To properly use digital marketing as a means of attracting new patients, you need to be right, right, and right. First, you must target and engage with the right audiences. Then, you need to use and appear on the right platforms. And, lastly, you must do so at the right time.
Successful audiologists are leveraging digital marketing to engage current and prospective patients. Being active with email and social media gives you another avenue to communicate with these people and tell them more about your offerings. Having a strong internet presence strengthens the legitimacy of your organization and enables people to more easily learn about you and your services.
The right place to reach the right audience
To connect with your peers or other health service professionals, LinkedIn and Twitter are the best platforms. However, if you are looking to build your practice and attract new patients, Facebook is the clear choice. According to a behavioral intent study by WEGO Health, Facebook is still the most popular platform when it comes to sharing health information.
If you already have a Facebook page, be sure you are using it to its maximum potential. Introduce yourself, offer helpful advice to those suffering from hearing loss, establish yourself as a thought leader by posting your own educational content, and explain why a patient should trust your audiology practice for their hearing care needs. If you don’t have a Facebook page, it’s never too late to create one. It is a seamless process that begins at facebook.com/business.
If you feel that you don’t have time to create and manage your own Facebook page, enlist someone on your staff who is social media savvy. Don’t have anyone willing to accept such a task? Try recruiting a family member or acquaintance to help you out. Worse comes to worst, hire a freelancer. You can get one at a fairly affordable rate these days thanks to websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. When you see the good it does, you’ll realize it’s worth the time and money.
Emails are an affordable marketing option
Believe it or not, email marketing is still a highly effective way to stay in touch with your patients. And you can easily do it yourself! Affordable software tools like MailChimp and ConstantContact allow you to easily create professional-looking emails that you can send your entire patient base in minutes. For a cost much less than having a direct mail piece designed, printed, and sent via snail mail, you can reach potential new patients right where they live most of the day; their email inbox.
Again, if you don’t feel like you have the time to do it yourself, there are affordable ways to get it done. You can partner with an agency or freelancer that specializes in email marketing. Just make sure they have access to email addresses of people you want to be in front of, and that those people have agreed to receive email communications about your services.
Not sure what your first email should consist of? Start a newsletter! It is one of the most common and effective types of marketing emails. Its content should follow the 80/20 rule – 80 percent educational and 20 percent promotional. This means that 80 percent of the newsletter should have the intent of educating your audience, while the other 20 percent should be focused on promoting your services.
Have a blog? Feature some of the content in your newsletter? Was your clinic featured in the news recently? Spread the word by including that in there as well. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get the wheels in motion, you’ll find that it isn’t hard to generate enough content for a monthly newsletter, and that the returns are well worth your time and effort.
Just don’t overdo it
A professional email marketing firm will tell you that sending out an electronic newsletter once a month is sufficient. Increasing the frequency of hitting the “Send” button does not increase the effectiveness of your campaign. More likely than not, it may damage your reputation and increase the probability of recipients clicking the “Mark as Spam” or “Delete” buttons.
Remember that timing is important, too. It’s not only crucial to pay attention to how often you send, but the times you send as well. According to, MailChimp, 10:00 a.m. is the peak time for email opens, while HubSpot’s research indicates that 11:00 a.m. is prime time to send out your email communications. After you’ve sent out a few emails, you can monitor your own data to find a time your audience responds to best.
Use one or all avenues available to you
Whether you choose to be Facebook active, continuously update your business’s website, turn to email marketing, or do all of the above, be sure to showcase what you do, explain what sets you apart from other audiology practices, establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, and promote any new services you have available. You can even offer discounts and other deals to any new patients who respond to your social media postings or email newsletters. The possibilities are limitless; you just need to get creative!
Always keep this in mind: New patients are out there for the finding. They just need a way to find you.