The truth is there are a lot of eye care practices out there, and you need to give potential patients a reason to choose you over the other guys. Running a promotion means that someone who’s looking for services like yours is more likely to choose you. And for those who aren’t on the hunt for your services? A promotion can entice them by connecting with motivations tied to their interests or the time of year.
Ideally, a well-run promotion will bring new patients into your practice and inspire current patients to come back.
Seasonal promotions aren’t exactly groundbreaking. I’m pretty sure the earliest fur traders offered buy-one-get-one on pelts when Christmas time rolled around. But have you ever considered going digital with your promotion?
Why Should I Advertise My Promotion Digitally?
The benefits of digital advertising are far-reaching, and they all boil down to two basic concepts: precision, and control.
First of all, digital platforms don’t just allow you to reach a wider audience; they allow you to reach the right audience. You can target your digital ads to hit specific people with particular interests, which means you’re more likely to make an impression on people who want what you’re selling, rather than twelve-year-old boys who are just looking for cheat codes for their favourite video games (unless, of course, that’s who you’re targeting.)
You also get to set your budget. Newspapers and radio ads charge based on ad size, length, placement or air times. You pay more to make sure your ad gets more exposure.
With digital advertising, you can spend more strategically, meaning you pay to make sure the right people see it in the right place at the right time. Plus, lots of ads can be purchased with a pay-per-click model, so you only pay when someone interacts with your ad.
The Steps to Run Your Own Digital Promotions
Decide What You’re Offering
Before you can advertise your promotion, you have to decide what you’re going to promote. There are a few directions you could go here, and you’ll have to consider your patient-base and practice goals for the quarter when picking the type of promotion you want to run. Your promotions could include some kind of deal or discount, but they might also just highlight what’s available at your practice.
Sales promotions are probably the ones you encounter most often. Anything designed to move product and boost sales could be considered a sales promotion. For example:
Buy One Pair of Frames, Get One Pair 50% Off
The Hottest Deals on the Coolest Shades
Save 10% on Your Next Contact Lens Order
You could also run a product promotion, which is great when you’re looking to highlight a new brand or product line. For example:
Introducing Maui Jim Ophthalmic Frames at ABC Optometry
Look Your Best in Kate Spade Sunglasses
Experience the Full-Colour World With EnChroma
Service promotions are designed to remind patients to schedule services or encourage them to look into the ways that service might benefit them. For example:
Schedule your Back-to-School Eye Exam
LipiFlow Could Relieve Your Dry Eye Symptoms
Find Out if LASIK is Right for You
Finally, there are branding promotions. The point of a branding promotion is to get your name out there and solidify your practice as dry eye experts, family-focused eye care, or however you want to be known. For example:
Fashion-Focused Eye Care Lives at ABC Optometry
ABC Optometry Offers Eye Care for the Whole Family
ABC Optometry Features the Latest in Eye Care Technology
Choose Your Platform
There are loads of different mediums out there to advertise your promotion; each with its own unique benefits. When choosing which platform to use, think about who you’re trying to reach and how you want them to respond.
Google Display Network: Google display ads show up literally all over the internet on all sorts of different sites. The beauty of this is you can basically cast your net as wide as you like, or stick to a niche that makes sense with what you’re advertising.
Facebook & Instagram: Facebook and Instagram ads are awesome because you can reach patients that follow your practice on social media, while also connecting with people who are outside your online community.
Email Your Database: There’s a good chance that your current or previous patients are willing to buy products from you or use your services again. You can send promotions directly to their inboxes; enticing them to come visit you again.
The caveat here is that you don’t want to clutter their inbox. If you send out promotional emails, be sure you’re promoting a service, offering discounted products, or highlighting a new product line. Email isn’t the right vehicle for a branding campaign.
Make Your Ads
We recommend having your ads professionally designed to make sure they look clean and eye-catching. You’ll need to know which platforms you’re going to use before you start the design process, because each platform has different specifications.
You can find Google Display Network specs here, Facebook ad specs here, and Instagram ad specs here.
Pick Your Audience
Remember that not every promotion is relevant to every audience. The type of promotion you run should inform your targeting. For example, it may not make sense to promote an expensive, high-end eyewear brand on a parenting website. However, a parenting site would be the perfect place to promote children’s eye exams.
Close the Loop on Your Website
Make sure that your promotion is echoed somewhere on your website. We call that “closing the loop.” You should either include an image on your homepage that looks similar to your ads with all the promotional details, or create a special promotion page that highlights the details.
The idea is that patients will know they’re in the right place when they go looking for more information about your promotion.
Set Your Budget & Measure Results
From here, it’s pretty simple! Set a budget that makes sense with what you’re trying to achieve; you don’t need to spend more than you’re comfortable with.
Then, once the campaign starts running, keep track of your results. Look into how many views or impressions you get, how many interactions come from those impressions, how many impressions turned into leads, and how many sales you made as a result.
All of this information is crucial because it gives you insight into what works for your practice, what doesn’t, and how you can run an even more effective marketing campaign in the future!