Like most businesses, optometrists are always looking for effective methods of attracting new patients to their practice. Online marketing, search engines, and social media are valuable starting points for growing your optometry practice. Most consumers find information about optometry and care providers online these days. (most of them via mobile devices according to a recent study shared in this previous blog article) When it comes to finding an eye doctor, in fact, this is very likely the first place prospective patients will look for information, education, and reviews. The right optometrist marketing can greatly improve visibility of your optometry practice for new prospective patients and consumers seeking products, care, or advice.
You may already know some of the basics when it comes to optometrist marketing:
- Mobile optimized website.
- Frequently post content to social media channels.
- Run online ad campaigns to increase reach and engagement.
These are good places to start, but to truly stand out from your competitors you may need to go a little further. Below are some of the other low hanging fruits you can use to make your marketing campaigns a success.
Optometrist Marketing 101
Cater to the Local Crowd
Optometry practices are unique in that they offer both healthcare services as well as retail consumer products such as eye wear, contact lenses, and related paraphernalia. While many consumers choose to shop online there are still many that prefer to work with a professional as well as to see and touch the products before purchasing. Truly helping a patient and building a relationship with them requires interacting with them in person. Creating generic, cookie cutter marketing campaigns will have very limited benefit to your local optometry practice. You need to focus on your local community with specific campaigns and content tailored to your local community.
There are many ways to accomplish this:
- Identify and include the keywords with local relevance.
- Create post, share, and promote locally relevant content.
- Have addresses and phone numbers on all of your listings.
- Be active in the community and share your activity both online and offline.
- Actively ask for and share great patient outcome stories.
How do you accomplish this? Attend and participate in local events and share images and video of these experiences via social media and blog posts to people in your local area. Adopt workflows that ensure your team is actively engaging with patients and requesting feedback and reviews that can be shared. Service after the sale is just as important as before when trying to maintain a long term customer relationship.
Since you serve the local community around your practice, you have an opportunity to gain intimate knowledge of those that live in the area such as their hobbies and occupations. Show them that you are an active member by sharing local issues, teams, and concerns that interest you. You don’t always have to try to sell your business or services. Showing support for local people and organizations that you are involved with in the community can go a long way in a successful marketing campaign.
Have a Helpful Website
When it comes to optometry marketing, you should strive to show how you’re giving patients and consumers something unique and valuable that they won’t find at the discount online shop or telehealth system. They are more than likely searching for your website because they have questions or a problem, so provide information to help reduce their anxiety, understand their options, recognize symptoms, educate on preventative care, and provide convenient means to schedule visits via multiple communications channels (text, Facebook Messenger, phone, email etc.)
Share information about common vision or eye issues or the importance of getting regular eye exams. Provide visitors a virtual tour of your office or walk them through the steps and value of regular eye exams and the importance of tracking their progression. No matter what you post, be sure to use an educational, teaching tone to avoid turning potential patients or customers away. We all respond more positively to a teacher than to a salesperson.
Really standing out means doing more than just selling products and services; it means sharing real information about you, your practice, and your team. This helps prospective patients feel like part of a family instead of just another patient.
Turning Visitors Into Patients, Then Into Family
All of this invaluable information on your site helps encourage patients and consumers to visit your office when they have a question or an issue. From there, you want to nurture and convert them into lifelong patients and ultimately make them feel like they’re part of the family. Once patients and consumers trust that you’re a good fit they may pick up and call on their own accord. However, they may also require additional motivation and encouragement.
You may consider collecting email addresses to create a newsletter or email list. That way you can send information about the latest in eye wear, eye care, disease prevention, new diagnostic equipment, and the latest treatment options, directly to your subscribers. You can also send coupons and special offers that motivate patients to come in and explore your practice. Nurturing existing and potential patients and consumers via digital marketing is a great way to establish and solidify yourself as an expert and build trust, further encouraging website visitors and subscribers to become patients while also providing useful information for current patients to share with their friends and family.
Get Some Help
There’s no need to do all your optometrist marketing on your own. Hiring a professional helps you remain focused on your patients while ensuring steady, continued growth of your practice. Contact Puget Tech today and let us help you find the right marketing plan to attract more patients for your optometry practice!