebMD and Healthline exist solely to push out massive amounts of content to consumers. And while it’s certainly a popular resource, it’s important to know that WebMD generates most of its revenue through advertisements and corporate sponsorships for insurance, pharma, biotech, and medical manufacturing companies.
While it’s true that many health companies rely on industry dollars, it’s possible that the content found on sites like WebMD may suffer from a conflict of interest. Research has also found that these “symptom checkers”—online resources where users submit a list of symptoms and an algorithm returns possible diagnoses—fluctuate widely in accuracy.
So, what does this mean? That creating generic content about high-level conditions and symptoms probably isn’t worth your time. There’s only so much that can be said about these diseases and symptoms. Plus, industry giants like the Mayo Clinic and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have already cornered the market on many of these search terms.
Instead, develop content that resonates with your consumers.
Patient experience stories can help portray a complex medical subject in a relatable context. For example, a medical device manufacturer can write a synopsis about a successful application of their technology in a patient’s life. Or, a LASIK practice can discuss the quality of life improvements of a happy patient.
Actionable, advice-based blogs are another way to engage with your audience. Rather than simply discuss the symptoms behind a herniated disc, a spine surgeon provider can compile a list of suggestions for pain relief. Or, a family practice can provide seasonal tips—such as summer health safety for children—to their patients.
The blogging stage of content marketing generally sits at the top of the marketing funnel—or, the awareness stage. That’s why it’s important for healthcare marketers to target prospective and current patients with engaging content.
Prospects are generally looking for help at this point. From researching healthcare providers to learning more about the lasting impacts of a treatment, users have a specific goal. And your content should cater around these challenges.
As touched upon above, it’s important to align your keyword research around the needs of your customers. To begin, ask yourself questions. What are your users searching for? What problems may they be trying to resolve? Creating blogs that answers specific questions helps your content get discovered by readers—and helps increase the rankings of your blog.
Still wondering how to write a healthcare blog?
Contact Workshop Digital today to learn more about incorporating blogging into your healthcare marketing efforts. From researching keywords to uncovering insights about your audience, we can help align your blogging and SEO strategies.
When’s the last time you performed a voice search on your phone or other smart device? You may have to think hard about this question—because voice assistants has become so normalized. Whether it’s asking Alexa about the weather in the morning, or using Siri to search for local pizza delivery from your couch, the act of using a voice assistant has become increasingly commonplace.
For years, there has been talk about the impending voice search uprising. But the reality is that the technology is already here. And it’s making the world an easier place to live in. So, what does voice search look like in 2019 (and beyond)? In addition to impacting consumer technology, it’s making waves in healthcare and beyond.
Consumers want quick answers. They want convenience. Oftentimes, they’d rather talk—than type—on their phones. Because healthcare is driven by efficiency and accessibility, it only makes sense that voice search lends itself to this industry. It’s a tool that healthcare marketers can leverage to improve the user experience of their consumers.
Voice search is about delivering accurate information to patients of all types. And like it does with organic web traffic, search engine optimization (SEO) helps improve the quality of voice assistant results.
So, what does this
mean for your healthcare organization?
That SEO and voice search go hand-in-hand (more on this later). But before we dive too deep, let’s review some of the ways that the technology can help create a better healthcare experience.
Voice search allows people to locate local healthcare providers.
Voice search helps patients feel like they’re talking directly to a doctor.
According to Google, 41 percent of people who use a voice activated speaker feel like they’re talking to a person. This can make accessing important healthcare information easier and more accurate. By closing the gap between smartphones and their users, patients can engage with their devices in a way that’s comfortable and familiar—such as direct communication. And they can receive answers to specific questions.
Voice search increases access to healthcare facilities for all.
Voice search not only makes life easier. It makes effective communication possible for people of all ages and abilities. For example, disabled patients who may be unable to use a smartphone keyboard or device can use voice activation tools to communicate with healthcare facilities. Similarly, injured patients can use the technology to call an ambulance in times of emergency.
Voice search increases the customer experience.
The future of voice search is promising. Patients may use the technology to book appointments and communicate information to emergency dispatchers. However, organizations like Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) are already leveraging voice assistant technology to improve the inpatient experience. For example, these tools enable inpatients at BIDMC to send requests for nurses or ask about meals.
Nearly 80 percent of answers are from the top
three search results
Almost 70 percent were found within a SERP
Pages with faster loading times and simple,
readable content performed best
It’s worth noting that the most successful voice queries were easy to read. According to this logic, 80 percent of Americans should be able to understand your content. Interestingly, voice searches are also longer than text queries, with averages at 4.2 words for the former, and 3.2 for the latter. This is due to the concept that these searches are inherently conversational—and that users generally talk naturally to their devices.
SEO and voice search reward in-depth content that answers specific
Okay, so content marketing is still relevant. And I could throw marketing stats at you all day (like the fact that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to see positive ROI!).
But how can teams use content marketing to their advantage?
First, it’s important to remember that each organization is different. Your target audience depends on your service and product offerings. While there are exceptions to every rule (I’m thinking of the B2B2C ecommerce model, in which businesses reach new consumers by partnering with other businesses), most companies can be split into one of two categories:
B2C (business to consumer)
B2B (business to business)
As I discussed last week, the buying activities and sales cycles of B2C and B2C businesses are different. While B2C sales involves individual buyers, B2B purchases are generally made with the greater good of a company in mind. Individuals may be motivated by quality of life; businesses make purchases based on things like ROI and profitability.
It’s true that these audiences are inherently dissimilar. And
knowing the variances is important. But the differences behind B2B and B2C copywriting
are much more subtle. Let’s review.
B2C writing is all about reaching individual consumers.
One of the biggest differentiators of B2C writing is that you’re speaking directly to buyers. Generally, there’s no arbiter influencing purchases. Buyers are relying on a combination of emotions, needs, and wants—so many will tell you that emotions are the catalyst of B2C copywriting. Pull at the heartstrings of your audience. Rely on poignant, relatable verbs. Make the writing personal. And use a conversational tone if you must.
Sincerity also goes a long way in B2C copywriting. Don’t use this type of selling as an excuse to mislead and lie to your audience. You want buyers to feel good, not manipulated, about making a purchase. These consumers often desire a specific solution to a problem. And by understanding what makes your buyers tick, you can cater your products and services—and content marketing efforts—around these problems.
B2B organizations face unique roadblocks, too, right?
Correct. Much like individual consumers, businesses have a variety of challenges. But from driving revenue to increasing customers, these problems are often much more multifaceted. And they often involve multiple stakeholders.
Because there’s often more than one decision-maker involved, the buying cycle in B2B sales is longer than in B2C. Businesses often take more time to make decisions, as they must envision your product within a greater ecosystem. Whereas consumer goods may fulfill an immediate need, B2B product offerings may impact a business’ productivity or efficiency.
Therefore, B2B writing should be focused on helping an organization accomplish a shared goal.
This is done by providing the right people with the right information—be it product specs or marketing collateral. This requires writers to market the same product to different stakeholders. And it means leveraging the right channel and advertising avenues. For example, a twenty-something marketing manager and a Baby Boomer CFO probably prefer different types of messaging. The former may be used to more informal, social media ads; the latter may favor more professional email communication.
There are differences between B2C and B2C copywriting.
But the similarities are almost more important.
Ultimately, it’s essential to remember that you’re writing for people. Whether your end user is someone making decisions on behalf of a larger organization, or an individual consumer making a purchase, it’s important to understand them as people. Just because B2B purchasers are representing a larger organization, that doesn’t mean they’re devoid of emotion. Businesses are still drawn to effective copywriting.
On the other side of the coin, both audiences are susceptible to ad fatigue. If consumers dislike your copy—or read between the lines—they may ignore your ads. Likewise, if your blog content doesn’t address their needs, it may never be read in the first place.
Content may also be ignored by the search engines.
Content that doesn’t fulfill a specific goal may not only go unnoticed, it risks penalization. As I’ve mentioned, Google announced in February that it was increasing its efforts to combat misinformation. By giving preference to sites with high levels of expertise, authority and trustworthiness—a ranking factor know in the industry as E-A-T—the search giant has placed even more emphasis on content that’s useful and relevant to end users.
Knowing your audience is key—whether you’re writing for B2C or B2B readers.
Building personas can help you bridge the gap between writing for businesses and individuals. It can also help breakdown complex organizations into more digestible components. Humanizing your end users can help illustrate where different stakeholders are in their buyer’s journey—whether that means the awareness, consideration, or interest stage.
Approaching businesses as a group of individuals with unique goals enables you to better understand a company’s collective needs. This can help you create pieces of content that address these roadblocks. In doing so, you’ll be able to create content and ads that resonates with the goals of real end users.
Since coming out of beta, Google Data Studio (GDS) has become a popular tool that allows for beautiful data visualization and dashboarding. As digital marketers, more specifically pay-per-click analysts, it’s imperative that we communicate our impact and results in a compelling, attractive, and concise fashion.
Before getting into the weeds, I was GDS’s biggest fan. Gorgeous and collaborative reports, stellar data displays—what else could you need? At first glance, it appears to be a user-friendly, intuitive tool that allows you to create branded and interactive reports and share them with others. And in some cases, this holds true. For basic PPC reporting, this platform is extremely useful and can save time and prevent unnecessary communication.
However, once you’re faced with more complex reports, Google Data Studio falls short of the user-friendly tool it claims to be.
After countless hours vetting the tool and seeking support, it seems there simply aren’t enough resources to help inform a decision about whether or not GDS can actually fit your needs—which is where this post comes in handy. Hopefully, I can share what I’ve learned and provide insight on a few rather big gotchas that are worth considering before you get consumed in the labyrinth that is Google Data Studio.
One of the biggest downfalls of GDS is also one of the most important and consistent tasks of reporting on PPC marketing results: data blending. Coming from a multi-faceted agency that offers multiple service lines, it’s critical that I provide my clients with valuable insights about each service in an organized and efficient manner. One of the most basic ways GDS falls short in this arena is only supporting up to four data sources.
For a client who has Google Ads, Google Analytics, Microsoft Advertising, and social ads, connecting a customized Google Sheet—or including additional insights about call tracking—is simply not an option. In this case, you’re left with no option but to break out tables and charts, leading to unnecessary clutter and confusing displays of information.
While the limit on data sources can be tedious and inconvenient, much more severe are the flaws within the grueling process of data joining. More specifically, it is necessary that all dimensions in non-primary data sources join with the primary source as part of the data linking, or data gets aggregated incorrectly. GDS uses a left outer join, creating the possibility that data could be excluded if the desired dimension values don’t have a match across all data sources, or if they don’t exist in the primary data source.
For example, this shortfall can become obstructive when you need to use Google Analytics and Microsoft Advertising data, or when you have not set an ads campaign name exactly as your campaign name in Google Analytics. For tasks such as calculating a Google Analytics value or aggregated cost metric for a certain set of campaigns, it would be necessary to join with both the date and the campaign, and if your campaign names don’t exactly match what’s in Google Analytics, the filtered data won’t be accurate.
Replicating Blended Data
Another nuisance of data blending with GDS? After finally persisting through the data joining process and creating a functional, blended data source, that source is only available in the report in which it was created. To use the same data source in other reports, you must recreate it from scratch or copy the connections—which opens a whole new can of worms.
As PPC marketers, one of our biggest value-adds is providing insights into a clients’ most valuable audiences and users based on behavior. Typically, this is done through reporting on conversion actions such as form submissions, phone calls, and document downloads.
Currently, GDS has no way of filtering for this type of refinement and granularity. At first glance, there are two oddly named fields that seem to provide a feasible solution: “Segment Conversion Type Name” and “Segment Conversion Category.” While either of these can easily be applied as a filter, the filter is nonfunctional in a table or chart containing non-conversion metrics—such as cost, clicks, or impressions—and will consequently display an error. The same error will appear when applying the filter to tables or charts with comparison metrics, such as cost-per-lead or conversion rate. Additionally, you are unable to include locked conversion actions such as direction clicks. Ultimately, these limitations make it difficult to provide much of any valuable conversion insights to the client.
Filtering for conversion actions may be one of the most glaring inadequacies of GDS, especially with the limitation on conversion ratios. But what about the other ratios PPC analysts use daily? Unfortunately, filtering is not an option for these metrics, either.
When trying to apply a filter to a table containing click-through-rate, for example, GDS will display an error that typically says “Unable to aggregate ratio metrics in the request. Please select another metric.” Google claims this error will display as a result of the data already being aggregated. At this time, filters cannot be applied to data post-aggregation, because that would require the system to evaluate every instance of the metric—which, again, it’s currently unable to do. As a result, it seems the only valid “solution” to this problem is to create several custom metrics within a table.
Out of the three shortcomings listed here, visualization is the least impactful. However, there are several visual hiccups that can really get in the way of providing clients compelling and user-friendly reports—such as the fact that GDS doesn’t currently support bullet points (I mean, really?). There are probably work-arounds for most of these situations. But wouldn’t it be nice if the functionality was already included in the platform?
Reporting Ad Copy
Most PPC analysts can testify that writing ad copy probably isn’t their favorite task. Some analysts have clients who like to approve ad copy before it goes live, and others enjoy testing various elements to determine what resonates best with the client’s most valuable audiences.
Unlike other similar reporting platforms, GDS does not provide a way to display ads as they are seen in search engine results pages. This can be cumbersome for a variety of cases, but especially when you’re reporting on A/B test results and a client would like to see the variations side-by-side. While the Supermetrics integration can pull in content, each element is displayed individually in a new column of a table.
Most clients enjoy visualizing data in the form of a chart or graph—or at least would like to see a few visual elements within tables. Data Studio again falls short here, only allowing for the bare minimum when it comes to chart style.
First, data labels have so many opportunities for improvement. While some developments have already been made—such as allowing for the adjustment of font size—GDS still hasn’t included options to choose where labels appear on charts, and has even been known to hide the label based on what format is used for the data points. Second, comparison values are only able to be pulled in as separate columns, as opposed to subscripted text, as seen in other reporting platforms. This results in unnecessarily bulky tables that clutter reports and can sometimes cause confusion.
All things considered, GDS creates reports that are visually stunning, when compared to several other platforms. However, there are currently only two themes offered: “light” and “dark.” Most agencies or other advertising businesses have a color palette and brand standards that must be applied to all client-facing deliverables—and more than likely it isn’t going to fall into GDS’s “light” and “dark” themes. Having custom, reusable themes that provide guidance in terms of branding could make reporting more efficient. And who doesn’t enjoy things that make reporting a little easier?
There are a few other limitations that aren’t included, but this crucial insight was missing while I was trying to troubleshoot the platform. While some of these issues may not be present in a report built from one data source, most PPC analysts optimize various digital marketing channels at once. Since reporting can be seen as one of the greatest ways to showcase our value, it’s in our best interest to use the platform that does that the best.
So, is Google Data Studio right for your PPC marketing team?
Although these shortcomings may have left a bad taste in my mouth, GDS can still fulfill various reporting needs. If you’re looking for a user-friendly platform that allows clients to stay up-to-date and view one-source metrics such as clicks or impressions, GDS is right for you. I’ve also seen it work wonders for SEO purposes.
But for complex paid search reports? That’s where I’d draw the line.
Sadly, it seems we’re still far off from a fully-functioning Ads reporting platform from Google—but the information seeking process continues! I still have hope for GDS, as Google has already made significant progress with the tool over the past year.
Have you created successful, comprehensive paid search reports? What issues have you encountered? The PPC team at Workshop Digital is continuing to learn the ins and outs of GDS as it becomes more prominent. We’ll be keeping you updated on what we find and how we use its upcoming developments on the road to a fully-functional reporting platform.