Merry Christmas and Thanks

As 2022 comes to a close its a time for celebration and good cheer. The hard work of keeping our communities healthy continues, but we can and should take a moment to reflect. You and your staff are doing all you can to keep quality healthcare services available in your community. Thank you!

Jolly Holiday Wishes

I want to personally wish you team a merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

Both my staff and I are honored to play our part in the ongoing effort to keep rural America healthy and strong. We want to thank you for all that you and your staff do every day for the people in your community. Nothing means as much to people as the health of their loved ones. This is the gift your hospital gives to people year-round.

May good food, family, and friendship be close at hand.
We hope you find rest, contentment, and joy in the season.
Gather strength, courage, and inspiration for the coming year.
Know that we are grateful for all your efforts and struggles.
Stay safe, seek peace, and continue to be the best version of yourself.

Marketing for the holidays

This time of year is great for just reaching out and letting your community know you are grateful for their support. It’s a good time to stay positive in your messaging and perhaps take a break from talking about health concerns or services. Use your outreach to spread some joy and warm feelings.

It’s a great time to give your staff a spotlight. It’s one thing for your hospital to offer season’s greetings, it’s another to have that message come from people with names and faces. Raise your staff’s profile by letting them be the voice that shares your holiday message. Talk to your staff about what they do for the holidays and how it ties into the community. Use this for inspiration.

It’s also a great opportunity to connect to events in your community. Get involved with local charitable giving and events. Encourage your staff to volunteer at holiday events and find out who is already doing so. Talk about local holiday traditions in your marketing messages and show people that your hospital and staff really are part of the local community.

Building a Marketing Library

If you are going to build your own marketing program, it’s essential that you do so efficiently. A key strategy for efficiency is to eliminate duplicated effort. By investing some extra time and effort upfront, creating and maintaining a marketing copy library can save you time and money down the road.

Start with good organization

Any good library should have materials that are easy to find and easy to understand. Start with a master document that describes how your library is organized. It should set standards for how you name your library files. It should also tell readers where the files are stored and how to access them correctly. Be consistent about maintaining this organization, and if you make changes, update your master document.

File names are important. It should be easy to know exactly what is in the file before you even open it. Be sure to include the date the file was last used. Storing files by publication date is not recommended. The idea is to re-use these documents so organize them by subject or purpose.

Create a brand bible

A brand bible is a document that details how your brand is to be represented to the public. It contains everything from official logos, official colors, formatting for your companies name, font choices, approved images of your facility and staff, preferred word choices, and so on. You should make sure to update and review this document periodically.

Make documents modular

Try to write marketing copy in self-contained paragraphs or groups of paragraphs. This way you can mix and match, grabbing a paragraph from one document and using it in another. Keep a separate file for your most commonly used paragraphs, phrases, and quotations.

Highlight variables

You will need to change some elements of a document each time it is published. Elements like dates for events, names of staff, web addresses, and the like should be highlighted in the library files. This way you can quickly see what must be changed. You don’t want any embarrassing mistakes.

Reuse and refine

The goal is to write once and use many times. That said, you don’t want to fall into the habit of doing so thoughtlessly. As time goes on you will find ways to improve your messaging. When proofreading copy for publication, look for places you can make small improvements to your copy. Through multiple uses, your marketing messages are going to get better and better.

The power of sharing

Did you know that already has a massive library of ready to use marketing materials for hospitals like yours? It even comes with monthly marketing plans to put them to use. It takes time, money, and expertise to build a library of your own. It’s a great investment, but by joining with other hospitals the costs can be spread out. This is why is so affordable. We made the investment, you get the benefits.

Want to experience the power of a marketing library? Call Steven R Jolly at 1-800-441-7401.

5 Copywriting Essentials

One of the core disciplines of marketing is writing effective copy. We are going to look at five essential techniques. Each will help you improve the quality of your marketing copywriting.

Be goal-oriented

Before you create any piece of copy, think about your goal. What do you want the reader to think and/or what you want them to do? Everything you write should be focused on achieving your goals. You can have more than one goal in a piece of marketing, but if you do, they should be closely related. And whatever you do, don’t include elements that actively distract or detract from your objectives.

Simplify your message

You should think carefully about what your core message is for any piece of marketing. If you can summarize it into one short sentence, that is ideal. This simple message should appear somewhere in your copy, generally, the earlier the better. You should echo it more than once in your copy, though each time, you can say it a little differently. In terms of goals, the message is what you want the reader to think when reading your copy.

Know your audience

This is so essential. You must know who you are trying to speak to. Create a persona that has the essential qualities of your audience. Give them a name. Imagine their life. Imagine their problems. Then craft your message to speak directly to them, to reflect their thoughts and values. If you have a broad target, try to find points of commonality. Avoid ideas that divide your target audience. It’s better to have two messages for two targets than one that tries to speak to both.

Lead with a strong hook

What are the first words your reader will see? These need to be the most powerful, the easiest to understand, and make it interesting. Ideally, just one sentence can carry your message, build your brand, and motivate action in your favor. If nothing else, you want it to compel people to read more. Speak to the problems people have. Make them curious about what comes next. Promise some value it what you have to say. These are all good approaches.

Be direct

People generally know they are reading an advertisement and they typically have very little patience for adds. You want to use direct language and get to the point as quickly as you can. Once you have their attention, you can elaborate, but don’t waste their time with empty words and don’t make them guess what your message is. Also, don’t make them think. Tell them and show them what you want them to do and why they should do it.

The Authoritative Voice in Healthcare Marketing

Last week we discussed the Nurturing voice in Healthcare Marketing. This week we are turning our attention to the Authoritative Voice. Your marketing voice is the style of writing and communication you use to promote your brand and your services. It speaks at an emotional level to your market and serves to build trust in your brand.

Authority and trust go hand in hand

The voice of authority is the voice of the strong and trusted father figure who has the ability and wisdom to provide for and protect his family from the dangers of the world. Authority shows confidence when the world is frightening. This is the voice you trust when times are difficult.

When people face serious health challenges, they want knowledgable, experienced, and confident doctors and health care professionals to guide them through the challenge and see them safely to good health and long life. By taking on this voice, your hospital can be the authority members of your community turn to at such times.

Showing your credentials

One of the keys of authority is to highlight the credentials of your staff and your hospital. Always use professional titles and try to include significant accomplishments or accolades from other authoritative sources. Showing partnership with other figures with gravitas can burnish your own image.

Phrases like “Leading the way”, “Proven commitment”, and “Trusted authority” all convey an image that strengthens this voice for your brand. Highlight how long you have been serving your community. Tout your successes and your credibility.

Use authoritative language

Authority figures are expected to speak clearly and directly. Avoid overly poetic language or long-winded explanations. Limit qualifying language only to cases where it is absolutely necessary. If you feel like you must include a lot of qualifying language, consider not making that statement.
Also, you also want to avoid the passive voice whenever possible.

In the Compassionate voice, we focus on “you” in messaging. With the authoritative voice, your institution and your experts should be the focus. Instead, talk about what you know, what you can do, and how you can provide the best care for your patients.

Stay Consistent

Hospitals exist in a dynamic between nurturing and authoritative. But whenever you are communicating with the public, choose one of the two styles and stay consistent with it. It is ok to put out both messages, but don’t mix them in one communication. Choose which will be your focus, and stay consistent with it.

A Nurturing Voice in Healthcare Marketing

Every brand should consider their voice. By this we mean, the style and tone of the words you use to represent and market your brand. Your brand’s voice speaks to your market at an emotional level sending messages about why they should trust you and use your services.

Two essential voices in healthcare

Honestly, fear is the emotion that your voice should be addressing. Fear of what is happening to a person’s health and what will happen in the future. Your brand’s voice needs to speak to that fear and to remedy it. There are two different voices that can do this: Nurturing and Authoritative. This week we will look at the Nurturing voice.

We are going to take care of you

The goal of the nurturing voice is to fight against fear by promising to take care of your patients. You take on the role of the mother who will do everything they can to protect their child and see to their well being. It is a very powerful voice for combating fear and uncertainty. It is essential in healthcare.

The nurturing voice also combats fears about the unknown. Many people have a negative view of hospitals as places that are cold and clinical. By adopting a nurturing voice you sooth these fears and transform their image into a place where everything is focused on the patient’s safety and comfort.

Elements of the nurturing voice

A nurturing voice starts with a personal tone. The word “you” is essential for this. You want to seem to be talking to only one person, the one reading or listening to your message. Speak to emotions. Show you understand someone’s worries and state clearly you want to help.

Words like “warm”, “compassionate”, “caring”, and “love” are powerful signals. You want to avoid technical and clinical terms. You want to consider how words make you feel as much as what they mean. Focus on what you are going to do to help and support others.

Stay consistent

Not every marketing message needs to have the same voice, but within any given message, you absolutely want to stay consistent. If you have boilerplate messaging, make sure it matches the voice you want to use and is consistent with your brand overall.

A good practice is to review every piece of marketing material for voice. Have in mind what you are aiming for, and look for places to strengthen this voice and for places to remove competing voices.

Diabetes and The Holidays

National Diabetes Month happens to share the month of November with the most famous feast celebration in the US, Thanksgiving. For people with diabetes, it can be a real challenge to navigate the holidays while keeping insulin levels in check.

Connecting your marketing efforts with what is on people’s minds is important for building trust. Speaking to the challenge of diabetes during this time can create a strong connection with your community.

Speak to the concerns

Let your marketing give voice to what is on people’s minds. You can start with a headline like this.

Is diabetes raining on your holiday parade?

Then describe the kinds of challenges facing people with diabetes during the holidays. For those with Diabetes, holiday feasts can be a source of anxiety. It can create hard choices between participation and risking their health. They may worry that their disease gets in the way of their family’s fun.

Offering solutions

After showing that you understand the difficulty people face, offer helpful advice and practical solutions. There are many articles on the subject you can pull advice from or which you could share if using social media. Just be sure to vet them as you only want to offer the best advice. Here are a few simple examples.

Spread out the feast

Instead of fasting and gorging, make thanksgiving an all-day affair. Provide many courses over a long afternoon and evening to avoid spiking or crashing blood sugar levels.

Choose savory over sweet

Focus on dishes with savory flavors. Dishes that are rich in protein or fiber help buffer the carbohydrates and sugars. Pair each course with a sweet option to a savory or high fiber option alongside it.

Lower carbohydrate recipes

There are tons of diabetic-friendly recipes for every holiday classic dish. Do some research and practice them ahead of the holidays. You are sure to find some that meet or beat your old recipes.

Remember to make sure that if you share a recipe directly that you have permission to do so. The list of ingredients isn’t covered by copyright but everything else in a recipe is including descriptions, images, and instructions.