One of the common misconceptions of advertising and marketing on the Internet is the assumption that because the Internet is global, only global companies should use it to advertise. In reality, advertising on the Internet can be a simple, cost-effective means of reaching patients and prospective patients on a local level.
With some planning and experimentation, Internet banner ads are an ideal way to drive prospective patients to your website so they can learn more about you and your practice.
Banner ads are the billboards of the information superhighway. Just like traditional advertising, banners ads should only be displayed on sites that are frequently viewed by your target audience.
Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Alta Vista offer the ability to pop up your ad whenever someone searches key words you specify, such as chiropractor, back pain, etc. Be sure you include your city or county name in your keyword criteria, since that can help limit the amount of advertising you do to people who aren’t in your area.
Also, look into advertising on websites of local newspapers, community organizations, chambers of commerce, business networks, regional directories, community networks, chiropractic and health organizations, etc. A simple way to find appropriate sites is to search like a consumer, using different search engines and directories to see what you find.
Visit www.bannertips.com to learn more about ad design. If you already have Yellow Pages ads, find out if they are affiliated with any online services, and look for package discounts.
The following guidelines can help improve your chances of a successful online ad campaign:
- Track results: Make it a habit of asking prospective patients and new patients how they heard about you. Make sure your staff logs and tracks the answers to guide your future marketing decisions.
- Experiment: Continually refine your ad text and designs to see which ones work the best.
- Test small: When trying something new, test it for a shorter period of time, or with a smaller audience, to try to gauge effectiveness before spending on a larger program.