The Secret to Success: Branding

Branding

Branding:  Don’t be scared to present the real you to the world, authenticity is at the heart of success.

 

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or business to business (B2B).  An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?

Your brand is that ADHESIVE image you carry, that has the ability to STICK to the minds of people you meet physically or otherwise. Brand yourself positively because whoever gets to know you when passing by takes your image along!” ― Israelmore Ayivor, Daily Drive 365

Recently, John Williams wrote in a very informative article in Entrepreneur Magazine, titled the Basics of Branding.  He points out that simply put, 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 your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

Now that you know what branding is, how do you attain it?  How do you form it?  How build your business off of it?

The first place to begin is to look in the mirror.  Who are you?  Who is the principle patient?  What is your specialty?  If you don’t know, you will need to do some soul searching.  Figure out where your passion lays.  Maybe your answer is right in front of you?  Do an inventory of your entire patient base and establish each patient’s unique need.  Clarity may be closer than you think.

The next step is to figure out your practice’s mission.  Based on that information establish the unique benefits and features of your services.  Now build off of that Brandingby establishing what your patients think of your service.  Finally, determine what qualities you want patients to associate with your practice.

Congratulations, you have just determined your unique selling proposition (U.S.P).  In short, that unique benefit, essence, appeal or promise that you hold out to the patient (one that no other doctor offers).  It must be a clear, concise, compelling reason that makes your patient aware of what your practice can do for them. Continue reading “The Secret to Success: Branding”

Secrets to How to Write a Better Ad — The value of a compelling headline

Secrets to How to Write a Better Ad

Let’s face it; everyone who advertises wants to learn the secrets to how to write a better ad.  That’s the point of promoting your practice, to grab your patient’s attention immediately; so as to develop dependable, steady streams of new patients, and maximize your return on investment.

 

Learning “the secrets” of how to make a better ad would mean that you would never again have to play advertising roulette with your ad budget!  The key to an effective ad begins with a captivating headline!  Headlines play monumental roles in the strength of your ads.

Your goal needs to be to have predictable results every time you run an ad.  Your ad must be a salesperson in print, online, on the radio, in the television ad, etc.  A weak or non-existent headline works as a highly skilled and master saboteur against your advertising effort!

Unless your display ad convinces a patient to pick up the phone and call you or come into your office, your ads are useless.

Unfortunately, many Chiropractic display ads all look alike and say the same things, such as: “Free Consultation,” “Adjustments,” “Family Oriented Practice.” All important points on their own merits; unfortunately, in most ads, the only elements that change are the name of their practices.

To have your next patient pick up their phone and call you, your ad must stand out and be different!  Worst still, some chiropractors only state their name in their ad.  What benefit does a potential patient derive from this information? Absolutely nothing!

There is an absolute law that applies to all advertising (from the consumer’s point of view):  The client (all clients) only cares about one thing: “What’s in it for me?” (WIFM).  Otherwise defined as individuals exercising their own self-interests.

Your ad needs to quantitatively enumerate reasons why a patient “MUST” choose you over everyone else providing the same service.

There’s a secret your advertising sales representative (the person representing the particular vehicle in which you advertise) won’t tell you.  When your ad appears, or is heard, your competitor’s ad will also be seen or heard in that medium.

When you advertise, you are competing in an arena where there are multiple competitors for the available clients.  Highly successful and profitable display ads have very specific things in common, they include:

A Great Headline A Compelling Sub-Head What Makes You Unique?
Offer Specific Benefit Make a Decisive Offer Include a Call to Action

Though many media forums provide the basic elements of these key ingredients, too often, they [the media outlets] simply provide some variation of a cookie-cutter formula for “advertising success.”

* It is important to stress that there is nothing wrong with a generic advertising format; so long as it yields the intended results!  If, however, if you aren’t getting the responses you expect and need, then you must re-evaluate your message!

The importance of a headline –

Fact, up to 95 percent of all Chiropractic ads have no headlines.  Multiple marketing studies, covering several decades, reflecting consumer’s buying habits demonstrate that fully 80 percent of all potential patients only read headlines when deciding which company to use.  Further, it has been pointed out in these many studies: Continue reading “Secrets to How to Write a Better Ad — The value of a compelling headline”

Why Social Media Is Essential for Business Success

Social Media is Essential For our Business Growth

Fact, in this modern electronic world, social media is essential for your business growth!

 

It seems that every day the world is moving faster and faster, and the pressure to build and strengthen your medical practice is that much more intense!  As such, as members of society are reaching out and connecting in record numbers on a multitude of issues, including business referrals; it is more important than ever for chiropractors to embrace this truth:  Social Media is Essential For Your Business Growth!!!!

To strengthen the social media reality further, many reports and articles pointing out staggering numbers like:

  • Online adults aged 18-34 are most likely follow a brand via social networking (95%). (Source: MarketingSherpa) Think about your audience and see where they are most likely to follow your brand.
  • 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Source: Ambassador) Use social media as an effective customer service tool to increase brand engagement and win new customers. 
  • There are 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts globally with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day. (Source: We Are Social) Make sure to optimize your mobile social media campaigns and since mobile ads are relatively cheap and easy to produce, test multiple versions to see what works the best. 
  • 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned Social Media is Essential For Your Business Growthprofiles. (Source: Brandwatch) Companies need to go beyond their channels and monitor those unbranded conversations to gain valuable insights and manage brand health.
  • Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Source: HubSpot) Flying Point Digital has a great post on how to create an innovative content strategy on social media.
  • There were over 4.4 million videos uploaded directly to Facebook in February 2016, generating over 199 billion views. (Source: ReelSEO) Video marketing is a powerful tool that personalizes your brand and increases conversions.
  • There are 40 million active small business pages on Facebook, but only 2 million of those businesses pay for advertising. (Source: Brandwatch) Therefore, small-sized companies should consider paying for Facebook ads to gain visibility and surpass competitors relatively easily.

*  Source: Dreamgrow.com 

The figures above are quite compelling.  If nothing else, from the perspective of attracting new patients, they are interesting.  Even the most cynical among us must concede that a serious argument can be made for the notion that social media is essential for business growth.

Additionally, in a recent Huffington Post article, titled Why Social Media is Essential for Business Success, author Harmel S. Rayat (who is a prolific investor, entrepreneur, business owner and author of his right)sums up the advantages to your medical practice quite succinctly.

Mr. Rayat writes, I’m often surprised at how many CEOs refuse to use social media. Perhaps they feel that having a social presence could be risky. Perhaps they fear that saying the wrong thing could ignite a PR nightmare – a firestorm not easily extinguished. Or, maybe they worry it could open them up to disgruntled customers who could threaten their company’s reputation.

On the surface, this seems to make a lot of sense, but based on my experience, a social presence is a necessity for success.

Social media ‘sociability’ shows that I’m listening; that I’m open to engaging in conversation and comfortable with technology. In short, it shows I’m a human being.

In fact, setting up a Twitter account and my blog was the best thing I ever did. Not only can I communicate with my friends and co-workers, but I’m also better able to tap into my intended core audience.

Remember, constant communication is key to growing a business. I’m the first to say that there’s no immediate value to penning a blog or tweeting a message to followers. It may even take valuable time out of my day. But the long-term benefits are difficult to ignore. Blogging, for example, helps nurture ideas. It also helps me build an audience and a following.

I now have more than 700 Twitter followers that I can speak to and listen to daily for inspiration and ideas I may not have thought about. Often, this ‘social’ interaction helps me shed further light on projects I’m working on.

I’m often surprised at how many CEOs refuse to use social media. Perhaps they feel that having a social presence could be risky. Perhaps they fear that saying the wrong thing could ignite a PR nightmare – a firestorm not easily extinguished. Or, maybe they worry it could open them up to disgruntled customers who could threaten their company’s reputation.

Continue reading “Why Social Media Is Essential for Business Success”

Digital marketing 101: Consumers buy doctors, not practices

medical practice growth

Medical practice growth depends highly on a steady stream of new patients.  However, your patients don’t buy medical practices; they buy doctors!

On Friday’s Internet Health Magazine, author Ken Robbins writes an extremely informative article concerning the online challenges for healthcare marketers.  The title of the article is Digital Marketing 101: Consumers buy doctors, not practices.   The underlying current of the piece is that your medical practice growth depends on your communication.

There is tons of information available online, and patients are conducting plenty of their research before selecting providers.

  • 84% of consumers said they are likely to visit a provider’s website before booking an appointment,
  • with 61% saying they are very likely to do so. What they find there makes a massive difference in whether they book an appointment or continue looking elsewhere.
  • Consumers may also start by looking for what’s covered by their insurance.  While some practices can rely on the fact that they are in networks for a class of patients.  Those that want to use marketing to grow need to connect with doctors in the market.

The best strategy for practice marketers to reach these consumers is to build websites that contain individual pages for each clinician highlighting Continue reading “Digital marketing 101: Consumers buy doctors, not practices”

Warning: Is your practice in trouble?

Is your practice in trouble?

No Chiropractor starts their practice mediocre; business success depends on navigating all obstacles!

 

Though every doctor (who owns a medical practice) we have ever met desires success. Many work more hours than they should!  Still, others attend multiple seminars to excel; they enroll in mountains of business success modules.  Have implemented every business strategy you learned?  Is your practice is in trouble?

This month an informative article appeared in the July issue of Chiropractic Economics.  The piece was titled “Warning sign: Know how to spot a practice in need of rescue.”  The article was written by

Chiropractic Economics’ editor-in-chief, Daniel Sosnoski, wrote this enlightening article.  He provides a unique insight into the concerns of his readers.  He writes that an advantage that small businesses have over large companies — they nimbly implement changes and execute strategies.

Nevertheless, that speed is relative.

Critical business decisions still require planning and take the time to develop. Is your practice in trouble?  The sooner the problem is spotted, the faster you will begin taking some remedial measures.

Do you know the warning signs of a practice in peril?

An empty waiting room is an obvious clue that things are amiss.  There are subtle indicators that can give you an early alert and spur you to take needed action—while there’s still time.

You know that patients in crisis need urgent help, and you can’t waste time with Is your practice in trouble?wrong approaches. In the same guise, a practice listing to port won’t be righted by a doctor flailing about in panic.  Practice management experts will consistently tell you they commonly see DCs doing exactly that when they enter a rough patch. A calm, steady hand and the right moves are what will save the day.

Causes for concern

We spoke with some “practice-turnaround” professionals to find out more.  Their experiences in helping DCs in trouble might resonate with those in similar straits. Continue reading “Warning: Is your practice in trouble?”

Advertising Mistakes: How Many of These Costly Errors Are You Making?

Advertising mistakes

Advertising mistakes: if your advertising results don’t deliver a steady stream of new patients, chances are you’re making costly, but correctable, errors!

 

The only purpose of advertising is to generate higher profits for your medical practice! Your ad MUST be a salesperson in print, online, on the radio, in your television ad, etc.  Unless your ad convinces the patients to pick up the phone and call you or come into your office, your ads are useless; also known as “Doctor Advertising Mistakes.”  Sadly, depending on the type of error, you even be pushing potential business directly to your competition!

If you look at many Doctors’ display ads, you will quickly notice that most of the ads look alike, and they say the same things.  Worst of all, they all have nearly identical advertising mistakes, such as: “Free Consultant”, “Urgent Care”, and “Medical Care for The Entire Family.”

* Though all these services and details are important, and they all stand on their own merits!  Unfortunately, as it applies in most cases, the only elements that change in the ad are the names of their practice.

Though many (if not most) media conduits provide their basic elements, essential ingredients, and software for an ad.  Too often they [the media outlets] just offer some variation of a cookie-cutter formula for their “advertising platform.”  Which is fine for their needs; however, too often some essential “components” are left out of your ad.

The importance of these elements becomes apparent when you look at your advertising from the perspective of what your ad (In a magazine for example, but it applies to all other mediums as well.  For simplicity, for rest of illustration we will use print advertising) is indeed designed to do for your medical practice.

Every ad is created with two purposes in mind:  1) To attract a stream of new patients; and, 2) To have those patients who see your ad choose your practice over everyone else in your field and demographic area.  Unfortunately, your competitor is counting on the very same benefit!

Print advertising is a medium that allows your biggest competitor to sit next to you in the periodical for easy comparison. Whatever your advertising medium, shortly after your ad appears, or is heard, your competitor’s ad will also be seen or heard. Therefore, as part of your marketing strategy, you have to do everything you can to stand out.

“What business strategy is all about and what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning is, in two words, competitive advantage. Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.”  ― Kenichi Ohmae

To stand out and have your next patient pick up the phone and call you is beyond important.  It is life and death (for your medical practice).  Your ad must be Chiropractic Advertising Mistakesdifferent!  Shockingly, some doctors merely state their name in their ads, and besides a phone number — that’s all.

Interestingly, every consumer has one trait in common with every other buyer.  We all like to buy; we just do not want to be sold!  Additionally, we buy using unique triggers that appeal specifically to us; in marketing terms, it is called the “What’s in it for me?” quotient. Continue reading “Advertising Mistakes: How Many of These Costly Errors Are You Making?”

Firm boosts e-mail efficiency by 1,200% with B2C marketing automation platform

The marketing automation platform SALESmanago has been implemented in some of European online stores of Yves Rocher, a worldwide cosmetics and beauty brand.

 

In a crowded marketplace, where your potential patients have lots of choices, they don’t need to use or stay with you!  This means that you MUST standout as the very best option available in your area.  Technology is constantly moving and improving; so in order thrive, you must implement the available marketing automation software to target your market and developing a reputation as a great resource – trustworthy, knowledgeable, and close at hand.

Without exception, every doctor we have ever worked with had the desire to be as successful as possible!  Well, isn’t that the entire point of starting your own medical practice?  Think about it, when you started you practice, was it your desire to be mediocre or just get bye?  Of course not; but, in order to stand out and succeed you need to embrace all aspects of available marketing automation.

An excellent example of this strategy comes from the world of cosmetics and beauty, in a recent article in CSO.com, that very point is demonstrated beautifully (once again, the example isn’t in the medical industry, but you can’t deny the effectiveness of the campaign as you read on).  The cosmetics company,  Yves Rocher, implemented an e-mail automation software program which boosted the company’s e-mail marketing efficiency by 1,200%.  Additionally, it increased the number of new users who buy the suggested sets of products displayed on Medical marketing softwaredynamic recommendations boxes as their first purchase to 30%.

SALESmanago was initially implemented in an online store of Yves Rocher in Poland, but shortly afterwards it was also rolled out to the company’s e-commerce sites in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. By implementing marketing automation the company wanted to streamline the conversion of website visitors to customers and to differentiate offers taking into account customers’ transactional histories. Continue reading “Firm boosts e-mail efficiency by 1,200% with B2C marketing automation platform”

10 expert tips for business-blogging success

Scores of business studies show that blogging works! But if you’re shooting blind and don’t know what our readers want — it’s not too effective.  This article delivers expert tips for successful business blogging!

 

There isn’t much debate when it comes to business success; if you can’t communicate effectively your practice will suffer!  Blogging is an exceptional way to connect and impart your knowledge with your patients; these 10 tips for successful business blogging will allow you to do this better!

Let’s face it, everyday medical practices close their doors and doctors must then practice their skills for a medical group that isn’t theirs, that has a different vision and a contrasting flow.  There are many reasons why this occurs, but clearly two of the biggest and most often sited are the lack of sufficient patients, and the practice’s inability to compete against rival doctors’ daily marketing to their existing patients!

If your practice can’t communicate effectively with your patients, in time, this will affect your current and future patients, and their willingness stay with you and not be swayed away by another doctor!

Recently, author , wrote a great article for The Tennessean (part of the USA Today network), that speaks directly to the specific needs of medical practices!

Mr. Delany writes that using a blog can drive a considerable amount of traffic to 10 Expert Tips for Business Bloggingyour site, which can result in more revenue and a stronger bond with your patients and your business contact (your venders) and their staff.

But why is this such a concern? Because, every business school around the world teaches that the only way to increase your profitability is for these three the events to occur: You must increase your traffic, you must convert prospects into patients, and you must retain these patients so as to provide additional services for years to come.

Hence, you are blogging plays a vital role in achieving the aforementioned necessities for increasing your clinic’s profitability.

A study by Hubspot found 81 percent of companies consider their blogs “useful,” “important,” or “critical” to their business.

Mr. Delany goes on to say that: When I first connect with a new client, I conduct an extensive content marketing audit. One thing I often discover is a neglected company blog. There is nothing worse than a blog with the last post from months or even years ago. Excuses can vary from not having the resources or ideas, to not having the time to compose blog posts.

If you are tasked with blogging for your business or seeking ways to improve the company blog, here’s some advice to get you started. I reached out to several blogging experts to share their best tips for creating great business blog content.

1. “Quantity over quality. That doesn’t mean bad or unprofessional grammar. It means stop waiting for the perfect blog post. There is always something to write about: New hires, company culture, product details, upcoming events and conferences, executive team profiles … I could go on and on.” — John Ellis, @johnwellis. Continue reading “10 expert tips for business-blogging success”

Danger: Poor Patient & B2B Marketing Will Kill!

If your business-to-business and patient marketing message isn’t progressing to accommodate your their journey, you’re throwing your money away!

 

By all standards, strong and compelling  business-to-business and patient marketing will make or break your practice’s relationships more than most company owners realize!

Recently Kimberlee Morrison of Adweek wrote an enlightening review on the essential subject of rethinking the patient’s experience in order to enhance the patient/service provider relationship and subsequently grow and deepen one’s busines-to-business relationships and campaigns.

The influence of social media continues to drive big changes in the customer journey and marketing funnel. Some of the main changes such as the use of multiple devices by customers and the desire for always on customer service have created challenges for marketers.

A report from LinkedIn, titled “Rethink the B2B Buyer’s Journey”, written by Sean Callahan, examines similar changes in the B2B (business-to-business) market and provides suggestions to improve your business.

The report focuses on the changes in relationships between buyers, salespeople, and marketers. The survey included more than 6,000 participants globally, and gives insight into the buying process, and changes that need to happen in both social and marketing content.

Since vendors have focused more on customer service in recent years, buyers have rewarded this presence with increased faith. LinkedIn found that 28 Changing your B2B marketing messagepercent of buyers polled rate their relationships with vendors as very good, and 56 percent rate them as good. What’s more, when assessed over time, only three percent of respondents believe their relationships with vendors are in decline.

The research found that buyers need a variety of content to help them make their purchase decision. On one hand, they need basic product information and demos to understand the product, but they also require thought leadership and other helpful content to help buyers determine where the industry is headed. The implication for marketers is that they must have their message present throughout the full funnel, from awareness and thought leadership content in the upper funnel to data sheets and demos in the lower funnel. This is how to assemble a complete marketing program. Continue reading “Danger: Poor Patient & B2B Marketing Will Kill!”

5 Ideas For Radical Shifts In Your 2016 B2B Marketing Budget

Five ideas for radical shifts in your marketing

Busines owners must make significant changes in their marketing perspective or die on the vine; hence, these five ideas for radical shifts in your marketing!

 

Every business owner, whether they are aware of it or not, is in the “new client getting business;” because if you don’t, you will quickly be the next company nailing a “going out of business” sign on your door!  This information is vital!  These five ideas for radical shifts in your marketing are designed to impact your practice positively!

The question is, how are you going about it?  What are you saying or doing that makes you stand out stand out from your competition?  What is your message reflecting?  Is it promoting what you believe what your clients want (how do you know what they want)?

Secondly, and equally important, what are you saying or doing for your current and past clients?

Unfortunately, most businesses do not fully develop and capitalize on the hard-earned relationships they have built!  This faux pas such a shame because this manner of gathering new prospective clients is enormous; it can be a tremendous source of annual revenue!

Very recently Patrick Spenner wrote an excellent piece for Forbes, titled “Five Ideas For Radical Shifts In Your 2016 B2B Marketing Budget.”  In the article, he illustrates very salient points that focus on the absolute need to change the current mindset regarding the manner in which business attracts and promotes new business.

In fact, he says: “From all the B2B buying and branding research I’ve seen in 10 years at CEB, plus all the actual B2B campaigns I’ve seen up close, I’d safely bet half my annual salary that half of B2B brand campaign spending is wasted.”

Belated marketing prediction for 2016: Marketing prediction lists have jumped the shark.

That’s why I’m going to share five ideas for radical shifts in your 2016 marketing budget. Also, let’s face it, there’s a decent chance of a recession on the horizon, and our best friends in finance will come calling with their tin cups (and scythes). Best to be prepared for that budget game. Continue reading “5 Ideas For Radical Shifts In Your 2016 B2B Marketing Budget”