You bring a sense of peace and wellbeing to your clients. They look and feel better after seeing you. That sense of satisfaction, lightness and calm almost seems to radiate from them after their treatment.
It’s a far cry from how you feel sometimes, though. Because there’s nothing beautiful or calming about empty spots in your appointment book. You need a steady flow of clients to stay in business and fulfil your practice’s purpose. When you look at the week ahead, you almost want to start biting your nails because you know cash flow is going to be a problem.
You’re in an increasingly competitive market. Cosmetic treatments are becoming more popular and every shopping mall now seems to feature clinics offering anti-wrinkle treatments, cosmetic injectables or laser hair removal.
You might want a slice of that market or you may be offering more high-end, specialist cosmetic procedures. Either way, the same question presents itself: how do you enable your aesthetic clinic to stand out in a crowded market so that your diary is pleasantly full?
5 digital marketing strategies for aesthetic clinics
1. Having a high-converting website
Your website is there to convert your audience from visitors to clients. It should:
- Provide material that addresses their needs and aids their decision making
- Create a desire for your services
- Make it easy for them to book.
Too often, we see websites where the key information is missing or buried or there’s not enough information to help people reach a decision. And, once they have decided they’d like to see you, there’s no way of them acting on that right there and then. Instead, they have to plan to call you in the morning (they’ll forget) or fill in a vague form so you can call them back (by which time, they’ve had a rethink and are less interested in proceeding).
It’s not enough to just have a website. Anyone can do that. You need a high-converting website that is your clinic’s best sales tool.
Your website should:
- Accurately reflect practice’s ethos, services and people to build trust and credibility with your audience
- Load quickly – clients are actually quite impatient and will go elsewhere within seconds
- Work well on a mobile – most searches are done from handheld devices
- Provide health information that educates your clientele and answers their questions
- Be optimised for Google, especially local SEO so that your clinic appears when locals search for services you offer
- Include direct-response copy and regular, effective calls to action.
Tip: You need a strong call to action that a reader can act on immediately. Don’t ask people to ‘complete an enquiry form’ or ‘request a call back’.
Instead, include a prominent ‘book now’ button on your website banner. Make sure it goes straight to your online booking system so clients can book immediately when they’re keen. If that means you need to invest in an online booking system, then do it.
2. Paid search
Statistics tell us that 73% of Australians use the internet to research health issues. That means that clients considering breast enhancements, lip fillers or rhinoplasty are typing those terms into Google.
If you’re running Google Ads on those topics, you’ll appear right at the top of their search results. And, thanks to ad retargeting, your ad will follow them around the internet, regularly reminding them of your skills and services.
Paid search is a cost-effective strategy because you can hone in on a tightly defined target audience and you only pay when someone clicks your ad.
Tip: Think about which keywords a prospective patient might type into Google if they were looking for your services then consider running ads on those topics.
3. SEO & local SEO
Search engine optimisation involves making many careful improvements to your website to improve your Google rankings.
Google tries to match its search results to a user’s search intent. If someone types in ‘dermal fillers’, Google could provide them with potentially thousands of search results about the chemical composition of dermal fillers, the history of their use or philosophical arguments for and against cosmetic procedures.
But it doesn’t. It rightly assumes that they’re most likely interested in finding a nearby provider of dermal fillers and so displays paid ads for dermal fillers followed by a listing of nearby clinics that offer the service.
If you want to be on that list, you need to:
- Create a clear contact page on your website that states your location, phone number and email address
- Establish a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) (and answer every question they ask)
- Creating pages on your site about each of the services you offer
- Writing content that addresses your clients’ likely questions (see content marketing below).
Tip: Establish your Google Business Profile account now.
4. Social media marketing
How you handle social media marketing depends on whether you’re a registered health professional. If you are registered with AHPRA, then your social media marketing (indeed, all your marketing) must comply with their regulations on advertising health services. For others, you may need to comply with an ethics committee or your regulatory body.
Done well, though, social media marketing is a powerful way to grow your practice. You can showcase (anonymised) before and after photos, explain different procedures, share your expertise, and establish your capability and credibility.
There are numerous social media channels. The right one(s) depend on your audience. If you’re marketing to referring doctors, then use LinkedIn. If you’re targeting clients, think Facebook or Instagram.
On social media, you can post a mix of organic and paid content, helping you reach a wider audience.
Social media marketing, especially when coupled with other marketing tools, can:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Create positive perceptions of your brand
- Cultivate loyal followers
- Improve awareness of your brand
- Provide you with valuable data about your audience’s interests and behaviours
- Prove to be a highly targeted, cost-effective form of advertising.
Tip: Create a Facebook page, Instagram feed or LinkedIn page for your practice and regularly post content that engages your audience, complies with AHPRA regulations, and drives people back to your website.
5. Content marketing
Content marketing builds a connection with your audience. They’re interested in your services and want to know more. You have years of training and experience here and are perfectly positioned to offer information, advice and reassurance.
When you’re with a client in a face-to-face consultation, you do this quite naturally. They present with symptoms or difficulties, you suggest solutions. They ask questions, you answer. They wonder what to do and you outline options.
Content marketing is the art of transferring that interaction to the online space and turning it into blogs, videos or downloadable resources that clients can access 24/7.
Tip: Reflect on some of the conversations you had with clients this week, then jot down some ideas for blogs and start writing.
No matter how closely you follow these tips, you won’t see results overnight.
However, if you market your aesthetic clinic consistently over a few months, you will see increasing numbers of clients booking in. You’ll stop biting your nails in a panic over your cash flow and will start to experience a wonderful state of contentment in your practice as you treat a steady stream of new clients.
Who knows? In time, you may even start to wonder how to keep up with demand! That would be a wonderful outcome of marketing your aesthetic clinic.