Newspaper Advertising Did Not Die

The key to increasing profits in an audiology practice is in not having an occasional great month but having consistently good months. An effective advertising program is an important tool for generating a constant flow of new patients.

Today audiology practices can choose from

many mediums when it comes to advertising. They also have many messages to present to the public. How do you choose your message and your medium? 

According to a recent Pew Research study 72% of adults over age 40 follow their local news.  And of those 32% say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed.  In other words, your demographic is still buying and reading the paper. If purchased properly it can be one of the most inexpensive mediums for getting your message out to the public.

Advantages to Newspaper Advertising
  • Inexpensive when compared to other mediums in terms of readership
  • Short lead times for running ads
  • Can be adjusted based on patient flow in any given month
  • You can recycle effective advertisements
  • You do not have to invest your monthly advertising budget in one promotion
  • You can use the newspaper to deliver inserts inexpensively to specific zip codes.
Disadvantages to Newspaper Advertising
  • It can be more complicated to prepare a newspaper advertising campaign than other advertising mediums
  • It can be more complicated to track individual ad results if you are constantly changing the advertising message
  • It can be expensive if not purchasedproperly
Keys to Creating Effective Newspaper Ads

The most important step in developing an effective newspaper advertising campaign is to make sure your message is seen. If you have to choose between four small ads or one large ad we would always recommend choosing the large ad. This also comes into play when selecting which section of the Newspaper your ad will run in. If you had to choose between a small ad in a section that appeals to our demographic or a large ad in section that might not be as suitable, again, as a general rule we would recommend the large ad.

If your budget allows, run what is referred to as a “page buster ad”. A page buster ad is one that is large enough so that no other ad can dominate the page. As a rule, page buster ads are slightly larger then ¼ page. In theory the newspaper could run a ¼ page ad and a ½ page on the same page but they very seldom do that for fear of upsetting the advertisers.

Be sure to have a strong call to action. We are not fans of “top of the mind awareness” type advertising. Our patients are for the most part, reluctant participants in the rehabilitation of their hearing. It is unlikely that the average patient wakes up one morning and says, “I think I will go and get my hearing checked today”.

If that were the case then top of the mind awareness, which is essentially running small ads that only list your practice name and services over and over might be effective. What probably happens in the majority of case

s is that a significant other sees an ad with an offer of some kind and says, “You are making an appointment today”.

Effective marketing and advertising promotions are part science, part art.  You have any number of methods at your disposable.  It’s just as important to embrace the newer methods (online marketing) as it is to recognize that the older methods can still provide a hefty return on investment.

Exactly What is Inbound Marketing?

There are simply not enough hours in the day to do it all. If you don’t know what Inbound Marketing is, you’re not alone.  Practice owners are constantly bombarded by “the next best, greatest solution to all your business needs”. More often than not, these solutions are sold more on the basis of fear (do it or you WILL be left behind) than substance.  Let’s start with a brief tutorial on “Outbound Marketing”.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is quite simply the traditional way of doing things, including using newspapers and other print ads including newsletters, telemarketing, direct mail, radio ads, etc. You are essentially sending your message out and attempting to interest a potential customer (who may or may not be looking for information about your product) into contacting you.

It’s not an irrelevant marketing strategy for our industry “Outbound Marketing” mediums, in particular newspaper still represent a vehicle that consumers use to get information.  According to the Pew Research Centers recent article , 30% of adults seeking information about local business other than bars and restaurants rely on newspapers.

Enter a new method of marketing.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a fairly recent methodology which has already proven many times over to be highly successful in generating more leads for businesses. Inbound Marketing has been born in the dawn of a new era of a new customer. The internet, new technology and social activity have changed the way the consumer relates to businesses, wants to interact with businesses, and buys. In the article from Pew Research Centers referenced above, 47% of adults seeking information about local businesses other than bars and restaurants rely on the internet.

Inbound marketing encompasses email marketing, blogging, social media, link building, gratis magazine articles that cater reader interests, podcasts and videos. Its digital content catered to the community. Inbound marketing is a good fit for a smaller company with a smaller budget.

This type of marketing also requires you to really understand your target audience. What you are attempting to do with inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing.  Your efforts are focused on capturing the interest of the consumer who is online and looking for your product.  Understanding people has a lot to do with why inbound marketing has really grained traction, especially in the advent of increased digital media platforms. People want to be courted, they want to be understood.

But, like anything else, inbound marketing has its downside.

Inbound marketing if handled properly will and should start slowly.  A quick rise to the top of a search can create concern on the part of search engines.  Search engines are created using complicated algorithms with the underlying goal of delivering to the consumer, what the consumer wants.  Too many hits of the back button can doom your site to a quick descent down the ranking.  Search engines are designed to penalize black hat (bad) SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in favor of good…content based, white hate SEO.

In the long run, the goal is to build a loyal customer base who ideally will return over and over and who refer their friends and family to your site.  Content is what will keep them returning.  Content is king.  You have to invest the time and the energy into providing your inbound marketing mediums with a constant source of relevant content to ensure your inbound marketing programs realize their full potential.