A few weeks ago I did my yearly health checkup and things were going well until I got to the waiting area outside the eye doctor’s office. The walls were covered in posters of optometrist ads promoting glasses, lens subscriptions and even the Ishihara color blindness test.
I’ve known I was colorblind since the first grade as that killed my dream of being a real-life Tom Cruise in Top Gun flying fighter jets upside down.
In normal vision tests, though, I’ve always had a great vision so I didn’t give the eye care ads much thought. However, during my vision test this time around things were different… One eye was perfect and the other was only a 5/10 according to the physician. I couldn’t see things far away perfectly anymore.
I was shocked but didn’t take it too seriously as the results became better when I asked them to redo the test and turn the ceiling lights off to fix the glare from the screen.
Eye care ads tend to function in a similar way. We tend to make them visually beautiful but with a meaningless message to consumers. In this article, we’ll look at some optometrist ad examples that go beyond the basics and incorporate good execution with a message that resonates in best Mad Men fashion and how to find your competitors’ ads if you are looking for creative ideas.
This eye care ad isn’t from the Mad Men TV series but instead from the real-world Mad Men back in the day.
I like this old-school advertisement because it does what many of them did right. It didn’t try to be funny, it was simply specific and catered to the challenge that many customers have–figuring out which glasses look good on me?
It gives the answer right there in the ad by showing eye types and which types of glasses tend to fit those. How often do we see an ad and actually learn something new to help solve our problem?
Not too often these days, unfortunately.
7 optometrist ads examples that may be within your budget
I took the liberty of finding some optometrist ads in the wild to give you an easy reference point. I didn’t want to only share examples of billboards as many businesses aren’t ready to spend that kind of budget. Besides the video you’ll see below, I’ve found eye care ads that have been running on Facebook so you can get some ideas from platforms too.
More details here.
You might not be looking for a high-budget branding production and in that case, let’s look at some more affordable examples.
Here’s an example from an optometrist in Maine.
And another from Australia.
Here are more examples:
Where to find other optometrists’ ad campaigns
Imitating ideas from competitors is the quickest way to get started and the obvious way to find the ads is to browse outlets that show them in general and hope they pop up at some point…
Not the most effective approach but luckily there’s an easier way–there are tools that offer this service. These tools aren’t perfect and sometimes ads don’t show up but that’s life. If you don’t know your competitors, I’d simply Google around to find those that cover the same service area or type of customer like you, as a starting point.
When you have a list of competitors, it’s time to dive in. For reference, a list of ten competitors or so is a good starting point but you’ll know when we look at their ads since some won’t be advertising and won’t be that useful in this case.
Similarweb.com can sometimes offer ideas but I’ve gotten better results with tools like SEMrush and Facebook’s ad library.
How to find eye care ads on display and search networks
SEMrush isn’t a free tool but they tend to offer a free trial. I’m not familiar with any free tools with similar capabilities but that doesn’t mean they are not out there.
Anyway, to see what competitors are doing we simply fire up the URL in SEMrush after logging in.
Then scroll down all the way to the bottom.
Here we have three interesting things. One is the latest publishers (in the top left corner of the screenshot above) that tell us which websites have shown their ads. Often businesses buy what’s referred to as RON (Run of Network), which means buying ads broadly across the network or inventory of sites available that sell ads. That means we might find some sites that are not at all relevant but after digging deep, we could discover some hidden gems.
I’ve you’ve got a decent budget but struggle with time as is the case for many venture-backed tech startups in our industry, this tactic makes sense because you’ll quickly be able to see which sites convert and remove those that don’t.
The second thing is landing pages (in the top right of the screenshot above). That gives us an idea about how often their ads have led to a certain landing page. In this case, it’s almost all the front page of the website.
Finally, at the bottom, we have examples of the ads and we can switch between classic display ads and text-only ads. We can also click ‘view details’ to see more in any of the three categories. The ads can help us get ideas for our overarching campaign angle – in the example above, they are running with an angle around the annual exam. I’ve given some other examples above in the section about the offer.
Essentially angles can be the insight or the problem we solve for customers and it is usually the thing that will make the biggest difference besides the product offer and the targeting. That means one angle might bomb while another will drive bookings like there’s no tomorrow.
If you are totally stuck for ideas, one of the best things to get “unstuck” is to reach out to existing and potential customers to ask them why they’ve been going to an optometrist in the past. The responses could be ideas for angles and there’s no way to know which one performs best without testing them in the market.
How to find optometrist ads on Facebook
Another option is to use Facebook’s free ad library. It requires a Facebook ad account, I believe, but that’s it.
It’s as simple as clicking ‘all ads’, ‘all ad categories’ (see the arrows in the screenshot below), and searching for either the specific brand you are looking for or with general keywords.
For example, I found a clinic below and they are running with an angle around free anti-reflective coating when buying premium lenses. We can even click directly on the ad to see which landing page they are using.
Social media accounts
We can also look at their social media accounts and fan pages for ideas based on which content got the most engagement. Of course, it could be as simple as that post getting ad money behind it and the rest didn’t but otherwise, it’s likely because the post resonates.
A good trick to creating eye care ads is brainstorming ideas based on the targeting options available on each one. For example, by scrolling through Facebook’s interests and behaviors, and coming up with ideas for offers as we know we can reach relevant people. The same is true for keywords with search ads.
The best way to get started if you are stuck without any ideas is to look at what your competitors are doing.
The best online marketing channels for optometrist ads
From experiments, I noticed that optometrist ads tend to perform well on search and Facebook ads but for two very different reasons.
Search is pretty obvious – someone is searching for something like “optometrist near me” and an ad pops up. Match made in heaven.
On Facebook, it isn’t exactly the same as people randomly scroll the newsfeed, bored, looking at what their friends are up to. Here we can only find people with a general interest in for example glasses but without need right as they see the ad.
That means we have to do something extra in order for the person seeing the ad to click it right now, even though they most likely wouldn’t have any reason to do it now as opposed to any other day. We can do that in two ways: by either creating a reason for them to click now or finding a way to target those that need help now even though that isn’t possible on the surface.
The reason it’s even worth considering this when eye care ads on search appear like the obvious choice is that it’s often expensive because our competitors figured out the same as us. It might not be worth it for us to pay the price necessary – we might be losing money on that funnel or we might be struggling to scale as there are only so many people searching for the relevant healthcare keywords within our service area. Ads on social can help us reach many more people.
The first way to make social ads work is to create a reason for people to be interested right now. That could be as simple as an exciting giveaway or a quiz showing the user which type of glasses best fit their face as a free digital download in exchange for their email. That way, we can create automatic emails to keep us top of mind next time they are in the market to e.g. book an eye exam.
There are many ways to do this but the point is that we hook them so we can contact them again via marketing automation in the future free of charge.
The other, much harder, thing is finding a way to segment those that are interested since that configuration and data aren’t naturally available with social ads.
We can do it by retargeting those who clicked on our search ads if they didn’t book a consultation. Another option is to run ads by the clinic’s address but often Facebook isn’t precise enough for it to work unless the address is secluded outside of the city. It’s also worth a test to run a lookalike audience based on paying customers to see if Facebook can find other people relevant to those. It’s a hit or miss in this case.
I’d like to try ads on Q&A sites like Quora but their traffic often isn’t that relevant for our local area as their targeting configurations tend to be more focused on placing our ad next to a specific question being asked.
36 search keywords for your eye care ads
If you can afford to make search ads profitable, it’s often one of the strongest channels to get eye care bookings these days. For your campaign to perform well, the right keywords are essential as that’s the way we make sure we reach the right people.
There are different types of keywords ranging from information seeking to looking to book a consultation and everything in between. Since you are paying for ads it makes sense to go after those where you feel confident you could earn your money back in bookings rather than offering free info.
|Keyword||Avg. Search Volume|
|ishihara eye test||2400|
|eye check up||12600|
|optometrist near me||284000|
|eye doctor appointment||2100|
|walk in eye exam||3200|
|eye exam and glasses||2500|
|eye test near me||37500|
|optician near me||138000|
|eye care check-up||10|
|same day eye exam||1800|
|eye pressure test||5400|
|eye doctor near me||852000|
|dmv vision test||4000|
|cheap eye exam near me||8600|
|eye examination test||1700|
|eye test cost||6000|
|vision care tips||10|
|buy contact lens||220|
|eye optical near me||5400|
|eye checkup near me||15400|
|eye power test||1500|
|contact lens exam near me||2800|
|eye exam near me||145000|
|optical places near me||1700|
|best eye doctor near me||13200|
The eye care ads offer
One of the most important things for your optometrist ads is the offer itself – what the customer gets and which product or service is for sale. Sometimes the product we earn the most from isn’t the one that sells the best via ads but we can use an attractive product on the ad itself to draw people in and then upsell them on the better earning product after. Similarly to when we go to a restaurant to eat and decide to get wine with the meal almost as an afterthought.
- Free eye test
- By glasses and sunglasses with the same strength for free/at a discount
- Lense subscription discount
- Eye test for a driver’s license
- Angles are among the most important things to get right with your optometrist ads as it can make the biggest difference in performance
- Looking at what competitors or similar businesses are doing is usually useful especially if you are stuck on creative ideas
- Continue testing to get the best results – even seasoned marketers in the space doesn’t always know what the market will respond the best to