Communication is king in terms of advertising
Every business professional faces the ongoing challenge of continually attracting new business. When you consider the increasing costs for doing business, how do you attract more qualified prospects without breaking the bank?
There are three time-tested strategies to help overcome these real-world challenges and squeeze every drop of profitability from your promotional campaigns: Focus first, create your story, and grow your endorsements.
First, focus your communication effort and give it the importance it deserves. The ability to convey your message quickly and efficiently too often is ignored in scores of advertising pieces, websites, blogs, and articles.
Fact: If you can’t state what you do in a concise, targeted, persuasive, and interesting way, your promotional effort will fail.
It’s not enough merely to write an advertising piece. You don’t want to attract all-comers; your advertising only should attract the best prospects. Plus, it should reaffirm the confidence level of your current patients.
Let’s begin with your ad itself. As stated, identify specific ailments you can treat and send targeted messages to those elite prospects. Increase your return on investment by eliminating generalized promotional pieces.
Conduct an inventory of your current patients and get a clear idea of their needs. Many practices have one treatment that predominates over others. Hence, if the bulk of your practice caters to senior patients, you’re likely treating relief of acute or chronic pain, pinched nerves, lack of flexibility, etc.
Upon determining your ideal patient, approach the creation of your promotional message from this perspective: Your patients have a problem they don’t want, and there’s a solution they want, but don’t have.
The first thing your ad viewers should see is their disorder named and an immediate solution to their specific ailment addressed. You will deliver your message through commanding headlines and informative, captivating subheads.
To illustrate, I will cite a highly successful campaign from one of our clients who was a child psychologist. Your headline must address the problem your patients want to solve. For example, “Are you sick and tired of the yelling, screaming, and belligerent attitude of your child?”
Your subheadings must engage your reader and state the result your patient wants. Such as: “Learn the secrets to gaining and maintaining complete control of your child in less than 60 seconds!”
Decades of marketing studies demonstrate that 80 percent of all consumers only read headlines, so don’t minimize their importance. It is your headline that must capture and keep their attention. This is doubly important because these same studies point out that readers of your ads only will give you a precious few seconds to grab their attention before they move on and never return.
Enhance your website by creating specific landing pages that immediately address particular ailments and corresponding treatment options. On the rest of your site, you should demonstrate specific benefits, provide patient appreciation offers, and increase patient confidence with raving testimonials. Always include calls to action.
Create your story
This brings us to the next important strategy—your story. If you don’t place enough importance on the things you say (the messages in your promotional pieces, your website, blogs, targeted emails, etc.), it doesn’t matter how much money you invest; your entire platform will be ineffective.
Your story is elevating your status and brand. Present something awesome to your patients that no one else is delivering—become a bona fide expert in their mind.
Begin by injecting your expertise and professional perspective in monthly or weekly journals, or in breaking news stories, in real-time, to generate media coverage by tapping into public discourse.
Create synergistic relationships that benefit both the media and you; become their ally. Publications, regional and community television, local television channels and radio stations, national magazines, and local cable programs always are looking for experts to quote when big stories break.
Your goal is to create and establish relationships with those writers, producers, and commentators. Provide them expertise when they have an immediate need. These things just don’t happen randomly; you need to form bonds that let the media know you’re an available, competent, informative, and reliable resource.
To maximize the promotional value of your notoriety, send your current patients a copy of the magazine with your articles highlighted, times and dates of upcoming shows on which you will be featured, and any pertinent information about you being featured as an expert in the field. Make available any printed material in your waiting area and on your website.
Additionally, now would be a great time to discuss a time-proven strategy that surpasses all forms of advertising and promotion: your written voice.
This would include writing targeted books, special reports, and detailed treatment-centered manuals, etc., whereupon you speak directly to patients in each niche (avoid medical jargon). Your mission is to become a leading expert by using smarter promotional campaigns.
Consumers are much more sophisticated as a result of social media and the internet in general. They have many more options than ever before. You want to position yourself as a highly sought-after expert with a high degree of competence.
Consumers naturally see authors as authorities on the subject of their book; as such, writing is the perfect vehicle to catapult your status in town. Books can influence your patients and prospects unlike any other form of communication. Plus, your book can deliver bulletproof marketing advantages that last for years.
Grow your endorsements
Now, consider the business advantages of relationship marketing. This tactic lets you enhance business through your relationships with others. Essentially, you and a non-competitive professional endorse one another to each other’s clientele. The approach of garnering endorsements to build one’s business has been around, in one form or another, for millennia.
In a nutshell, these endorsements use the influential prowess of two professionals to harness the synergy from the interaction of two practices. When done correctly, the relationship creates the ultimate use of marketing leverage.
A logical way to begin looking for endorsement associates would be to conduct an inventory of your current business relationships, such as social media influencers, college alumni, friends, fraternal organizations, chambers of commerce, and so on. Now, scan the field, then find out who is selling or providing a non-competitive product or service that would benefit your ideal client base. Note that you only will want to spend your time and energy on businesses that can track all of their past and present clients accurately.
Before you approach any professional, make certain you can accurately track your clients as well to make your future endorsement ally feel comfortable with the endorsement strategy. After all, they are going to be giving you limited access to their client base. Put your best foot forward. Invite them for a tour of your facility, show off your website, introduce them to your employees and sales force, etc.
It’s all about communication
If your website is pretty, but overwhelming, if you can’t easily explain why you do what you do, if you can’t express benefit and value in your services, and if you’re not engaging and interesting, you’re wasting your promotional money.
There are several strategies you can implement today to increase your patient base. If you are in the industry long enough, you realize there are some truths to marketing. The most important? It all boils down to fantastic communication.
Claudio Gormaz is a medical marketing strategist and co-founder of Steven VonLoren Marketing Strategists. He is also a highly accomplished freelance content writer. He has worked with the medical community for nearly three decades. As a writer, he converts your complex story into memorable narratives. He can be contacted at 951-294-2274, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through StevenVonLoren.com.