Ophthalmology Marketing 101
Want to know the one secret to growth marketing? Comprehensive omni-channel marketing plans. Okay, that “one secret” is admittedly many recurring marketing activities. And yes, we’ll still break the plan down for you. We're comfortable giving away the recipe for marketing success because only an eye care expert can replicate the results.
That means if you're an MD or OD, congrats! You can follow these steps and get a start in growth marketing. If you’d rather us help you, we can do that too, keep reading to see how it’s done.
What’s the Benefit?
In eye care marketing, you want to identify your audience segments (i.e. LASIK patients or Cataract patients) and promote how your services will meet their needs. This relates to one of the oldest and most important marketing binaries, the relationship between features and benefits. There are features and benefits to any product or service, and traditionally, you’re supposed to focus on the benefits of your services,
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mention features, that would be impossible. What it means is if you’re going to talk about your procedures in your marketing, don’t focus primarily on the features, or how you perform your surgery (or with what equipment). Focus on how those features will make your patient feel, and how they will benefit from them.
Lead & Demand
There are two categories that marketing activities often get labeled under: demand and lead generation. Think of demand gen like an awareness campaign, or the process of building an audience across channels. Traditionally, demand gen would be billboards or newspaper ads, and today it also includes SEO, blogging, eblasts, organic social media and free resource downloads. In contrast, lead generation is the process of turning that audience into sales leads, and its activities include PPC (Google ads), direct mail, events and website forms.
For ophthalmology, our eye care experts use keywords informed by the specialty patients your practice needs to perform lead gen tactics like SEO and PPC. This allows us to reach those prospects or referring ODs sooner when they’re searching Google for an MD. Then, we use demand gen activities like social media, blogs and eblasts to drip them content and earn their trust. These activities combined create an omni-channel approach that gives your prospects multiple ‘touch points’ to capture them as patients or co-management partners.
Market Their Needs
There's a reason we stick to eye care marketing--putting up a landing page with chiropractic or dentistry keywords is easy, effectively marketing to patient profiles within those fields would be decidedly not so. Knowing eye care means we know the psychology behind eye care patients, including what makes them tick and what makes them click.
A popular marketing theory by behavioral scientist William Leach states there are 3 key consumer needs, security (safety), control (empowerment) and release (engagement). In optometry, safety would be your patients' need to protect and preserve their eyesight. Empowerment would be their need to feel they've done everything possible to improve their loved one's health. Engagement would be their need to release themselves from the anxiety...something a clean bill of eye health or a LASIK procedure could fix.
If you market to these consumer needs in your campaigns with timely, useful and interesting optometry content, you can earn the trust of your patients AND improve your ROI.
Track and Measure
Back to our original point: you’re too busy to trust your marketing to an agency without eye care expertise.
Everything we’ve gone over so far is nice in theory, but not as helpful when it’s not backed by numbers. If you're going to do your own marketing, do it like we do and embrace the analytics.
How many web visitors did a campaign get you? How many likes did your socials receive? How many appointments did you book? What was your ROI? If you can answer these questions, you can improve your next campaign.
Occasionally we might get the question: “Do you feel the strategy will work?” In growth marketing, "feel" should have little to do with the decision-making process-- all solutions should be informed by data and analytics. That’s not to say that marketers shouldn’t be open to suggestions. But that new tactics should be tracked and measured for success.
Here’s the Plan
If you're set on doing your own marketing, check back here regularly for tips on how marketing can help grow your practice's eye care specialties.
If we've talked you out of becoming your own marketing guru, our trackable and no-contract plans cover all the bases listed above. Our Digital Marketing Strategists employ lead and demand gen tactics to motivate patients and referring ODs to meet with you when they're searching for an MD. Then, we drip content to these prospects through social media, eblasts, blogs and display ad remarketing to capture those that are sitting on the fence down the line.