By Kaia Pankhurst,
One of the biggest mistakes any business can make in marketing is relying on outdated strategies.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into business owners who rely on resources from 10 years ago to create their marketing mix.
Those resources were probably cutting edge in their day, but the world has changed since then.
In the last five years alone, technology, consumer trends and advertising standards have all shifted. Realistically, marketing best practices change at least a little bit every year.
With the new year at our door, now is the time to introduce some new pieces to your marketing.
Here are three important elements your 2020 marketing strategy should include.
The term influencer basically refers to anyone that uses their fame or significant social media platform to advertise products and services. Kim Kardashian, for example, is an influencer who promotes products on her personal Instagram.
Influencers can be a powerful marketing tool because they come with their own audience, which usually already has a demographic built-in. You get to capitalize on whatever reputation that influencer has already built for themselves, basically applying their trustworthiness to your brand.
Obviously, very few independent eye care businesses can afford big names like Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner; however, micro-influencers are much more affordable and often more effective.
A micro-influencer would be someone with a smaller audience, usually in your area. Local photographers, morning show hosts and even former politicians could be good resources, as they have a good base of followers and a name that people know and trust. Look for someone in your geography.
In some cases they will post about your business in exchange for eye care products or services.
Business owners are busy and not everyone can afford to hire a marketing co-ordinator or agency. Luckily, a good portion of your marketing can be automated.
Whether it’s patient recall or lead generation, you can apply a set-and-forget philosophy to nearly anything. There are honestly too many examples to list in one article, but one of the most exciting and relevant ones is responsive search ads.
Responsive search ads involve making a database of several headings, subheadings and descriptions that could all work together. Google will combine these elements at random to create and test ads. As your campaign carries on, Google determines which ads work best. Investing in responsive ads basically means you purchase ads, give Google the pieces and Google will automatically optimize the ads to give you the best results.
As I’ve said, automation is practically limitless. If you’re not using automation as a cornerstone in your marketing strategy, you’re doing your business a huge disservice.
Google really values expertise, authority and trustworthiness, or EAT.
Search engines get smarter all the time and they are always looking for ways to get users the best possible information from the best possible sources. So in an effort to filter out inaccurate, dishonest or incomplete information, Google has started evaluating the author behind the information just as much as they evaluate the information itself.
So what does that mean?
It means you need to provide users with genuinely helpful content that isn’t a thinly-veiled sales pitch. The idea is to prove that you know what you’re talking about on webpages and blogs by backing up any medical claims with reputable sources.
Part of EAT also has to do with developing your professional online reputation. Contribute to industry publications, write articles on LinkedIn, become an active participant in online eyewear and eye care space. The more often Google sees your name associated with your field, the more likely it is to trust what you have to say. The more Google trusts you, the higher your business can rank in a Google search.
Marketing Trends Change Regularly; That’s a Good Thing
The ever-changing landscape of modern marketing is all about opportunities. Every time a new trend emerges, you have the chance to be one of the first in your area to use it to its full potential. The key is to keep your eyes open and be ready to pivot your strategy. If you can stay on top of current marketing best practices, your eye care business can stay healthy and relevant for decades.
As Marketing4ECPs’ senior content strategist, Kaia Pankhurst creates and implements content strategies for eye care practices all over North America. Outside of the office, Kaia is a musician, activist, and professional wrestler. You can reach Kaia at marketing4ecps.com