For the year 2020, the optometry profession is getting an organic boost of awareness with 20/20 vision campaigns underway, along with the many jokes and puns circulating on social media that you’ve likely seen and shared already. Today’s eyecare professionals are meeting this awareness head-on by providing services that span a complete spectrum of vision solutions, backed by technological advancements, which address both long standing and emerging vision issues.
Reach a new audience with specialty vision solutions
A safe bet for building your business and achieving new growth in 2020 is by targeting a new and growing audience with a clear offering. The hot topics of the year continue to be early intervention of childhood myopia and the use of ortho-k contact lenses as a treatment option for myopia control, as well as for adults, providing glasses-free vision during the day.
Eyecare professionals are focusing on these treatment areas with good results, but these topics are unlikely to come with a flashy marketing pack or patient-friendly brochure from your product suppliers, although slowly there are more resources becoming available online and through social media.
Let’s review the marketing basics on how to reach your local audience with a specialty contact lens offering:
Who to reach: Create buyer personas
Know your ideal customer. Identify all the characteristics that will help you reach people, with a message that will be relevant and valued. A ‘buyer persona’ is a marketing term that represents a way to define your target audience. It should include additional considerations, such as how they may interact with your product or service over time.
What to say: Create your hook
This is the most overlooked part of the process and it is definitely the most critical. In marketing, a ‘hook’ is a short phase designed to entice a customer to elicit the desired reaction, which could be simply a Facebook like, e-newsletter subscription, product enquiry, or a purchase.
Use your buyer personas to craft laser-focused messages that will resonate with your target audience. Test out your message on real people, such as friends and family, before putting big advertising dollars behind it. When promoting a novel concept such as ortho-k, you may need to keep the message simple and focus solely on the benefits, something like: “Our recommended ortho-k lenses allow you to see clearly without glasses all day long, by only wearing special corrective contact lenses at night.”
Where to broadcast: Platform of choice
Consider how you will reach your audience and know the numbers of your potential audience size and local reach. Your options include Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, YouTube, traditional newspaper ads, traditional media ads and more.
Remember that your audience has limited time and attention span to be receptive to advertising and product messages, so consider if there are any ways to outsmart your competitors by choosing a platform that has a viable audience and gets your messages to patients efficiently.
Free methods, such as posting on your own social page, don’t generate the critical number of views that you’ll need to gain new business. Digital advertising and sponsored content placements for your services are proven ways to do so.
Broadcast yourself: Authenticity
As an eyecare professional, you are an expert in your domain. You have succeeded in showcasing your personality ‘live’ and in-person for years with your patients during their regular visits. Set a goal for yourself to create a single piece (or several pieces) of video content that makes your message very easy to see, understand and share. There is no need for high budget production, simply turn on your phone camera and go for it. Being real and authentic in your approach will be naturally appealing for prospective patients.
A good place to start is by listing some frequently asked questions on your topic and aiming to provide concise answers in video form. This can be useful for your patients, in general, but it’s also an excellent showcase of your expertise. Ultimately, it’s a marketing tool, which is highly valued by platforms like Facebook and YouTube since video is how most people are consuming their media these days.
Dominate local Google searches: Website optimisation
Specialty areas, by their very nature, have limited numbers of eyecare providers promoting their local services. This means that having some website content related to ortho-k can put you at the top of google searches within your geographic area with virtually no competition… until others take the time to implement the same marketing efforts.
Consider your resources: Don’t re-invent the wheel
Very recently, a worldwide initiative by The World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute has begun to promote myopia control awareness, which is an excellent start in helping practitioners and patients in their marketing efforts. Myopia Awareness Week takes place May 14-18 in 2020, visit myopiamovement.com for more details. You can also download our marketing resources pack with turn-key digital ads for specialty contact lenses at optomedge.com/nzoptics.
Robert Springer is technical director at OptomEDGE, an optometry-focused marketing agency covering campaigns, printed and digital recalls and patient communications. Contact him on +64 9 889 3179 or firstname.lastname@example.org