1. Monthly print newsletters will be more valuable.
I know, you’re probably thinking print newsletters have gone the way of the dinosaur, and that email, Facebook, etc. are “da bomb!” But the fact is people are starting to demand a more personal relationship with their businesses. All you have to do is look at the Occupy Wall Street movement to sense how people now see a big gap between the products they buy and the companies who provide them. (Also, for more on this, watch the second video here on Dr. Loop’s blog.)
What about email newsletters you ask? You should be sending those too, at least 2 per month. But does it mean more to you to receive a birthday card by snail mail or an e-card? Sending a print newsletter with a real postage stamp is still a very effective way to communicate with current patients and get more referrals.
2. Videos will be more effective on your website.
Video has been around for a number of years on the internet, but it really hasn’t become the norm yet. However I think in 2012 that will start to shift. A few reasons for this are: almost everyone has some type of broadband internet access now, Youtube is more popular than ever, and sites like Facebook are using more video. At the least you should test a video of yourself on the landing page of our website to see if it increases conversions. Using tools like Google website Optimizer will let you easily figure out if videos are more or less effective for your site.
3. Neuropathy, Decompression and other niche specific newspaper ads will continue to get high returns.
Like the print newsletters mentioned above, you may have bought into the lie that newspapers are now extinct. However, in most markets, this is not the case. Many of my clients got their best returns ever on newspaper ads in 2011, especially when using neuropathy and decompression ads. I know there are plenty of other people out there telling you how a jillion internet things will bring in hundreds of patients. And some of it will bring in patients. But don’t neglect the trusted source of patients like the newspaper. The key is using very good copywriting to reach specific niches that are really responsive.
4. Facebook, Google + and other Social Marketing sites will become more important in your chiropractic marketing plan.
Many chiropractors have heard of Facebook. Less have heard of Google+. Unfortunately, doctors treat these sites like everyone else, a place to post all your personal happenings. The problem is most patients aren’t interested in the fact you just “checked in” at the local burger barn. Sure, some personal interaction is necessary to maintain a following. But, you also need good copywriting and intentional posts to cause new patients to act and pick up the phone to call. Another important and often overlooked aspect of these sites is that they help with your search engine rankings. Having Facebook likes and Google+’s on your website will help it come up higher in Google Search, which will translate into more new patients. Just remember, Facebook and Google+ are effective tools, but they are not the only game in town. So, don’t spend 100% of your time and money fiddling with them.
5. Developing a mobile site will become a necessity.
As my friend Terry Dean recently pointed to, more and more people are using iphones to access websites like Facebook. Look at the stats from the link below, which state that “more than 350 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices “:
Also, realize that one of the most common uses for a smart phone is to check email. That means every time you send an email with a link back to your website that person is going to your website on their phone. Even though I prefer to use the internet on my PC, I have an iPhone and iPad that I use often and realize it is just more convenient to click a link now rather than wait until later when I can access the website on my home desktop.
I’ll be working hard to implement these changes in 2012. I recommend you do the same. Also, I’ll keep you updated on any new tools and strategies I’m working on next year. Happy New Year’s.