If your goal is increasing practice revenue, you may consider expanding your advertising to help attract new patients. But, podiatry advertising is changing.
Each year Podiatry Management releases a report from a survey of their subscribers with questions about the business. In the past ten years, podiatrists spent $3,000-$5,000 each year on advertising. But, recently there has been a significant change in advertising expenditures. Yellow Page purchases have declined replaced with increased expenditures for advertising based on internet searches. Since 2011, the percentage of podiatrists using web advertising has increased by 35%.
Despite your busy schedule, you decide to select a few advertising reps to come in. You quickly discover a problem…
“Man with a Hammer”
Advertising often means working with companies that promote specific options such as print, enhanced social media, broadcast/cable or direct mail. The likely result is a proposal to invest in a program that favors their particular “hammer”. And limited investments are discouraged – You will be told that advertising plans are most effective when used to deliver a clear and consistent message to as many potential patients as possible with enough repetition to break through the clutter.
If you remember the old adage, half of advertising is wasted, you will have questions:
Will my message be effective?
Will it be the right message for me? Companies that specialize in B2C (business to consumer) opportunities typically serve many different types of businesses. Yesterday it was Ernie’s Garage, today it’s your podiatry practice. Getting the creative team up to speed on podiatry basics let alone understanding how your practice is different from others takes work which is likely to add cost including your most valuable resource, your time.
Will it get to the right people?
Print ads are only seen by people who read the magazine and a radio spot isn’t useful if the man with the bunion is listening to another station. Targeted direct mail or mass mailing to a list gives more control over who will receive the ad, although many lists are old. Internet options including social media can be more accurately targeted and Google AdWords is a way to reach very specific recipients based on their expressed interests.
Will anyone pay attention?
Will my ad cut through the clutter of the other advertising? Will the message get past various filters people use to prevent information overload?
The long-standing advertising answer to this concern has been repetition ($). But, repetition alone is unlikely to break through barriers created by many recipients.
Advertising – Internet is Key
In the past decade advertising emphasis has changed from traditional print or broadcast to focus on the internet. From Google AdWords to advertising on social media, successfully finding patients today is more likely to involve the internet, with one goal being to lead interested parties to the advertiser’s website. In podiatry, the longer term objective is scheduling an appointment.
2018 Web Presence
In the past eight years, the percentage of podiatrists with a web presence has increased by ten percent.
No matter how prospective patients learn about you, what they learn on the web is likely to determine whether they make an appointment.
An internet site you control is important not only to attract new patients, but to keep in touch with existing ones. Podiatrists who have a web presence use one or more of the following models:
- Professional association links or Yelp to provide basic practice information in a way that provides little differentiation
- Set up a web yourself or have office staff develop an internet presence, often using tools provided by a web hosting company.
- Hire third-party web developers for a custom solution.
Are you happy with your current web solution(s)? Does your site get displayed before others in your area in search results? Does your web presence effectively promote your practice and provide answers for visitors looking for information before they call?
PodiatryNET offers options for you to create a new web or to enhance an existing one.
- Learn More about PodiatryNET product solutions