Tag Archives: publish

Content: Web Marketing’s Holy Grail?

16 Oct

An effective website should be the primary tool in your overall digital marketing plan. It must be a brand-consistent portal that attracts patients, differentiates your practice, and enhances your reputation. As such, the primary method of conveying these objectives to prospective (and current) customers is via content. But, make no mistake; this should not be “copy” as we are conditioned to call it after years of being exposed to hokey TV advertising dramas.

No, today’s marketing is all about content. It’s simple (the distinction, not the actual content), reflecting on the two terms. Copy refers to the words that fill a brochure or traditional marketing component – and even found on your website – in the areas of About Us, Directions, Hours, Contact Us, and the like. Content on the other hand is all about the consumers’ needs. This is the information people search for, it’s the reason they are looking for your products, services, and solutions.

content marketingAll consumers research via the web today. No matter what age they are, or what services they are seeking. This makes content a critical component of your online (digital marketing) program. You need to anticipate what they will be looking for, and provide it. Right away, as in today… and with frequency too, because Google (all of the search engines) reward websites that stay current and add new material actively.

How will you decide what to write? Simple, just ask yourself, and your staff:  what questions do we get from new/prospective patients? (Do the same for your existing patients too) Think about how you respond to those questions, and then write material to do the same thing for you for those folks who you have not met yet. Use the same “voice” or tone as you would in conversation – it will carry over and represent you more accurately than a formal thesis or clinical summary.

Still stuck for ideas?

Here are three types of content we typically create for websites:

News Roundup

The news roundup uses curated content to gain the attention of specific prospects. Gather two to four pieces of current information on a theme and bring them together in a single posting that summarizes the topic and offers a connection with your practice’s perspective.

Repurposed Content

This is content that has appeared on another site (manufacturer, supplier, partner, industry news, etc.) that you may link back to in order to bring relevant material to your audience. It may highlight a subject matter expert’s work or rely on another’s reputation as an industry thought leader. To respect copyright, we always link to the original site. Regardless, the service you are doing for your audience is to have already conducted a search, found the most relevant information, and brought it forward for their attention. It establishes your practice as current, knowledgeable, and focused.

Subject Matter Expert Interview

This is exclusive content created from an interview with a subject matter expert (most likely you, or others on your team) for their perspective on a relevant topic. It provides a platform for credibility and professionalism, as well as lets you determine the exact amount and direction of the discussion. Content can be formatted in several ways: a written Q&A, a one-on-one interview, a panel discussion, a podcast, video interview, etc. (keeping in mind that content is not limited to just text – it will also include images and video).

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Upgrade for More Success, Growth, and Satisfaction

9 May

heavenOwning a business can be heaven. Freedom to call your own shots, manage your own risk, live by your values, and spit in the eye of all those who said you’d never be able to do it.
Owning a business can also be hell. Endless hours, time spent on tasks you don’t enjoy and aren’t good at, financial insecurity, struggles to find customers, and the weight of responsibility that comes with ownership.

The truth is, owning a business can be both of those things on the same day. Yet, some business owners are good at creating more “heaven” than “hell” moments. Business is a skill, and it can be learned.
Wise entrepreneurs know that they need to keep evolving…to keep upgrading. The more you learn, the more successful and rewarding your business can be. Here are three pathways that are important when your online components aren’t where you want them to be.

 #1: Upgrade your tools

Running a business means you need to watch your bottom line. You need to think carefully about every dollar you spend, and make sure you’re spending wisely. Unfortunately this can lead business owners to make hasty, business-strangling decisions simply for the sake of saving a few dollars a year.

When you’re running a business, you need professional-grade tools.

  • You need to be serious about web security and hosting.
  • You need professional site design that speaks well of you.
  • You need grown-up web publishing tools, not the freebies that amateur bloggers use.

This is an unbelievable time to present a business online, because top-quality professional tools have become amazingly affordable and easy to use. But you have to make some investment in your site. There’s no reason to overpay, but you also don’t want to nickel and dime yourself right out of any credibility.

#2: Upgrade your communication

Current marketing has become a complex, nuanced business. Content is what works — but it has to be content intelligently delivered, with sound strategy. Your content and marketing need a healthy measure of both art and science — art to create something worth your prospects’ attention, and science to convert that attention to business.

Intelligent use of social media, well-defined content strategy, solid understanding of copywriting, and the commitment to build a framework of appealing content — they all work together in well-deployed modern marketing.
It’s not calculus but there are a lot of elements. AHAA Marketing exists to help keep you thinking about all those elements, and how to bring them together.

#3: Upgrade your mindset

The biggest difference between successful business owners and their less-successful counterparts is mindset. The rest of it can be learned or outsourced.
Successful business owners keep their focus on what matters most in their businesses. They know what to get obsessive about…and what they can safely dismiss.

Focused business owners know how to manage risk intelligently — not by taking crazy chances, but with thoughtful, informed risk-taking.

Happy business owners know that a business should be a pathway to a more rewarding life, not a prison or a weight around their necks. They understand that the business should serve them, not the other way around.

We have some approaches that can help

You probably know that AHAA provides a number of resources for you — including web marketing programs and essential services that deliver results without costing a fortune.

Our WebArt digital marketing packages are the most comprehensive online program we’ve ever offered. This year, we’ll be adding even more services. Serious resources for people who are serious about developing their online business.

Public Relations: Beyond the Parties & On a Budget

19 Jul

Public Relations, or PR, can mean different things to different people across different industries.  In the fashion world, it’s synonymous with parties; in the restaurant industry, it’s grand opening events; for corporations it’s getting the word out about an upcoming philanthropic fundraiser.  But how does it relate to you and the many hats you wear as an owner of a hearing healthcare practice?  And more importantly, will PR really help your business grow?

If you implement a PR strategy correctly, it can certainly help your practice gain exposure to new patients by touting new technology, community outreach and more.

The simple definition of Public Relations sums up what you want your potential customers to take away from any campaign:

PR is the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and a sense of goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution.

Your goal with any PR campaign is to stress your point of differentiation, what new product or service you bring to the table and how that will influence the consumeryour consumer.

Integrating an economical PR component, as it relates to your industry, into a marketing strategy is a great way to gain exposure within your community using little to none of your marketing budget.  Think of PR as a time commitment; it can take 5+ touch points with the media before a story is picked up.  But don’t be discouraged, because we’ve developed a brief ‘How To’ guide to launching a simple Public Relations campaign.

Step 1: write a press release

Make sure you have something newsworthy to promote.  Journalists dislike being bombarded with press releases that have little to no newsworthy value.  Concentrate on what’s new in your industry, how the “latest and greatest” products and services affect the customer and important additions to your staff.  And limit it to 300-800 words (at under 700 words, you can use the length of this blog post as an example)!

Step 2: communicate with journalists

An important part of a public relations campaign is reaching the journalists and enticing them with your story.  Find out who the best contacts are by reading trade and local publications and note which journalists write stories related to your industry.  The website of each publication usually lists writers and/or editors to contact (preferably contact via email).  Make a contact by introducing yourself and your practice.  The more you position yourself as an industry expert in your community, the better you are positioned to be contacted about your area of expertise.

Step 3: follow up 

A few days after emailing the journalist(s), reach out with a follow up call.  During the follow-up call, ask the following questions:

1) “Did you receive our press release about the latest trend in our industry?”
2)“May I schedule a follow-up interview to answer any questions?”

Step 4: repeat on a quarterly basis

Consistent with any marketing initiative, repetition is the key in PR as well.  Be sure to follow up with journalists on at least a quarterly basis to stay top of mind as a local leader in your field.

How do you get started?

If you don’t already have press releases ready to distribute, visit www.AHAAnavigator.com and check out Guidepost #16: Marketing Plan. You’ll find PR FAQs and a repository of hearing related press releases.

Good things come to those who wait…

 Follow these steps consistently and you will make a mark in your community as a “thought-leader” in your industry.  As with any outreach initiative, if you are involved with community organizations or want to approach businesses in your area, being published is a great addition to your portfolio; it may even lead to speaking opportunities!

In addition, let your current customers know about your industry chops by mailing them a letter, posting a PDF on your website, sending an email and/or displaying a copy of the article in your office.  Everyone likes to be connected to a local celebrity.

AHAA Associates who integrate PR into their outreach efforts have received coverage in local newspapers, been asked to speak at industry events and have even received TV exposure.