SEO Priorities

Every year, Hubspot assembles the “State of Inbound,” a comprehensive report that examines the challenges, priorities, and strategies of more than 3,500 marketers and sales professionals from around the world. The report covers just about every topic in the inbound marketing world, but some of the more interesting statistics revolved around SEO and SEO strategy.

SEO remains relevant and important, but it’s changing dramatically. In 2016, 69% of marketers described prioritizing SEO growth in their strategies. If you are like those marketers, the full report may be reflective of your own thoughts, or may give you a fuller understanding of how this component is expanding among your other efforts.

Where to Begin

Advance’s Ohio team recently posted a great piece of content on, well … content! Generating ideas is tough, especially when content developers are tasked with material that is SEO rich and interesting to the reader. This great blog entry describes a number of inspirational tools, created by Hubspot, Buzzsumo, Daily Page and Help Me Write. These aren’t the only generators of their kind available, but might help as you begin your content development journey.

Read the full article here.

What’s Your Type?

How a designer approaches text to tell a story

No one would question that Apple is a revolutionary company. We all think of Steve Jobs and his notorious personality and envelope-pushing entrepreneurialism. We know of the technological advancements that this company generated, and how it changed our society forever. But let’s not forget one of the many lesser-known contributions the company made.

In 1984, with the first release of Macintosh, users could choose between fonts. While extremely limited until 1991, the Mac only supported bitmap fonts. With their released of TrueType in 1991, and to ensure that type advancements truly took over the world, Apple even licensed it to Microsoft, which introduced high rendering type to the personal computer.

Since then, we’ve all become designers. Selected our favorite serifs and designing layouts for our documents, flyers, recipe cards and white papers.

But, like anything highly visual, it’s obvious when it’s done well. Learn more about the anatomy of type from this clever document featuring our favorite revolutionary movie quotes.

Profiling Gen Z In the Education Space

The big buzzword is Millennial, these days. But let’s not avoid the up and coming Generation Z! These are the students our educators are looking to recruit, and know nothing of “life before internet.”

The Basics
Born between 1998 and today, 69 million strong — they fill nearly a quarter of the U.S. Population.(1)

Fully Digital
The first generation with no knowledge of LBI — life before the internet, they average 3+ hours per day staring in to a screen.(2)

Practical
79% want internships and professional experience in college; 85% want skills such as financial planning.(3)

Frustrated by Obstacles
82% say finding the best college for them is an obstacle; 63% cite the application process.(4)

Entrepreneurial
63% say entrepreneurship should be part of the college curriculum; 72% say students should be allowed to design their own majors.(5)

Sources: 1. “What if I told you…’Gen Z’ will be larger and more influential than Millennials” http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/macroeconomic-insights-folder/what-if-i-told-you/report.pdf 2. “Everything You Need to Know About Generation Z,”http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-generationz-born-in-the-digital-age-2015-2 3. Northeastern University Portrait of Generation Z survey, 2014.http://www.northeastern.edu/innovationsurvey/pdfs/Innovation_Summit_GenZ_Topline_Report.pdf 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid.

Developing Healthcare Strategies

Every day, hospital and healthcare clients are running dozens of parallel tracks with their marketing strategies, each with its own purpose, but feeding the overall goals of the institution. At Advance 360, we understand that these plans need to be integrated and in sync to deliver results for our clients.

As such, we segment our strategy and campaign to mirror these parallel tracks within the organization — each with their own key performance indicators that dictate performance success;  from positioning the institution’s expertise to customizing the message, targeting different geographies and audiences.

Learn how we’ve crafted successful campaigns for our healthcare partners.

PRACTICUM: AN ILLUSTRATION ON HOW STRATEGIES ARE BUILT

Client: Community Hospital 

Statement of Need, Provided by Client: The hospital, employing 1100 staffers, was suffering from years of disjointed marketing, high turnover among the c-suite staff and vanishing public trust; all of which was punctuated by the lowest employee engagement scores that the institution had experienced, creating poor morale. Not surprising, market share was slipping and profits dropping.

Research and Analysis: We performed a scientific sentiment analysis to understand public perception and trust for the brand and also identify their top competitors for consumer mindshare. We also implemented web, social media and SEO audits, along with an intensive review of creative. Analysis was performed
on employee communications including email open rates, engagement numbers were researched extensively and we analyzed trends over the past five years. Workflow in the Human Resources Department and Marketing Department were reviewed and the onboarding of new physicians was studied. We built a market share analyzation tool to show dips in performance and emerging trends in real time. Six branding workshops with all levels of hospital staff were performed, and sentiment collected. Analysis of influence-able areas (noted from market share tool) was scrubbed against population data to identify priority service areas. Material researched by third party firms over the last 12 years was studied and cataloged.

Findings: The hospital had hundreds upon hundreds of incredibly talented front line staff that were all present for the right reasons. But, long-term unrest around an unstable leadership team had taken its toll on morale and the vast majority were disenfranchised. Service lines that were found to be a priority by the board were confirmed by Advance 360 as those that would create the lift required: neurology, oncology, orthopedics, general surgery. Physician on boarding contained numerous disconnects between new and old staff. An understanding of the “why” of the people inside the hospital and the hospital itself was established. Sagging recruitment had to be revitalized. The website experience contained unfriendly user experience, and the SEO tactics employed fell short of best practices. Paid search was nonexistent. In short, every piece of the hospital’s work was in need of refreshing. Our work needed to be precise and swift, and generate a lift of 7% revenue growth overall (a number determined by the board of directors.)

Action Plan:

  • Advance 360 developed a strategy and campaign for three key segments: internal (staff), external (public) and recruitment (public / conquest) including:

Internal

  • New templates for employee communications and emails.
  • Agenda flow, and production of the annual all staff meeting.
  • Internal staff interviewed and featured in social media, the staff section of the website, and publicly in front of peers.
  • The “speak up” program was revitalized.
  • Infographics and other creative elements were generated to tell the story of the hospital’s community engagements.
  • Employees were pixeled using communications and contesting, and remessaged all of the above information with a purposeful frequency.

Recruitment

  • Website was built to accommodate new traffic.
  • Landing pages established by posted job.
  • Job postings retooled and new placements made.
  • Other community hospitals of similar size were targeted with display campaigns as “feeder locations” for staff.
  • Creative established, using diverse imagery and positions, and placed appropriately to the audiences. In nearly all cases, “high tech” images as well as “emotion/staff subject matter” were A/B tested to maximize impact.
  • Materials were developed for the on boarding process to create the necessary lift.

External

Each service line was assessed and materials developed to achieve the desired lift, for a blended revenue gain of 7%. These included, but were not limited to, infographics, video, whitepapers, sponsored content, articles, blog entries, social media vignettes and photo galleries. Doctors were featured. Overlap with the staff videos from internal campaign were reused in a public sense, based on the service line for which the staff person was employed. Display campaigns were developed with emotion, credibility and logic touch points in mind, and A/B testing was deployed in nearly every instance. Nothing short of a “collection of goods” describing the assets of the hospital, the talents of the staff, procedures that could be provided, and each and every piece pixeled, placed and analyzed.