Plastic Surgery Marketing: What's Working Now

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Catherine Maley
  • Published June 28, 2021
  • Word count 2,579

You probably noticed it’s getting more challenging to get attention online, so this will lay out plastic surgery marketing: what’s working now.

There is so much noise in the marketplace today, your message gets lost in the maze of advertising.

The sheer number of marketing channels to choose from that help you get in front of prospective cosmetic patients is mind-boggling…. and it’s not going to get any easier for all sorts of reasons.

Take SEO. Internet search engine optimization (SEO) rules continue to evolve.

It’s just not enough anymore to have a nice website. Nobody is going to see it unless you can convince Google you deserve to be on the first page of search rankings and that’s no easy feat.

For example, in the good old days of SEO, your web folks could help your rankings by writing articles stuffed with keywords.

It was easy enough for them to do it for you, so you and your staff didn’t need to get involved so it was a win-win.

But those days are gone. Google has gotten smarter and will penalize you for keyword stuffing – and any other shady tactics you use to attempt to try and game the system.

The bottom line is Google will continue to make it more difficult for you to be found organically (aka – Free).

And, since google rules the world for the foreseeable future, it’s best to follow their lead.

Since you can’t count on organic SEO like before, you have to look at other creative marketing avenues to get the attention of prospective cosmetic patients long enough for them to notice and act.

Below is a list of plastic surgery marketing strategies that are working now to help get you ranked and get the attention of prospective cosmetic patients.

Some are quick and easy and most take time and effort because that’s what’s needed to stand out and be heard above the noise.

Here they are…

CONTENT CREATION

In case you haven’t heard, “Content is King” since Google loves content because that’s what googlers want.

Think about it from your prospective patients’ point of view…

Let’s say they are interested in a tummy tuck. What do they do? They google tummy tuck so it would be wise for you to have a customized content creation marketing strategy such as:

A blog post explaining what a tummy tuck is

Videos explaining the FAQs of a tummy tuck

Gallery showing lots of before/after photos of other patients who have had a tummy tuck

Patient reviews of tummy tuck patients singing your praises

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media has changed the way your prospective patients communicate as well as get their information.

Oftentimes, they will bypass google altogether and search, instead, on their favorite social media platforms.

They have a tendency to trust their friends online more than big internet companies. And it’s very much a popularity contest for them. If everyone is following, liking, and sharing you, so are they.

That’s your opportunity to use social media marketing strategies, so they get to know you and see you as the best choice.

Start with this guide, “Social media ideas for plastic surgeons” that gives you lots of great ideas on what to post:

Social Media Ideas for Plastic Surgeons

SOCIAL PROOF/INFLUENCER

Social proof marketing has been around as long as plastic surgeons. The smart plastic surgeons gain approval from their patients to show their before/after photos to other prospective patients. And they encourage their patients to write a review, and even do a video testimonial.

These are essential marketing tools to help other prospective cosmetic patients feel reassured and confident they will also get the result they’re hoping for when choosing a plastic surgeon.

Local and national celebrities have been practice-building assets as well. I once went to a med spa opening and she had a B-celebrity attend. It turns out they went to school together, so the celebrity was doing her a favor. You never know…

Now that social media has caught on, social proof marketing has evolved into Influencer marketing.

Influencers are individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.

This works because of the high amount of trust these social media influencers have built up with their following, and their recommendations serve as social proof. So, if the influencer liked you, so do their followers.

PATIENT REVIEWS

Next to patient before/after photos, online reviews are extremely important to the prospective cosmetic patient searching for a plastic surgeon they can trust and connect with.

Because, what your patients say about you is much more important than what you say about you.

And, the more, the merrier. Set up a Patient Reviews protocol so you have a built-in system for asking for patient reviews.

By the way, since Google owns the Internet for the foreseeable future, I recommend you make google reviews a priority over the others like www.healthgrades.com and www.vitals.com.

Make it easy for your patients to give you a good review and you’ll get more of them.

Videos have taken over as the #1 media choice for consumers who prefer watching videos to reading or even looking at images.

That means YouTube videos do a great job of engaging your would-be patients if you make videos that are informative, compelling and/or engaging.

And Google owns YouTube, so it would be smart to use YouTube marketing strategies to help your search engine rankings.

YouTube Marketing can consist of replays of talks you have given at medical conferences or patients events.

You can have a professional videographer shoot video and take photos and turn it into your PR introductory video.

You can videotape your patient consultations so other prospective cosmetic patients hear enough to feel comfortable enough to call you for their own consultation.

PATIENT RETENTION

“Patient retention is the new patient attraction strategy of today.”That is so true if you think about it.

Who is easier to convert to a surgical procedure? A stranger Internet patient or someone who was referred by their best friend who loves you and their result?

This is so often missed but this type of leverage is how you win. You’ve already spent a fortune in time, money and effort attracting these patients to you. It takes minimal time, money, and effort to hang on to them and nurture that relationship.

You do that with a simple patient retention marketing strategy to turn these patients into loyal, raving fans such as emails, Instagram contests and a patient loyalty program.

WORD OF MOUTH

The easiest lead you will ever get is the one that comes from your happy patients. This would-be cosmetic patient is already pre-sold on you because their friend has sung your praises.

Word-of-mouth patients are easier to convert, they make a decision faster and are not as price-sensitive as stranger Internet patients. And they didn’t cost you a dime in advertising.

Word of mouth marketing for plastic surgeons strategies include:

Talking to your patients to let them know you want more patients just like them;

Prepare and send great content to your patients on various procedures you offer and remind them to share it with their friends; and

Appreciate and acknowledge your patients when they do refer new patients to you since behavior that is rewarded is repeated. For example, this patient loyalty program gives patients KiSSes to redeem for Botox, filler, and laser procedures.

TEXTING

It’s also called SMS (short message service) Marketing. It’s very popular since most consumers have their cell phone with them at all times and they read their text messages within minutes of receiving them.

So, it’s fast, effective and the cost is minimal. That makes text marketing for plastic surgeons a great channel to increase your revenues but only if done right.

You must have your patients’ permission to text them and they must be able to opt-out with a simple STOP.

Tip: Make sure your text marketing messages are super compelling, so your audience appreciates receiving them.

PODCAST

Podcast marketing for plastic surgeons is the newest media channel since consumers have taken a keen interest in listening to podcasts while they exercise, drive or whatever!

It’s a fantastic way for new prospective patients to get to know you. I can tell you personally, this marketing channel has gotten me more exposure these past two years than anything else I’ve done.

Beauty and the Biz Podcast

Podcast marketing also helps your SEO since you now have many more platforms to be found on such as apple podcasts and google play, Spotify and many others.

And your branding improves since you’re seen as an expert and you control the narrative so only content you approve of gets out into the world.

PATIENT WEBINARS

Thanks to COVID, the general public has now gotten used to doing business and life online. Plastic Surgery Patient Webinars

Take online learning, for example. Companies like Zoom and GoToMeeting have exploded. People are appreciating the convenience and time savings of learning online so use that to your advantage.

Present your own cosmetic patient webinars to your current patients ready for more rejuvenation and connect with new prospective patients who don’t know you…yet.

This one-to-many format is your leverage. You do this one presentation by explaining procedures and showing before and after photos and then opening it up to questions for the audience.

Now that its “in the can”, you have content for your website, YouTube, social media, and so on.

That’s how it grows legs and gets you in front of new audiences without any extra effort on your part.

EMAIL MARKETING

Email marketing has its challenges; however, it still wins over any other marketing channel such as social media posts and ads, when it comes to monetizing.

That’s because consumers now expect certain email to be promotional, whereas they see social media to be more entertaining.

Also, you are emailing your own patient list who already know, like and trust you so you have a warmer audience to nurture.

And, unlike Instagram, where you have only a second to grab someone’s attention, there is more room for you to lay out your message in an email, thereby capturing the audience’s attention long enough to get them to act.

Think of your email list as an asset because it is. There is so much you can do with email marketing and your email list. It is far from dead so turn your patient list into a money-making asset.

PATIENT SURVEY

There is a saying in business that goes like this:

“You can’t fix what you don’t know, and you don’t know until you ask.”

This is as true for cosmetic practices. You have to know what your patients want and don’t want to be able to keep them happy and coming back for more, as well as bringing their friends with them.

Conduct a simple annual patient survey to let your patients know you are interested in their input. You care about them and improving your practice for them.

CROSS PROMOTE COSMETIC SERVICES

Are you sure your cosmetic patients know ALL you offer?

If you ever hear, “I didn’t know you did that”, the answer is no, they don’t know about all of your treatments and procedures.

That means you are leaving easy money on the table because a patient who is giving you money, will give you more money if you introduce them to more solutions to their appearance problems.

When you use simple cross promote marketing strategies, your revenues can easily increase by 20-30% without effort or being pushy. Simply educate your patients on ALL you offer via in-house signage, email and packages to name a few.

FOLLOW UP ON PLASTIC SURGERY LEADS

Why spend a ton of money on leads if you’re not going to follow up on them?

Most practices make that one phone call and/or send one email and then add the lead to the “dead lead” pile when they don’t hear back from the prospective cosmetic patient.

When the surgeon asks the staff what happened to them, the answer is usually:

“Oh, they weren’t interested.”

“They were just price-shopping.”

“I tried but they’re not responding.”

Granted, depending on where these leads came from, some can be of poor quality, but not all of them. There are at least 15% of those leads that would have converted if given a chance.

The secret to follow up on plastic surgery leads is to set up protocol, just like you do for surgery, so follow up becomes a habit.

CONVERT CALLERS & CONSULTS

I have given you many plastic surgery marketing strategies above to attract lots more cosmetic patients to your practice.

When executed, new prospective cosmetic patients will notice you, stop long enough to digest your information and then go the next step which is to actually call your office and book a consultation.

However, what experience will they have with your staff when they call?

Will it be a continuation of your online brand touting skill, expertise and customer care or will it be the opposite and hurt your brand you work so hard to build?

Does the caller book the appointment or hang up confused and disappointed?

If they book the consultation, will they say yes or “I gotta think about it”?

If you are willing to spend a fortune, and time and effort on new leads, be sure your staff is professionally trained to convert callers and consults.

As the saying goes, “Nothing counts until the sale is made.”

BUDGET FOR MARKETING

The easiest way is to simply budget proportionately to your successes, so you get better results and easier conversions.

Then the question becomes how much to spend on advertising and marketing and that depends on:

How competitive an area you’re in

How long you’ve been in practice

Your reputation and credibility

As a very general rule, 10% of your budget should go towards marketing and advertising. Increase it if you are a young practice growing and decrease it if you are well established.

And, this is important. You need tracking mechanisms such as promo codes, call to actions and a special phone number to track the calls and a special website or web page to track clicks.

Whatever it takes to know your results, so you know for a fact what’s working and what’s not.

Because I don’t care what anyone else says…. you can’t live off of clicks, likes, shares or visitors.

You can only live off of prospective patients going through your processes, choosing you and giving you money.

So, the rule is: “If you can’t track it, don’t invest in it.”

And, if it’s not working, change, tweak or delete it. Do not keeping throwing money at something hoping it will catch on eventually.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

I suggest you meet with your team and go over these plastic surgery marketing strategies to determine which ones you are committed to executing.

Then take that list and prioritize in what order you will execute and include a deadline date.

I guarantee you will attract more cosmetic patients than ever before.

Since Year 2000, Catherine Maley, MBA has been a plastic surgery growth business and marketing consultant, author, speaker, trainer, blogger, and podcaster. Her website is www.CatherineMaley.com

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