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August, 2012

The New Internet Marketing Machine

By Stephanie Beck

Let's face it: we have so many new ways to do business. Social media and online marketing keeps advancing and it can be difficult to keep up. For some, about the time they decided to step into the social media world, all the rules changed. Like the recent 180 degree change with Facebook. Look on the bright side, instead of trying to catch up with your competition; you have an even playing field because EVERYONE has to upgrade their technology. The truth is marketing has shifted from a one-way broadcast to a multi-point conversation and you need to take action to stay competitive.

In 2011 97% of consumers used online searches when researching products and services. When searching for information, where do you think these smart savvy shoppers are finding this information? Where are you going to find your IDEAL patients or any patients for that matter? You have a new Marketing Machine at your disposal, and as long as you are using it correctly it will produce GREAT results. As Chiropractors you want to focus on what you do best, providing patients with the best chiropractic care. Finding patients doesn't have to be a struggle. Go where your potential patients are spending time and implement your new marketing machine with strategies to get you the results you desire.

"Old school" marketing techniques like sending out letters, and Yellow Page Ads are losing their effectiveness without additional help from online marketing. According to Yahoo 92% of all business searchers start looking online, either at home or on their mobile phones. Is your chiropractic practice easy to find online by your ideal patients? Are you active in all the places where your ideal patients are hanging out online? Do you have an easy automated way to follow up with them over time? If not, why not?

Updating the Strategy

Updating your strategy is important; when I started working for a healthcare manufacturer over 12 years ago as part of our Distributor criteria we would ask the business owner inquiring about distributorships to submit a copy of their Yellow Page Ad with their application.

A few years later we were requiring websites and more changes have been implemented since that time. Do you realize new Chiropractors entering today's workforce have no idea what a Yellow Pages Phone Book is? Recently, the Encyclopedia Britannia announced they would no longer be printing new editions everything would be accessed online! This isn't just about the newest generation.

If today's patient wants to look something up they grab their phone or computer not a reference book. In 2011, over 90% of the U.S. Population uses a cellular phone. Sixty-five percent of mobile users said they used their mobile device to find a business to make a purchase. In terms of the types of information mobile users will be looking for, 31% said they will look for updates on sales and promotions, 27% will look for local store hours and directions! Guess what, a certain percentage of those people are looking for chiropractors!

How many online directories have you listed your chiropractic practice? Yelp, City Search, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle, Google Places, Facebook Places and Yahoo Local are great ways to get started and all FREE.

Your strategy for directories is to be complete and be consistent. Make sure you use the same spelling the same way for all listings. If you spell out Avenue or Street for one listing, you need to keep it consistent for all. Fill in as much as you can, photos, videos, mission statement, services and every option the directory gives you as an opportunity for potential patients to know about your practice. Lastly, ask friends to like and place reviews on these directories and let your patients know where you can be found.

YouTube? Yes, YouTube

Did you know most consider You Tube to be the second largest search engine? You Tube gets more than 300,000,000 visitors a month who watch more than 2,000,000,000 videos. Patients go there to look for videos to answer their questions, show them how to do something, or review a product or business.

When patients are searching for information online and given a choice of reading content or watching a video, approximately 56% will choose to watch a video. If you want to use You Tube as a part of your marketing machine be sure you use this strategy. Create informational based videos, not promotional based videos! Patients don't care about your product or service. They care and choose to do business with Doctors who have solutions to problems they need solved. So, if you are going to create videos make them about solving problems for your patients and remember to include a clear "Call To Action" or next step that you want them to do after they watch the video. Also when you post your video include in your description a website link or contact information of how they are to reach you. If used effectively, online video is the most powerful way to educate, inform, and build a community of customers and potential patients about chiropractic care.

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