Looking to bring more patients into your cosmetic surgery practice? We’ve compiled a list of 14 marketing ideas that have the potential to bring in a flood of your most ideal patients.
These strategies are based on what’s currently working for plastic surgery clinics across the nation. The tips in this guide are neither generic nor dated. Instead, we’ve uncovered the latest in digital marketing growth hacks that you can put to use as soon as today.
Whether your practice has been open for decades or you’re just getting started, these tips are applicable to virtually any plastic surgeon.
Who is the Target Market for Plastic Surgery?
You probably have a picture in your mind of your ideal patient. We encourage you to think outside the box and consider some of these statistics related to cosmetic and reconstructive surgery:
- Though 90% of cosmetic surgery procedures¹ are performed on women, men are increasingly choosing to go under the knife.
- Despite the fact that men make up a minority of plastic surgery patients, their numbers are increasing. From 1997 to 2012, the number of procedures performed on men increased by 106%.²
- Young people and teens are also patients. 4% of procedures³ are done on teens, and preventive procedures are becoming increasingly common in people in their twenties and thirties.
- Cosmetic surgery isn’t just for the affluent. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 4 only 13% of those considering plastic surgery have household incomes over $90,000.
- The most sought-after cosmetic surgical procedures 5 include breast augmentation, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), facelifts, and liposuction.
How Plastic Surgery Demographics Impacts Marketing
Knowing the demographics of your target audience can influence the services you decide to market and how you communicate the value of what you do.
As a reminder, demographics include characteristics like age, gender, race, ethnicity, location, income, education, profession, marital status.
Though the most common age group to go under the knife is the cohort between 40 and 54 years of age, 6 with Caucasian females making up the bulk of patients, there are cosmetic surgery patients in every age bracket that make up every ethnicity.
Ultimately, you can segment your marketing campaigns to include different demographics and procedures, depending on your specialty and your most profitable type of patient. As you review the tips in this guide, you may want to have a picture in your mind of your ideal type of patient (or patients). Think about how you might apply these tips to reach those demographics. Weave helps you easily collect and monitor reviews on Google and Facebook. These reviews can be some of the best marketing for your business.
9 out of 10 people check online reviews before choosing a business
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How to Get More Cosmetic Patients: 14 Clever Ideas
There are hundreds of, if not more, marketing ideas that have the potential to grow your practice. We’ve focused on 14 of the most dynamic.
1. Refine your targeting: We’ve discussed a little bit about targeting already, but it’s worth elaborating on here. All marketing begins with defining your target audience and then determining the right communication method and message.
Depending on the focus of your practice, you might have more than one target audience. Ideally, you’ll create a customer avatar (profile) for each type of patient you see (or wish to see). List their age, income, profession, interests, fears, goals, etc. Later, when you begin to write your marketing campaigns, have a picture of this person in your head and speak directly to their wants and needs.
One healthcare practice was able to refine its marketing strategy by looking at call analytics to better understand patients and improve the quality of care, (to read the full case study, click here).
2. Take advantage of word of mouth: Despite living in a modern digital age, people still turn to the people they know to get recommendations. How can you put this to practical use? Institute a referral program at your office. Make sure you verify local and state regulations to ensure you’re not breaking any rules.
3. Show patients the end result – virtually: There can be a lot of fear and uncertainty associated with cosmetic surgery. We’ve all seen those “botched” celebrity jobs. To inspire confidence in a potential patient, consider offering a complimentary consultation that includes photoshopping what the after would look like.
This technique is also referred to as “future casting.” It can be a powerful tool in acquiring leads and patients because it creates a sense of hope and an idea of what’s possible.
4. Give your website a facelift: Make sure your website has a modern look and feel, is mobile-friendly, and includes dramatic before and after transformations.
Include descriptions of all the services you offer, staff bios, credentials, certifications, awards, and patient testimonials. And, of course, make sure your website has a contact form, a lead generation form, and a way to sign up for your newsletter.
5. Boost your Google rankings: Showing up at the top of the organic search results on Google can yield a massive increase in clicks, and therefore, potential patients.
Make sure to include keywords prominently on your website and add your clinic name to all relevant directories, including Yelp, American Society of Plastic Surgeons,7 Surgeon Network,8 Plastic Surgeon Directory, and others.
6. Consider PPC (pay-per-click) advertising: One of the fastest ways to get a steady stream of patients is to do pay-per-click advertising on Google. The reason is that boosting your rankings organically can take months, and there’s no guarantee that the strategy will work.
PPC, on the other hand, allows you to bid for top placement on Google, guaranteeing exposure. The key to success here will be proper keyword bidding and compelling ad copy to encourage qualified clicks to your website and calls to your business.
7. Create content: In a crowded and competitive market, one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by creating content on your blog. As an added bonus, this blog content also has the potential to boost SEO.
If you like to write or you have a team or agency that can write for you, consider contributing your expertise to other blogs or media sites for additional credibility and exposure.
8. Leverage remarketing: Remarketing, also sometimes referred to as retargeting, is the practice of showing ads to visitors who have previously landed on your website. This strategy can be particularly powerful in an industry like surgery, where patients are likely to research multiple doctors before making a decision.
By leveraging the power of remarketing patients will continue to see your name as they do research and browse the Internet. Your remarketing ads can appear all across the Internet, including blogs, YouTube, news sites, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
9. Get more reviews: Even though friends’ opinions are the most trusted, 84% of people are still willing to take the experience of strangers into account when making decisions about patronizing a business.9
You can encourage satisfied patients to leave you reviews on platforms like Facebook and Google. There are even systems that help you do this on autopilot!
10. Use reviews in your marketing: Once you start collecting reviews, you can use them as powerful marketing tools. Include snippets from glowing reviews on your website, in email newsletters, and in ad campaigns.
If you have a patient that has achieved particularly remarkable results, consider asking if he or she will be comfortable sharing a review on camera.
11. Get social: People are increasingly turning to social media, particularly influencers, to help them make decisions and products and services. In addition to posting content regularly on the social media channels where your patients congregate, we also suggest partnering with an influencer or two to help you promote your services.
12. Test various ad campaigns: With digital advertising platforms like Facebook, you can test multiple messages and make changes in seconds. By contrast, print and television campaigns took weeks or months of planning, and once they aired, you couldn’t change them.
By contrast, Facebook gives you tons of flexibility. You can create countless campaigns, each directed at different markets and with different messages. Experiment with various offers, copywriting, and imagery to see what resonates with your audience.
13. Try video ads: Video has become a popular ad format. It’s engaging, and it can connect with an audience in a way that the written word and static images can’t. Some of the most effective video ads will be testimonials, compilations of before and after results, and explanations of various procedures you offer in your practice.
You can place these videos on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok.
14. Implement email marketing: What if you could get back $43 dollars for every $1 you spent on marketing. With email, this is the average ROI (return on investment).10 There are several ways to use email marketing to grow your plastic surgery practice, including welcome emails, patient success stories, referral incentives, and upsells.
As our population ages and people become increasingly concerned with looking and feeling younger, the cosmetic surgery industry is poised to continue on a path of positive growth. However, a growing industry can also attract and foster cutthroat competition. It’s essential that you maintain a strong presence both online and offline.
We invite you to schedule a live demo of Weave, a communications platform for small businesses. The platform includes a variety of tools for business growth, including email marketing and reviews.
Want more marketing tips and strategies? Watch our panel of marketing experts from our Business Insights Summit: