By Nancy Rausman
Cross-linking practice-related sites such as your Facebook and Yelp! pages so that patients can easily go between these online outlets, provides a powerful promotional tool.
INTEGRATE YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS. Do this by cross-promoting between social media and your practice web site. Make sure all sites promote and link to each other.
USE FOLLOW US TABS. Use these tabs on your practice web site which click through to social media pages such as Facebook, Yelp!, Google+ and Twitter.
INCLUDE PLUG-INS ON PRACTICE WEB SITE. Plug-in examples include hellobars (bar ads that appear across the top of the web site) or pop-up ads that pop-up when you first enter the site to bring attention to direct links to social media.
Taking a multifaceted approach to marketing in which your practice web site, local business pages and social media pages, like your Facebook page, are cross-linked so they inter-promote each other (i.e. Facebook link on your practice web site; practice URL on Facebook) isn’t as hard as you may think. Many cross-promotional strategies are quite easy and can be done in-house, without any need for professional web or marketing help. Others such as including social media tabs on your web site, might require a quick, one-time set up from your webmaster or a brief explanation from a computer savvy staff member.
I outline the basics of practice web site cross-linking in Cross-Link Your Web Presence. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect in implementing some of these strategies (what you can probably do yourself and what you might need extra help to do) followed by examples of how two of EyeCarePro’s, clients managed to do this successfully.
Strategies you can implement in-house:
Cross-promotion: Make sure you are covering all your bases in marketing any campaign, event or promotion. You can easily share materials and content between your web site, Facebook page, e-mail, print (office signs, flyers or posters or mailings), and of course, word-of-mouth.
Video: It’s very easy these days to make a video and put it up on YouTube, Facebook, and if you are a little web savvy, also on your web site (this can entail a quick explanation from your webmaster if you need help). Make sure that you are recording in the right environment to make your video appear professional and of high quality.
Strategies that might require professional help:
Campaign Design: If you are going for a truly special and professional marketing campaign, it may be worthwhile to hire a designer to create a graphic. The good news is this one graphic can go a long way once you begin cross-promoting.
Web Site Add-Ons: Specific campaigns incorporating web site advertising can gain a lot of traffic and cross-promotion. There are a few options including pop-up ads that appear when a user first enters your site or hellobars which appear across the top of the webpage that can be integrated with a campaign and link to other pages such as Facebook. These may require assistance from your web manager or a professional marketing company, but can really boost the success of your campaign.
Case Study 1: OD’s Integrated Marketing Campaign
Take a look at Dr. Kock’s home page, below, for his practice, Associates in Eyecare: http://www.aie-eyecare.com/
1) At the start of the school year, the site had an interstitial, or pop-up ad, when you first enter the page. The pop-up ad promoted a back-to-school campaign they were running on Facebook, that allowed you to click right through to his Facebook page for more details.
2) The campaign was also being promoted on his Facebook page using the same graphic as the cover photo and incorporating frequent posts about the campaign. https://www.facebook.com/Associatesineyecare
3) At the bottom of the homepage, a YouTube video is embedded to promote their products, (the video was taken from Visiooffice) which they can also use on their other social media pages and a YouTube channel if they have one.
Another option would be to add a video about a campaign, such as their back to school campaign, to their web site, social media pages and their YouTube channel.
Follow Us Tabs and Web Site Plug-Ins
4) Dr. Kock’s web site has a hellobar plugin at the top of the homepage with a call to action and a direct link inviting visitors to review the practice on Google+. A hellobar directs a user’s attention to the particular content located there and can link directly to another page or another site altogether. Here is a web site that will enable you to create and embed a hellobar on your site: http://www.hellobar.com/.
5) The homepage also includes social media buttons along the left and the bottom of the page with direct links to the practice’s Facebook page, Google+ review page and Twitter page. A visitor can “like” the Facebook page without even leaving the practice web site.
Case Study 2: An OD’s Cross-Promotion of a Practice Video
Here is an example of a video one of our clients, Kevin Way, OD, of Spring Klein Vision Center in Spring, Texas, produced to promote an exclusive contact lens product. The video is successful because it serves a number of functions beyond just promoting this new product. First of all, it serves to establish Dr. Way as an expert and an authority on contact lenses and shows that he is offering the most technologically advanced medical solutions. It also shows site visitors his human side which creates familiarity and trust.
In addition to the practice homepage, the video can be found on YouTube. We also would recommend sharing this asset on social media such as Facebook and Google+ to get further exposure.
The video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY5_8wKs8vY
On his practice web site: http://www.springkleinvision.com/
As you can see, cross-promotion can be an easy and effective way to reach a broader audience and create more buzz for your practice online. Whether it’s a promotional campaign or a personalized video, your marketing efforts will go a long way by creating ways to inter-link your online assets.
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Nancy Rausman is the managing editor at EyeCarePro. Nancy is responsible for providing ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. EyeCarePro is one of the leading providers of online marketing and practice improvement services in the industry. EyeCarePro serves both industry and practices and is the only company of its kind solely focused on the optometric space. To contact: firstname.lastname@example.org