Techniques for trendy times
By Michelle Geller-Vino
Today’s tough economic times mean your marketing strategies are more important than ever.
Instead of jumping from trend to trend, feeling bombarded by the “latest and greatest” and trying to stay current in this technology-driven world, it is crucial to keep levelheaded and chart a course that’s guided by what really works.
The marketing world has changed and although more people are turning to the Internet, one thing will never change — the solidification of old relationships and the building of new ones.
Almost everyone has a Web site, but are you utilizing yours to the best of its ability?
Making sure your Web site is easy to read and navigate, has current information, and patients can add and share their personal stories, is a great tool.
Stephen Levine, DC, CCSP, DAAPM, of South Orange Chiropractic Center in New Jersey, states it is also a good idea to take steps toward getting ideal placement on search engines for potential patients to find you and to employ pain and wellness-related buzzwords on your site.
He also recommends you have a place on your Web site where patients can fill out paperwork online and ahead of time.
“We use e-mail to confirm all appointments after they are made and find out which is the best way to communicate with each patient,” Dr. Levine says.
Getting to know SEO
To get your Web site to come up when people search for what you offer, use a variety of different methods.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one method of optimizing your Web site in order to be found by search engines and other various Web sites where you want to be found.
Murat Asar, a computer consultant based in Florida (www.digitizeddocuments.com) says that “the basics involve hours upon hours of improving your Web site coding, search word implementation, and building relevant content for which your search words will be tied to.
“With proper submissions on your Web site, blog, or Web page, search engines will be able to get your site listed more properly now that they are able to communicate with your Web site, gather the information that is being searched, and submit to the end user — your potential client/patient.”
“We are in the people and relationship business and that is most personal. Our business of chiropractic is of hands-on personal nature and developing rapport is more effective eye to eye than cyber touch.”
Building relationships may be easier than ever before.
Now is the time to stay focused and use methods proven to work in today’s marketplace.
Don’t forget about your current patient base. The more you stay in touch with your patients, the more they remember you — patients want to use someone they believe in and trust.
Get people talking
Speaking to businesses, groups, and organizations on health, wellness, and safety topics as part of your “community awareness” programs is a sure way to be the most well-known in your community. Never drop out of sight — always gain exposure by speaking, writing, doing health fairs, and being part of networking groups.
Make sure your practice is known in the community as a place of education. Host your own monthly health workshops in your office on such topics as raising healthy children, headaches, back safety and injury prevention, stress management, women’s health issues, and more and be sure to invite patients and community members to attend
Implement a physician networking campaign and start meeting other healthcare professionals in your community. Start with your patient’s physicians.
Most of these activities are low cost, but they simply need action steps to be taken. Have a member of your team act as the Community Relations Director (CRD).
Making calls just a few hours a week will open doors and get your name out there more than ever before. A CRD will help you to connect to more people in your community, implement action steps, and make sure your 2010 marketing calendar is filled with internal and external events.
Trendy marketing techniques do not have to involve the latest widgets or cost a lot of money. Instead, it is simply taking tried-and-true strategies and putting a fresh, innovative spin on them.
It is about maintaining a high-energy level in the practice; making sure your practice is a happy, fun, clean environment; and that you have the best people working with you.
Trendy marketing is all about maintaining a presence through every possible media, ensuring that patients and professionals know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer.
Michelle Geller-Vino is president of MGV Marketing Inc. and has more than 28 years experience training chiropractic assistants. She can be reached at 561-392-5206, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through www.mgvmarketing.com.