The old advertising advice that if you don’t tell, you won’t sell, still holds true for many businesses. If you want to attract new clients to your optometry business, making clients aware that you exist is a good start.
The solution? Marketing. Every optometry business should have a marketing plan, listing who your target market are, who your competition are, as well as what your marketing strategies will be.
Marketing strategies to consider might include direct marketing, such as brochures and flyers, web advertising, or networking, for example. In this blog post, we share some of go-to marketing strategies for promoting your practice, focusing largely on how you can market your business in the digital world.
1. Be Active On Social Media
With 2.789 billion people active on social media, the more you post on social platforms, the greater your brand exposure will be. When starting out on social media, the number one rule is not to fall into the temptation of publishing the same piece of content on all platforms.
A message tailored for one network may not be suited to another network, so do your research on each platform before posting. One of the best ways to engage your audience is to share images of your practice, which data has shown leads to greater engagement, more retweets and more clicks.
You can also share information on special offers and promotions, or educational tips about vision, for example. Ensure you post regularly on each platform since you are more likely to catch the eye of someone only scrolling so far back in their timeline.
2. Start A Blog
Another great way to share engaging posts is by posting on a blog. Writing about optometry-related topics not only shows readers that you are clearly knowledgeable about the topic and care about your profession, but will also rank you higher in search engines if you post regularly.
In order to write a blog that gets noticed and to ensure your content is engaging, be sure to write an outline for each post, specifying your structure, tone and target audience. Drawing up an editorial calendar allows you to brainstorm ideas for seasonal topics too, as well as acting as a reminder to publish posts regularly.
You should also optimize your content for SEO, including links to other articles to increase your clickthrough rate, as well as helping with your blog’s search engine rankings. If possible, you should also make sure your website is mobile optimized, perhaps developing a separate mobile friendly version of your blog.
3. Send Reminders To Patients For Appointments
One of the best ways to build repeat business is to set up an automatic reminders reminding clients to book their next appointment. Many people are so busy they might forget when they had their last eye exam and dilation.
Many clients leave without rebooking if they don’t know what their schedule looks like, so setting up an automatic text or email reminder a few days before they need to see you again saves the client the task of phoning to rebook. This not only helps your optometry business to secure more appointments, but is also a great customer service move.
As well as reminding clients to rebook, you can also remind clients that their next appointment is coming up, reducing the number of no-shows and instead filling that spot with a client you weren’t previously able to fit in.
4. Build A Referral Program
Referrals may come from clients who have had a great experience with your business, from colleagues and associates you have written referrals for, or even as a result of a public social mention by an online influencer. Whoever they are from, referrals are one of the best ways to bring in new clients to your business, with one referral worth more than 1000 people seeing your ad.
A referral program is a great incentive to encourage patients to refer your business. You might offer a voucher for services at your optometry practice, give them a free pair of glasses for every five patients they refer, or give discounts or store credit to both the referring and the referred patient.
If you’re looking to obtain referrals from trusted professionals, you might join an optometry-related association, volunteer your services for fundraisers, or write articles for other publications that reach your target audience. Of course, asking for referrals and handing out your business card also work well.
5. Manage Online Reviews
As well as encouraging clients to refer your business to others, asking them to leave positive reviews can be the difference between attracting a new client and leading them to competitors’ practices. If someone wants to book an eye exam but hasn’t received a referral, they’re likely to look on review sites like Google+, Yelp, Yahoo! Local.
As with referrals, you can ask clients to leave a review, perhaps by offering an incentive as above. You should also make sure your positive reviews are shared by clients on social media.
Include a link to share on Facebook or Twitter in the review system you are recommending and if they don’t share their review, ask them if you can share it from your business page. This is by far one of the most rewarding and cost effective methods to attract new clients and help you to maintain a great reputation in the small business community.
If you have any marketing tips you would like to share with us, please leave them in the comments below or tweet us @yocalenetwork