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How to Market Your Eye Care Business on a Limited Budget

Owning an optometry practice requires you to be an expert in almost everything– in addition to practicing optometry, you’re probably hiring, budgeting, and of course, marketing. Entering the world of marketing can be a bit daunting, even for those with experience in the area. With so many marketing options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where (and why) to spend your money. Here are 5 marketing methods to get you started without breaking the bank.

How to Bring in ROI without Breaking Your Budget

Digital marketing is the fastest growing area of marketing and for good reason. For the most part, digital marketing is easy to understand, low cost, and provides a high return on investment. For optometrists looking for somewhere to start with their marketing, it’s the best bang for your buck.

Part of what makes digital marketing so cost-effective is the ability to pick your own budget. If you have $50 or $5,000 to spend on marketing each month, digital marketing allows you to decide how to spend your budget.

Compared to traditional marketing methods like radio, TV, and billboard advertising, digital marketing is not only more cost-effective, but much better for measuring the impact of your marketing spend. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how inexpensive your marketing is if it doesn’t reach your patients.

Digital marketing is the clear choice when it comes to low-cost marketing and measuring exactly how many patients you reach. Clear metrics allow you to figure out what works, meaning you aren’t wasting your marketing budget on methods that don’t provide results.

Email Marketing

Chances are, you have a lot of your patient’s email already (and if you aren’t collecting patient’s emails, you should be). Once you have your patients’ emails, email marketing can be done for free or for very little, if you choose to use email software. Email marketing is cost-effective and gets results.

There are around 5.6 billion active email accounts, so chances are your patients have one. It’s also pretty likely that your patients actually want to hear from you through email. 72% of consumers state that they prefer email when it comes to communication from businesses. All said and done, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising is another digital marketing method that works well for optometrists with limited budgets. Like other digital marketing methods, you can set your ad budget according to how much you want to spend. Pay per click advertising has the added bonus of only charging you for every person who actually clicks on your ad. In other words, you pay per click.

Pay per click advertising appears all over the internet as banner ads, skyscraper ads, and search network ads. Search network ads are the links that appear at the top of the search results page on Google with the word “Ad” next to them.

The search results page is where your practice needs to be, as 90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind about a brand when they make a search. That means you can specifically target patients in your area at the exact moment they’re looking for an optometrist for an average cost of only $2.32 click.

Blog Content

Another way to show up in patients’ search results is by writing blogs. By writing blogs, you increase your practice’s likelihood of showing up in organic search results (search results that aren’t ads). In fact, 1 in 10 blogs is compounding, meaning traffic is driven to your site from the blog post showing up in search results.

The best part about blog content is that it can be produced for free or low cost. While many larger companies have dedicated content writers, you can easily start writing blogs relevant to your practice. After all, you’re an expert in optometry, so all it takes is for you to pick a relevant topic and then start writing. It’s well worth the time investment too, as 61% of people will make a purchase based on a blog’s recommendation.

Social Media Marketing

If you’re on any type of social media, it’s probably no surprise to you that most businesses are there too. 97% of marketers are using social media to reach their customers, so if you’re not using social media for your business you’re already behind.

It’s not too late to start though. It’s free to make an account on the 3 major social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and after making an account you can upload content for free or buy ads for a relatively low cost.

Almost half of the world’s population is on some kind of social media, meaning your patients are probably there too. It’s not just the younger patients that are there, either. Branded content on social media is twice as likely to interest people between the ages of 55 and 64 than those who are 28 and younger. No matter the age of your patients, investing in social media is worth your while.

YouTube Advertising

Fewer people are watching TV and YouTube is where more and more people are getting their video content. In fact, 1.57 billion YouTube users watch about 5 billion videos on average every single day. YouTube is especially relevant if your patients are younger, with Millennials being twice as likely to choose YouTube over TV.

Like other social media platforms, it’s free to create a YouTube account and start uploading videos. From there, you can choose to promote videos through YouTube that will play before, during, or after videos YouTube users are watching. If you have decided to invest in the pay per click advertising on Google we mentioned earlier, your YouTube ads will be managed through the same account. And like pay per click ads, you’ll only pay when users see your ads and your ad performance is easy to track.

If you’re still not sure where to start or you need assistance measuring your current marketing, we’re here to help. Our digital marketing experts specialize in marketing for optometrists, meaning we can make the best recommendations for your practice. Contact us today for your full marketing analysis and start making the most of your marketing budget.

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Trudi Charest
Trudi Charest / Co-Founder

Trudi has spent her career trying to help eye care business owners run a better business. From her early days working in retail optical as an Optician & Corporate Trainer to an award-winning sales rep for Bausch and Lomb, Trudi carried her passion for the industry through to Eye Recommend, eventually breaking off and starting her own ventures.

More articles by Trudi Charest
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