When it comes to running a practice, there are many things to consider. What kind of services will you offer? Will you specialize in a certain type of eye care? Who will you hire to help you ensure your practice runs smoothly? One consideration that may not be on the top of the list but is extremely important to the success of the practice is marketing. We’ve listed a few suggestions to add to your practice marketing plan.
For more information on any of the following, click on the section name.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is defined as “the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—commonly referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.” A good ranking can help your practice be found by potential patients and increase your traffic. A few things that can help or hurt your rankings include:
- Valuable content
- Site structure and mobile design
- Inbound links
Pay per click (PPC), or paid search marketing, is a model of advertising that allows you to pay only when your ad is clicked by an online user. A good example of this is search engine ads. Because you pay by the click, it’s important to focus your efforts for PPC marketing to control costs. You can use PPC for:
- Campaign and issue-based efforts
- Direct-response business
- Generate awareness
- Niche terms
- Product listing ads
Content marketing is simply using original content to draw in potential patients. This can be in the form of a blog, whitepaper, video, social media posts, guides, or anything else you create and share. Content can be generalized into the following types:
- Crowd pleasers
- Long playing
By now, you likely know what social media is, but you may not fully understand why it’s a great tool. Social media allows you to reach patients directly in a way that little other marketing tools can. It’s great for reviews, sales, or general practice information. Once you start a social account for your practice, it’s important to post regularly so you can keep your content fresh and in front of your patients/potential patients. So, don’t create one unless you’re ready to commit to the upkeep.
Reviews can make or break a business. A review is defined as “a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary.” Reviews can include comments and ratings, with the most popular rating system being 1-5 stars. Reviews point to the importance of customer service, and knowing how to respond to negative comments can have a heavy impact on future reviews.
Email marketing can be defined as “the use of email to promote products and/or services,” but in terms of ODs, a more accurate definition is “the use of email to develop and nurture relationships with current patients.” Practices can use email for many different things, including:
- Appointment reminders
- Encourage patients to schedule their annual exams
- Newsletters sharing information about eye health, practice updates, or general healthy living tips
When it comes to email marketing, it can be easy to get carried away. Make sure you follow best practices so as not to abuse this communication format.
Unlike online reviews, referrals most commonly come from people who know each other. These are some of the most powerful marketing tools because they are not only real experiences, but they are coming from people they tend to trust. That’s why a referral program can be one of your biggest assets. A few tips to help you create your program are:
- Know your loyal patients and a deeper level than their eye health. They’re loyal for a reason. Find out why.
- Offer high-quality goods and services, the kind people want to talk about.
- Make it easy because patients are far less likely to recommend something that requires skills.
- Promote your program. No one will join if they don’t know about it.
- Evaluate and adapt. The beings that survive are the ones who evolve. Make sure your referral program can change with your patient/practice needs.
You can read our full OD Marketing Tips series for a deeper dive into each of these marketing tools and to better understand how each piece can fit into your practice marketing plan. As a practice partner, EyePromise offers marketing support in ways little other vitamin companies can. Contact an EyePromise Regional Account Manager and find out how EyePromise can help you elevate your practice.