Today, if your ENT practice isn’t engaged in the digital marketing world, your competitors are probably passing you by. Digital marketing involves building a strong internet presence. This all starts with your ENT practice website. From there your digital marketing extends through active social media pages, informative blogs, email campaigns, multimedia content, and accurate directory listings across the web. Making an impact online is sure to positively impact your ENT practice bottom line.
This guide examines 14 unique ear, nose, and throat marketing channels. We have divided this guide into two sections: Digital Marketing Ideas and Traditional Marketing Ideas. The goal is simple — drive more patients to your ENT practice.
ENT Internet Marketing Strategies
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- ENT Website Design
- ENT Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Local ENT Directory Listings
- ENT Reputation Management
- ENT Social Media
- ENT Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- ENT Email Marketing
- ENT Blogging
ENT Traditional Marketing Strategies
Please click on any of the links below to jump to the section of your choosing!
- Offline ENT Advertisements (TV, Radio, Billboards, Newspaper, Direct Mail)
- ENT Business Development
- ENT Referral Program
- ENT Offline Events (Open Houses, etc.)
- ENT Community-Building Events
- ENT Speaking Engagements
ENT Website Design
Today your ENT website is really your business card. It’s the place where new patients are first introduced to your practice, and it’s where they will draw their first impressions. You want to be sure to showcase the breadth of your expertise, the scope of your treatments, your skilled staff, and everything else that differentiates your ENT practice from your competitors. Your website needs to function seamlessly on all mobile devices, clearly convey your practice brand in the digital world, and make it simple for a patient to instantly contact your office whether with a question about an ear infection or to schedule an appointment. Of course, a great ENT practice website is nothing without reliable, fast web hosting.
There are lots of digital marketing firms out there, but you should trust your online marketing to a company that has specific experience in designing and optimizing websites for ENT practices. You want an agency that understands different conversion strategies for the unique ENT sector of the medical world. And your practice website should have certain design features — extensive, informative copy; video; ENT blogging; and strong calls to action to help patients move from curious interest to making an appointment.
ENT Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goal of every search engine is simple — match the searcher with the information he or she is searching for as quickly and accurately as possible. Google weighs various factors to determine if your website is relevant to the query, is trustworthy, and if it deserves a high ranking in organic search returns. SEO for ENT practices involves optimizing your website to rank highly for search terms that match the treatments and procedures you specialize in.
To help in this, you need to create and provide original content on your key treatments and procedures to your SEO company. This enables the firm to optimize that content to move your ENT practice up in search returns. Where to start? Start with your top five procedures and answer the top five questions your patients ask. That can be the initial focus to push you upward in organic search.
Local ENT Directory Listings
Even those familiar with Yelp and HealthGrades aren’t aware of the sheer number of online directories out there. The odds of your practice information being in the exact same format, or even completely correct, across all the directories are slim. Checking each one and making sure your ENT practice information is consistent is not the best use of your time or that of your employees. Yet, inconsistency across listings confuses search engines; it’s amazing how “Suite,” “Ste.,” and “Office #” can make a seemingly brilliant algorithm think those are three different ENT practices. Having accurate NAP information — name, address, and phone — ensures that search engines and patients have correct information. This consistency across the web instills trust, helps bring patients to your practice, and is crucial in your SEO marketing.
Your ENT practice needs to work with a digital marketing firm that can handle your directory listings, making sure they are consistent and you don’t need to worry about them. At Advice Media, we have a tool that does just that, ensuring your practice information is the same on every directory everywhere on the web.
ENT Reputation Management
Some medical practices discount the power of reviews, assuming they are more of a retail business type of thing. Not so. Online reviews have become crucial as differentiators for all business, ENT practices included. You need positive reviews to convert curious website users to new patients. Reviews are now often the first impression point a potential patient has with your practice. Plus, you can respond to online reviews for free, which gives you a chance for engagement without a dollar spent. Your ENT practice needs to generate reviews and to respond to any reviews out there, but it’s hard to do. How do you even know when a new review is posted?
Your digital marketing firm needs reputation management software that alerts you when a new review is posted. This software also needs to help you generate reviews from your satisfied patients. Advice Media has review management software that makes it easy to manage with your ENT practice reputation online.
ENT Social Media Marketing
It may have originally been intended as a peer-to-peer method for sharing photos, but social media has evolved into a necessity for medical practices. Many potential patients look at a practice’s social media pages for insight into the practice that isn’t there on the practice website. Social media gives both you, your staff, and your patients the chance to show a more personal side. Social media can help build trust and allows patients to connect on a more casual level with your ENT practice and your entire staff.
For this to be effective, however, regular posting is a must. That can be difficult for an ENT practice. We recommend your practice has a social media profile and that you have a clearly defined process for posting personalized content consistently. This can be an area where your digital marketing agency can really help. We can build your pages and profile, and handle weekly posting of engaging content. And you can supplement it whenever you choose.
ENT Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
You’ve probably noticed that Google and Bing keep pushing organic search results further down the first page of results. That’s because they want people using paid search. Correspondingly, your ENT practice needs to incorporate paid search (pay per click or PPC) marketing into your digital marketing plan. Pay-per-click advertising has that moniker because your ENT practice only pays when a user clicks on your ad and is re-directed to your website. Advertising in paid search is very cost effective, as you’re only paying when a user hits your site.
Once that potential patient clicks your PPC ad it’s crucial that the page they hit is just the beginning. That’s where robust, engaging content and beautiful website design come in, keeping a curious visitor on your site and encouraging that person to push deeper into the pages. This increases your ROI. There are different SEM ad types, and they require different strategies to optimize your ads to generate leads. That’s why you need an ENT marketing firm to manage your SEM.
The two most common search engine advertisements for ENT practices are text ads (the paid returns atop the search engine results page) and display ads (ads on the right side or across the entire top of regular webpages). Unlike text ads atop search engine results pages, display ads show up on pages of websites that you set as parameters. For instance, one of your PPC display ads could show up on a page where a person is researching sleep apnea.
Setting your SEM campaign and budget involves first setting your overall SEO strategy. This optimizes your website to ensure your budget is efficient and your ad quality scores are high.
ENT Email Marketing
Many ENT practitioners can’t see themselves sending out emails. After all, it’s not as if you have a monthly special on teeth whitening, like a dentist. Reality is, email marketing is a great way to educate and keep in touch with your patients. It’s a great email for a patient to forward to a friend with chronic sinusitis, too! Coupled with a referral program, email can also be a great way to generate new patients. If you handle your email marketing in house, you need to choose an email marketing platform based on two factors: ease of use and price. Prices are usually dictated by frequency of your emails and the size of your list.
Our typical recommendation for our ENT practices is to send out one email every month. These emails would be mainly educational, for instance, providing a heads up about a spike in expected upcoming allergies. They should also address your referral program. That referral program needs to offer something to a current patient who refers a new patient, something like a gift card, tickets to a local event, or even a future discount. Your staff needs to collect these email addresses and manage your practice email list. To do this you should have a connected form that directly links your website to your email marketing software.
Ear, nose, and throat practices have such a diverse assortment of treatments there is a ton of potential for education. Monthly blog posts can provide that vehicle. Creating regular blog posts on your ENT practice website can pay many dividends. These blogs can drive traffic and potential patients to your site, provide regular content to share on your social media pages and through email marketing, and blogs are an important part of SEO. This is because search engines view blogs as new content, and new content is rewarded in organic search.
Blogs are a vehicle to create new content for both existing patients and potential patients. It’s important to be consistent, posting a new blog at least once each month. Each blog should also focus on a single topic, offering education on the condition/problem and your solutions. The reader should view this as valuable, educational material, and it can help establish your ENT practice as an ENT authority.
Writing consistently and writing well can be difficult for an ENT practice. Problems and procedures are complex, and they take time to write. Many practices farm out their blogging duties to a digital agency or a freelance writer. This ensures every blog has fresh content and the writing quality is high.
Traditional ENT Marketing
Traditional marketing channels target patients when they’re not in the digital world. Radio commercials, TV ads, billboards, and direct mail all are considered “traditional marketing.” These ads are different from paid digital ads in that you pay to possibly get in front of your target audience. They may read a postcard you send out across your coverage area, but you don’t know for sure. They could also just toss it in the recycling bin. That’s quite different from paid search ads in your search engine marketing campaign, where you only pay when a user clicks on your ad and is sent to your site.
At Advice Media, we believe there is a place for traditional advertising coupled with digital marketing as described above. To make these traditional media cost effective, you need a process to track their effectiveness and ROI, which isn’t always easy. We have options for doing this by directing specific media to specific landing pages or to certain distinct phone numbers. Still, traditional media can be frustrating due to the unknowns and the cost of creative production.
Traditional marketing has been on the decline and will continue to decline for these reasons. That’s why your practice needs to focus as much as possible on digital marketing options.
ENT Business Development
Most ear, nose, and throat practices have a variety of doctors with different specialties, but you should consider adding partners. These aren’t partners in the sense that they are on your About Us list. They are associations. Your ENT practice doesn’t remove a basal cell carcinoma, but you can certainly refer the patient to a dermatologist who does. Then, when that dermatologist hears of a patient who is suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease he can send that patient to you.
And you can think beyond straight business referrals. You could offer to write a monthly column for the local newspaper on ways to be proactive with upcoming seasonal allergies. Local TV stations in smaller markets are often happy to have new story ideas about things such as a new type of hearing aid or sinus surgery methods.
There are endless possibilities for these kinds of business development opportunities for your ENT practice. A great way to come up with possible associations is to first identify your typical patient. Then get your whole staff together, along with your ENT digital marketing firm, to brainstorm creative options for reaching this patient.
ENT Referral Program
Every doctor in every area of medicine knows one thing — referred patients are awesome. They’ve already heard great things about your ENT practice and its people. That’s why your ENT practice needs to encourage referrals through a defined program.
Through a referral program your current patients will receive something in exchange for a referred patient scheduling a treatment. You could give both the referred new patient and the referring patient a discount. It’s a great way to spread the word about your practice and to reward your loyal current customers.
You will need to make this easy to implement (don’t make anyone jump through hoops to receive the discounts), and you need to have a clear process in place, both for your patients and for your staff. A great way to build referrals is to incentivize your staff to generate referrals. It’s an excellent way to have your best patients spread the word and be rewarded for it.
Planning and executing an event can seem like too much work, but this is a great way to celebrate your current patients, introduce your ENT practice to new patients, and engage with the community. Whether it’s a “Grand Reopening” after a remodel, a yearly “Open House,” or even your “Grand Opening” for a new office, events can really build patient loyalty and introduce your practice to lots of interested others who don’t yet need your expertise, but likely will one day.
Again, you want to think of your typical patient. Maybe a “Hearing Loss 101” presentation could really work for your older patients. Maybe a “Snoring and Sleep Apnea” presentation would be a hit. Maybe it’s just an open house, due to the breadth of your ENT treatments. You’ll want to have catered food, maybe demonstrations of new equipment, promotional branded items with your logo and ENT practice name on them, and office tours with staff members.
We recommend ENT practices hold an open house once each year. You’ll learn a little each year to make the next year’s better, and your patients will start to look forward to the event.
ENT Community-Building Events
It’s important for everyone to feel they are part of a community, and your patients like to see your practice is just that, as well. Showing you care about the community where your ENT practice is located is a great way to make your practice more visible, all while lending a hand or doing some good.
For instance, you could offer free basic hearing tests at your local senior center. You could be a sponsor of a high school talent show. Your vocal cord expertise could come in handy! Community-building events show that you value being a part of the community and that you’re willing to give back.
ENT Speaking Engagements
Ear, nose, and throat practices usually feature a variety of expertise. This team will likely continually be attending continuing education symposiums and the like. They may even be asked to present on a new treatment. To build your presence as an authority in the ENT world, there is no better way than speaking at a trade show or industry gathering.
When attending these events (or surely if speaking or presenting) be sure to take lots of photos and video. This makes great content for your website, social media platforms, and in a newsletter or monthly email.
Make an Instant Impact — Let’s Get Started Today
If you seek answers and help with those 14 items listed above, you’re in the right place and on the right website. We’re Advice Media, and we can help move your ENT practice to the next level with our digital marketing SEO and SEM services.
For over 20 years, we’ve been building the health care industry’s most beautiful websites, and optimizing them for search. From tools to handle your practice directory listings to helping you decide whether PPC text ads are better than paid display, we’ve been the trusted partner of thousands of practices over our two decades.