Posted on December 17, 2013

2014 Top 10 Internet Marketing Tips

Glacial Multimedia’s Michael Dobkowski details some of the top tips to help your practice positively market itself online.

Creating a productive digital marketing program has typically involved using Internet marketing mix to build your brand online across different digital platforms. Creating the correct engagement, call to action, design, messaging and search strategy are all critical. For 2014 I have detailed some of my top areas of focus in an effort to help practices get off to a positive start.

1. Customer Experience Marketing

Customer Experience Marketing Will Assist Practices in Better Conversions!

How do you manage to move leads from interest to consultation? Are you using touch points? Are you using a CRM with automated responders? Practices that manage touch points are able to do more automatically, get top of mind awareness of interested patients and ultimately achieve more conversions. Customer satisfaction surveys controlled by the practice and executed by the practice are also a touch point satisfaction-mapping tool. Today’s modern marketing is trending towards focusing on the customer. What are your touch points and how are you creating a better customer experience? How does your digital marketing strategy expect the trend to managing the total customer experience to continue? Matt Jensen from Vance Thompson Vision has been a pioneer in Customer Experience Marketing. Contact [email protected]

2. Social Signals

This is the year where social signals will become a factor in SEO. The social signal generated by your online activity is now key and Google+ is at the heart of it. What I like about the new semantic SEO involving few shortcuts is that those that put the effort in will get the reward of higher positions. Social signals for SEO is a big suggestion for 2014. Currently, there is a big focus on how to achieve content quality and social signals to show authority for SEO reasons. You will need to guide your social posting people as to what this all means because posting things nobody pays attention to will not get it done if you want SEO impact. You may need to find that crazy blogger in your practice because bloggers have now won some public trust. 63% of readers are more likely to be influenced by blogs than magazines when deciding on a purchase. (Source: Marketing Query)

3. Responsive Website Design

Your website might look outdated fast in 2014!

If you are not creating responsive or ajax responsive websites in 2014 then you may find yourself with a very outdated website very quickly. The principle of responsive web design and development ensures a website can be viewed from any device, with any size screen, with an experience that gracefully moves from step-down to step-up. It’s about respecting the fact that users want to consume website experiences on their 4-inch mobile smartphone screen, their 7-inch mini tablet screen, their full-size 10-inche tablet device, and their laptop screen. The design is responsive because it constantly takes into account the properties of the device and the browser on which the user consumes the content.

Why choose responsive website design?

1. Google suggests this approach

Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the best practice for website design.

2. Easier to manage

Instead of managing multiple website file systems responsive websites enable you to update the website in one place instead of remembering multiple places.

3. Responsive websites are definitely the way of the future, it improves the usability of a website for the end user and it also forces the developer to think about optimization and accessibility first and foremost which generally gets more conversions.

4. Content Marketing

Content Marketing will be bigger than ever in 2014

Google has always been obsessed with content. It is, after all, a search engine of content. One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. Providing credible information may involve writing a blog article about some new technique or technology or even sharing a story on social media for others to share. By creating engaging content your practice will begin to develop a following of people.

2014 will be dominated by content marketing as people are dying for the information and those who provide it will achieve an advantage. On average companies are producing more content than they did a year ago.

5. Social Media is on FIRE

Social Media Marketing will require more diversity

1.15 billion people are on Facebook
500 million people are on Google+

A prediction by Forbes Magazine reveals, “Investment in Social Media will become a necessity, not a luxury.” If this is true than all of the practices investing in social media for the past years should benefit nicely. If your practice has not done much with social media, now might be the time to get involved.

If your practice can find a way to promote brand ambassadors, your word of mouth referrals could increase along with your website traffic but you must provide some engaging content. Finding brand ambassadors starts with watching what a follower has said about your bran and then seeing how many of that person’s followers either comment on or share that same information with members of their social group. If you can facilitate this process for improvement you are on the correct track. Try to tap into your fan base and enable them to spread the news. Make sharing your information easy and robust. The first step will be to identify brand champions and help them distribute your message.

6. Use Google+ better

Despite the fact that Facebook is the ultimate social media giant and has the most active monthly users at 1.15 billion, Google+ is gaining ground.

With Google using the platform to collect personal information (think demographics, locations, etc.), Google+ should no longer be thought of as ‘just’ another social network. It is increasingly proving itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of SEO, social signals and providing a more personalized search experience. This is especially apparent with the importance of Google Authorship, which I project will be one of the key components to Google’s search ranking algorithm by the end of 2014.

7. Less will be more

Less will be more in marketing and design. This trend relates to the apparent shift in consumer preference regarding simplistic marketing messages instead of in-depth messages. This trend has been gurgling within design and Internet marketing for quite some time, but is essentially unavoidable at this point. If you are marketing a specific message and the website design is too busy and littered, visitors will simply bounce. The information overload in the technology age is at its all-time high. Keep your designs and messaging simple. If you think about some of the best brands, for example a company like Apple, do they have a cluttered website or 20 different marketing messages? The answer is no. They keep it simple. Many marketers get confused about this and tend to over do the offers and gimmicks. Some of the most innovative marketers are going the opposite direction. More is not better.

8. The Rise of Image Ads on Google and use of Remarketing

What is Remarketing and why is it important?

Remarketing, also known as retargeting and often called Behavioral Marketing, is a method of Pay Per Click advertising that allows you to target users who have visited your website, or even specific pages on your website, in the past. Combined with a custom landing page, it is an excellent way to re-engage users, stay top of mind, and increase your conversion rates. You can even custom tailor an ad with a special message or offer to users who have visited particular pages on your website.

Remarketing tools allow you to place limits as to how often the ad is seen, the period of time the ad will show, and the geographical locations the ad will appear.

9. It’s a mobile world now

It’s no secret that mobile traffic has almost doubled from last year to this year on most practice websites. Everything is going mobile, so mobile compatibility for websites and emails is a must.

10. E-mail newsletters keep your brand top of mind

E-mail newsletters are hotter than ever before in medical marketing. After reviewing business trends and talking to key market leader physicians, we are convinced more than ever that newsletters are vital to your marketing program.

E-mail newsletters are a great extension to your communication toolkit and offer your practice an excellent channel by which you can effectively reach patients. Having an e-mail newsletter is a very effective method of collecting information from your prospects. If you do not have an e-mail newsletter then you are missing out on a very effective medium for turning your prospects into customers and your customers into lifetime prospects.