The Secret of Time - could a dog boost your practice digital marketing?

Uncategorized Apr 25, 2024
Practice Momentum - Healthcare Marketing Solutions
The Secret of Time - could a dog boost your practice digital marketing?


It sounds rediculous I know but in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, where the apparent whims of the different digital platforms dictate your marketing impact, one factor many practices don’t fully appreciate is the importance of TIME, and a dog or any other cute pet, could definitely help you create more time.

Let me explain how and why you need to be thinking about TIME when you create every piece of digital marketing, and what on earth a dog (or cat for that matter) has got to do with it.

Understanding the pivotal role time plays in amplifying your digital presence can make all the difference in reaching and engaging with your patients and potential patients effectively.

TIME is not just a clock ticking on the wall, or the thing we all don’t have enough of, it’s also a powerful tool for boosting your digital marketing performance. So, please stick with me while I explain how, when it comes to digital marketing, strategically focusing on TIME is crucial.


So, grab a brew, get comfy, and let's unlock the secrets of time and the algorithms in order to help you increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing.


What the F&*$ in an algorithm?


Every time you post fresh content online it gets shown to a range of platform users BUT not all of your followers or group members will see every piece of content you share.

The reason is the algorithm.

Every platform; Google, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok, has a different algorithm so what follows is a general overview of what they are and how they work, but please remember how they work exactly varies from platform to platform.

So let's break this down – what in the world is an algorithm? Think of it as a digital wizard working behind the scenes, sorting through a mountain of data to deliver every user on each platform the most relevant content for them.
Whether you're scrolling through your Facebook feed or Googling the best local healthcare practices, algorithms are there, quietly shaping your online experience.

The algorithm uses a number of different factors to select the content they show you including:

Relevance: Algorithms are programmed to show you content that's relevant to your interests and preferences. They analyse your previous actions – like clicks, likes, and shares – to make your feed as relevant as possible.

Engagement: The more you engage with a piece of content, the more likely other similar content is to appear in your feed. Algorithms pay close attention to likes, comments, shares, and even how long you linger on a post or video to determine what you’d like to see more of.

Freshness: Algorithms love fresh content, they prioritise newer posts and updates over older content. Like me and a freshly brewed pot of tea 🫖  Vs a cold cup of old tea 😞

Authority: Ever notice how certain accounts seem to dominate your feed? That's because algorithms prioritise content from authoritative sources – accounts with a high level of credibility and trustworthiness.

User behaviour: Algorithms also take their cues from your online behaviour to predict what you'll like and then show you similar content. They analyse factors like your browsing history, search queries, and even the time of day you're most active online.


 Enter stage left Brandy and Fluffy

This is where a random cute fury animal might come in handy.
Suppose your dream patient is an animal lover or owner. In that case, there is a good chance that any content containing a four-legged fury friend would tick lots of boxes, being relevant, engaging, something they've probably engaged with before, and something they would happily give time to consuming. After all, aren't most cat or dog videos addictive - or is that just me? 😳

 Now of course I am jesting slightly but I really wanted to make the point that you need to get strategic about creating really engaging content

The secret is understanding the role time plays and how you can play to that.

Algorithms are timekeepers, constantly measuring how long users engage with your content. The longer they stick around, the more favourably the algorithm views your practice profiles and content. So, by keeping visitors engaged on your website and encouraging meaningful interactions on social media, you're not just connecting with your audience – you're also sending a clear message to those digital wizards that your practice digital real estate is worth promoting.

Time truly is the secret ingredient to boosting your practice's digital marketing impact! 🕰️✨


Three additional things to understand:

  1. All the media platforms want to do is keep people’s eyeballs on their app or webpage as long as possible, because then they make more money – the longer people linger the more money they can make.
  2. You might think that all of your content is seen by all of your followers or group members BUT it absolutely isn’t (I’ll explain more in a minute).
  3. Your objective is to get your content seen by as many people as possible, not just a small number of your existing audience. So with the algorithm on each platform totally in control of who sees your content, you need to learn what you can do to train the algorithm to see your content as worth showing to wider and wider audiences.


How your content gets exposure (or not)

Have you ever wondered how the algorithms decide which posts or pages to boost and send viral, and which pieces of content to consign to the Internet basement?

Well, you’ve probably guessed it by now but a huge part of the equation is time. Hopefully, this diagram explains it more fully.



Hopefully, you can now see how important it is that your content in its many forms, engages with your intended target audience so that you can reach a wider new audience. You do this by training the algorithms that your content is going to be well received by a certain sector of the online audience.

So now let's look at how you do just that.

Training the algorithm

I know some of this will be blatantly obvious BUT I’m going to share all these ideas anyway just in case one triggers a great new idea for you.

OK let’s start with your website.


Read, Watch, Love - Keeping website visitors hooked

Your website is the hub of your digital real estate and the digital storefront for your practice. You've poured your heart and soul into creating the perfect virtual space for your patients and potential patients (at least I hope you have). But here's the million-dollar question: are they hanging around or bouncing straight off?

Time on site (TOS) i.e. how long someone spends on your site, is a crucial metric measured inside most website analytics packages and vitally important for training the algorithm. By increasing the engagement of your website content you are going to increase your TOS and Google will love that and start showing your content more. 

Optimization expert John Doe remarks, "Time-on-site is not just a metric; it's a reflection of user satisfaction. Engaging content keeps visitors hooked and encourages them to explore further."

Imagine your website as a virtual storefront, where visitors stroll in seeking valuable information and services. The longer they linger on the site, engaging with its content, the higher your website will climb in search engine results pages (SERPs) and the more people will get to know you exist and what you do.



Put yourself in the shoes of your dream potential patient and ask yourself honestly:

  • Would I scroll?
  • Would I read?
  • Would I watch?
  • Would I listen?
  • Would I click?
  • Would I comment?
  • Would I share?


Going forward I want you to consider TOS and how you can increase it for each piece of new website content you create, whether that’s a main page, a landing page, or a new blog post.


Time extending top tips for your website

To grab your website visitors and extend their stay, here are a few key things you can do.

  1. Use creative and compelling headings and subheadings that will draw people in and keep them reading.
  2. Create value focused content – random ramblings don’t cut the mustard. Your content needs to deliver some form of value to your target audience – don’t publish for the sake of publishing.
  3. Tell stories. Stories are as old as time (😜) and as humans we naturally get drawn to a good relevant story. So, tell stories about your patients (with consent), your team members, behind the scenes, and anything that your potential patients will find intriguing, entertaining, or educational.
  4. Use really eye-catching images that resonate with your target audience, using bright colours, funny or striking images, or attention grabbing text overlays gives you more chance of grabbing attention. Once they are on your site, these kinds of images keep them scrolling, hopping from one image to another down your pages.
    Try and avoid hum drum bog standard images at all costs!!
  5. Include calls to action - Use a strong clear call to action to pull people deeper into your site and your world.

Learn more - connect your web pages to relevant blogs and vice versa using intriguing titles

Watch now – Use relevant videos on every page / post but keep them short and to the point

Get in touch – provide click to call buttons, contact forms, click to email buttons

Book now – link to easy online booking facilities

6. Scrolling sliders - Have you ever visited a website and found yourself drawn in by those eye-catching sliders showcasing different services or testimonials? That's no coincidence – scrolling sliders are like digital breadcrumbs, encouraging visitors to wait for the next image or to click and find out more. Just make the transition slow enough that people can actually consume the content before it slides!!

7. Videos - Where possible, get in front of the camera and start creating short videos that engage, entertain, or educate. Host them on YouTube and embed them on your website for best performance.


Using these kinds of tactics will enhance your website patient experience and prolong the time spent on your website, and how your webpages perform in organic search results.

OK TIME mastery step one complete ✅. Next, let's look at your social media profiles and content.



Social Media: Time Well Spent?


I know, that you know, that social media can be a HUGE time suck in terms of spending hours creating posts that just get crickets and tumbleweed in terms of engagement.

In the world of social media, where attention spans are fleeting and competition is fierce, understanding the power of time is so important. Beyond merely amassing likes and shares, the duration patients spend engaging with your content holds immense value. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter prioritize content that generates prolonged interaction, boosting its reach and visibility.

To optimize your social media activity you need to get intentional about building authentic and purposeful engagement into your every post. By encouraging genuine connections and providing real value, you can extend the time patients spend engaging with your practice, thereby increasing its digital standing.

According to digital marketing guru Jane Smith,

"Engagement is the currency of social media success. The more time users spend engaging with your content, the greater its organic reach."

So how do you do that?



Time extending top tips for your social media

OK to wrap up this section here are a few top tips for your social media.

Videos - In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, videos reign supreme. Whether it's a behind-the-scenes peek at your practice or a Q&A session with your team, videos are a powerful tool for capturing and holding your audience's attention on social media.

Live streaming – Giving your target audience the opportunity to actually spend some time with you and ask questions live is very appealing so live streaming is another way of using video to create more engagement and to keep people engaged for longer.

Polls and Questions - Want to spark a conversation with your followers? Polls and questions are a fantastic way to get them engaged and keep them coming back for more. Whether it's asking for their input on a new service or simply getting their opinion on a trending topic, involving your audience in this way will increase your engagement.

Likes, Comments, and Shares - The holy trinity of social media engagement. Encouraging your followers to like, comment, and share your posts will help boost visibility and reach. Remember, the more time they spend interacting with your content, the better!

Drive traffic - Where possible it's a great idea to get some of your social posts to drive traffic to your website. Whilst this won't fuel the algorithm on say Facebook, it will give your website a little optimisation boost if Google can see lots of people visiting it from your social profile. If the web visitors like what they see there is a good chance they will spend time on more of your social posts in the future and boosting the algorithm that way 😁

Respond to comments - You need to maintain an active presence on all your chosen digital platforms by replying quickly to any engagement to build a sense of community and loyalty. This is a lot of work so my advice is to pick one social media platform plus a YouTube channel and leave it at that to avoid overloading yourself or your team.



The Ripple Effect: Time's Influence on conversions and brand loyalty

Beyond its impact on the algorithm, time also plays a pivotal role in driving conversions and fostering brand loyalty. A patient who spends considerable time engaging with your website or social media content is more likely to trust your practice and eventually convert into a patient.

Conversion optimisation expert Sarah Johnson emphasizes,

"Time spent engaging with your brand is a strong indicator of purchase intent. By nurturing user engagement and building trust over time, you pave the way for meaningful conversions."


Time to get a dog? 😁

There is a train of thought that is very dismissive of creating content just to play the game of the powerful digital platforms, but I’m hoping from spending time here with me today you can see that if you create great content that will educate, help, entertain and engage your patients and potential patients, that same content will make the digital platforms happy because it's engaging your target audience, and that in turn will help train the algorithm in your favour.

As practice owners, we understand the value of time – it's the one resource we can't afford to waste. Your patients feel the same, so your digital content needs to add real value in the form of education, entertainment (which is where your new dog comes in 😉), or engagement in order for it to be worth them spending time on it.

By focusing on keeping visitors engaged on your website and encouraging meaningful interactions on social media, you can harness the power of time to boost your practice's digital marketing impact. So, here's to making every second count!

By understanding the significance of time and implementing strategies to maximize user engagement across your website and social media channels, you can boost your practice's visibility, credibility, and impact online.

As you embark on your digital marketing journey, remember the words of optimisation pioneer David Brown: "In the ever-evolving digital landscape, time is the currency of influence. Invest wisely, and watch your practice thrive."

 Remember, when it comes to digital marketing, time is of the essence. So, seize the day, get a dog (or cat or both), and let's make more TIME! 🚀 

I'm curious - what are you going to do differently as a result of being here?
I'd love to know - so please leave me a note in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for your time today and I hope you found this post inspiring.

Until next time . . . Stay curious.


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