Unlock double the value today: Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Guest Post! CATCH THE DEAL


Cutting Through the Noise: Building Trust and Standing Out in Medical Marketing

In Conversation with Clayton Patterson

For this episode of E-Coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Clayton Patterson, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Space Marketing, a Digital Marketing Company located in Winter Park, Florida. Dive into the dynamic world of digital marketing with insights from an entrepreneurial trailblazer. Explore strategies ranging from SEO mastery and patient-centric content marketing to navigating the evolving landscape of cataract surgery promotion. Uncover the data-driven excellence shaping healthcare marketing, and glimpse into the future with perspectives on AI, machine learning, and integrated multi-channel approaches.

Watch the episode now for more insights!

Technical SEO, back-end security, page speed, backlink building, and authority score are going to be weighed much heavier than highly structured volume-driven content.

Clayton Patterson
Chief Executive Officer of Digital Space Marketing

Hey, hi everyone. Welcome to your show, E-Coffee with Experts. This is Ranmay here, your host for today’s episode. And today we have Clayton, who is the CEO of Digital Space Marketing with us. Hey, Clayton.

Hey there. Thank you, Ranmay.

Lovely. Clayton, before we move forward and pick your brains on SEO and your expertise, why don’t you talk us through your journey this far, how you lined up in digital marketing, and then also a bit about your book, Last Off, and then we can take it forward from there on.

Yeah, absolutely. I started my first company as an entrepreneur back probably when I was 14 years young. I’m 35 years old now. But then a buddy and I started these lacrosse camps around town. That was my first experience as an entrepreneur and really as boots-on-the-ground type marketing. We did, at that time, although I was taking web development classes and taking as many tech-related classes at the high school that I went to as possible. I did not have a super strong background in website development. At the time, we would just post flyers around our local town and get kids to sign up for the lacrosse camps. Then from there, I journeyed to a university or college, and I bought an ice company. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to a party with a big ice block, but I used to sell ice blocks to parties where when people would show up, they would pour liquor from the top of it it would come down and they’d open their mouth at the very bottom of it. On weekends and Friday and Saturday nights, I would drive around or employees would go around and deliver ice blocks to these parties.

The margins on frozen water were very good. From there, I left the university and went and got to took about a year off and was working at a law firm doing some mass twerk stuff, which are just mass class action type offenses to another human. From there, went and got a law degree. During law school, I wanted to use my law degree for business. As you probably know, I’m sure you read a lot of business books. Business as an entrepreneur is something we all study, but not a lot of people go back and read case law. They’re not going to open up a law book and start understanding the nuances of laws inside the United States or whichever country they’re from. I figured that would be a good opportunity to force me to start understanding contract law, to start understanding different areas of law that are going to help me as an entrepreneur. Even through law school, I always wanted to use the degree for business but not necessarily practice. After law school, I got involved with the Venture Capital Group, we were working on a project, and we needed to build a website for that project.

I re-dug into my toolset and pulled out what I learned from high school and college about web development, hopped back on YouTube, and built out a WordPress site. Then from there, actually, friends and family said, Wow, you just built this website. Can you build us one, too? At that same time, I was building a domain called Finitelylaw.com. It was a law firm that I created back in ’27 to focus on business law, estate planning, and probate. Currently, some attorneys work there who take the cases, and I just handle all the marketing. But once friends and family started having me build websites, they wrote the first check, and I needed to create an LLC. That’s when I launched Digital Space Marketing. I wanted to focus on the reoccurring revenue, the continuously adding value aspect of digital marketing. I liked the project-based approach to web development, and I think the foundation of any digital strategy is the website. It’s very important, the vehicle that we get in for this entrepreneur race. However once the website launched, I wanted to get into the strategy of SEO, YouTube ads, retargeting campaigns, of email drip campaigns.

That’s where I put a lot of focus and energy into those systems and processes, and then building a team out for each vertical, and those team members specialize now in those verticals. Digital Space Marketing was launched in 2018, and now it’s 2024, and so we’re off to the races.

Lovely. Quite a journey. Clayton, marketing in the healthcare industry presents its unique challenges, not that every industry has its own. What are some of the specific challenges you have encountered when promoting cataract surgery services in particular, and then how at digital space marketing, do you feel that your strategies are unique? It has, let’s say, worked in some cases, wherein you have seen substantial growth for any of your clients.

Yeah. There’s a few things there. One, inside the United States, cataract surgery is the number one elective surgery procedure. Everybody’s familiar, a lot of people are familiar with the baby boomer generation. If you live long enough, you will get cataracts. As the baby boomer generation starts to age, they’re going to be getting a lot more cataracts and having cataract surgery. Now, technology has come a long way, and since we’re at the bottom of this mountain that’s growing, this elective surgery procedure is only going to grow. What we found a digital space marketing is being able to use the internet and content marketing to get in front of these audiences of ages 55 and above on social media or Google or LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, wherever they are on the internet. Then connecting them to a premium surgeon is the value add to the marketplace that we bring. We manage and run a website called Best Cataract Surgeons.com. If you look at the rankings for that, last year we had around 95 top 10 keywords organically. In 12 months, we’re at 600 top 10 keywords, with over 5,000 getting indexed. My agency is currently managing the largest cataract-related website on the internet.

This provides information on the different types of lenses. It provides information on things they should ask doctors. It’s a patient-facing platform, bestcateractsurgeons.com, where people are going to try to find a surgeon. They’re googling things around the internet as you’re familiar with the SEO space. All of our content marketing strategies are based on what people are searching for and then providing them with the content. What we’ve done at best cataract surgeons.com is we’ve brought actual cataract surgeons, some of the top ones in the country, into that company to be on the board and to be on the editorial, which the editorial board is the one writing the content, reviewing the content before it goes on the website. So this is cataract surgeon-created content for patients, telling them what they need to know. Our philosophy, I use this analogy a lot because I always say not all websites are created equally. I’ll use it here, too. Not all cataract surgeons are created equally. Some cataract surgeons aren’t using modern technology. There’s a lot out there that we can do with the eyes and advances in technology to provide the patients with the best outcome possible.

We try to focus on getting these patients into premium surgeons. I think with digital space marketing, managing all of this content, all of the leads that website is generating, we’re having a lot of conversations, one, with a lot of surgeons. Additionally, we’re managing all the ad spend for that website. We’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid ads. We have data rolling through our agents that we have access to, that we’re learning from to leverage to understand that target audience of 55 plus who are looking for not just cataract surgery, but who are looking for premium cataract surgery and looking not just to spend $2,000 to $3,000 per eye, but they want the best lens. This baby boomer generation, they’ve been working. `They’ve been doing hard their entire lives. They’ve been aging. They want to be able to see the golf ball. They want to be able to see their grandkids. They want to go to the beach and have perfect vision. Part of that strategy is understanding the target audience, understanding where they are, and being able to leverage multiple different avenues of them coming through the internet from different sources to get the surgeons that we advertise for and the practices that we advertise for in front of them to convert into a paid pension.

Lovely. And Clayton, what according to you, what makes the target audience of cataract surgeons unique compared to other medical specialties that are there?

I like this space. I fell into it. We were doing a bunch of clinical research marketing before, and still do, and got a few LASIK refractive practices as well as cataract surgeons, and we were advertising for their practice. There are still clients today. But what’s interesting about this space is it’s truly like transformation. One, it’s a highly elective surgery, so people are coming out of pocket to pay. The surgeons can spend money on marketing, which is always good, right? Yeah. We are non-profit business. That’s a big driver of, whether can customers afford the surgery. Can the surgeons afford to pay us? It’s truly transformational, though. You’re giving people eyesight. Everyone, if you live long enough, is going to have a cataract, and they’re going to have to get their eyes fixed. It’s amazing to see this transformation of what people’s lives are like and the lives of their loved ones before they have cataract surgery versus after they have cataract surgery because it’s vision. It’s how we see the world. It’s the limb literally, of how we view the entire world. When you can transform someone when we talk about emotional marketing, for instance, from the before state of what is their life like before cataract surgery and what is it like after, it’s something, a product, and a service because it’s a combination of both.

It’s surgery and products being put in the eyes. But it’s something you can market around. It’s a great thing. You’re helping people’s lives. It’s very emotional as an emotion sell. I’ve found it, one, rewarding, and two, just an area where digital advertising and our expertise in different digital verticals really can be leveraged to get practices, and new patients, and help patients with their vision.

Lovely. Clayton, talking about medical information, we have so much of it online. There is so much information available for as an end consumer to consume that content online. How do you ensure that your client cuts through the noise and stands out to patients who are seeking reliable information online?

Yeah. It’s tough. I remember seeing statistics a while back from the ’50s ’60s, and ’70s of you need to get an ad in front of someone four times for it to be effective. Now, I’ve heard up to 12 to 15. You’re young, you’re on social media, probably. It’s tough to cut through the noise. I think that’s where a combination of multiple things. I don’t believe in just one channel unless that channel is extremely successful and you have a big audience on a single channel. I believe in a multi-channel approach with heavy targeting. Typically, I think it drives the differentiator between a successful practice in their marketing campaigns and a non-successful practice is how they leverage those channels and how they put all the pieces together. Are they using heavy retargeting specifically for each niche procedure? Or do they have just general retargeting ads? If someone, for instance, comes in at a top of the funnel ad for cataract surgery or LASIK surgery, if they hop back on social media, do they see specific lens options for cataract surgery? Now they’re further down the funnel or further in the customer journey with the practice. We could start targeting them with very specific content to help them take the next steps while they’re still in that discovery phase of trying to figure out who they want to work with or get information on this particular procedure.

Oftentimes, I see a lot of practices, sure, they’re using top-of-the-funnel ads, they’re using Google ads, they’re using Bing ads, But they’re doing general retargeting campaigns if anything. Oftentimes, and you’ve probably seen it a lot, oftentimes the practices don’t even have to retarget pixels, so they don’t even have to retarget. But then if they do, they have these general, Hey, here’s Dr. Patterson’s practice over here. Come schedule your appointment today. We already know they’ve been to the website. They’re interested in cataract surgery. Why not feed them more information on, Hey, here’s the type of lenses offered. Here are the top five things you should ask your cataract surgeon. Here’s a cataract surgery testimonial that’s user-generated content from start to finish, the experience, and back to the transformation that this person has had by interacting with our product and service. That’s where I think leveraging this multi-channel approach. When the person hops back on YouTube, they’re seeing that type of content. When they hop on Instagram, they’re seeing that type of content. Maybe they hop back on Facebook or Instagram, and the surgeon is a best cataract surgeon member. That brand now is being leveraged out in the marketplace to say, Hey, we know that You’re a high-premium surgeon because your peers have nominated you to be a member of this specific organization.

When I talk about the two brands being able to market themselves, I’ve seen it successful because I think, including myself, it’s easy for us to say we’re the best. We’re the best digital marketing agency ever. So you, right? But when a third party says it and you can leverage that third party, there’s no better referral source than that. So I think that is a big differentiator. And then when it comes to first-party data, being able to warm audiences up, oftentimes we see too many calls to action schedule your consultation today, and book an appointment today. They’re not ready. They’re just building the relationship. So you’ve seen and leveraging content marketing to begin that relationship is key. Getting the emails, nurturing those leads, creating lookalike audiences. Then when you go through the legal side of all of this, of course, there are the terms and conditions of privacy policy, making sure legally that you are allowed to collect this data, make sure you are informing the consumers and the potential patients that you are tracking cookies or tracking IP addresses or doing server-based tracking. Whatever you’re doing on the site, making sure you’re legally covered, right?

Absolutely. When it comes to the medical industry in particular, what do you suggest in general, SEO versus PPC, what is your take on it pertinent to the medical industry?

Yeah, so that’s a lot of questions, but I think it’s a combination. Google and Bing are awesome and top-of-the-funnel search ads because people are searching, right? So I think they have a place. And why would you not want to get in front of them? But also I love organic traffic. I think if a website, and we discussed it before the podcast, I think if a website is structured correctly, and this is the vehicle that we’re getting in the race, then it should, when we pull it up into the racetrack and get in this race with other people it, it should win the race. If the vehicle is not structured correctly and the technical SEO is butchered, it will never win the race. It doesn’t matter how much content you upload to the site, it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you send doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. I think I love SEO, but then if, obviously the internet and Google are changing very fast, but if you’re using search ads and you have SEO and it’s a local company, if we’re talking about a specific cataract practice or something like that, if it’s a local business with multiple locations, why not use a combination of all?

And then the first 10 positions of Google, since it’s no longer pages with the infinite scroll, why not have a paid ad? You’re in the maps listing. They scroll below, you’re in the organic section. You have other features, search engine results in features. You have those as well. I think the more exposure you have in those positions when people are searching for any type of business, the better chances you have of them landing on your website. Then that’s where your other marketing systems, maybe email, IP, straight being, maybe retargeting, etc, come into play. I know that doesn’t answer your question, and I guess if I had to put my money on one thing, I would probably put it on SEO because you’re adding long-term value. People trust organic rankings more than paid rankings. But the good thing is I don’t have to make that choice because we can use both. That’s what’s nice. I think, to it, it depends on the strategy. I think it goes back to the goals of the practice. I have this conversation with business acquisition, buyers, and sellers all the time, are you going to sell your business in three years?

If so, maybe don’t rely on a completely long-term SEO strategy. Maybe just use ads and put your money into that to generate quick revenue if you’re going to sell it. If you’re wanting, for me, I’m 35 years young, and as mentioned, I’m not planning on selling my businesses anytime soon. And so I’m focused on long-term SEO strategy, because if you can get to those first 10 positions, then it’s just leads constantly coming in and you’ll have to spend money on it. Yes, you spent money to get there through content production, backlinks, technical SEO, and developer time in those areas. But once you’re there, it’s easy to maintain those positions, assuming you’re doing it the right way, assuming it’s not in a spammy way, and assuming the internet, which These assumptions, this assumption probably isn’t correct, assuming the internet stays stable, right? And Google’s algorithm doesn’t continue to update, which it will. But as long as you’re doing it to add value across sites, you Should not get flagged and your site, should rank well. And of course, you can see some of that in metrics like authority score or domain authority, depending on what tools you’re using, to make sure that your site is being trusted online.

Absolutely. And a final one before we wrap this up, Clayton, what is your take on AI and machine learning in general? It has been almost a year since ChatGPT happened, more than a year now. But yeah, where do you think are we heading with all this artificial intelligence kicking in?

I’m very excited. I think for the people, a tidal wave is coming and has already started. The earthquake has already happened out in the sea and the tidal wave is coming. Some people, maybe you, maybe me, maybe we’re making surfboards, and we’re going to surf this title. Others are not. Others are sitting by doing nothing. I think it presents a lot of opportunity. I think, one, is to zoom in on what it’s doing to the digital marketing world. I think it’s automating a lot of tasks, and obviously, it’s very good in average large amounts of data and being able to sift through that. It’s amazing for these large language models are amazing for taking a lot of information, consolidating it, pulling patterns out of it, or building strategy around some of the data. But then also, clearly, content is we can produce a lot of content fast. I think algorithms of search engines like Google have already been updated accordingly. I think things like technical SEO, back-end security, page speed, backlink building, and authority score are going to be weighed and are already being weighed much heavier than highly structured volume-driven content. We’re way past the days of just producing 100 blog articles and being able to rank for things.

Now, I don’t think I still believe in content cluster strategies, especially when you combine that with technical SEO, it should always be there, and backlink building. I think content is still relative, but I think this AI has changed that SEO strategy approach. But when it comes to looking where information is coming from, analyzing analytics, drafting copy for messaging, split testing messages, split testing images, and being able to make better decisions by analyzing data, all those are positive things that artificial intelligence and some of these large language models are significantly contributing, which is exciting. I think I need to say it appropriately, but I think it’s a tool. I think just like a hammer, someone can take their hammer and hit certain body parts or hit their foot with it. It’s not a very effective tool. But if you use the hammer for what it’s made for and use other specific tools for what they’re made for, you could build a house and you could build something very successful. I think right now there are companies and entrepreneurs out there building services around this, which is exciting. Then I think there’s a lot of people on the sidelines, and I’m in both boxes right now.

But I think we’re also waiting for where this is going to go and trying to understand it as much as we can to figure out we could do it. I don’t think with AI, we’re even aware of its capabilities and where this is all going to go. There are a few people at the forefront of it, and then a lot of people are behind the scenes working, and some people aren’t familiar with it. But most of the world is probably not using ChatGPT and understanding it. For the people who are blessed, like you and I, to sit in an office that has air conditioning and be able to be on good computers. We’re blessed with the ability to have that luxury to be able to play with AI, let alone build products and services around it. I think it’s super exciting, and I feel I’m very blessed to be in a digital marketing agency, be involved in the venture capital space, be the author of this book, and be able to leverage AI to maximize the exposure for all of this in the marketplace, to increase influence and help other businesses.

Lovely, Clayton. But before I let you go, I’d love to play a quick rapid-fire with you. I hope you’re game for it.

I’m ready.

All right. Your last Google search?

I think it was to spell-check something.

Your celebrity crush.

Celebrity crush? Probably Megan Fox. I like her.

All right. Let’s see if we were to make a movie on you, Clayton, what genre would it be?

I love backcountry snowboarding, so if I had to make a movie about myself I could star in it. It would be something like that with snowboarding or some action adventure.

Okay, lovely. All right, the last one, I’ll not give you any further. Do you remember what did you do with your first paycheck of your life?

It was probably when I was 14 with my lacrosse camps, and I’ve probably bought some lacrosse equipment with it or bought some speakers for my car that I was getting when I was 15.

Okay, lovely. Great, Clayton. It has been a pleasure speaking with you, and thank you so much for taking out time and doing this with us here.

Yes, you’re welcome. Thank you. If anyone’s interested, book- Blast Off what executives know about digital marketing. I only think there are a few things. They don’t need to learn how to build Facebook ads or anything like that. They need to understand how to hold people like us accountable. From A to Z, that book lays out what they need to know. It’s available on Amazon and a personal website, Clayton Patterson.com, so feel free to message me there or look at anything I’m into. All right. Thank you for having me. We’ll talk soon.



    Phone Number*

    Website URL

    Want to be featured on the next episode of E-coffee with experts? Fill out the form for a chance to shine!
    Get in Touch
    close slider