I regularly review website Google Analytics with practice owners. In the majority of cases, they dismiss the value of returning visitors and branded search traffic, and focusing exclusively on “New Visitors” (New Sessions).
Unfortunately, this view of marketing in general caus practices to miss out on one of the most important opportunities of an effective comprehensive marketing campaign.
The most valuable audience you must include in your marketing campaign and budget is consumers who are already familiar with you and your firm/practice.
Here are some quick thoughts to consider:
- New audiences and first-time visitors tend to be harder to close than “branded” visitors and those that use a branded search to find your practice.
- Most highly profitable service providers generate half or more of their revenue from returning customers or referrals.
- Referral leads and consumers who are familiar with your practice convert into consultations and clients at a higher rate.
- Prospective customers who have been nurtured with educational content tend to be more informed and spend more money.
- Google recognizes local returning visitors to your website and target pages. Authority websites, like Wikipedia and media websites have a high percentage of returning visitors, which builds the credibility and perceived value of the website and its pages.
Of course attracting new visitors is an essential part of growing your audience and expanding your reach. I am NOT encouraging you to suspend your outreach campaigns.
However, does it really make sense to invest your entire marketing budget on something (outreach to new visitors) that only generates about half of your new clients? And prospects that are harder to close and spend less money? Of course it doesn’t.
Who Makes Up Your Branded Audience? Simply put: anyone who has been exposed to you and your practice. Of course it includes existing clients or patients, but also, people that view your advertisements, website visitors, viewers and contacts in your social media, professional referrers, and those who do branded searches to find your practice. Don’t waste the opportunities that your expensive advertising and outreach creates.
How to Market to Your Branded Audience – Fortunately, it is significantly less expensive and easier to identify your branded target audience compared to reach and build new audiences through advertising. The following are some quick, easy and affordable strategies to build your branded audience marketing program – and generate a higher ROI.
- E-newsletters – E-newsletters can be a highly effective strategy to maintain relationships with your current and former clients/patients, generate repeat customer business, expand your audience (when encouraged to share), nurture past leads, and stimulate referrals. The key is to ensure you take the steps to execute your e-newsletter campaign effectively. Here are 20 ways to improve your e-newsletters.
- Holiday/Birthday/Anniversaries – Invest the time to leverage personal information to help solidify your relationship with your customers. Professional service providers like you have the opportunity to develop a deeper, more personal relationship with your customers than traditional retailers. Make sure you take advantage of these opportunities to nurture your most obvious branded audience and stimulate consistent referrals.
- Personal Email Lead Follow Up – Most practices struggle to convert email-based leads, which is a highly valuable branded audience. They also miss a tremendous opportunity to market to them. 1) Be sure to add strategic links in your email follow-up to relevant service pages, key information, photos, videos, promotions, “About Us” page, financing page, etc. Get prospects back to your website! 2) Don’t limit your follow up to just one-time emails. Develop a campaign of strategic emails.
- Social Media Management – Many practices that struggle to find value in their social media marketing investment and activities enter social media with misdirected expectations and objectives. Thus, they implement ineffectively. Social media marketing is not a direct response medium, measured solely by leads. Rather, it is a forum for developing connection and engaging with your growing online community and branded audience. The key is to not only post interesting, useful content, but engage. For those practices looking to develop a network of professional referrals, concentrate on developing a LinkedIn strategy.
- Inbound Marketing Automation – A key element with inbound marketing is to identify and connect with many of the visitors to your website and social media who may not be ready to call your office (in most cases, this accounts for about 95% of your visitors!). By using “low-commitment” download calls-to-action, automated data collection and strategic email nurturing campaigns, inbound marketing can significantly grow your branded audience and cultivate them into leads and referrals.
- Re-marketing / Re-targeting – Staying in front of your visitors throughout the buying cycle is a key strategy to marketing to your branded search audience, particularly those that did not make the leap to contact your office. Display advertising that promotes useful, enticing information and offers after they leave your website or profile can get them back and turn them into new customers.
- Reviews and Ratings Marketing – As consumers rely more and more on reviews as a means to compare you and your competitors, it is increasingly important to address this branded audience. By utilizing review marketing software, you can grow your positive reviews and ensure this audience finds reviews that reflect the high quality of your practice. At the same time, by engaging your satisfied clients to participate in the success of your practice (and thanking them!), you develop a stronger connection with them and they become a key referral source.
Today, marketing more effectively to your branded audience needs to be part of your comprehensive multi-channel digital marketing campaign. Not only is this highly affordable, it can be the foundation of developing more predictable traffic, quality leads and new business.
Learn more about developing and marketing to your branded search audience. Call us at 800-916-3886, or email us.