When you think of social media platforms where an optometrist gets more patients, YouTube may not come first to mind. But there’s a reason so many local professional businesses get hyperlocal on YouTube to get more customers. As an optometrist, could YouTube be what your marketing strategy is missing? Here’s what you need to know about how to promote your optometry practice on YouTube.
Part 1 – Why it’s beneficial to use YouTube
75% of adults say they watch YouTube at home on mobile devices, mostly during what the traditional TV stations would call “prime time”. And these days, more 18+ users watch YouTube during this window than any cable network.
The top reasons people watch YouTube are relaxation and entertainment.
You may be thinking, “optometry isn’t necessarily relaxation or entertainment”. But keep in mind, people accomplish these two tasks in many ways.
In fact, one of the top four types of video on YouTube is the “How To”.
People feel relaxed and entertained when they’re learning, especially your local target audience that cares about eye health for them and their families.
You can combine educational videos with the other top three if you want:
- Pop culture and other entertainment
But you don’t have to.
You can promote your optometry practice on YouTube simply by creating helpful how-to videos for people:
- How to remove contacts
- How to repair your glasses
- How to know if you need bifocals
- How to donate glasses to people in need
We’re just scratching the surface. You’ll share these on social media, email, landing pages, and around your website to educate your local audience and expand local reach.
But do these views actually translate to getting someone behind your phoropter? You’re not wrong in asking that question. Let’s see…
- 53% of marketers say video is important for brand awareness and trust-building.
- Around 85% say video is vital for lead generation and driving high-value traffic to their website.
- 78% say video has a strong impact on sales.
When you generate brand awareness and build trust with people who need your service locally, you now have the power to convince people to make appointments.
But YouTube isn’t just a toy for marketers.
They use it to get measurable business results—making appointments and filling seats when you think hyper-locally. If you want to get the same results, you need to respect it and give it the attention it needs.
You need a clearly defined YouTube strategy to promote your optometry practice on YouTube.
Part 2 – 8 surefire steps to promote your optometry practice on YouTube
Step 1 – Create a YouTube channel for your business
A YouTube channel makes it official.
This is what people subscribe to. As subscribers, they can sign up for frequent or occasional notifications, and YouTube will recommend your content to them, re-engaging them.
Your channel becomes a library of helpful videos, which viewers will take advantage of. All the while, they’re getting to know you and trust you while you’re applying analytics to learn how they engage with your videos to build more trust.
Now, down the road a little, when you remind them about scheduling their annual eye health exam, that full trust meter becomes leverage.
Use this power wisely to benefit them and they’ll continue to trust you, becoming lifelong patients who also share your channel with others.
Pro Tip: Set up a brand account with Google and create your YouTube channel under that brand account. This allows multiple people you designate to manage the channel. Even if you plan to do it all, you’ll be glad you were forward-thinking.
Step 2 – Learn about your audience (aka customers)
It’s vital that you know who you’re creating videos for and what they’re watching on YouTube.
Start with your buyer persona. This is a fictionalized composite of what your ideal patient looks like.
Use social listening to learn more about the videos they watch. Follow hashtags related to optometry on Instagram and TikTok to learn more about how people interact with videos. Local marketing tools can help.
This will get you started. But as your channel gets up and running, you’ll be able to use YouTube analytics to learn more about your audience and what kinds of videos work.
Step 3 – Research your competitors
Audience research will undoubtedly lead you to competitors. Don’t be afraid to consume their content. See what they’re doing and take notes.
Here are some things you might observe using competitor analysis tools:
- What does their channel trailer look like?
- What topics are they covering?
- How are they approaching their audience?
- Do you see a preferred video length?
- Are they taking advantage of YouTube Shorts?
- Do they partner with influencers (which ones)?
- Do they use paid promotion? Which kinds?
- Do they create branded serials or have themes?
- What’s the tone of their channel?
- How do local channels connect to a more localized audience?
Step 4 – Learn from your favorite channels (what do they do that you can replicate?)
Keep in mind, that if these channels have been on YouTube, are getting views and have subscribers, they’ve figured a few things out, so you’ll want to incorporate what they’re doing into your own strategy when you promote your optometry practice on YouTube.
Don’t feel you must use everything. Some of their strategies may not align with your brand. But this certainly gives your channel a strong chance at success because it shows you understand how YouTube works.
Your target audience can see that.
Step 5 – Create engaging video content
Now that you’ve spent adequate time researching who your audience and competitors are, you have a much better idea of what to create.
Those 10-plus minute videos on YouTube are longer to meet standards for the YouTube algorithm and qualify for YouTube’s monetization.
Because you’re a small local business, you’ll promote your optometry practice on YouTube differently. Instead, focus on creating short, shareable videos—one to two minutes. You’ll be surprised how long that is on YouTube.
These are faster and easier to create, so you’ll be able to get your channel up and running faster.
As you become more experienced, and if YouTube analytics indicate longer is better, you can begin creating some longer videos.
You can produce a professional-looking video without the expensive editing equipment of a full-time videographer.
No one is expecting a Hollywood production. Just appear clean and clutter-free. Work on steadying your camera arm or invest in a tripod.
Step 6 – Optimize your videos when uploading
Optimization can seem overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you. Take it one step at a time. Start with elements that matter most like:
- Title. It should be clickable but also written in terms people search
- Description. On YouTube, your description is an opportunity to tell your audience what the video is about but as a local business, you’ll also use it to guide viewers to your website or generate leads.
- Thumbnail. Don’t leave it as a random image from your video. People process an image in milliseconds, well before they read the title. This image stops them in their tracks and earns the click.
- Search. Keep in mind YouTube videos come up in Google searches, so yes, you should do your keyword research to learn how people search for videos like these.
- Views. Employ analytics to figure out what your views want and create more of it.
- Timestamps. Use this YouTube feature to break longer videos into chapters, allowing people to go straight to the part of the video they’re looking for.
- CTA. How will you ask people to like, share, subscribe, and comment?
Step 7 – Optimize your channel
Some items you’ll need to optimize on the channel level include:
- Logo and channel art
- Cover photo
- Channel description
- Playlist organization
- Video scheduling when most people will see the notification
Optimization starts with best practices and research, but to truly optimize, you must collect data, test different options, and choose the highest-performing options employing small business marketing and analytics software.
Step 8 – Share your YouTube videos on other platforms
Now that you have a professional-looking channel with some videos and some optimization, it’s time to put some effort into enhancing your brand through YouTube promotion.
- Add them to your website
- Share them on social media and email
- Work with influencers to get the word out.
- Use Google, YouTube, and Facebook Ads to drive local traffic to your optometry videos.
Track and improve how you promote your optometry practice on YouTube
By step 8, you have a strategy in place and videos to build out your channel and start growing your YouTube presence locally to generate more appointments.
It’s time to put business intelligence to work to turn your optometry YouTube channel into a steady stream of new business. Take a tour of business intelligence marketing software to get advanced analytics that demystifies how to promote your optometry practice on YouTube.