Gone are the days of marketing campaigns that consist exclusively of a few postcards, a couple of posters and a box of brochures. Do they still exist? Sure. Are they the way to reach the most potential patients—and in the most effective way? Nope. There’s no denying that as a society we are plugged in. This includes everyone — patients, customers, competitors and, well ... everyone. In order to reach those people, it’s important to go to where they are, and where they are is online. We checked in with a few pros who know what’s what when it comes to reaching a plugged-in, logged-on and powered-up audience.
The Unique Technique in Frederick, MD, turns lighthearted fun into good business with strategies like this, where owner and OD Maria Higgins incorporates a stash of photo booth shots into content on Instagram.
“It’s critical to frame your message and convince your audience,” says Jodi Hirsh of Sequal Consulting in Pittsburgh, PA. Accomplishing this, she says, requires a clear plan. “Don’t always post or promote the same things using the same platform.”
EyeVertise receives alerts of any changes or inaccuracies on all the directory listings for its clients. “We monitor all of their listing directories for any errors or inaccuracies that can occur at any time,” says Steve Freed, vice president at EyeVertise.
“Patients use social media as a tool to see what is hot and what is not,” says Dr. Darryl Glover, of Defocus Media in Raleigh, NC. Client Dr. Lina Arango of LTA Vision in Miami, FL, showcases her own love of performance eyewear and cycling on Facebook.
Muse Marketing Group
The Unique Technique
Points to Consider
Tell the world about you. “People want to know about you,” says Maria Higgins, founder of The Unique Technique. “Pictures of you. Stories about you,” she continues. Higgins recommends the implementation of smart tagging, fresh ideas and social media advertising. “We use a photo booth to take pictures of the staff for every occasion—any excuse we can think of—pictures with frame reps, pictures of the staff, holidays, coupons.”
INCENTIVIZE ENGAGEMENT. Research has shown that advertising contests or giveaways get as much as 700 percent more engagement than social media posts without them. According to Drs. Jennifer Lyerly and Darryl Glover of Defocus Media, online giveaways for gift cards or plano sunglasses are great for getting patients actively engaged. Pairing a social media contest with a trunk show or other event can create buzz and get patients in the door.
CREATE CONSISTENCY. Consistency is a key element to proving you’re a practice that’s worth checking out. “Making sure your internet footprint is accurate as well as managing your patient reviews will drive new patients to your website and translate into new business,” says EyeVertise’s Freed.
GET COMPREHENSIVE. “Successful digital marketing is not just about having an online presence; it’s about knowing how to effectively leverage your business,” says Sequal’s Hirsh. Establish a clear goal, create good, visually engaging content and, Hirsh says, utilize analytics to maximize the return on your investment. “Find your voice. Mix it up.”
Understand your needs. If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, easily overwhelmed or prefer to keep things local, find a digital marketing firm in or near your community that can accommodate your approach. “Clients often have a range of comfort levels when it comes to digital marketing, from super experienced to still operating a flip-phone,” says Angela Anemoyanis, president and CEO of the Muse Marketing Group. “Each client deserves a tailored operation behind it, ushering in its success.”
What ECPs Say About Digital Marketing Services
Dr. Linda Arango
LTA VISION, MIAMI, FL
It’s key for ECPs to understand that the results of digital marketing are not immediate. However, what I really love is getting the opportunity to reach out to a broader audience both locally and around the world, to transmit the message of eye health. Our patients deserve to have knowledge about eye health at their fingertips and even more importantly, with digital marketing our patients will be able to comment and ask questions at any time through these platforms.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of INVISION.