July 24, 2014

Consumer’s buying habits are constantly changing and that means that the way we advertise needs to evolve as well. The combination of social networks, local commerce and mobile platforms as complementary markets has exploded over the past decade - led primarily by companies such as Facebook, Yelp, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Groupon and Instagram. This evolution has led to new opportunities to advertise to your customers!

The results of a survey conducted by Salesforce of 228 Chief Marketing Officers around the world showed that the top three marketing priorities for this year are: customer acquisition, providing personalized experiences and active engagement. Furthermore, nearly half of all CMOs surveyed reported that their digital spend has greatly increased year over year. In fact, digital advertising now accounts for nearly 20-40% of many company’s marketing budget. This survey proves that marketing trends are indeed changing. The idea behind a consumer facing advertising strategy is basically to throw out the fliers on the counter top and to utilize these digital platforms in order to create more engaging and personal campaigns. Once you can connect with your consumers on a personal level, they are more likely to be loyal customers and brand activists.

Today, consumer facing advertising is more important than ever. The internet has completely changed the way people shop. They no longer rely on a salesperson or a neighbor to inform them of a product or service - there are a multitude of resources online that can tell them exactly where the best optometrist within a 5 mile radius is located. It is important to accept this new reality and work to take advantage of its benefits.

Facebook, Yelp and Google+ are three platforms that are perfect for a consumer facing marketing strategy as all three of these have found a way to optimize their social, local and mobile markets to help you connect with customers.

  • Yelp
    • Yelp is an online business review guide. Their review pages allow you to present all of your business information to potential consumers as well as providing a place for consumers to view and/or leave reviews. Chances are, your business is already listed on Yelp and you might not even know it. Have faith in your office and claim it online.  Try to participate in conversations with your customers to develop a friendly and trustworthy online presence. 
  • Google+
    • According to the Alexa rankings, Google is the number one website on the World Wide Web. On average Google processes 40,000 search queries per second and accounts for about 80% of all searches on the internet. With a Google+ local business page, your business will appear in Google search results as well as on Google Maps. This business page includes all the information anyone needs to know about your office including a five-star ranking system based off the reviews that customers leave. Google+ is a powerful marketing tool that puts a sign for your business exactly where people are going to see it.
  • Facebook
    • Facebook is perfect for advertising your business to potential consumers as well as retaining current customers. Nearly 60% of US and Canadian citizens use Facebook at least once a month (202 million people)! Launching an advertising campaign on Facebook lets you personally connect to your followers. 71% of all social media users say that they’re more likely to purchase from a brand they are connected with. That makes Facebook essential to marketing strategies as it allows you to actually network with your consumers.

These three platforms make executing a consumer facing marketing strategy simple. Patients no longer walk into a new office without doing their research first. Times are changing and adapting to these new marketing techniques will help you to grow your practice and attract new patients.

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