Optometry Podcast: Vision Expo West with Trudi Charest

Trudi Charest, Founder of Marketing4ECPs

Marketing expert Trudi Charest grew up in the eyecare industry.  Her father was an optician who owned his own optical, and she started working in his shop when she was in high school.  She is a licensed optician, and after getting a human resources degree in college, she began working with a corporate optical chain as a trainer.  She’s worked in wholesale with Bausch and Lomb and then with Optos, and in 2008 started her own training and consulting business. Her experiences helping optometry practices better understand how they can compete digitally sparked her to found Marketing4ECPs four years ago.   “We’re a full-service digital marketing company,” shares Charest. Why focus on digital? That’s where the results really are in today’s marketplace. “We help our clients with social media, search engine optimization (or SEO), and digital advertising including Google ads and Facebook ads, as well as email and text message marketing… We spend a lot of time at conferences, events, and online teaching optometrists what they need to do to compete.” 

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Doctors often equate digital marketing with social media, but it’s so much more these days. Marketing4ECPs is focused on building a robust marketing strategy that is unique for each office, not a copy and paste template. Having a unique digital strategy is essential to standing out in today’s online marketplace. “When you do digital marketing right, you get results.  It makes the phone ring.” 

What are some of the biggest marketing mistakes that doctors are making? 

  1. Not budgeting enough money! 

Most doctors don’t budget enough dollars towards digital marketing. “I see doctors spend 100K on a piece of equipment, but they won’t spend $1,000 a month on marketing.” But they need that kind of spend to drive patients to the practice to see the return on that equipment investment.  “It’s an investment, not an expense,” Charest states. 

  1. Not investing in online marketing.  

In North America, only about 25% of optometric practices are investing in digital marketing. Because so few private practice owners are investing in online marketing, big corporations and chains are dominating search engine returns. “If you’re not building this online presence, you have a lot of catching up to do!” She insists that independent practices can compete with large group practices, but you have to have a plan of action and continually re-evaluate it to make sure you aren’t spending money ineffectively.

  1. Optometrists don’t get expert help.  

A lot of doctors try to cut costs and take on digital marketing by themselves. The issue here is that if you aren’t properly targeting and budgeting with digital ads, the spend won’t return on the investment. 

At Vision Expo West this year, eyecare providers can attend a full-fledged marketing track to kickstart their marketing strategies.  Wednesday, September 18th is a full day of EyeInnovate Marketing Workshops and the Marketing4ECPs team will be heading up 3 of those:  

  • Make Instagram Rock For Your Eye Care Business: Attendees will develop a targeted strategy for Instagram so they aren’t posting “just to post.” Break out sessions will include tips for better photography (including how to best photograph your frames!), creating video content, and how to track results. 
  • Building an Online Presence Through Powerful Digital Marketing Strategy: “There are 104 million eyecare related searches a month on Google right now,” shares Charest.  This workshop is about teaching attendees what they need to do to compete for those searches. It all starts with a great website. “Don’t do a bunch of digital marketing and drive people to a bad, outdated website.” Your website should reflect the identity of your practice, and should act like a salesperson for your business. Attendees will learn strategies for what makes a good website, and digital marketing tips to drive patients to your website. 
  • The Power of Video and Blogging for Eye Care Businesses: “Video and blogging are the future of digital marketing,” shares Charest.  Video ads highly outperform static image or text ads, getting more views and most importantly, more conversions.  Search engines prioritize content creation, which is why blogging and video creation are so important. “This is one way that optometrists can really show their expertise… [Blogging] can skyrocket search engine optimization because Google wants to show someone an expert.” In this workshop she’ll be showing attendees tips for writing blog posts expediently and efficiently, and there will be a breakout session where doctors actually produce a video post, including script writing and editing. 

Join us at Vision Expo West, September 18-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a friend of the Defocus Podcast, you can register for Vision Expo West for FREE by using this link: http://visionexpolv2019.com/DefocusMedia.

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