Educate the public
Public education seminars also offer a way for clients to understand more about tinnitus. St. Clergy suggests setting up a seminar that includes lunch and presentations about tinnitus and how it can be treated.
Promotion of the event is especially important. Online advertising and 5,000 to 10,000 direct mailers to people in the area can add up to 50-100 people at the seminar, says St. Clergy.
Appointment books should be available and patients should be encouraged to book an appointment before they leave the event.
“The whole goal from a business standpoint is to get appointments,” he says. “It’s about educating people on what they need to do and then having them come to your office.”
Make friends with physicians
The first place most people turn to when they discover ringing in their ears is their doctor, so it is important to have a good relationship with local physicians.
Matt Perry, an audiologist and owner of Audiology Marketing Now, suggests placing tinnitus brochures in doctors’ offices. An office can create brochures and business cards marketing their "tinnitus division" for physicians to hand out to patients.
“Many physicians will be grateful to have something to tell their patient besides ‘don't think too much about it’ or ‘there's nothing you can do about it,’” he says.
Reach out online
According to Google statistics, over 400,000 searches are made each month using “tinnitus,” and “ringing in the ears” or “ringing in ears.” People over 50, a key demographic for hearing care professionals, are increasingly using the internet for health advice. To reach these people hearing care professionals need to be online too.
Perry says that one way to boost web traffic is to piggyback on the advertising of companies that sell tinnitus products. He suggests starting a blog that features reviews of new tinnitus products and an overview of tinnitus-related news.
“As people search for additional information online or a local distributor for a particular product they just heard about in a radio commercial, they come across your review of the product,” he says.
St. Clergy says that a good website should be optimized to include key words that potential customers could be searching for like “ringing in the ears” and “tinnitus.” Video marketing is also important and can include patient testimonials, guides, and video education snippets. “If you do these videos the right way, they will position you as a local tinnitus expert,” he says.
Still, keep in mind that the overall goal is to get people to visit your office. Every page should have a “call to action” that includes the phone, email, and a link to your office’s online booking system.
“Clearly there's a demand out there and people are at least searching for information about tinnitus online,” says Perry. “In order to reach these people, practices should include information about tinnitus on their websites along with a call to action to motivate the reader to make a call for a tinnitus consultation.