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Aesthetic clinic marketing is particularly challenging especially in developed cities such as Singapore where the aesthetics scene is bustling with a wide array of clinics.
From clinics that perform invasive plastic surgery to clinics that specialize solely in non-invasive treatments, the options for today’s consumer are vast indeed. Prospective patients can simply indulge in an abundance of options, in this ever-competitive aesthetics industry.
With challenging cost per clicks (CPCs) on Google Search fueled by heavy competition from non-medical establishments such as spas and salons, how do you ensure that your clinic reaches patients effectively?
More importantly, how do you ensure long term sustainability that’s cost-effective? What are the components that define a strategic marketing plan for aesthetic clinics?
These are the questions that help to shape and structure an effective marketing solution. In today’s landscape, digital marketing is integral and essential for clinics and businesses alike.
Let’s take a look!
Developing an effective digital strategy for aesthetic clinic marketing
There are several components to create a successful and effective marketing plan when it comes to marketing an aesthetics clinic:
- Your search engine presence
- Can patients find your clinic when they search for your services?
- Are you appearing on the first page of Google?
- Is your clinic readily found on platforms such as Google or Bing Maps?
- Conversion rate optimization
- Is your website optimized to generate leads and inquiries?
- Do you test different landing pages to assess conversion rates?
- Are you leveraging on WhatsApp button clicks or live chats?
- Do you utilize call tracking to measure campaign success?
- Do you have a strong presence on social media?
- Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have proven to drive a positive ROI for medical clinics. Are you leveraging these?
- How about LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tik Tok?
- Do you utilize eye-catching creatives that drive conversions?
- Email marketing
- Are you leveraging email marketing to maximize patient appointments?
- Do you send follow up emails to patients who have missed their appointments?
- Are your emails tailored to different patient segments?
- Your strategy
- Do you have 100% visibility regarding your marketing channels?
- Are you able to identify which marketing channels generates a positive ROI?
- Your Team
- Is your staff well equipped to handle patient inquiries?
- Are they incentivized to maximize your appointment calendar?
- Do you leverage technology to identify areas of improvement?
If you answer no to any of the questions above, then, surely there is room for improvement.
At the end of the day, a strong online presence is not sufficient. Measuring your ROI and leveraging the right channels are key components to a successful digital campaign.
We’ve met countless of customers who do not have a clear picture of their marketing performance. A simple fix allowed them to assess cost-inefficiencies, reduce budgets on areas that are not working, and focus on the right areas.
Implemented correctly, a crystal clear understanding of your marketing performance will save years of wasted dollars and blind optimization.
This is truly essential yet easily forgotten.
Identifying your focused treatments
When planning for digital campaigns, assessing the treatments to focus on is a crucial step. Marketing your clinic for every available treatment would only wear your budget thin and inefficient.
Every treatment has its own demand and supply on the internet. We measure the online search demand of each treatment using metrics such as ‘average monthly searches’ or leverage on social listening tools to gauge daily hashtags.
Identifying your focused treatments allows you to better plan for marketing your clinic. High ROI treatments naturally work better when it comes to paid digital campaigns. Yet at the same time, every doctor specializes in specific areas.
An experienced aesthetic doctor sure has a multitude of treatments to offer. To ensure digital success, here are some factors to consider when choosing the right treatments to market:
- Your objective
- Do you want to focus on treatments with the highest margins or perhaps focus on low-cost services? (Naturally, cross-selling is essential to maximize the ROI per patient).
- How intense is the competition for this treatment?
- Do you have to compete with non-medical institutions such as spas and facials?
- Are there significant competitors marketing this service as well? (High competition is not necessarily a bad indication since a higher number of competitors correlates with higher ROI for each product or service).
- Is your treatment highly sought after?
- Are there significant searches on search engines such as Google? (This is essential to evaluate especially if you are considering search engine optimization).
- Are you able to generate profitable margins with this treatment? (It’s definitely not wise to market services that have thin margins, however, services with low margins tends to result in lower marketing costs as well).
- Do you have access to marketing tools that allow you to better understand your demand and competition?
- Do you have data from previous campaigns that you can leverage? (Assessing data would allow us to evaluate if a service is worth marketing).
Leveraging on measurement tools, strategic planning and objective analysis allows you a bird’s eye view for maximum effectiveness.
Assessing your competitors is indeed a key component of a holistic digital marketing strategy. After all, how do you know if you are competitive if you do not know what your competitors are doing?
How do we evaluate our competitive landscape?
Having a thorough understanding of the marketing platforms that our competitors consistently invests in allows us to monitor their focus and direction.
Google Ads keyword planner
One method would be to leverage the Google Ads keyword planner. This free tool by Google allows us to identify search demand as well as the competitiveness for each keyword. However, that’s not all!
With the keyword planner, you can identify the estimated bids for each keyword. Since Google Ads goes by a cost per click (CPC) model, leveraging on this tool allows you to forecast an effective budget based on the aforementioned factors.
Google Ads keyword planner example
Here is the perfect example of the insights we can derive when planning your search strategy to market your aesthetics clinic.
We’re able to see the average monthly searches, competition levels as well as the estimated bids for paid listings via Google Ads.
‘Pigmentation removal’ costs SGD 8.98 per click to appear on the top of Google search! That’s really expensive! Even the top of page bid (low range) is estimated to be at SGD 5.47.
Alas, all is not lost. Expensive bids signal to us that advertisers are willing to pay close to SGD 9 per click. This could be an indication that the keyword ‘pigmentation removal’ is either extremely valuable or tremendously cost-inefficient.
Generally speaking, I would assess that it belongs to the latter since category based keywords usually yield a higher cost per conversion. However, we can’t be sure until we test since every keyword, clinic, website and doctor is different.
More more keyword planner tips, check out our Google Ads keyword planner guide for more strategic tips!
Another tool would be SEM Rush! It’s not a free tool, however, the insights are excellent. Predominantly known for it’s SEO insights, SEM Rush allows you to assess your competitors’ website, backlinks, traffic and more.
SEM Rush example
Let’s take a look at the National Skin Centre‘s organic rankings:
Based on this graph, we can see that there was a huge growth since the beginning of 2019. However, in recent months, we can see that the total number of organic keywords ranked for this website has fallen. From roughly 3,000 organic keywords on Google to 2,000, that’s a 33.33% drop in just one and a half years.
Recommendation? They’ll need to look at their SEO strategy for sure.
Knowing where you stand, your competitive landscape as well as your competitors allows you to plan your strategy more effectively. This, in turn, helps you to optimize, calibrate and adjust your marketing strategy.
Whether your goal is to drive more inquiries or to grow your online presence, an effective strategy never neglects the ever-changing cut-throat competition.
But with that said, how do we start?
Designing a conversion effective website
Having an effective website is the first step in marketing your aesthetic clinic.
How do you ensure that your website delivers? It is, after all, an important element in the grand scheme of things (your marketing strategy that is). Well, that’s easy, here are the factors to take your website to the next level:
- Is your website mobile friendly? (Do users have to squint and pinch their screen to be able to read the words on your website when viewing it with their mobile phone?)
- Does your website load quickly or do users have to wait for each page to load? (Leverage on CDNs, lazy loading, caching and more for quick website loading speeds)!
- First Impressions
- As the saying goes ‘first impressions matter’. Are you utilizing high-quality images or are they badly cropped and blurred?
- Are your sentences proper and grammar free?
- Is your website well designed or does it give off an old school 90’s vibe? (At the end of the day, aesthetic treatments aim to help patients look and feel better don’t they?).
- Can your website be navigated easily?
- Do patients have trouble finding the page that they are interested in?
- Do you utilize best practices that assist with your website’s navigability? (Such as breadcrumbs, internal linking and an effective content hierarchy)?
- Call to actions (CTAs)
- Do you employ CTA on your web pages? (For instance, a live chat widget or strategically placed links that encourage patients to take action (e.g. a button that allows patients to call your clinic with a single click))
- Is your clinic’s phone number readily seen on every page of your website? (Having a phone number increases the chances of a phone call conversion).
Having an effective website is certainly crucial. Not only will you be able to increase your patient inquiry rate, but search engines will also have an easier time crawling it.
Marketing channels for aesthetic clinics
You can’t just rely solely on your website and expect patients to flood your calendar though. With heavy competition from other clinics and spas, how can you reach your patients effectively?
There are a few ways to market your clinic cost-effectively online, these modern methods have been tried and tested for years since the dawn of digital marketing:
- Search Engines
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Google Shopping (If you are selling products)
- Display Ads
- Google Display Network
- Programmatic Advertising
- Social Media
- Tik Tok
- Inbound Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
Search engine market share
Google is the dominant search engine. Globally, Google captures more than 80% of the search engine market share.In Singapore, that number is greater with Google having a search engine market share consistently greater than 90%.
This is why businesses are all fighting to rank on Google, with some investing more than 6 figures per year.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
These days, being able to list your website organically is easy. All you’ll have to do is set up a sitemap or Google Search Console. Done correctly, and you should appear on the first page of Google when someone searches for your clinic.
However, appearing for your clinic’s name is simply not enough! Why? That’s because patients who do not know about you would not be searching for your clinic. They’ll be searching for your services, or even your competitors instead!
SEO for aesthetic treatments
Ranking on the first page of Google for any term other than your brand name is like scaling a cliff. An uphill battle against dozens of competitors already entrenched in the SEO race requires proper strategy, effort and most importantly, time.
This is done with a combination of on-page optimization coupled with link building, aka off-page optimization. A rewarding but time-consuming process, consider engaging an SEO agency to help boost your website’s rankings.
An important aspect to be aware of, ensure that there is sufficient search volume for the keywords you want to rank.
Local SEO for aesthetic clinics
Ranking on map listings such as Google Maps is essential for a clinic in today’s competitive landscape. With a map listing on Google, you can rank better especially when potential patients perform a local search. This naturally translates into higher reach, traffic and potential appointments.
The process is simple, all you’ll have to do is create a Google My Business account and add your clinic’s address, verify it, and you’re done! Try to generate more positive reviews as well, since that is a positive indication that your business is well received by patients.
Search Engine Marketing
Besides ranking for organic listings, another avenue for clinics to leverage would be SEM. The counterpart of SEO, SEM is the paid version of search engine listings. The process is simple, advertisers pay for each search engine click under a pay per click (PPC) model.
To reach the first page of Google organically takes time. Hence, an effective strategy to rank quickly on search engines would be to run SEM campaigns via Google Ads. However, one caveat would be that SEM can be drastically costly without a proper setup.
To achieve a successful ROI, you’ll need to first identify your marketing KPI. While the objective of every clinic is to generate leads, how can we achieve more appointments without increasing our existing budget?
Knowing your keywords is important, especially what is relevant to your business. Running paid ads for the aesthetic industry can be quite costly in Singapore as bids can go over 10 dollars per click.
To find that perfect balance between cost-effectiveness and results requires skill, strategy, and accurate tracking.
Long tail keywords for SEM
A quick way to kill an SEM campaign would be just to buy short-tail or generic keywords. In our experience running hundreds of campaigns, generic keywords are likely to burn your budget.
A better method would be to focus on long-tail keywords. Customers might search using keywords such as ‘Aesthetic clinic in town’, ‘Nearby aesthetic clinics’, or ‘Nose fillers Singapore’. Searches like these are more likely to translate into appointments since the search combines a keyword + location.
For example, you can buy or bid for keywords such as “Nose thread lift Singapore” or “Nose thread lift treatment” which will trigger your ads.
A patient who is interested clicks into your website and ultimately submits an inquiry resulting in an appointment.
Treatment keywords are definitely effective as well. For instance, if someone searches for ‘Hifu treatment‘ or ‘Rejuran Singapore‘, then chances of conversions are higher for sure, since the patient has already identified the treatment that they want.
Display ads are built to drive awareness and traffic. In fact, display ads can easily cost less than 40 cents per click. Although the targeting options are ways more advanced in today’s environment, you should not expect to fill up your calendar with display ads alone.
Display Remarketing for Clinics
Remarketing is a great concept, in essence, its basically serving ads to patients who have browsed your website but did not inquire. However, certain platforms such as Google does not allow clinics to run remarketing campaigns on the Google Display Network (GDN).
Another way to advertise your aesthetic clinic would be to ride on social media. You can reach, engage and convert potential patients. Make sure that you set up a business page instead of using your personal account.
As the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook is the gateway to an endless pool of potential patients.
Through Facebook, you can showcase your treatments, build an online following of genuine customers and even run paid advertising campaigns ads to drive appointments.
However, there are guidelines to follow on Facebook as well. Some Facebook ad restructions include:
- Before and after images
- Zoomed in images focusing on certain body parts
- Sexually suggestive videos or images
- Nudity in ad creatives
- Mispleading claims (e.g. weight loss)
- Implication of personal attributes (e.g. race, name or criminal record)
- Sale of prescription pharmeceuticals
- Over the-the-counter medicines
Don’ forget to implement on your website, tracking tools such as the Facebook pixel. This allows you to attribute any actions that were undertaken on your website back to Facebook. Using this data, you’ll be able to better understand the results of your social media campaigns.
Another social media platform popular amongst Singaporeans would be Instagram. A visual platform, Instagram allows you to tell your brand story to a sea of never ending potential patients.
Leverage influencer marketing as well. Although selecting the right influencer is crucial if you want to drive patient appointments.
If you are selling products alongside aesthetic treatments, consider tagging products to your images as well!
Blogs are a great way to continue adding content to your website on a regular basis. This content should differ from your other website content. Rather than explaining your procedures and services, you can give beauty tips, talk about innovations in the aesthetic industry, or any other relevant topics your audience would be interested in.
Build your audience with email marketing. This involves building an list of blog subscribers who are not yet ready to schedule an appointment. They could also be patients who have submitted an inquiry but did not show upfor the actual appointment.
Whichever the case, email marketing acts as a medium to bridge the gap between your customers and your clinic.
In conclusion, when planning aesthetic clinic marketing strategy, it is always crucial to identify your objectives, ensure that you have precise tracking and calibrate your campaigns based on their performance.
Always establish your presence on multiple channels to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Market the right treatments and do not hesitate to kill campaigns that don’t work.
Running an aesthetic clinic in Singapore is ever competitive. Trends shift with the latest product development. Yet different treatments drive differing return on investments (ROI) depending on popularity.
The onslaught of beauty spas coupled with stringent Ministry of Health’s (MOH) regulations, make it harder for aesthetic doctors to stay competitive.
Bearing the brunt of the competition would be doctors specializing in non-invasive aesthetic treatments. Since spas and facial outlets primarily provide such services.
This is why proper planning, execution and optimization are factors paramount to the success of any digital campaign.
Clinics should adhere to the Ministry of Health’s PHMC Advertising Guidelines.
Need help with marketing your aesthetic clinic?
Let our team of digital experts help. Our strategists are highly experienced with at least 5 years of experience. We’ll take the guesswork out of your strategy and focus on the right channels. Feel free to reach out to us today!