Matt Perry, Au.D., private practice owner and host of “Audiology Marketing Now” delivered a presentation on effective marketing strategies for growing the private practice, with a special look at the latest technology. Here’s a summary of his key points.
Why Internet marketing works for audiology
Many private practice owners believe that online marketing isn’t right for their practice because their audience is not online. This is actually inaccurate. According to Pew Internet, Internet usage by age changed significantly between 2000 and 2010. 78% of adults aged 50 – 64 are using the Internet and 42% of adults 65+. 61% of adults say that they get their daily news online and, surprisingly, 14% of people aged 74 and over reported this also.
How to attract older patients with new technology?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are 368,000 monthly searches on the keyword “hearing aids”, which shows that your audience is searching online. Make sure that your practice’s website ranks well in the search engines by optimizing your site’s content with relevant audiology and localized keywords. Consider adding a blog to your website. Not only does blogging add credibility, but adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis is great for SEO. Interact with your audience by commenting on blogs and in forums and drive traffic to your site by including a link.
With paid search advertising, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Pay for highly targeted keyword terms and drive your ads to a relevant page on your website (not necessarily your home page).
Example: If someone searches for “ReSound Alera”
Ad Headline: Try ReSound Alera
Ad Text: In Boston? Contact Us to try out the Alera Hearing Aid yourpractice.com/ReSoundAlera
Consider, but be cautious of “AdWords Express”. It’s simple to use, but you don’t have much control. ou could end up paying to have your listing pulled from the free local search results (prime placement) and places in the lower part of the right column (poor placement).
This is Google’s local search engine and is crucial for practices that are marketing to people in their local area. Make sure you claim or create your practice listing. Google currently allows you to create a listing for each location and each clinician. Make sure your contact info is accurate and optimize your listing with relevant keywords.
With Google Places, obtaining reviews is very important. If you have satisfied patients that you can reach out, ask them to post a review online.
Start recording some short videos (the more the better). Don’t worry about video quality. You can use a an iPhone, Flip camera, Web Cam, etc. The content of the video could be educational – a review of a specific hearing aid, how-to clean a HA, insert a CIC, etc. You can also video patient testimonials and an introduction to your clinic and staff.
Upload the videos (regularly) to YouTube and include keywords in the title, tags and content. Include your website address in the first line of the content. Be sure to include the “http://”, or YouTube will not recognize it as a link. Include your practice name, mailing address, and phone number in the description of each video.
The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over 50. It is therefore important to establish a presence for your practice on Facebook. Create a fan page and get 25 “Likes” or “Fans” as quickly as possible. This has traditionally been a prerequisite to claiming a vanity URL, although Facebook has been relaxing this requirement lately. Claim your vanity URL – Facebook.com/YourPractice. Update your Facebook page regularly with photos, videos, links to articles, etc. Post often enough to engage your audience without annoying them. If you post too often, unless the content is valuable to them, they will “un-like” your practice.
Also consider using Facebook Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Target certain ages and areas (very small, but very targeted). With a tiny targeted audience, your ads will NOT get clicked on often and will die out. You will need to periodically create new ads.