Practice Marketing| November 2021 Hearing Review
By Renee Shumaker, MA-A
As hearing care professionals, we strive for best practices and putting our patients first. Here are some tips on ways to help you provide for your patients and offer support in a new way – both digitally AND personally at the same time.
More than ever before, your patients want—and need—to know that they can count on you for all their hearing needs. That trust comes from building and sustaining a relationship.
From the time a patient encounters your practice—whether they submit an online information or appointment request, call your office, or come in for their first appointment—you start building that relationship. Here are 5 tips to help you provide for your patients and offer support in a new and continuous way.
1) Create videos and utilize images that are personalized and specific to your clients’ needs. I hope I didn’t lose you at “create videos” because it is not as intimidating as you may think!
Video is such a powerful tool for capturing your website visitors’ attention and expressing things about you, your staff, your services, and your practice that might be difficult to translate into text. In addition, video has been shown to be a very effective conversion booster. One study discovered that featuring a video on a landing page can increase conversion by 86%.1
A great example is the Dr Cliff (Olson, AuD) series of online videos.2 By now, most people in the hearing industry have heard of Dr Cliff (pun intended). While no one is saying you need to be the next Dr Cliff, it’s informative how he has embraced video creation and created excellent visuals to help people process current topics. Plus, when you have video that is specific to your practice and the information you want to deliver, it allows you to make a memorable connection with your audience. It also places people at ease by giving them a quick snapshot of your practice and professionalism.
A great way to start using video is to think about some regular things you get asked every day. Would your patients benefit from videos explaining how a hearing aid works? How a hearing aid can be connected to a smartphone? How to change a wax filter? There is so much opportunity with video and it doesn’t need to be a big to-do; all you really need is a smartphone and good lighting.
2) Write content for your website that calls out your specialties and strengths. As you know, your new (and existing) patients have a variety of needs. For example, some might be looking for general information about hearing aids because they suspect they might have a hearing loss. Others might be looking to purchase a specific brand of hearing aids they already know they want. The goal is to include information about your practice that answers both questions and meets both of their needs. You do this by developing quality content.
But where do you start? Start with your website’s homepage. Does it capture your viewers’ attention within 5 seconds? Ask the same question as you look at your marketing email headlines, blog posts, social media posts, and other types of online content. If it does not capture your reader’s attention within 5 seconds, you’ve lost them.
If you are working with a digital provider, they may already have content optimized for SEO that you will have on your site. If you want to edit that content to make it more personal, the best thing you can do is highlight your specialties: Do you want to be known as the go-to pediatric hearing care specialist? Do you focus on tinnitus management and balance disorders? Are you proud of your comprehensive Best Practices fitting protocol and fashion your practice as the best haering aid fitting center in the state?
Website content development is a process. Although it’s best if you plan it out first, it is built one brick at a time. Tell prospective patients/clients about the most unique facets of your practice!
3) Implement this messaging into online ads so people can find you when they perform keyword searches. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is an effective way to bring new clients/patients to your business. One reason it works so well is that it positions your business in front of people who are already interested in your services.
A pay-per-click ad will only appear when people search for certain keywords that you choose; so, for example, “hearing aids” in your specific location or “hearing test” in your location are excellent keywords to target for a successful PPC ad. When you use those keywords, and the people in your area use those keywords, that means that they are already looking for services or products you offer, which gives you a greater chance to turn that person into a new patient.
As mentioned previously, you will also want to ensure that your ads’ landing pages are practice-centered and all about your amazing services and unique strengths!
4) Develop a communication strategy that speaks to both potential and current patients. Digital communication can take many forms, both written and verbal, with traditional and new media outlets. While you might be excited to get started with your new communication plan, you must first develop a sound strategy:
- Identify the audience (new and/or current patients) for the communication strategy, and determine the best ways to reach them (eg, email, social media, text-message alerts, etc)
- Develop and test communication plans and messages with representatives of the target audiences;
- Assess the effectiveness of the messaging and modify the communication plan if necessary, and
- Implement your communication program based on your results.
Additionally, don’t pass up the low-hanging fruit. Many office management systems offer options for keeping in regular contact with your patients both before and after their appointments. Make sure your patients know you care and are there for them!
5) Be ready to commit! You will need to give direction to your digital marketing provider–or have a provider that allows you to edit things yourself. The one sure thing in life is that nothing stays the same. You need to be adaptable and ensure your patients are connected to you, regardless of what is going on in the world or what new technologies are changing the industry.
To continue to meet your patients’ needs, you will need to stay current with the latest developments and tools that can help your patients manage their hearing health. If you utilize a digital marketing provider, you will want to remain in regular contact to ensure they understand the updates needed to your website or strategy, without delay. Or, if you have direct access to your digital platform through your provider, you can make these regular updates yourself.
Being able to edit your website regularly is a must. You may need to add a new credential or specialty based on recent continuing education. As you adjust your services to give your patients what they want “their way,” your practice can continue to grow and flourish.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to stay top of mind while delivering the best possible care to your patients.
CORRESPONDENCE to HR or Renee Shumaker at: [email protected]
Citation for this article: Shumaker R. Providing for your patients in a new way: 5 strategic tips to implement in your practice. Hearing Review. 2021;28(11):32-33.
- Lister M. 33 CRO & Landing Page Optimization Stats to Fuel Your Strategy. The WordStream Blog. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/08/02/conversion-rate-statistics. Published August 19, 2019.
- Dr Cliff, AuD. YouTube. Published 2018. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpikvbsbLd6tMcuN7AEJ-1A.