Email & Workplace Efficiency
In a 2012 McKinsey Global Institute study, researchers found that employees spend about 28% of their days reading and responding to emails. While useful, email is absorbing huge chunks of time that could be better spent.
Email (especially in the workplace) has quickly become both a blessing and a curse. We’re all guilty of dropping everything we’re doing to see who emailed us and responding almost instantaneously. Even though we know it’s inefficient to continuously switch our brain from work-mode to email-mode, it is nearly impossible to avoid in today’s world where we receive emails to our desktops, tablets, watches, cell phones and glasses (if you’re into that).
A few months ago, Kerrie wrote a great article about Chunking, which explains how to segment your day in order to increase efficiency. Since then, the entire team at Old Town Media has been working on establishing ways to get the most done during an 8 hour workday, including cutting down on emails all together. Although marketing account managers do require a large amount of communication via email, it’s not always the best tool. Inspired by an eye-opening article, we set up some guidelines regarding when to email, when to pick up the phone and how to use email to our advantage.
Good Uses of Email
Sending Instant Notifications
If there is something that the whole team needs to know about immediately, an email is warranted. Following good email etiquette, aim to keep these emails short & sweet so everyone can read them quickly and easily decide whether they need to file it away, delete or respond.
Follow Up Messages
Don’t be rude or inconsiderate – respond to every email unless it is spam, junk or a mass email that does not actually require action on your part. Again, these do not need to be long and convoluted. A simple “Thank you” or “Sounds good!” will suffice unless you actually have questions or input. Especially professionally, these small gestures make a big difference when it comes to how clients or vendors perceive your general reliability.
Often times, introduction emails are slightly less intimidating and forceful than a phone call. Be sure to write a personalized and considerate message when you are following up with a new contact or asking to be introduced to someone for networking purposes. In this case, email allows you to include context and gives the other person ample time to craft an appropriate response. Sometimes people are simply not interested in continuing a networking relationship, so it is essential to be respectful of their wishes and not bombard them with additional emails.
Thank You Notes
Though snail mail may be fading, one of the golden rules of life still applies. After an interview, if someone sends you a great referral or even if someone just brings you Starbucks, don’t forget to send a thank you note. Although picking up the phone may be more appropriate in some cases, a thank you email is usually greatly appreciated and well-received.
Replacing A Meeting
Meetings are a big part of our business but we are the first to tell you that sometimes meetings are a complete waste of time. Of course, there are a number of clients that get things done much faster in person as opposed to email or over the phone. However, there are certainly a number of things that can be settled without having to come into the office for a meeting, inevitably disrupting our work-mode brains.
Not-So-Good Uses of Email
Letting People Know You’re Working
Especially young, ambitious employees will often send emails to their bosses or co-workers early in the morning or late at night to prove that they’re working overtime. While it might be the norm in some company cultures, it’s not exactly guaranteed to help you at all. In fact, research has shown that time off from work helps improve productivity and innovation.
At a certain point, it takes you more time to read and type out responses than it would to simply pick up the phone and call. If you’re stuck in a back-and-forth conversation, it’s clear that you and the person on the other end need to hash things out. Save yourself some time and take the conversation offline.
We all know that email can be very easily misinterpreted, especially when dealing with complicated or sensitive matters. When you need to make sure your message is clear, try to set up a meeting (not a waste of time in this case) or schedule a phone call. As secure as email may claim to be, it’s still the internet and sensitive items like medical issues, credit card numbers or personal matters are best not shared through the cloud.
Email is a great tool but not the only one.
Try implementing these guidelines for the next month and see how much time you save not having to type and revise countless emails every day. Do your best to close your inbox and silence your phone for chunks of time to truly let your brain stay focused on one thing. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone.
Video is an often overlooked method of connecting with future (and current) patients and building credibility, especially in the medical industry. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more and more services have switched from in-person to hybrid or 100% online and people are utilizing digital platforms more than ever for things like finding credible providers and hosting virtual visits.
Video marketing for doctors is becoming more necessary in helping form personal connections by allowing people to get a sense of their doctors before scheduling a visit.
In this blog, we will cover why you should use video marketing for doctors, types of videos to make, and tips for ensuring your videos are successful.
Why Use Video?
Video marketing for doctors isn’t just about making specialist introduction videos to post on a website. Patient testimonials, informational videos, introductory videos for doctors, and office overviews are great tools to engage your audience and turn curious viewers into lifelong patients.
The first and most important outcome of video marketing for doctors is establishing trust and credibility.
When a patient can watch a quick interview with their physician, they feel a connection and gain an understanding of the doctor’s background, qualifications, and personality.
Many people searching for a provider will automatically self-disqualify if they feel a practice or particular physician may not be a good fit, so providing them with a glimpse into a doctor’s personality will help them feel at ease, knowing in advance who will be trusted to care for them.
They may feel drawn to a particular physician based on personal or medical backgrounds, forming a bond that helps the patient feel at ease with their provider choice.
On top of building trust, video marketing for doctors establishes a platform for education. People turn to the internet to search for medical information that pertains to their situation, so being a source of accurate information is a valuable way to position your practice. It also helps deter misinformation, as these videos are being produced by experts in the field and hosted by credible sources.
Video Types for Successful Marketing
Many people search the internet to learn about their diagnoses and potential treatments, which is where informational videos come into play.
As a doctor, you may often find yourself explaining complex concepts to your patients repeatedly. If there’s a topic that comes up often in your practice, it’s probably a great subject for an educational video.
People usually turn to the internet to learn about a diagnosis or treatment before visiting a specialist, so providing accurate information is a great way to help guide a patient on their health journey. As a bonus, you’re establishing your expertise while providing education.
Patient testimonials are another great tool to show your audience proof of credibility. Since video is more personal than a text-based review, patient testimonials can feel more like a friend’s referral. The audience can see the patient’s genuine enthusiasm and may feel more invested, as a result.
Introductions and Office Tours
Introductions and office overview videos provide a glimpse into the world of your practice. Viewers can get to know doctors, their backgrounds, their personalities, and take a tour of the office before even scheduling an appointment. Providing this type of content is an important part of video marketing for doctors, as it establishes a welcoming atmosphere for anyone considering an appointment.
For example, check out this introduction video we did for a new doctor joining the team at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies.
This video is great because it’s short, informative, easy to embed on on a website, use for a social post, or include in an email newsletter.
Tips and Tricks for Great Videos
Consider recording audio separately from video. You can find inexpensive, great quality unidirectional microphones to use, and this is an easy way to automatically increase the production value and professional feel of your video. A great tip to remember is to use a clapboard or have your subject clap in front of their face when sound and video are both recording, as it helps when the time comes to sync audio to video during editing.
Lighting is another simple way to increase production value and make your videos look more professional. Simple, soft lights are preferred (even a large ring light is a great investment for this) and will help fill in any dark shadows if you’re also using overhead lighting, which can be unflattering on its own.
There are tons of great resources online that explain three-point lighting, if you’re looking to step up your lighting game even further. If you don’t want to use separate lights, natural lighting is a great supplement. For this, place your subject facing a window (don’t place the window behind them) and the natural light will be much more flattering than overhead indoor lighting.
When framing your scene, keep it simple. Avoid clutter in the background, and have your subject stand slightly off-center. While we love visual interest, a lot of background items can be distracting, so it’s a good idea to stage an area so it feels welcoming and clean, without distracting from the subject matter.
You may have a lot to say about your subject matter, or want to help a new doctor get a complete introduction out into the world, but keep in mind that most people do not have the attention span or interest to watch a long video online.
Keep it simple! Ask yourself, “what are the main points I want to get across?”
It’s always better to provide the necessary facts and invite a viewer to contact your office for more information, or refer to an article or blog post that explains your video topic in more depth.
We want to establish trust, get to the point, and invite people to interact with your content. Keeping videos under two minutes is a great rule of thumb. If you have a longer video, consider breaking it into shorter clips for social media.
Include a CTA
A CTA, or “call to action,” encourages follow-up from viewers. It’s as simple as listing your phone number or website at the end of the video and saying something like, “for more information, get in touch!” You may want to offer a link to one of your blog posts or to the contact page from your website. The point is to encourage people to do something based on the content you’ve provided. Video marketing for doctors isn’t just about getting your practice seen; it’s also about creating a comfortable space for interaction with people who may be looking for guidance or services you offer.
Why a Distribution Plan is Important
Once you make your videos, where do they go? If they sit on your website, you may notice very little interaction, so creating a distribution plan will ensure you make the most out of your videos. When deciding how to utilize your content, you should first establish the purpose of each video. Is it short and educational? This may be a great candidate for not only your website, but YouTube and social media. Is it a tour of the office? In addition to your home page, this may be a great video to embed in a marketing email for new or potential patients. For more information about full funnel marketing check out this blog we wrote.
Think about what you want your video to accomplish and where it could best achieve those goals. Don’t be afraid to post cross-platform, either! The more people your video can reach, the better! Video marketing for doctors can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a marketing agency with a video production team if you want help figuring out a plan or managing distribution.
No matter where you are in your marketing process, video marketing for doctors can be an effective way to humanize your practice and establish your expertise. Video brings people together and offers a more personal experience, which is why people are often more receptive to video marketing. With these helpful tips and ideas to keep in mind, you’ll be able to up your game and see more online interaction with easily made, high-quality videos.