By Nancy Rausman, Managing Editor, EyeCarePro
This year, big changes have happened in healthcare due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As the dust continues to settle, ODs are learning if and how the new laws impact their practice and office management. The smart ODs are learning how they can take advantage of the changes to improve their bottom line and a lot of this has to do with adaptive marketing.
The greatest opportunity coming out of the ACA is the Pediatric Eye Care Benefit, which mandates that insurance plans sold in the health insurance marketplaces and individual and small-group plans must include coverage for children under 19 years of age. This means that every single plan must include vision care benefits which entitles a child to an annual comprehensive eye exam, follow-up care and glasses and contact lenses in almost all cases of need.
This means millions of new pediatric patients are out there in need of a good OD, and if you want to reach them it means a new focus for marketing your optometry practice.
It’s time to step up your on- and offline marketing strategy to attract this population by focusing on services and issues that pertain to children, preteens and teens. Your marketing should at least have an element of child-focused information and campaigns about Back to School exams, vision and learning disabilities, children’s eye problems, the importance of vision in school and sports performance, youth eye wear sales… anything at all that will be on the mind of a parent regarding their child’s eyes and vision.
It’s important to make child-focused marketing an integrated strategy across all of your marketing channels – which includes online and offline avenues. You want to emphasize and promote your children’s eye care services everywhere your practice can be found. Here are a few basics to get you started:
- Include photos of children and families on your website, social media pages (such as Facebook and Google+) and on any printed marketing materials.
- Highlight your child-friendly atmosphere and mention child-specific eye care services on your homepage such as, pre-school eye exams, vision therapy or Ortho-K. You can also create posters or information pages to place around your office.
- Create a designated children’s eye care page on your website.
- Educate parents about children’s eye health through blog articles, press releases or social media posts that focus on relevant topics.
- Run campaigns and promotions for children’s eye exams, (back to school is a great time for this), birthdays or specific services such as contacts or Ortho-K for teens. Promote these campaigns online and offline.
- Engage parents on Facebook by posting relevant articles, polls or facts about children’s vision.
- Encourage parents to write reviews of your practice on Yelp, Google and other local business sites based on their experiences with their children.
If you want to capitalize on the incredible potential the ACA brings, it’s time to start thinking about kids and creating a kid-friendly reputation for your practice.
Photo: Copyright: iodrakon / 123RF Stock Photo
About EyeCarePro: EyeCarePro is a leader in digital innovations for Optometry employing a global team of Web Development, SEO, Marketing and Sales experts who are dedicated to helping Optometric Practices achieve growth by attracting new patients and building engaging relationships with existing patients. EyeCarePRo offers value through results-driven marketing programs and employs proven, powerful and effective online marketing strategies in social media, search engine optimization, traditional offline marketing and sales growth initiative. To date, EyeCarepro has built over 1200 optometric websites.
For more information contact Daniel Rostenne, CEO