Optometry Podcast: Dr. Sandi Eveleth Talks Influencer Marketing

This week one of our most popular guests, Dr. Sandi Eveleth, is back for another podcast exploring optometry and digital media marketing. In addition to being an optometrist, Dr. Eveleth also runs a consulting and digital media marketing company, and has given her expert advice on Corporate Optometry Nation podcasts discussing how doctors can maximize Instagram and search engine optimization.

Influencer Marketing is one of the biggest trends in social media in 2019, with Forbes magazine reporting that 39% of retailers plan to increase their spending on  influencer campaigns this year. Major retailers on average spend $25,000-$100,000 per year on influencer marketing. For the private practice optometrist, however, buying a post from Kendall Jenner may not be in the budget, or make much sense return-wise for your business. Instead, Dr. Eveleth discusses leveraging local influencers. These people often have a much smaller number of followers, but their engagement with local patients in your community will be much higher. In the marketing world, these smaller influencer accounts with high engagement to a specific target audience are called Micro Influencers.

Micro influencers typically have between 2,000-50,000 followers who are highly engaged in a focused topic, passion or niche market. The advantage of leveraging a micro influencer instead of a much larger global influencer is the ability for a business to specifically target the exact clients (or in our case, patients) we want to reach. Their followers are loyal and highly engaged because the micro influencer has built a community of authenticity and earned trust. Across social media, engagement rates are typically only 1-3%.  So that means if you pay an influencer to sponsor a post, you’ll likely only be reaching 1-3% of their followers. Micro influencers have significantly higher engagement rate than this 1-3% number, and on top of that, because they have less followers, they typically charge much less for partnerships (a few hundred dollars per post instead of thousands for larger accounts).

How can optometrists find local micro influencers in their community and leverage their authenticity to promote their office or eyewear? Dr. Eveleth shares advice for what to look for in a micro influencer partnership, and how you can build authenticity in your partnership posts with an influencer. In addition to using influencer marketers in your practice digital media strategy, we also discuss how optometrists can leverage their own social media accounts as industry micro-influencers in their own right.

The 2019 Influencer Benchmark Report breaks down many of the biggest trends that are shaping digital media this year and beyond. Dr. Eveleth joins Dr. Lyerly and Dr. Glover to talk about the five biggest trends and how they relate to digital media marketing happening in optometry:

1) The rise of micro-influencers with a focus more on alignment/engagement than follower numbers.
2) Brands cultivating long term relationships with influencers instead of buying 1-2 posts.

3) Increase in the Importance of video and brands letting influencers create more organic/unique material.
4) Facebook user base will stagnate or fall.
5) Instagram and IGTV will grow in popularity.

What do the recent Facebook changes mean to optometrists? And how can ODs better leverage video and Instagram in their practices? Tune in to the podcast for all of the details!