Marketing is a crucial part of any business’ operations and if you’re providing alternative medicine solutions it’s no different. You need to be able to showcase your products and services to new customers in order to drive up your client list and meet business goals. Of course, marketing isn’t just about connecting with new customers but engaging with your current ones too, an essential step for CAM therapists that want to build a loyal base that they can rely on to come back again and again.
Before you get started on your marketing efforts, ensure that your website and other areas where you’ll be directing customer to accurately reflects your brand. While your visibility will improve, a poor website or confused messaged will turn customers off and can mean your marketing efforts fail to have the desired impact.
The digital age has given CAM businesses multiple ways to market their firm to potential customers, even when they’re on the go. Blending the different options to create your perfect strategy can help you meet both short and long-term objectives. In need of some inspiration when it comes to marketing? These are eight channels you should consider.
- Social media
Did you know that Facebook has 32 million users in the UK? And Twitter and Instagram have over 14 million each? We’re sure you’re already using social media in some form but with figures that high, a well thought out strategy can have a really big impact.
One of the most common pitfalls new businesses, including those operating in CAM, make is focussing on themselves. Social media gives you an incredible opportunity to create a two-way conversation and people head to these platforms for entertainment. Just posting up ads and sales pitches isn’t going to work. Think about your ideal customer and what they would be interested in, reflecting this across the content you share.
- Customer referrals
Don’t underestimate the power of referrals within the CAM industry. Despite growth in the sector there is still an amount of scepticism and hesitation from people that have never tried it before. Of course, you’re going to sing the praises of your services and potential customers know that. That’s where customer referrals come in – persuade your current customers to act as your advocate.
According to research from Neilsen, people are four times more likely to make a purchase if they’ve received a recommendation. Your customers might need a bit of encouragement but with an effective referral scheme in place, it could become an invaluable marketing tool.
Blogs are great for marketing purposes for many reasons and more firms than ever before are getting on board. Firstly, they’re a great place to show off your knowledge. For alternative medicine therapists, providing educational and informative posts can really help set you apart from competitors, positioning yourself as a sector authority figure and reliable.
Secondly, blogs are perfect for improving SEO rankings. Carefully selecting your keywords and including them in regular updated content can help potential customers looking for your services find you, what’s not to like about using blogs?
Who doesn’t love the chance to win something? Competitions can help create a buzz around your brand. Whether you’re offering a free treatment, a discount, or simply a product, a competition can get you noticed. It’s a marketing strategy that lends itself perfectly for being blended with other areas too, such as promoting it on social media, the winner talking about their prize in a blog, or as a banner on an email marketing campaign.
PPC, that’s pay-per-click for those that aren’t familiar with the marketing acronym, is great for drumming up local business. PPC allows you to place an advert targeting customers within a certain demographic, for instance, you could choose women between the ages of 30 and 40 that live in your region. When your target market searches your keywords, such as ‘acupuncture London’ or ‘reiki Manchester’, your ad will appear and you pay for every click.
It’s a useful way of attracting your target client base, especially if you’re struggling to rank highly in search engines. Beware though, more than half of paid-search clicks come from mobile devices so you need to make sure your landing page is optimised for users on the go.
It might be considered an old school method but directories still have their place for alternative therapists. They ensure that people looking for a business like yours can find you. Of course, digital directories can allow customers to leave reviews and for you to interact with prospects, so it’s worthwhile investing some time in ensuring your most up-to-date details and services are listed.
- Email marketing
Marketing isn’t just about attracting new customers, it’s about forging a relationship with current ones too. Email marketing is perfect for this. From sending out general emails across the whole of your clients list updating them on a new service to sending out a voucher to coincide with a customer’s birthday, don’t underestimate how useful email can be.
Try out different formats and content, measuring open rates and click throughs, to see what really engages your customers. And remember, personalisation can boost sales too – personalised emails deliver six times higher transaction rates.
- Earnt media
Earnt media simply means media that you haven’t paid for and it can be a powerful tool. Media that has been earnt, whether you’ve featured in the local newspaper or gave a comment on a radio station, gives your CAM business credibility. It’s typically achieved through press releases and building up connections so get ready to do some therapist networking if you want to utilise this marketing opportunity.
It can be a challenge to earn media but it’s well worth the effort, it’ll place you as the go to person for sector information and show potential customers that you’re respected. To earn media you need to think about the types of stories the media are interested in, for your business, it could be an uplifting story on someone who has benefitted from an alternative medicine solution, an insight into how the industry is growing in your local area, or simply a comment on a broader new issue.