Let’s say that as an independent Optometrist, you’ve decided to add new eyewear products into the mix at your practice, and now you’d like to market these products to existing and prospective patients.
While there aren’t many truly “new” eyewear products, there are enhanced eyewear products – better versions of existing products – such as digital vs. traditional progressive lenses. Here are some examples of new to the practice eyewear products:
- Blue light lenses / technology
- Specialty contact lenses – OrthoK, scleral lenses
- New frame lines / styles
- New service options for contact lenses, i.e. subscription, home delivery
- New polarized options, gradient colors
- Ultimate lens package (Essilor)
If you’ve already begun building your brand by generating awareness of the practice in your community, maintaining rapport with existing patients through social media channels and email, and working with your staff to consistently deliver great patient experiences, then you may easily use your established marketing channels to educate and inform the people who live and work nearby about the great new eyewear products you’ve added to the practice.
If you currently aren’t engaged in any sort of brand building, use the channels you do have to communicate the addition of new eyewear products to your patient base. You probably have a good website at this point and practice management software in place to communicate with your patients for appointment reminders, so use these channels to begin building your brand by letting your patients know about the new eyewear products added to the practice.
Depending on the type of eyewear product and the manufacturer, it’s likely that a wealth of consumer-facing marketing collateral such as web banners, articles, infographics, social media ready images and videos, and point of sale materials to display in the practice has been developed specifically for your use to market the new eyewear product to existing and prospective patients. Be sure to ask your sales representative about marketing collateral and how to retrieve it, because these assets have been designed for your use.
Consider using Facebook to create custom advertising campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram for targeted marketing – for example, you can build a custom audience of people in your area who are 40+ on Facebook in your practice area, and then run an ad campaign for your multifocal contact lenses to reach the people most likely to be interested in this product. You can use a video or image supplied by the manufacturer of the multifocal contact lens, or you can create a video in-house in which you talk about the multifocal contact lens and how they can eliminate the need for reading glasses – a big benefit for some 40+ individuals who are interested in maintaining a youthful appearance.
Leverage Instagram advertising to market new frame lines and styles to your followers and people in your area. Instagram is a perfect place to market new fashion, so approach the advertising from that angle. You can use the content designed for you by the product manufacturer, or you can create your own in the practice – fun videos of your staff modeling the new frames or “unboxing” a new shipment of the great frames are wonderful ways to market.
If you have a digital display inside the practice with a customizable feed, use this channel to market new eyewear products through images and videos. Digital displays can be very effective marketing in your waiting area and in the optical, as these messages are viewed by customers while in your practice and at a time when they’re thinking about their eye health and eye wear. Distribute brochures and point of sale marketing materials inside the practice to prompt patients to ask about new products during their exams or when interacting with the opticians, and coach your staff to bring up the new eyewear products when applicable when working with patients in the optical.
Work with your website administrator to add educational materials to your website to inform website visitors about the features and benefits of new eyewear products, and if you are running Google PPC ads, consider adding certain key words (eye strain, blue light, digital eye fatigue, etc.) to capture incoming website traffic for people with needs you can now meet with new eyewear products.
Consider networking opportunities with your peers in independent optometry to learn what’s working in their practices – how are they able to reach the people who live and work nearby in their marketing efforts? IDOC offers networking opportunities for independent Optometrists to connect with their peers in both local study groups and at national conferences – many times, the best way to learn about marketing new eyecare products is from your peers.
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