January 25, 2021
Google My Business – The essential freebie no medical marketer should be without.
There's nothing wrong with free, but it doesn't make the top three reasons that you should set up a Google MyBusiness Sites (GMB):
- The local Map Pack powered by your GMB site data elevates all of your search rankings
- Your Google Business Site will build qualified traffic to your company's corporate site
- The Map Pack, based on local search, helps you compete against larger or similar practices or businesses that aren't in your neighborhood
- It gives users quick access to succinct information about your company without tracking down the URL of your home web presence.
- Google My Business targets high-conversion buyers who are in the market for a product or service.
- And, yes, it's free.
High-intent searches turn into more conversions and sales
Many users tag a location in their search, like examples one and three. Google search always defaults to local search. So, if you live in Hyde Park in Cincinnati and enter the phrase "Joint Replacement Specialist," you'll see search results of specialists in your neighborhood. Consider these three searches,
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Joint replacement specialists
- Directions to Dr. Arban's office
GBM sites and Map Packs build consumer confidence.
GMB site also lends credibility to your business for B2B or B2C customers. "Wow, how did they get the big listing on a map?" If your company has multiple physical locations, such as far-flung sales offices for distributors or a healthcare system, you can list them, and your Minot, North Dakota, operation can pop-up in local searches, too.
What's a Map Pack, and why do I need one?
The Google Map Pack, sometimes called the "Three Pack," is a local search result featured in a box that lists three businesses and highlights them on a map. Other competitors are listed as well, but you'll need to click on a "View More" tab to see them. The listing itself contains your hours of operation, links to driving directions, and your main website. Click on a company in the big three, and you'll see an expanded version of the listing replete with photos and information about your company.
The Map Pack runs on the information you enter in your Google My Business Site. So, one of the only requirement to play is a Google account.
Building Your Google My Business Site
The GMB site is highly templated and has features similar to your practice or company website: product and service information, photographs, videos, reviews (if you activate them). Your job is to plug in the content. No code required.
Use Biotica's GMB site as an example, or find one that's in your category and locale.
Besides being a standalone website, your GMB site is the data source for your listing on the Local Map Pack. You don't have many design decisions to make other than font and color. You can pluck copy and media from your main website. You'll find sections for product and services and information, a photo gallery, and a blog for short 100- to 300-page articles.
The blog allows you to choose from a set of call-to-action buttons that link to your site. You also find accommodations for special events, which also appear in search, information on how your business handles COVID, a chat function, and your customer reviews. It's quite a robust setup, but you can get started by just entering your essential business information. The site also includes a meaty analytics app to find out what content works, numbers of visitors, and clicks through to the mother ship.
Rules of the Road
Honestly, it's pretty difficult to screw up a GMB site, but it is possible. The worst that can usually happen is that Google may reject a piece of content. For repeat offenders, they suspend your site, and you'll need to apply for reinstatement. And in the worst instance, your site can be canceled, which is very serious and can deep-six your search rankings.Our guidelines are simple. You'll find them very similar to SEO best practices.
- Park your adjectives in the basement. GMB sites feed on facts
- Be truthful and don't make exaggerated claims.
- Use good grammar and spelling.
- Check to ensure that critical business information - location and phone number — appear like it does on your main website.
- If your customer reviews are a bit wobbly, turn them off in the control panel.
- In most cases, Google offers plenty of room for content, but you shouldn't use all of it! GMB's should be an information snack shop for harried visitors. Remember, your visitors have a good sense of what they want, so keep it short and easily digestible.
Maintain what you buildKeeping your Google My Business site fresh is key to maximizing its ability in search. Add new products. Remove old ones.
Unlike most free stuff, GMB sites can be worth their weight in Bitcoin. GMB's come into play when your customers search for a local provider, making them funnels for local businesses, including physicians, hospitals, and medical device companies.
Need a hand with your Google My Business site, email Bill
Be Like Ike. Prioritize with the Eisenhower Box
Everyone has a productivity hack, app, tool, method, process, or magic bullet. Some are complicated, and some are simple (Just do it!).
One that's been around for a while, proven to work, super simple, and battle tested. The Einstein Box was named by former US President and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The good ol' Eisenhower Box. Or Eisenhower Matrix, if you're fancy.
- Eisenhower's strategy for taking action and organizing tasks is simple. A 4-square box helps you prioritize (and delegate) tasks based on four possibilities.
- Urgent and important. Do these immediately.
- Important, but not urgent. These you schedule for later.
- Urgent, but not important. If you can, delegate these tasks to someone else.
- Neither urgent nor important. These tasks you can eliminate. Unless they're fun, then you find time to squeeze them in. Schitt's Creek, anyone?
A Chatbot Primer for healthcare companies
Chatbots, once a novelty, have become commonplace on websites and social media. We anticipate plenty of uses for medical device companies, hospitals, and physician practices.
There are two basic types of bots, transactional and conversational. Transactional bots lead customers through a set process step by step. Think diagnostic tree.
Whether it’s a burger menu – What do you want on it? - or a service question, they keep branching off until they stop –or it reaches a dead end, where it may implement a fallback option and escalate the issue for humans pick up.
Conversational chatbots use artificial intelligence and query knowledge databases to dig out answers. They sound and listen like humans, and they’re more accurate and understand misspellings, grammar, and the vernacular, and they can grasp the context of chat. For example, “I turned on the power switch, but it’s still deader than a doorknob.” Your conversational chatbot understands that you need further diagnostic advice, not a mortuary or Home Depot.
Put your bot to work
A medical device company, for example, could harness a chatbot to answer common questions, assist with registration for a promotion or large meeting, educate customers and dealers, and pre-sell prospects.
To learn about real-life examples, read the case studies of 25 companies on GetJenny.com.
The bottomline on the bots
Chatbots for small businesses, built on an existing chatbot platform, can range from three-to-five thousand dollars. The larger the company and the degree of complexity can easily bump that up by a magnitude. If you need a custom Chatbot, expect to pay $25,000 to $30,000 and up.
On the revenue side, you may reduce your staffing costs by delaying the need for additional employees. That’s the basic math, but Comm100s Chatbot Calculator will refine your numbers.
Here are a few ideas –
- A reduced load on customer service
- Cover off times - evenings, weekends, and holidays – after the humans go home.
- Prevention of lost sales from customers not being able to get information fast enough
- Customer satisfaction. Speeds up the support and customer service process. Note that 47% of users expect an immediate response to Chatbot questions.
- Focuses your precious humans on higher-level issues related to support, sales, and customer service.
Chatbots by the numbers
The users of chatbots tend to be younger: 27% are 25- to 34, 29%, and 39% of consumers 39-to 44 %, says the Drift Report on Conversational Marketing.
And Marketing Dive predicts that by 2023, chatbots will drive more than $100 billion in sales, according to Azati.
Consumers prefer the bots over other digital communication, and in the first place, we still have real people answering questions on the phone!
Before you go further with your chatbot exploration, consider these basic pre-development questionsfrom Azati.
Email is booming. How to make it work for you.
The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that, although we've curtailed face-to-face meetings, email is keeping the gears of business spinning. One of the results is a boom in email marketing.
Already a key element in many marketing campaigns, email marketers saw dramatic upticks in open rates, click-throughs, and conversion rates. And there is no sign it's going to change any time soon.
But you don't want your email to be lost in the sea of fluffinfiltrating your potential customer's inbox. As a long-time medical marketing agency, we've come up with some tips to consider:
Quality beats quantity. Create brilliant content. Inform and entertain, but don't overwhelm with an email carpet-bombing strategy. Filling up people's inboxes with dross is a sure way to get them to click that unsubscribe button.
Consistency. Great content sent consistently makes people pleased to see your emails pop up.
Optimize for mobile devices. Consider photo size, content length, and design to read as well on a phone as it does a desktop. Mobile Internet use surpassed desktop back in 2016, and the gap is still growing.
Be strategic. What is it you want your email to communicate? Is it a newsletter to build your bona fides as a subject matter expert? A demo to market your new medical device? A sale? What's your master plan, and how does it look when spread out over the calendar?
Play by the rules. Know what you can put in an email to keep it within regulations, and be aware that many triggers will send your email straight to the SPAM folder. Learn more about SPAM triggers.
How can we help with your email marketing? Contact us.
Words mean things. Choose them carefully.
As a long time-time public affairs and public relations practitioner in the United States Armed Force, we often distilled concepts down to pithy sayings for easy digestion and dissemination (and because we found it funny.) One of my favorites?
Words Mean Things
Doh, of course, words mean things. That's why we use them. But dig deeper. There are layers here.
Words Mean Things translates to if you say something, you darn well better back it up with facts. If your writing isn't meaningful, you'll get tagged as a classic bull$h!tter. And there goes your credibility.
Words Mean Things, also means if you say that you'll do something, perform a task, take on duty, call back with a quote, provide a hi-res photo, you'll do it. As my Granny used to say, don't make pie crust promises—those easily made and easily broken. If you say the words, follow through with the actions.
Words Mean Things can also refer to word choice. Word choice isn't always just a stylistic choice or a reason to show off your vocabulary.
If you describe someone as adequate, what is your perception of that person?
Word choice can have a more subtle effect on what you're saying. "We're executing the task tomorrow at noon" means something different than "with luck, we plan to accomplish the task before tomorrow afternoon." As a medical marketing agency, we often help clients when product launches. And the pressure to hype the new product ASAP means that sometimes, the fanfare happens before the product is ready to roll off the assembly line. Or before it's received FDA approval. Uh-oh. That's embarrassing for the company and can lead to speculation about the quality of the new product. What's wrong with it? Why didn't it make it to market? (If you want help rolling out a new medical or healthcare service the right way, we can help!)
And Words Mean Things applies to more than just specifics versus vagaries. If you describe someone as adequate, what is your perception of that person? We'd suspect they were not at all adequate. Maybe "almost adequate." Damned with faint praise, as Hellenistic sophist and philosopher Favorinus said. And yes, I had to look that up.
So, when developing how your brand communicates, it's important to remember that Words Mean Things, especially in these days where everything lives in perpetuity on the internet and is easily searchable and instantly shareable. Every word you choose should reflect your authentic brand values. If issues like social justice or raising awareness of climate change is essential to your brand, don't be afraid to share that with your audience. Keep it real. Be authentic.
Ice cream company Ben & Jerry's lets you know where they stand on most social issues. Patagonia does the same. Both are brands people love (and buy from!) So, don't be intimidated to let your audience know your brand cares. Just do it with thought, care, and consideration.
And remember: Words Mean Things.