3 arrows in the bulls-eye of a target

Reach the Customers You Want with Precision Targeting

A huge perk of online marketing is the ability to target your ads to people expressly interested in your services. If a person is online, searching for information or professionals related to tinnitus, for example, you can clearly define that in your ad’s parameters and increase the odds that she or he will click through to your website. It’s these detailed targeting features, along with a notable cost-effectiveness, that’s made digital ads a popular option for businesses looking for increased traffic (both online and in-person).
Advertising services like Google Adwords and Sponsored Ads on Facebook offer an impressive array of details about the people you want to show your ads to. Whether you target people searching for topics related to your business, specify their location, or even define the kinds of interests they have, you can expect your campaigns will be shown to the right kind person.
Consider the possibilities for your business if you could directly reach the people in need of your services. Below we walk through what’s possible with precision targeting on two of the leading online marketing platforms: Google and Facebook.
Keyword Targeting
When in need of local services, an increasing number of people are going online to research their options before visiting any office or store in-person. In fact, 97% of people reported going online to look for a local business just last year. These kinds of pursuits usually start with people using a search engine like Google to find businesses that meet their needs. The words they use to perform their search include keywords for the respective industry they’re interested in. And these keywords are prime targets for online ads.
Through Google Adwords, keyword targeting can enable a business to place their website at the top of the search results and on related websites. It’s a versatile approach to finding your customers online as it offers a wide array of options for narrowing in on your ideal keywords. For instance, the keywords, “hearing loss” could be set up to trigger your ad when used in a phrase (such as, “symptoms of hearing loss”), by itself, and as broad or precise as you prefer.
Keyword targeting on Google can vary widely in cost, with the most popular (and obvious) keywords for a given industry costing the most. On Facebook, targeting audiences based on specific keywords doesn’t increase the cost, but can either increase or decrease your audience selection, ultimately defining the number of people likely to see your ad. The benefit of both platforms, however, is that you only pay for your ads when someone actually clicks them (hence, pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising).
Location Targeting
Targeting people within a certain distance from your office is an ideal choice for marketing your practice. It significantly boosts the number of people your ads will reach and also helps bring the cost down for highly competitive keywords (like “hearing loss” or “hearing aids”).
Location targeting is available for ads on both Google and Facebook, but is more advanced on Google. A targeting strategy known as “geofencing” has become popular for targeting audiences in specific areas, allowing marketers to place a virtual fence around a location and target only those people inside of it, as well as anyone who crosses into that space.
The novelty of geofencing is its use of GPS in conjunction with targeted ads, allowing a level of location precision never before available. For instance, an ad can be set to target people visiting a competitor’s business, or temporarily be set for a relevant event (i.e. a loud rock concert, etc).  
Facebook ads allow the specificity of locations on the city, state, and country level, but their limitation with location targeting is more than made up for by their detailed personal data for audiences.
Audience Targeting
Basic demographic qualifiers, like age, gender, country of residence, and language are adjustable for ad targeting on both Google and Facebook. But the similarities in audience targeting quickly end there, as Facebook’s giant trove of data about its users is far more granular than Google’s. From pages people have liked, to their profession, income level, education, interests, behaviors, and even recent life events, Facebook has a long list of personal data that proves useful when trying to market to a specific market online.
The trick with audience targeting on both Google and Facebook is to find the sweet spot of accessing just enough people without diluting your targeting goals. Keep things too broad and you’ll run the risk of people not being interested in your ads. Make your parameters too narrow and you’ll risk not enough people seeing your ad at all. Finding that elusive sweet spot requires some trial and error, but by diligently following the metrics of your campaigns and adjusting your ads and targeting accordingly, you’ll eventually settle on audience parameters that deliver the conversions you’re seeking.

Online marketing has proven to be significantly more successful for business owners than traditional marketing ever could be. And it’s not hard to see why: targeting your audience is easier and more precise, campaign tracking is rich with detail and enables you to make necessary adjustments instantly, and more people are looking online for local businesses than ever before.
If your business has yet to take advantage of online marketing, be it through PPC ads or a strong online presence, there’s no better time than now. Contact us to find out how our clients are realizing growth in their businesses they never thought possible.
 

Man with social media concepts in hands

5 Best Practices for Marketing Your Hearing Practice with Social Media

Few hearing healthcare practices are without a website, but many have yet to create an effective presence on social media. Being active on outlets like Facebook or Twitter might seem overwhelming for an already-busy practice owner, but avoiding social media for your business means losing out on a valuable, low-cost opportunity.
The truth is, social media use is on the rise and showing no sign of slowing down. A recent Pew report found that 74% of Internet users engage with social media, and that 80% of those engagers are specifically looking for health-related information and health professionals who could help them.
There’s no better time to be online, engaging directly with prospective patients through social media. Whether you’re just starting out or are an established practice looking to expand your patient base, social media is an excellent addition to your overall marketing strategy. A small amount of time put aside to nurture your online presence on websites like Facebook and LinkedIn can quickly prove worthwhile as new patients discover you there and inquire more about your services.
So where do you begin? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Youtube, Pinterest… the list can definitely seem endless. With the ever-widening array of social media sites online, it’s no wonder that creating a social media presence for your practice can feel rather intimidating at first.
The key is to identify the ideal patients for your services, and then pick two to three social media outlets that tend to attract those types of patients. You likely have the first part figured out already and know your ideal patient demographics in detail. Finding out where they spend time online can take some digging, but beginning with a basic overview of the populations that frequent each social media outlet is a wise move. It would be hard to deny that Facebook is an essential website for your practice to have a presence on, and depending on your services or specialties, you might find that your ideal patients are frequenting other social sites as well.
Once you’ve defined a short list of social media outlets you’d like to build a presence on, it’s time to create an overall social media strategy. This doesn’t need to be extensive or time-consuming, but should outline the overall purpose of your profile and the type of content you intend to post and share. The biggest mistake we see businesses make with their social media accounts is to miss having a clear direction with their profile activity. Do you want to attract more patients? Perhaps you intend to simply spread awareness about the effectiveness of modern treatments for hearing loss. Any goal will do, but defining it at the outset is important.
Now let’s take a look at the five best practices for optimizing your practice’s social media presence:
Craft Your Profile with Care
The most popular social media sites enable you to describe your business and add contact information to your profile. This is your opportunity to highlight the focus of your practice and mention the most attractive aspects of your services.
When creating your profile, be sure to incorporate as many relevant keywords as possible into your business description, without sacrificing a natural tone. Social media profiles are just as searchable as other web pages that Google and other search engines list when people search for matching keywords. For this reason, be sure to include the name of local vicinities your practice serves. Unsure about the best keywords for your practice? We go into more detail about researching keywords here.
Content is King
We say it all the time, and the fact remains that content is indeed still king. Increasing numbers of people are visiting various social media outlets for the interaction—and especially the content—they provide. Defining the overall purpose of your social media presence is the first step, and creating the actual content for your regular posts is the implementation of that vision.
The best content offers your audience value, humor, or practical information (i.e. “We’re closed early today due to the storm,” etc.). There is no single formula for winning content, but after you begin posting a variety of information, you’ll begin to see what posts get the most engagement (i.e. likes, clicks, and comments) from your audience. Experiment within the bounds of professionalism and your overall goal, and don’t be shy about sharing content from other businesses or people on social media that have quality content you think your audience would appreciate.
It’s worth noting that if your practice’s website has a blog of its own (which it should), that it’s entirely appropriate to share your past blog posts along with current ones on a rotating cycle. In other words, you don’t want to create just one post about a helpful blog you wrote and have it get buried in your news feed after a couple of months. Any new followers you gain would likely never see it. There’s a balance, of course, between overly-redundant promotion of the same content and ensuring that it doesn’t get lost in a sea of daily posts. Depending on how quickly your audience is growing, you should cycle in previous blog post promotions every 8-16 weeks on your feed.
Stay Engaged
Social media is supposed to be just that: social. While posting attractive content is a main priority, as a business owner looking to gain an audience online, you also want to be sure to interact with any followers who comment or ask questions on your posts, profile page, or via direct messages.
Not only does this kind of personal interaction offer insight into the type of provider you are, but it also invites more participation from your audience. People appreciate when businesses take the time to acknowledge and respond to them, and are more apt to stay engaged with your posts when you’re doing the same. Back and forth activity on your feed is also attractive to those passing by who might otherwise not choose to actually “follow” your page, and it also tends to keep your business’s posts actively showing in your followers’ news feeds.
Promote Your Offerings
In the midst of your quality content posts, don’t skip the opportunity to keep your audience informed about everything your practice offers and what makes you stand out. Receive a professional award or additional certification? Post it. Begin carrying the latest model of rechargeable hearing aids? Post it. Get an amazing testimonial from a satisfied patient? Definitely post it.
You get the idea. The goal is to balance out your self-promotional posts with valuable content that your audience is drawn to. Many of the people following your business may not be local at all to your practice, but follow you due to the informative nature of your posts, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you promote your own services (aimed at local followers who could potentially need your services). A common recommendation is the 80/20 rule: give helpful and valuable content away (via your posts) 80% of the time, and sprinkle in some subtle self-promotion 20% of the time. After all, you are a business.
Focus on Service
As a hearing healthcare professional, this one will come easy for you. You’re in service to your patients every day, and the truth is, going on social media should be no different. Regardless of whether the goal of your social media presence is to gain more patients or share important information, by focusing on giving through the majority of what you post, you’ll see a loyal online audience grow quickly.
With nearly 30 million Americans living with untreated hearing loss, there’s currently a real need for helpful information about conditions, treatment options, and accessibility in hearing healthcare. Many of these people are online and using social media, so why not use your posts as an effective way to reach and teach them? Much of the persistent stigma around hearing loss and treatment stems simply from a lack of knowledge. This is where you—and your practice—can really stand out and help.

Tending to your social media presence doesn’t need to be a part-time job. With a small amount of time dedicated to it consistently, healthcare professionals across many fields have discovered social media to be an investment offering significant rewards. Consider making the time to cultivate your own social media presence and watch it bolster your entire digital marketing strategy,
Don’t have a digital marketing strategy? Learn why it’s imperative that you do, and feel free to contact us to learn how we can help.