Karen Taylor

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Best Practices of Social Media’s Top 3: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Posted by Karen Taylor

Nov 6, 2018 3:21:00 PM

Ever since social media platforms took over our lives, they have moved forward with a continuous evolution. In the beginning, long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers just posted marketing content and crossed their fingers. Today each platform offers a range of strategic marketing tools to help businesses promote their products, services, and brands, while also helping to attract prospects and customers.

Here are some of the many ways that the big three leading social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — have advanced their marketing opportunities over the years.

Facebook — Leading Social Media Platform

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Facebook continues to be the reigning champ of social media sites. More than just a meeting place for friends, Facebook has grown into a venue for businesses to market themselves through interaction with customers and self-promotion. In 2016, over 93% of marketers were using Facebook to promote their companies. It’s become the platform of choice for LTPAC solution providers that want to showcase their technology expertise, for example.

Here are just some of the many ways marketers are using Facebook to promote their businesses and brands today.

  1.  Business Pages: These pages let businesses identify themselves, not just through listing product offerings and services, but also by sharing links, images, and posts on a customizable page.
  2. Classic Ads: Facebook offers its own form of advertising with Facebook ads (also called Marketplace Ads), which appear in the side columns. They include text, images, and click-through links.
  3. Promoted Posts: These let page owners pay a flat rate to have their individual Facebook posts reach a certain number of users, thereby, increasing a post’s reach and impressions.
  4. Sponsored Stories: These are a type of Facebook ad that shows a user’s interactions, such as a Facebook “like.” They seek to capitalize on the word of mouth marketing concept.
  5. Facebook Exchange (FBX): This tool lets advertisers take advantage of ad retargeting through real-time bidding. Advertisers can target audiences based on their web history data.

Twitter — Highest Number of Users

As one of the main social media platforms in number of users, Twitter is highly leveraged by ma

rketers. In 2016, about 76% of marketers worldwide started using Twitter to market their business. It’s an ideal platform for LTPAC solution providers to engage industry-related conversations.

Here are just some of the many ways marketers are using Twitter to promote their businesses and brands today.

  1. Ads Campaigns: Twitter Ads let you build a tailored campaign around your goals, audiences, and budget to promote Tweets, drive traffic to your website, and attract new account followers.
  2. Promote Mode: This monthly subscription service automatically promotes your company’s tweets with the aim of attracting a larger audience each month.
  3. Ads for Agencies: This tool allows agencies to create, manage, and realize the best results out of multiple campaigns using dedicated Twitter support and resources.
  4. Twitter Cards: Allows companies to attach rich photos, videos, and media experiences to Tweets, which help drive traffic to a website.
  5. Twitter Lists: These are a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others to reach highly targeted groups in the LTPAC segment.
  6. Twitter Chat (Tweetchat): A scheduled, organized topical conversation on Twitter centralized around a specific hashtag, which provides a way to acquire more followers.

LinkedIn — All Business All the Time

With over 562 million users, LinkedIn is all about building networks and connections, increasingly through promotions. In fact, over 91% of marketing executives list LinkedIn as the top place to find quality content. Also, LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs.

Here are just some of the many ways marketers are using LinkedIn to promote their businesses and brands today.

  1. Company Pages: Pages help others learn more about your business, brand, products and services, and job opportunities using your unique URL.
  2. Showcase Pages: These function like sub-domains of your company page, allowing you to spotlight specific areas of your business, such as your quality scores, your antibiotic resistance program or other ongoing initiatives.
  3. Sponsored Content: The content appears in the feeds of LinkedIn members who follow your company, and may also be shown to members who fit your audience criteria.
  4. Ad Campaigns: LinkedIn offers two advertising options: self-service ads and managed campaigns. Both options let you target a unique audience among the site’s members by job title, function, industry, and more.
  5. Sales Navigator: An advanced sales tool that aids sales teams, organizations, and individuals in building and nurturing customer relationships.

While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn began as simplistic social media platforms, today they are anything but. Now they offer marketers an array of sophisticated opportunities to promote their services, products, and brands. Such promotion takes time and effort. Social media is no longer just a “five-minute job.” But executing a consistent, well managed social plan will help you achieve your marketing and sales goals.

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SEO: Old-School Tactic or Leading-Edge Strategy?

Posted by Karen Taylor

Oct 26, 2018 2:59:00 PM

Are you confused about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If so, you’re not alone. Some believe SEO is history and no longer important. Others say it’s more important than ever. But what’s the reality? Is it obsolete or is it essential to successful marketing programs? We’ll break it down for you in this post.

First of all, SEO is not obsolete. It’s more important than ever. However, outdated SEO methods are obsolete and need to be replace with new SEO tactics.

The ongoing updates and changes to Google’s search algorithms are the very source of confusion for many of us. But the changes aren’t arbitrary. They are created both to improve search and to close loopholes that spammers are exploiting. It’s our job to keep up.

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SEO spammers work diligently to abuse SEO to their own advantage. They break all of the rules. As a result, they ruin SEO tactics for the rest of us. For example, if your long-term care residence has an excellent reputation and receives frequent referrals, a “black hat marketer” might attempt to mimic your brand with similar words or phrases—all in an attempt to draw consumers to their sites instead of yours. Perhaps an app marketer might bid for paid GoogleAds with the name of your app just to scoop up your customers behind your back.

Fortunately, Google is smarter than the black-hat fraudsters and is constantly evolving its methods to thwart them. But it’s important to keep an eye on your social media and report any black hat activity directly to Google.

Here are three examples of SEO tactics that have evolved from old-school to new-school methods.

1. Aim for High-Quality Link Building

In the old days, companies could guest post on other websites all over the internet, dropping their site link along the way like breadcrumbs. The more links they had, the higher they would rise on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Back then, there was no regard for the quality of the sites to which companies would hitch their wagons. More was always better, and that was the point. That was then. Now, you can still benefit from link building. But you need to link to legitimate, high-quality websites.

Here are a few tips to stay on the right side of Google:

  • Aim for quality over quantity. Today, one great link is better than 100 low-quality links.
  • Link to relevant websites. For example, do they rank for keywords that are important to your company?
  • Link to authority sites. The more authority a website has, the more link juice it can pass on to other sites.
  • Create reciprocal links. These are links that are both from your website to a quality site, and from the quality site to your site.

2. Create Useful, Quality Content

Gone are the days of generating tons of low-quality, “content-farm” copy — a common practice in the past. Today, content has to be excellent, add value, and engage visitors.

Google has made it abundantly clear that providing quality content that answers users’ questions is the way to get rankings and engaged traffic. In fact, Google saves the first SERP page for companies that provide their visitors with quality experiences.

As a result, the content of a site is crucial when it comes to ranking now. Here are a few tips:

  • Create Newsworthy Content. Google has developed algorithms that rank companies with the best content higher. Content that inspires real engagement gets a significant boost on search engine results, as well.
  • Make Your Content Credible. Use original links, research, reviews, citations, and testimonials to build authority.
  • Compose Useful Content. B2B and B2C customers go online to learn things about your strengths, your solutions or your quality rankings. So give them information they can use. Build content that’s instructional and helps solve problems.

3. Keywords

Keyword “stuffing” used to be de rigeur for ranking. Now it will just get you demoted on Google. You can thank black-hat users who abused the search tactic. This doesn’t mean keywords aren’t important. They are. But it’s how you use them that matters. Stuffing has been replaced with proximity, density, frequency, and prominence.

  • Keyword Proximity. Place your keywords in prominent areas of your web pages. Also, keep them a reasonable distance apart.
  • Keyword Density. Manage the proportion of keywords to the total number of words on a webpage. A basic rule of thumb is anywhere from 2% to 8%. Hint: place them where they sound natural and make sense
  • Keyword Frequency. Monitor the frequency with which specific keywords appear in your text.
  • Keyword Prominence. Keyword prominence refers to how close to the beginning of the web page, sentence, title, H tag, and meta description your keywords are placed. They should be placed as high as possible.

In a nutshell, SEO is not dying, but it is just getting smarter. And so should all of us. It’s important to dedicate the time, effort and resources required to optimize your SEO strategy.

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Content Confusion? Consider These Options for Modern Content Marketers

Posted by Karen Taylor

Oct 8, 2018 2:49:00 PM

Options for promoting organizations used to be simple: print ads, brochures, and press releases were the mainstays. Today the content marketing landscape is much more diverse and has expanded far beyond merely old-school methods. Now, to conduct content marketing campaigns that work, marketers need to create a wide range of content. What’s more, they need to use their content tools in the right order to move prospects through the buyers’ journey (the marketing funnel) — including attracting, nurturing, and converting.

So, what are the options and where do they fit into your marketing strategy? Here’s an overview of a number of content tools organized according to the three basic stages of the buyers’ journey.

Stage 1: Top of the Funnel

Goal: Attract Prospects

This is the widest end of the funnel, because your goal is to attract all potential future customers. This is often called the “discovery phase,” because the first goal is to help likely prospects discover your organization.

Because they know nothing about your company or even, perhaps, why they need your solution, educational content is the cornerstone at the top of the funnel. Going hand-in-hand with education is generating interest, so they’ll reach out to learn more about you.

In long-term and post-acute care, this stage is all about introducing yourself to the local community. Choose content that will showcase your brand’s vitality, activities and, of course, photos of happy, engaged residents. Don’t limit your choices only to older adults—also provide content that reaches out to their adult children, who often play crucial roles in choosing care providers for their loved ones.

To reach the vast universe of potential prospects at this first stage, you need educational content. Here are some examples:

  • Blog posts — educate, entertain, and enlighten from your own company website
  • Enewsletters — similar to blog posts in their purpose, but containing more bits of information and delivered on a regular schedule
  • Social media posts — regularly posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., provides an opportunity to educate, entertain, and enlighten people who aren’t aware of your brand
  • Short, entertaining videos — videos are among the most effective marketing tools to build awareness
  • Webinars — a great way to educate prospects about how your strengths or solutions make their lives better
  • eBooks — provides an opportunity to communicate a new idea to ideal prospects in an easy to read format
  • Guides — people love learning about innovative ways to improve their business processes

Stage 2: Middle of the Funnel

Goal: Nurture Leads

At the middle of the funnel — called “the consideration phase” — the goal is to turn newly acquired prospects into actual leads. Leads are potential customers who have taken a definitive step into your sales funnel by sharing their personal information (name and email addresses) with your company in exchange for some piece of valuable content.

Valuable content at this stage includes more detailed information about solutions to their problems. Think: evaluation and building trust versus hard sells.

At this stage, your sales funnel narrows down to those who have shown specific interest in your brand. Now, you’ll be speaking directly to the people who think your business might be able to help them. Create content that informs, nurtures, and clearly differentiates you from your competitors.

For example, post-acute care providers, especially skilled nursing and rehabilitation, need to reach out to both consumers and potential referral partners at this stage. Create consumer and B2B marketing content that shows why you are the best choice for ongoing health and wellness and the best place for hospitals to refer their discharged patients.

ContentMarketing810

To reach the universe of prospects at this stage, you need nurturing content. Here are some examples:

  • Case studies — create use cases of your strengths or solutions showing how they solve customers’ problems
  • How-to — detail how your products or services work
  • Demo videos — showcase how your products or services work visually
  • Product descriptions/data sheets — share all of the features and benefits succinctly

Stage 3: Bottom of the Funnel

Goal: Convert Customers

This is the narrowest part of the funnel. It’s where leads are turned into customers. At this point, leads remaining in the funnel are interested in what you have to offer. The job is to convince them you’re worth it, so they’ll become customers. Also, they need to feel confident that you’re the right fit fo

Long-term and post-acute care is a deeply personal service industry. When it’s time to convert, choose content that highlights your quality, safety, five-star ratings—anything that puts you ahead of local competitors. To clinch the deal with B2B partners, your data will speak volumes—show them why you’re the most qualified and least risk to a hospital’s quality ratings..

To convert your prospects at this stage, you need sales content. Here are some examples:

  • Testimonials — your potential customers care about what your current customers say about your strengths and solutions
  • Reviews — positive industry reviews will relieve any lingering fears about pulling the trigger
  • Comparison Charts — show how what you offer is different from what your competitors offer

At first glance, it may seem overwhelming to face the prospect of producing so much content to run a well-orchestrated content marketing program. But once your organization begins to see the results in attracting more prospects, nurturing more leads, and converting more customers, you’ll wonder how you ever marketed without a wide range of quality content.

 

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