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3 Major Marketing Trends for 2020

They aren’t the only game in town, but they are currently among the most overlooked from small businesses.

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AS WE ENTER 2020, many businesses are looking at their budgets. Marketing is always an important consideration but it can be difficult to determine where to focus.

One constant: marketing is ever-changing. Knowing that most of us have finite marketing dollars, let’s break down a few trends that are likely to perform well in 2020:

Local Influencer Marketing

If 2018 and 2019 were the pinnacle of national and international influencer marketing, 2020 will be the year of the local influencer. Local influencers — high-visibility people and organizations that reside near your location — are extremely effective if their local reach is strong.

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These influencers often do not have the six or seven-figure follower counts that their national/international colleagues do, but that is a strength in the context of local marketing. A local Instagram influencer with 25,000 followers likely has higher engagement, and when it comes to getting people in your back yard to take notice, engagement is key. And those smaller local influencers almost certainly cost less than their national counterparts.

How to Get the Most Out of Influencer Marketing
  • Have a well-defined measurement of success (link clicks to a website, sales of an item, etc.)
  • Implement as much tracking as possible (tracking URLs, call tracking #s, etc.)
  • Engagement is more than just “likes;” look for shares and commenting activity.
  • Offer an incentive if the influencer hits certain performance thresholds.

Digital PR

Public relations, in its traditional sense, involves trying to get your brand mentioned on the radio, TV, newspaper, etc. The same is true for digital PR, but replace those more traditional media outlets with their digital equivalents. This ties in with search engine optimization and is likely to get more intertwined with SEO over time.

PR is a time-involved and challenging process. However, when it works, it works extremely well. This is not only due to the brand exposure that your business receives, but the SEO benefits.

How to Get the Most Out of PR
  • Focus on stories that have broad appeal, such as how parents can address eye teaming problems in infants versus something generic and overplayed (“Did you know kids need an eye exam?”)
  • Don’t pitch your services or your business; being mentioned is enough to accomplish the SEO/branding benefits you’re looking for.
  • Build relationships with local bloggers and journalists, as they may come to you in the future asking for your opinion.

Engagement in Local Social Media Communities

Younger audiences are rejecting traditional media and favoring social communities. Millennials, born 1980-2000, are the driving force behind this trend.

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Websites such as Reddit and Facebook allow people to create their own hyper-focused communities, and the broader trend is creating communities that are hyper-localized. Reddit, traditionally a content curation/aggregation site, has a community for just about every major city and state, and I’m sure we’re all familiar with the popularity of FB groups.

Look for ways to engage these communities. Often, the administrators will allow you to advertise if you follow certain rules or pay for the privilege. The hoops you jump through are worthwhile.

How to Get the Most Out of Social Engagement
  • Reddit hates when businesses hock their services/wares. Instead of selling yourself, look for ways to add value to the conversation — people will come to you on their own.
  • Avoid generic messages (“It’s back to school time!”) and focus on information that is more regionally relevant (“Dry eye is pervasive in Las Vegas, here’s why…”)
  • When linking back to your website, link to a helpful blog post versus your homepage or service pages. People hate being sold but love to go shopping — let them find your sales channels on their own.

The above trends aren’t the only game in town, but they are currently among the most overlooked from small businesses. Actioning them now with smart strategies will give you a leg up over your peers.

Cameron Martel is an experienced digital marketer, managing SEO and content campaigns since 2005. He currently works with dozens of eyecare practices through his work with Marketing4ECPs (marketing4ecps.com). He’s colorblind, but don’t remind him or he’ll be seeing red (or so he thinks). Email him at [email protected]

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4ECPs

2 Marketing No Brainers for Modern Eyecare Practices

Performance marketing tactics you can directly track to tell you how well they perform.

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PERFORMANCE MARKETING IS no longer a buzzword. It’s the new normal, and while many businesses are still adjusting to this, those that have already jumped on the bandwagon are reaping the rewards.
For 2020, we present two modern marketing tactics that work … and are especially effective in the eyecare space.

Pay Per Click via Google Ads, Facebook

PPC came about in the mid-’90s, as enterprising website owners looked to monetize the then-newfangled thing called the internet.
In 2000, Google rolled out its ADWORDS platform, which allowed advertisers to market on the search engine. In 2002, Google switched from selling impressions (how often your ad was shown) to selling clicks. The difference was significant; now advertisers only had to pay when traffic landed on their website. This differentiation created the modern performance marketing industry.

Google Ads

Now an industry powerhouse, Google Ads are the default PPC tactic every agency employs (and you should, too). Not only can you target specific key phrases (“eye doctor [CITY]”), but you can also target users by geography, device, and affinities (“people who like fashion”). Google Ads allows you to hyper-target your audience, including specific zip codes (or even city blocks).

Facebook

Imagine being able to advertise to women age 28-36 who like the movie Castaway. Facebook ads offer a level of targeting that is more or less unmatched. You don’t pay for your marketing until someone clicks your ad.

Email Marketing

Assuming you gather patient email addresses (in a CAN-SPAM compliant fashion), you can take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your patients via email. This inexpensive tactic works really well. Tools such as MailChimp make it easy.

Growing Your List

The first thing you need to email market is a list of names/email addresses. If you’re unsure of how to do this, consider:

  • Adding a form/call to action on your website that encourages visitors to sign up
  • Providing an easy way to do so when patients visit
  • Creating a promotion or contest where entering their name/email is an entry
  • Being active on social media and encouraging people to sign up

Market to Your List

If you don’t provide value, don’t expect email marketing to pay off. Consider your inbox; how many marketing messages do you engage with? Making it work comes down to two factors you control: the quality of the message and the frequency of your emails.

  • Do it right; invest in a modern email layout that is mobile-optimized
  • Use quality graphics
  • Be consistent in font, color use and spacing
  • Only send emails when you have something worth sharing
  • Sales/promotions
  • Major changes to your business
  • Upcoming product lines/launches you’re excited about
  • Events happening in your community that you support
  • Information that will actually help your customer base
  • Don’t overdo it
  • Consider starting with monthly or biweekly frequency

Watch the response and adjust frequency accordingly; if you’re emailing weekly and seeing a lot of unsubscribes, consider reducing the frequency to see if that impacts your unsubscribe rate.

Track it All

The above two tactics are called performance marketing because you can directly track how well they perform.

Use call tracking (via a company like CallRail) and conversion tracking (via Google Tag Manager) to analyze performance. This helps you identify areas in your marketing tactics, website, or emails you can improve. Over time, these continuous optimizations will turn your performance marketing into a revenue-generating machine.

For 40 more of the best marketing strategies to grow your eyecare business from 4ECPs, download the free e-book at invisionmag.com/40-marketing-strategies-book

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