Tag Archives: content

Gain- vs. Loss-Framed Messaging: What do patients best respond to?

21 Jun

AHAA Consumer Behavior Series: Message Framing

The way we communicate to customers through marketing materials is extremely important when it comes to their feelings and opinions about, and ultimately their purchasing decisions towards our brand. From the tone we set to the phrasing we use, the way we communicate in an advertising landscape can make or break the relationship between the customer and the brand. Especially in the healthcare industry, messages conveyed to patients must be tailored to speak directly to the audience and meet them at the exact point of their journey towards healthy living.

In the first installment of AHAA’s Consumer Behavior Series, we’ll examine the different ways to frame messages when speaking to hearing healthcare patients.

  • Gain-Framed Messaging
    • This type of messaging focuses on the benefits of acting on a certain behavior – put more simply, the benefits of purchasing the service/product in question.
    • Ex: Hearing aids help people with hearing loss better connect and communicate with loved ones.
  • Loss-Framed Messaging
    • On the other side of the coin, loss-framed messaging stresses the negatives of not acting on a certain behavior – or the negatives of not purchasing said service/product.
    • Ex: Without hearing aids, people with hearing loss experience a disconnect from loved ones and suffer anxiety.
  • Mixed-Framed Messaging
    • The combination of gain- and loss-framed messaging; usually introducing the gain as a solution to the loss.
    • Ex: Hearing loss can lead to communication problems with loved ones, but the good news is that hearing aids can dramatically improve your ability to reconnect.

its the way u say t

Consider the age-old idiom of using “the carrot or the stick” to change behavior based on either rewards or punishments. Gain-framed hearing messaging represents the carrot – or the future benefits of seeking treatment, whereas loss-framed hearing messaging represents the stick – the negative flipside to not seeking treatment. There are some campaigns that successfully employ the “stick approach” of loss-framed messaging (think the scare tactics of anti-smoking campaigns), but the hearing industry is its own unique landscape and therefore requires a different framing device to motivate patients to purchase.

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Overall, gain-framed messaging tends to be the most effective approach in the hearing healthcare sphere. Patients respond better to positive language that emphasizes the benefits of seeking audiological treatment and the improved quality of life that results.

The doom-and-gloom nature of most loss-framed messaging instills a sense of fear in patients that does not translate into the positive mindset associated with ready-to-buy attitudes. Using a negative voice can come off as critical and judgmental to the audience, automatically isolating them further. Especially in a climate where hearing loss is already stigmatized and associated with weakness and old age, loss-framed messaging does not perform well with the target audience.

Of course, there is a time and place when the negative aspects of untreated hearing loss may need to be addressed, like in educational seminars and informational articles. However, when it comes to introducing your customers to your brand and practice – via print ads, brochures, direct mailings, etc. – show your patients the increased quality of life possible with better hearing, and how you can help them achieve that.

Wellness-focused materials are great tools for putting a positive spin on seeking hearing help. Make sure your practice has some sort of Wellness Program in place, and use promotional items to encourage patients to commit to hearing and whole body health. Help your patients look to a healthier, happier future and communicate the benefits of taking the first step towards hearing wellness!

If you have questions about gain- or loss-framed messaging, or would like any assistance in developing any wellness materials, contact marketing@ahaanet.com today!

 

 

 

Sources:

American Marketing Association, Framing Health Care Messages: Why Interpersonal Context Matters

Health-Care Product Advertising: The Influences of Message Framing and Perceived Product Characteristics

Positive Messages Make the Most Impact in Public Health Campaigns

Digital Marketing is more than just cool tools

8 Apr

In today’s business environment we’re fortunate to have access to a variety of marketing tools that let us communicate easier with our customers and prospects, observe competitors, and scrutinize the market. Many small business owners are competing more effectively using digital media (and extending the value of their traditional marketing efforts). These newer digital tools foster greater competition by enabling our businesses to reach interested prospects with highly relevant real-time communications and get measurable feedback almost immediately.

Successfully acquiring new customers through digital marketing is best handled by employing inbound marketing channels to obtain visibility and leads. These channels include search, social media and email marketing, all fueled by content marketing.

This post outlines the best types of tools and the most popular tactics in each category based on our experience.

digi mktg infographic

We’ll start with a concept known as Content Marketing. Content marketing is the primary focus for business owners seeking to use digital marketing to increase reach, leads and sales. So, what is Content Marketing? Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and well understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Content marketing fuels:
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Event marketing (in person events as well as Webinars)
  • Paid media including Pay per click and display advertising
  • Lead generation and conversion rate optimization (through landing pages)

How do you go about developing a content marketing strategy?

Here is a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Define business opportunity for content marketing
    • Define key segments or target audiences
    • Review current content marketing
    • Review competitor content marketing
  • Define your content marketing strategy
    • Define content marketing plan
    • Prioritize audiences and personas
    • Prioritize content assets for audience
    • Define content marketing resources
    • Create communications timeline
  • Implement and manage your content marketing strategy
    • Update your editorial calendar
    • Manage social media distribution
    • Manage email marketing distribution
    • Manage SEO effectiveness of content marketing
    • Review analytics for content effectiveness

Great. Now what? Time to consider the tools.

One of the tools your likely to be using in your content efforts is social media. In our case, we strongly recommend Facebook as the starting place, but use the platform you are most confident in to get started. (More on social media selection in an upcoming post).

Why focus on social? Leverage social to help find ideal prospects and accelerate list growth. The adage that birds of a feather flock together sums it up nicely. People with similar issues, concerns, challenges, and life experiences typically are connected to others much like themselves. Social is all about connections. Go on, engage your audience.

Online reviews

Today’s consumers check out online reviews before making in-store purchase! Reviews are known as ‘user generated content’ or UGC.

But remember, you must craft content that does more than just ask contacts to buy. Your customers aren’t always in the market to purchase. If all they hear from you is “buy this,” can you blame them for tuning you out? To avoid this predicament, try creating content that helps your contacts solve problems, buy better, and even find interesting things they wouldn’t have uncovered any other way.

Here are a few topics to talk about besides “buy this”:
  • Present information that helps customers use your products correctly.
  • Go behind the scenes by introducing customers to key employees. Show off your offices or factories. Talk about your company philosophy.
  • Add customer voices to your emails by featuring reviews, endorsements, photos and other user-generated content (UGC).
  • Become the authority in your market niche by sharing “insider” news and information.
  • Improve onboarding for new customers with information that helps them find what they want faster or navigate better around your website.

What about email?

Do you collect email addresses? From whom – everyone that you meet, just customers, all appointments, third parties? Think it through. Why not collect them all if they’ll share them with you? Above we discussed the use of social media to interact and extend the reach of your audience. Those names are gold, email address gold to be exact.

Now that you have defined the ways you’ll collect email addresses, let’s turn to what to do with them. First, and this is a critical component, you have to keep track of where the names came from! Two reasons for this – first, to be CAN-SPAM compliant you must have permission to use the addresses (if you’ve been given the information freely, you’re good here – no buying or renting email addresses!). The second reason is more practical, since you absolutely want to tailor your messages to each type of audience you identified in the first step of the checklist.

What emails will you send? You really need to ask yourself what messages will resonate with the audience I am targeting. What do they want to know, what is important to them? This is not about your agenda, it must be content that is relevant to them first – then when you have their attention you can ask them to act a certain way, or react to your content. The opportunities are endless, and they are similar in nature to the list of content topics we explored for social media. This is all very connected. In fact, the more connected the content and media, the more effective you will be.

Time to jump in

That’s enough to get started, but remember, the foundation of any digital marketing plan is your website. All of the other digital tools and efforts rely on your website as the central element for customer and prospect communication and an informational base. Don’t overlook the importance of investing time and effort into shoring up your website from the content perspective!

AHAA Marketing has turnkey programs and solutions to get you started, just give us a call and we’ll review your situation with you and offer recommendations to get you digitally marketing in no time.

Your Newsletter: 30 Informal and Amusing Ideas

18 Dec

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Newsletters keep subscribers informed about your business and brand while building a trusted relationship.  Many companies produce and distribute newsletters either printed or thru email on a consistent basis. While people understand the importance of it, it’s not always easy to come up with content ideas for them.

Content that’s helpful to the subscriber

Your newsletter should contain content that’s valuable to its subscribers. Your newsletter is a way to communicate with your customers and build a relationship, so you don’t want to fill your newsletter with promotional material. However, once in a while it’s okay to add promotional messages.

To help you create customer-focused newsletters no matter how you distribute them, we’ve compiled a list of 30 ideas for your newsletter that you can use to inspire fresh and fun content.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. How-to articles

Create content that’s relevant to your audience and helps them accomplish something with step-by-step instructions. Try using content from the list of frequently asked questions your office gets from customers to solve routine challenges.

2. Product maintenance advice

Does your product require maintenance? If so, provide maintenance tips in your newsletter.

3. Top 10 lists

Top 10 lists are popular because they’re easy to read. Create a list of valuable tips, most popular articles on your blog or ideas that refer to your business.

4. Add an infographic

Use online tools to create an infographic for your newsletter. Turn industry numbers into an eye-catching chart, or provide customer satisfaction ratings in a visual way.

5. Roundup

Create a post that offers a roundup of your company’s best blog topics or most popular social posts. It’s a great way to repackage content that already exists.

6. Customer reviews

Collect a few customer reviews on a specific product and share them in your newsletter. Start out by explaining the product, offer a picture of it and show subscribers what others are saying about it.

7. Events

Use your newsletter to invite or remind subscribers about upcoming events.

8. Invitations

Tell customers about events, charity drives and exclusive sales. Create an event on Facebook so guests can RSVP and include the link in your newsletter.

9. Upcoming health fairs or community shows

Planning to attend a health fair or even a local craft show? Share the details in your newsletter. Explain why you’ll be there, what’s new this year, or provide valuable information like the most affordable place to park.

10. Business history

Tell customers a piece of your company’s history. You can add a tidbit in each newsletter, create a timeline or write a longer piece on the company’s anniversary that covers the big milestones.

11. A letter from the owner

Have the owner craft a letter for the newsletter. The letter could thank customers for their support, provide goals for the upcoming year or talk about a new product the company is about to offer. Customers need to hear from those in charge now and then; it helps maintain a trusted relationship.

12. Employee of the week/month/quarter

Pay tribute to a special employee by highlighting him or her in your newsletter. Keep it short and sweet, but provide enough information to show customers that your staff is top-notch. Always include a picture of the employee.

13. Frequently asked questions

What are the top five questions that your staff receives each week? Use the information to create a frequently asked questions post for your newsletter.

14. Updates on changes

If the company has a new boss, a renovation is taking place or the company is changing the way it does something, use your newsletter to update customers.

15. Business video tours

Break out a video camera and provide a short tour of your business for customers to check out in your newsletter.

16. Discuss partnerships

Whether you’re teaming up with a local charity of the business next door, tell customers how the partnership benefits them in your newsletter.

17. Behind-the-scenes photos

Give customers a look behind the scenes by posting pictures of employees moving massive inventory for the holiday season, or a shot of your team stocking shelves.

18. Be Social

You can promote social initiatives in your newsletters too. It’s a great opportunity to cross-promote your business and encourage subscribers to become part of your social family.

19. Tell subscribers about giveaways

Are you giving away something cool on Facebook? Remind your customers about it in your newsletter. Provide participation details and a link to enter.

20. Encourage subscribers to follow you

Add a brief “Follow Us” section to your newsletter that includes all of your social links.

21. Tell subscribers about a social competition

Ask subscribers to submit photos of them using your product, or submit a short essay about a loved one that should be considered for a special prize. Launch the competition in your newsletter and remind subscribers to participate. This creates a wealth of testimonials and positive reviews!

22. A special coupon

Offer a coupon just to your newsletter readers. Provide a coupon code to use online, or a printable coupon that can be used in-store.

23. Mention a new product launch

When you have a new product coming in, tell your customers about it. Build the hype by providing availability, release dates and options like sizes and colors that are available.

24. Refer-a-friend promotion

Allow subscribers to forward your newsletter to a friend, and if they subscribe to your list, send the customers a special thank you (gift, deal or discount) for helping you grow your list.

25. Make a connection to a unique holiday

When an odd holiday rolls around that’s connected to your business, use it to spark a small post in your article. For example, you can can write an article on Senior Citizen’s Day and offer a discount. Here’s a list of odd holidays to use.

26. Cute or wacky photos of your employees

Did your company host a Halloween custom party? Are you hosting an Evening with Santa? If so, use a few of the pictures in your newsletter to give subscribers an “insider’s look.” Be sure to get permission to use the photos first, and use good judgment. Pictures from the 11th hour of the holiday party aren’t a good idea. Don’t overdo this one, it gets old fast!

27. What’s the deal with the weather?

At some point, the crazy weather will impact your area. Consider writing about it and how it impacted your business. Be careful, you don’t want to write about any storms or weather that hurt someone. Instead, stick to interesting weather topics like the lack of snow in cold weather spots.

28. Pictures of pets or mascots

Does your business have a pet or a mascot? Use a picture of your furry creature to liven up your newsletter. Put the company cat in a cute holiday sweater, or give it a birthday crown when the business hits its anniversary. Again, use your best judgment here, be careful not to let the content become the primary focus or a distraction from the important stuff.

29. Digital holiday card

Use online tools to create an e-card. You can create one for the holidays or the company’s birthday. ‘Punchbowl’ offers traditional options or try ‘JibJab’ for something a little more out of the ordinary.

30. Make a pop culture connection

Use pop culture references to spark an article about your company. For example, “5 things the hit show Scandal has taught us about business.” Make a connection to a hot TV show, a celebrity mishap or musical fads.

If you are interested in sending out a newsletter to your database, contact the marketing team to help you get started.