Vanguard Communications’ MedMarketLink Program

Time-tested, medical marketing – with a guarantee

MedMarketLink is the carefully formulated healthcare marketing program developed by Vanguard Communications for specialty medical practices and hospitals, proven to attract and retain new patients, and grow a practice’s revenues – guaranteed.

Since 1994, Vanguard has delivered the force of whole-brain marketing to the field of healthcare, growing practices and hospitals via a sophisticated array of integrated online technology and marketing creativity.

The specialized MedMarketLink program is a time-tested healthcare marketing solution, proven to boost practice revenues by 15% to 30% (or more) in year one, depending on practice location, specialty and market.

Content marketing

An information-centric approach

As evidenced by the latest data from Google and other search engine optimization (SEO) software, Vanguard has found that today’s e-powered patients look for information about their health first and doctors second. Patients frequently base part of their choice in doctor on who provides the most accessible and reliable information.

With a unique content marketing strategy that aims to tell (not sell), the MedMarketLink program focuses on providing patient education through multiple channels to position the practice as an expert resource. This includes adding our trademarked iCare Health Library, which is a collection of WebMD-style healthcare articles that cover specialty topics.

This content is unique to each practice’s website and written by Vanguard’s expert staff of medical writers. Vanguard’s content strategy includes regularly adding comprehensive, patient-friendly content to the website and focusing on highly-searched topics related to conditions and treatments relevant to your practice’s specialty.

A practice’s website often is a patient’s or prospective patient’s first interaction with the practice, so this information-centric approach develops trust and builds your practice.

Vanguard Communications’ marketing deliverables

A medical practice’s website acts as the central hub for its online identity, and in today’s healthcare a highly informative, accessible and reliable website is essential for practice growth. But a website is not the only essential component for growing a practice.

The Vanguard Communications MedMarketLink program integrates multiple marketing and public relations components to create a unique and comprehensive digital system, harnessing the power of education and interactivity with all of the components necessary to increase a medical practice’s business. This system includes the website and other online (and offline) marketing channels, including social media, online reputation management, e-newsletters and news media outreach to drive potential patients back to the website for more information.

Following are the deliverables we contract to provide MedMarketLink clients.

Website health library pages

Standard project turnaround time: 4 weeks

According to our research, 6 to 9 times as many people search online for information about a specific condition or disease as search for doctors who specialize in treating the disease or condition. With access to Google’s enormous database of internet searchers’ habits, we research search terms relevant to your specialty and business initiatives, and write fresh, original content to direct those searchers to your website.

Each webpage must be distinctive and not a copy of any other page on the web because Google can penalize duplicate content by de-listing that page or even the entire website from its search results. Respecting this regimen is another reason Vanguard’s iCare Health Library will help attract many new visitors to our clients’ websites, which in turn drives more patients through their clinic doors.

Additionally, each page is search engine optimized for topic-specific keywords to ensure the page ranks well on search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. This drives the website to appear on the first page of search results for key search terms.

Website management, edits & updates

Standard project turnaround time: ongoing; requested edits in 2-6 days

In addition to Vanguard’s professional healthcare writing services, we take the initiative to update the practice’s website with new information, technical optimizations and other revisions an average of 23 times per month.

As part of website management, Vanguard also routinely updates and improves the website to ensure consistent and professional formatting and presentation, strong backend security and technology, optimized performance for users, and strategically planned navigation to new and existing content.

Practices can also request website updates on an ongoing basis. Most minor requests are fulfilled within two business days.

Blogs

Standard project turnaround time: 4 weeks

Blogs are an effective way to personalize content and highlight new providers or programs. Unlike health library pages, this content is more conversational in tone. Vanguard offers two approaches to blogging. Our typical approach: our writer works directly with the provider to discuss content, ghostwrites the blog on the provider’s behalf, and conducts search engine optimization for each blog. Alternately, if a provider prefers to write the first draft, Vanguard will edit for compliance with Associated Press standards (the guide used by a majority of publicly accessible and professionally produced websites), as well as for length and SEO before publishing to the website.

Patient stories

Standard project turnaround time: 8 weeks

Patient stories are articles produced by Vanguard writers in a journalistic style that tell individual stories of the road to recovery and wellness. They serve as testimonials to not only the successes of a provider group’s treatments but also to the quality of care, and can highlight specific services as seen through a patient’s eyes. They are more often than not some of the most visited pages on a practice’s website.

After receiving written patient permission for an interview and publication of a story, Vanguard interviews each patient to learn about his or her experience with the practice and providers. This process, which strictly follows HIPAA requirements, takes longer than other content projects due to the added steps of patient interview and patient review before getting final review from the practice.

Public relations, press releases & online newsroom

Standard project turnaround time: 2 weeks

Vanguard Communications offers a full public relations program for specialty healthcare providers and practices, including news media campaigns, and the writing and distribution of press releases for newsworthy events or practice announcements. Press releases and earned media coverage build a practice’s credibility as an industry leader and source of expertise.

Additionally, digital press releases allow practices to connect directly with potential patients and the public. So, Vanguard creates a special section on the website for posting so-called earned print and broadcast news coverage of the practice (“earned” because journalists find the topic sufficiently interesting to merit coverage, in contrast to paid advertising or other commercial media exposure). These public relations efforts increase a practice’s exposure to the public as an expert in the field.

Referral postcard

Standard project turnaround time: 6 weeks

Vanguard Communications recognizes that a crucial part of bringing in new patients is building the practice’s name and reputation among the medical community via referral physician marketing. Promoting a practice to other physicians as an expert in any specialty requires crafting strong brand messaging and delivering that message to the right medical audience.

Referral postcards are intended to educate potential referring doctors about a practice and its services. Vanguard drafts messaging (content), designs a branded postcard, and prints/mails postcards on the practice’s behalf.

E-newsletters

Standard project turnaround time: 4 weeks

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective forms of communicating marketing messages and cultivating a practice’s reputation. By creating a well-designed, well-written e-newsletter to send to opt-in subscribers, we can share new educational content, practice news and promotions, and other patient resources that link back to your practice’s website.

Social media

Standard project turnaround time: ongoing

Social media acts as a reputation builder and increasingly supports a practice’s online/search presence, as well as legitimizes each practice’s identity as an expert in the field. Vanguard’s social media program attracts online followers by posting informative content to stimulate engagement (likes, shares, comments) and build patient trust.

Vanguard manages, monitors, posts and responds to comments and messages on popular social media sites, including the world’s most popular social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.

Online reputation & review management

Standard project turnaround time: ongoing

As part of Vanguard’s online reputation management program, we optimize, monitor and manage reviews of client practices on the most popular rate-your-doctor websites, including Yelp, Google, Healthgrades and RateMDs. This includes claiming and consolidating online listings and accounts, monitoring reviews, responding immediately to negative reviews and interacting with positive reviews. Using our proprietary Interceptor Method, Vanguard deploys the Patient Satisfaction Snapshot online survey to quickly gather patient feedback, directing unhappy patients to the practice and encouraging happy patients to leave a review online.

Formstack online forms & encryption

Standard project turnaround time: ongoing

Formstack is a doubly encrypted, HIPAA-compliant online form software Vanguard offers as part of our PHI Security Suite. The use of online forms increases the practice’s accessibility and encourages new patient leads through the website. MedMarketLink includes Contact Us, Appointment Request, Referral, Share Your Story and Patient Satisfaction Snapshot survey forms, with the option to add others such as medical history forms. Vanguard’s form system also includes the option to customize the admin staff view (backend, logged-in access) to track responses to submitted forms and patient outreach.

Search engine optimization (SEO) & online advertising

Standard project turnaround time: ongoing

A successful website and internet presence depend on patients finding providers through use of key search terms on Google (the biggest, most popular search engine), as well as Yahoo and Bing.

Vanguard guarantees that our clients’ practice will appear on the first page – known as “page 1” – of Google for relevant search terms by combining two essential search elements: SEO and SEM (search engine marketing).

SEO

Vanguard’s advanced SEO services optimize each practice website and other online identities (for example, social media pages) for specialty-specific keywords and phrases.

While many marketing firms extol their purported prowess in magic SEO with merely a vague promise of actual results, Vanguard guarantees page-1 Google rankings for key terms by utilizing tried and true methods, including:

  • Keyword optimization coupled with quality, patient-friendly medical content (written by our team of medical writers) on conditions and treatments patients are searching for online.
  • Website performance optimization techniques recognized by Google that boost website rankings, including site download speeds, thereby establishing authority in Google’s eyes.
  • Integration with Google Maps to help Google recognize a practice’s website and rank it higher in search results faster.
  • Review and analysis of SEO tools, including Google Search Console, Google Analytics and other Vanguard programs to make adjustments to your website’s optimization on an ongoing basis.

Online advertising through search engine marketing (SEM), including Google Ads

SEM, including Google pay-per-click advertising, can increase website visits and Google’s recognition of a website virtually instantly. Vanguard creates and manages ads that target specific patient searches from certain geo locations for services a practice wants to promote. Our expert healthcare writers craft the ad copy to ensure the right message is seen and clicked on by the right people, at the right time.

We use important metrics such as ad click-through rate (the number of times an ad is clicked compared with the number of times an ad is shown), cost per click and conversion rate (the number of online forms or phone calls completed by users who clicked on your ad) to make every ad campaign successful.