In late 2019, we published a white paper where we collated all web data across our “Inner Circle” members based on 44,710 visitors.
The three big take-aways were:
- 66% of the industry’s traffic is mobile.
- The best-performing call-to-action is “Request a Callback.”
- And Fridays are the busiest day for web traffic.
But the biggest surprise was the average age of the website visitors.
Whereas the industry believes that the only people that visit their websites are in their 80s, need big, bold font, and don’t use the internet …
… What we actually learned was the opposite.
We discovered that 47.02% of visitors to your website in this industry are between the ages of 25 and 34.
The second biggest age group was 55 to 64 at 29.80% and the smallest age group, interestingly, was between 35 and 44. Not much difference to 65+.
This clearly shows that the biggest influencer in this buying process is not the patient themselves.
It is the children or grandchildren of the patient.
Based on the ages, it’s looking much more likely to be the grandson or granddaughter that’s having the most influence and is involved in the research process.
And this points to one thing.
The biggest opportunity in this industry right now is being the expert authority or trusted credibility in hearing care during that research phase.
Because if we use Pareto’s law, and if you’re not familiar, it’s sometimes known as the 80/20 rule and basically demonstrates that everything can be split into 80/20.
- 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes.
- 20% of drivers cause 80% of all traffic accidents.
- 80% of pollution originates from 20% of all factories.
- 20% of a company’s products represent 80% of sales.
- 20% of employees are responsible for 80% of the results.
The rule pretty much is applicable across anything.
However, if we look at this from the perspective that we’re talking about, you can clearly see that 80% of the people searching for hearing care or hearing aids online are not searching with intent to buy or want to immediately see a professional.
They’re searching from a research basis to educate themselves to either help themselves, or most likely, based on the data, to help their own grandparents.
Yet one big issue that this industry has, which marks a big opportunity for us to win, is that the biggest focus of pretty much everyone in the industry, or even let’s say 80% of the industry, is focusing in on people in that 20%.
That 20% be in people that have already made a decision that they want to buy hearing aids or need to see a professional.
They’re not in the research phase; they’ve made that decision.
But if you consider the 80% of the industry that are marketing for that 20% of the market, then all of a sudden you can see why the cost to acquire a lead is going through the roof, why marketing has become such a challenging game, and why direct mail responses are nose-diving.
The big opportunity here is going for that big 80% of the research phase of the market.
This is the big portion of the market that is untapped and where there is so much opportunity.
If you can be the local brand that helps these people, appear to be the experts, and support them throughout their journey, then when they finally decide to take some form of action, you’re naturally the only person that they want to work with.
This is the biggest marketing opportunity in this industry.
While all of your competitors battle it out for patients that are looking to buy right now, you should be putting effort into building brand and generating a pipeline of future patients that have chosen you before they have even thought about purchasing.
This is how you build a business with longevity that doesn’t rely on mailers to generate leads.
But how do you do this?
Why Content Marketing is King
If you were looking to have cosmetic dental surgery, would you be willing to go and see a professional right away?
But would you be willing to go online and do a little bit of research to find out answers like how much is it? What’s the recovery process? All the questions that naturally jump to your mind?
So, if you jumped on Google, you searched how much is cosmetic dental surgery, and one of the first articles you’ve read is “How Much is Cosmetic Dental Surgery from a Local Dentist?”
You click it and you read a very well-informed piece of content. It’s super helpful. It’s super to the point. It’s super transparent. It’s not trying to hide any prices back.
It’s genuinely helpful.
And you walk away feeling much more informed, and then you look at the bottom and you see that this cosmetic dentist is local to you.
Seems a good guy, seems to have a good clinic, and all of a sudden you’ve discovered someone that you go, “Oh, they look like they could be really good for this.”
But you don’t take action right away because you’re unsure.
You go off and do some more research, you sleep on it, and you make some more decisions around it.
But then the next time you do need help, or you want to do some research, or you’re thinking about who to work with, naturally, who is the first person that will come to your mind?
This process for finding the right provider is becoming more and more common.
The days of just looking for your local provider and settling for them is declining, as patients now have more options available to them, the ability to research with ease, and a better thirst for the best possible service.
And Google’s data backs this up.
As it stands in 2020, 8% of all Google searches are questions.
That’s 458 million searches per day.
These questions vary from people asking things like “Is coronavirus deadly?” to questions researching a life decision.
Undoubtedly, a number of these are potential future patients that are researching on their behalf or a loved one’s behalf.
They may be asking what ringing in their ears means, they may be asking how much hearing aids are, and they may be asking what the signs of hearing loss are.
Google recognized this in late 2019 when they made a big announcement that it was implementing a major change to its core search algorithm that could change the results ranking for up to one in ten queries.
Because in the past, Google’s algorithm treated a search sentence as a “bag of words.” It picked out what it considered to be the important words. If you entered “who is a great keynote speaker,” clearly “keynote” and “speaker” are more important than “is” and “a.”
But doing so eliminated context from the search sentence’s intent.
The new algorithm is based on something called BERT.
This is a tool that helps to optimize natural language processing (NLP) by using AI and a massive data set to deliver better contextual results.
In simple terms, Google will process questions better and show results that link to relevant content that directly answers these questions.
What Are The Different Forms of Content Marketing?
There are three key forms of content that you can produce.
I’ll walk you through each of them with a real life example and I’ll share which one is right for you.
The first example is …
When people ask questions on Google, your blog is naturally the best place to answer these questions.
By crafting articles that directly answer the most commonly asked questions locally, you can be the prominent brand that appears and helps people in advance by providing comprehensive answers to their questions.
This becomes incredibly powerful.
It doesn’t just gain you more free traffic to your website, but it also ensures that the people that come to these articles see you and your team as the experts, and you build credibility with them in advance of them making any form of decision.
A great example of this is a company out in Houston.
We helped them to thoroughly research the 30 most searched hearing care, hearing loss, and hearing aid-related questions throughout the city.
We then had their team answer each of these questions thoroughly, which resulted in a large blog on their website that gives professional and articulate answers.
This means that these articles are now strongly ranking when patients search these questions online, it’s winning them traffic, and building them local expertise.
Recording Videos on YouTube
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine with over 30 million visitors per day.
Some people use it to research, others use it to watch videos of people falling over.
But if you can comprehensively and entertainingly answer the most asked hearing questions, then you can build expertise and help patients in advance.
Now, the clear example of this is Dr. Cliff, which I’m sure we’ve all become familiar with. He’s built a YouTube following by answering all the big questions, sharing updates, and consistently creating great quality video content.
He’s done a very good job.
But please don’t think that Dr. Cliff has collared the market here.
He’s done a really good job with it. I take my hat off to him. But locally in your marketplace, there’s nothing at all stopping you from doing the exact same thing.
There is a big warning, though; only record videos on YouTube if you have the confidence and charisma to do so.
If you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera, then this isn’t an avenue for you.
Creating a Podcast
This is the most “out there” suggestion because nobody in the industry that I’ve found is doing a GREAT job with this.
But it’s a big opportunity if you have a face for radio 😉
Podcasting is one of the fastest growing content platforms.
The latest 2020 stats are suggesting that:
- 70% of Americans are Familiar with “Podcasting” …
- 165 Million People in the US Have Listened to a Podcast …
- 32% of Americans are Monthly Podcast Listeners …
- 22% of the American People Listen to Podcasts Weekly
This presents a big opportunity for somebody to grab.
Whether you’re interviewing interesting patients to share their background and their hearing loss story or you’re talking about industry topics, if you have a way with words, then podcasting is a simple platform to utilize.
The only example of an audiologist that runs a podcast is Dr. Lilach Saperstein.
Now Dr. Lilach Saperstein has a podcast called All About Audiology and I encourage you to check it out. It’s an audiologist’s perspective on helping caregivers care for their loved ones or people who have a hearing loss.
And what’s happened here is Dr. Lilach has built this nice following.
It’s not a huge podcast, but they’re putting out great content, which speaks directly to an audience that positions them as the expert in that marketplace.
It means that when people do get to a stage where they are caring for someone with a hearing loss that they want help, want professional help, want hearing aids, and want advanced audiological care.
Then who are they naturally going to go to? It’s Dr. Lilach Saperstein, and they’ve built that audience.
What Content Should You Produce?
Now, my encouragement to you from a content perspective is not so much to do everything, because that would be a ridiculous thing for you to do on top of your day job.
My encouragement to you is to choose what you are best at.
So, for example, I am great at writing.
I’m not great on audio, and I’m not particularly great on video.
I’m, at my core, a writer. Which means that it only makes logical sense.
If I were to put any form of content out, it would be a blog because that’s my most comfortable way and most talented way of producing content.
However, if I were Phil M Jones, then what would I do?
I’d probably put audio out through a podcast or video through YouTube, because Phil has that skill set and that’s his best way of communicating in a clear and concise manner.
This is about playing to your strengths.
But if you can nail this content piece and speak towards 80% of the audience in their research phase, it is the biggest opportunity to progressively win patients long term who aren’t price focused but are focused on getting the right level of care from an expert.
You capture them early, you have the ability to educate them, help them, and support them in making a decision. And when they come to you, their decision isn’t based on small factors like price, even convenience, or how many testimonials you’ve got on your website.
They’ve already made the decision that you’re the person that can help them, because you’ve already helped them get to the stage where they are at then. Which means the next step of actually working with you becomes seamless, effortless, and objection free.
How to Research Content Topics
When you’ve decided on your preferred method for creating content, your next step is to research the questions that people are asking Google.
There is a two-step process to doing this.
#1 – Answer The Public
There’s an awesome website for content ideas called www.answerthepublic.com
This website allows you to post a keyword and it will give you all searches relating to that specific keyword.
As an example, if I was to search “Hearing Loss” – it presents the following options:
This presents you with 200 possible questions that you can answer on the subject of “Hearing Loss.” Pretty impressive, right?
But we don’t want to answer a question if nobody is searching it.
It only makes sense for us to answer the most commonly searched questions.
That’s where we use step two.
#2 – Search Volume
You can use the website http://searchvolume.io
This website allows you to copy & paste all the search terms from “AnswerThePublic” and it will show you how many monthly searches they have.
Here’s an example:
As you can see, you can see the most popular search terms along with the average monthly search volume.
If you click “Analyze” – it will show you what currently appears when the term is searched.
The strategy is to choose the keywords that gain consistent monthly search traffic yet aren’t majorly competitive (to ensure that you can dominate the most prominent positions).
If you can develop a list of 5 pieces of content and look to craft some powerful content whether via a blog, a video, or an audio podcast, then you can start winning traffic and helping patients in advance.
Your Next Steps
Use the tools outlined in this article, decide on the style of content that you should be creating, and get to work. Just one quick video here, and a quick article there, will make a significant difference.
It’s what our “Inner Circle” members have become very good at, documenting the work they do and using their digital presence to share the incredible work that is happening.
One step at a time.
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