Marketing for Plastic Surgeons: A Complete Guide

Table of Contents

MARKETING FOR PLASTIC SURGEONS: A COMPLETE GUIDE

Introduction to Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

According to a plastic surgery statistics report by American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 15.6 million patients underwent cosmetic procedures and 6.8 million people underwent reconstructive procedures in 2020, proving that plastic surgery is a prominent market amongst other medical professions. In order to acquire new patients or retain the old ones, a practice has to focus on marketing for plastic surgeons to thrive in today’s competitive market.

Potential patients and their expectations

Before coming up with strategies for marketing for plastic surgeons, it is important to understand the demographic that avails these services. In the aforementioned report, it was found that 92% of clients, who underwent cosmetic procedures, were women, and 45% of cosmetic surgeries were carried out on the age group of 40-54 year olds. In 2020, 4,401,536 patients (majority were women) went for Botox, a cosmetic minimally-invasive procedure, which is used to treat wrinkles. This showcases that strategies with respect to marketing for plastic surgeons should primarily target middle-aged women as prospective patients. 

Google trend analysis has also shown that celebrity culture has deeply influenced public interest in cosmetic surgery. Women around the world want to look aesthetically pleasing by choosing to undergo procedures like breast augmentation, lip filling and butt enhancement. Certain celebrities have also normalized gender reassignment surgeries, and mastectomy in case of breast cancer. Thus, a plastic surgery practice should promote their services by keeping such patients in mind.

Men opting for hair transplant, and breast reduction surgeries form another category to target for marketing for plastic surgeons. Besides promoting cosmetic procedures, plastic surgery practices should focus on patients who require reconstruction surgeries to correct accidental impairments or congenital defects.

Since marketing for plastic surgeons essentially involves digital marketing, a practice must expect their prospective patients to obtain their information from the internet. Millennials are at the forefront when it comes to choosing a service provider based on online reviews.  Another demographic to tap into are influencers, who require cosmetic surgeries or minimally-invasive procedures to look more pleasing on social media. Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms are also influencing patients to undergo cosmetic procedures to look more attractive as claimed by 42% of plastic surgeons, according to a 2017 survey by American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Some patients come in with an expectation to transform themselves according to the latest beauty standard while others want to reclaim functionality of their bodies. A plastic surgeon should aim at acquiring all kinds of patients, however it is imperative to present the real outcomes of these surgeries and inform the patients about possible complications.

Strategies and possible shortcomings

Reaching out to a prospective patient requires implementation of comprehensive strategies. As more and more users seek  information about plastic surgery, your offline as well as online presence becomes a deal maker or breaker for your practice. Therefore, devising a detailed plan keeping in mind the possible shortcomings becomes crucial for marketing plastic surgery. The following strategies pertaining to marketing for plastic surgeons should be implemented;

  • Online Strategies
    • Create a brand

Any successful organization in today’s world stands apart from the others simply in terms of their brand image. Carving out an identity to establish your own individual brand creates a trust between your practice and potential patients as branding helps in raising you above your competitors. Since plastic surgery is essentially sought out by image conscious people, they would like to be associated with a brand image that is well-recognized. Brand messaging is an important tool in creating your brand. 

Your practice’s fundamentals must be conveyed to your target audience, emphasizing your services and procedures in order to send out a message why prospective patients should choose your services. The message has to be relayed in simple, persuasive language instead of using medical jargon. The brand message can also be conveyed via visuals, so one must ensure that the images being used can easily be attributed to your brand. Along with online visuals, brand logo and your office’s interior design can influence patients to associate with your brand.

    • Create a website

Marketing for plastic surgeons begins with having an impressionable and informative website. Since plastic surgery involves complex procedures, while choosing a service a potential patient will seek as much information as possible. Availability of resources such as description, images and videos about different procedures will lure more patients to your website. Since your prospects want to feel more comfortable and safe about opting for such procedures, including before-and-after images, showcasing aesthetic transformation or functional reconstruction will compel them to sign up with your practice.

Your website is a window to what’s in store for your patients. 70% of ASPS young plastic surgeons use websites for digital marketing. It is recommended to include information about the plastic surgeon(s), who would be performing the procedures to make it easy for the prospective patients to choose your practice. The website should be regularly updated with the latest information and SEO-based content should be used to drive more traffic to your webpages. Website design – simple yet engaging – is another key element in attaining the attention of clients. Patients may also be convinced to avail your services by inclusion of testimonials, media coverage and price list on your website. The goal is to be inclined towards patient satisfaction.

    • Using a landing page

Even if someone visits your website, it might not translate into a consultation if their interest is not retained. A carefully crafted landing page takes care of marketing for plastic surgeons. A landing page is the first page on your website where potential patients ‘land’. This page can provide more leads by asking for sign ups for free consultation, information resources like blogs or newsletters, future events, and educational content – anything that encourages visitors to provide their contact details.

A video testimonial (with permission from the patient), and promotional offers or discounts can also be included in the landing page to captivate your target audience. A landing page can fall short in converting visitors into consultations if the design or information provided is counterproductive. Plastic surgery marketing depends on visuals and a landing page should have appealing infographics or call-to-action buttons to influence prospects.

    • Sharing information through Blogs:

Blogs are a necessary tool when it comes to marketing for plastic surgeons. While descriptive information on your website should be kept to a minimum to keep the clients scrolling, blogs are an effective medium to share in-depth information. If the content of the blog is irrelevant for the prospective patient, it will dissuade them from visiting again, hence the content should be meaningful and inclusive of case studies, infographics, and new developments. 

SEO plays a big role in increasing the visibility and ranking of your blog. A wordy blog full of medical jargons will not entice patients seeking plastic surgery, therefore the blog must be written in a language that conveys relevant information in the simplest manner.

    • Using Social Media:

Due to a shift in usage of social media over other forms of promotion, plastic surgeons are advised to create a social media presence for their practice. Social media platforms form 60% of marketing strategy for ASPS plastic surgeons. Instagram is used by 29% of the participants, Facebook by 27% while only 5% use YouTube, IGTV or Twitter. Most internet users rely on Instagram for visual content, making it incumbent for a plastic surgery practice to have their official Instagram handle. The account should contain posts such as before-and-after photos, testimonial reels showing transformation of patients, infographic posts to answer queries, and promotional offers and contests. Digital marketing for your brand on Instagram also includes posting quizzes, conducting AMAs or live video collaborations for marketing plastic surgery. 

Use of relevant hashtags in each post or story – for more visibility – is encouraged. A total number of 523,361 posts were found for #plastic surgery on Instagram in a 2017 sampling research paper. 17.8% of these posts were attributed to plastic surgeons eligible for membership in ASAPS and 67.1% posts were self-promotional, which proves that social media, especially Instagram, is beneficial for marketing for plastic surgeons. According to a Google search survey, social media presence worked better than a surgeon’s academic pedigree and experience in placing a plastic surgery practice higher up in listings. Creating an account on all social media platforms is not sufficient; a practice will not do well until high quality visuals or videos are not shared on a regular basis.

    • Generating leads through email marketing:

A call-to-action oriented email sent directly to the inboxes of potential clients plays an important role in getting you new patients. Gaining access to social media accounts requires input from the client but on the other hand, marketing plastic surgery via email delivers relevant information without any effort. Including information about discounts, contests or free resources will increase your click-through rates and redirect the prospective patient to your website, where they can find even more resources. Everyone checks their email at regular intervals which increases your chances of engagement and conversion into a lead.

  • Offline Strategies

These include advertisement of your business through word-of-mouth, advertisements in print media and on TV and radio. Although these methods are essential for marketing for plastic surgeons, they do not weigh equally against digital marketing. Besides promotion, a plastic surgeon must also ensure that the interior design of their office fits in with their brand image. This helps in marketing plastic surgery as the patients identify your practice with fixed design elements.

  • Monetary Strategies

A good action plan for marketing plastic surgery is to invest in paid ads. You can pay for your website to appear at the top based on keywords of choice for Google search. Display ads in the form of banners are also an effective option as it can lure in potential clients by showing before-and-after photos. Sponsored posts on social media also help in patient engagement. The display ads should have high-resolution images showing benefits of undergoing plastic surgery procedures to encourage visitors to click on the images.

  • Patient Engagement Strategies
    • Getting online reviews

As 71% of internet users rely on ratings and reviews to choose their medical practitioner, encouraging your patients to leave positive reviews on Google, Yelp and social media posts goes a long way in making your practice successful. Sharing feedback and review links via emails or text messages is a great way to increase your online rating. 

    • Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is a crucial marketing tool to create a positive image for your brand online by monitoring reviews and ensuring patient satisfaction. A large number of negative online reviews can tarnish your practice’ image.

Tips for a revised marketing plan

  • Focus more on lead conversion

Simply generating multiple leads using the strategies discussed above is not going to increase your sales. It is important to identify leads that can avail these costly procedures, using targeted communication to close the deal, and streamlining a process to get maximum patients onboard.

  • Understand patient’s expectations

You will only be able to generate leads by focusing on requirements of your potential patients. Using blogs, social media posts and emails to supply relevant information and visuals will help you reach out to people, who are looking for such services. These plastic surgery marketing methods should convey how the patient will benefit from the procedures, while also mentioning the possible complications.

  • Include paid ads in your budget

Since paid ads provide better online ranking and visibility, a plastic surgery practice should decide upon a budget for online advertising.

  • Include video testimonials

While other forms of marketing for plastic surgeons will encourage patients to choose your services, video testimonials establish trust. Hearing about aesthetic transformation directly from a satisfied patient helps potential clients to make informed decisions.

Conclusion

Marketing for Plastic surgeons is a prerequisite for establishing a successful practice. Plastic surgery focuses on aesthetics, creating a need for inclusion of before-and-after images and video testimonials to persuade potential patients to choose your services. Websites and email marketing play a significant role in promotions but social media is your best bet at reaching the top. Your target market should include ‘net-savvy’ millennials, social media influencers and middle-aged women, as these demographics are more likely to undergo cosmetic procedures. All practices are encouraged to create a brand image and present realistic transformation to avoid misleading their clients.

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