How to Dominate your Eye Care Center Marketing Strategy | Simplemachine
A major issue for eye care centers is finding new patients, and with a busy schedule, it is difficult to brainstorm new marketing ideas that will generate business. In such a competitive marketplace, differentiating from the competition is difficult but can have a major payoff for the business if executed accordingly.
The ideal eye care center marketing strategy starts with excellent customer service. If you anticipate your customers’ needs while going above and beyond their expectations, your team will create a lasting impression that will earn loyalty, retain existing patients and generate many word-of-mouth referrals for your eye care center.
Many businesses rely on traditional advertising and marketing methods to grow and expand. The average optometrist spends only between 1 and 2 percent of gross revenue on advertising and marketing, so practices must be creative to meet their goals. The following are effective and inexpensive tactics to further build your eye care center’s business:
Retirement homes, assisted living facilities, and senior citizen centers are excellent locations to discuss and provide information on glaucoma, cataracts and age-related eye ailments that the typical senior patent experiences. By developing an outreach program with senior citizens, you will become involved in the community, create awareness of your practice within a group that is not likely active online and will also be helping people.
One critical factor found in every successful marketing campaign is tracking the response rate with return on investment over a specific time period. By analyzing sales, demographics, and an influx of new customers, you can evaluate the success or failure of outreach programs and reallocate resources accordingly.
Sponsorship and community involvement arise often when creating a marketing strategy because it is so key to personally connect with potential consumers, no matter the industry. If you own an eye care center in a rural area, creating and maintaining a sound sense of community is an excellent way to grow the customer base. The most cost-effective methods of doing so include sponsoring local events like a 5K run, hosting an education class at school or sponsoring a little league team or even a tournament. There are an endless number of opportunities since charity events are a great way to create positive brand awareness.
As an eye care professional, sports teams will likely welcome your care center to raise awareness for eye protection. To get started, speak with league commissioners or coaches to see where your company can fit in. This is an excellent way to connect with potential consumers that many eye care center owners have not tried. Many athletes and coaches are also potential patients, so a sponsorship is an excellent opportunity to start.
If you have a free-standing sign in the front of the eye care center, it should be rotated every month. Your regular sign becomes invisible to those who pass by regularly. Changing the color, size or shape of the sign will attract more attention and may even spark the interest of new potential patients asking how long the eye care center has been at the current location.
If your business is located inside of a medical office building, it is likely external signage is prohibited. In this instance, you could hang a tasteful interior neon-lit sign at night that is visible from the parking lot or street. Consider using a giant clock that says, “Time to have your eyes checked,” which will become a local landmark and could even be Instagrammable.
Social Media Promotion
Being active on the most popular social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, only costs a small amount of time for posting and managing the page content. By maintaining an updated social media page for your eye care center, you have a direct link to your past, present, and future consumers, allowing you to showcase the brand personality and have a little fun at the same time. Fun online promotional events like selfie or photography contests, having a conversation or promoting new products can all help endorse your brand.
It is important to always remember that customers enjoy doing business with those they like. If current and potential customers have the opportunity to connect, communicate and create a relationship with your company online, it is likely you will be the first they consider when searching for an eye care center in the future. Simply monitor your Facebook or Instagram account analytics page to find engagement patterns that arise when you target different types of audiences at varying locations, ages and time zones.
The most powerful marketing tool in existence is word-of-mouth. The only way to utilize this tactic is by offering high-quality customer service with attention to each customer. If your eye care center is currently struggling, focus your marketing efforts on your current patients so they will recommend your location to friends and family. One excellent method of tracking new patients is through a questionnaire. It is also highly beneficial to reward patients who produce word-of-mouth referrals with gifts, promotional materials or a percentage off of their next visit. The gifts do not have to be expensive and grandiose; it is really about the gesture. Everyone enjoys recognition and loves to receive free items.
Even when relying on word-of-mouth marketing, you should continue to develop the eye care center brand according to the way in which your personal practice operates with your staff also supporting the brand. Target accuracy and consistency while delivering the highest level of care as promised.
In addition to social media marketing, you must have a website in operation to provide additional information. Since you do not need to target new patients outside of your local area, you can create content that targets the community as the destination for eye care. Since the website will be informational-only, you can educate the local public on different ailments, treatments, and trends while providing your contact information, directions to your location, accreditations, honors, and events.
With the website being informational, it does not require the bells-and-whistles of an e-commerce or social media site. A fast-loading, clean and attractive website with high-quality content will do the trick. There is nothing more frustrating for an older patient using a 26K modem than a plugin dependent, a slow-loading website that crashes when opened.
Whether it is through outreach programs, sponsorships, social media promotions or word-of-mouth advertising, eye care center marketing does not need to be expensive and cause a large amount of stress. Marketing can be simplified to influencing the decision of your potential customers by showcasing the value of your service. New customers should not be viewed as a tough sell but instead as an opportunity to help them find the professional eye care you can deliver.