September 22, 2022
Break Through with Holiday Cards
We’re about to make a radical recommendation about your company’s annual holiday card: Print it! You probably do it already, which means a staffer runs out at the last minute and buys boxes of cards or purchases them from a printer. There’s nothing technically wrong with this per sei, but it screams generic.
Do people still send greeting cards?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes! And guess who sends them, GenZ and Millennials, and of course, Baby Boomers, who have engaged in the practice for decades. Hallmark estimates that $1.3 billion is spent annually on Christmas Cards. So yes, printed cards are welcome.
Says Lindsay Roy, CMO of Hallmark, “Our research tells us that paper cards continue to break through.” And isn’t breaking through what marketing is all about?
The marketing angle
Why, you ask, can’t I blast out holiday greetings with an email? Here are a few reasons:
- Custom cards are more tactile and personal.
- The good stuff is posted on the break room fridge or the mantle at home. It’s all about eyeballs.
- It keeps your company name top of mind on days when you wouldn’t hawk a two-for-one sale.
- The holiday card, without sounding salesy, can speak loads about your brand. Do you have a sense of humor, a high-tech image, or is your brand more Norman Rockwellish? Show it off with a custom card.
Timing is everythingTime your holiday card to arrive during the first week of December. You’ll get maximum exposure and get on the fridge before your competitors. Your artwork deadline should be in the first week of November.
The major holidaysHanukkah, December 18 through December 26
Festivus, December 23
Christmas, December 25
Kwanzaa, December 26 through January 1
New Year’s Eve, December 31
New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023
Happy Holidays. Let us know how we can help you get your custom card out the door.
Send comments to Bill Abramovitz
Don’t Wing It, Write a Social Media Strategy
Like all your healthcare and medical marketing efforts, your social media feed should be centered around a strategy so you're not just posting hilarious random memes. Working from a strategy enables your social media team to create engaging content that appeals to your target audience and achieves campaign goals.
So how do you build a social media strategy? Here are a few things to consider.
What Do You Want Your Social Media to Do for You?
Do you want to solve a problem or provide relevant information for your audience or brand? Are you reinforcing branding messages? And maybe you want to make your company or brand a bit more personal and interact with your audiences regularly, providing some "personality."
Develop Your Strategic Statement
Think who, what, when, where, and how. For example, "we are a medical device manufacturer who wants to reach doctors, office managers, and other decision-makers in the healthcare sector by providing valuable information they can use, including occasional news about our products and services in a non-sales approach. We want to establish ourselves as subject matter experts in our field and provide a human face to our brands."
Define Your Strategic Marketing Goal
Now drill down a bit and nail down a goal. The old standbys have been the number of followers, impressions, and engagements, but sometimes it's enough to get quality content that's on brand out into the public consciousness. If a potential customer checks out your feed (and they do), you'll want it to be a good reflection of your company. Define some objectives that are actionable and measurable. And remember, like most things in life, quality beats quantity every time.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Consider which social media platforms work for each personality type and demographic, and use that info to communicate with them.
Choose Your Channels
For healthcare and medical marketing in the B2B space, LinkedIn remains an excellent place to start, but don't discount other channels as well. Facebook is still the 800-pound gorilla, and video is more popular than ever, so YouTube and TikTok are good places for product demos and how-to videos. Remember, customize approaches for each channel and audience. What makes a good Facebook post might be 'meh' on LinkedIn.
Stick to a Schedule
Do a little research and determine when your audience will most likely be surfing each channel. Make a schedule for posting and stick to it, adjusting as necessary. Consistency is critical, so make sure you're posting regularly.
Keep ‘Em Engaged
So now that you're posting regularly, you must engage. Answer questions, make witty asides, and respond to compliments (rare) and complaints (far less rare). But even responding to a complaint is a chance to help a customer or potential customer.
If you’d like help planning your social media strategy, content creation, or even running the whole show, we can help! Drop Susan a line and let us know what you need!
Send comments to Ben Singleton
9 Tips for Writing a Press Release that Breaks Through
So, you have news to share with your customers, potential customers, or the public at large. Writing a news release is only a part of the journey. You want to coax some media outlets to pick it up and spread the word.
Here are a few tips to help you craft a press release that will amplify your chances of getting it picked up by the media.
Get it right. Your release should be grammatically correct and free from errors.
Put important info first. Get the who, what, when, where, and why into the first paragraph. An editor should be able to get a good understanding of what the release is saying just by reading the first paragraph. Then proceed with an "inverted pyramid style of hierarchy, getting the essential information higher in the release. And make sure the editor gets why the information is important or impactful.
Avoid jargon. Unless you're writing for a real "insider baseball" type of industry publication, putting any technical language into something everyone can understand is gold. And don't be afraid to use examples.
Keep it short. An extended release is anathema to many editors, so purge any superfluous information. You can always provide more information upon request. And don't be afraid to use bullet points if it can improve the readability of the release. For example, suppose you’re touting the value of your company's latest medical device. In that case, a bullet list of how the device impacts the doctors and patients using it can be highly effective.
Get visual. Provide a striking image to go with the release if you can.
Get someone else to read it. Our brain has a funny habit of filling in any gaps in our own writing, so get someone else to read it and point out any omissions or difficulty with comprehension.
Provide resources. Let an editor or reporter know who is available for interviews or other resources they might need to flesh out the story.
Avoid hyperbole. While your marketing folks like to use phrases like cutting edge, revolutionary, and the like, it just smells like bull to editors.
Make it easy for the journalist/editor. The more "finished" the product you send them, the more likely they will pick it up.
Be available. Get back to them as soon as you can if they contact you for information.
Want help writing and pitching a press release? We can help!
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Seven Marketing Trends to Watch into 2023
Our advertising world continues to evolve with technology and social changes. Use of digital, data, and market research is on the rise as marketers seek a deeper understanding of consumers and the performance of their marketing. While digital still rules, for the first time in decades we’re seeing an increase in traditional marketing. Here’s what you need to keep an eye on:
More marketing teams are working remotely. According to a Duke School of Business study, 48 percent of respondents said they were working from home exclusively, while another 58 percent reported working from home at least some of the time.
- CMOs are increasing their spending on analytics to assess the impact of digital marketing. Analytics now commands up to 9 percent, an all-time high, of the marketing budget
- Marketing directors are making data-driven decisions. Analytics are involved in half of all marketing decisions, a 38 percent increase compared to pre-pandemic times.
- Brands are investing in social issues. About 30 percent of marketing leaders use their brands to communicate or take a stance on politically charged issues.
- Fifty percent of marketing companies are using face-to-face – for example trade shows and sales calls – channels. Only 11 percent of respondents said their face-to-face channels would be replaced by digital marketing.
- Increased marketing budgets for traditional advertising increasing for the first time in a decade, although well below the expected growth rates for digital marketing in the coming year. Driving this trend are the elimination of cookies and concerns about the effectiveness of digital advertising.
- As interest in scientific marketing grows, so does marketing research with increased spending on both quantity and scope.
Sources: “The Changing Face of Marketing” (mckinsey.com): and “6 Trends changing the Marketing Industry” (Becker’s Hospital Review), Harvard Business Review, and Research Roundup from Customerthink.com
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Brand Storytelling for the Win.
Storytelling in advertising and marketing is hot. Big players like Nike and Toyota created great campaigns using storytelling techniques. The role of storytelling in marketing strategy is to understand how to create original stories that demonstrate why people should care about your brand and, more importantly, how your brand can impact them on a personal level.
The Medical and Healthcare sectors are perfect for storytelling campaigns with unique stories around how your medical device or service has changed the outcome for patients.
By telling a story on the ground level and describing specifics, people can identify with the larger concepts portrayed. Hansel and Gretel were just two kids lost in the woods, but the story made clear the idea of not trusting someone just because they give you candy.
Watch this space over the next few months as we dive into a few storytelling techniques you can use to build customer appreciation of your brand.
Want your brand to tell a great story? Drop us a line for an assist!
Send comments to Ben Singleton
Hidden Copy Bits to Juice Your Blog's SEO
You've sweated bullets to create a brilliant blog post. Now what? Post and forget about it? Not if you want your post to be found in search and read. After all, engaged readers are your ROI.
To optimize your post for SEO (search engine optimization), pay attention to the critical bits of copy, often ignored, that make your article discoverable by Google and more reader friendly. Elements like headlines and subheads define the Who-What-When-and-Why structure of an article, while other phrases hidden from view on the page explain the meat of the post to Google.
(If you're interested in the technical aspects of hidden text, learn how to check for it in source code.) https://www.bioticahealth.com/blog/web-design/check-seo-source-code
In the code, the headline is embedded in the heading tag, or H1. The headline is H1 because it's the most important piece of copy on the page and a key ranking factor. The headline lures in the reader, provides an accurate idea of the post's content, and contains keywords.
Your SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines Wordstream.com
The H2 heading tags surround subheads because they are secondary in importance only to the headline. Good headlines and subheads explain the gist of a post, lead into the copy, and make your article easy to scan by a reader. For extra SEO oomph, weave keywords into your H2s.
While we yearn for backlinks from other websites, you're in charge of internal links that whisk the visitor from your blog post to related content on other pages on your site. Google interprets internal links as a vote of popularity for the targeted page, which increases its SEO value. And the highlighted text, which is visible on the page, hints at the content of the linked-to page. There's also a hidden component of links that we'll discuss below.
Anchor text is also hidden but vital. It describes the page the link targets, revealing itself when the mouse pointer hovers over the link. It should contain keywords.
Alt or alternative text is hidden from the viewer and describes an image, for example, "Man bites dog." Alt text is essential when a visitor views your site without images or when a text reader is employed.
Google pulls the title for its search results from the copy in the title tag. The title must contain keywords designed to encourage clicks from the visitor.
The meta description is the copy below the heading of the search result. As its name suggests, the purpose of this copy, up to 165 characters, is to summarize the blog's content like a mini abstract. Pepper it with keywords and phrases that will match a search from a user.
Remember, the reader is the ROI. Optimizing hidden text and the on-page copy is key to extracting the maximum value from articles, and it makes your blog post a fast read and a formidable SEO asset.
Send comments to Bill Abramovitz