The Digital Channels Medical Aesthetic Practices Need to Use

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Last month, there were 554,000 Google searches for Botox, 146,000 for hydra facials, and 21,000 for body contouring. Imagine capturing just 2% of this audience, bringing 14,000 potential customers to your website? If you’re not actively targeting this audience, you’re handing would-be customers over to your competition for free. But the good news is that, by investing in the proper digital channels, you’ll capture your fair share of the market. Here’s our approach to making sure you’re winning Google over with SEO, SEM, and social media marketing.

Google Search

When someone suffers a traumatic injury, they’re not really in a position to whip out their cell phone to compare area hospitals or read up on the latest Yelp reviews. Elective surgeries and procedures are way different – this audience has the luxury of time, and savvy shoppers will take as much time as necessary to feel comfortable with their decision. Further, they have a multitude of options at their fingertips, so you need to make a compelling case for why they should choose you.

Ranking high in a Google search is key. If your website is buried on page 5 of the search results, chances are you won’t even have the opportunity to pitch your services to a prospective client, regardless of how much more innovative or expert you are than practices that appear higher in the search results. But there are steps you can take to improve your search results – some free, some not-so-free. Use SEO (search engine optimization, or organic search) and SEM (search engine marketing, or paid search) in tandem for a one-two punch that puts you front and center with your audience.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to improve its rankings on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS). It’s about figuring out what users are searching for and making sure that your content is addressing those questions better than your competition. Keyword search software, like SEMrush, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Soovle, and others, help to evaluate effective keywords relevant to the medical aesthetic industry.

Also, Google’s web crawler rewards websites that consistently add new posts and new content with better search-page rankings, so continuing to add regular keyword-rich content, in the form of an onsite blog, is wise.

Paid search, or SEM, is the practice of purchasing ads on search engines to gain website traffic, and it typically takes less time to produce results than SEO. A call to action is crucial – consider mentioning the geographical areas you serve, any specialties you have, awards you’ve earned, or board certifications you’ve obtained. For example, to promote blog content or a content download, the messaging might be along the lines of “download our guide to see our Botox options,” or something as simple as “contact us to schedule your free consultation.”

When used in combination, SEO and SEM are powerful tools to build trust and credibility in the digital realm while driving traffic to your website where you can convert potential customers to long-term clients.

There are some simple things you can do to improve your ranking, but hiring an agency that specializes in search marketing will ensure that you’re adhering to best practices in the complex and ever-changing world of search marketing. We’ll conduct keyword research to find keywords that show “mid-high intent,” targeting users who are searching these terms and are either in the research stage or ready to make a decision. From there, we’d craft compelling ad copy to convince users to click.

Social Media Marketing

According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of users check Facebook multiple times per day. It’s no wonder that in a 2017 report, the desire to look good in social media images (selfies) was cited by 55% of facial plastic surgeons as a reason patients undergo elective surgery, up from just 13% in 2016. Because online peer communities incorporate a sense of authenticity, personalization, and day-to-day life that makes the content and images feel more immediate and relevant, social media channels are an ideal platform for targeting potential consumers of medical aesthetics.

As social networks command a bigger chunk of our time and attention, they have a more profound effect on our behaviors and attitudes – altering the marketing landscape for businesses that use these platforms in their regular strategies. Now more than ever, social media plays a pivotal role in shaping personal perceptions of beauty and motivating aesthetic purchasing decisions by positioning medical aesthetics as a feasible option for consumers. But where to begin? Look to your target market to identify the most appropriate channels.

Put Your Best Face(book) Forward

While social media usage varies across platforms and by demographics (gender, age, education, etc.), Facebook commands the largest cross-section of users. Used by 7 in 10 adults, it is arguably the most widely used social media platform in the US and is far and away the most popular platform with older adults.


As celebrities and influencers open up about their aesthetic treatments on social media, millennials and Gen Z are more interested in preventing their bodies from aging, as opposed to simply reversing its effects. More than 20% of Botox users in the US are aged 30 to 39, with the range skewing lower with each passing year. Thus, it makes sense to understand this demographic’s social media consumption habits, which very much include Instagram. With Snapchat and Instagram especially popular with the 18 to 29 age group – those teetering on the brink of Botox – your Instagram efforts also help set you up for the next wave.

Online Directories/Peer Review Sites

Don’t discount the validity of peer review sites such as Yelp and RealSelf, which primarily targets plastic surgery, dermatology, and minimally-invasive treatment providers. RealSelf provides a wealth of information on procedure costs, recovery, and results, and actual patient “worth it” rankings that can spur users to take action. Practitioners can set up a profile and showcase specific procedures they’re known for, and many even accept virtual consultations.

Regardless of the platform(s) you choose, experiment with content and formats to see what generates the most engagement from your target audience and expand upon that, making sure that it’s relevant to your practice. And don’t forget: honesty and integrity are paramount – before you post on social media, make sure you can deliver on your promise. Some providers feel social media can glamorize procedures and minimize risks, promoting unrealistic expectations.

SEM, SEO, Social: Is Your Head Spinning Yet?

We know staying on top of trends, treatments, and techniques is a full-time job already. We know managing day-to-day operations leaves little time on the clock for marketing plans. We know you’re trying to tackle other immediate problems like tight margins or price wars in the face of discount providers. So if you lack the bandwidth to execute a solid SEO/SEM and social media marketing plan, consider an agency like us to take the reins and get the job done – at the fraction of what it would cost to hire an in-house marketer, to boot.

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