GreyMatters 2015


Videos Increasingly Used for Learning, Especially With Mobile

playThose of us of a certain age remember when products came with printed instruction manuals. Depending on the product and where it was produced, deciphering those manuals could be quite daunting, leading to much frustration in getting the product up and running. Today, however, there’s a video for just about everything, and it’s usually online somewhere.

Maybe you’re craving a fancy omelet for your Sunday brunch, but you’ve never made one before. (Or, if you’re like this author, omelets often turn out to be just fancy scrambled eggs.) Perhaps your child needs a particular item for a school project that has to be home-made. Whatever you need, chances are good that there’s an online video to help you out.

Online searches for “how-to” topics have increased exponentially over recent years, with YouTube searches growing 70% year-over-year, based on 2014 Google data. Google also says that over 100 million hours of how-to content has been viewed this year in North America alone.

The most popular how-to video content includes:

  • Practical – such as how to use jumper cables
  • Creative – such as how to paint with watercolors
  • Style – how to tie or drape a scarf
  • Food – how to make an omelet that doesn’t look like fancy scrambled eggs

While all age groups search for and use these videos, 67% of Millennials agree that they can find a how-to video for anything.

Thanks to advances in mobile technology, people have become connected on a 24/7 basis. Mobile allows them to take advantage of “micro-moments,” those moments when they want something – information, a service, a product – right that very moment.

So how is this information relevant to healthcare? People want and need healthcare information just as they need and want information about anything else. If your organization isn’t serving up the information your customers need, they will find it elsewhere – and take their business elsewhere, too. Whether they’re looking for a physician, a health service, a health learning opportunity or information about a condition or medical procedure, they want immediate information, and they’ll go wherever it takes to find it.

Is your organization’s mobile strategy capable of winning micro-moments? Do you offer online videos with health information?

Text Messages Can Help Improve Health Status

textHeart-related health behaviors and outcomes were improved with a text-messaging campaign in a randomized control trial conducted in Australia.

The study, which was conducted over two years and included 710 study participants, found that a six-month text messaging campaign resulted in significant reductions in cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI, and participants also exercised more and smoked less.

About half of the study participants received four text messages each week. The messages included advice, motivational reminders and support, and were customized to some extent for each participant based on a survey completed prior to the study’s onset. The messages were not interactive, thus no response by the study participants was required.

The per-participant cost was less than $10, and the study participants were highly satisfied: 91% found the text messages useful, 97% found them easy to understand and 86% approved of the frequency of the messages.

Has your organization conducted any text-messaging campaigns aimed at improving health behaviors and/or outcomes? If so, we’d love to hear about your results.

7 Online Marketing Trends for 2016

trendsA recent article in Forbes predicts that 2016 will be an interesting and exciting year for online marketers. Those organizations that want to appeal to new audiences or add to their reputations as industry leaders should consider seven particular trends identified by Forbes.

These trends include:

  • The domination of video ads. Video ads are all over the Internet and have been for a while. What makes 2016 poised to be different is that Google has finally begun to allow video ads to show up on search engine results pages. With Google owning YouTube, the sky seems to be the limit for video ads.
  • The explosion of apps. As app indexing becomes more prevalent, the content within apps will be more available online. In fact, Forbes believes that apps will soon replace mobile-optimized Websites altogether and sees 2016 as a pivotal year for app adoption.
  • Mobile domination over desktop. Earlier this year, Google changed its search algorithm to give preference to mobile-optimized Websites. This, along with the fact that mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in several countries, means that mobile-focused online marketing is the way of the future.
  • New optimization with digital assistants. SEO and pay-per-click strategies are popular. But with the rise of digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now, your search strategy may need to be adjusted to account for this new format.
  • The emergence of virtual reality. With several virtual reality devices set to debut in the near future, an entire new medium for online advertising will become available.
  • Wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more prevalent. After the release of the Apple Watch earlier this year, it’s anticipated that more smart devices will be made available soon. As these devices become more prevalent, it’s thought that the lines between online marketing and “real” marketing will become more blurred.
  • More expensive online advertising as demand increases. It’s a basic law of economics: The higher the demand for a product of service, the higher the price. It’s expected that 2016 will see a continued increase in online marketing costs.

Is your organization ready for these trends in 2016?

Top Social Media Trends of 2015

social_mediaAs we near the end of 2015, it’s time to think about marketing strategy for the upcoming year. The social media trends of 2015 are a good barometer of where social media is headed for 2016.

As you plan for 2016, keep these social media trends in mind:

  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are considered essential core social media platforms. A survey of 3,270 marketers across the globe found that 93% used Facebook, 79% used Twitter and 71% used LinkedIn.
  • Pinterest is more than recipes and home-decorating tips. Men are increasingly drawn to Pinterest, and the variety of topics runs quite deep.
  • Facebook is becoming all about the videos. In fact, founder Mark Zuckerberg predicts that Facebook will be mostly video in five years – although current trends indicate it may not take that long.
  • Social media platforms make it easier to make a purchase. Many social media platforms now offer a purchase option integrated directly into paid ads.
  • Messaging apps are more popular than ever. Younger consumers, in particular, are using social media and apps as a foundation of their communications. Across the globe, six of the top ten apps used are messaging apps.

Is your organization making any changes to its social media strategy for 2016?

Coming Soon! White Paper: 2015 Healthcare Digital Marketing Survey

whitepaperGreystone.Net is pleased to announce that the 2015 Healthcare Digital Marketing Survey has been completed and the results will soon be available in the form of a white paper. The survey, developed in collaboration with Klein & Partners, was completed by 218 healthcare marketers and revealed some interesting details about the current state of healthcare marketing. The white paper is sponsored by Sitecore.

CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, CTOs and Web and marketing leaders will want to read the white paper to learn more about the current state of healthcare marketing.

As soon as the white paper is available in early November, we will send out notifications via email and social media.

HCIC Is Here!

HCIC_LogoAfter months of preparation, it’s finally time to pack our bags and head to Orlando. The 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference kicks off at 1:00 PM on Monday, Nov. 9th, with a highly-anticipated keynote presentation by Warner Thomas, CEO, Ochsner Health System. We hope to see you there! If your plans have been uncertain, but you’ve decided at the last minute that you’d like to attend the conference, you can still register onsite November 8-11, beginning at 7:00 a.m. each morning.

Don’t forget to stop by the Greystone.Net booth in the Exhibit Hall – and say hello! You can't miss us, as we'll be right at the front as you enter the Exhibit Hall. We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow Let’s Talk Digital, HCIC on Twitter

hashtagsIf you’re attending the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference and/or Let's Talk Digital pre-conference event, don’t forget to participate via social media! Share your thoughts, promote your presentation if you’re a speaker and network with your peers using the hashtags #hcic15 for the Internet Conference and #LetsTalk15 for Let's Talk Digital.

The names of the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2015 and the winner of the John A. Eudes Vision & Excellence Award will be tweeted out during the ceremony on Tuesday morning, November 12th.

If you can’t join us in Orlando, follow along on Twitter for a virtual conference experience!

Going to HCIC? Don’t Forget To Download The App!

moible_appThe mobile app we created for the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference is now live. Download it for free to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to get all the latest HCIC info right on your own mobile device.

Once you've installed the app, you’ll have access to awesome features, like:

  • The full event schedule
  • Contact info for other attendees
  • Social sharing
  • Detailed info about speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors
  • Notifications of important updates, special offers, and more

If you have already registered for HCIC, you should have received an email with instructions on how to access the app information by now. If you have not yet registered for the conference (What are you waiting for? It's only a few DAYS away!), you will receive an email about the app after you register.

Ready to get started? Click from your device. If you use Apple or Android, you can also search for the app in the iTunes store or Play store. NOTE: Be sure to use the search term "hcic15," as there is another hcic-labeled app, and you don't want to download the wrong one!

If you do not receive an email after you register for the conference, or if you have any questions about the app, please contact Laura Clemons at

Replay the Conference with HCIC Rewind

rewindIf you’ve attended the HCIC before, you know the conference is packed full of informative concurrent sessions and keynote speakers, and it’s often hard to get to all the sessions you want to attend. And sometimes, you attend a session that’s so good that you wish you could share it with your colleagues back home. In order to provide an optimal conference experience, we are pleased to again offer HCIC Rewind after the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference has concluded.

Every session of the HCIC will be recorded, including the keynote speakers, and synced with the recordings and slide decks from each presentation. Whether you missed a session, want to replay a session that you took part in or missed the conference altogether, these recordings are a must-have for your library. The conference recordings should be available via a downloadable link in December 2015.

You’ll have an opportunity during HCIC to order the recordings onsite and after the conference, you may also order online.

Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees Revealed

hihofThree new inductees into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame (HIHOF) have been announced. The HIHOF Class of 2015 includes: 

  • Innovative Individual: “e-Patient Dave” deBronkart - international patient engagement advocate, speaker and blogger from Nashua, NH
  • Innovative Product or Service: Virtual Hospital – University of Iowa Health Care
  • Innovative Organization: Ochsner Health System

The formal induction ceremony for the 2015 inductees will take place during the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Orlando on Tuesday morning, November 10th.

Also, the 2015 winner of the John A. Eudes Vision & Excellence Award will also be announced at that time.

Did You Know?

For the more verbose among us, the 140-character limit of Twitter can be a challenge. But there’s potential good news: according to various reports, Twitter is looking at developing a product that will allow tweets longer than 140 characters.

Twitter has already made some modifications, such as a “retweet with comment” option that allows people to comment on tweets they share without adding to the character count. There’s also some consideration of tweaking how characters are counted, so that certain characters, such as URLs or Twitter handles, aren’t counted in the 140-character limit.

Greystone Product Spotlight – Targeted Counsel

planningAs part of our Strategic Planning services, we offer Targeted Counsel, a solution for those with strategic challenges that need focused attention on specific topics. Greystone.Net can help you brainstorm, trouble-shoot and resolve your tough issues. These services can be provided as a stand-alone or combined based on your needs.

Here are three examples of what a typical targeted counsel engagement might include:

  • Organizational Structure and Staffing. Greystone.Net can help analyze your existing Web organizational structure and staffing resources and then use that information to build a recommendation and rationale for an efficient org structure and the staff resources needed to meet your organizational objectives. We can help determine any missing staff positions, develop an appropriate reporting and management system and develop a phased approach to onboarding new hires. The Greystone team has years of experience working directly with executive teams to develop an effective Web and digital marketing structure. We can help you hand-craft a staffing solution structure to meet your needs.
  • Budgets. Greystone.Net has had great success getting hospital eHealth budgets approved during its 19 years of working with hospitals and healthcare systems. The company’s staff understand that without a solid budget, you can easily lose sight of your digital goals and lose business to competitors if money is not spent wisely. Greystone can help in the following ways:
    • Organize and consolidate your digital budget into one focused document. 
    • Create a solid plan on how you spend that money according to your digital goals. The company helps you allocate your budget to the proper tools and the marketing channels that are the most effective for your organization.
    • Analyze your digital plan and make adjustments according to the final budget approval from senior executives. This ensures you have a realistic set of digital activities and goals - in alignment with your budget -- so you can successfully find the best solutions for your business goals.
  • Governance. For healthcare marketers, governance can be the difference between consistent or inconsistent branding and whether your digital strategy is successful or poorly executed. Among other things, governance typically includes setting up a steering committee to monitor guide and report on Internet developments and utilization. Greystone.Net helps to develop the purposes of this committee and its members. This committee typically helps the organization to monitor and task manage the implementation of the digital plan, develop and enforce policies and procedures, review performance and as needed, make mid-course adjustments and resolve conflicts or any other Internet-related issues. Greystone can help guide your organization on the development of an appropriate governance structure for digital, Web, social and eHeath functions.

If your organization has a challenge in a specific area, we’ll be happy to help you through it. Contact us at 770-407-7670, email us at or fill out our online contact form.

App Review – Facebook Signal

signalSignal is a tool from Facebook geared toward journalists. It enables them to find resources within Facebook and Instagram, such as trending topics, photos, videos and posts. Once the desired content from various news, culture, entertainment and other sources has been found, it can be embedded into a news broadcast or online article.

Features of Signal include:

  • A leaderboard, which provides lists of public figures and entities (such as sports teams), ranked by frequency of mentions on Facebook.
  • Easy Instagram search to find visual content by hashtag, specific accounts or specific locations.
  • Simplified Facebook searches to track content on a specific topic and find all related public posts in chronological order.
  • Content and data curation – Facebook posts and Instagram images and videos can be saved into user-defined collections.

How is Signal important to your organization? It’s a way to help journalists find and follow a business or brand. Thus, it’s important that you have content that is newsworthy and of interest to the local journalism community. Signal makes it easier for journalists to follow your organization, so it’s important to contact all the local news organizations in your area to make sure they know where to find your organization on Facebook.