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5 Things Highly Effective Content Marketers Do Differently

Are you wondering what the best content marketers do differently? Why not take a peek into their habits and practices, to glean insights that could take your own content marketing to the next level? A while back, Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs published their latest report, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America. The report shows two sides of content marketing. On one hand, the industry is still growing and has a long way to go. On the other hand, things are looking up and confidence is growing as many marketers start to get it right! Where Are We Headed? What’s clear from the report is that the most successful B2B marketers are doing more! “More what?” you ask. Well, they’re spending more money, paying more attention to strategy, using more tactics and social media platforms … [Read more...]

4 Quick Tips to Get Your Social Media Team Started

Social media teams are becoming more common according to Exact Target's State of Marketing 2014 Report. Out of 2,500 marketers surveyed for their study,  57% of respondents said they have a dedicated team to strategize, execute and steward social media initiatives. Most brands understand that having a dedicated team is key to social marketing success. It’s also clear from the report that "one-person social media teams” are the most common (probably due to small budgets or lack of buy-in from upper management). Of course, having a social media team of more than one person would be great. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the budget to make it happen. There are always things you can do to create social media success. However, you also have to adjust your expectations to match the level of investment in your budget and … [Read more...]

10 Steps for Launching An Epic Healthcare Social Media Campaign

Are you new to healthcare social media marketing and wondering how to get started? For conservative industries such as healthcare, social media use is challenging due to potential engagement risk, and privacy regulations such as HIPPA. But that doesn't mean you should shy away from it. Even large medical institutions like Johns Hopkins are successfully using social media marketing to reach prospective patients and give their brands a more 'human' voice. Image credit: Photobucket Here are 10 steps to launching an epic healthcare social media campaign: #1. Know your audience Don’t make assumptions about your audience or demographics. Your Facebook audience may be different from your Twitter or YouTube audiences. You need to research and study your target audience by developing patient personas. #2. Define content … [Read more...]

Blogging is Top Focus for Marketers Research Shows

Do you ever wonder what tactics, tools and strategies other social media marketers are using? Regardless of how long you’ve been involved in social media, chances are you have some questions that you’d like answered. Questions such as, “What are the best social management tools?” or “What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media?” These and many more questions were answered in the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which surveyed over 3000 marketers with the goal of understandinghow they use social media to grow and promote their businesses. Here are some interesting findings from the survey: #1: Marketers Want Most to Learn About Blogging When asked what social media platform they wanted most to master, 62% of marketers said blogging, putting it in first place slightly ahead of Google+. This … [Read more...]

3 Steps to a Social Media Content Strategy for Healthcare

Does your healthcare organization (HCO) have a social media content strategy? Are you wondering what that involves? I find that there is often a disconnect between social media execution and content strategy in healthcare marketing. In other words healthcare marketers understand the value of social media but they don't always relate it to content marketing. Social media is only a vehicle for delivering compelling stories (content) across the social web. Your audience then shares and discusses what is relevant and interesting to them. Photo credit: It's not just about having a Facebook page or Twitter profile. It's about using those platforms to attract and persuade patients and consumers who can then make decisions that are profitable for your business. Here's how to develop a social media … [Read more...]

An Inside Look at Cigna’s Social Media

Cigna, one of the largest healthcare services companies in the nation, was one of the first companies to implement an integrated social media strategy. By consistently making innovations to their own social media product Cigna has become a leader in healthcare social media standards. Social Media Landing Page Cigna has several pages for their different divisions that service customers and other stakeholder interests. Cigna has developed a central page as a “landing page” for all of these different sites and pages.  According to Sarah Lindsay with Cigna, “Cigna wants to be where our customers are. As part of our coordinated social media strategy, we recognized a communications need from our customers, media, and employees for a centralized place to find everything. The social media landing page, launched in January 2011, … [Read more...]

Smashing Social Media Strategy at UAB Medicine

From what I've seen in the past, medical facilities aren't known for their social media prowess. In fact healthcare organizations are lagging behind when it comes to adaptation of social media content. So when you come across a facility such as UAB Medicine (Birmingham, Alabama) that has not only fully embraced social media, but is actually a stellar example of social media done right, it's time to take a closer look and investigate how they have become so successful!   The fact that they also have a social media commenting policy (below the fold) in which the rules of engagement are clearly stated is awesome because it supports, protects and enhances high-quality engagement. UAB Website Generally speaking, website content should do two things - engage visitors and/or convert them into customers! I love that the … [Read more...]

First Things First – Content Strategy Before Social Strategy

At the heart of social media is the desire that every consumer has to talk about something interesting, compelling and relevant and to share that information with his or her friends. The question marketers must ask themselves is: “What makes my brand so interesting that people will want to talk about it and share it with their friends?” (Even boring brands have something interesting to say!) You can’t succeed in social media if you don’t have something interesting to say. At this point in your social media experience, you (hopefully) understand that social media marketing is not just about having a Facebook page or a Twitter profile. Social media is the vehicle for communicating and distributing interesting stories (content) across the internet. In turn, readers share the content they think is compelling. What does content … [Read more...]

Social Strategy Goals: What Do You Want To Happen?

"A strategy is all about designing an operation that will consistently deliver the superior client benefits you claim to provide." David Maister, author of "Strategy and the Fat Smoker". I think one of the areas that businesses miscalculate in social media is not knowing what they want to happen in the first place.   "Every one else is starting a blog, so why not?" - sound familiar? The problem with that approach is that there is no plan and as they say, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Any business strategy must establish a tangible or measurable outcome before the heavy lifting begins. So first things first: Figure Out Your Objective The most effective strategy is the one that starts with understanding what you want to accomplish. Is the purpose of your social strategy to attract new clients or to retain … [Read more...]

Why Content Strategy Must Precede Social Media Strategy

Imagine that you have an opportunity to pitch your business to a group of influential decision-makers in your community. How much preparation would you need to ensure the perfect presentation? My guess is that you'd be up every night of the week (for a month) planning your message. You might even enlist the help of a speech-writer. It would never occur to you to just show up, grab the mic and say whatever comes to mind. And yet most businesses do exactly that with social media. Given the opportunity to present their business online, they simply jump right in without having prepared an interesting message. Social media is a space where you consistently share something valuable, compelling and relevant. The assumption of course, is that you have something valuable, compelling and relevant to say in the first place. If not you must … [Read more...]