Your Brand and Nurse Recruiting

With competition for qualified nurses at an all-time high, it’s important to set yourself apart when nurses begin to consider employment opportunities. Your brand is more than your organization’s logo and tagline; it’s aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually think of your company.1shutterstock_334838597

Nurses desire more than a paycheck. They are looking for fulfillment, leadership opportunities, the best technology/tools available, recognition and more. Your brand, which is a culmination of all of the interactions with your organization, will show nurses what to expect from your organization more than an ad or job description. Good nurses who aren’t actively job hunting will not jump ship for a job description, but rather to work for an organization or position that they believe in.

Consider conveying your brand through:

  • Nurses or staff speaking at nursing events to showcase success. A presentation by an expert speaks louder than merely saying your organization leads in expertise.
  • Social media accolades for your nurses and organization that will draw nurses who want to be a part of a successful team.
  • An employee-referral program. “If a nurse is happy somewhere, they will bring three friends with them,” says Jean Schuerer, vice president of advertising for Gannett Healthcare Group.
  • Job descriptions that sell. They should be created with as much thought as a marketing piece. What sets your open position apart from others?
  • Clear communication upfront. There are unfavorable aspects in most open positions, so be direct about mandatory overtime, floating, daily task expectations, etc. Candidates appreciate knowing you understand their concerns and are willing to discuss them upfront, and it helps you identify the most qualified candidates.
  • Imagery of real nurses and staff. Showcasing happy, real nurses and staff conveys a sense of pride about the organization.


Every touch point and Google search of your organization either pushes someone to want to be a part of your organization or pushes them away. Take time to evaluate what your potential candidates see, hear and feel when they interact with your organization. A helpful exercise is to develop a recruiting experience map that enables your to explore the various touch points a candidate might encounter along their path to employment and ensure each touch point communicates your desired brand experience.

Read about a successful nurse recruiting effort with this case study: Effectiveness of Direct Mail & Household IP Targeting

Want to chat more about nurse recruiting? Contact Angela Harless at 918-938-7912 or

1 Jay Baer – Convince & Convert. Author with Amber Naslund of The Now Revolution


A New Approach to Nurse Recruiting

Two nursesMany of our healthcare clients have the same problem – they need nurses. This problem will continue to compound as Baby Boomers age and the size of the population with healthcare insurance increases. With more than 8,500 employers currently sourcing for Registered Nurses, there is heavy competition to attract qualified talent.2

With healthcare organizations vying for the same pool of prospects, nurse media outlets and associations are saturated with recruiting ads touting relocation incentives, sign-on bonuses, flexible schedules and more. Healthcare organizations must now be prepared to recruit with less traditional methods and present a compelling message to potential nurses at every touch point.

Recruiting Tactics

Don’t utilize just one tactic; create a media mix to make a memorable impact on prospective nurses.2020


Indeed is the definition of a must-do in recruiting. If you aren’t on Indeed, get there.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is a great way to target specific demographics for your ideal nurse candidate. While postage and printing can be costly, direct mail can be tracked to calculate ROI of the effort. Few other advertising tactics allow matchback, or identification of the specific applicants or interviewees responding to your mailer. Start with a budget your team is comfortable with (but a large enough sample to be relevant test). Allow 60 days and match the mail list back to inquiries, applicants and interviewees to determine if your direct mail effort yielded results. If so, repeat with a different target area or demographics. If not, focus budget on other tactics or test with a different region or demographics profile.

20Household IP Targeting

If you have a direct mail list, consider layering household IP targeting in to your media mix. Household IP targeting uses your existing direct mail list and matches it to specific computer IP addresses. Digital ads are only served to the IP addresses being targeted (and matched to your mail list) via a digital advertising network of websites. This allows your targeted mail list to receive a mailer and also see your message via digital advertising for additional impressions and improved conversion rates over direct mail alone. Testing this tactic is easy to do since we know the names being targeted and they can be matched back to measure lift over direct mail alone.


LinkedIn should be a platform being heavily utilized by the organization to dovetail all recruiting and organization efforts. It is a great way to build your brand’s reputation and expertise while making open positions known and targeting job seekers. Like Facebook, nurses can be targeted directly in the location desired, as well as by years of experience. Boosted posts are a great way to reach targeted nurses with relevant messages and open positions. With so many options available through LinkedIn, work with your agency or LinkedIn representative to determine a strategy that is best for your organization and budget.


Facebook is an efficient way to expand the reach of your recruiting message. Facebook’s targeting tools go beyond Quotedemographics and allow you to target those who are likely nurses, so your advertising dollars are spent more efficiently. Most organizations have a Facebook presence; if it is not allowed in your company, perhaps you can obtain approval for a Facebook presence exclusively for HR and recruiting use. This page could be a forum for HR to post messages that are appropriate for public audiences while celebrating the culture and workforce of the organization. In addition to recruiting and job openings, the page could announce employee recognition awards, wellness initiatives and other HR initiatives that speak to the positive culture of the organization. To increase your organization’s reach, create Facebook campaigns that include both ads and boosted posts. Test messages to determine which garner the most response. Start with a limited geography and expand with additional reach and budget as messaging is fine-tuned.


Like Facebook, Twitter advertising is best if you already have an active Twitter presence. With a variety of targeting options, Twitter is a great way to target those who are likely nurses or know nurses. Twitter also integrates nicely with a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign by facilitating remarketing to those who have visited your website with Twitter as well as through digital display. As with all digital campaigns, test your messaging to improve effectiveness, and then broaden your reach and budget.

156Search Engine Marketing

If nurses are actively seeking positions in your area or for specific types of nursing positions that you offer, your organization should be at the top of the search results. While some nurses will seek their next position through an association job board or Indeed, some nurses or their families may utilize Google or another search engine to see what’s out there. If you are offering a sign-on bonus at your hospital in Tulsa, for example, don’t hide this fact—there may be a potential candidate searching for “sign-on bonus in Tulsa.” An SEM campaign will also allow for remarketing. If a potential candidate visits a nurse position page on your website, you can continue to follow them with targeted display ads after they leave your website.

Other Paid Media

Many paid advertising options through major nursing associations and websites are very cost-prohibitive. However, they do have a reach to nurses that is hard to deny. Review the media kit carefully and select option(s) that will not make you ‘one of many’ organizations, like in the print publication ads. Consider eBlasts, online ads or other targeted media options where results are more easily tracked and you have more control over timing and placement.


Read about a two-tactic, successful nurse recruiting effort: Effectiveness of Direct Mail & Household IP Targeting Case Study

Interested in learning more? Contact Angela Harless at 918-938-7912 or

Five Keys for a Successful Senior Affinity Program

shutterstock_174759581With a growing emphasis on population health and a huge senior population, it is more important than ever for healthcare organizations to take an active role in practicing preventative medicine to keep seniors healthy. There are many factors at play in the creation of a successful senior affinity program. The suggestions below are only scratching the surface, but will help guide initial conversations with leadership to determine if a senior affinity program is an initiative worth committing to for the long-term benefit of your organization’s community.

Articulate an objective (internal) and mission (external)

Prior to development and launch of a senior affinity program, it’s important for leadership to understand why the organization is investing time and resources to this initiative– short- and long-term. With a focus on population health, senior programs are shifting purpose from building loyalty and awareness to improving the health of seniors in their community. With that shift in purpose comes a shift in how programs are structured and supported by the organization.

Once an internal purpose is determined, create a mission statement to share with the community. Developing a clear mission will help seniors understand what they are joining and why. And, a clear mission to benefit the community’s senior population will also help gain community support.

Gather and articulate program benefits 

Focus on what benefits your program will be able to offer members. Not all benefits require a monetary contribution from your organization or community businesses. Consider what your organization and area businesses already do to accommodate and attract senior patients and visitors and include those existing items in program benefits in addition to new benefits. From senior discounts at local restaurants and the gift shop to warm blankets and valet parking at the hospital, making members and potential members aware of what is offered is most important.

Remember to involve community businesses in the program– there are many that want to support a healthy and active senior community through discounts, giveaways or other incentives. The senior program wins by offering more benefits and the local businesses win by gaining another marketing avenue directly to seniors.

Develop membership/welcome kit

After joining the program, the welcome packet or informational content that you provide is their first impression of the value of the program. And, these first few impressions will likely drive whether or not they share details with their friends. Whether it’s a directory of benefits, an online health library or an upcoming calendar of events– use your initial welcome communication to inform and build excitement.

Programs, events and screenings

Before launch, your organization should have three months of senior-targeted events, programs, screenings or other social activities to offer to members. Activities don’t need to be available daily–or even weekly–but giving insight into what is available and how to be involved from when they first enroll will help ensure they get engaged and stay engaged in the program.

Don’t hesitate to include existing senior-targeted events and programs on your affinity program events calendar– from senior yoga at the fitness center to cholesterol screenings, variety and a full calendar keeps seniors active, which helps your program and their health!

Launch and ongoing logistics

Once your program launches, there are many logistics that need to be handled on an ongoing basis. It’s prudent to discuss resources needed for ongoing support prior to launch to ensure the program continues to grow without unnecessary obstacles. Consider the following:

  • How will the membership database be maintained?
  • How often will you communicate with members? How will you communicate– mail, email or both?
  • Will you communicate based on specific requests/interests or generally to all members?
  • Which annual community events will your program have a presence at or sponsor?
  • Will your program host large events annually? Twice per year?
  • Will your program need an ongoing paid media buy to recruit new members and announce events? Budget? Frequency of paid media?
  • How will your organization generate content to provide health education to members? Staff writers? Freelance writers? Third party content arrangement?
  • Which staff/volunteers will drive the direction of the program on an ongoing basis? Create an advisory board?
  • Will operations and the clinical teams support your request for ongoing free or discounted screenings?

Mobile is key.


You’ve probably heard it before time and time again, mobile advertising is the hot trend right now. But mobile is more than a trend, it is here to stay. This year looks to be a breakout year for mobile advertising and for a good reason. “Consumers today are addicted to instant gratification and ads need to serve up not only what they’re trying to sell, but the benefits as well,” said Tamara Green, AcrobatAnt Media Director. As mobile advertising has matured, so have the data companies. From precise geo-location data to more refined demographics, consumer data collected through mobile advertising is robust.

In order to be successful with mobile advertising, you have to deliver memorable content. “You have little time on mobile and an even greater challenge to gain the consumer’s attention because consumers are easily distracted as they swipe across to the next image/page/comment/post/status/etc.,” Tamara said. In mobile advertising, you have less than five seconds to capture the consumer’s attention. Meaning that creativity in message delivery is more important than ever. A simple banner ad will no longer sustain the results they used to. Advertising content needs to be dynamic, personal, engaging and customized for the target audience. It needs to look like it was made just for that single consumer.

With Facebook video now dominating the newsfeed, it’s time to really consider spending the money to integrate video content into a campaign. Integrating video is also one of the keys with mobile. There isn’t just one media type to satisfy the needs of a brand. It needs to be a well planned mix of all mobile has to offer based on data that has been collected. Paying more attention to data will guide and help a campaign improve over time. Tamara added, “Consumers are more and more demanding that the click takes them somewhere, tells them something, provides some benefit. A click with no benefit, just content will result in the consumer dropping off and possibly passing you by.”

To learn more about how we can help you, or if you have any questions regarding mobile advertising, send us an email or give us a call.

Insider Info: How the Ants celebrate the holidays

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently. Some families have certain traditions that others don’t partake in. For the Ant family, celebrating the holidays starts with our 12 days of Christmas.

Now in its fourth year, the 12 days of Christmas signals the start of the holiday season and also the start of dressing up, taking pictures and sharing on social media for all to see. From hat day and pajama day, to twins day and throw back Thursday, the Ants put everything on display for their clients and followers. It’s a way to show people who normally aren’t around the Ant Farm just how creative and fun we can be.

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We aren’t all fun and games. We also give back!

Women in Recovery is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Women in Recovery is a program designed to help keep non-violent women out of prison and give them the tools they need to reunite with their children and break the cycle. Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state. Which is why this program is so important to our community. While in the program, women learn parenting and life skills, as well as learning what it takes to have a successful career and stay out of the prison system.

We support the Women in Recovery program in different ways each year. During Christmas, that means sponsoring graduates of the program and their children. This year, we sponsored 10 children and 50 women graduating from the Women in Recovery program. All from funds gathered from employees and matched by the AcrobatAnt partners.


All these activities culminate in our Christmas party where we exchange handmade gifts to our Secret Santa recipients and have a fun and funny white elephant gift exchange. The Ants also enjoyed drinks, playing games and each other’s company at our holiday party.

From everyone at AcrobatAnt, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!


Online Physician Reputation Management (Part 2)

Five Tips to Manage Online Physician Reputation shutterstock_295824422

Managing an online reputation seems like a daunting task, especially for a busy physician and their staff. So, here are top five areas to focus on for the greatest benefits to online reputation.

1. Check for accuracy. Even if you don’t plan to manage information on all review websites, it is important to at least ensure that the information that is listed is accurate. One of our employees recently found a physician’s personal cell phone number and home address listed on Healthgrades®. So, when she clicked to view the street address, she immediately had a street view of the physician’s home. When she called the physician’s cell phone, the doctor appreciated being notified about the personal information being displayed on a public website. If you haven’t claimed your listing, the websites do their best to find your information, but it may not be accurate. Block out some time to check your information and Google and Bing yourself to see what shows up.

2. Claim key listings. Even if you don’t claim listings on all of the review sites, it is important to claim your listings on the most popular sites (refer to pie chart from Part 1). Most are free to claim and allow you to correct information and interact with reviewers.

3. Observe trends. Focus on one or two review sites and take one hour monthly (or ask someone on your staff) to note positive and negative trends. If patients are all complaining about how long wait times or unpleasant reception staff, perhaps action needs to be taken to address those issues. Conversely, if patients routinely comment about positive care experiences, thank and reward your staff for a job well done.

4. Engage. While it’s not always possible, blocking some time out each month to engage with patients online will let patients feel heard and appreciated. Make an effort to respond to all negative reviews privately and perhaps take a moment to thank a patient publically for a positive review.

Sample Reply to negative comment: Hello [username], We appreciate your feedback and would like to find out what might have gone wrong with your visit and how we can improve next time. Please contact our office at _____ or email us at _______ so we might research your issue and prevent future negative experiences. Please do not share patient information in this public forum. Thanks, Dr. ______

Sample Reply to positive comment: Hello [username], I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed your experience at our clinic. If you ever have any suggestions on how we can improve our practice, we’d love to hear them. Please don’t hesitate to email us at _____. We look forward to serving you in the future.

5. Encourage positive reviews. Create a simple card to hand out to patients after their appointment to request that they go online and take a moment to review their experience. The card should include which website(s) to review as well as any other details they need to know to ensure they can easily find your practice or physician name on the website.



Online Physician Reputation Management (Part 1)

Why Physicians Should Manage Their Online Reputation 

As marketers, we know that word-of-mouth communication can build or destroy a brand or reputation quickly, despite whatever paid advertising is in market. It’s important to realize that word-of-mouth has now gone digital and it’s critical for physicians to understand and manage their online reputation.

According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association, as many as 33 percent of adults consult either an online physician ratings site or a consumer review site when selecting a physician. Reputation is important, nearly half of patients (44 percent) are willing to travel and go out of their own network to choose a physician with better ratings.

Pie Chart

Patients’ most trusted review sites:

Yelp® – 26%
Healthgrades® – 26%
RateMDs – 25%
Vitals – 10%
ZocDoc – 8%
Other – 6%

*Source: Software Advice


Many physicians are fearful of online review sites because of the assumption that only naysayers will take the time to review them. However, in Software Advice’s Report on patients’ use of online reviews, 71 percent of survey respondents say they usually write positive or neutral reviews, and 32 percent say that their main motivation for writing reviews is to help other patients. This survey data is supported by the actual Yelp review data – an analysis of Yelp reviews show that healthcare providers, on the whole, fare better than other types of businesses reviewed.

Even if some reviews are negative, it is better to know patient frustrations than to remain unaware and not address the issues. Most patients will not think poorly of a physician because of a handful of negative reviews. However, a survey by healthcare technology company Digital Assent shows that 85 percent of patients are not comfortable choosing a physician if more than 10 percent of the reviews have a one-star rating. So, as a physician, it is best to identify the issues and fix them, before the negative reviews start to add up.

Some content is summarized from SHSMD’s Sept./Oct. 2015 issue of Spectrum. Other sources are noted throughout.

Why Personalization is Important for a Successful Digital Patient Experience

shutterstock_306968348Online patient portals have been a game changer for healthcare systems, when they are used successfully and efficiently. An online patient portal is a secure online website that gives patients the ability to access their health information anywhere, anytime, with an Internet connection.

Did you know that one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information? (Source: Google official blog) Or how about the fact that 62 percent of Americans are willing to use a mobile app to manage their health? These statistics are proof that online initiatives are still continuing to grow. With more than half of Americans willing to use mobile apps to manage their health, as a health system you should already have or be on your way to creating an online patient portal.

However, in order for your patients to be happy and satisfied with the online patient portal, it is important to be able to create a customized user experience. Receiving any form of healthcare information can be scary so when patients are checking the portal for their lab results, testing results, etc. is is important for them to feel important rather than one of many patients. “Personalization of healthcare websites and online portals is crucial because of the type and amount of information patients need, such as details about doctors, diseases, medical procedures, medications, visitation hours, billing — the list goes on and can quickly become overwhelming,” according to Spectrum.

The more you know about your user, the more you can customize patient experience. Below are a few ways to customize your online patient portal:

1. Ask your patients questions. The more questions you ask, the more personalization you can create. Ask them if they’re male or female, age range, whether they are a patient, family member, etc. These will help to design a customized experience.

2. Implement personal greetings. Once you have identified your user, make sure each user has a personalized greeting. Some examples include: “Hello, Jack. What can we help you with today?”, “Hello, Sarah. Check your latest lab results here.” Using their name and other personal information makes them feel special.

3. Ability to ask personal physician questions. This feature allows the patient to go directly to their primary doctor and ask questions regarding their health, lab results, etc., rather than having a computer system answer their questions.

4. Include personalized ways to improve users health. For the younger crowd, that might mean giving workout advice or nutrition tips. For the older crowd, that might mean heart health advice or tips on keeping your blood sugar at the right levels.

When online patient portals are used correctly, it can be a huge value to your health system as well as your patients. With today’s ever-evolving digital world, patients want a personalized and easy way to access their healthcare information.

What is Household IP Targeting and How Can I Leverage it for My Hospital

shutterstock_232802296Household IP targeting is a process that allows you to target specific households based on their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. The IP address is a number that identifies your Internet connection through your Internet Service Provider, so it’s unique to each household.

Household IP targeting is as targeted as direct mail but does not include the costs of printing and mailing. Unlike direct mail, digital ads can be delivered multiple times to build frequency. So, how does it work?

1. First, determine who you wish to target. Like direct mail, you will need to start with a mailing list that includes at least the last name, street address and zip code. This list could be a database that you own, or you can purchase or rent a list based on your target demographics and other criteria.

2. Your target list is uploaded and matched to IP addresses. IP addresses will only be matched to a household if it can be matched with 98 percent certainty.

3. Create digital banner ads to serve to your targeted IP addresses. The cost is based on the number of impressions displayed to your targeted IP addresses.

Ads are shown on an advertising network on a variety of websites throughout the Internet, but only the IP addresses being targeted will see your ads. Your ads reach the exact households you have targeted without using cookies; IP addresses cannot be blocked or deleted like cookies can. It’s also important to note that you can block your ads from showing on certain websites. For example, as a Catholic health system, you may not want your ad to display on a website that shows risque content (even if your target is viewing that website).

Household IP targeting allows you to target specific households or businesses, allowing for countless healthcare marketing opportunities. For example, pediatricians wanting to reach households with children under the age of 13 can target, utilize or purchase a mailing list of women with children in the home. Using this list, they can display their digital ads to those specific households instead of all viewers on a specific website or social media network. To reinforce your message, we encourage a secondary touchpoint of direct mail to the same list.

Results are measured two ways: (1) clickthrough rate, in real time and (2) conversions, after the data is provided to match. Since we know which households were targeted and can see if they clicked, it’s possible to match back new appointments or patient data to determine if the patient was on the target list and if they clicked prior to their appointment. Being able to match back real patient data to a known target list is a more reliable ROI calculation method than relying on someone to indicate that they received a mailer or saw your print ad.

Now you might be wondering, how do I get started? Simple. Give us a call. Household IP targeting is a fairly new tool and we’d love to discuss how it may help get results for your health system. Next time you’re thinking about sending out a direct mail piece, try pairing it with household IP targeting to increase your frequency and your ability to report results.

User Experience: What is it good for?

shutterstock_177174377Since the advent of the Internet, people have always put their personal style into the websites they build. Now more than ever, user experience and how a user will interact with a website is in the forefront of designers’ minds. And recently, that also means taking into consideration how a website performs. Specifically how long it takes to load a page. In a recent study, data showed that if a page takes longer than three seconds to load, nearly 40 percent of users will leave the site. Let that sink in a minute. Your website has less than three seconds to grab the customer. If not, they’re on to your competitor. But if you have your site optimized and ready to handle a user’s request, they’ll proceed.

We asked our resident web developer and designer, Mattie McClain, what she had to say about user experience. “I have always believed user experience is the most important element of a design, and right now user experience is everything in the web space. Users want to find what they need, quickly. When we started seeing mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, suddenly a website that looked and functioned great on a large screen was no longer relevant — or even useful!”

And when talking about how to make a site that not only performs well, but also looks great on a phone, you need to make your site responsive or mobile-friendly. “Zooming in on a screen filled with tiny print and unnecessary links on a smartphone was not anyone’s idea of a great user experience. Responsive design corrected this and has become the key for producing a seamless user experience across all devices. It allows us to give users the effortless experience they now expect: what they need, only when they need it,” Mattie said.

She is right. In this day and age, consumers don’t like to wait. Period. The way we communicate and interact on the Internet has changed drastically. We communicate in less than 140 characters, and your website needs to load in less time than it takes to read a tweet.

As a full service agency, AcrobatAnt is here to help your business get on the right digital track. We pride ourselves on delivering results that work for our clients and their users. So the next time you are standing in line at Starbucks and are browsing the web on your phone, think about the experience a potential consumer would have on your site.