To get ahead in the healthcare software industry, you need to stand out from the crowd. While most companies these days are already promoting themselves on LinkedIn or Facebook, to really reach your audience, raise brand awareness, and attract leads for your software, you may need to put in a bit more effort to get results.
Is Twitter still relevant for your marketing strategy? Your answer may depend on whether or not you've ever had success with this network. More often times than not, many businesses feel directionless when it comes to tweeting, especially when it comes to whether or not posts are reaching their audience.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to 2004. You or may not remember that when Facebook was first created, its membership was limited to Harvard students. However, it wasn’t long before the network expanded to other schools and not long after that, almost anyone could join.
Guest Post By Ashley Lipman
Social media has become a celebrated marketing method for many reasons. This is because it is a reasonable investment and there are many free tools to help you get started. The truth is, many marketers and businesses are already leveraging social media to reach their customers and grow their personal brands.
How does a small flower shop in the UK get 35,000 followers on Twitter? Hint: it’s not by tweeting about flowers.
As marketers, we know that trends and technology are changing everyday. You can’t continue doing what’s always been done, even if it has worked in the past – before you know it, your method might become outdated.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool in your inbound marketing strategy box - especially if you're a B2B marketer (80% of marketing leads for B2B companies are generated by LinkedIn, and it's used as the primary social media platform for 92% of B2B companies). As the name implies, however, LinkedIn is only as fruitful as the strength of the "links" you create.
Everything about networking changed in 2004 when LinkedIn introduced Groups as a feature. Once Groups were brought online, liked-minded professionals had a new way to connect, demonstrate thought leadership and learn about their industries.
What ever happened to the handshake?
At one time in the not-so-distant past, it was the quintessential act of introducing yourself to prospects. In one gesture, you could make a favorable first impression, establish trust, and position yourself as someone who can be relied on to deliver results. In other words, the handshake was the way to lay the foundation of a relationship that could last for years.
It could possibly be a panacea for all things sales. A virtual funnel that leads directly to pre-qualified prospects. An unprecedented platform allowing you to disseminate your marketing messages with strategic abandon. The most efficient and effective way to infiltrate inboxes.
It is, of course, LinkedIn.
So, you've applied everything you've learned about LinkedIn lead generation and yet leads seem to have flat lined. What gives?
It's deflating when a well-planned inbound marketing strategy doesn't yield the results you expected. It's tempting to feel like throwing in the towel or start anew. Don't give in to that temptation!
The work you've done so far is a wellspring of content from which you can tease, build upon and develop as you re-orient your sights.
LinkedIn is a valuable inbound marketing tool for healthcare organizations. While patients and prospects may use the network's profiles to learn more about doctors, specialists and other healthcare providers, it's also a way to get yourself out there, active and engaged with other industry professionals.
Marketing. It's part art, part science. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. And it's a necessity for healthcare organizations.
Yes, if you want to build a bigger, better business, you're going to need to market yourself, your company, and your products and services.
You know your prospects with precision. You've identified them, found them on LinkedIn, and populated a database with their information.
You know your company's value proposition inside and out. You've crafted authentic, personalized messages for your prospects that will inform and educate them, make their lives easier, and drive them to your website.
A slow drip. Water on a stone. Steady, relentless, and effective.
This sums up how inbound marketing strategy generally is intended to work in the first place, and going further into the lead nurturing avenues with drip email campaigns aimed at carefully selected contacts in LinkedIn only enhances the power to drive more qualified sales leads into your funnel with it.
A lot of people don't like networking. When they think about it, they envision uncomfortable conversations, awkward exchanges of business cards, and empty promises. For these people, "networking" might as well be a four-letter word.
You know the drill.
Your sales team wants leads. Your leadership team wants sales. You want to see your website at the top of Google. So you opt for a varied collection of online tactics that likely includes posting quality content, rich with keywords, which are then forced into your other marketing materials. You go heavy on the links. You use Google AdWords. Along the way, attention goes toward a flurry of activity to design and develop a website that is absolutely perfect.
Just as a vehicle requires a trip to the mechanic for periodic maintenance and up-keep, your social media’s inbound strategy needs to be given a regular once-over. Consider your social media to be the vehicle that transports you and your customers to common ground... not only does the "vehicle" need to be sparkling clean on the outside, but it also needs to have strong horsepower rumbling under the hood.
There's a natural rhythm to any long-term romance. The first call-back (eeek!), the continuous acknowledgement of undeniable chemistry (scha-wing!), and then there's the introductions to friends and family (I hope they like me!). By the time you've reached this last step, it's a good sign the two of you are in it for the "long haul."
In addition to being absolutely beautiful, butterflies are also critical pollinators. They spread pollen from plant to plant, and the result of all that flitting about is the production of seeds. Those seeds form into fruit, which exponentially creates more seeds from which new plants grow.
If you think about it, this process isn't all that different from the way an inbound marketing strategy works!
I once saw a grandfather clock that dates back to the early 1700s. While the clock's age was certainly a remarkable feature, its 300-year legacy would mean nothing if the timepiece was no longer functioning or if the clock's face was broken or marred. Similarly, our families have inherited multi-generation antiques that have been repaired or repainted and then stripped back down to the original wood - always keeping the authenticity and integrity of the pieces intact - so that we could refinish them again.
When it comes to first impressions, solid eye contact and a firm handshake mean a lot. The same is true in making a strong first impression on someone in the digital realm. Social media platforms offer the best path for this as part of your inbound marketing strategy by encouraging a new friend or follower, a virtual stranger, to venture further down the buyer's journey with you.
In 1936, Dale Carnegie (originally "Carnagey," and no relation to steel baron Andrew Carnegie...) published the widely popular book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It has gone to publication multiple times and is still considered a foundation for both personal and professional success.
A constantly growing website and an integrated social media presence are both critical components for generating virtual smoke signals that e-searchers can find in the jungle of online options for solutions to their business's problems. A business's online presence must be multifaceted, and a single page website simply will not do in today's overcrowded online space. The incorporation of social media in conjunction with a solid website increases the extent of your reach, and strengthens your inbound marketing impact.
While inbound marketing is a fairly recent phenomenon, those who would like to learn more about how it works should think of it as similar to online dating. Inbound marketing is all about knowing what you've got going for you, knowing what suitors want, and connecting with them. Yet the beauty of inbound marketing is that it's similar to an online dating experience. What would you do to attract an ideal suitor? You would likely do things to heighten your odds of finding just the right person – and avoid the things that would attract the wrong types or cause you to have to settle for whoever shows up out of desperation.
More businesses than ever before are finding new customers using social networks like Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to business to consumer marketing on the web, there are few platforms more effective than social networks. WebDAM reported in a study that in 2013, 52% of all marketers found a customer on Facebook and 43% found one on LinkedIn. With all the buzz around
We always advise our clients about the importance of strategy behind their content in social media marketing. Most business owners start out somewhat confused about how they can provide the kind of social media content that will bring in more customers and approach it by just slinging out random messages through various social channels and then end up concluding it doesn't work when they don't see any obvious change in their sales figures. They're hearing the buzz about being visible in social media but messages about the importance of a well thought out strategy just aren't getting in there with it.
If you've been slow to incorporate Facebook into your healthcare advertising plan, you're not alone. Just as the healthcare industry has been slow to embrace digital content marketing in general, medical marketing professionals have lagged behind in the trend toward social media marketing. However, if you're following the crowd in this arena, you're missing an important opportunity to reach prospective patients.
When it comes to healthcare marketing, getting found online is a key goal, and social media is a powerful force. Why? Simply, that’s where the people are.
Your patients are probably looking at their social networks right now, and health topics are a key attraction. Just look at the Affordable Care Act. No matter what side of the argument you’re on, opinions abound through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. People are not just comfortable using social media to think about health, they’ve made it a daily habit.
Is Facebook part of your inbound marketing strategy?
Have you noticed? LinkedIn has made a few changes to the design of their company pages. It's important for your page to be set up to optimize its effect on visitors and help you get more customers.