A lot of practices don’t spend a lot of time or effort in marketing their practice. But what most practice owners might not realize is that in order to bring in new patients, and even retain existing ones, is that you need to spend a little on marketing. Just like technology, marketing best practices become outdated very quickly. As we approach 2015, we wanted to give you a heads-up on what we think you should focus on for your eyecare practice marketing.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
We’ve talked about the importance of a website all through 2014, but in 2015, we want you to think one step further – optimizing your site for mobile users. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a drastic increase in online mobile usage due to the increasing adoption of smart phones. A Pew Internet project research shares the following interesting statistics on mobile use in America.
- 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online.
- 34% of cell Internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
- 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
If 63% of cell owners use their phones to go online as the study suggests, we can assume that a lot of your site visitors are probably mobile users. Is your current website optimized for mobile viewing? It might be worth reworking your website to make it responsive on several devices. If you already have cool features on your website such as online scheduling or a patient portal, just make sure that your customers can access the same features on their phones.
Increase Social Spending
The industry benchmark for marketing and promotions is 4% of practice revenue. Younger practices might need a bigger marketing budget, so if you are a newly established practice, dedicating up to 10% of your revenue to marketing efforts is still within the healthy range. But for all practices looking to increase their presence in the market, you should plan on spending more on social media in 2015, particularly on Facebook.
Simply having a Facebook page isn’t enough anymore. In fact, having plenty of likes on your brand page might not even be enough. A recent study reveals that brand interaction on organic Facebook posts is approximately 0.07%. Which means, on a page that gets 1000 likes, you should expect interaction from only about 7 people on a post that you shared. Facebook doesn’t provide a wide organic reach these days, and you’ll have to pay to get your message out there. We’re not saying to pay for a sponsored post for everything you would like to share on Facebook. Keeping the page active is still important, but you might want to start thinking about putting a budget in place for posts that you think are important to share such as new patient promotions targeting people who live in your city. Facebook has a good way to help your narrow your target audience so you can customize your message and only pay to reach relevant customers.
As 2015 quickly approaches, what do you think you’ll do differently to market your practice next year? Feel free to share your advice in the comments below!
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