How to Ramp Up Creativity in Your Online Marketing

Have you ever stopped to think about how mysterious and awesome creativity is? I mean, how can you really define it? Where does it come from? Why do some individuals have much more of it than others?

Recently I came across a very interesting article in The Huffington Post. In the piece, author Carolyn Gregorie shares 18 traits that highly creative people do a little differently than others.  As a social media account manager, I began relating her insights to my work and the different ways I try to harness my own creativity to benefit the organizations I represent. Here are my thoughts:

1. They daydream.

In any creative field, there is a paradox between two competing necessities. On one hand, you need an inquisitive, nomadic mind that continually sparks new and innovative ideas. At the same time, it’s crucial that those meandering thoughts are organized and managed in a way that maintains productivity and meets deadlines. For creative individuals who struggle with this organization and time management piece, there are multiple apps and tools to help you manage competing priorities, maintain task lists and stay on track. A few good options I’ve come across include Todoist, Mind42 and focus booster.

2. They surround themselves with beauty.

At first, this point may sound a little “fluffy.” However, it’s no secret that the environment a person is surrounded by can greatly impact his/her thoughts, attitude and actions. When working in a field that requires a steady flow of creative content, it helps to have aesthetically-pleasing, positive surroundings that encourage similar content output. Some individuals have the flexibility to work from a park bench on a summer afternoon. Others don’t. Even then, you can add a little paint to your office walls, hang an interesting wall piece or bring in a few plants to liven up the environment. Here are a few other great ideas from my colleague’s recent blog.

3. They observe everything.

I find this trait to be very helpful in identifying campaign and content ideas that clients themselves often don’t recognize. For example, every time I interact with a client or stakeholder, I observe and listen intentionally. I’m searching for clues about things that are going well and items that are causing frustration. Then, I consider how social platforms (or other tool set) can be utilized to help amplify the good and ease the pains associated with the bad.

4. They take risks.

As Forbes contributor, Steven Kotler puts it, “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent – these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”

For me, the key here is making my “creative bets” calculated ones. Whenever possible, it’s wise to run ideas by stakeholders prior to delivery. However, this isn’t always possible when an immediate response or post can make the difference in terms of service recovery or customer satisfaction. In these cases, it pays to have team members in place who exercise discretion and tact. Nothing is worse than negative publicity going viral! For more on that subject, be on the lookout for one of my other colleague’s upcoming blogs about incorporating crisis management into your online marketing strategy.

Do you consider yourself a creative type? If so, what do you think about the traits Gregorie presents in her article? Do you find the four that I mention here to be applicable for you as well? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below.

Buffalo Bill Didn’t Tweet, but Healthcare Companies Should

Social media within healthcare is sort of like the Wild West. The laws are unclear and intimidating, many are trying to decide how to best navigate the new terrain and the most pioneering individuals have a head start mining for gold.

There are many reasons why social health is developing at such a mind-boggling pace. According to a white paper published by HP, social platforms facilitate patient and provider education, encourage patient health reporting and help patients connect with others who are affected by similar health conditions. Since this brave new world is so expansive and has so many angles worth exploring, this article will be the first in a short series. To begin, let’s explore a few statistics and consider what the data is telling us about the importance of social media adoption for professionals within this space.

According to Mediabistro, over 40% of patients report that information they find through social channels impacts how they deal with their own health.

  • Why should you care? Given the number of individuals using social media today, social tools have the potential to help a huge number of individuals improve their health and wellbeing. From a strictly altruistic perspective, health organizations should take notice. However, in a time when population health, chronic disease management and patient satisfaction are so closely tied to reimbursement, profitability and long term viability make their way into the conversation. Can healthcare organizations afford to not be social (I will touch on social media and Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements in a later article in this series)?


42% of healthcare consumers use social media to obtain information about health providers, treatments and products.

  • Why should you care? A growing majority of today’s healthcare consumers are social and mobile savvy. Since they’re turning to social platforms to gather and share health information, doesn’t it make sense for health leaders to be active there as well? Tech-savvy patients classify companies and professionals lacking a strong social media presence as “behind the times,” effectively removing them from their shortlist of places to receive care. This fact is driven home by this infographic by Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group which states, “41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility.”

According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Medicine and PatientsLikeMe, a surprisingly large percentage of individuals are in favor of sharing their health information on social networks despite possible data compromise risks.

  • Why should you care? As more and more patients become comfortable with sharing personal health information on social media, the amount of data will boom. This rich source of information could prove extremely beneficial not only for disease tracking and health research purposes, but also for health organizations seeking to identify competitive advantages. Does anyone else see a potential marketing automation tie-in here?

What’s the bottom line? Healthcare organizations that don’t currently have a social and mobile strategy need one ASAP. As Kelly Barnes, U.S. Health Industries Leader at PwC puts it, “Health organizations have an opportunity to use social media as a way to better listen, participate in discussions, and engage with consumers in ways that extend their interaction beyond a clinical encounter.” If you need help with your approach contact StrataBlue today!