Digital marketing for aesthetic practitioners
Digital Marketing is a broad term which encompasses your website design, social media, online advertising and email marketing – and these are just the core areas. As technology and the way we communicate progresses, digital marketing will no doubt evolve with it.
These channels allow you to touch base with your market on a previously unachievable scale, without breaking the bank.
Direct interaction online, company transparency through information sharing, reviews and considered advice allow you to showcase your service online while building trust among your potential clients.
And perhaps most useful of all – these areas can all be measured simply and instantaneously with real-time tracking tools.
In this guide, we give you the basics in optimising your website and offer tips for using email marketing and social media effectively, helping you to get results from your online marketing efforts.
Google notes that 97% of consumers search for businesses online. For this reason, it’s essential to get the basics right.
Google + and Google Business Page
Setting up an account on Google + will allow your businesses name and location to be placed in Google Maps. Once you’ve done this, you can set up a Google Business Page, which is an information box to the right of any search results. This shows things like your opening times and reviews, and links directly to your website.
Offer information which is clear, concise, and visual to get across what you do and who you are in no uncertain terms. Before and after shots would work particularly well in explaining your services, while an interior of your consultation room will let them know what to expect. Video testimonials from happy customers will also help reassure your visitors and encourage them to book.
This links to the previous point about clarity of information. Web visitors want to know three things about a product or service: who you are, what you do, and where they can find you. Make sure that this information is never more than three clicks away from your homepage.
A blog is a perfect platform from which to inform your website visitors through topical articles, FAQs, top tips, and in-depth advice. Keeping your blog updated also helps to increase your business ranks in a Google search. Constant activity and engagement, such as updating a blog, sharing it and people reading it, shows search engines that your website is not only in action but popular.
You can get your blog off the ground and gaining readers by:
- Offering a mix of article types, from long, in-depth expert insights for someone seriously considering a procedure, to quick top 10 tips to aid recovery.
- Focusing on them, not you. This means not pushing a sales agenda, but imparting your knowledge, for your customer’s benefit.
- Researching. Offer contrasting opinions to get the full picture on a particular topic or trend such as a rise in breast reductions or the optimum age for botulinum toxin. Be sure to acknowledge other sources where used to give your content credibility.
- Sharing your blog posts via social media or through an e-newsletter – more on this later.
Facebook has 32 million users in the UK, Instagram has 14 million, and Pinterest sees 3 million “pins” a day. These three highly visual social media sites are paramount to supporting the growth of the cosmetics industry, as procedures break out of the Hollywood bubble and into the mainstream.
While the potential audience is immense, you need to consider how to reach them amidst the noise.
- Allocate time to update your followers and post to social media. Creating an account and letting it stagnate is worse than having no account at all.
- Create a social media plan, which includes what to post, where and when. Mix up your content with free downloads, tips, advice, and general updates, to provide something for everyone. You could offer a downloadable skincare regime on one day, and share a post-procedure infographic the next.
- Accompany any posts on Twitter and Facebook with a photo or graphic. For Pinterest and Instagram, think about how you would make the information almost entirely visual, as they are both image-based. Before and after images are ideally suited for these platforms, and you’re providing content that people enjoy while selling your services.
- Respond to any questions or feedback quickly and openly, even if it’s criticism, to showcase your professionalism and customer service care.
- Use inbuilt analytics to see what’s successful and at what times you should post. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all have their own analytics which you can view. Instagram doesn’t, but there are free tools* you can use to measure data.
- Make use of free management tools such as Hootsuite* to schedule future posts to each platform. It’s free to set up and simple to use, showing all your social media activity in one place.
- Spark conversation with questions and content, and join in existing conversations to offer your perspective. Are people asking questions about a new trend? Answer them and offer tips. You can proactively seek out these conversations by using the search function present on all social media platforms mentioned.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to come into force in 2018 is the perfect excuse to overhaul a tired database and cull any disinterested parties or invalid emails.
Email marketing is still very relevant, as it can feel a lot more personalised than social media, and doesn’t vanish among the noise of a busy feed.
Emails generally come in two forms. E-shots are short and to the point, and serve the purpose of highlighting offers, events, changes to opening hours and the like. E-newsletters typically include a few articles of varying length to encourage more in-depth reading, much like a print newsletter.
Email top tips:
- Send emails to specific recipients rather than blanket message everyone. By doing so you can encourage people who haven’t been for an appointment in a while to return by sending them an offer, or keeping them informed about what’s trending and when it’ll be available through you if it isn’t already!
- Keep recipients updated with things that are of interest to them, or engaged with advice, with short enticing emails which link back to your website. For example, you could offer ideas of treatments that would compliment previous procedures they’ve had, or list the top five most popular services that month.
- Don’t email too much. What defines “too much” depends on you and your subscribers. If the “receive too many emails” excuse is frequently cropping up as a reason for unsubscribing, you know it’s time to reassess.
- Most importantly be sure you have permission to contact your database and that your unsubscribe link is visible.
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