Due to the commoditization of hearing aids, You might find it hard to attract patients and sell your care services. Let’s solve that.
If you’re looking for strategies or ways to attract new patients to your doors, look no further. I’m going to share with you fool-proof strategies that have worked for thousands of audiologists to gain a flood of new patients AND retain them over a long period.
This article covers:
- What to do before marketing your audiology practice
- Generating patients using Google Adwords
- Attract patients using social media targeting
- Video advertising to raise awareness
- Attracting new demographics
- Establishing referral programs
- Using podcasts as a patient referral source
- Expanding your network with PCPs
- Podcast tour strategy
- Building your brand
- The secret to fruitful audiology marketing
What to do before marketing your audiology practice
More often than not, audiology promotional efforts fall flat because there was no grounded bedrock for the marketing to stand on. Let’s go through critical aspects that need to be addressed before you start marketing your practice.
Hone in on the service and separate yourself from the device
With the rapid surge of competition from retail titans, hearing equipment has become a commodity. Patients’ accessibility to such devices has increased to a point where anyone can get their hand on hearing aids from their mobile phone.
A mistake often practitioners fall into is trying to attract patients using these commoditized products as their selling point. “Why would I go to an audiologist if I can get the same product shipped to my home in a matter of hours?” is the question you should refute.
The refutation in this competitive environment lies within the service you provide. Instead of focusing on the products, you should focus more on creating memorable service to your patients, a service that no device or retail store can afford to provide.
Focusing on the care service instead of the device is the first step to singling yourself out from the sea of sameness. This will give patients new reasons as to why they should come to you.
Differentiate, Differentiate, Differentiate
Differentiation works because of how our brains function. Our brain filters the “lookalike” and tends to pay attention to what’s different as a way to protect us from the plethora of irrelevant information.
A common misconception about differentiation is that you have to provide radically new service to be different. However, this could not be further from the truth. You can provide the same care service and still be different. Differentiation comes in a lot of ways:
- You can be different in terms of language and one voice
- Aesthetics and visuals
- Processes and the way you deliver the care; And
- Other 1000s of unexplored aspects that you can take advantage of.
Our brain […] To keep us from drowning in triviality, it learns to tell things apart.
― Marty Neumeier
Build Your Brand
Your marketing is as good as the brand behind it. Marketing should support and build the brand while communicating its defining attributes. A common myth about branding is that by being popular or famous (increasing brand awareness) you’ll form a brand.
Branding is not about being “known” or influential. Being in the minds of many people is partial to what makes up a brand. A brand is what people feel towards your practice and how they perceive it. When enough individuals arrive at the same feeling, you’ll form a brand.
A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a GUT FEELING because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational.
― Marty Neumeier
That “feeling” is measured by the brand preference metric.
Brand preference is a cognitive judgment a patient makes regarding your brand. It measures to which extent purchasing decisions are made based on the attachment and loyalty to your brand rather than the price, convenience, or regardless of the alternatives.
Branding your practice will skyrocket referral rates, patient retention, and acquisition. More importantly, it’ll maximize your marketing efforts and lead to unmatched results.
Building your brand consists of five stages:
- Brand DNA
- Brand Differentiation Strategy
- Brand Persona
- Brand Storytelling
- Art Direction
I outlined step-by-step how you can build your brand and measure your practice’s brand success in our free healthcare branding guide.
Audiology marketing ideas
Now that we have the 3 pillars of a successful audiology marketing campaign, let’s dive into the strategies.
Generate patients using Google Adwords
Imagine someone typing “audiologist near me” and your office contact information, booking page, and directions comes up first on google search in front of thousands of people?
That’s exactly what Google Adwords is for. It’s an auction-based platform that allows you to pay to be on the top of google search results.
Best part? These searchers are warm leads. Meaning, they are already looking for hearing doctors and want to contact you. Unlike cold leads, where people are not actively looking for care, in google AdWords, people want to be in your office. You just need to show up.
Showing up on the first page of Google for these terms are ridiculously cheaper than traditional media. For example, if you offer a hearing aid for $2500 per patient. And you spend $550 a month on Google Adwords to get 2 patients, your profit will be $4450, that’s 809% ROI.
Using video advertising to raise awareness
According to recent research, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
So, although, making a video is a little more expensive than a normal ad, the results are well worth it. Since you’re guaranteed a high retention rate for your video ad (if it’s well made), that means you’re more likely to get higher ROI on your advertisement spend on video marketing platforms like Youtube than a text-based one.
Here’s a heart-stirring ad from Bay Audiology:
Another great example of audiology that invites patients to take action comes from Specsavers:
Attract patient using social media targeting ads
Another great strategy for you is to target your ideal patients using social media advertising platforms like Facebook Ads. A platform like Facebook Ads allows you to reach a huge audience for the price of 1/10th of what you’ll have to pay to achieve the same exposure on TV.
Not only that but these audiences are highly targeted, meaning you can be in front of your ideal patients, at the ideal time, offering them the ideal treatment plan.
Here’s an example of audiology Facebook ads:
Launch your audiology podcast and use it as a referral source
50% of all US homes are podcast fans. This rapid increase in popularity for podcasting makes it a potent way to reach your patients directly using audio.
Launching your podcast is a great way for you to start your show where you can educate, entertain and attract patients by publishing helpful episodes about certain cases or hearing-loss related issues.
Many doctors right now are using podcasting as a way to attract patients because it’s easy to implement and yet still effective and result-driven.
With 10-40 minutes of recording each day, you’ll have a marketing asset (an episode) that’ll keep attracting patients for you passively.
Be a guest on other healthcare-related podcasts
Instead of launching your show, use what we call podcast tour strategy. This strategy revolves around being on other podcasters’ shows as a guest. You can pitch yourself to be a guest on other medical-related podcasts where you can gain instant exposure to a huge segment of the audience that can convert to be your patients.
This strategy allows you not only to increase your brand awareness but also to make relationships with other medical doctors and podcast hosts. These relationships will pay dividends when you start seeing referrals coming from other practitioners whose podcast you’ve been on.
Another great aspect of this strategy is that it’s even easier than launching your show. Just a quick call with the podcast host and you’re done.
Establish referral programs
Research shows that physician referrals generate ∼15% of the total audiology market revenue. This means that referrals should be one of your prioritized marketing strategies.
In addition, patients trust their family doctors or their regular primary care providers. A great way to earn some of this trust and get yourself known in the community is by setting up a referral program for your local physicians. This will expand your network and increase referrals from other doctors.
You can also set up a referral program for your patients where you can offer discounts for next visits or future purchases. This will give them even more incentive to recommend you to their family members and friends.
Expand your network with PCP and family doctors
Since other practitioners are potential referral sources, networking with other physicians becomes an integral part of your marketing strategy.
Expanding your network will open up a well-spring of referrals to your audiology practice. Not only that but, it also attracts the referral’s family and acquaintances.
Earning trust and networking with other physicians will establish you as an authority in the medical sphere and thus generating and attracting more patients.
Go beyond age-related hearing loss cases
While old-aged demographics are the main patient segment for audiologists, you must not ignore other demographics like younger patients who are experiencing early stages of hearing loss.
According to the National Institution of Health ( NIH ), fewer than 20 percent of all people needing hearing aids get them. This means that there’s a big chunk of underserved patients that you can start marketing to.
This is a great opportunity for you to start your marketing strategy with a plan to focus on unexplored market segments and target other demographics.
The “secret” to a fruitful audiology marketing
Marketing your audiology practice without building your brand is like using tactics that come with an expiration date. Building a strong brand name for your practice will make you less dependent on marketing expenses and reduce your costs.
Moreover, If your brand is differentiated, inspiring, and communicates with persuasive messaging, it will have an uncanny ability to attract cult-like loyal audiences and streams of patients to your practice.
If you’re looking to build a timeless audiology brand, let’s chat about it, I’m happy to help.