05 May Get New Patients with These Optometry Marketing Strategies
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new optometry practice or an established one—you always need to grow your patient base. Being proactive is the best way to get more patients. All it takes is a little marketing.
Being that you are not a professional marketer, putting together a strategy for your optometry practice may seem daunting. Below we share a few marketing strategies worth considering, along with an explanation of what you need to do to see results.
1. Optimize Your Website
Your website is your number one selling tool when it comes to promoting your optometry practice. It needs to be more than just something pretty to look at.
A good website tells your patients who you are and what you do. And while the design is important, drawing people to your website is even more important. Patients need to easily find information and schedule an appointment.
Optimizing your website with relevant keywords makes all the difference in attracting the right people. If you’re not sure how to incorporate keywords into your website, connect with an SEO expert or self-educate with the many resources online, like this guide.
Also, consider using an optometry EHR patient portal to help improve patient engagement. An online HIPAA-compliant portal allows patients to pay bills and schedule appointments online, among other things.
2. Use Social Media
More than 3.5 billion people use social media every day, which is about 45% of the population. You would be remiss if you didn’t jump on the bandwagon and use social media to your advantage. In a recent INVISION COVID-19 Impact Survey with eye care professionals, more than 68% say they use social media to stay connected with patients.
Having a strong social media presence means connecting with people long before they need your services. This strategy will serve you well. When someone following your practice needs an optometrist, you’ll be the first that comes to mind.
Use social media to showcase how you offer a better patient experience than the competition. Don’t just post your achievements. Show “what’s in it for them” and you’ll start to see an increase in patients walking through your door. Posting funny memes related to optometry, infographics, or jokes that interest your audience are all great ideas for engaging with your audience on social media. Education and humor go a long way on these channels.
3. Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising
When potential patients are searching for a new optometry practice online, they go to Google. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one of the best ways to ensure that your business gets seen when people are searching. With PPC, you’ll bid on an auction system to rank ads for your target keywords.
This type of advertising gives you the most control over your website landing page and your ad copy. Creating a PPC advertising campaign helps draw in more potential patients, allowing you to be in one of the top spots on the first page of search results.
4. Create a Referral Program
A referral program is a great way to get new patients. Simply put, offer your current patients a gift card or small discount in exchange for referring new patients to your optometry practice.
Starting a referral program is a great way to get free marketing. Oftentimes, if patients are satisfied with your eye care services, they will provide free word-of-mouth advertising without giving it much thought. Make sure to let current patients know about your referral program by advertising in your office or simply telling them after their appointment.
5. Use Video Marketing
Video marketing is on the rise. However, most optometry practices completely ignore it because they think video is out of reach.
Using video marketing helps improve your ranking on search engines and allows you to communicate information more effectively. Educate patients by creating waiting room videos that provide answers to questions patients might have or explain complex procedures visually.
Post videos virtually anywhere, including on your website, on social media, and on YouTube. The best part is that videos have a shelf life of a few years, so the return is well worth the investment.
6. Manage Your Online Reputation
Online reviews have a lasting impact on your online reputation. People look to reviews when researching competing businesses, including eye care practices.
Online reviews can either make or break your practice’s reputation. Be sure to ask happy patients to leave reviews—and consistently monitor and respond to negative reviews on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Top Rated Local, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Do your best to rectify any situations where your patients might’ve had a bad experience after an appointment or procedure. If you’re getting lots of positive reviews, it would help to turn on the review feature on Facebook so that people see just how great you’ve been with patients in the past.
Getting new patients and seeing your optometry practice truly flourish doesn’t have to be difficult. Start small, test tactics, and learn from your experience. By putting your practice out there, over time you will see positive results.