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Marketing Strategies for Your Plastic Surgery Practice

By: Nextech | June 17th, 2024

Marketing Strategies for Your Plastic Surgery Practice Blog Feature

According to IBISWorld, there are more than 11,000 plastic surgery businesses in the U.S. Business is booming — the number of cosmetic surgery procedures grew by 19% between 2019 and 2022 alone.

Here are some plastic surgery marketing strategies to make sure you get your share of the pie.

Plastic Surgery Marketing 101

How to Stand Out In the Plastic Surgery Industry

Build Your Brand

The Importance of Authenticity in Plastic Surgery Marketing

Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan

Competitive and Market Audit

Attracting Leads

Converting Leads Into Patients

Collecting Testimonials

Reviewing Data

Digital Marketing Strategies

Features of a Strong Plastic Surgery Practice Website

Social Media Strategies

Content Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

Email Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

Digital Advertising

Offline Marketing Strategies

Setting Your Marketing Budget

Plastic Surgery Marketing 101

Most plastic surgery procedures are not covered by insurance. It’s important to stand out when patients can choose any surgeon they like.

How to Stand Out in the Plastic Surgery Industry

1. Be patient-centered. Happy patients leave positive reviews, refer people in their social circle, and return for additional procedures. Make an outstanding patient experience the cornerstone of your business.

Patient retention is key to long-term business growth. The demand for noninvasive procedures that require regular maintenance continues to surge. Happy repeat customers help keep your bottom line stable while their word-of-mouth reviews build your brand.

2. Demonstrate results. Invest in high-quality photo technology to capture and display before-and-after images of your patients.

Before-and-after photos help establish expectations and build trust.

3. Look around. Examine the messaging of other plastic surgeons in your market. It’s almost impossible to stand out when everyone uses the same words to talk about the same topics.

What patient questions are going unanswered? How can you take a different approach to messaging or images? Look for gaps you can fill.

Build Your Brand

Branding influences how people feel when they think about your business. If they’re comparing several providers, the brand is how patients will categorize them.

Patients may use terms like “the luxurious one,” “the high-tech one,” or “the one that does reconstructive surgeries.” It’s possible all three practices are luxurious, high-tech, and perform reconstructive surgeries. Their brand is the attribute people attach to them most strongly.

  • First, decide what you want to be known for. Come up with a few adjectives you would like people to use when describing your plastic surgery practice.
  • Next, find your brand look. Colors, types of imagery, and typography should all work in harmony and should be used consistently across all your marketing channels.
  • Finally, decide on your brand’s voice. The text in your marketing materials should match the feeling evoked by the brand look.

The Importance of Authenticity in Plastic Surgery Marketing

Today’s audiences – particularly younger “digital native” generations – can see right through phony ad-speak.

Nobody wants to feel like they’re being sold to, particularly not when they’re making a decision as important as surgery. Authenticity and transparency go a long way toward establishing trust.

In plastic surgery, authentic content might look like FAQs detailing who is not a good candidate for a procedure. This honest content is intended to turn off non-ideal patients while building trust with good surgical candidates.

Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan

A marketing plan for a plastic surgery practice should include these components:

  • A competitive and market audit
  • A strategy to attract leads
  • A way to capture leads and convert them into patients
  • A mechanism to collect testimonials and referrals
  • A plan to review data

Competitive and Market Audit

Before you jump into marketing tactics, it’s a good plan to assess the landscape. Perform a SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths: These are advantages you have in the market. Maybe your strength is your qualifications. Perhaps you have a prime location or a great relationship with referring businesses.

Strengths should be something difficult or impossible for your competitors to copy.

  • Weaknesses: It’s also important to know your weaknesses. Maybe there’s a well-known competitor, and you’re the new kid on the block. Maybe you offer fewer services than the competition.

When you honestly acknowledge your weaknesses, you can take steps to mitigate them.

  • Opportunities: Look for opportunities in the market. Opportunity examples might be services few clinics offer or an audience your competition ignores.
  • Threats: Being aware of any threats on the horizon keeps you from being blindsided. Restrictive new legislation, an economic recession, and a dwindling population are all examples of threats.

As you conduct your analysis, pay particular attention to the patient experience at competing practices. A smoother, more convenient experience can be a strong differentiator.

People are busy and they appreciate technology that makes using your practice convenient. Explore tools like telehealth, online scheduling, electronic payments, and patient portals. These enhance the patient experience and create the impression that your practice is modern and up to date.

You’ll also want to audit the market for your services. Regularly scan social media, Reddit, and Quora to see what people are talking about. These platforms offer a wealth of ideas for content marketing your plastic surgery practice.

Stay abreast of current trends through industry publications like the AAFPRS annual survey and publications from the ASPS.

Attracting Leads

There’s no sense in wasting your marketing budget talking to the wrong people. Target consumers who are already interested in plastic surgery.

Gen X is the generation most likely to seek plastic surgery. However, much of the post-pandemic surge has come from Gen Z and Millennials. And don’t count out the Baby Boomers — they’re responsible for one-quarter of all cosmetic procedures.

While women still account for around 90% of cosmetic procedures, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has recorded growing demand among men.

Assess your market’s population and the procedures you offer. What demographic offers the most opportunity and makes the most sense for you to approach?

The demographic you choose will help you decide the best tactics and channels to pursue. For example, you can reach Boomers with Facebook ads, but if you’re targeting Millennials, you’ll be better off on TikTok.

Between 2019 and 2022, there was a 207% increase in men seeking cosmetic surgery procedures
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Converting Leads Into Patients

When someone expresses interest in your practice, they become a lead. That starts the clock. The longer leads sit disengaged on a list, the more likely they are to change their mind or choose a different provider.

When Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery in Florida found their lead management software couldn’t keep up with the volume in their busy office, they switched to Nextech’s solution. 

Nextech’s built-in marketing and lead-generation capabilities gave the practice a clear view of its sales funnel, including how many leads there were, what stage of consideration each was in, and what needed to be done next to move them closer to the sale. The software cut the time to take a potential patient from query to appointment by 90%.

Free consultations can increase lead conversion and patient satisfaction. Clearly explaining a procedure in a low-pressure environment helps build a lead’s confidence and trust in a doctor.

Imaging technology can even show them how they might expect to look after the procedure. This ensures a patient’s expectations of the surgery are realistic.

Plus, once they’ve seen how they could look, many people develop a sense of ownership over that appearance. This makes them more determined to follow through with the procedure.

Collecting Testimonials

Referrals and word of mouth are potent marketing tools, particularly for a high-stakes purchase like plastic surgery.

Make it easy for patients to leave you reviews. When they’re in your office for a follow-up appointment, offer them a form, questionnaire, or opportunity to record a short video.

Practice management software with automated marketing can help. Try setting up an automated email or text message to go out at reasonable intervals with links to sites where you would like patients to leave reviews.

Reviewing Data

Before launching a marketing campaign, decide how you will define success.

Next, decide which metrics you will track and how often you will track them. You might measure the number of website visits in a month or number of consultations booked in a quarter.

Nextech’s plastic surgery specific EHR and practice management software lets you manage data with ease.

Your EHR can report on anonymized data to help you track trends in your market. Knowing which procedures are on the upswing or which patient demographics are waning helps you focus your marketing activity.

Your practice management software has built-in marketing tools that identify and optimize your highest-performing campaigns.

Screenshot 2024-06-17 at 2.13.39 PMnextech-1

Digital Marketing Strategies

In 2024, a robust practice website is non-negotiable. Even if you believe you can market exclusively through word of mouth, people will look you up online to learn more. Your website is the first impression many people will have of your practice.

Features of a Strong Plastic Surgery Practice Website

  • Easy to navigate – Links and menus should be logically placed, easy to find, and easy to understand. Visitors should be able to complete the most common actions, like learning about procedures, in no more than two clicks.
  • Demonstrates your expertise – Your website is the first litmus test people will use to decide if they can trust you. Credentials, experience, and other trust-building factors should be prominently displayed.
  • Expresses your unique value – Your website should evoke the mood of your brand and showcase your practice’s uniqueness.
  • Shows social proof – You can be a great plastic surgeon, but website visitors don’t want to take your word for it. Bolster your claims with before-and-after galleries, patient testimonials, and awards.
  • Makes it easy to get in touch – Your phone number should be in the header or footer of every page on the site. There should also be an easy-to-find, easy-to-access contact form visitors can use to reach you.
  • Mobile friendly – The majority of web browsing today is conducted on phones. Many younger consumers rarely use a computer outside of school or work. Be sure your website is designed on a mobile-first template.

Social Media Strategies

Social media is likely to be a tactic in your toolkit no matter which demographic you pursue. Between 80 and 90% of Millennials and Gen X use social media, along with more than 60% of Baby Boomers.

It’s important to note that the generations do not treat all social media the same. Some platforms skew older and others skew younger. Be sure you’re marketing on the platforms your audience prefers.

“Write down one to three platforms your audience frequents and create a social media strategy for those platforms exclusively,” said Nextech VP of Aesthetics Robin Ntoh.  “While it may be tempting to post on other platforms, those posts won’t increase the number of ideal patients walking through your door. For example, if your practice hopes to bring in more Boomer and Gen X patients, creating a TikTok account may not be as strategic as one for Facebook.”

The most successful social media marketing plans use a combination of organic content (posts by someone in your practice), user-generated content (posts by other people mentioning you), and in-platform advertising.

Assign someone in your practice or your marketing agency the responsibility of managing your social media presence. This goes beyond posting. It’s important to be social on social media, interacting with the audience in the comments and direct messages.

Social Media Content Ideas for Plastic Surgery Practices

  • Before-and-after stories with photos or video
  • Short videos or slide decks explaining popular procedures in layman’s terms
  • The doctor’s views and opinions on trends or current news about plastic surgery
  • Photo or video patient testimonials
  • Sharing reports or statistics on beauty industry trends

Content Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

Blogs and educational resources on your website build your authority in the eyes of your audience. In recent years, botched plastic surgeries have gotten a lot of attention. This has made the public wary about who they trust with their appearance.

Educational resources can also bring in new leads through SEO, or search engine optimization. A website that routinely publishes high-quality content about a topic is ranked higher in search engines like Google — and therefore more likely to be found by potential new patients.

Many small businesses targeting SEO make the mistake of pumping out low-quality articles just to hit keywords. This does not help your search engine ranking. Worse, if a searcher does land on a shallow article, they’ll be disappointed by its poor quality.

When building out content, think beyond the keyword and ask what information searchers are really looking for.

Content Ideas for Plastic Surgeons

  • Surgeon’s point of view on industry trends or current news
  • In-depth explainers of trendy procedures, in layman's terms
  • Reports on local trends in surgical procedures, using data from your EHR
  • Checklists about who is or is not a good candidate for certain procedures
  • Patient success stories

Email Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

Email continues to be a high-performing marketing channel, delivering up to $40 for every $1 spent.

The key to successful email marketing is a high-quality list. You can invite visitors to your website to opt in to your list with a simple form.

You can also encourage people to join your list using an interactive element like a quiz. Upon completing the quiz, visitors input their contact information to get their results. This triggers a sequence of emails tailored to their results, nurturing them down the path from visitor to lead to patient.

Digital Advertising

Social media platforms are likely the first place your practice will want to buy ads. Most of these platforms have tools allowing you to narrowly target your ideal audience.

In addition, you can buy display ads on websites. Some sites handle their own advertising, while you can access others by purchasing ads in the Google Display Network. You can also pay search engines like Google and Bing to display your website higher in search results as a “sponsored result.”

If your audience follows specific newsletters, podcasts, or other publications, you may be able to approach those outlets directly to inquire about sponsorship or advertising.

Offline Marketing Strategies

There are still plenty of places to get your message out in the real world, too. In fact, tactics like direct mail are often neglected in our online world. A beautiful, tangible mailer can actually stand out to a prospect who deletes dozens of emails every day.

Billboards can be effective in small markets. The bigger the market, the less effective the billboard, because so many of the impressions will be from people outside your target audience.

Ads in public spaces such as commuter trains, bus stops, and train stations can also be effective. Location is critical. You need to choose high-traffic sites in areas populated with high-net-worth individuals. Billboards and commuter ads need to deliver a powerful visual message in as few words as possible.

Gen X and Baby Boomers still read print magazines, offering another avenue for physical ads. The geographic location, interests, and net worth of the magazine’s readers are more important than high circulation numbers.

You can also reach your market of high-net-worth consumers by sponsoring charitable events such as fundraising galas and golf outings in your area.

Setting Your Marketing Budget

The standard rule of thumb is that a business should dedicate about 10% of its revenues to marketing activities.

Marketing is an investment. Just as it’s important to have a diversified investment portfolio, you want to avoid concentrating too much of your marketing budget on a single tactic.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Digital marketing has a lower cost-per-impression than offline marketing.
  • Organic marketing via social media, email, and SEO is generally less expensive than advertising.
  • Advertising has a higher cost than organic marketing, but also has an exponentially faster return.
  • Practices that focus on advertising should also have a strong website and social media presence to build credibility and trust when people who viewed the ad look you up.
  • It can be easy to get lost in all the available marketing channels. Focus on the channels your target audience uses the most.

Plastic surgery is a competitive specialty. Strategic marketing is vital to keeping your practice front and center for potential patients.

Nextech’s specialty-specific practice management software puts easy-to-use marketing tools at your fingertips. Your marketing and lead management are integrated into the same system that handles payments, revenue cycle management, scheduling, and more.

Schedule a demo to see how Nextech can bring clarity to your plastic surgery marketing.