Ophthalmology Online Marketing: A Step-By-Step Guide

In the last few years, online marketing for healthcare providers has evolved from being purely digital to also encompassing healthcare careers websites, social media, and email marketing. While these channels have their perks, nothing beats a cold, hard-copy of a professional magazine handed to you at a cocktail party.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to online marketing for ophthalmologists (eye doctors). Whether you’re just starting out or already have a well-established practice, this guide will help you connect with patients online and grow your practice 

Set A Professional Image And Voice

Ophthalmologists are doctors who diagnose and treat eye diseases and injuries. In most countries, eye doctors are also responsible for referring patients to other specialists as needed. Most patients will go through multiple examinations and consultations before they find the right practitioner for them.

Since you’ll be their point of contact throughout their entire healthcare journey, it’s essential that you project the right image and sound like a trustworthy, knowledgable professional. One who would provide them with the best care possible regardless of what condition they’re in. One who would put their patients’ interests first and who would be there for them throughout their healthcare journey. Most importantly, you must feel comfortable enough in your role that they will feel comfortable confiding in you and sharing their most intimate secrets.

Here are some pointers on how to set a professional image and sound for your ophthalmology practice.

Your Website

If you’re new to the ophthalmology game, it’s a good idea to get a simple, functional website up and running as soon as possible. There are plenty of stock website builders out there that don’t require technical know-how to use. With a simple drag and drop interface, even someone with no coding experience can setup a professional looking healthcare practice website within minutes. Bonus points if you choose a template that’s already been optimized for SEO – that is, if you want your site to appear on the first page of search results when patients search for ‘ocular disorders’ or ‘eye disorders.’

Once you have your general ophthalmology website up and running, you can move on to customizing it with content that’s specifically related to your practice. Consider investing in a good quality, fully responsive WordPress theme that’s mobile-friendly and which has a custom design that will compliment your brand.

Social Media Accounts

Having a social media presence is critical for any healthcare or medical practice these days. While it can be tricky to find the right balance between being accessible and being professional enough, there are some handy resources available to help healthcare practitioners get started with social media.

A popular choice for physicians seeking to establish a practice is to use platforms like HubSpot or Marketo, which provide all the basic functionality needed to get a social media account up and running. With these platforms, all you need to do is login, set up your account, and you’re good to go. You can then use the platform’s pre-made content, or you can integrate their API to have content automatically generated and posted to your account on a regular basis.

If you have a marketing team, you can also let them utilize the platforms’ content and scheduling tools to get content published on your behalf. As a brand new ophthalmology practice, establishing a social media account and utilizing the abovementioned tools might be overkill, but it won’t hurt to have in the back of your mind the possibility to expand your digital footprint in the future.

Email Marketing

Email marketing isn’t going anywhere, and it’s still one of the most effective online marketing campaigns out there. Since patients often have to navigate a complex healthcare system to find a qualified practitioner, they might be more receptive to receiving information from an organization they’re already familiar with, such as their local ophthalmology practice.

To utilize email marketing effectively, you need to have a lead magnet that will draw patient interest and a way to provide information that is both relevant and helpful. The following are some examples of lead magnets that might work for an ophthalmology practice:

  • A weekly digest of ophthalmology news, summaries of cutting-edge research, and helpful articles.
  • A digital copy of a well-known and highly regarded ophthalmology textbook.
  • A discount code or coupon for a product or service that they might need or want (e.g., contact lens packages, or eye exams for diabetic patients).

Once you have your lead magnet, it’s time to look into tools that will help you deliver that interest to patients. Since much of your audience is going to be new to you, it might be a good idea to investigate whether or not there’s an email marketing tool that will allow you to send personalized emails to your customers. You can also use tools like Google Analytics or MailChimp to help you analyze your email marketing results and determine which methods are most effective.

If you decide that mailing printed matter to your customers is the best way to go, you’re going to need a simple and efficient way to track and build a list of your subscribers. A tool like HubSpot or Marketo can help you set up a single email list that’s maintained across all your social media accounts.

These days, having a digital footprint is pretty much a prerequisite for any healthcare practitioner seeking to establish an ophthalmology practice. Having a website, a social media account, and an email marketing list are all important building blocks that will establish your practice as an authoritative source for ocular information.