With the complete launch of VisionWeb's 2013 rebrand in the books, I think it's safe to say that our brains here at VisionWeb have been on creative overload the past couple of months. Undergoing a project as extensive as a rebrand can be mentally and creatively draining!
And for those of you we missed at Vision Expo East last week, check out some of these shots of our newly designed and rebranded booth! It's completely redesigned and a major upgrade from our old booth. Obviously we're in love with the new look, but we also got a lot of positive feedback from our visitors at the show too! Plus, we were kind of hard to miss with all our booth employees rockin' matching bright orange attire!
VisionWeb at Vision Expo East 2013
Finding Inspiration at Your Practice
Something that we learned earlier this week from our Director of Marketing, is that one of the best ways to get inspired is to look outside of your industry. And, as most of you in eyecare know, as a whole, we may be lagging behind other industries in terms of innovation. So, it's time to break the mold and start getting inspired!
Every single one of us hits creative roadblocks every now and then, no matter the job, or the industry. But we want to help you beat the obstacles when it comes to marketing your eyecare practice. Maybe you're struggling with the development of a new ad, new campaign, social media discussions, blog ideas, logo design, etc. We're here to try and help you beat this block, so let's get started!
While in New York, we thought, what could be more inspiring than visiting one of the best art museums in the country: The Museum of Modern Art. Here are a few of our favorite pieces that we thought displayed great avenues of inspiration:
Be Iconic: This Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Can installation is one of his most iconic and recognizable pieces. And Campbell's soup itself is one of the most recognizable food brands around. This kind of powerful brand recognition is something all marketers strive for.
Break the Mold: In this industry it's time we step out of the mold of how things have always been done. There are many companies out there these days doing some pretty amazing things. So don't get stuck being defined by the industry you're in.
Be Show-Stopping: Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night is one of the main attractions at MoMA. This piece is recogniable all around the world and there was a crowd of people stopped around this piece at the museum. And at a place like Vision Expo, show stopping is exactly what your company needs to be!
More Ways to Get Inspired
Our Marketing team here at VisionWeb has definitely spent a fair amount of time over the past few months overcoming creative roadblocks. Here are a few more ways that helped us get inspired, and maybe they will help you too:
- Start your day off catching up on your favorite blog (before you even open your email)! Do you have a favorite blog author? Follow them Twitter too. You never know when you'll get inspired!
- Listen to music! This is a big one for us. Music definitely gets us all in the writing mode.
- Keep your goals visible. Goals can be a great motiviator, and help you come up with a great idea when in a time crunch.
- Keep a stash of chocolate at the office. Chocolate contains caffeine, right?
- Brainstorming and free association exercises - they may seem kind of silly at first, but they work!
Share with us any tricks you have for staying inspired at your eyecare practice, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for more inspiring stories!
Does your practice have a Facebook page, Twitter page or blog? If the answer is yes, we hope that you’ve been active on your social media platforms because simply being on them isn’t enough. What you need is a social media strategy.
It may be hard to conceptualize a social media strategy for an eyecare practice, and it might seem time consuming and intimidating, but we are here to tell you that it is absolutely essential! According to a recent study, 72% of consumers surveyed said that they rely on online information when choosing healthcare products and services. So the challenge is not only to allow patients to find you online but provide them with enough information to become your patients!
Start differentiating your practice by incorporating what your patients want to see in your social media strategy!
Social Media in Eyecare: 5 Things Your Patients Want to See
Whether you are blogging, tweeting or posting on Facebook, consistency is always key! Being active on social media keeps you relevant and top of mind of your audience. Especially when it comes to blogging, the lack of consistency could result in the loss of your readers since they never know when you might get around to posting a new article.
To start, set a social media calendar and schedule blog posts, tweets, and Facebook posts so you can plan ahead and keep track of what you’ve posted. If fitting all of that in your schedule seems overwhelming, try delegating tasks to the staff at your practice. I’m sure that they’ll be happy to compose a tweet or two about upcoming deals, what they’ve been working on, or share an interesting article. Management tools such as Hootsuite can also help schedule your tweets to go live at preset times and dates, so you won’t have to worry about managing the account on days that you know you’ll be swamped with patients.
While consistent posts are good for your social media presence, content should be your top priority. You should aim to provide fresh content and value to your readers. This might require a brainstorming session or two. You can also utilize social media to make your practice more interactive. Some practices install applications to their Facebook page that allow readers to subscribe to their newsletter or do virtual check-ins. We’ve also covered some great ideas for content, feel free to revisit these topics.
Everybody loves a great deal! 76% of people surveyed said that they follow brands on social networks to receive discounts or coupons. If you want to drive more traffic to your social media pages, consider offering exclusive deals. Ideas include providing a coupon code only for those who liked you page or maybe even hosting a contest. But make sure you check the rules and guidelines before you start. You don’t want to run the risk of having your company page deleted by Facebook.
Incentives are a great way to encourage participation on your social media pages. They not only attract new patients, but retain existing ones.
Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate. You are giving your patients the opportunity to have a conversation with you, so keep the conversations going! Respond to comments, questions, and feedback promptly and don’t forget to manage your online reputation as well.
Don’t limit the engagement to just your customers. Take advantage of everyone who is using social media in eyecare to build a network with other eyecare practices and get involved in local and national optical associations. If you own a blog, subscribe and comment on other eyecare blogs too!
You may be surprised, but receiving incentives is not the number one reason to why people follow brands on social network. 79% do so to learn more about the brand. Showing your company personality is just as important as sharing valuable content. Throw out the corporate speak when interacting on social media - save those for press releases. A simple rule of thumb is to write the way you talk. When writing a blog post, try being conversational, just like you would when writing to a friend. Emoticons are acceptable too. In fact, according to this Facebook cheat sheet, posts that contain “:D” receive a 138% higher interaction rate.
The ever-changing world of social media can get hectic and it's easy to get lost in the shuffle, even in a niche market like eyecare. But a tried and true method to standing out is to simply produce killer content. So get out there and start writing posts that we can all get excited about!
Follow us on Twitter for more social media advice. While you're there, tweet us and let us know what you think of this article!
It's important for us to make sure that we are providing our readers with information that they find useful, that is why you're reading this blog in the first place, right?
To make sure we are writing about topics you and your eyecare practice care about, we put together a quick survey to find out what you want to see more of on our blog in 2013!
Don't feel like taking the survey? Go ahead and post any suggestions to our blog in the comments below!
You can always count on The Optical Vision Site for some great optical marketing resources and ideas! Check out their latest contest, just in time for July 4th!
From the OVS Blog:
We recently did a post about Made in America and realized that we have a lot of patriotic eyewear fans! With July 4th comping up we thought you could have some opti-fun and create your own over the top patriotic eyewear! So we had a party and got very patriotic using Wiley X glasses and a few embellishments, here is our favorite Wiley X patriotic creation from our party:
So have your own party with your optical staff, or you can even include your customers! Wiley X will provide a $100 Visa gift card to the best entry, and two runner-ups with get one free pair of Wiley X eyewear each!
"Wiley X is proud to be a US Veteran owned company, to provide products that protect our fighting men and women in the armed forces and to have many products Made in the USA," said Rob Maser, Commercial Sales Director. To win, send The Optical Vision Site your patriotic eyewear party pictures by June 26th. Winners will be announced July 1st, just in time for Independence Day!
All you need is a little creativity, some old glasses, and a few supplies to show us your patriotic creations! Please email your entries to email@example.com before June 26, 2012. Get Patriotic with Wiley X and win $100!!
Our friends over at The Optical Vision Site love free stuff as much as we do! Who doesn’t love FREE sales and marketing tools to help improve your eyecare practice? In their article, they focus on two websites that aid eyecare professionals in improving their marketing plan for free – Transitions Marketing Wiz and MyCulturalToolkit.com. Transitions Marketing Wiz provides independent practices with a wide variety of marketing resources and MyCulturalToolKit.com aids eyecare practices with directing more focus on culturally diverse patients.
Transitions Marketing Wiz
We love FREE STuff, especially free stuff that aids eyecare professional in growing their business. Now eyecare professionals can visit the Transitions Marketing Wiz – a new, online marketing tool and guide from Transitions Optical, Inc. – to build an interactive marketing plan for their independent practices. Found at TransitionsMarketingWiz.com. Transitions Marketing Wiz provides eyecare professionals with guidance and resources for assessing the needs of their practice, retaining current patients, acquiring new patients and increasing revenue through a variety of strategies and tactics.
My Multicultural Toolkit
Another resource – MyMulticulturalToolkit.com – serves as an eyecare professional’s guide to meeting the needs of today’s growing minority populations. Compiling the popular tools and education offered to eyecare professionals through the Transitions Cultural Connections™ program, the new online resource explains the reasons to focus on culturally diverse patients and provides a step-by-step guide to success, linking to helpful resources along the way. The toolkit also gives eyecare professionals the opportunity to save specific links and resources to their own personalized “My Dashboard” for easy, future use.
My Multicultural Toolkit focuses on four key steps to grow an eyecare professional’s business and improve patient satisfaction with culturally diverse patients:
My Community, which guides eyecare professionals on how to learn more about the demographic groups that live in their regions with the Transitions MAP (Market Area Profile) tool.
My Practice, which helps eyecare professionals establish a better environment for culturally diverse patients by educating staff and providing bilingual and in-language patient resources.
My Marketing, which provides strategies to attract culturally diverse patients, and offers access to tools, such as the Transitions® Marketing Wiz to build a unique marketing strategy for the practice, and the Transitions Online Marketing (TOM) Tool to develop customized materials
My Industry, which helps eyecare professionals learn what other industry professionals are doing to promote cultural competency and connects them with peers to share best practices and strategies.
The 2012 Business Resources Guide, provides an overview of Transitions Optical’s materials and serves as a comprehensive guide for eyecare professionals. All of the resources within the guide – can be found on Transitions Optical’s trade portal at Transitions.com/Pro.
It's February, the month of love! And while many of us are single, Valentine's Day is not only about showing your significant other how much you love them. It's a day full of love and I hope that you get the chance to share some of yours at your eyecare practice! Rather than bringing each of your employees or coworkers a box of chocolates or some flowers for the office (even though you can do that as well), bring something into your practice that can last the entire year or even years to come!
Marketing your eyecare practice is important, and we know at VisionWeb that marketing with a little love can go a long way. Start fresh this Valentine's day by achieving your goals and creating the presence of love that you want to share with your customers with our own LOVE acronym!
Love testomonials can drive in new business!
Reach out to your patients and ask them how it's going. Asking your patients how they're enjoying their new spectacle lenses and your in-house service can really get the attention of others! More people these days are looking online to see what people think of businesses, so give them some great outside information to look at. Plus, the insight from your patients will allow you to figure out what you're doing right and where there is room for improvement!
Order some new, creative business cards or other fun merch!
Make your eyecare practice memorable! Order some fun new business cards, postcards to send on the holidays, or even personal appointment reminders thaat you can mail along with that boring email. These things can be found pretty cheap online through a business called MOO! Check out their website to jog your mind on some fun ideas that might be fit for your eyecare practice. Give out a free tshirt to new patients that has a catchy slogan on it, maybe even some cheap plastic sunglasses that everyone needs a pair of, anything! Getting creative and putting your name out there for the world to see might just be what your practice needs to drive in new business!
Virtual hearts to all of your patients!
Send out an email, set out some roses, send a personal card. Whatever you do next time you see your patient, make sure you personalize their visit. Having a relationship with your patient, will make the love go all around. They will begin bragging about your office and word-of-mouth marketing is becoming more and more important these days. Showing your patients a little personalized love keeps them coming back, so show them how much you appreciate them!
Sounds simple right? A smile can go a long way, and your patients are happy when you're happy and vice versa, so it's your obligation to make sure that they are enjoying each and every visit. Get to know them, tell a silly joke, ask them about their day. It's so easy to make your patients happy with just a little extra effort, and that effort will be the difference of them coming back or finding a new eyecare practice for themselves!
Share the love with VisionWeb!
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We can’t deny it, smartphones are everywhere these days which allows marketing to become more interactive. QR codes are all about linking the physical world with the online world. Customers with smartphones can scan a QR code on a print advertisement whether in a magazine, on a poster, or on the seat back in front of them and access your link while on the move. We like the fun and curiosity of not knowing what the QR code will link to! When used successfully, they can seriously help your brand recognition, interaction with your brand and even boost sales!
That being said, this means there are a few things to take into consideration when using QR codes as a form of eye care practice marketing. People on the go act differently from people sitting in front of a computer, so here are a few ways NOT to use QR codes:
1) IN NON-RECEPTION AREAS
As QR codes must be scanned and then linked online, your customer will need internet reception in order for your marketing to work! This means you should think about where exactly your print ad will be placed. You may think that you will get a lot of traffic through a subway car or metro ad, but it will be useless if your potential customers don’t have reception to be able to load your link. QR codes stands for “Quick Response Codes”, so a lack of good reception won’t keep them waiting too long to load your link.
2) SOMEWHERE ALREADY ONLINE
QR codes are a fun and unique way to link your print ads to your online website, social media, campaigns, etc. If the QR code is online, then it would be just as easy for them to click a direct link. With QR codes, your company is able to catch the physical foot traffic of your print ad and link them to online resources, so that means make sure your QR code is somewhere out there in the real world!
3) WITH REPETITIVE INFORMATION
QR codes can be and should be fun for your customers to interact with. If your print ad has a QR code that repeats the same information, then it’s purpose is redundant. Instead, try linking straight to an appointment page where a customer can make a free eye consultation or maybe you can link to a video describing the benefits of laser eye surgery. Link to something that will interest and engage your customer from the first glance to avoid them clicking straight to the “X”-out box.
4) ON INACCESSIBLE OR UNEASILY SCANNED ADS
QR codes must be easily scanned to fulfill their purpose. This means that putting a QR code on a billboard ad that people are driving past at 60 mph would make it impossible to scan. Customers must also publicly interact with your ad by stopping, pulling out their phone, and physically scanning it, so having it on the side of a bus or going up a set of stairs where people are walking up and down would not only make it difficult but awkward for your customers to approach.
QR codes can be a cheap and fun way to market your company when used correctly! Don’t be shy to get creative with your QR codes, whether that be linking to appointment schedulers, youtube videos, or downloadable discounts. Just as important is to make it easy and accessible for your customers to scan while also inciting them with a bit of curiosity so they WANT to scan it!
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