Five Ways to Market Your Alternative Healthcare Practice
Five Ways to Market Your Alternative Healthcare PracticeDecember 5th, 2017 by
There are more ways than ever to advertise your alternative healthcare practice. Choosing the right one involves weighing the costs and probable benefits or return on investment (ROI). No advertising offers a guarantee of clients/patients so the more you spend, the more financial risk you’re taking.
Here’s a list of the top ways to advertise and probable costs and benefits:
A lot of people read the newspaper and many still read it in print. Newspapers make most of their revenue from advertising, not from selling newspapers. Placing an ad in a newspaper is no guarantee that it will be seen. Display ads, which are mixed in with the news and can include graphics, tend to work better than classified ads for businesses seeking to expand the number of people seeking their services.
Usually, to capture someone’s attention, they need to see or hear about your practice more than once. Even one newspaper ad can be very costly. The larger the circulation, the more potential consumers you reach and the higher the costs. For a small town newspaper with a low circulation, such as the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in Montana (circulation 14,000), a black and white ad in the Sunday edition costs from $347 for a 1/8 page ad to $2772 for a full page ad. An ad in a midsize newspaper like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (circulation 153,000) costs $2961 for a 1/8 page ad up to $23,688 for a full page ad. The Washington Post (circulation 579,000) will run you $20,428 for a 1/8 page listing and $163,422 for a full page listing.
So, newspaper ads for the most part are beyond the reach of most alternative healthcare practices.
According to CRM Associates, a marketing firm, the average Yellow Pages ad in a local directory costs $800, with an average cost of $10 per call. A national display ad costs $18,800 and averages $28 per call. If you’d like to add an average sized ad in an online listing, it will cost $1,710 per year or about $19 per call. These are average costs. If you are in a large city, it can cost considerably more, less if you are in a small town. Getting preferred placement on the page, buying a larger ad or adding color to your ad costs more. All callers do not turn into clients/patients so you have to factor that into your cost/benefit analysis.
You are also locked into your ad for a year and cannot make changes if you change your location or other important aspects of your business. If your practice includes more than one category of services, you will need more than one ad if you want to increase interest in all of your services.
Older consumers are more likely to turn to the Yellow Pages when they are looking for services, so if your practice caters to an older population you will probably get a better return on your investment than if you tend to have a younger clientele.
Radio advertising costs include the cost to produce your ad and the cost to run your radio ad, called a spot, on the air. Marketing experts advise paying for a professionally produced ad, which generally costs between $300 and $1000 to produce. This estimate includes the costs for developing a marketing strategy, copywriting, voice talent and any sound editing. Though some radio stations will offer to produce your ad for free, you generally do not end up with a very high quality ad and your results will suffer.
Radio air time is sold in “spots”. A “60 spot” is 60 seconds of air time. Pricing depends on the radio station’s audience size and the time of day the ad runs. A 60 spot can cost as little as $3 or as much as $500. Most cost in the $20 to $80 range for 30 spot or 60 spot ads.
It’s important when planning a radio advertising campaign to find a radio station whose listeners match your target audience. You may want to find a radio commercial advertising agency that can help you find the right match. You also want to pick the right time of day for your audience. Radio advertising is sold as dayparts, which include morning drive (6:00 AM to 10:00 AM), mid-day (10:00 AM to 3:00 PM), afternoon drive (3:00 PM to 7:00 PM), evenings (7:00 PM to midnight) and overnight (midnight to 6:00 AM).
Experts suggest testing your radio ad’s effectiveness by running a campaign of 20 spots a week, including morning, mid-day and evening. This type of test is likely to cost between $1500 and $4000.
Of course with radio, once your spot is aired it is no longer available to continue attracting new customers, unlike the Yellow Pages and some print and internet media.
AdWords is a way of advertising on Google. When someone searches Google, paid advertisements containing the search terms appear either on the top or the side of their computer screen. Advertisers only get charged when someone clicks on their ad. This is called cost-per-click advertising (CPC).
People search on Google all the time and in theory this sounds like a great way to advertise. You only pay when people click and go to your site. However, most clicks do not turn into customers and the cost of each click has risen over time. The more competitors there are for your key words, the more it will cost per click. Costs per click vary between $1 and $60 or more per click. Many people are just browsing the internet and have no intention of following through, so it’s possible to spend a lot more money than your ad brings in. In fact, Robert Kenney, a global marketing specialist, wrote an article, “Google AdWords – Destroyer of Small Business”.
Google AdWords also limits the number of characters you’re allowed to 25 words in the headline, 35 words in each of the two lines of text and 35 in the website URL text, making it challenging to tailor your message to your intended audience. In addition, if you have multiple services, you will probably need more than one ad.
The Alternative Pain Treatment Directory
The Alternative Pain Treatment Directory, an online directory you can find at www.paintreatmentdirectory.com, is an extremely affordable alternative to the options listed above. This new resource for alternative healthcare practitioners who provide treatment to pain patients offers you a full color web page, with options for text, photos, testimonials, videos and links. There is no word limit. There are over 25 categories and you can list in as many as you want for no extra charge. You can also contribute articles about what you do and healing stories about your patients that can be linked to your listing. Another option is to add a product listing for a small additional fee. The directory is searchable by location and category.
This is a new resource. We are in a growth phase right now, and a listing currently costs only $99 annually. This is an introductory price for early adopters. You will continue to be able to advertise at this rate for as long as you choose to stay on the directory.
We have a great marketing plan laid out that includes SEO, social media, press releases, ads, radio appearances, email blasts, article placement, etc. There is no limit to the number of patients you can attract for this small fee. You can find out more HERE.