Advertising for Elective Healthcare: 4 Tips to Grow Your Medical Practice

03.18.2021 Cox Media

Cosmetic surgery is enjoying a surge in popularity in the United States, for several reasons. Minimally invasive procedures, such as injectables, have increased access to the body-shaping services offered by cosmetic medical practices, while also alleviating concerns of cost and recovery time that may have deterred some consumers in the past.

At the same time, recent data suggests that the popularity of cosmetic surgery is no longer as one-sided as it used to be: while women still represent the majority of elective healthcare patients, men are increasingly interested in these procedures.

With so much of our daily lives being lived on screens and shared through social photos and videos, it makes sense that consumers are keenly aware of their physical appearance. Recent surveys from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 49 percent of consumers are considering cosmetic or reconstructive treatments in the near future. Of those interested consumers, 28 percent would be first-time cosmetic surgery patients.

This lucrative business opportunity can only be realized through a cosmetic surgery advertising strategy that accounts for these unique industry opportunities and challenges. With that in mind, here are some tips to effectively advertise your medical practice and expand your customer base.

1. Timing Can Affect Accessibility for Your Customers

One of the longstanding challenges of certain cosmetic procedures is accounting for recovery time in a patient’s daily life. Surgical procedures may have recovery periods ranging from days to weeks, during which time some patients may prefer not to return to their place of employment.

The recent rise in home work has given many patients greater flexibility to accommodate at-home recovery without taking an extended leave from work. At the same time, virtual visits have eliminated a barrier to consultative sessions that can help potential patients get answers to their questions and plan their elective care procedures. An ASPS survey found that 64 percent of doctors have seen an increase in virtual consultations since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, recent stimulus payments to U.S. consumers has increased discretionary spending among working U.S. households, which has improved the affordability of cosmetic procedures. A cosmetic surgery advertising strategy can leverage these lowered barriers by emphasizing the availability of virtual visits, the improved comfort of recovery in a remote work environment, and the cost-effectiveness of using stimulus money to fund elective work.

2. Invest in Smart Paid Search Marketing

The majority of customer journeys start with a search engine—and the likelihood of using search during the discovery and consideration phase is even higher when consumers don’t know what they want, or where to turn for solutions. This presents a natural opportunity for elective surgery marketing strategies: by investing in paid search campaigns, you can position your business at the top of relevant search queries in your local area.

Through location-based targeting, long-tail keywords and optimized bidding strategies, your business can build a cost-effective paid search campaign that turns search engines into a top referral source for your business. Similarly, if you’re looking for tips on how to advertise cosmetic surgery on Facebook, the first and most important step is identifying the data points you want to use to filter paid ad exposures and target a primary audience—which also allows you to target paid campaigns to different types of consumers, including those interested in Botox, or men considering elective procedures for the first time.

Given the potential value of a single conversion, these paid strategies can offer excellent ROI for your practice.

3. Drive Engagement Through Visual Messaging

Given that the primary goal or motivation of plastic surgery is visual in nature, it’s important to build cosmetic surgery advertising campaigns that feature a strong visual component. Social media content, display ads, mobile ads, digital video, and video on demand all offer visual advertising mediums that can drive high engagement and referrals to your business website.

This visual messaging may also be effective in converting new patients around emerging trends driven by the increased use of digital video and social media content. Some elective healthcare centers have seen a 90 percent increase in injectable procedures such as Botox, while the cosmetic dentistry market is expected to grow by an average of 13.5 percent every year between 2018 and 2023.

4. Target Ad Campaigns to the Consideration Phase

Cosmetic surgery is rarely, if ever, an impulse decision. Given the long research and consideration phase your clients may undergo—especially potential first-time clients—it’s important to prioritize digital campaigns that serve this phase of the customer journey, building brand visibility and keeping your practice top-of-mind.

This is particularly true given the role of free consultations in facilitating the decision and conversion stages of the funnel. Unlike other industries, digital advertising isn’t a sole driver of conversions for your business—but these campaigns can be critical in generating leads, increasing consultation visits, and positioning your practice to convert new patients at an unprecedented rate.

Don’t let today’s business opportunity pass your practice by. With digital interactions now assuming a larger-than-ever role in both our work and social lives, digital advertising offers a direct way to build and maintain visibility among your target audience. Looking for help to develop a winning strategy? Contact us today.

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