By Nancy Rausman
July 20, 2016
The seasonal promotions you offer in your office should be reflected on your web site and social media pages. Create a web presence that is relevant to the seasonal needs of your patients.
CREATE CALENDAR. Make a list of calendar events that are relevant to your patients.
SELECT PROMOTIONS. Focus on an action point for each promotion (book an appointment, select a new frame, attend an event). Promote through a variety of channels.
MEASURE RESULTS. Measure results, fine-tune and apply lessons in future campaigns.
Does your web site ever change? It should because your patients’ needs change, and often predictably in rhythm with the calendar. Seasonal updates and marketing keep your online presence up to date and in tune with your patients’ needs, help you to attract and convert relevant visitors to your web site and bring more revenue into your practice.
Seasonal marketing requires effort and planning, but the good news is, it comes around every year, so a lot of the planning you can do once and then repeat on a yearly basis.
The first step is to make a list of the significant calendar events that spur a boost in appointments. While some events, such as summer and back-to-school, cause a practically universal boost, other busy periods may depend on your practice location or demographic. You need to know your business and your patients, and sometimes this will take trial and error.
For example, if you practice within a day’s drive of skiing, the winter season means snow goggles and polarized sunwear. A practice with a significant amount of seniors can promote Cataracts Awareness Month and encourage patients to book a cataract screening. You can also get creative. If you cater to high-end fashion conscious patients, take advantage of Oscars season, promoting your exclusive brands, and even hosting an Oscars themed trunk show.
With each event you add to your list, decide what action you want to promote such as scheduling an exam, purchasing eyeglasses or coming to a trunk show. To start with, try to pick at least one campaign per quarter.
Integrate Seasonal Marketing
An integrated strategy is most effective in promoting a marketing message. Integrated marketing is when you promote a single message across multiple channels (such as your web site, social media, e-mail, snail mail and in print.) This helps to reinforce the message and ensure that you are reaching patients at every touch point.
Implement Seasonal Web Site Updates
Updates on your web site are not only good for timely search relevance, but also for search engine optimization. Google looks for indications that your web site is fresh and up-to-date as a ranking factor. For that reason, while you don’t need to rewrite your entire homepage each month, small frequent updates are necessary. Here are a few options for placement of web site updates:
News or blog section: Update your blog or the news section of your web site regularly with new information about your practice, services and eyecare education. If you are running a seasonal campaign, make announcements or write an educational piece to go along with it.
Landing pages: Landing pages are standalone web pages, dedicated to one focused goal or objective, that are accessed by clicking a link on another page on your web site (such as a pop-up ad or your homepage). You can create a landing page for your sale, event or promotion along with a strong call to action to urge visitors to take the next step.
Pop-up ads and banners: Add a temporary banner or interstitial pop-up ad to your web site that will open when someone clicks onto your homepage. This will draw attention to your promotion and you can include a link to a landing page that is specifically dedicated to your campaign.
Photos and headers: If you have a slideshow or header on your web site you can make temporary changes to the images to go along with your seasonal campaign.
Implement Seasonal SEO Updates
Making small updates to your web site will bring in more traffic for popular seasonal searches. Optimize your homepage, seasonal ads and landing pages with popular search terms that relate to the services and seasonal products you are promoting.
Optimize Seasonal E-Mail Marketing
Augment your online updates with an effective e-mail marketing campaign. Build on your relationship with current patients to wish them well and bring them to your web site or landing page to check out your sale, promotion or event.
Use Seasonal Social Media Marketing
Plan in advance a few weeks of posts promoting the sale or event as it gets closer, including fun, entertaining or educational posts, as well as some that are more detail-oriented. Design a cover photo to match your campaign, too. Any promotion that you run elsewhere in your practice (web site, in house, mail etc.) should also be promoted on social media.
Additionally, social media is a great place to make mention of events that you may not have the resources to create a whole campaign around. Each holiday, event and season is an excuse to connect, entertain and educate your audience, and online you can do so without too much effort.
Launch Seasonal Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
If your practice engages in PPC, a seasonal campaign is a great idea. You will incorporate many of the ideas cited above including keywords and a landing page to create effective seasonal ad campaigns. Creating ads that are timely and relevant should give a boost to the success of your PPC campaign.
Track the Results
Because seasonal marketing requires additional resources, it is important to track the success of your campaigns (i.e. how many patients each campaign brings in). Measure web site and web page visits, track social media activity and e-mail opens and clicks. This way you can gauge whether your efforts paid off and if the campaign is one that should be repeated in the future.
By making timely updates to your online presence you will bring in more relevant searches, more appointments and attract business from patients who have eyewear on their mind. Integrating your efforts across channels will get your practice and your campaign more exposure, creating a more memorable and effective marketing effort.
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