In 2019, your practice can grow more than ever before! The truth is that growing a small, local business – like your hearing practice – is different from growing a large, global corporation. To help you navigate today’s digital marketing trends and find what is truly important to your practice, our team at AudiologyPlus has gathered our top tips for small businesses in the new year.
- Explore the Buy Local movement. The Buy Local movement is based on the idea that local, independently owned businesses should have a voice and impact in their community. The movement also extends to educating consumers on the difference local businesses can make in their communities. With studies indicating that 93 percent of Americans believe it is important to support small businesses in their community, you can gain valuable new patients by capitalizing on the fact that your practice is locally and independently owned.
There are many benefits to the Buy Local movement. Supporting local, independently owned businesses can help to increase local wealth that recirculates within the community, build community, support entrepreneurship, create good jobs, preserve local character, improve diversity and variety, and compete with big businesses. In addition to caring for your patients, your practice can become an important advocate and voice within your community.
- Enhance customer service. Your traditional idea of customer service may involve the customer (or patient) interacting directly with you at your hearing practice, both in person and over the phone. However, the customer service experience in 2019 also includes the Internet. When you consider your local patient base, you must acknowledge that most people spend time nearly every day on the Internet, looking for solutions to their problems and questions.
To provide excellent customer service in this new online and offline environment, you need to have resources available 24/7. While you probably don’t have the means or desire to have a staff member available at all hours of the night, you can provide valuable information and resources online that will serve your patients at any hour. Local patients will especially want relevant, useful information such as the services and products you offer, where you are located, your hours, and how to contact you.
- Get on top of local SEO. As a small business, most of your patients will be local to you, which means that your practice needs to be findable in local online searches. Here are a few quick and easy ways to improve your local SEO:
- Claim or add your business listing. Start with Google My Business. You may also want to claim your business listing on other directories and review websites, such as Yelp.
- Focus on local keywords. Keyword searches are how people find your practice via search engines, so make sure your website is optimized for local keywords like your city, state, county, and any other local identifiers.
- Check out your online reviews and ratings. People want to make sure your practice provides good service before they visit, so many potential patients read online reviews before scheduling an appointment. Check your reviews on Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, and other review sites to make sure your practice is represented well.
- Focus on local social media engagement. Keep the majority of your social media engagement local-centric. This might include promoting local events (especially ones your practice is participating in or sponsoring), referencing or being featured in local news, and more.
We hope you find this information valuable as you set up your small business digital marketing plan for 2019. Please contact us today at AudiologyPlus to discover how we can help you grow your hearing practice in the new year.