You can have a great practice, comprehensive services, and exceptional staff, but if your brand doesn’t reach your target market, you won’t be seeing an increase in patient bookings anytime soon. Marketing your practice is essential to your success and growth, and the good news is it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
What if I told you you could begin implementing strategies to market your business for free. Yes, you read that right, free!
A good marketing strategy starts with a good foundation—your website. Once you have a solid foundation, you can direct users to your website and build your online presence with eye care specific marketing.
Here at Marketing4ECPs, we know your expertise is in eye health and vision, which is why we’re here to help with the marketing! We’ve outlined 12 ways you can begin marketing your practice for free today.
Optimize Your Online Presence
Google Business Profile
In our digital world, a Google Business Profile shouldn’t be thought of as optional, but essential. Think of it as a modern-day Yellow Pages. It’s a place where users find up-to-date information about your business.
There is an opportunity to reach the right audience and create a memorable first impression. By fully optimizing your Google Business Profile account, you can drive organic traffic to your website.
You can complete your profile in 4 simple steps:
- Create your Google business account using an existing or new e-mail for your business
- Claim your business and verify you’re the owner—verifications can take up to 2 weeks
- Choose categories related to your business to reach potential patients looking for your services
- Add your basic information, including address, phone number, and business description
Writing a monthly blog is a way to offer expertise to your patient, drive traffic to your website, and build your brand. Blogs contain specific keywords that users search for, attracting users to your website.
New monthly content gives Google something new to index, which can improve your ranking in the search results. The closer to the top of page one you are, the better. Users don’t tend to scroll through more than one page of a Google Search.
With blogs, your target audience can get to know you and understand how your services can be of value to them.
Set Up SEO
Search engine optimization, known as SEO for short, is the process of helping your website rank higher on a search engine results page. Good SEO practices help convert website users into patients.
Ways to better your website’s SEO include:
- Recognizing relevant keywords that your audience will likely search
- Create unique, meaningful content that serves a purpose on your website
- Update your content regularly—blogs are a great (and free) way to do this
- Having each page stand-alone to increase its likelihood of showing up in search results
- Utilize each page’s metadata to let search engines know what the page is about
Optimize Your Metadata
Including keywords in your website’s meta titles and descriptions is a simple way to optimize your chances of ranking higher in search results.
A meta title is the text displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) and indicates the topic of the web page. For optimal results, meta titles should be between 55 and 65 characters long and ideally include your business name and location.
A meta description is a summary that describes your web page’s content. This should be between 150 and 160 characters long and include keywords where possible.
When writing your meta titles and descriptions, it’s important to remember that potential patients will read this content. Avoid sounding too robotic for the sake of search engine results.
Display Your Reviews
Reviews not only help you better understand your patients and their experience, but it helps build trust with new patients too. When website users see positive reviews, or how your business responds to not so positive reviews, it can influence decision-making and increase the likelihood of them booking their next appointment at your practice.
Encouraging patients to review your business creates a steady source of content that can boost your search ranking and increase your online exposure.
List Your Business in Online Directories
An online business directory houses information about businesses of a particular category and location. Listing your business on as many online directories as possible is an easy way to improve your local SEO and boost your ranking on search engines.
Free online business listings where you can add your business name, address, and phone number to include:
- Apple maps
- Google Business Profile
- Super Pages
Social media is a direct way to engage with new and existing patients. What you post can be entertaining and informing and is another way to build your brand’s voice.
When building your social media strategy, think of your target audience and understand whose attention you’re looking to capture. Narrowing your focus can help you capture the ideal patients you’re looking for.
When you’ve got the right eyes looking at your posts, be sure to include a call to action. Let your audience know what you’d like them to do next. Something as simple as “visit our website” or “book an appointment today” can inspire the reader to act.
Add “joining social media platforms” to the long list of ways you can market your business for free. Beneficial ways you can utilize social media include:
- Posting on Facebook
- Engaging on Instagram
- Connecting on LinkedIn
- Educating on YouTube
- Inspiring on Pinterest
- Following the trends on TikTok
When in Doubt, Reach Out
E-mail marketing allows patients on your e-mail list to become aware of your current promotions, new products, or other services you’d like to highlight. Adding value to your patient’s inbox is crucial. You want them to actually read the content and click through to book an appointment or visit your website.
The right e-mail can let an inactive patient know the value of becoming active again. It can also help retain your current patients. Discover an e-mail marketing solution for your practice through quarterly, monthly, or weekly programs.
Getting involved in your community helps build brand awareness in your area and create strong relationships with your neighbours. By making connections and helping out locally, not only does the community benefit but so does your business. Community involvement shows a patient-focused mentality and can help you stand out amongst the rest.
Be a Podcast Guest
Sharing your knowledge and expertise on a podcast can help you gain exposure to a new audience. Being a podcast guest can help you build connections within the industry, and if listeners find the information you present to them valuable, they’re likely to save and share it.
One podcast interview creates shareable content across various social platforms. You can gain likes, follows, and comments that drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
Host a Webinar
Online webinars allow you to reach a large audience from the comfort of your own home or office. As long as you have a webcam, microphone, and stable internet connection, you can generate leads and build connections. Attendees can automatically become leads when they provide their contact information when registering for the webinar.
When you provide valuable information to your audience, you can’t help but leave them wanting more. Leads turn into patients, which results in revenue and growth for your business.
Start a Referral Program
We’ve talked about ways to market your business for free online, but outside the interwebs, an effective way to spread awareness about your business is through word of mouth. We tend to trust our friends, family, and loved ones looking for recommendations about different products and services.
Having a referral program incentivizes patients to recommend your services to others. Loyal, happy patients advocate for your brand and can increase your patient reach.
Get Started Today
There are plenty of ways you can effectively market your business to reach your ideal patients without paying a dime. You can see your business grow when you optimize your online presence, take advantage of multiple social media platforms, and expand your reach.To receive guidance and support from marketing professionals who know the eye care industry, connect with the team at Marketing4ECPs.