BIONEWS   November 19, 2021

Social Media Holiday Hashtags. #Ho #Ho #Ho

The holidays provide great fodder for feeding your social media streams. Here are a few ideas to jingle up your feeds and make the most of your social media marketing during the holiday season.

Deck the Halls. Decorate your social media profiles with seasonal colors, graphics and photos. Keep it on brand and keep your customer in mind, but don’t be afraid to have a little fun.

Holiday Themes. Build posts around themes like the Advent Calendar, the 12 Days of Christmas, Christmas Wish Lists, or Naughty and Nice Lists.

Incorporate Video. Video can be a significant part of your holiday social media feed, and some businesses spend big bucks on feel-good videos (like this one from Apple). But shorter, less produced videos can be effective, too, if they bring that holiday spirit. Think TikTok, Instagram Reels, etc.

Have a contest. Everybody likes to win stuff and it’s an easy way to up your engagement. Make sharing and tagging part of the process to increase the number of eyeballs seeing your feeds. A few ideas? Have followers submit photos of festively decorated waiting rooms from their medical practices. Or submit photos of their care staff all decked out in holiday scrubs. Or send in photos of pets all dressed up for the holidays (because who doesn’t love a picture of a puppy in a Santa hat.)

Let your followers do some of the heavy lifting. User Generated Content (UCG) can be reindeer-powered rocket fuel for your social media feeds. By asking the people who buy your stuff and are already engaged to respond to questions or prompts, you tap into the enthusiasm, creativity, brand loyalty of your audience. Use holiday hashtags to encourage your followers to get involved. Examples: #ChristmasJammies so your followers can show off their elf-inspired sleepwear. #HolidayDecorations to solicit of pics of their inspired Christmas decorating skills. #NaughtyOrNice to see which list your followers think they or (someone they tag) are on for the year. You get the idea. Keep the hashtags simple and easy to understand and use.

Holidays #happyholidays, #happyholidays2021, #holidays, #holidays2021, #holidaystyle, #holidayseason, #holidayspirit, #holidaysparkle, #holidaysarecoming, #holidaymood, #happyholidays, #happyholidayseason, #happyholidaystoall, #holidaygiveaway, #holidaycontest,

Christmas #merrychristmas, #happychristmas, #merrychristmastoall, #happychristmastoall, #merrychristmaseveryone, #merrychristmastoyou, #christmasgift, #christmasgiveaway, #christmascontest

Kwanzaa #JoyousKwanzaa, #AfricanDiaspora, #MaulanaKarenga, #MatundaYaKwanza, #Kawaida, #Umoja, #Kujichagulia, #Ujima, #Ujamaa, #Nia, #Kuumba, #Imani, #Mkeka, #Kinara, #MishumaaSaba, #mazao, #Muhindi, #KikombeChaUmoja,

Hanukah #hanukah, #menorah, #hanukkahbush, chanuka, #FestivalOfLights, #FeastOfDedication

Santa's hashtag

Native Advertising – An Introduction

You’ve been exposed to native advertising millions of native ads without realizing it. That’s on purpose, because native ads may only be a link in regular editorial content, or they may be tucked in a box with an image and a headline, which looks like a teaser box. You’ve also clicked on them unwittingly and arrived at a clothing boutique site, or the local carpet store. And, they may have made you grumpy (more on that later).

According to MM&M, there’s been an “explosion in native advertising” courtesy of the pandemic. They’re relatively inexpensive and the performance is measurable. In fact, Kevel, which is in the native advertising business, says that results are similar to organic search.

The global market for native is circa $85 billion in revenue! It’s a beast, which is why we’re writing about it.

What is Native Advertising

The big idea behind native advertising is to create ads that are so integrated with the page content that the user is not, in many cases, aware that they’re seeing an ad. Examples include sponsored social media posts, promoted search, recommended content, and user-generated social media posts.

Native has been driven by consumer resistance to traditional online banners. Eye tracking studies show that many times visitors avoid gazing at animated content placed around the content. It’s similar to content marketing in that the content itself is the marketing.

Fans of the tactic call it non-disruptive advertising. Others say it just plain sneaky. As MM+M points out, though, it’s still very effect for DTC (direct to consumer) and healthcare professional marketing.

Where do native ads come from?

Native ads support both awareness and lead generation objectives. This market is controlled by the publishers on a supply and demand basis. The more eyeballs on the content, the greater the spend. This will sound familiar if you’re a user of search engine marketing.

How to buy native advertising?

Publishers are represented by ad networks to clients. Most platforms carry a wide range of websites, which make it possible to target based on keywords and titles that fit your user profile.

How much do native ads cost?

Native advertising is bought and sold like regular display ads or cost per thousand (CPM). The usual budget for native run $10 to $20 per thousand (COM)

What’s the scuttlebutt on native?

The beauty of native advertising may setup an ethical dilemma for some marketers and brands. Often, consumers aren’t aware who is sponsoring the advertising and they feel duped when they click through to promotional content. Although banner advertising is an irritant, visitors are at least aware of the advertising’s sponsor.

Send your questions about native advertising to Bill.

native advertising

Use Gratitude to Improve Your Holiday Spirits

Gratitude helps us appreciate what we have instead of reaching for something new with the hope it will make us happier. And it helps us focus on what we have instead of what we lack. Here are a few ways to cultivate gratitude and build a habit of thankfulness.

Keep a gratitude journal. Sure, it may sound a little woo-woo, but the physical exercise of writing down a couple of things we’re thankful for daily, really helps drive home the idea of gratitude. Writing down our thoughts of gratitude helps us focus on the positive moments in our lives.

Write a thank-you note. This is and exercise that can increase the happiness in the world two-fold. Not only do you remind yourself of the enjoyment and appreciation of someone’s impact on your life, but you also bring a bit of happiness to the receiver when you acknowledge them. Win-win!

Thank someone mentally. This is no substitute for writing a good, ol’ fashioned thank you note, but just mentally acknowledging someone who has done something nice for you can lift to your spirits. Being mindful of all the little kindnesses that happen to us on a daily basis and acknowledging them can really move us from the pessimists’ camp to the optimists’ camp.

Count your blessings. Schedule a time every week to sit down and write about the good things that have happened over the week. Reflect on what went right or what you are grateful for. For those of us that need structure in a process, pick a number of things that you will identify each week (5 things that brought me joy this week!) Be specific and think about the emotions you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray or meditate. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude and meditation can activate the same activity in our brains. Getting into a daily habit of taking a few quiet moments to concentrate on the positive aspects of our lives and be thankful for them can help put us in a contented frame of mind.

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Seven KPIs for Email Performance

One of the beauties of email marketing is that it’s eminently trackable. And people up and down the food chain can benefit from your stats. Your boss may want the ROI, like “show me the money” but internally, your content and web team can benefit from the data to improve content, design, and copy.

1. List size

Email list are major marketing assets and are subject to attrition from unsubscribed prospects or customers, incorrect addresses, and, we hope not, SPAM outs. The point is that your list shrinks every month, which means you need to replace loss subscribers and build the list.

2.Open rate

The open rate is determined by the subject line and the from address. Ideally, the from address is someone who the subscriber knows, for example, the marketing director. Open rates will vary from campaign to campaign, so we like to trend them in our digital reports.

3. Click-thru rate

If your goal is to convert visitors on your site, the click-thru rate is paramount, which is affected by design, color, copy, and the relevance, quality, and quantity of the content. A/B or multivariant testing will help you improve with all these factors.

4. Top Content

Most email platform breakdowns allow you to see what was clicked on and how many times. This is useful, especially with email newsletter, to learn what’s content is popular. It’s a gold mine for editorial planning.

5. Bounces

In email, a bounce means that the end user didn’t receive the email. There’s a panoply of reasons why that’s possible. The subscriber jumped jobs and the address is no longer viable. The recipient’s server rejected your email. This may be because your content includes trigger words like “free offer”, “new”, or “for a limited time.”

6. Unsubscribes

No matter how fabulous your email, some subscribers will get tired of it. Treat them well, offer a one-click unsubscribe, and they may join your list again. Other causes might be technical, like bad links or slow download times. Keep this under 1% before you swing into full-bore diagnostic mode.

7. Time of Day, Day of Week

The time and day you send email can have a tremendous impact on your email performance. This isn’t a true KPI but take notes and keep refining until you find your sweet spot for blast off.
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It’s Time for Your Annual Email Checkup

This won’t hurt a bit. We just want to see if your email is in the pink of health.

Bounces >5%

Boing! Your list quality is funky with incorrect addresses, or your domain has been denied access to a server. Indications include:

  • Tradeshow list
  • Old list
  • Affinity list from a broker instead of opt-in list
  • A reputation for spammy content.
  • Email is not expected and consistent.

Open Rate < 11%

You’ve got subject line syndrome. Do you have any of these symptoms?

  • Too long (60+ characters)
  • Spammy words that get blocked by servers
  • Dull lines, like “Acme Newsletter Oct. 2021.”
  • Unfocused copy about multiple benefits

While you’re poking around look for problems in the From and Sender info, like:

  1. The email doesn’t come from a real person (
  2. A domain name that doesn’t match your company’s domain, e.g.,, and your company’s domain is

Effective Content

Smooth, flowing, and striking content improves click-thru and boosts the chance they’ll open your following email. Sickly content ailments include:
  • Lack of entertainment or information value
  • Hype stuffing
  • Copy that’s not written at appropriate reading level or style
  • Canned or boring visuals
  • Copy that sounds like a carnival barker, “while supplies last”
  • Distracting links, like web navigation that don’t target the landing page
  • No devices to help the reader like subheads, bulleted lists, or pull quotes
  • Missing privacy statement, company name, or address

Click thru Rate > 3%

Diagnosing a low click-thru rate is like a doctor checking your cough. It could be anything from the common cold to a hairball. Here are a few places to start.

  • A/B test offers
  • A/B test button shapes and colors
  • A/B test new design options
  • Change time of day, day of week
  • Make sure the call to action is above the fold
  • The trustworthiness of the sender

Conversions on Landing Page > 1%

Your blood pressure’s spiking because not enough visitors are clicking. It’s time for an intervention.

  • Remove all extraneous links from your page
  • Check the landing page bounce rate in web analytics
  • Make sure the offer and call to action are above the fold
  • Trim forms with more than 2 or 3 fields
  • Eliminate open-ended questions
  • Experiment with text inside the submit button
  • Give support for your claim with testimonials
  • Make sure there’s a privacy statement under the submit button
DIY email checkup

Marketing Tips for Startups

Here’s a Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious for you. If you want to sell a product or service, people must know>about your product or service. If you and your team of budding entrepreneurs have just developed the latest innovation in the medical sector, even if it is an amazing gamechanger that will change the face of healthcare as we know it, people must find out about it, understand it, and appreciate what it will do for them.

That’s where marketing comes in. We know money can be tight for startups unless you have venture capital or an angel investor with deep pockets, but a little money spent up front can really help you get off to a flying start. Here are a few tips for startups on how to get down to business in the marketing department.

First Things First. Decide on a name, a logo, and branding. This will be the DNA your marketing is built on. Check on the availability of potential names for trademarking, URLs. Have a logo designed that’s clean, unique, looks good on a smartphone screen, and resonates with your branding. Pick your colors, your fonts, and other design elements that will become part of your brand. These can be tricky waters to navigate, so a little money spent up front to bring in professionals can head of trouble down the road.

Get Strategic. The temptation is to jump in with a to-do list of marketing. Let’s start a blog, have a booth at a convention, pay for social media ads, etc. but that’s just a bunch of tactics. Decide on your strategy first and let that dictate what tactics you use. Your strategy needs to answer two questions: Where will you compete? And how do you win? And what is your competitive advantage against others in the marketplace.

Get a Decent Website. This is your store window by which you will be judged. Make it clean, efficient, and customer centric. Make sure you’ve thought through everything a potential customer might be looking for on your site. Oh, and don’t forget to build it with SEO in mind.

Stay Customer Focused. Many startups make the mistake of believing their own product or service will sell itself based on its own merits. For example: “This ophthalmic laser is 50 percent more efficient than anything else on the market, so of course doctors will want to buy it!” But you must show how that 50 percent upgrade in efficiency translates to the customer. Will it speed up eye surgeries? Will patients have a quicker recovery time? Is it safer, more mobile, easier to operate? How does your product change the customer’s life for the better?

Send emails. Develop a potential customer email list (sign up from your website!) and reach out to customers via their inbox. The trick is to make emails coming from you eye-catching, informative, and as non-SPAMMY as possible. E-Newsletters are a great way to reach out to potential customers with relevant information. Make sure your e-newsletter is varied with non-commercial content to keep the unsubscribes at a minimum.

Blog About It. Well written, informative blogs help establish you as a subject matter expert in your field, gives you a means to inform potential customer about your products and services. And bonus! It keeps your website fresh and gives people a reason to visit your site again and again.

Get Social on Social Media. Some people think you must be on all the platforms from Facebook to TikTok to LinkedIn, but really you must decide where your potential customers hang out and go there. Consistency is key, with social media so set up a regular posting schedule and make sure you’re only talking about your own products some of the time. The rest of the content should be engaging information that appeals to your potential customers or speaks to your market.

Keep the FDA and HIPAA compliance in mind. When you’re in the medical marketing or healthcare marketing sectors, it’s easy to run afoul of the rules and regulations of the industry. Make sure your marketing complies with all the applicable standards.

Find a Medical Marketing Agency that Understands You and What you Do. Don’t think that you may not be able to afford it and that you have generate all your marketing and advertising yourself. Many agencies (us included) enjoy working with startups and have plans in place to help startups launch stellar marketing campaigns.

If you’re a start-up in the healthcare and medical sector and need an assist getting your marketing off the ground, email Susan at
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