December is a great time to start planning out your online marketing strategy for 2014. Over the past year or two Google has evolved quite a bit, focusing on improving the user experience by weeding out low quality links and websites.
Review sites and social media interaction are more important that ever, as they facilitate the connection between your practice and new patients. More importantly, they help patients to get to know, like, and trust your practice. The “know, like, trust” model isn’t new by any means, but the method in which we encourage these attributes is evolving, and this is influencing the way cosmetic practice market themselves.
Here are several important strategies to work into your marketing plan for 2014:
1) Quality, consistent blogging: This is something that we’ve harped on for years, and we’ll continue to do so! Here are some tips for writing great blog articles.
2) Be active on Real Self and other related communities: It’s not enough to just be posting on your own blog. Get active on other websites, especially industry-specific sites where patients are looking for your services. Real Self is great because it’s not only a forum for open Q&A with patients, but it’s also a review site.
- send patients an email asking for a review
- utilize software that automatically follows up with patients after they come in
- give patients a postcard with details for reviewing you as they’re leaving the office
- ask for reviews after their treatment or post-surgery follow up
4) Shoot video testimonials: One of the most valuable yet underutilized marketing tactics used by cosmetic practices. Something about seeing a patient discuss their experience provides instant credibility. Perhaps because it really cannot be faked (unless you hire actors and feed them a script). Similar to your approach with reviews, ask patients if they’re comfortable with being filmed to discuss their experience. Here are some tips for optimizing your videos to get them to rank highly.
5) Get social: You may not personally be a big Fan (no pun intended) of Facebook, but there’s still value in being active on the social network. According to Wikipedia, 68% of Internet users use Facebook. Many of these people are active daily. It’s a great way to interact with patients socially, so they can get to know you and your staff better. Put some personality behind your brand. To maximize your exposure and engagement on Facebook, here are some tips…
- send patients an email asking for a “like” and give them an incentive
- post engaging content: trivia questions, short videos, giveaways, encourage questions, give shout-outs to patients
- ask patients if you can share their before & after photos or video
- run contests
- highlight your community and charity work
*Also, if you’re Facebook presence is running on all cylinders then focus on beefing up your Google+ presence, not only for the doctor, but also for the practice. Grow the amount of posting, comments and circles you’re involved in on a weekly basis.
6) Claim your Authorship: If you haven’t claimed your Google Authorship yet, do so ASAP. It will significantly enhance your search engine listings.
7) Experiment with (re)-targeted ads: Unlike traditional search engine advertising which shows ads to users based on queries, re-targeting will show ads to those who’ve been to your website. Therefore, they’re already pre-qualified or they’ve shown some interest in your practice or services. Also, these are banner ads, so inevitably they’re more visually appealing than basic text ads.
You can also set up re-targeting with Facebook ads. Unlike traditional re-targeting, which is triggered when a cookie is dropped into the browser of a visitor after they’ve been to your website, you can set up Facebook ads to show up for users who “like” a specific Fan page. With advertising constantly evolving, it’s worth running several campaigns to test how effective they can be for reaching new patients.
The key with nearly all of these strategies is that they cannot be completely outsourced. It’s impossible for anyone or any agency to replicate your practice’s personality without feedback from the doctor or staff member. Any truly successful marketing approach in 2014 will depend on communication between your practice and your medical marketing agency.
If you have any more suggestions or predictions for 2014 we’d love to hear them. Just leave us a comment below. If you’d like to learn more about improving your practice’s marketing in 2014 just leave Turbo a message here, or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.