By Margery Weinstein
Review of Optometric Business
April 20, 2022
Developing and rolling out effective online marketing can be a steep challenge for a busy practice owner. Fortunately, there is a resource available that takes this burden off your shoulders, so your patients and community are kept up to date on all your practice has to offer. That resource is IDOC Marketing Services. Here is what this service has to offer practices with a wide range of marketing needs, and how one doctor is using the advantages of IDOC Marketing to create powerful touch points with current and prospective patients.
Marketing Help Exactly Where You Most Need It
“ODs’ top marketing challenges are little time to focus on practice marketing, not understanding the importance of their online presence, including their website, Google Business profile and social media, and how it shapes the impressions people form about their practice. ODs also often have little-to-no understanding of how to interpret data derived from Google Analytics, their Google business profile and social media, and lack a strong local brand,” says IDOC Associate Director, Marketing Services, Maddie Langston.
IDOC Marketing Services has a few key services that zero in on these specific practice marketing challenges.
IDOC Web & Search ensures a practice ranks well in local searches for the services the practice provides. Practices are partnered with a marketing services consultant who walks them through the data in reporting, so they understand it, says Langston. “We work with practice owners to develop and host a website that articulates and communicates the practice brand in a visual way. That means custom website design and fully optimized website content.”
IDOC’s marketing services are available to all practices, however IDOC members receive a discounted rate. Click HERE to view pricing for IDOC Marketing Services.
Some practice owners have shared with us that they don’t have rights to their website name, their domain, because a website provider talked them into letting them handle that for them. Now if they try to leave that provider, they can experience a hassle getting the rights to their website domain.
At IDOC, we make sure the practice owner is listed as an owner on their Google business profile and Google Analytics, and that they have the rights to their website domain name, even if they have self-identified as not being “tech-savvy,” because we know how important it is for them to have rights to and own their domain and data, and we will always do the right thing for our members.–Maddie Langston
IDOC Social Media creates and publishes posts on Facebook and Instagram for the busy practice owner or manager and creates practice-specific updates such as doctor and staff spotlights, “designed to resonate with their followers, who are most likely patients and friends of the practice, and increase word-of-mouth referrals through social media,” says Langston.
IDOC Digital Media provides both website and social media services.
Staying on top of social media is especially difficult, as it requires at least weekly, and even daily, updates. Having a practice partner that can take this work from a practice owner’s or staff member’s to-do list is invaluable. “Clients have shared how our social media service has saved them time and helped them stay in front of their social audience in a professional manner, including practice-specific content,” says Langston. “We also work with practices on the design and content on their website to ensure their practice brand, people and products are well-represented, so that their website serves as a good ‘director of first impressions’ in their community.”
In addition to adding new patients to a practice, and reminding existing patients to schedule an appointment, effective online marketing can make it easier to attract new staff members, even during the Great Resignation. “A well-optimized and modern online presence can help the practice owner with what is arguably one of the biggest challenges for them in the post-pandemic period: recruiting and hiring associates and staff,” says Langston. “A practice owner may have invested in advanced technology to deliver quality eyecare and may have wonderful employee policies in place, but if their website is poorly designed and not optimized for mobile devices, then their brand does not say ‘technologically advanced’ and does not convey that they have great policies, and this may hurt their chances to entice qualified people to want to work at their practice.”
Set Your Practice Apart from Competitors & Drive More Patients to Your Site–and Exam Chair
For Ansel T. Johnson, OD, owner of Vision Salon Eye Care Associates in Blue Island, Ill., finding a way to get his practice noticed by consumers looking for an eye doctor was always a challenge. “I ask myself, how can I make my practice stand out? In the old days, one would just buy a larger Yellow Pages ad. Now it is all about showing up on the first page on internet search engines or getting thousands of social media followers. This can be a complex process as the various search engine algorithms change over time,” says Dr. Johnson.
The second difficult part is attracting the categories of patients you want to come to your practice, Dr. Johnson explains, noting that he is specifically trying to attract more eyewear fashion-oriented patients and more patients living with diabetes and other medical eyecare conditions.
Dr. Johnson knows he must deliver great and memorable experiences in his practice, while also ensuring those great experiences result in more 4 and 5 star online reviews. To accomplish that, he uses the IDOC Digital Media program and IDOC Social Media Services.
When the practice launched its Optify omnichannel portal, which allows for patients to “window shop” online through his practice website, the new pre-shop online frame inventory was promoted via IDOC Digital Media on Instagram and Facebook. “The results not only increased engagement on our social media, but increased traffic to our website’s Optify site, which resulted in a measurable increase in our frame capture rate,” says Dr. Johnson.
Here is an example of a social media post facilitated by IDOC Digital Media that promoted Dr. Johnson’s new online shop:
Dr. Johnson also had great success reaching out to patients the practice was having trouble attracting before using IDOC Marketing Services. “We were the first to Premier FUBU and Vontelle African American eyewear lines in Chicagoland. IDOC Digital Media was responsible for getting us great social media engagement, which also generated many office visits. I have done several videos that I have sent to my IDOC Digital Media team that were enhanced, edited and posted to my social media,” he says.
To make sure the practice attracts patients in need of medical eyecare, Dr. Johnson worked with IDOC to create an eyecare blog and posts on social media promoting specific services, such as the practice’s diabetes care:
IDOC Marketing Services provides the kind of tailored, custom content that makes his practice pop out to prospective patients searching online for an eye doctor, says Dr. Johnson.
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“Our capture rate has steadily improved, and more people are finding us via Google, since switching to IDOC Marketing and Social Media services,” he says. “We had a patient who was living with diabetes and needed contacts for a condition call aphakia. She drove from Detroit to see us based on our website and online presence. She felt comfortable enough with our online brand and a phone call to our office to make the five-hour drive, so we could take care of her contact lens and medical eyecare needs.”
IDOC Marketing Services gives Dr. Johnson’s practice a huge boost in powerfully reaching new patients and growing profitability.