eCommerce tactics

5 eCommerce Strategies That Will Help Your Practice Grow

eCommerce is booming. By mid-April 2020, there had already been a 129 percent year-over-year growth in eCommerce orders in the United States and Canada. Many sales and finance experts believe this growth is due at least partially to the COVID-19 pandemic. While more traditional sales avenues might have suffered during widespread lockdowns, eCommerce grew.

eCommerce works not only in retail; it has been introduced to the field of audiology as well. For those in the profession who are more traditionally minded, the increasing shift to eCommerce may be more difficult. There is good reason, however, to embrace eCommerce. When done right, it can help your business thrive in a new way.

Here are five eCommerce tactics you can use to increase your conversion rate and help your hearing practice grow:

  1. Add a countdown timer.

Once a customer adds an item to their cart, the countdown begins. Adding a sense of urgency to their purchase can speed up the process. For example, you may alert the customer that their options for express or next-day delivery will expire within a certain number of hours. This will encourage them to complete their purchase more quickly and can help avoid cart abandonment.

  1. Capture your user’s data.

Learning more about your customer can help you provide a more personalized experience, which can lead to more sales. One simple and effective way to learn more about your customer is to use a behavior-based popover.

This popover appears after a customer has spent a certain amount of time browsing your eCommerce store. A typical popover of this type will offer a discount in exchange for the customer’s email address. You can also personalize these offers based on the customer’s behavior on the site up to that point.

  1. Use social proof.

When your customer is viewing a product page, your ultimate goal is for them to add it to their cart and complete the purchase. One way to encourage this is to use social proof. For example, you can add user-generated content to the page to show the customer how real people use this product in their everyday lives.

You can also showcase real-time customer reviews and ratings. Highlighting good reviews will help your potential customer make the decision to purchase as well. Another tactic is to display a counter with the number of people who are looking at or have added this same product to their shopping cart.

  1. Offer product recommendations.

Did you know that product recommendations can generate sales uplifts of up to 11 percent? You can recommend products to your eCommerce customers by showing them products that are new, most popular, or currently trending. As the customer continues to browse, personalize the recommendations based on the products they search for or look at.

  1. Display a dynamic banner.

This banner will be one of the first things a potential customer sees when they visit your eCommerce page. It should grab their attention, spark interest, and encourage them to stay on your site.

Try personalizing this dynamic banner using data from the customer. For example, you could display delivery details based on the customer’s location.

With these five strategies, you are well on your way to winning at eCommerce. To learn more about how to succeed in eCommerce and grow your hearing practice, we invite you to contact us at AudiologyPlus today.

COVID-19 & Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning in the Age of COVID-19

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives—from how we work to how our children attend school, and from how we shop to how we socialize with friends and family. The worldwide pandemic has also affected your business. You may now be using telemedicine more than ever before, and your practice may have new guidelines for welcoming patients into the office.
However, have you considered how COVID-19 has affected digital marketing? Just as in so many other realms, the pandemic has changed everything in digital marketing—and none of the rules we knew prior to COVID apply now. So, as a company that needs digital marketing, what does this mean for your business?
Let’s start with strategy and planning. Once you have adapted these to the new digital marketing landscape, everything else should become clearer. Perhaps most important is the need to be efficient and effective in your digital marketing strategy and planning. Here are a few simple tips to streamline and optimize:

  • Be able to connect what has been planned to what has been completed.

Measuring outcomes and analyzing spending and strategies are perhaps more important now than ever before. Marketers should be able to easily understand what has been planned and budgeted, the accompanying timelines and goals, and what has been delivered.
Once you are able to connect these data sets, you should be able to quickly assess spend, reach, and engagement. Based on the outcomes, you can adapt your future planning and budgeting to favor the most effective and efficient strategies.
Clear, transparent, and effective communication has become paramount in this age of remote work. This includes communicating about your digital marketing strategies, planning, outcomes, and insights.

  • Know how to optimize marketing strategy.

In the 2020 climate, you frankly do not have room to spend time and money on strategies that are ineffective. If a certain channel or campaign type is not bringing in a return or is not contributing to your goals, you need to reevaluate your marketing strategy.
Do not be afraid to optimize by revising your messaging on a specific channel, modifying your strategy, or even halting an ineffective campaign. Using the data mentioned above—connecting what is planned with what has been delivered—you can pace your campaigns to better meet your objectives.

  • Make sure your audience is seeing what you produce.

Put simply, you can have the best digital marketing products in the world, but if no one sees them, they will not help your business. Use verification and viewability metrics to ensure that your ads are being seen by your audience.
As part of this, it is important to ensure that any materials meet brand safety standards and to detect any fraudulent ad activity. Verification and viewability can be valuable in preserving and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.
With these guidelines, you can ensure that your digital marketing efforts are both effective and efficient. To learn more about how digital marketing has changed in 2020, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are ready to answer your questions and help you navigate today’s unique challenges.

Become a Google Partner

How to Become a Google Partner and Earn the Partner Badge

If you have used Google Ads to market your hearing practice, you might have heard of the Google Partner program. Today, we’re going to review what it means to be a Google Partner, how to become one, and how to earn the official Google Partner badge.
First, Google Partners is a program that Google developed for people who use Google Ads to market online. Once you become a Google Partner, you will receive access to resources like additional trainings, special events, and industry research. You can also earn the Google Partner badge, which shows that a member of your team has demonstrated skill and knowledge in using Google Ads and that your business has grown through Ads.
How to Sign Up for the Google Partners Program
Although it might sound rather elite, signing up for the Google Partners program is actually quite simple. Plus, the program is free. Here is how to join:

  • Visit the Google Partners website.
  • Click the tab that says “Join Google Partners,” and then click “Join Now.”
  • Sign in to your Google Ads account (if you are not already signed in). You will need Admin access on the manager account in order to sign up for Google Partners.
  • Read through the disclaimer and Terms of Service for the program. Then click “Accept and continue.”
  • Select the correct Google Ads manager account.
  • Enter your company name, website, and location.
  • Click “Save.”

That’s it! You will then be directed to the Partners section of your Google Ads account, where you will have access to all of the Google Partners features.
How to Earn the Google Partner Badge
There are two Google Partner badges: the Google Partner badge and the Premier Google Partner badge. Each one has its own requirements. This article will cover how to earn the Google Partner badge. Here is how to qualify:

  • Company performance:

You can meet the performance requirement by demonstrating solid overall ad revenue and growth, and by maintaining and growing your customer base. Google Partners will evaluate your account over 18 months to ensure that you have met the performance requirement. You must have spend activity on your account for at least 12 months to qualify.

  • Ad spend:

You must meet a 90-day minimum ad spend of $10,000 USD across your accounts.

  • Certification:

At least one member of your team must be certified in Google Ads.
Once you have qualified for the Partner badge, it can be displayed on your website and marketing materials.
You can easily check your Partner badge status by logging in to your Google Ads account. Once you are in your account, click on the “Partners program” tab, and then find the “Badge status” card. This will notify you whether your company has earned the Google Partner badge. Once you have earned your badge, this card will also display whether you are at risk of losing the badge.
Google has announced that the Partner badge requirements will be adjusted in 2021. You can see their article here for more information on the upcoming changes.
If you would like to learn more about the Google Partners program or how to earn the Partner badge, we invite you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are here to answer your questions.

8 Things Your Audiology Website Needs Right Now

8 Things Your Audiology Website Needs Right Now

Simply having a website is a great step towards helping your audiology practice grow. Now that you have a website, you should consider exactly what you put on your site. Here are 8 things your audiology website needs right now:
Great content
People come to your website looking for answers. It’s as simple as that. Your content should provide the answers to the questions they have.
Remember that people’s questions will vary widely, so your content should be broad enough to answer many types of questions. Consider questions you are frequently asked in your office or via the phone, and answer those questions are your website. These might include questions relating to hearing topics (e.g., “What is a hearing aid”? “Do I need hearing aids?” “What is tinnitus?”, etc.), as well as those relating to your office (e.g., “What are your hours?” “Where are you located?” “What are your qualifications?”, etc.)
Telehealth
While many offices were already beginning to incorporate telehealth into their practice model, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns around the world have only highlighted the importance of telehealth.
Telehealth services like myVirtualClinic enable you to care for your patients without seeing them in your office. This can save time for your patients (and your staff, too) and can make it easier for patients to reach you.
Social media
Social media isn’t just for teenagers anymore! Businesses need a strong presence on social media as well. You should have a dedicated page for your audiology practice on all main social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (You can branch out beyond these if you want to!)
Of course, it isn’t enough to simply create a social media page and abandon it. Patients (both existing and potential) want to see that you actually interact with your customers. Be sure to reply to any comments or questions that are left on your page, as well as reviews. It’s also important to post regularly so your practice is kept fresh in the minds of your patients.
Individualism
Unless you are located in a very small town, chances are there are multiple audiology practices in your area. This means that potential patients have a choice of whom they give their business too. In order to win their business, you need to stand out!
There are a few ways you can do this on your website. Include photos of your office and your team. Consider including biographies as well, so your patients can get to know your team before coming in. You might also want to showcase your practice philosophy online, which can highlight how you are different from the others. Positive reviews are another good way to feature what’s great about your practice and why patients should choose you.
Opportunities to sell
Although the optimal setting for selling a hearing aid might be at your office—once you have completed a hearing test and provided a professional consultation—you shouldn’t pass up on opportunities to sell on your website. This can be as simple as listing out (with images, too) the hearing aid tools available through your practice.
eCommerce can be powerful, too. This allows people to buy directly from your website rather than coming to your office.
Great imagery
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still true. Showcasing photos of your office and your team on your website can be a great way to help patients get to know you before they even step foot inside your practice. In addition, a website with eye-catching imagery is much more inviting to look at than one that’s only filled with 10 pt size type!
If possible, have some professional photos taken of your office. This can make a big difference in the quality of the photos and how they appear on your website. You can even have a “patient” (either a real patient or a family member of your staff) in the photos to highlight the level of care you provide.
Patient testimonials
You simply cannot go without patient testimonials on your website. One recent study found that 59.9% of patients chose their medical provider based on positive online reviews, and 60% said they have avoided a medical provider because of negative reviews.
Highlighting a few positive reviews on your website can do wonders for drawing new patients to your practice. If you don’t currently have any testimonials to showcase on your website, just ask your happy customers! Using a service like ReviewMe can also make it easy to continue gathering reviews.
Consistent branding
Have you ever visited a website for a business and wondered if that was actually their official website? You might not have been able to pinpoint the reason at the time, but your questioning was probably due to a lack of consistent branding.
The aim is to provide a consistent experience for your website visitors across your entire website—and the rest of your online presence as well, including your social media pages and any other online listings. This should include using the same logo and practice name. Make sure your office hours, phone number, and address are updated as well. You could even consider using colors on your website that are similar to the colors in your office for an especially consistent patient experience.
These 8 factors are essential to creating an audiology website that draws in new patients and helps your practice succeed. To learn more about how you can build your practice online, please contact us at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we have the experience and expertise you need to grow your business.

Top 10 Marketing Ideas for Audiologists

Top 10 Marketing Ideas for Audiologists

The secret to success for a hearing practice is not a secret at all—you need loyal patients who love your practice. You know that you provide exceptional care and run a great office. However, in order for your practice to grow and thrive, you need other people to know that, too.
That’s where marketing comes in. To help your practice grow—no matter how big or small you are right now—we have the top 10 marketing ideas for audiologists:

  1. Referral Offers

One of your practice’s greatest assets is your patients! Word of mouth is a great way to bring new patients to your practice. So, why not give your existing patients (who already love your practice) an incentive to spread the good news?
A referral offer is a discount you offer to existing patients who refer a new patient to your office. In some cases, you give the new patient a discount as well; the details are up to you.
2. Reward Positive Reviews
In addition to word of mouth referrals, positive reviews are an excellent way to showcase how much your patients love your practice. When potential new patients research your office online, they will be able to see those positive reviews, which could influence them to choose your practice as their new audiologist.
Consider offering a reward to existing patients who submit a positive review. This could be a discount on their next appointment or a gift card to a favorite local restaurant. Submitting a review is very easy and takes little time on their part, especially if you use ReviewMe.
3. SEO and Local SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is critical to the success of any practice. SEO is what enables potential new patients to find your practice online. Local SEO is especially important for location-based businesses like audiology practices.
VisibilityBooster is a powerful tool for improving your website’s online presence and gaining valuable SEO traffic. With this tool, more people will find your practice, your website will rank higher in search engine results, and you will also be notified of new online reviews.
4. Fun Content
As an audiologist, content related to everything-audiology is probably of great interest. However, to put it frankly, audiology isn’t fascinating to everyone. That’s why it’s important to feature some fun content on your website, too.
One way to bring some fun to your website content is to make use of your blog. A blog allows you to add more personalized content that you can tailor to topics that are relevant at the time. Of course, you can still create blog posts about audiology-related topics, but they don’t all need to be about audiology. Consider creating blog posts about fun topics like office birthdays and celebrations, local events, practice milestones, and even your staff’s favorite recipes.
5. Video Tutorials
If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you might have noticed that more and more people are posting videos instead of written content. That’s because so many people prefer watching videos to reading lengthy posts.
Use that to your advantage! Create simple, easy-to-follow video tutorials for tasks that patients frequently inquire about. This may include how to insert a hearing aid battery, how to clean a hearing aid, etc.
6. Telehealth
In this day and age, having an alternative to in-person appointments is crucial. For many patients, telehealth virtual appointments are more cost-effective and use less of their time than driving to and from appointments at the office. Telehealth is also essential during times when health risks are high, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth services like myVirtualClinic allow you to provide personalized, quality care to your patients, no matter where they are. As long as they can connect with you via their computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can serve them.
7. Create Customer Campaigns
You already know that not all of your patients are the same. You have patients of different ages and genders, not to mention family demographics, financial backgrounds, and more. Because your patients are so unique, you should have customer campaigns that target these different “types” of patients.
For example, maybe you have certain marketing materials that are targeted towards seniors. These will differ from the marketing tactics you use to target the parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children. You can also use different marketing platforms to reach varying audiences. Be sure to consider email, direct mail, social media, PPC, and other types of advertising.
8. PPC
Pay-per-click advertising is just what it sounds like: you pay each time someone clicks on your online ad. This can be a cost-effective way to advertise, as you won’t pay for any ads that are not clicked on.
If you want to get your biggest bang for your buck when it comes to PPC, try PPC+. This program is designed to get your business listed at the top of Google results, to keep your practice on people’s minds, and to ultimately draw new, high-value patients to your office.
9. Request Customer Feedback
Even happy patients might have ideas about how you can improve your practice. You won’t know unless you ask them! Don’t be afraid to ask your patients for feedback about their experience at your office. This feedback can be a valuable way to improve your services and enhance your patients’ experiences.
If you do happen to get an unhappy patient, ask them for their feedback, too. This could give you important insight into what could be changed so you have fewer unhappy patients.
10. Have a complete, fresh, branded, and modern website
One rule of marketing in the twenty-first century is that if you don’t have a website, you are missing out on a huge portion of patients. For some people, if you aren’t online, you might as well not exist!
It’s important to not only have a website, but also to have one that’s complete, fresh, branded, and modern. You never want potential patients to become frustrated with your website because they cannot find the information they need or it’s too difficult to navigate; frustrated website visitors typically leave your site and rarely become patients. If your website needs a refresh (or you need a website, period), check out our exceptional, modern website services.
With these 10 tips, you’re well on your way to growing your practice. If you would like more information about how to market your practice online and how we can help, please contact us at AudiologyPlus.

Increase hearing aid sales

Want to Increase Hearing Aid Sales? This Is What You Need to Know

As a hearing healthcare practitioner, your business depends on your patients. If your practice is like most hearing practices, you rely not only on appointments but also on sales–hearing aid sales. So, how can you increase hearing aid sales and therefore boost your business? Here are a few simple ways to increase hearing aid sales:

  • Listen to your patients’ needs.

Pushy salesmanship does not earn repeat customers–and it rarely earns sales. Rather than pushing certain devices on your patients, listen to their needs. Listen to your patient’s preferences, difficulties, and interests. This will allow you to make better recommendations that better fit their particular needs.

  • Follow up with your patients.

Once a patient purchases hearing aids, be sure to continue following up. Make sure they know you have not forgotten about them or their needs. Follow up to make certain that their devices are functioning properly and that they know how to appropriately care for their hearing aids.
It can also be helpful to take the opportunity to remind your patients about follow-up appointments, routine maintenance, and regular fittings.

  • Offer financing options.

Do not let financing be the reason you miss out on additional hearing aid sales. If the hearing aids your patient needs are a little outside their price range, offer flexible financing options that fit their needs. Make it simple for every patient to afford the device that is best for them.
It is also important that the way you explain financing options is clear–and that every member of your team can also clearly explain the financing options. Confusion will only hurt your practice and your sales.

  • Get a modern website.

A modern practice needs a modern website. On your website, you can feature the hearing services you offer, including hearing aids. This helps patients (both current and potential) find the services and devices they are looking for.
With a website built to the latest specifications, your site will function and display optimally on all types of devices. This includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. You will also want to consider adopting telehealth to ensure you can serve patients who can’t easily travel to your office. You can troubleshoot and manage hearing aids over telehealth!

  • Focus on Local SEO.

Of course, a modern website will not do much to bring your practice more patients and more sales if people cannot find your website. SEO (search engine optimization) ensures that people who are searching for your services will find them. Local SEO is especially important for making certain that people in your area find your practice.

  • Highlight positive reviews.

In today’s world, reviews are an important part of choosing both products and providers. Showcasing positive reviews on your website can help potential customers feel more comfortable in trusting your services and purchasing the hearing aids you offer.
To do this, you need to gather reviews from your existing patients. Once you have a few glowing reviews, you can start to feature them on your website.
At AudiologyPlus, we have over 20 years of experience in marketing hearing healthcare practices, and we are dedicated to helping your business succeed. If you need help with a modern website, SEO, reviews, or other online marketing services, we have the expertise you need. We welcome you to contact us today to learn more about us and how we can help your practice grow.

New Maine Law that Requires Private Insurers to Cover Cost of Hearing Aids

New Maine Law that Requires Private Insurers to Cover Cost of Hearing Aids

A new law took effect in Maine on January 1, 2020, that will have far-reaching effects for hearing practices, hearing aid professionals, and their patients. The new law requires private insurers, as well as the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare, to cover the cost of hearing aids.
Of course, this new law comes with limitations regarding the amount and frequency of coverage for hearing aids. According to this law, private insurers and MaineCare are required to cover the cost of hearing aids up to $3,000 every three years. In addition, policyholders with deductibles greater than $3,000 that have not met the deductibles at the time of purchase may be responsible for the entire cost of the hearing aid.
Maine is the fifth state in the United States to require private health insurers to cover hearing aids. Before Maine, the states of Arkansas, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island required hearing aid coverage for both adults and children. According to a report by the state’s Bureau of Insurance in 2014, as many as 173,000 Maine residents have some level of hearing impairment. This new law could mean that more of these people with hearing impairment seek hearing aids.
It is an unfortunate fact that many people go without hearing aids due to the cost. In states where hearing aid coverage is not required, most insurance plans do not cover hearing aid costs. When they do cover hearing aids, it is usually only a small amount like $1,000. With many hearing aids costs as much as $4,000 per ear, the coverage amount is simply insufficient.
Supporters of the new law hope that the knowledge that their insurance will cover at least a significant portion of the cost of hearing aids will push people with hearing loss to seek treatment. Early treatment is important for those with hearing loss, as untreated hearing loss is linked to serious health conditions like depression, falls, anxiety, and cognitive decline. People with untreated hearing loss are also more likely to suffer social withdrawal and isolation, as well as loneliness.
In addition, people who begin wearing hearing aids earlier become more used to the devices and are more likely to continue using them in the future. Hearing aid usage can lead to greater communication, increased involvement and engagement with the community, and improved quality of life.
For many people who are uncertain whether they are experiencing hearing loss, the new law provides an extra reason to have their hearing evaluated. These people will be able to feel confident that if they are indeed experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, their insurance will cover the cost up to $3,000 per ear. This will likely encourage many people who have been putting off their hearing screenings to set up the appointments they need to receive the high-quality care they deserve.

Communication Skills Training

The Importance of Communication Skills Training (Even for Hearing Professionals)

Patient communication is something you deal with every day. You communicate with your patients as you discuss their issues and concerns, assess their hearing, provide treatment recommendations, and follow up on treatment outcomes. Since patient communication is such an essential and integral part of your day-to-day work, you probably do not give it much thought.
However, perhaps you should give patient communication more thought, precisely because it is so essential. Although you practice communication on a daily basis, you may want to consider some additional communication skills training. Communication skills training focuses on optimizing clinician communication skills. The goal is to better meet patient needs, priorities, and values.
In recent years, communication skills training has become more and more of a priority in health care. Despite the focus on communication, however, few healthcare providers properly acknowledge the importance of hearing and understanding in medical settings.
As a hearing healthcare professional, you are likely familiar with this issue. Unfortunately, to medical professionals in other healthcare fields, the importance of a patient’s ability to hear and understand may not seem so obvious and essential. Much of communication skills training focuses on enhancing the healthcare provider’s communication skills, but even a clinician with the best of skills will not be able to effectively share information with a patient who cannot hear well.
In fact, recent studies have found that patients with impaired hearing are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. Researchers believe this is because patients with hearing loss have difficulty communicating with their doctor or other medical personnel. One recent study found that patients who reported trouble communicating had an average of 32 percent greater likelihood of hospital readmission. Another study discovered that patients with self-reported hearing aid use had a reduced incidence of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and nights spent in the hospital.
Studies have also shown that patients with compromised hearing status had lower treatment adherence. These recent studies make clear that a patient’s ability to hear and understand their healthcare provider is critical to optimizing communication. As a hearing professional, you can assess a patient’s hearing ability and tailor your communication to fit their needs. You can also recommend hearing aid use to improve their understanding and enhance overall patient communication.
Although your profession in the hearing healthcare field makes you familiar with problems that may arise when a patient cannot hear or understand well, it is important to keep these issues in mind as you communicate with your patients. As you share information with your patients, be sure to check that they understand you. It is also important to leave time for silence, during which time the patient can raise any questions or concerns they may have about the information you have provided.
You can also use your specialized knowledge and understanding of patients’ hearing difficulties to raise awareness of these issues among other healthcare providers. In addition to seeking communication skills training of your own, you can become an advocate for communication that includes an understanding of the patient’s hearing ability.
To learn more about the importance of communication skills training and other ways you can enhance your hearing practice, we welcome you to contact AudiologyPlus today.

three people hover over a laptop

5 Features to Look for in a Digital Marketing Agency

The digital revolution has left no industry untouched. As the world continues to go online for everything from social connection and information to physical products, businesses have raced to have a presence online as well. Digital marketing agencies quickly formed to help businesses establish themselves online and reach their specific markets. In the face of an ever-evolving online landscape, professional help navigating its shortcuts and sure-wins can prove invaluable.
Digital marketing agencies typically provide clients with web development (including building and maintaining websites), digital ad creation and placement, search engine optimization (SEO), social media support, and a range of other services related to establishing a strong digital presence. Essentially, they help businesses reach new customers online.
And, not surprisingly, not all agencies are created equal. Here are five critical features to help you spot a great digital marketing agency:
They Have an Impressive Online Presence
Much like not wanting a doctor who neglects her own health, you should seek out a digital marketing agency that clearly knows what they’re doing by, well, doing it. Their website should be sleek, modern, and reflective of their brand’s signature style. It should also be replete with relevant and useful content since we know that the SEO landscape continues to revere “content as king.” They should have an active presence on some of the top social media sites, with content you can relate to and appreciate. And last, but most important, they should be easily found via a search on Google or Bing.
If an agency you’re considering is missing any of the above features, they still might be worth your time (especially if their pricing reflects these deficiencies). They could be a newer agency, which doesn’t immediately mean that they can’t garner you the results you’re looking for. Get clear in the beginning about who this agency is and if they have any proven successes under their belt yet.
They Are Specialized
Your digital marketing firm should be experts on who they serve. Having extensive awards in, say, beverage branding, doesn’t mean they can achieve similar results across industries. Digital Marketing is as nuanced as the people moving (quickly) through the online terrain. The specific language and visuals you choose to represent your brand in the digital world will either stop people in their endless scrolling, or have them swipe on by.
So take the time to find marketing experts in your field. Make sure they know your patient base as well as (if not better than) you do. Their marketing materials, strategies, and available tools won’t be useful if they don’t have an excellent handle on how your market reacts to online content and offers. If an agency has a list of clients from across industries, that doesn’t instantly spell disaster, but you’d be wise to look for any previous clients from your field to see what the company was able to pull off. In the end, your digital presence needs to do much more than “look good” — it needs to get results.
They Have Industry Experience
This one takes the previous note about specialization one step farther. Working with marketing professionals who have actual experience in your industry can provide you with a wealth of advantages up front. For instance, it’s not unusual for a marketing firm to spend the beginning of your time working together on gathering market data and field reports. This strategizing phase is important, but can be a lengthy process if an agency is “getting up to speed” with the details about your market.
Working with a company who has been on the inside of your industry changes all of that. Sure, there might be some relevant reports and strategy sessions in the beginning, but the entire phase of planning your approach is much more directed towards the actual execution of that plan rather than researching for it. The hearing industry itself is a unique (and rapidly changing) one, where overlapping scopes of practice, a limited number of manufacturers, and atypical patient behaviors create unusual factors to consider when marketing. Finding people who understand these aspects can be a huge time-saver, and promise better results in the long term.
They Keep You Informed
The entire purpose of hiring a digital marketing firm is to improve your reach and realize results in your business. You could try the DIY method, and devour an endless array of digital marketing articles, podcasts, and books yourself, but hiring a professional likely seems like the smart thing to do. And it is — so long as that agency returns your good faith with detailed communications about their activities and their results.
Not only should your digital marketing agency be measuring the efficacy of your online marketing campaigns, website traffic, and overall rating online, but they should also be clear in their communications with you. Sending you jargon-laden reports that you need to use an online marketing dictionary to decode is not clear. Providing you with abstract statistics and graphs without a thoughtful explanation is also unhelpful. Your marketing agency is responsible for collecting relevant metrics for your online efforts and then explaining what it all means to you. They should empower you to decide whether or not your combined efforts are proving to be worth their cost or not.
They Have a Reputation for Excellent Service and Support
You’ll have trouble finding an agency that doesn’t claim to offer great customer support, so this one requires a bit more digging to find out. Look for reviews for the digital marketing agency you’re considering in some of the most popular places: Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Look for information regarding an agency’s track record for helping clients troubleshoot issues and the overall level of satisfaction from previous clients.
An online reputation is much like a personal credit score: not having any reviews is nearly as bad as having negative reviews. A firm without reviews is either too new to have gained reviews yet or isn’t delivering strong enough service to prompt their clients’ to review them. If there are negative reviews online, look for reasonable replies from the agency to get both sides, as some people are impossible to please no matter how excellent the service. In the end, the quality of customer support you get from your digital marketing agency can make a world of difference as you zero in on the perfect marketing strategy for your business and local market.
The need to get your business online is an undeniable one, but many people gloss over the need to be found online. Simply having a website (no matter how well-designed) won’t suffice as there needs to be specific ongoing activities to make it visible to prospective patients looking for your services. Hiring an agency to help you acquire patients online doesn’t have to break the bank and, when done right, will pay for quickly pay for itself.
With over 20 years in the hearing industry and a world-class team of digital marketing experts, we help our clients quickly realize the results they’ve been hoping for. From modern websites to complete SEO and digital advertising services, we have everything your business needs to get found online. Contact us to learn how to acquire new patients online.

Frustrated woman looks at computer

Can You Pay to Remove Negative Online Reviews?

Business owners from nearly every sector have come to recognize the importance of online reviews. People are leaving reviews for everything from strange decor pillows and their most recent meal out, to health professionals and even entire cities. What’s more, everyone else is reading them.
A recent BrightLocal survey saw a whopping 97% of consumers report using online reviews to evaluate businesses before visiting them. And for healthcare providers, online reviews are even more popular than government ratings.
These trends can be either good news or bad news for businesses, depending on their review management strategy. Despite common misconceptions, there are actually a set of reliable tactics for safeguarding your online reputation beyond just hoping that the occasional unsatisfied customer doesn’t blast you on Yelp.
Online review management is a three-pronged approach to leveraging the power of patient reviews to help your practice. As always, it begins with delivering excellent service, followed by encouraging reviews, and ends with leaving a proper response to any reviews you receive.
We’ve already gone over ways to effectively encourage reviews for your services, and now it’s time to evaluate the best way to respond to reviews, both the good ones and the bad.
Truth be told, positive reviews will promote your business whether or not you weigh in, but responding to them can boost their effect. In fact, a PhoCusWright survey found that 78% of respondents agreed that seeing a business respond to their reviews made them feel cared about. Showing your appreciation for a review sends a nice message to the reviewer and also displays your caring approach to everyone else. For a healthcare provider, especially, that’s a helpful quality to promote to potential patients perusing reviews of local providers.
But what about those dreaded negative reviews? They’re nearly impossible to avoid even when your service is impeccable. Frankly, some people are difficult to please no matter what, and now that there’s an easy way to vent frustrations for all to see, it seems there are more people like this than ever. Fear not, however, because a negative review does not have to be the final word.
Sadly, this isn’t where we explain how you can pay to remove these pesky reviews. Despite the growing number of ads and companies offering to eliminate your negative reviews for a price, the fact remains that popular review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Healthgrades are not affected by them. File these offers away with the emails from an Ethiopian prince needing to wire all his family’s wealth to you. They’re simply a scam.
Not only will these offers not get you what you pay for, but they could also get your business into hot water. Popular review sites depend on reliable, credible reviews for their own reputations and some even go so far as blacklisting businesses that try to undermine their efforts. Yelp, for instance, has begun boldly flagging businesses that are caught interfering with the authenticity of their reviews.
But just because you can’t pay to remove negative reviews doesn’t mean they have to negatively impact your business. By delivering an appropriate response to a negative review, you have the opportunity to reverse its effect on public perception. Just think about your own experience reading reviews. Sometimes people leave obviously unreasonable reviews out of sheer frustration and unrealistic expectations. And other times, their complaints are legitimate. But in either case, a calm, understanding, and reasonable response from the business owner or manager can go a long way in resolving any lingering doubts you might have.
The key here is delivering an appropriate response, however. If a negative review is not handled correctly, it can send an even worse message to prospective patients. Luckily, solid responses have common themes. Let’s take a look at what they entail:

  • They convey an understanding of the reviewer’s perspective
  • They apologize for playing a role in the reviewer’s frustration (even if they didn’t really mess up).
  • They are calm and not reactive.
  • They avoid being defensive, but do offer the business’s perspective on the issue at hand.
  • They offer “a second chance” (often for free, or at a discount) to achieve the customer satisfaction they strive to deliver, often leaving an email or phone number for the reviewer to use.

Replying in a reasonable way to any negative reviews you get might require that you take a day or two to gain a calm mindset about it. Getting critical feedback is hard, especially when it’s unfounded, and it’s all too easy to fall into defensiveness or reactivity when we respond while still feeling frustrated.
Take some time to formulate a response that you can view from the perspective of a perusing patient who knows nothing of the situation. It’s also helpful to have someone outside of your business, like a friend or colleague, read your response before you publish it. Remember: your response is your one chance to nullify the impact of a negative review, so take the time to get it right.
By getting to the end of this article, you’re already light years ahead of many other businesses online. The number of poorly-rated businesses without any effort to reply to their critics is a large one, and is unfortunately affecting their success. The worst thing you could do with negative reviews is to ignore them, so consider yourself already one giant step closer to successful review management.
When we work with clients, their success is our success and we know how critical their online reputation is. It’s why we created ReviewMe to help them generate more positive reviews and increase their visibility (and attractiveness) online. Contact us today to learn how we can help your practice find success too.