Does your ophthalmic practice have an effective marketing strategy in place? To keep up in a competitive industry and also raise awareness of the importance of eye health it’s crucial to be aware of how effective marketing can boost your business.
In today’s digital world, being visible and accessible across various channels is fundamental when it comes to building your practice’s reputation, raising awareness and ultimately recruiting more patients. Help your patients and support your broader business goals by considering our six marketing tips here:
1. Get active on social media
Social media is well established, so you’re missing an opportunity if you aren’t utilising the range of platforms on offer. Using social media allows you to promote your practice, keep up with the latest eye health news and strengthen your reputation.
As active users of Twitter and LinkedIn, we have discovered the many benefits of social media first hand. Not only have we been able to stay up-to-date with the latest eye industry news, we are able to have our own opinion on key topics. We’re also able to reach people from all over the world with our informative blog posts and news about glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Discover the benefits of social media for your ophthalmic practice.
2. Get your website content right
Is your practice easy to find on the web? To get more patients, your business needs to be accessible from search engines like Google. The first step is to create a free profile on Google Business – this displays your practice location, contact details and opening hours at the top of the search results when customers look you up.
Once people arrive on your website, the information they are likely to need should also be displayed so that it is easy to find. Review your website with your team and check if patients can find key information such as your telephone number, where they can find your practice and how they can book an eye test. This will make for a better user experience, which in turn is likely to bring more patients through your practice’s door.
3. Write a blog
Blogging is a great way to introduce a more personable side to your business, presenting your ophthalmic practice as both knowledgeable and approachable.
A blog (like the one you’re reading now!) is a regularly updated website or section of your current website. Use this space to share the company news, useful eye health tips or write-ups from industry events which you may have attended. Your blog can do everything from showing the lighter side of your practice to raising awareness of eye conditions. You can also share tips with patients for managing ongoing conditions or how they can reduce the risk of eye diseases.
Use your blog to present your practice and its staff as experts in the eye health industry – this boosts reputation, motivates your employees to share their expertise and most importantly attract more patients towards your practice.
4. Attend, or even run events
Industry or customer events can be a great way to converse with likeminded individuals in the eye health space, as well as a great opportunity to promote your practice. You can also learn a lot about eye conditions and the future of eye health from speakers at industry events too.
For larger practices, running your own events can allow you to speak about the work you’re doing, raising the profile of your business whilst encouraging other local and national businesses to attend and join the discussion.
For example, you could run events for children or the elderly, like a summer fair or a coffee morning with staff on hand to offer help and advice. This could help make patients become more attuned to their – eye health, as well as that of their family and friends, promoting the importance of regular testing throughout all stages of life.
5. Create and distribute leaflets and flyers
Having leaflets, flyers, posters and other marketing collateral clearly displayed throughout your practice can help raise awareness of eye conditions like glaucoma and AMD, stressing the importance of eye health to patients.
For example, posters about the importance of regular eye tests could encourage your patients to book their next test, or even to remind their friends and family members to do the same. Get in touch with local vision loss charities or larger charities like the RNIB or the AFB for printed materials, or create your own.
6. Take part in awareness days
Throughout the year, there are many awareness days and weeks in the eye health industry which your ophthalmic practice could take part in.
Take the UK’s National Eye Health Week, for example, which aims to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular eye tests. Or Macular Week, which raises awareness of age-related macular degeneration. In the USA, you could take part in Glaucoma Awareness Month in January or AMD Awareness Month in February. The largest awareness campaign in eye health is World Sight Day, taking place on October 12, 2017.
You can take part in awareness events by tweeting about them with the relevant hashtag (for example #EyeWeek, #GlaucomaAwareness, #WorldSightDay), writing blog posts to support the cause and spread the word or even organising events on the awareness day or week.