Dana Fox, Client Strategist, and Bree Daily, Managing Editor
5 Minute Read:
How should I structure my budget, and how should marketing be tracked?
Today’s market is full of opportunities to get your practice known in the open; however, for many, determining the right pathways for marketing their business is as confusing as ever.
If we have learned anything, it is that there is never only one way to create a successful marketing strategy. There is no magic switch that you can flip and have everything fall into place. Instead, it is a process that looks different for every practice.
However, what we have noticed with and learned from our clients is that internet marketing, including ongoing SEO, Google My Business (GMB), AdWords, etc., should work in tandem with all of your other marketing resources.
How to Utilize Social Media to Support Your Practice’s Brand
Most of you reading this blog will have been using social media for years, but you may not have thought about how it should fit into your overall marketing strategy. If we think about how Facebook, Instagram and TicTok work, it could be as simple as getting in front of people in a less formal format than visiting your website or coming in for a consultation.
What comes to my mind is putting information out in the public domain that is fun, easy to engage, and tells your practice story in a way that supports your brand. It’s about letting people get an inside view of your personality, and helps them develop a personal connection before they ever enter your practice door.
Social media gives users quick electronic communication of content, such as personal information about providers, procedure videos, and practice photos. For plastic surgeons, it means going where your patients are going for information and connecting with them in a more casual style than you would in your office. Patients tend to love knowing about the personal side of their doctors and feel like they are more connected than just meeting them for 30 minutes in their office.
You’ve all seen physicians take their social media to extravagant means and in some cases bordering on the “outlandish.” If that works for them and drives the types of patients they are looking for to their practice, I say, “Bravo”; however, this may not be the right direction for everyone.
Determining Your Brand and Your Voice
When we work with our clients, we like to start with a unique branding strategy. We think this should be the foundation for everything that is said about your practice in every place you are visible.
While it can be tempting to alter your story and online presence to reach a different audience, our experience shows us that being truthful to who you are as a practice and individual will always win out. The story you are telling in print and online, whether it is on your website or on social media, should be the sincerest depiction of what your patient’s experience will be when they go to see you.
Making the Most Out of Your Budget
Let’s talk about your budget.
- Monthly costs vary as widely as demographics from city to city and state to state, but on average I see practices spending around $2,000 to $5,000 for search engine optimization, content updates, traffic monitoring and hosting on the top three tactics: SEO, blog/content, and video updates. The cost varies depending upon where your practice is located and how much competition you have in your area.
- It’s a good idea to let your Internet agency know where else your marketing investment is going because they will often be able to coordinate with your other marketing campaigns and derive greater momentum.
- Your print agency, radio, or TV ads will all benefit from the marketing you are doing online. There is no benefit to secrecy here. They should all be working together with coordinated campaigns.
Third Party and Google PPC
In many cases, practices are using third party tools or resources such as RealSelf®. These services can increase your costs by thousands of dollars per month.
The other service that comes up frequently is investing in Google Ads, a.k.a. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. PPC is a service that is used to push results more quickly than waiting for organic results.
Since it takes some time for search engines to crawl a new website, during the waiting process, most marketers have found that pushing ranking placement with pay-per-click is very helpful to get things moving more quickly.
Fees for pay-per-click, or Google Ads can vary from as little as $1,000 to as high as $10,000 (and even higher for large companies) depending upon what the search terms are, how frequently they run and in what market you live. New York City, Hollywood, Dallas, or Atlanta will be higher than Raleigh, North Carolina for example. Bidding is also a key factor, as competitors bid on the same terms then the cost per click increases significantly.
Keep in mind new tactics are being introduced all the time so working with an agency that keeps
up with the most current trends is critical to your success. It never hurts to ask your agency on
your monthly phone calls to go through any new services you should be aware of.
Don’t Feel Like You Need to Go It Alone
We understand that comprehending your advertising options is challenging in an ever-changing market. This is where working with a full-service marketing agency can be beneficial.
Coming Up Next: To What Degree Should Your Website Agency Be Responsible for Your Total Success
In some ways, this can be compared to one of your patients asking you if you are responsible for their total healthcare. In this blog we’ll go over what we are responsible for and what you are
responsible for, it may surprise you. But I promise you it will be a fun and worthwhile read.