If you’re looking at getting serious about your practice’s digital marketing, you’ve got the right idea. It’s a smart move to ensure your practice’s continued success in the competitive medical aesthetics landscape.
But figuring out how to make the most of all the digital marketing strategies out there can be overwhelming—especially when it comes to figuring out what’s most relevant to plastic surgeons.
Our introduction to digital marketing untangles the most basic things you need to know to get started with digital marketing.
Let’s dive in!
Put simply: Digital marketing is the promotion of your brand and services using digital channels.
It runs the gamut from robust social media ad campaigns to brief, story-based emails for your newsletter subscribers. Ultimately, the goal of online marketing is to use the power of the internet to bring more patients to your plastic surgery practice—and keep the existing ones coming back.
Here are 5 of the most important ways digital marketing can give your plastic surgery business an edge.
Unlike print ads and billboards, the connection potential patients experience with your digital content and ads often happens in real-time. You put up a post, send an email, or host a live event, and you reach your audience in that moment.
This also makes it easier (and quicker) to measure your engagement and lead generation from your marketing efforts (but more on that in a moment).
Returning to the print ad (or billboard) example, only a small fraction of the people seeing that (often quite expensive) advertising effort actually belong to the group you’re hoping to reach: your ideal patients.
The technology behind online marketing allows you to get super specific about who sees your marketing efforts—whether it’s through tailoring the demographic information for your targeted ads or through asking interested leads to self-identify when they sign up for your email list.
That way, you can connect even more to your ideal audience, not worrying about appealing to the broad, general public.
The wealth of metrics you can geather and analysis you can do with digital marketing is astounding. You can really get nerdy with it.
But most importantly, you can use that data to tailor your future marketing efforts. This feedback loop makes your marketing much more effective at connecting to your ideal audience—and turning them into patients.
For example, say you’re running an email campaign promoting a new service your practice is launching. You have a sequence of emails specific to the offer, so now it’s time to send them out and hope for the best, right? Not quite!
Not only do you want to gather the data from your email campaign (i.e., your open rate, click-through-rate, resulting bookings), but you want to create variables to experiment with. When you A/B test your subject lines, your preheader, using text versus image links, you’ll get fantastic data not just for how your audience responds to this particular offer, but how they respond to aspects of your email marketing strategy overall. That data will then help you customize your future emails to your audience’s behavior.
The wonderful thing about the many different types of digital marketing channels is that there is an effective approach for you—regardless of what your budget may be.
If you have a newer, small practice, it may be intimidating to think about launching into pricier PPC campaigns right away. But investing in an email software subscription or social media management can also take you a long way for a lower price point.
Of course, digital marketing is still an investment (of time and money), but the many cost-effective options and flexibility makes it a no-brainer to give it a shot.
You may be surprised by how much your practice can grow when you just get started with concerted digital marketing efforts.
This one is so important. As a plastic surgeon, patient education is a huge part of your job. You need to assuage your patients’ concerns and make sure they understand their options before deciding on a procedure.
But traditionally, you wouldn’t be able to do patient education before they stepped into your plastic surgery clinic. With digital marketing, you can begin providing authoritative, accessible, and even entertaining patient education to prospective patients before they decide to book a consultation.
Here are a few idea for how you can use engaging educational content in your plastic surgery digital marketing strategy:
And an added bonus: Getting their plastic surgery knowledge from you helps patients begin to trust you. Before you even know their names.
You may be asking yourself: “So what digital marketing strategies do plastic surgeons like me actually use?”
As a medical marketing agency, we’ve seen them all, but there are definitely a few that come up for most practices we speak to.
Here are some common examples of digital marketing used by plastic surgeons:
A beautiful website design can do a lot for your ideal patients’ trust in your practice. And when you infuse it with plastic surgery-relevant SEO strategy and conversion-oriented medical copywriting, it brings those leads to you and entices them to book. And the best part: once you’ve set up your website and created an ongoing SEO plan, the momentum of your web presence and SEO work for you in the background, without you having to put in too much continuous effort.
An email newsletter is one of the most bulletproof digital marketing strategies available to plastic surgeons. That’s because you have a lot more freedom and control with your email list—your account won’t be arbitrarily banned or subjected to algorithm changes and you don’t have to worry about the myriad content rules you need to keep in mind with paid ads. That’s not to say you can send whatever to your email list—you need to be strategic, engaging, and experimental with A/B testing to keep those leads opening and engaging with your emails.
A pay-per-click (PPC) campaign strategy allows you to find your audience where they already spend time online—like social media or Google. A solid PPC campaign brings your offer to that audience a few times, building familiarity and drawing them in based on demographic information you’ve outlined about them. It also allows you to bring your audience hyper-relevant offers based on the content and search terms they’re already looking for, ensuring your ads are being shown only to the most relevant audience.
We’ve talked about the value of entertaining, educational content in plastic surgery digital marketing. One of the best places to easily disseminate that content (and have a lot of fun with it) is on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to start learning dance trends.
Clearly, there are a lot of different ways to effectively take advantage of online advertising as a plastic surgeon. There’s an approach for each person—and practice.
But that doesn’t mean you need to rush to implement them all.
Ultimately, the best digital marketing approach for your plastic surgery practice is:
The key to digital marketing success is consistency and experimentation. That means making sure you stick to your chosen strategy and see it through, not jumping around and half-heartedly trying each idea or trend out there. If your practice doesn’t have the capacity to launch a full-scale PPC campaign or host a live event on Instagram, don’t worry about it for now. Focus on what you can do well and prioritize your sustainable growth.
If you have a very engaged email list and you don’t think your ideal patients are on TikTok, you don’t need to try every marketing channel out there. When you see what’s working, keep honing your strategy and bringing your audience more of what they respond to.
Once you’ve chosen a digital marketing approach to start your online advertising journey, there are some important best practices to implement. Here are a few that are especially important for plastic surgeons to keep in mind.
We’ve already covered that one of digital marketing’s biggest benefits is how robust and quick your ability to analyze your efforts’ success is.
But to really ensure your marketing campaign works for your plastic surgery practice, you need to commit to analyzing your metrics and adjusting your efforts in the long term.
Digital marketing is a long road. Think of your metrics as your road signs.
This one seems obvious, but we’re still shocked with how many plastic surgeons use boring stock photos and videos in their campaigns and on their websites.
If that’s you right now, there’s no reason to be ashamed! Many people are doing it. But that’s exactly why high-quality visual content production can be so effective in your digital marketing toolbox. It helps you stand out from the crowd—and that’s essential in this competitive field.
Whether it’s setting up a referral program with other medical aesthetics professionals in your area or trying out influencer marketing, some of the best ways to use digital marketing as a plastic surgeon is to work with others.
Healthcare is a business founded on trust, and when it comes to plastic surgery, trust is a huge part of why your patients choose you. Being referred to you from a trusted source like an online personality or other provider is a fantastic way to start building trust with a prospective patient before they even meet you.
Taking that collaborative spirit a step further…
Partnering with a medical marketing agency ensures that your practice’s digital marketing gets done (and done well).
Whether you need help with your paid advertising or SEO, delegating your digital marketing lets you focus on what you do best—treating your patients—while your marketing campaigns bring more of them to your doors.
Now that you understand why digital marketing is essential to growing a plastic surgery practice in an increasingly competitive market, let’s talk about next steps.
You deserve to work with a plastic surgery marketing agency that understands your industry and can help you book more of your ideal patients. So you (and your staff) can get back to doing what you do best: serving those patients.
So, give us a shout. We’ll show you just how much your practice can grow with effective digital marketing.