Have a specialty? Use every opportunity to tell prospective patients about it
This article originally appeared in the January 2015 edition of INVISION.
The future of optometry lies in specialization. That’s what Dr. David Kading, founder of Optometric Insights, told OptometryStudents.com in a recent interview. And while some specialties take years of extra training, others may already be in your practice portfolio.
Kading offered the InfantSEE program as an example, noting, “We probably have no bigger or better practice grower in our practice than InfantSEE eye exams. And you don’t have to specialize in pediatrics to do InfantSEE. For every baby that you see, you get a good chance of getting two adults out of it, too, with the parents.”
An aging population, increased vision benefits for children through the Affordable Care Act and the rise in medical eyecare all mean greater specialization opportunities for eye doctors. Whether your specialty is contact lenses, pediatric eye care, glaucoma or vision therapy — or you have multiple sub-specialties within your practice — you need to get the word out about your specialty to establish and grow your reputation as an expert in that niche.
Here are five ways to market your specialties to distinguish your practice from the competition.
1. Go big and bold on your homepage. Your specialty should be displayed front and center for people who land on your homepage. You can also include links to additional information about the topic. Eye Services of Jackson, MI, has featured Lasik in a splash ad on its homepage (eyeservicesofjackson.com).
2. Let your specialties shine. Create a dedicated Web page for each of your specialties. Include key terms and links to any educational information you create about the topic. In addition to bringing attention to this area of expertise, you will rank better in search engines. One example comes from City Optometry of San Francisco, which has a landing page devoted to dry eye treatment (invmag.us/1153) that ranks on the first page of Google search results for “dry eye treatment San Francisco.”
3. Make your strength part of your quick pitch. Highlight your specialties anytime you have an opportunity to write a brief description of your practice, whether on social media; your Yelp or Yahoo Business profile; or the “About Our Practice” section of your press releases.
4. Establish yourself as the local expert. Raising awareness of your specialty and its importance to overall health builds awareness and name recognition for your practice. Reach out to your community. Write articles and press releases on the topic to post on your website, social media and in local news publications both online and off. Seek out interview opportunities, hold an open house and offer to speak to local groups. Create information sheets for your reception area, and post them on Facebook. Visit schools or retirement homes.
5. Run an integrated marketing campaign. Every once in a while, run a focused marketing campaign to highlight and promote your specialty. Organize it around a sale, a season or an event. Create a slogan. Include a strong visual. Offer enough information to convince your audience to call or email you for more information or an appointment. Be sure to track what mediums work best for you so you can market even smarter the next time around.