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Puzzle piece bridging the gap

Three ways to bridge the digital gap, reach more people and convert more leads to loyal customers.

No matter where your practice is in its growth cycle, we’d venture to say you’d like more patients. If you’re a new practice you want to build your patient base. If you’re an established practice, you’re looking to balance out normal patient attrition.

As a marketing agency, we live to help you reach more patients. It’s what we do, and we love it!

We can support you in building a strong brand and digital presence with a highly functioning website, targeted SEO campaigns, direct mail, social media, and various other promotional instruments.

If you’re doing all of the above and still asking, “What else can we do to reach more patients?” We’re here to help! Here are three out-of-the-box, creative, inspired and fresh ideas to help you reach more patients and strengthen your brand.

But before we move on to the ideas, let’s talk for a minute about why we believe these three things will attract more patients and help strengthen your brand.

What’s brand mean again? In our blog about bad logos recently, we said, “your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”

The foundation of your brand is who YOU are. Your business has a personality. Your potential patients are eager to get to know the human element behind your products and services. They want more than the “you” we can deliver by way of the internet and their inboxes.

Technology has drastically changed how we do business, but online interactions will never replace real-life connections.

When you reach people where they are and exchange human emotion you transcend technology. Shaking your hand will eclipse clicking through time after time. The trust you build with face-to-face authentic interactions solidifies your brand promise and positions you above your competition.

1. Bee Social (on social media)

Think about your personal experience with social media. What garners more comments from your friends and family, a funny cartoon or pictures of you and your wonderful family on vacation smiling and laughing together? A link to an article or a short video of you holding a newborn family member or your child scoring the winning goal?

You might get some engagement on the hilarious cartoon, but the real connection happens in the smiles, the laughter, the excitement, the joy. We respond to what hits our hearts.

Structured ads and informational posts are an essential element in a strong social media presence. But to reach more people, create a buzz and really engage, you have to get personal with your audience.

You and your team need to “Bee Social”

“Getting more personal will be a differentiating factor for brands on social media in 2019…Just like in life, your personality will attract the people you’re friends with. Showing more personality is also helpful in creating more engaging content on social media.” {source}

Woman using hashtags on social mediaAugment your social media calendar with real-time posts that put the “person” in your marketing personality:

  • Get on the “story” bandwagon. Facebook, Instagram, and other major players know the power of “ephemeral content”. Ephemeral content is short-lived viewing but not a trend that will be disappearing anytime soon. Forbes reports ”Ephemeral content is more authentic, and since it is limited to mobile, it is able to reach a wider audience.” {source}
  • Use “live” videos to share big events or how to use a new product.
  • Post “daily office life” pictures of you and your team.
  • Use trending hashtags with pictures of your team celebrating holidays along with the world #tacotuesday #superbowl or #happyvalentinesday
  • Create a photo booth in your office – use fun props, branded signs they can hold “Dr. ____ says I’m a great flosser”. Take their picture with their phone so they can share it on their own social network. Ask them to tag your office.

Most importantly… engage with them!

Whether you create the post, or it’s curated for you when your post is liked, shared or someone comments…respond in kind.

Let them know you noticed their attention. Tag them in a comment and thank them. Respond to their comments as a friend would. Build an authentic relationship with your audience and communicate they matter by paying attention.

We recommend you designate a team “socialite” to be on the lookout for opportunities to share real-life happenings in your office. Make sure they have a clear understanding of your brand and can reflect the personality of your business in the posts they create.

 

2. Get involved in the community

Your marketing strategies will serve to get your name out there.

When a potential customer gets your postcard in their mailbox, visits your website or sees a targeted ad, they get a sense of what your business is about and the services you offer.

But when you meet your customers where they’re at, shake their hand, converse, answer their questions and let them get to know you, you give them a greater understanding of who you are.

Team volunteering in communityNow, you’re a real person with real solutions for them and that bolsters brand awareness in a powerful way.

  • Sponsor or participate in local charity events
  • Visit and speak at local schools
  • Sponsor a youth sports team
  • Volunteer as a team
  • Join the Chamber of Commerce
  • March in a local parade
  • Attend or have a booth at local festivals, street fairs, farmer’s markets, and local gatherings
  • Create a scholarship for a local student
  • Become a local expert by offering to write a guest article for local publications
  • Offer a discount to local first responders, veterans, teachers or active-duty military

The event doesn’t have to be directly related to your industry. It’s about establishing your presence in your community and giving people the opportunity to see the real you. It’s giving them a VIP backstage pass to your show. It moves them from a spectator to a raving fan!

 

3. Join forces and network with other local businesses

Local business on map

Your potential customers are employees and patrons of other local businesses. Those employees and customers are in need of what you offer as well.

  • Bridal customers of the local floral shop would love a discount on teeth whitening for their special day. And your patients would love a discount on flowers for Mother’s Day.
  • Employees of the bank you do business with or the sandwich shop you order lunch from will at some point need your services.

Find out what insurance is offered to the employees of major corporations in your area. If you participate with the plan, contact their Human Resources manager and ask if there is an opportunity for you to reach out to their employees to let them know you are here to serve them.

Offer a “community” discount to smaller businesses around your office whose employees may not be covered by insurance.

Look for ways your business can help support their team and their clientele.

Join business-to-business networking groups in your local area.

These groups are a great place to meet local business owners and build bilateral relationships. You will be at the forefront of their minds when they need your services, or they encounter someone else who does.

It would be nearly impossible nowadays to grow a business without a conversion focused website and ongoing SEO campaigns.  You’re going to need comprehensive marketing strategies like direct mail, social media and PPC advertisements. But don’t rely fully on lead generation tactics that keep you at a digital distance from your ideal customer. Get within arm’s reach of them. Become relatable to them. Create opportunities to become a brand they understand.

 

Already part of the Affordable Image family but need help developing a truly-social social media plan? Or guidance on leveraging ephemeral content, hashtags and live video? Looking to boost community brand awareness with promotional collaterals for your events and business-to-business B2B networking? We can do that!

Give us a call at 800-639-1622 and we’ll get started on helping you create those truly transforming opportunities before you can say “Real-life connections”