Your 2015 Digital Audiology Marketing Strategy
Written on Thursday, January 1, 2015 by Geoffrey Cooling
A Strong Digital Audiology Marketing Strategy Is Imperative in 2015
Digital marketing is only becoming more important as the years pass. If you haven’t got a strategy for your digital audiology marketing, you badly need one for 2015. Leads generated from online sources are just increasing year after year. They are now thought to be perhaps a bigger percentage than leads generated from existing Patients. But what elements do you need to consider for 2015?
Last Years Plan
If this isn’t your first year with a digital strategy plan, you will have data to assess and use as a basis for this years strategy. Take time to make a good assessment of what you accomplished with your audiology marketing in the past year. Here are a few questions for you to ask yourself and your team as you review the 2014:
- What strategies actually worked and helped to grow your business?
- What were the most effective strategies from last year?
- What were the least effective?
- How is your competition doing? Are you keeping up with the competitive pace in your business?
An assessment of 2014 will clearly allow you to see where you have got to, and point the way to where you want to go.
Content, Content and Content!
Content covers everything from social media posts to blog posts, this content creation needs to be planned out in order that it delivers for your business needs. Whilst you don’t have to plan every post you’re going to publish, you do need a focused content marketing plan. Here are a few questions to consider:
- What is your focus for this year, do you need more content or do you already have content that needs to be shared on social media? I would say to you that you need to consider both. Write new content and share it, but don’t forget that the old content is still valuable. You are constantly learning as you go, so look at your old content, perhaps it could be re-purposed or you missed some SEO elements the first time round. When I look back at some of my stuff, I get serious face palm moments. Its simple to make the few adjustments that are needed and share it again on social media channels.
- What is going to be your editorial schedule? How many times are you going to post each month, week, each day? Are you going to test out different schedule periods to see which is most effective?
- What information does your target audience want to know? How are you going to deliver that information? Some of the information we can provide is in-depth, maybe too much for a blog post. At Audiology Engine we regularly produce e-books, I think there is value for you if you can generate e-books. Downloads like that give you the opportunity to capture data. So consider using downloadable elements like e-books, manufacturer’s brochures etc. Don’t forget, content is not just articles.
- What tools are you going to use to help you create content? There are more and more tools being made available to create good content. Everything from tools that grade your writing, to tools that provide keyword ideas. What tools are you going to use to facilitate your content strategy.
- Are you going to hire a freelancer or task another employee with content creation? This is a big one, if you set a plan you need to follow through, so who is going to follow through on the plan for you? If you are thinking about a contractor, get a good look at their previous work. Set out clear parameters and ensure that they stay within them.
Data Capture Strategy
Set out a clear strategy to use downloads to capture email data. Think carefully about where the download offered fits within the buyer journey. Only use data capture forms for downloads designed to be of interest in the last two stages of the journey. The only data you need is their name and email address. For gods sake why do some of you insist on inner leg length and eye colour! Okay I exaggerate but you have to remember that for every single data point that a prospect has to enter, the chances of them submitting are exponentially reduced. All you need is their name and e-mail.
Email Marketing Strategy
Yes, honestly, it is effective within our profession and with our prospects. The key is speedy reaction, careful tracking and then careful tending. Someone downloads something from your site after submitting their data. Quickly follow-up with a thank you mail with links to resources that are related to what they were interested in. Signing off with the usual don’t hesitate to contact. Track the links and see if the content was downloaded.
A couple of weeks later follow-up with a is there any questions we can answer for you, with a link to content that is in the next stage of the journey. At this stage you can increase the data ask, you can ask them to re-submit their information and look for a phone number or address.
Because at this stage they have read your content, thought it was good enough that they wanted to read more. If they download the content follow-up again with a don’t hesitate to contact us. In this way you are at the top of their minds and you are drawing them along the journey and building a relationship.
Email marketing is covered by a raft of serious legislation, make sure you know what you are doing and gain permissions as you move through your process. A good all round tool for e-mail marketing is mail chimp, it will allow you embed forms and force you to build proper processes and procedures.
Google My Business
Google My Business is proven to deliver real value to business owners through ensuring that your profile appears on Google maps and Google search returns. It will deliver value as an integral part of your marketing strategy. It will support your website and put your business in front of more and more people. However, to do so it needs to be set up properly and then utilised.
- Ensure the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) details on your Google profile are correct and consistent across your web presence
- Ensure your full address and contact details are filled in
- Ensure you put a link to your website on your profile
- Upload a logo and a cover photo for your Google profile
- Upload photos of the exterior and the interior of your Practice
- Upload photos of you and your staff
- Include the profile in your social media strategy
- Ask your happy customers to leave reviews on your profile
With recent changes to the Google search algorithm there is a closer focus on local search. A large part of appearing in local search is citations. Citations are defined as mentions of your business name and address on other webpages, even if there is no direct link to your website. An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to. Citations can also be found on local chamber of commerce pages, or on a local business association page that includes your business information, even if they are not linking to your website.
Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms in Google and Bing. If all other factors are equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations. Citations from well-established and well-indexed portals (i.e., Superpages.com) help increase the degree of certainty the search engines have about your business’s contact information and categorization. However, like everything else, only use the directory sites that make sense for your citations. You also need to ensure the NAP used is consistent across all of your citations and the rest of your web presence.
The search engines take note of reviews from trusted sites and sources. Review sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Tripadvisor etc. Within the audiology profession we have Hearing tracker and Hearing Pages. Get your Practices listed on these sites and ask your Patients to review your businesses. The reviews will make a big difference to your rank in the search engines.
Design a simple email asking for a review with easily clicked icons that will bring the Patient to the profile. Print up a simple letter with instructions of how to leave a review. Have them on your desk and when someone says, “how can I thank you” hand them it and tell them why it is important to you and your business.
We recently undertook a Pay Per Click experiment which we detailed here PPC For Audiology. We believe that it is a relevant element of an audiology marketing strategy for any modern hearing healthcare Practice. We feel that it can be a cost effective lead generator for the audiology profession if the strategy is undertaken in a careful and planned manner. We feel that it is worth dedicating a decent budget to this marketing strategy if and only if you are following clear ground rules. The parameters that we found effective were the following:
Focused Keyword Phrases, no more than four that are directly associated
Focused geo-targeting for maximum impact
Good advert copy that focuses on the keywords
A targeted and well optimised landing page that focuses on the keywords
A strong call to action on the landing page
Good planning and good strategy leads to great advert quality
Great advert quality leads to real monetary savings in your campaign
This is not an exhaustive reference
This is certainly not an exhaustive reference, but it is a good start. If you consider everything we have spoken about her and implemented a strategy that encompasses it all you will be well on the way to a successful digital marketing plan.