Considering that over 48 million Americans would benefit from the use of hearing aids, it can be surprising to learn that hearing practices often struggle with marketing their services. Indeed, marketing an audiology business or hearing aid center is anything but easy. And with over-the-counter hearing aids fast approaching, the challenge hearing practices face will only continue.
The good news is that small businesses like hearing practices have more options than ever when it comes to cost-effective marketing. From the incredible versatility that digital marketing offers, to the many ways to reach people for free, there are several avenues for promoting your services to those who need them most.
To make this easy, we’ve compiled 7 free audiology marketing ideas that you can apply in your office no matter what kind of hearing services you provide. All of these ideas have one thing in common: to reach the people who need hearing care and let them know how you can help. Because the truth is, healthy hearing changes lives. And it’s up to you to show people what’s possible.
Every hearing professional needs a 1-minute elevator pitch ready and waiting. Ideally, you market yourself everywhere you go. In line at the grocery store. At your aunt’s birthday party. Your best friend’s wedding. And everywhere else.
Don’t worry — this doesn’t mean you have to bring up hearing loss wherever you go. But it does mean you’re always on the lookout for a chance to mention how modern hearing technology is transforming people’s lives and the relationships they cherish. Breaking the stigma around hearing loss means people like you find ways to talk about it more. And getting more patients in your office means raising awareness about what modern hearing aids can offer.
Sharing your knowledge in-person with your patients is a powerful way to overcome resistance to hearing treatment. Misconceptions and stubborn hesitance often melts away when you’re able to address questions and concerns directly.
For this reason, speaking to groups is often a very effective way to bring new patients in. Consider offering a free hearing screening and informational talk at local senior centers, nursing homes, and even company gatherings for relevant industries (i.e. construction, auto shops, arborists, etc). Come prepared to answer common questions and try offering a limited-time offer to encourage people to visit you before the impact of your talk fades over time.
If you have yet to reach out to professionals in your community, you could be missing out on a significant source of patient referrals for your practice. Consider reaching out to other professionals who work with your target population and letting them know what services you provide, along with the kind of success you have with your patients. Including testimonials or actual patient statistics from your office can be a persuasive way to become a reference for professionals who don’t know you. Dropping off this information in person can also be helpful.
Not sure who to reach out to? Begin with those professionals who interact with your target market enough that they might recognize an untreated hearing problem. Consider doctors (especially those with a specialty in geriatrics), any other health professionals (i.e. therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapist) who work with older patients, physical trainers at gyms or tennis clubs where retired populations frequent, and hearing screeners at schools if you work with pediatric hearing loss.
For the most direct marketing opportunity, schedule an Open House event at your office. Invite the public to visit your office, get a free hearing screening, and try on hearing aids. Put flyers around your community and spread the word for free online through social media. You could even schedule this in October, as an “National Protect Your Hearing Month” event. To make it even more appealing, consider offering limited-time discounts for those who come in.
Although marketing is your focus, spreading awareness of hearing health is your effect. And you can do this everywhere, through conversation or through writing. We’ve already emphasized the importance of having an active blog on your website, and the power that guest posting can have on your visibility online.
Now consider reaching out to local publications where you could offer valuable information about hearing health. A free publication for seniors is common in many cities, as well as free health-oriented magazines. Check your nearby senior center or library to discover the kinds of small, free publications available in your area, and then reach out to them to pitch a few ideas of topics you’d be willing to write about for an upcoming issue.
Consumer behavior has been evolving for decades, but one trend has remained strong from its inception: discounts. The power of a limited-time offer of cost-savings is not to be underestimated, even if the offer is not very steep. Even offering a “free hearing aid trial” can be enough to bring those in who might otherwise be putting off caring for their hearing needs.
Across every healthcare sector, one rule remains true: it’s easier (and cheaper) to keep patients you already have than it is to recruit new ones. Despite this, few hearing professionals make the extra effort to nurture their current patient base with regular communications beyond the typical “It’s time for a check-up” notifications.
You can easily keep your services top-of-mind for patients by sending out a monthly email newsletter. Include a short review of a hearing topic of interest, or just link over to your most recent blog posts, to offer value in each communication you send out. Mention any news coming from your office (i.e. new staff members, upcoming events, etc) to help your patients feel connected to you and your practice.
Marketing doesn’t have to be hard work. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. With the right mindset and a focus on sharing the results you provide, it quickly becomes a task of simply getting your message in front of the right people at the right time.
We specialize in maximizing our clients’ marketing potential, and we do this through digital marketing. Your potential patients are online, and targeting them is easier (and less costly) than ever before. Contact us to learn how digital marketing can meet your budget and your needs.