When opening an aesthetic medical practice, clinic, or spa, it’s easy to fall to varying degrees into the Field of Dreams fallacy of marketing. While it may have worked for Kevin Costner, in the case of bringing patients into your clinic, it’s certainly not true that “if you build it, they will come.”
You have to tell them about it. You have to tell the right people. And you need to give them the information they need to decide whether you’re the aesthetics provider they want to work with, especially since many of those patients will continue to come back to you for their treatments long-term.
Here are 5 tips to remember as you work to put your practice top of mind in your local aesthetics market.
Most prospective patients are going to get their first real impression of your practice from your website. A good, well-designed website should convey a sense of assurance and confidence that you know what you’re doing and that you have the patient’s best interests at heart.
New prospects visiting your site make a decision about whether to continue reading or look elsewhere in roughly the first 14 seconds. Simply having a website isn’t enough. Patient conversion techniques and website A/B testing are vital factors in helping to grow your business. If your website isn’t optimized for conversion, you won’t convince visitors to take action and contact you regardless of how much you spend on online ads, promotions, SEO efforts, and other marketing plans.
The secret of online patient conversion is intense A/B testing for each website design. It can often be true that you don’t love the look or “design” of a conversion website even though it’s the best approach for attracting new patients. When choosing your website, statistical data doesn’t lie.
Once you’ve used the tools mentioned above to capture your prospects’ attention, it’s now important to make full use of every tool that the web has to offer to keep their attention and keep them coming back.
Videos and images can be important tools for giving patient stories and treatment information more immediacy, as well as showing prospective patients exactly the kind of results they can expect from your services. Online reviews are also an important tool in marketing medical aesthetics. Happy patients should be encouraged and incentivized to leave positive reviews.
Including a well-written, informative blog on your website can also be a highly effective way to establish yourself as an authority in your field, while encouraging repeat visits to your site. And more site visits mean a higher likelihood of visitors being converted into patients.
Focus, focus, focus
The most advanced devices and exciting procedures may seem like the best way to get prospects through your doors, but all that flash and sizzle won’t attract everyone. Before deciding where to focus your message, you need to identify your ideal target market. Marketing the right procedures to the right people will yield greater rewards. Identify who your prospective patients are. Find out who approaches your practice organically. Offer those patients more in the way of rewards and marketing.
Tracking engagement will help you spot opportunities to improve and streamline your message and to focus that marketing searchlight in the right direction.
SEO means Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the difference between your website showing up on the first page of a Google search or being buried on page 3,257.
According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, Google considers more than 200 signals in ranking your website. It all starts with your website’s content, which must be high quality. Other factors include usability for both humans (your patients) and search engines. Write your content as if you’re explaining a complex subject to a teenager with a 30-second attention span. If your content doesn’t quickly deliver anything of value to the reader, they’ll simply skip your website and move on to the next.
According to Patrick Byrne, director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University and AAFPRS board member, “Younger people, up through middle age, increasingly perceive themselves through the lens of their own social media accounts.”
The continued popularity of “selfie culture” is the impetus for increasing numbers of people to seek out aesthetic procedures that will give them that perfect Instagram filtered look (without the Instagram filter).
It makes sense, then, that if social media is the main driver of consumer interest in aesthetic procedures, then social media is the place to go when it’s time to market your services. If you’re not on social media, you need to get there. Now. But there are rules to keep in mind.
- Choose the appropriate platforms. You’ll likely want to use Facebook and Instagram, to begin. Do your research before choosing other platforms. It makes no sense to market facelifts and Botox on a platform, like TikTok, that’s mainly populated by teens.
- Lean heavily on the visual. By 2022, video streaming and downloads will account for at least 82% of all consumer internet traffic. Photos and video (but not just product shots) are an essential part of successful social media marketing.
- Interact. Social media is just that. Social. It’s not a one-way street, and your audience is going to expect to interact with you. Respond to their comments or questions. Initiate promotions, contests, and giveaways. The more you can keep them coming back, the more effective your marketing will be.
Opening and marketing your own aesthetic practice can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re coming from a medical specialty that had you working in a hospital. But following these guidelines can help you start building a patient base who will continue coming back.