In this day and age, healthcare marketing is far more than just billboards. More than half of all consumers search online to learn more about their health concerns or providers, making digital marketing an essential addition to any healthcare practice.
Below, we’ve listed three steps that can help you build a solid marketing plan for your ophthalmology practice.
1. Take your practice’s pulse
Before starting a marketing plan, we strongly recommend performing a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a common project planning technique in which an organization identifies their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Strengths include areas in which your practice excels. Do you have good online reviews? Are your surgeons particularly talented? Figure out where your strengths lie and emphasize them in your marketing materials.
- Weaknesses include areas in which your practice needs to improve. Do you have longer-than-average wait times between patients? How is your bedside manner? Identify these issues early in the year so that you can start making improvements immediately.
- Opportunities include external components (i.e., factors you can’t control) that can benefit your business. For instance, do you work in a higher income area? What does the local unemployment rate look like?
- Threats include external components that can negatively impact your practice. For instance, has a low-priced refractive center recently moved into town? Is there a high demand for the surgeries you provide?
Once you’ve painted a good picture of your practice’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you can begin to form a marketing plan.
2. Develop a marketing plan
How can you accentuate your strengths and address your weaknesses? Is there anything you can do to mitigate your threats and take advantage of your opportunities?
Use the information you gleaned from your SWOT analysis to set priorities, make commitments, and develop a plan for the upcoming year. We recommend crafting a wide variety of content including blogs, brochures, and explainer videos. Consider bolstering your social media presence and using SEO to your advantage.
Before you get started, you should determine your budget. According to EyeWorld, the typical budget for ophthalmologists is 2% to 4% of net practice collections. Marketing for refractive and cosmetic procedures can regularly exceed 10%.
3. Implement your plan
After you’ve evaluated your practice and developed a plan that fits your unique needs, it’s time to get started. For your marketing plan to succeed, you need to assign specific tasks to your team members and hold them accountable. Who will be responsible for content creation? Who will maintain the editorial calendar? Who moderates your social media presence?
Make sure that you’re tracking and reporting on each of your efforts. You’ll need to know what’s working – and what isn’t – to succeed.
Developing and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan is a lot of work. Sightpath Creative has helped ophthalmology practices across the country analyze their market, build their digital presence and bring in more patients.