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BUSINESS: Practice Profile

How to Leverage Digital Marketing

A few years ago, a moment of pure joy resulted in a viral video that put my practice on the map. Here, I’ll share this fortunate brush with the power of video and explain how digital marketing has changed Opticare Vision Centers, a seven-location practice in Ohio and Kentucky.

In 2015, I examined and fit a hyperopic 10-month-old with her first pair of glasses. Her parents shot a video in which, initially, she struggled with the glasses. But then, when she saw her parents and the world properly for the first time, she broke into a priceless smile. The resulting video, “Piper Can See!” (bit.ly/PiperCanSee ) reaffirms that as optometrists, this is why we do what we do.

WITNESS THE POWER OF VIDEO

The parents posted the video to their Facebook page and tagged my practice; it quickly went viral. As a practice partner concerned about growth and engaged in marketing, I wondered how to handle this opportunistic torrent of attention.

Fortunately, I had begun working with a digital marketing firm that specializes in optometry practices. The firm leveraged the video’s popularity on social media and posted it to YouTube and the practice website. The result: The video has more than 2.5 million views on YouTube.

Traffic increase to Opticare Vision Centers’ website.
Image courtesy of Dr. Josiah Young

DRILL DOWN INTO DATA

I’m a believer in digital marketing because it provides real numbers to analyze. When the video was posted, website traffic increased by over 200% in a month. A chunk of this traffic was not directly relevant for booking appointments, but we saw additional benefits, in terms of exposure and branding, achieved.

Given the impact of the video, we created a dedicated landing page, www.opticarevision.com/whats-new/the-piper-video-and-infantsee/ , with the video, an update on Piper and other related information. This allowed the practice to capitalize on the interest generated and further increase website traffic.

For other O.D.s who use a third-party, I suggest having them drill down to the details of this data to show how the O.D.’s “virtual practice” is performing. Then, I recommend creating objectives to meet, such as search engine ranking or number of site visitors per month, and follow up monthly.

CAPTURE THE MOMENT

We have multiple goals for Opticare’s online presence: Present one consistent brand — across social media, review sites, such as Yelp and Google, and our website — while offering differing services out of seven unique practices. Also, through these platforms, we want to appeal to our patient base and bring in new patients. The latter makes it important for the practice to show up in online search results, achieved by developing and consistently using these platforms.

Because prospective patients read Google reviews, specifically posting patient accounts of positive experiences aids in developing a great online reputation. We proactively ask for positive reviews. Through a texting app, patients can easily post reviews. The app also makes it simple to train staff on how to obtain these reviews.

To learn whether this online strategy is working, O.D.s can ask new patients how they found the practice. I ask from the chair.

As I continue to explore new marketing strategies and directions, I look forward to the benefits digital marketing holds. OM