There’s a lot to know about the marketing world, but if you’re a business owner, no matter what your industry, it’s important to understand the basics.
I’ve noticed that a lot of allied health business owners tend to be cautious of marketing, maybe even fearful. And it’s understandable. But if you get your head around the jargon and learn the basic concepts and language associated with marketing, you can do wonderful things.
Avoid analysis paralysis
It seems many allied health business owners are somewhat worried about their marketing and what damage it might do, especially because of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and its restrictions.
There’s a huge focus on what we’re not allowed to do, but most people overlook what we can do with our marketing.
I’ve seen too many allied health business owners put marketing on the back burner, relying solely on their referrals. It shouldn’t be the case; there is an increasing development of sophisticated marketing techniques, strategies and tools being used by other owners in the allied health industry.
Which side of the fence do you sit on? Are you slightly ignorant thinking you don’t need it right now, or do you want to be found by ideal clients through strategic marketing?
A-Z Marketing Terms
Like many other parts of business, there is a bit of a culture to the marketing world, so widening your marketing vocabulary will help you kickstart your ability to sell your business and your allied health services to the right people.
A – AdWords
It’s now had a change of name but Google Ads is an advertising service provided by Google that allows businesses to create advertisements based on chosen keywords. The purpose is to make sure your business shows up on the first page of Google search results based on the words you know people are searching for. If people have to scroll through the results to find your business, it’s not a good start.
A – Analytics
This refers to the discovery of patterns and trends in your website data; it’s all about measuring what’s going on behind the scenes. That means looking at what people click on, how long they stay on certain pages for, and how long they’re staying on your website for in total. That’s just the entry level stuff – there’s a lot more you can look at once you fully understand Google Analytics. It can give you an in-depth report at the end of each month.
You can also get detailed analytics of your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and most other social media platforms. The data produced can help you make decisions about what you will do next and tells you how effective your current marketing strategy is.
A blog is actually short for weblog and are typically written by a single person. In this case, you might blog about your services, your business, your beliefs and things you’ve discovered from your industry that you want to share with your audience. You can include photos and videos and links.
Your blog sits on your website and you can then share the URL on your social media accounts, in newsletters or emails, so that people go to your website to read your blog.
Blogging is definitely a growing opportunity that sits under the umbrella of content marketing. It’s perfect for busy allied health professionals because it doesn’t have to be long, it can just be a photo or a couple of sentences, or maybe a question for your audience.
B- Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your website and then leave without clicking on anything, which you can see in your Google Analytics. So, the lower the bounce rate, the better.
There could be many reasons for a high bounce rate – it could be because your website isn’t very attractive, or too hard to navigate, or there’s not enough good content for people to click on to and read.
C – Content
Content is any piece of content that you share online. It could be a photo, a paragraph on your business, or a blog.
E – Engagement Rate
This is a social media metric that shows the total amount of interactions, likes, favourites, shares, and comments that a post receives.
You can find this information in your analytics from your website and social media platforms; it tells you what kind of content engages people to become a customer of yours.
I – Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is an interesting one; it refers to marketing activities that draw visitors into your business, such as blogs, images, social media posts, or a newsletter. So think about what you have/do that brings people to your website and makes them want to have a look around and engage with your business.
I – Infographic
Chances are you’ve seen these. An infographic is a visual piece of content used to relay complex bits of information in a simpler way rather than writing it out in a thousand words. It’s a classic example of ‘a picture paints a thousand words’.
I suggest allied health business owners make the most of infographics because they are so easy to do and are very powerful ways of making information very digestible. There are specialists on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork that can help you create them.
Keywords or keyword phrases are how people find relevant content using their search engine, like Google. For example, someone might be looking for therapy services so they may Google “occupational therapy North Melbourne”.
So you should really get your thinking cap on and think about what words your clients might be Googling when looking for services like yours. When you know what those keywords are, you can use them throughout your content so that you rank on Google and are therefore easy to find by future clients.
M – Mobile Optimisation
You see this all day every day. Mobile optimisation refers to websites that are able to be viewed on mobile devices without sacrificing quality or content or functionality. Ideally, they’re as easy to navigate as when you’re looking at a desktop, and sometimes they’re even easier to navigate than in the desktop view.
I think allied health business owners have got a little bit of work to do on this front. Too many private practice websites are old and rusty, which tends to put people off.
N – Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score, often called NPS, is a metric that measures customer satisfaction and how likely it is that the customer would recommend your business to other people. It is measured on a scale of one to 10, and there are particular cut-offs that you can use to interpret your scores.
This is something you might already be familiar with because CliniqApps, which integrates with quite a few of the practice management software systems, has a function that can automate the gathering of customer feed-forward, based on the Net Promoter Score question or questions.
O – Offer
The primary purpose of an offer is to help people find you. Your offer might be an e-book that you’ve written, or some tip sheets for carers or for clients, or a checklist or infographic. It might even be an invitation to a webinar or the offer of a template; something that is engaging and useful that you give in exchange for a client’s name, email or phone number.
R – Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is a metric that refers to the ratio of profit compared to the initial investment. It’s something you should keep an eye on, because it’s easy to overspend, especially when it comes to marketing. You can spend money on promoting posts or running campaigns on social media, but you might not be getting the outcome you want or need in order to make it worthwhile.
S – Sales Funnel
These are all the specific, staged marketing or campaign activities you have in place so that people end up liking you, trusting you and ultimately wanting to buy from you. Sales funnels don’t have to be complex, but you should definitely get some advice on it so you understand the purpose of them and the ROI. They are already in use by many allied health business owners, so if you haven’t already, you should definitely focus some of your attention on them.
S – Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are examples of the big, popular social media platforms. Pinterest tends to be categorised as a marketplace, because there are so many sales happening off it, while LinkedIn is more of a professional networking space.
S – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If you’ve built a website or worked with marketing people, you will be all over this SEO business. Search engine optimisation is the way that you enhance how prominent your website is in search results.
It generally involves making sure that specific keywords are included in specific areas and parts of the words on your website. That is a really natural way to enhance your SEO without having to invest in Google Ads or anything else down the track.
Hopefully this quick introduction to marketing terms will help build your confidence and knowledge of how it works and why it’s worth paying attention to and investing in.
There is a full A-Z Glossary of Marketing Vocabulary on our website, so if you want to fill in the gaps with the letters I’ve missed, go and get the