Adding video to your marketing strategy just got easier with this easy to follow guide

A few months ago I wrote about the importance of video in your marketing strategy. There was a time not that long ago when shooting video required expensive equipment and hiring a specialist. Not anymore. Shooting video has never been easier and you have everything you need in your cell phone!

Chances are, you’ve already shot video with your phone, so you know how to access your phone’s video capabilities. Whether you’re shooting an owner or audiologist promoting a practice or a happy patient for a quick testimonial, here are a few tips to guide through the process.

The Basics

Ideally, you’re looking for 60-90 seconds per video without the use of a script. Anything longer and the speaker might get sidetracked and lost in thought. Make it look and feel natural. If you want to promote your practice and have a lot to say, consider breaking it up into a few videos, each on a certain aspect of why your practice excels or services you offer. If you have a testimonial, speak with that person first to see what they have to say as a short rehearsal, then give them the cue or prompt them with a question and hit record.

Location

You’ll need a quiet, well-lit room. It doesn’t have to be the nicest room in the office, but a nice neutral wall works best as the background. If you have elegant posters or works of art that you think will look good as the background, then have them stand in front of them. Make sure the room is free from the usual office noise (ringing phones, lobby television, office chatter, etc.) and foot traffic.

Camera Settings

You can use your camera’s default settings or have it in fully automatic if you follow these few basic rules:

  • Lighting: Lighting is key to video. A friend once told me that without lighting, it’s radio. Make sure the room where you’ll be shooting the video has plenty of light, preferably natural, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can wash your subject out and created harsh shadows. Under low light conditions, your video will appear too dark or, if the camera compensates for the lack of light, too grainy.
  • Sound: Capturing good sound is just as important as capturing good video. Believe it or not, bad audio is worse than bad video. Most viewers will tolerate poor video quality, but no one can stand poor audio no matter how clear the video is. Make sure you stay close to the subject and your hand is not covering the phone’s built-in microphone (a tiny hole located at the base of the phone).
  • Stabilize: Unless you’re using a tripod, you’’ll need to keep the camera as stable as possible. Hold the camera with both hands (still making sure you don’t cover the microphone) and keep elbows as close to your body as possible — maybe even rest them on your waist for added support. Keep the camera at eye level! Unless you’re shooting a sequel to the Blair Witch Project, you don’t want to point the camera up someone’s nose.
  • Focus: Press and hold an area of the shot (in this case, the face) to lock both exposure and focus.
  • Get close to the subject: First, this gets the microphone closer to the sound source. Second, it avoids having to zoom in to the subject. Zooming in can decrease the clarity of the video and intensifies any camera shake.
  • Composition: While the tendency is to hold your phone vertically, that is not the standard format for video. Keep your camera in the horizontal, landscape format. When composing your shot, don’t place the head right in the middle. Instead, place the head slightly above center and closer to the top. You want the eyes about a third way from the top.
  • Keep it simple: Avoid panning, zooming, and any other fancy moves or effects. Those will just distract from the subject.
  • Share: Once the video is done, simply share it to various social media outlets.

Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Take a few test shots, make the proper adjustments, and you’re all set!

About the Author

Rolando Corpus joined Consult YHN in 2011 and serves as Art Director. He has more than 12 years’ experience in graphic design, digital marketing, and video production. He received a bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph's University and a master of arts degree from The University of Pennsylvania.

Video: A crucial component to your marketing strategy.

You’ve heard the adage “Content is king,” right? Content drives traffic to your website and increases your online presence.

So, who or what is the undisputed king of content? That can be answered in one word: Video.

Research shows that including video on your website is effective for marketing to your patients and prospects, as well as for tracking your marketing data. Here are a few reasons why video should be a part of your marketing strategy.

Video is engaging.

It’s easy to see why. Written text can feel clichéd and trite no matter how accurately it portrays you and your practice. Images are more compelling than text and the visual/auditory elements of video create a far more captivating experience. Video engages the viewer on a personal level and makes them more likely to remember you, your content, and your brand.

Speaking in front of a camera is not for everyone, however. Take me, for instance. I feel most at ease behind the camera. Flip the lens on me and I take on the personality of a rutabaga.

Thankfully, you are in the people business, selling a service and an experience. You interact with others all day. If you want to engage and make a personal connection, video is the closest thing to your daily, face-to-face conversations.

Video builds trust.

Any audiologist (or paid writer) can claim that “we offer the best care,” but only you can convey your uniqueness, credibility and sincerity. Only through video can you convey a true sense of who you are and what you’re like. Video captures your authenticity and differentiates you from the internet crowd.

The same holds true for patient testimonials. A 30-second video clip of a happy patient is far more effective than a well-crafted paragraph. It elicits emotional responses and makes a connection with your prospects.

Video has a wide reach.

Videos are multi-platform friendly. You can upload them on YouTube, post them on your website, and share them on all your social media outlets. Viewers, including third-party and referral sources, are more likely to share a video than a block of text with a relative or friend. A single video has the potential to reach hundreds (or thousands!) of patients and prospects.

Video is effective (and the research proves it).

If you’re still not convinced of the importance of video to the purchase process, consider these numbers:

  • 90 percent of users say that seeing a video is helpful in the decision-making process. (Forbes)
  • Retailers cite a 40 percent increase in purchases as a result of video. (Adobe)
  • Four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video than read text. (Animoto)
  • Four in five consumers say that video about a product or service is important. (Animoto)
  • Almost 50 percent of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (ThinkWithGoogle)
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users. (VidYard)
  • Enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97 percent and brand association by 139 percent. (Unruly)
  • 80 percent of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the last month. (Hubspot)
  • By 2019, video will represent over 85 percent of all Internet traffic in the U.S. (Cisco)

If you’ve been working with our marketing team, then you know the importance of data behind your efforts. Here are a few more numbers that show how video can play an integral part in your marketing:

  • Video can increase landing page conversion rates by 86 percent. (WishPond)
  • Including video in an email increases click-through rate by 96 percent. (Forrester)
  • Content with video see 27 percent higher click-through rates. (VidYard)
  • Pages with videos are 50 times more likely to land on the first page of Google’s search results than text-based content. (PR Newswire)
  • 52 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. (HubSpot)

If you’re not incorporating video in your marketing strategy, you might want to reconsider.

About the Author

Rolando Corpus joined Consult YHN in 2011 and serves as Art Director. He has more than 12 years’ experience in graphic design, digital marketing, and video production. He received a bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph's University and a master of arts degree from The University of Pennsylvania.

Six Key Elements to an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

There are those individuals who believe that direct mail doesn’t work anymore, but our Associates’ numbers tell another story!

Based on our practices’ data, the average cost-per-call is $247 and the cost-per-appointment is $442. Over the past year, direct mail generated an average of 40 percent ROI for our Associates.

In fact, when it is executed properly, direct mail is still one of the top opportunity drivers for our practices! When the Consult YHN marketing team develops direct mail strategies for our Associates, we incorporate the following components:

  • 1. Vendor

Surprisingly enough, there are numerous direct mail vendors that specialize in the hearing industry. We recommend only working with these companies because they understand the market and how to speak to the target audience. All their pieces have been tested and proven to drive results and they will supply the distribution list at no additional cost. Contact us for Consult YHN’s preferred vendor list and pricing.

  • 2. Budget

Our general rule of thumb is to allocate about 45 percent of your total marketing spend towards direct mail. Every practice has their own objectives and goals that may require increasing or decreasing that percentage amount. It is up to the practice owner to decide what he/she is comfortable spending and how much they are already investing in other marketing efforts. All of this information helps us determine what funds are available to put towards direct mail.

  • 3. Distribution

This is a key attribute of the direct mail strategy. If you aren’t reaching the right people in the appropriate zip codes, then it defeats the purpose.

Here are the factors that you should consider:

  • Age — Typically between the ages of 62-65, depending on how many residents it pulls.
  • Income — We suggest adding a household income filter of $30K. If you need more residents to target, you can eliminate that filter, but we don’t recommend increasing it. Keep in mind that most of these individuals are retired and don’t have as much disposable income.
  • Zip Codes — We recommend looking at your database and identifying in which zip codes your current patients live. If individuals in certain zip codes are already visiting and purchasing from the practice, others are likely to do so. Once the targeted zip codes have been identified, send them to the direct mail vendor of choice to confirm how many residents they can mail to in those areas.

Note: Consult YHN offers free territory analysis reports that identify all your surrounding zip codes in a certain mile radius (varies by practice) and where your competitors are in relation.

  • 4. Approach

Now that you have an idea on the budget and who the target audience is, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. When it comes to a successful direct mail campaign, frequency and consistency are crucial. It is best to divide your total audience into groups and rotate them every mailer. Once you’ve reached everyone on your list, continue that rotation until you have sent a direct mailer to your total audience 3–4 times over a 12-month period. You don’t want to inundate them with direct mail, but you need to reach them more than once to make it impactful.

Another key factor is how many pieces you send out with each direct mailer. While direct mail can be successful, the response rates are relatively low (.25 – .5 percent). We recommend sending out 5,000 – 7,500 pieces for each direct mailer (per location) to drive the necessary amount of opportunities to make it worth the investment. If you think you need to send more than that, you may want to divide it up further so there is a steady flow of traffic to the practice on a consistent basis.

If you are curious as to what results you should expect, check out Consult YHN’s direct mail response rate calculator. It will tell you how many calls and appointments you should receive and the gross revenue that you should generate.

  • 5. Messaging

We rely on our preferred direct mail vendors to determine what messages are the most successful and what resonates the best with our audience. Those vendors will customize each message for the specific practice (i.e., logo, contact information, offer, etc.) and we do not recommend interfering with the overall message. When you change the content, it could skew the results. We also recommend incorporating an offer that will entice individuals to come in. Many practices offer a free hearing screening, but that may not be enough of an incentive to get patients to your office.

  • 6. Call Tracking

If you want to know if your direct mail campaign is successful, you must have a call tracking number on it! Even if you have the best front office staff, it doesn’t hurt to have a documented report that captures all the calls that came in. You can purchase your own call tracking number through one of Consult YHN’s preferred call tracking vendors or your direct mail company may provide one to you.

There is a lot of strategic thinking that goes into a direct mail campaign, which is why the Consult YHN Marketing team is here to help! We will work with you to determine the best strategy and if it is driving the necessary traffic and ROI.

For more information about how to optimize your direct mail campaign, click here. You can also calculate your marketing ROI with our new Marketing Calculator.

About the Author

Lindsey Pierangeli joined Consult YHN in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Manager. Previously, she held marketing positions with advertising agencies and worked on accounts such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. Lindsey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University.

Master the data, better serve your customers!

Marketing has changed. Since 2000, essentially all businesses prepared for these changes with toll-free numbers and considered themselves ready for inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is waiting for consumers to call — or text, or visit, or click through to — your business.

Use of the word waiting doesn’t do the concept justice, however. Inbound marketing is not passive, it’s active waiting, or, more correctly, encouraging consumers to contact you. Inbound isn’t a battle for prospects’ attention. It’s not a hard or aggressive sale as much as it is a strategy for presenting your business. Through content on your website, social media, blogs, etc., you encourage consumers who find your products and services relevant to their needs to reach out to you.

Inbound is often applied to the customer journey — from being total strangers to having an awareness of your business, then moving through stages of familiarity and consideration of your offerings, and finally into the decision or conversion phase, where they choose to become customers. A smart business presents content in appropriate channels that suits the interests of prospects throughout this journey. Each portion of your content collection should relate to the buyer’s unique position in the journey and then advance him/her toward conversion.

The trick is knowing if and how the content and the channels are actually moving the customer along in his/her journey. That’s done with data. Even though we’ve moved into instant, digital everything, some significant parts of a buyer’s journey still happen offline, and offline actions must also be tracked and measured.

Offline data gaps can occur due to material differences among marketing channels. Facebook is a terrific place to build awareness and create a community, but social platforms are not where consumers typically go to make purchases or gain deep knowledge of your products/services.

At the other end of the journey, phone calls are rarely first touches. A customer who phones your business may want information that they couldn’t find on your website — and there’s a good chance the customer is ready, or is almost ready, to buy. If you’re not measuring phone calls, you’re likely missing substantial data. The technology of call intelligence platforms makes taking inbound calls while collecting data, recording, transcribing (and more) a simple proposition. Most tracking platforms integrate call data with CRM, practice management software, and other marketing platforms, giving business owners a more complete picture of their potential customers.

Why is call tracking important? It’s a digital world, but calls are far from dead. Even though the integration of the web and smartphones into everyday life has changed our world substantively, phone calls are still alive and well in the marketing process. Capturing, tracking and acting on the intelligence of your phone calls is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.

In fact, the continuing evolution of phone technology has created an environment where mobile searches can result in immediate calls and conversions — all from the same device. Measuring which search queries, ads and content make those calls happen, therefore, will be key to building and refining a winning overall strategy.

About the Author

Jerry DeRosa is Consult YHN’s Vice President, Marketing. He draws from more than 25 years of marketing experience with expertise in direct and retail marketing, advertising and digital media. Previously, Jerry was Director of Marketing Communications for Wolters Kluwer Health, a medical information, data and publishing company.

Top Trends in Digital Marketing

The Consult YHN Marketing Team recently attended the Philadelphia Digital Summit, a 2-day event focused on all things interactive — websites, SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing, and more! We came back energized (much like our Associates do after Consult YHN’s annual Convention) and want to share some core findings to help you refine your digital marketing strategy.

Connecting with customers via content isn’t optional.

Content was one of the main topics discussed during the event because, in today’s world, marketing is all about storytelling. The content that you produce is key to connecting with your customers and establishing a rapport via your digital marketing activities. While it’s important to determine how you’re going to reach customers — through SEO, Social Media, PPC — it’s just as important to plan what you’re going to share so that customers engage with your brand.

Start by assessing the most visited pages on your website — this is intelligent insight that can influence your messaging strategy! Developing content around these pages allows you to generate information based on what your audience is most interested in consuming.

Individuals want information, not simply promotional messages and the most effective way to connect with people is on an emotional level. In fact, 88 percent of consumers say that personally relevant content improves how they feel about a brand. While crafting messaging, ask yourself questions like: What problem is my customer looking to solve? How will my services offer customers a better quality of life? What’s in it for the customer?

Still not sure where to begin? Think about the questions customers ask you and your staff most often and let those drive your editorial calendar for blog posts, social media content, and more. You stand a greater chance of effectively engaging your customers with the information that’s most relevant to them.

Stop sabotaging your email marketing efforts.

Email marketing was another hot-button topic during the conference. Across the board, the focus was on how to strategically influence your email marketing activities for optimal impact, instead of continuing to “batch blast” your entire contact list. It’s so important to pay attention to this activity to engage your customers because email is the preferred method of communication, according to 78 percent of consumers.

Enhance your email marketing game with these top two tips:

1. List Segmentation

Let’s start with your goldmine — your customer list, which is by far the biggest make or break factor in your email marketing strategy. It’s imperative to take the time to understand your customers based on their needs and start thinking about the customer journey for every segment of your list (think Tested Not Sold (TNS), Out of Warranty (OOW), and Wellness). If you spend the time to truly define your list thoughtfully, it will pay off.

2. Relevant Messaging

Put your consumer hat on for a second…do you ignore or delete emails that aren’t relevant to your situation at the time? If you answered “yes,” realize that your customers do the same thing!

Gone are the days when your entire email marketing strategy can consist of blasting out a quarterly newsletter to your full database. Today’s consumers expect more thoughtful, relevant and timely communication than ever before. One way you can appeal to this desire is to personalize content and messaging as much as possible based on what you know about that customer. Start small — in fact, personalized subject lines alone can increase email open rates by 26 percent, so add that one element to your next email communication before you hit “send.”

How much do consumers care about mobile?

Simply put, more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush. Yes, you read that correctly. The world is more connected via mobile devices than ever before. In fact, mobile connectivity overtook desktop for the first time in 2016.

What does all this mean for your website? Be sure that your site has a responsive and/or mobile design to function smoothly on tablets and smartphones. Since nearly 60 percent of search queries now come from a mobile device, it’s important for customers to be able to easily access your site for research or location information on the go.

The Digital Marketing Wrap-Up: Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Content is king! If you have an authentic dialogue with your customers frequently — via emotional messaging that focuses on their interests — you’ll build trust and loyalty.
  2. Focus on your email strategy by developing a plan and mapping out which message will be sent to the different segments of your customer database.
  3. Accessing information via mobile devices is becoming a way of life for consumers. Be sure that your website is built with responsive and/or mobile in mind.

Digital marketing moves at lightning speed, but Consult YHN is here to help! Contact Consult YHN Marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com to discuss the latest digital marketing trends and how you can stay relevant.

About the Author

Keara M. Piekanski joined Consult YHN in 2010 and serves as Director, Product Management. She has over 13 years of marketing experience and develops products and services for Associates. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh, is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified, and is pursuing an MBA at Villanova University.