Tag Archives: CMS

Boost Your Brand with Social Media

19 Nov

Once you have finally immersed yourself in the digital world with a strong web presence, the next step is to develop a strategy that will drive traffic to your website. Your website represents your practice online and the goal is to get customers from the web to your door.  As with every marketing strategy – traditional or otherwise – in order to be successful, you will need to implement various tactics that will engage your target audience online.

In the past few years, the scope of social media and its evolution of tactics have grown tremendously, revolutionizing the digital landscape through the ability to connect people via online communities. If done strategically and on a frequent basis, any business – including those in the hearing healthcare arena – can take advantage of social media to increase their online presence and foster customer interaction.

Here are some tips on how to move the digital needle in the right direction.

Identify Feasible Platforms

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Focus on two social media platforms at one time, determining which ones are best for your business.

The biggest challenge that many face is determining how to incorporate a social media strategy into their marketing plan. Research shows that for independent business owners it is more effective to only focus on two social media platforms at one time [e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter] in  order to build a strong online reputation. The best way to determine what platforms might work well for you is to check out what others are doing in the industry. By reviewing the competitions’ activity and monitoring relevant conversations, it is easier to determine what your audience is interested in.

Develop Strong Content

Once the platforms have been established, the next big step is developing strong content on a consistent basis that people will want to read and share with others, in order to generate viral content.  Getting your branding or other marketing messages out there to be shared within and among online communities is key.  Although there are various types of online content, the most effective are ones with a simplistic approach.  These will engage your target audience and will help you to build credibility as a knowledgeable expert in the hearing healthcare field.

Monitor Content Consistently

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Having a social media strategy is imperative: know your audience, post relevant messages frequently and monitor your social sites.

It is also important to monitor the content once it is developed and posted. It is one thing to have a presence, but it is essential to be engaged. One way to achieve this is to monitor comments on your social media sites and then follow up with responses in a timely manner.  Encouraging the audience to “like” or “share” the content is also a valid tactic, depending on which metrics you are measuring.

Promote Platforms Process

In order to promote these social media platforms, it is important to talk to your patients and encourage online sharing and reviewing. This process can be implemented into your process, where applicable, to encourage staff to ask patients after they had their appointment or made a purchase to submit an online review about their [positive] experience. Developing a handout with instructions on how to review via Yelp or Google+ to remind customers to go online is one idea to boost participation.  Reviews help establish business credibility online.

Interested in learning about social media and other digital marketing tactics?  Contact Keara M. Piekanski, Marketing Manager –  kpiekanski@AHAAnet.com.

Direct Mail & Digital: Unlikely Allies

29 Oct

In today’s marketing world, multi-media integration has the potential to be broader, deeper and more powerful than ever before.  Instead of looking for “the next shiny object,” or “the silver bullet” (which don’t exist, by the way), think about how you can build a strong marketing presence by leveraging several media outlets – that have been tested and proven – and making them work together.

The cheese does NOT stand alone

Direct mail and print are integral staples in our Associates’ marketing strategies (because they work!) and integrating

Although direct mail has dipped since 2008, it’s still relevant and it works! What to expect in today’s marketplace: a .25-1% response rate to a prospect list.

these and other initiatives will strengthen the reach and depth of your marketing strategy.  Different media have different strengths and weaknesses; woven together, they help one another succeed.  Consider the cumulative effect of marketing; instead of looking for one magic solution (still doesn’t exist), and focus on maximizing the mediums you do use.

We’ve found through reporting, that for Associates within the AHAA network, direct mail is still the #1 response medium, followed by print (newspaper) at #2.  The integration of digital is also important as your next generation of customers turns 65.  Paying attention to what is working currently will help you help more of the hearing impaired population now and planning for the future will ensure you can continue to help the younger Boomers.  So plan for your marketing strategies to work together – direct mail, print and digital – through targeting your current and future audiences, communicating with them properly and scheduling frequent outreaches with them.

Opening the digital doorway

Your next generation of consumers is the fastest growing segment of online users!

Your current target audience of the 65+ can still be reached by direct mail and print, but if integration is a key component of any strong marketing strategy, where does digital fit in?  Because the 55-64 market is the fastest growing segment of online users – and your future target audience – it’s important to allocate funds, plan a strategy and get comfortable with the digital environment.  It will be important to target your next wave of consumers with both print (direct mail and newspaper) and digital.

Why?  Because with print, it’s a tangible, targetable and easily measurable medium; you can’t accidentally “delete” it.  For those customers who have already gone paperless (e.g. bill paying, appointment reminders), they’ll appreciate that you are communicating with them via their preferred medium.  By using both mediums, you’ll cover more ground in less time and keep the revenue streaming in consistently.

Need to find a direct mailer that’s right for you?  Want to learn more about digital marketing?  Contact Keara M. Piekanski, AHAA Marketing Manager at kpiekanski@ahaanet.com.

 

Source: Direct Marketing

 

 

Intro to Digital Marketing

7 Jun

AHAA’s recommended digital marketing strategy is centered on the development of highly relevant and flexible websites built upon a Content Management System (CMS) platform. CMS websites allow the user (Associate) to make routine changes or updates to their own website (e.g.: store hours, employee bios, headshots, newsletters, blog posts, etc.) These sites are rooted in consumer intensive content and communicate the Associates’ clinical service message. The results of this approach are sites optimized for search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) helping to drive traffic to their website.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization improves page ranking.

An important addition to any website development is the incorporation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through content, keywords, and tagging (keywords inserted within the code for the site) encourage search engines to find and competitively rank your website higher than competitors relative to specific search terms. Different search terms will have different results rankings. Optimization improves the search results for several key words or phrases by emphasizing those words within the content or structure of the site. This type of SEO is known as organic and helps raise website page rankings and remain at or near the top of the search listings. Using organic optimization requires continuous SEO management and is necessary to keep a viable online presence.

Another optimization strategy is Search Engine Management (SEM) and a tactic known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) web managers help businesses increase their online presence. Paid links appear as the first few search results from the search engines (usually in a shaded box) and also in a narrow, vertical column along the right-hand side of the results page. PPC requires a monthly budget as the advertiser is charged a fee each time a consumer clicks on a paid link. Keyword fees are negotiated and bid upon by multiple advertisers, with highly sought after words drawing higher rates. This type of optimization is best added to a website once a strong organic SEO methodology is implemented.

AHAA has created a website development program that allows Associates to create a new site, revise an outdated one, or supplement their current site with additional services and support.  Contact AHAA Marketing at 800.984.3272 to discuss your goals and objectives or speak with your Associate Manager to get more details and pricing.  A capabilities presentation and a portfolio of websites are also available.