Today’s digital landscape is evolving so rapidly, it’s nearly impossible to keep up. During the first quarter of 2018, there was an average of 6,140 new apps released through the Google Play Store every day. Each month, Yelp’s 186 million users post over 150 million reviews. Smartphone use is expected to grow to 2.5 billion worldwide users by 2019. How does this affect your optometry business? Are you able to keep up with your patient’s digital expectations? Is it easy for them to find you online, and interact with your website on their smartphone? Or, are you at risk of losing patients to more tech-savvy practices?
Maybe you’re thinking that your patients aren’t that tech savvy, therefore it’s not your concern. A study commissioned by YP Marketing surveyed 750 U.S. adults and asked how they searched for local businesses across major verticals. Consumers from all demographics reported that they go back and forth across different sites and apps, virtually “zig-zagging” by using multiple devices from multiple locations. Practices should keep this behavior in mind.
Between “zig-zagging” patients and their ever-growing short attention span (now less than your average goldfish), it’s becoming difficult to engage new patients and even harder to maintain their loyalty. Here are five ways to capture new patients and maintain your current ones in the constantly evolving digital world:
- Incorporate a variety of devices into your marketing plan so searchers can find you when they “zig-zag.” For example, over 70% of YP’s survey respondents reported that they regularly use two or more devices when conducting a local search. Therefore, a brand’s website and marketing material should be easily accessible in a desktop format and a mobile format to deliver a pleasing experience no matter what device they are using at the time.
- Create a social media calendar and stick to it! According to the Digital Marketing Institute, social media users spend an average of 135 minutes a day on social networks. Utilize social media to engage current customers with relevant content and reach new customers through ads and promotions (download some free social media flyers here.)
- Try engaging audiences with video content. Do you find you receive frequently asked questions throughout different seasons? Connect and build trust with your audience by sharing helpful health tips and advice through video. It’s estimated that video will account for 82% of consumer internet traffic by 2021.
- Find a way to mix the “digital” and “physical,” which will create a seamless brand experience. Patients today have come to expect convenience. Make this as easy as possible for them by showcasing your latest frame lines online so they know what to expect when they arrive at your store or consider a contact lens eCommerce solution so they don’t have to make that extra trip.
- Ensure you’re being found in the right places. Update your Google MyBusiness listing and talk to your webmaster to ensure you’re optimized for your location and common searches. The more places you have the accurate information listed, the better (check out Reach, our supplemental digital marketing program.)
By trying out just a few of these strategies, you’re giving your business the leg up it may need. Let us know how it goes!