Are you starting an ophthalmology practice? Not getting enough patients to pack your schedule? Want to expand your service in a new place? No matter what your goal is, you need more patients. And for that to happen, you need to go where they’re spending most of their time: on their screens. Thus, a vibrant digital presence is a prerequisite for success in marketing strategies for ophthalmology services.
Digital marketing plays a crucial role for most businesses, but the significance rises even more as far as the medical or healthcare industry is concerned. Thus, when you’re devising marketing strategies for an ophthalmology service, you need to be mindful of these factors. In this blog post, you’ll learn about various healthcare marketing strategies and ideas to boost your practice.
Internet as a Marketplace for Healthcare Services
Whether looking for information, searching for doctors or hospitals, booking appointments or doing online consultations, users go on the internet to do almost everything. Thus, if you don’t have a strategy to market your practice online, the numbers will come crumbling down.
Here’s the proof:
- 66% of people search the internet for information about a particular disease.
- Google alone has over 100 billion healthcare searches each year. That’s 273 million healthcare queries per day.
- 52.3% of patients are more likely to make a call after searching Google
7 Essential Marketing Strategies for ophthalmology Service
Now that you’ve (hopefully) understood the importance of having a digital presence, let’s look at the seven powerful digital marketing strategies for ophthalmology services.
1. Do Your Homework
If you’re an ophthalmologist, you probably were diligent about doing your homework in school or college. Well, it’s time to be a sincere student once again and do some work before you set your feet on the battlefield that is the internet. It will act as your compass.
So grab a notebook and pen to prepare the following:
- SMART goals
- Your USPs or differentiators
- Resources and budget
- Core values of your service
- Customer persona
2. Prepare Your Website
Did you know? It takes approximately 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion on your website. This determines whether they will stay with you or not.
Your website is your virtual store. The better it is, the more result you’ll get. When we talk about building a great website, we’re not asking you to build a website with hundreds of features and shines like gold. What you need is a website that simplifies a customer’s journey and helps you interact in the best possible way.
Below are the things you must take care of in order to have a website that gives you leverage over your competitors:
Design & UI/UX: The website must have a simple design that catches the attention of new visitors. Thus, you need to pick the right colours and include suitable eye-care graphics that help communicate the USP of your service.
Mobile-Friendly: Mobile devices are responsible for almost 54% of traffic. Thus, half of the visitors will fly away if it’s not made mobile-friendly.
CTA (call to action): Very few of your website visitors are going to your website’s ‘contact us’ page and sending you an email. What you need is a CTA (call to action) on each of your web pages.
The CTA could direct the users to fill out an interest form, book a test or schedule an appointment. No matter what the CTA is, you must ensure it’s appropriately designed and placed at the correct location. And, of course, don’t confuse them with multiple CTAs.
Every page must have one call to action and ONLY ONE call to action. When someone is on your site, it must be overly obvious what you want them to do. Also, make sure that your CTA is short and easy to perform. Here are a couple of examples:
Call to book your appointment!
Website Loading Speed: If your website takes more than three seconds to load, the website is likely to be more of a liability than a resource. Your SEO rankings will also take a hit as Google prefers websites that load faster.
3. Search Engine Optimization
It’s been studied that over 60% of healthcare consumers conduct a search before booking an appointment. This means you’re losing out on many customers if your website is not ranking on the first page of Google search results. But how do you get your site ranked? The answer is SEO (search engine optimization).
Let’s understand this with an example. You have an ophthalmology service in New Jersey and want to target local patients. To do so, your website needs to rank on Google’s first page for keywords such as ‘best ophthalmologist in New Jersey’ or ‘experience ophthalmologist in New Jersey.’
Now you’re wondering: “how do I get my website to the top of Google’s rankings? How do I do its SEO?” There’s no one-word answer to it as SEO is a long-term game and involves efforts from many fronts.
Below are the things you must focus on to ace your SEO game:
- Build a fast and SEO-friendly website: An SEO-friendly website is quick, mobile-friendly and is easy to crawl for Google. Preparing such a website is the first step towards nailing SEO.
- Publish credible content: Google wants to send users to sites that provide credible and authoritative knowledge in their domain. The only way to establish it for your site is to publish content in the form of blogs, articles, case studies, etc.
We’d suggest you publish at least one long-form blog post (1500+ words) every week. While doing so, you must target the right keywords and share them through social media, forums, email newsletters, etc.
- Build backlinks: A backlink is created when another site sends users to your website by providing your link on their site. This is a referral and a form of credibility.
4. Search Engine Ads
While searching on Google, you might have come across ads on the top of the search results. These ads are called ‘pay-per-click’ (PPC) ads. In other words, Google charges for every website visit that comes through the ad.
PPC ads could work as a great alternative to SEO as they can deliver results in the short term. However, don’t expect results from the next day as Google has altered its algorithm. You’ll need to come out on top in automated auctions that depend on your budget and your ad/website quality to get your ad published.
5. Build Authority on Social Media
Being an ophthalmologist, your knowledge is your most significant selling point, and social media presents an excellent opportunity for you to showcase it. The only requirement of the content you create is for it to be useful for your target audience. For instance, you could create posts that help people deal with conjunctivitis.
The most significant advantage when it comes to social media is that you can create multiple types of content such as textual, images, videos, reels, etc. You can make organic posts and use ads to target the right people. Social media channels allow you to target audiences by gender, age, location, income, interests, etc.
Social media allows you to create your personal brand and become an authority in the field of ophthalmology. This can work hugely in your favour as you’ll have a large audience that trusts you when it comes to eye care.
6. Reputation Management
Word of mouth matters as much in the virtual world as in the offline world. It’s been found that 94% of healthcare patients check online reviews to evaluate a healthcare service. Thus, you must get customer testimonials published on independent websites and social media networks.
To create a stellar online reputation, the most extensive resource you have is your happy customers. They’ve been helped by your service and could turn into the biggest patrons. You can simply request them to give a review or incentivize by offering coupons and discounts. Starting a referral program is another strategy you could think of implementing.
7. Use a CRM Tool for Automated Customer Engagement
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen ophthalmology services make is that they invest almost all their energy in attracting new patients while doing very little to maintain the relationship with the existing ones or people who’ve inquired in the past. It’s understandable as they have limited time and resources. However, they have one option at their disposal: automation.
A CRM (customer relationship management) can house all your customer data in one place and allow you to automate emails or text messages to engage with your customers and prospects. You could categorize the customers based on their status. For instance, you could automate an email or SMS reminder for the patients who come for appointments.
I’ve seen such regular communication playing a crucial role in building a steady customer base. In addition, medical CRM tools allow you to automate the process of patients receiving treatment and stay aware of their progress.
8. Sales & support team
Although this isn’t exactly a marketing strategy, I’ve included it here as it will play a crucial role in bringing new patients and keeping the existing ones happy. You can understand it by a simple stat that 88% of the healthcare appointments are scheduled over the phone. Thus, you could benefit significantly by having a capable sales and support team.
The secret here lies in hiring experienced professionals who know how to deal with customers in different situations. Plus, you must ensure they understand your business well enough and are trained consistently.
Too Much Work? Hire a Healthcare Marketing Agency
We can understand that you might be feeling overwhelmed right now. Doing digital marketing is much harder than conventional marketing, where you just need to invest some money after the ads and get instant results. You have to put in a lot of effort to get to the stage where it’s generating business for you.
A healthcare marketing agency could come to your rescue if you’re short on resources, bandwidth or expertise. Many of these agencies come with across the board expertise and can help you with all types of marketing techniques we just discussed.
LeanSummits: A Leading Healthcare Digital Marketing Agency
The Healthcare industry is competitive and you need the right expertise to succeed in this market. We, at LeanSummits, are a leading healthcare marketing agency and can help you boost your ophthalmology practice.
Our expert team helps you attract new patients and provide during-care and post-care services. Our technology platform is HIPAA compliant and resolves Medical Doctors’ primary need of providing comprehensive care to their patients.
We’re on the mission to help businesses with modern-day marketing and would love to help your ophthalmology practice. Get in touch today to schedule a free consultation with our experts.