By Harvey Kart
New technology has a familiar pattern for most businesses. The early adopters embrace it and take full advantage of its capabilities. The slow learners appreciate its power and use a methodical and deliberate approach to utilizing it. Then there are those who just sit back on the sidelines, waiting and waiting. Oftentimes, those who wait on the sidelines are the same ones who continue to struggle to catch up.
I had an interesting conversation with a potential advertiser a few weeks ago about our new digital consumer healthcare publication, Pittsburgh Healthcare Report. While her organization saw a need for a publication like this in the marketplace, they were hesitant to take advantage of any editorial opportunities or marketing partnerships. The sole reason given was that they wanted to step back for six months and see how it develops.
Sure, I was a little disappointed in their lack of faith regarding my publishing success. How many other niche publishers are still in business since the Reagan administration? I must be doing something right to still be around.
Many people are also curious about our numbers and visits—it’s often the first question that is asked. Yet, many don’t know what is a good number. Does 1,000 visits a month impress you? 5,000? 15,000? 150,000? (It’s 7,500 visits in case you were wondering—which is an impressive number for a nice site launched in mid December.) Also, any web marketer would tell you that it’s not how many visits or connections you have that matters—it’s how engaging you are with your audience. What should matter more is how many people are actually clicking on your ad, sharing your articles with their network, retweeting a message you posted, responding to a LinkedIn question you posed, or commented on an article or a Facebook post.
Look at your neighborhood publication sitting in a rack at Giant Eagle or among a stack of six other free monthlies in a Starbucks—do any of them have websites? If so, are they updated several times daily? How strong is their social media presence? Do they even have one? As you’re reading this column, we have many people engaging with us right at this moment on social media and perhaps reading an article on our website.
I’ll give you an example of how we can help you. 34-year-old Dominique Ponko, owner of Yoga Flow, a Pittsburgh heated yoga studio, is living with a brain tumor. Yoga helped transform her life. She had time to study the Chakras and learn how our bodies hold emotional damage that leads to physical damage and disease. She learned how disease in the mind leads to disease in the body. Her time with yoga taught her not to be so afraid, to dig deeper and breathe through the pain. It also inspired her to open up several yoga studios in the Pittsburgh region to help transform others.
She told her amazing story in an article in Pittsburgh Healthcare Report, and also created a short video. In 10 days time, the article has had over 8,000 views and her 2-part video, over 1,500 views. Are those numbers impressive? Again, it’s just a matter of perspective. If you were an advertiser and you had 20 new people sign up for yoga because they either read the article or saw the video, is it worth it to you?
This example demonstrates how we can give you a voice to reach a consumer audience interested in healthcare who gets their information from the web. As a marketing partner, you send us your articles and videos, and we’ll post it on our site, and share it with our network of 8,000 social media connections. This is the new way of marketing your products and services today. We deliver information like this daily to help e-patients (tech-savvy patients) make better decisions in their health and well-being. We also deliver the news 24/7, 365 days a year. Sure, there are plenty of print publications in the region that do a fine job of delivering information—but many do it only on a monthly basis. In fact, you can go on our site now and count how many articles our sources produce in a week. I bet it’s more than most monthly magazines produce in a month.
The mere fact that a business advertises in a newspaper or print magazine should indicate that they can’t market themselves through word of mouth and their own websites. If they are weak in social media themselves that is a great reason to look to us. We can help you promote your message through our channels. Also, if you love and see the value of growing your e-patient market share, you can’t reach them in print alone. Ask yourself this question—how many of you swore by the Yellow Pages for your product and service because everyone was in it? How’s that working out for you now?
By leveraging the Pittsburgh Healthcare Report or Hospital News platform, you can reach an e- patient through our website, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, on a daily basis. Go to www.pghcare.com and take the “Pepsi/Coke” test. This is bold. This is relevant. This is connecting. This is engaging through interactivity. This is where the future lies.
Relevance is also a strong consideration. How many articles are you reading in your local monthly publication that are just an advertorial? The goal of these articles is to get you to buy the author’s product or service. Our goal with our content is to inform you to make the right healthcare decision for you and your family.
We hope that you see Pittsburgh Healthcare Report as a visionary digital publication. We also hope that you can instill your trust in us to do for your brand what we have done for ours. In the past year, we’ve increased our social media following by 75% and our website visits by 35%.
Still not sure? Compare our social media connections with your local monthly publication or newspaper. How many connections do they have on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn? How active are they? Will they share your content if you send them something? How hard will they work for you?