Cast a Wide Net
A novel concept is knowing that a successful marketing strategy requires a plan. Remember, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
Do you want to market to your existing patient base who may not have been back for a while, or do you want to recruit new patients?
Get creative in your internal e-mail campaigns with informative and compelling reasons to keep your existing patients engaged and not possibly going elsewhere. You've already spent the money to bring them in, so why not spend the money to keep them?
Your website is your biggest form of advertising for prospective patients. Patient engagement time is limited here, so appeal to the masses with a specific campaign and not to a limited audience. If your practice is gender specific, then market to that gender, otherwise focus on your most profitable procedures or newest laser.
Use social media to your advantage. Use influencers and bloggers to get your message across via multiple platforms (eg, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, podcasts, etc.).
Pay-per-click campaigns have taken a 180-degree turn and now leads organic SEO marketing for better placement on the web. Create a budget, monitor it, and alter where necessary. Host a local event, and reward your patient attendees with a wonderful gift if they bring a friend. Try to have your vendors assist in defraying expenses, and promote your retail products.
Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC XII
• Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC XII is the founder and managing partner of Shorr Solutions, assisting medical practices with the operational, financial, and administrative health of their business. He is also a professional motivational speaker, an advisor to the Certified Aesthetic Consultant Program, and a certified medical business manager from Florida Atlantic University.
Mara Shorr, BS, CAC XII
• Mara Shorr, BS, CAC XII, serves as partner and vice president of marketing and business development for Shorr Solutions. She is level II-XI certified aesthetic consultant, utilizing her knowledge and experience to help clients achieve their potential. She is also a national speaker and writer.
Content is King
Effective digital marketing requires a long-term investment in search engine optimization (SEO) and website maintenance. Expect to pay between $1,000 to $2,500 per month for these services depending on your market, competitive landscape, surgical specialty, and target procedures.
In addition to this long-term investment, there are a number of short-term investments that will provide immediate return. Here is how to effectively invest $10,000 or less for the year.
Ensure all specialties and new procedures are outlined on your website and explained in your own words. New content can help to quickly generate patients as they become more educated about the new treatment options. If you are one of the few practices in the area offering a new procedure, placing a new page online will also reap SEO benefits for this procedure or technology. Expect to pay $350 to $500 per page to write, post online, and optimize new content.
Sponsored advertising on the search engines and Facebook as the main revenue drivers for the practice can generate immediate patient volume. Effective Google PPC ad campaigns can be implemented for $1,000 to $5,000 per month depending on the market and target procedures. Facebook can generate new patients for as little as $500 to $1,000 per month. The beauty of these campaigns is that you can establish the budget and turn them on or off at will. A two-month campaign for a wide range of procedures can cost $5,000 per month, or targeting one procedure for five months can cost $2,000 per month.
Increased digital footprint on third-party sites that attract your target audience will create wider brand recognition, improve strength of citations, drive more traffic to your website, and generate patient leads. Expect to pay $1,500 to $5,000 per year for a profile listing on an effective site.
David Evans, PhD, MBA
• David Evans, PhD, MBA is CEO of Ceatus Media Group, based in San Diego. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conduct a Digital Marketing Audit
For $10,000, the best ROI is from an investment in boosting your digital presence. Start by doing a comprehensive digital marketing audit to determine where you are, what is working, and what needs more attention. Measure the results you are getting across all channels. Take a good hard look at your website and how it is performing. All websites require frequent updates and overhauls to keep them current and fresh. When was the last time you added new content? Is there enough content on every treatment offered in your practice? Is your blog being kept up effectively with timely content?
Next, monitor your ratings and reviews on every site that matters to your practice and make sure to implement a strategy to generate more positive reviews.
Review all your social media activity and engagement per channel and consider branching out and expand your reach. For instance, are you doing Facebook Live and Instagram Stories to connect with followers?
Determine where your new patients and leads are coming from and devote more of your budget toward enhancing those tactics. For example, if you plan to add a new piece of capital equipment, design a plan to leverage this new range of treatments to generate interest among current patients and attract new ones. Lastly, consider designating a marketing director to manage your digital platform and content strategy and take it to the next level in 2018.
• Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & CO Ltd, a marketing and social media boutique in New York City, and Founder/Editor-in-Chief of beautyinthebag.com. Reach her at WL@wendylewisco.com.