Lauren Leone: “If you are a practice providing a service within an area around your physical location, you absolutely must have technology to help you get listed on Google maps, be present on mobile devices and to build and maintain a solid reputation.”
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Announcer: Welcome to the Ignite Podcast. The only healthcare marketing podcast that digs into the digital strategies and tactics that help you accelerate growth. Each week, Cardinal’s experts explore innovative ways to build your digital presence and attract more patients. Buckle up for another episode of Ignite.
Alex Membrillo: What’s up everybody. We got Lauren Leone, SVP of Healthcare Marketing on the line with us today, and we are going to be talking all about the top marketing technology you need at your practice. We’ll try to sprinkle in some ideas for both beginner practices and more advanced practices. Lauren’s seen them all and helps the most advanced practices advance their marketing technology every day. Thank you for joining me on Ignite Lauren.
Lauren Leone: Thanks for having me, Alex.
Alex: Let’s get into it. Oh my gosh. Beginner practices. What would you say the top three marketing technology pieces that they need?
Lauren: If you are a practice providing a service within an area around your physical location, you absolutely must have technology to help you get listed on Google maps, be present on mobile devices and to build and maintain a solid reputation, that is what is going to be most impactful for you if you do not have a large budget for advertising or a well-optimized website with a long history. The first thing that shows up right below the ads is that map pack and you need to be there. A listing or citation software and a reputation management software would be my one and two.
Alex: What listing software, give them one or two that they should look at and then tell them limitations and what they’ll still need to be doing because a lot of people think software does everything, it doesn’t.
Lauren: Yes, someone has to manage it. If you do not give these tools the right information, the right name, business name, the right address, suite number, phone number for intake. It’s still human-powered ultimately, but technologies for listings, there’s the giant in the industry, which would be Yext. The benefit to Yext is they are one of the only solutions that have direct API connection into sites like Google. Your information can be pushed immediately.
If you do not want to invest that heavily, initially, you can look at something like a Brandify where they push information out to the aggregators, and then it eventually gets picked up by the listing sites. You’re going to have a lag. It’s not going to be as immediate, not as much control, but maybe you’ll spend a little bit less initially. Just some things to consider when you’re picking the right tool.
Alex: Yext direct connections, so important we’ve had all of these listing things and they all say that they update the Google, my business or Yelp or whatever it is, and they never pushed anything out. They have a monopoly on it, very important yet. You still have to go in there and massage the listings. We see it all the time. Yext is not going to choose your categories.
They’re not going to be the keywords and your titles like urgent care in Atlanta. You have to go put all these little things in they’ll help make sure the listing is up, mostly correct, no duplicates are happening, things like that, but you’re still going to have to go in there and make the edits. Let’s assume we’ve got our listings correct for our medical practice locations. Do they also need them for their providers?
Lauren: In a vertical where it’s a specialty and it’s all about the reputation of the provider we definitely recommend it. The more opportunities you can have to show up for a search the better. If I’m searching for a cardiology practice near me, what’s going to show up as a location listing. If I am searching for the best cardiologist in Atlanta, Google is smart enough to recognize that’s a search for a person, not a place so do both because you want to capture both types of semantic search.
Alex: That makes sense, and it can get pricey, but we’ve got clients with 3000 providers on Yext. We’ve got our list. We’ve got the great Steve. The great Steve was on a webinar. If you want to learn more about these technologies, by the way, listening to and reputation, we’ve got a great webinar round table Lauren led with Podium and Yext and it’s on our website to which you’ve probably found this one on, Cardinal Digital Marketing, go find it. Great webinars, our most recent ones. If you want more info go there. All right. We’ve got the listings correct. Reputation reviews, must people doing it already, or no?
Lauren: People will say they’re doing it and to some degree, everyone is because in its simplest form asking for reviews is a patient checking out, paying for their copay and you saying, “Hey, we’d love it if you gave us a review online.” That’s the entry point into review generation we’ll call it instead of solicitation or reviewing encouragement, but to really do it right, you need to be doing it at volume. You need to be asking everyone and you need to do it in a way that’s super convenient for them.
What you want is a technology that is going to ask for that review on a device that they’re already on. Maybe it only takes one click for them to actually get to the place to do it. The proximity or the timing of that request to the end of their appointment is still when it’s top of mind. You want a platform that can achieve all of those things.
Alex: Where do those platforms let’s call it Podium, where do they find out I’m supposed to ping a patient. They just have their appointment. Is that coming out of an EHR or CRM because a lot of this is happening manually or not?
Lauren: In an ideal world you’re synced in with your EHR or your patient management system and that’s why we partner with a couple of different technologies. Podium is a great one. Birdeye is another, they all have different native integrations. Take a look at their integrations page on their website and see, do they already have a built-in integration with my tool? If so, that’s probably the one you want to go with. If not, do any of those platforms offer integration services, can you get something built? Maybe you pay a small fee every month for that to be maintained. That would be ideal because then there is no one going in and managing it.
Once you set it up, it runs itself. Now, if you do not have an EHR that has an integration, maybe you’re on a smaller system, the other thing you can do is you can upload patient lists on a cadence. If you’re doing it manually, you may only have time to do it every week. If you work with a firm like Cardinal, we have the ability to write a script so that you could do it daily. It just depends on how tech-savvy your organization is and what type of efficiencies you can find there.
Alex: All right. Very important. All kinds of technology out there real quick-fire, we’re just going to do a yes or no on this. Does every practice need a CRM?
Lauren: Ideally the larger organizations are going to have one. It’s not feasible in a one-provider one-location office. There are only so many patients coming through the door if you know because you’re the one running it. They should be able to get a sense of where your patients come from. When you start to get into multiple locations with multiple providers, you’ll just lose the ability and be on the ground level everywhere all the time understanding these things. In that case, a CRM that could sit between marketing and your patient management system may help you collect that data and make meaning of it at a higher volume.
Alex: Third most important marketing technology piece since it’s not CRM for the majority, what would you say? We’ve got listings rep third most important.
Lauren: From a tech standpoint what I see in healthcare is even though we’re starting to change the way we allow patients to engage with us by offering online scheduling tools and request callback forms, a lot of people in healthcare still pick up the phone. If you do not currently have a system that allows you to understand where are these phone calls coming from? How long are they lasting? Are they actually getting through to someone or are they leaving voicemails? What is my after-hours activity look like? Think about a solution that can help you get a gauge on your phone call activity, and to tie that back to your marketing efforts.
Alex: If you feel like you’re not getting enough appointments, the first place to look is not your marketing agency it is your intake team, please. The best way to listen in on those is to have your calls recorded. Do they need to record all calls, just PPC called Google and Facebook ads calls, organic calls. What would you recommend?
Lauren: I recommend recording it all because you want to get a sample of what’s going on. You may be ranking organically for different keywords than you are for paid and so to just track one and assume that’s representative of every call that comes in may not be accurate. You may get a ton of direct traffic because you also do branding or a physician referral program. Those are all going to convert at different rates. People are going to want different things. I would recommend if you can afford it if it financially makes sense for you to track all of those calls to do so, so you can get an understanding of what it looks like.
Alex: Don’t cheap out. It’s not that expensive. The more insights you get the better. Collect the data over time don’t think that CallRail, by the way, that’s who we recommend. You’re going to figure it all out in 30 days, don’t embark upon anything unless you’re ready to do it for six months, guys. Marketing takes time learning that technology, the technology learning you, it all takes time so take your time. People think they can move so fast with digital marketing, but the algorithms have to learn so is your agency, so do you. Lauren, very insightful. Thank you for joining me on ignite and talking all about marketing tech.
Lauren: You’re welcome. I enjoyed it.
Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to this episode of Ignite, interested in keeping up with the latest trends in healthcare marketing, subscribe to our podcast, and leave a rating and review. For more healthcare marketing tips, visit our blog @cardinaldigitalmarketing.com.
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