Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons Marketing Guide:
Top Six Marketing Tips to Boost Your Business in 2010
Presented by Sherry Azzarella, Awesome Medical Marketing
Forward Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons need to market their practices. As a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, you work normal business hours, but wouldnâ€™t it be nice if your business was marketing itself while you and your staff are on vacation or out of the office? Today, there are a myriad of ways to affordably market your practice. The days of traditional marketing, print advertising, and expensive radio and television advertising are changing. Mass media and marketing options have changed. It takes more than public relations and relying on referrals, too. When it comes to online marketing, just having a web site is not enough. But as a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, your website should be very attractive and have a lot of images and features. After all, your URL is the face of your practice or clinic. Thousands of prospective patients are looking for you and your services, via the web. When they get to your site or see the fruits of your marketing efforts, they should be impressed. If they are not, inevitably, they will go to your competitors. Your web site and Online presence has to be strong and your practice needs to be visible. SEO strategies and search engines are not the only way to attract prospective patients to your website and clinic, either. This guide is meant to offer viable solutions for cosmetic and plastic surgeons to successfully market their clinics and offices, through various marketing formats and channels - to attract new patients and gain global visibility. Read and enjoy. Remember, your Awesome Medical Marketing Team is here to support you and offer solutions.
Contents 1. Main Attraction: Your Website
2. Web Directories, Link-Building Sites and Listings
3. Amplify Your Business, Via Next Generation PR
4. Social Media: Your Friend and A Key Factor to Success
5. Email Marketing, Newsletters, Campaigns, Broadcats
6. The Power of Viral Videos and You Tube
4 For starters â€“ As a Cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon How Attractive is Your Website!
The truth of the matter is that Google dictates online marketing trends and search engine rankings. Since the institution of Google Caffiene, an updated search engine version, your ranking may change, if you rank at all. Yahoo and Bing matter too, obviously. But first and foremost, if you are a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, your web site should reflect the image you want to project. Every day thousands of prospective patients are looking for you and your services. If you are a cosmetic or plastic surgeon that has a web site that could use a facelift, then you may have issues attracting patients looking for the right surgeon to improve the image of the end user. The best online marketing investment you can make is on your web site. The quality of your branding, content, images and design elements compel consumers.
5 Search Engine Optimization, key words and meta-tags make a big difference in your ranking. Adding features like video links, articles, news, updates and other content can add to your online visibility. Awesome Medical Marketing began building web sites years ago and we have a proven track record for ranking web sites, directories and guides. Our expertise was built upon learning what elements and web programming strategies make a successful web site. Our team of marketing professionals and experts can help you build your online presence by signing you up as a featured surgeon on our top-ranking web directories and guides and by offering your advice about your web site.
6 Vertical Web Directories, Link-Building Sites and Listing Management
For every vertical market, there are many online directories guides that specifically target people using search engines to locate products and services. The Yellow Pages used to let our fingers do the walking, but now more than 80% of your business should be coming from people searching online. It takes a lot of infrastructure to make sure people can find you. Search Engine Optimization requires constant attention, the right key words – the ones that consumers are actually using to find you and the procedures you offer.
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One of the best investments any cosmetic or plastic surgeon can make is in online web directories and guides. High ranking, informative web directories and guides attract prospective patients to you and your practice if you are a listed physician or surgeon. Just one patient lead can pay for your annual listing on one or several ranking guides. Just imagine if you received 50 viable leads in less than a year? The best way for patients to find you on the Internet is to be “everywhere.”
7 Dr. William Hall, Founder of Infini Cosmetic Associates in Scottsdale, Arizona made considerable investments in Internet marketing six years ago. Those investments paid off, ten-fold. Within one year, his practice took off and now he is one of the most visible cosmetic surgeons in the industry. Hallâ€™s strategy was simple: to take a majority of his marketing budget and invest in online web directories and guides, and to rank his web sites at the top of every search engine. Now, more than 90% of his business comes from his online investment and presence. Dr. Hall is one of hundreds of cosmetic and plastic surgeons that made the right decision to invest in web directories marketing as a part of his monthly strategy. As a featured surgeon on ten Awesome Medical Marketing web guides and directories, Dr. Hall was able to dominate in the Liposuction market and industry â€“ and increase his business, exponentially. Take advantage of special package offers and deals with Awesome Medical Marketing directories and guides, created specifically for cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery procedures. You can select specific guides to fit the procedures you offer. Purchase listings on several Awesome Medical Marketing cosmetic and plastic surgery guides and gain economies of scale and ranking, over night.
8 Amplify Your Business Via Next Generation PR - Publicity and Getting the Word Out! Public relations can be one of the least expensive ways to market your practice and get added publicity in print and online. As a plastic or cosmetic surgeon, it is in your best interest to share â€œcutting-edgeâ€? techniques, new procedures and patient transformation stories. Think about different ways to engage audiences and the media and then release it. There are many online free and subscription-based news distributors. Just search the Web and you can find many tips for writing a press release or contacting your local media representatives. Just make sure that your content is relevant and of interest in the industry or to the audience you are targeting.
9 There are other PR platforms that have more features, like adding SEO to your release. PR Web charges for their PR services, but they offer a lot of extras that will help you prepare press releases, target audiences, distribute, monitor and measure your PR. For example, PR Web charges between $80 â€“ $360 for their Standard, SEO and Media packages, which allow you to upgrade if you want to do more than submit a basic release. You can add key word search terms for their SEO package or imbed a You Tube video with their multi Media package. Visit PR Webâ€™s site at PRWEB.com for tips and tools. In addition, do not shy away from picking up the phone and calling or emailing your local media representatives who are always on the look-out for timely, seasonal stories. Perhaps you have a new procedure, or technique that is an improvement in the industry. You may also have six great summer tips, five top celebrity makeover procedures or three pre-swimsuit season specials. The more patients you have willing to go on record, the better. Happy patient testimonials improve your credibility and image in the media.
Social Media is a Key Factor to Success and it is Free!
When social media was first introduced, it was a big concept for a lot of professionals to wrap their heads around. Now, it just makes good common sense (and cents) to invest in building your online presence with social media tools, such as: Facebook, Twitter and the like. Obviously, Facebook and Twitter are the most popular. It is simple, just create a professional Facebook and Twitter account for your cosmetic or plastic surgery practice. You can also assign a staff member to handle your social media needs. It requires daily monitoring, depending on how many social media tools you decide to implement. Besides, why not jump on the social media train … it’s free! You would be surprised how many people are proficient in using such online applications. It is worth the time and here is why. Twitter: What is twitter? Twitter is one of the fastest ways to connect and grow your cosmetic or plastic surgery practice for FREE. It is a free social networking and microblogging service which enables you and your staff to broadcast short messages (limited to just 140 characters) to your collective list of followers in real-time. Just visit Twitter.com and see if the name of your clinic or a similar name that represents your practice or brand is available. Select the name, pick a password and sign up. Once you create your account, you can customize your page. After creating your Twitter account, find people to follow and create a sign up sheet at your clinic to have patients and people follow you. This is the way you build your Twitter presence and increase your Twitter follower-base. After that, it is as simple as 1,2,3 – start posting seasonal specials, tips, open-house announcements, scheduled demos, video links, blog update links, and links to your site or cosmetic and plastic surgery news updates. As a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, you may want to follow groups, associations and medical entities to get industry updates.
11 SOCIAL MEDIA
Also, don’t forget the media. Follow local media reps covering the health and medical industry. Follow fashion and celebrity magazines, too. The more the merrier. Hopefully, your information will be compelling enough that they follow you! Facebook: Facebook is now a house-hold name almost as widely known as Google. The Internet platform is a free social networking site specifically designed for users to create profiles and connect with people and friends to send messages and post photos and information. Facebook has grown immensely in popularity since it launched in 2004. It started out as a unique social networking tool for friends and family to connect and has grown to be a more popular site for businesses and professionals to attract business associates and “fans” to promote their profile and brand. Here are some impressive facts about Facebook: • Over 120 million active users • Adding 250,000 new users each day since January of 2007 • Fourth most trafficked website • Most visited social media site • Top Social Search Engine • More than 55,000 networks
12 Hereâ€™s How to Get Started: Again, signing up for Facebook is simple. If you have a personal Facebook account, you need to use a separate email address to create a professional profile for your cosmetic or plastic surgery practice. Once you visit Facebook.com and sign up, then create your business profile, using the name of your practice or clinic. You can post information about your practice, photos, your website and much more. Connect and build your fan-base by having clients and patients become fans. Some other features include: event invitations, discussion groups and forums. Have your office staff include a sign up sheet for your social media sites and email campaigns when they visit your offices. Linked in and Plaxo: If you have not already signed up for Linked in or Plaxo, visit their sites: Linkedin.com and Plaxo.com to sign up and create your professional profile. Your profile will look more like a professional resume.
13 These platforms are more business oriented social networking sites. They are a good way to connect with colleagues, professionals and business associates, clients and build a stronger network of contacts. They are also a great way to get involved with forums and discussion groups based upon topics. As a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, you may want to start a discussion group or forum to share best practices and expertise, discuss new technologies and procedures, get feedback on manufacturers or find out new marketing strategies that work. These are great networks to share knowledge, ideas and opportunities.
14 To Blog or Not to Blog â€Ś that is the question? Blogs are great, if you have a lot to say on a consistent basis. Wordpress and Blogger are both free if you sign up for a basic blog. If you sign up with Blogger, you need to have a Google Gmail account, because it is a Google tool. Hereâ€™s How to Get Started: Signing up is simple. You visit either Wordpress.com or Blogger.com (or any other free blog site) and sign up using your email address. See if your business name or the related name of your choosing is available. Make sure the name is relevant to the content and topics you will be writing about. Once you sign up, you can pick a template or customize your own. After you set up your account and blog, share your thoughts and knowledge with the world. Here is another option. You may have your web master create a link from your web-site directly to a blog application or a blog account, so it will be a part of your existing web site. This can be good for your ranking, because the more you update your blog, the more Google and other search engines recognize that your site content is changing. Search engines like new content. They actually seek it out. But, there are three potential set backs to having a blog, such as: 1. It can be time consuming. Do you have the time to post a new blog once a week? If you do not, you may want to think about it. Also, many people hire a social media person or ghost writer to write the blog content, but make sure you read the content carefully before submitting and posting, because your name and reputation depend on it. 2. Blogs are a great way to express your thoughts and share your knowledge and expertise, but make sure that as a physician, cosmetic or plastic surgeon, your blog posts are grammatically correct and articulate. People with titles, such as Dr. create a certain expectation from the audience. Once you put yourself out there in this format, people formulate opinions about you too. Make sure you are projecting a professional image and sharing the right information or you could potentially damage your reputation, partnerships or affiliations.
15 3. Make sure to select the settings that allow for you to enable or disable comments posted to your blog. It can be time consuming to comment and check for comments. Moderating a blog can be tedious. Honestly, some people don’t’ have anything nice to say, and you do not want inappropriate comments posted to your blog. An alternative to having your own blog is to join discussion groups and forums that allow you to share your professional opinion or post comments to other people’s blogs – without having to actually manage it – or hire someone else to manage it. It always helps to ask you professional peers about blogs and if they incorporate them into their web activity. In addition, it always helps to check out your competition and see what they are doing to gauge your interest in such an endeavor.
16 Email Marketing, Newsletters, Campaigns, Broadcasts, Services and Tools
Email marketing is a very popular way to reach your targeted audiences with information specific to your cosmetic or plastic surgery practice. Email marketing has been around for some time, so it is an older form of B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-toconsumer) marketing. Email marketing can be a very effective way to communicate messages and send newsletters, updates, specials and coupons to lists and databases of professionals, clients and patients. Now there are many software programs, tools and services to improve and measure your email marketing effectiveness and open rates. You may want to check out Top Ten Reviews of email marketing services before making any changes to your current system if you are thinking about changing or switching to improve your ROI. Visit Toptenreviews.com and look under email marketing services to get reviews on what is out there in the market before making a choice.
17 Some of the most important factors to consider with email marketing are as follows: 1. Permission based “bulk” email blasts are not optional. You must abide by the rules. Make sure the your databases and email lists are “permission or subscriber-based” lists before loading and sending “bulk” digital media, broadcast emails, newsletters or email marketing campaigns to groups of 20 or more. The SPAM rules have changed, so sending unsolicited, bulk email broadcasts can have ramifications on your network, email accounts and your reputation. The way to avoid this is to have an email sign up sheet for people who are interested in receiving what you send. Also, have a form on the front page of your web site, asking visitors to subscribe and receive email notifications and updates from your business or practice. In addition, when you send an email, make sure that recipients can opt-in and opt-out. Follow these rules to avoid the dreaded blacklists and minimize complaints to the SPAM authorities. 2. Do not abuse the right to send. It is best not to send more than one email broadcast or eNewsletter a week. If you over-send, people will opt out and block your emails. Schedule your emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are the best days to send, depending on the time zone, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are good times for recipients. 3. Clean up your data! Make sure to go through your email databases and remove duplicate emails. If you subscribe to a service, check your reports and remove bad emails and addresses that bounce more than once. It always helps to call the recipients if you have their contact information to update their records and see if any email addresses have changed. This builds rapport and respect for your business. 4. Subject and content quality over quantity – you have five seconds to make an impression. Keep in mind that the people on the receiving end of your email are BUSY. If you make it past their psychographic make-up with your subject line, then the content of the email better be good. The quality of the email message or newsletter will stick. If you have good, relevant content, information and offers, people will want to receive your emails. If you have bad content AND you send too many bad messages, recipients will opt out and block future emails from your account. 5. Formatting and design elements matter. Make sure your email templates are nicely designed and that your logo and brand are nicely positioned. If you use graphics or a service, make sure to create the emails and templates using the proper HTML coding and layout so viewers can open, preview and see the entire email.
18 6. Terminologies and links dictate open rates. Remember these three golden rules: Subject lines must be compelling to the audience (not you, remember, marketing from your perspective can be inverted, think of the people on the other end); using words like “click here,” “promotional offer” and “limited time” can trigger the delete option – and SPAM filters, sending your email straight to the “Junk” folder; and lastly, make sure that links and attachments work before you push the send button, faulty links and attachments only tease an interested audience and frustrate potential clients if the links are broken or if they default.
19 Hereâ€™s How to Get Started: There are many services out there, like Constant Contact, Silverpop, Hubspot, Emarketer, Bronto, InfusionSoft and Lyris that can help you grow your business. The question is do you have the budget and the team to manage the systems? Many of them now incorporate social media marketing as well. If you do not have an email marketing solution, Constant Contact has a FREE 60 day trial offer that requires no risk or credit card commitment on the front-end. Visit Constantcontact.com to learn more and sign up. The interface software is simple to use and they also have survey tools and other email and newsletter marketing services. For your free trial, just sign up and create your account, upload pictures for your template, upload your vertical, permission-based databases and create your templates. In addition, you can add survey features. Email marketing can boost your business and ROI if you follow the rules and develop decent campaigns that help you build your brand and deliver quality emails and newsletters promoting your cosmetic or plastic surgery practice.
20 The Power of Viral Videos: Broadcast your Business on You Tube – Get your Own Channel
Cosmetic and plastic surgery success depends upon imagery. People want to see what they are going to get from their investment. The most successful cosmetic and plastic surgeons post videos to their sites and create YouTube accounts and channels. It does not take much to shoot a four minute video and post it to your site. As a surgeon, it will help you. Videos attract search engines, especially now that Google owns YouTube. Having your own YouTube channel is a great way to add exposure for your cosmetic or plastic surgery practice or clinic. When prospective patients search the Internet for surgeons, they look for videos that feature specific surgeries and techniques that interest them.
Cosmetic and plastic surgeries are a large investment for most people. Since they cannot “test drive” the vehicle, they want the closest thing, which is to view the outcome of the surgical techniques via videos. As a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, chances are, a prospective patient may select your competitor in your area over you if he or she features video links that show the empirical fruits of their surgical talents and labor. In addition, if you subscribe to online web directories or guides, YouTube channels and videos enhance your profile and compel visitors to click on your listing over your competitors.
21 Most prospective patients are interested in seeing video profiles of the surgeon, surgical procedures and patient testimonials. Keep in mind that most prospective patients want to see the positive images. Patients want to see an introductory video from the surgeon in addition to video galleries of specific cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures. Keep in mind that many patients do not want to see too much. They can be turned off or scared by a lot of blood or too many incisions. Finally, patients love to see other patient outcomes and favorable testimonials, so they can develop an idea of their own experience at your clinic. Hereâ€™s How to Get Started: To create your YouTube account, visit Youtube.com to set up an account. If you have a Google or Gmail account, you may use your Google or Gmail address to create a YouTube channel account. Your Google account, password and information may already be pre-populated in your browser, which will make the process easier, depending on your browser (Firefox, Explorer or Chrome, for example). The browser set up depends on whether you are using a Mac or a PC. Be sure to select the right option upon set up. You can also visit Google to learn how to upload videos and customize your YouTube Channel account.
22 In closing, the Internet is a dynamic, ever-changing entity. The rules of ranking can be won with content. As a cosmetic or plastic surgeon, like any other business, keep in mind â€Ś content is king! Content is dynamic and the demographic demands vary, so the more dynamic, informative content you have in various formats will dictate your online marketing success.
From our team at Awesome Medical Marketing to yours, thank you for sharing your valuable time. We wish you the greatest success! Please contact one of our Awesome Medical Marketing professionals to assist you with your cosmetic and plastic surgery marketing needs at 800-960-0094.