The pandemic has been tough for many Australian med spas. IBIS World describes the industry as ‘off colour’ noting that lockdown restrictions have caused spas to close and revenue to decline.
Times are hopefully changing, though. Revenues are expected to rise in 2021-22 as vaccination targets are reached and restrictions ease.
How can your med spa capitalise on that? How can you tap into people’s longing for revitalisation after such a demoralising year? Where should you start?
You should take a strategic approach with your medical spa marketing, recognising that it takes work in several different but complementary areas to see results. After all, that’s why you usually recommend more than one type of treatment to your clients.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves tweaking many different aspects of your website to improve your ranking on Google and other search engines.
It means thinking about what your ideal patient might search for online when they’re looking for someone like you, then ensuring you have the right content, keywords and site navigation to help Google serve up your site in response to a relevant search query.
Strategy 1: Local SEO
No matter how good you are, your clients will only travel a certain distance to see you. You need good local SEO to ensure you show up when someone in your area searches for your services.
To achieve that, you need to set up and complete your Google Business Profile. This is where you add in your physical address, opening hours and contact details. Once you’ve done that, you should start to show up on the map and in the listings when someone searches for your services.
Action: Set up your Google Business Profile and ensure you answer every question.
Strategy 2: Make sure it’s mobile friendly
In the era of ubiquitous smartphones, most internet searches now happen from a mobile device, not from a desktop.
That means two things:
- Your site has to look every bit as good and be every bit as functional on mobile as it is on a desktop
- You need to work on your mobile rankings, not just your desktop ones.
It’s frustrating to search from a handheld device, follow a link, then find that the site just doesn’t fit the screen properly. When the layout is all wrong, the copy is impossible to read and the navigation links are too tiny for their fingers, your potential new client will most definitely give up and find a different med spa.
Your site’s rankings also change depending on whether someone searches on a mobile or a desktop. That’s because Google cares about user experience. Your beautiful desktop site might rank highly yet fail to even appear in the top 10 results on a mobile. Only about 13% of websites retain the same rank for a particular search irrespective of which device the searcher uses.
Action: Investigate your site’s mobile rankings compared to your desktop rankings. Where can you improve? Do you need a website overhaul to ensure responsive design features?
You’re in the image business which means your med spa should thrive on social media. Here, you have ample opportunities to engage with potential clients. You also have the ability to engage in highly targeted advertising that’s designed to appeal to a particular demographic, such as women aged 30-50 with high levels of disposable income living within a certain distance of your spa.
Strategy 1: Before and after
Instagram and Facebook are great places to show a few ‘before and after’ shots to showcase your work. Pictures of obviously clearer skin, smoother lines or nicer noses enable you to sell your services without saying a word.
Just remember to:
- Get the client’s permission in writing
- Remove any distinguishing features (use Photoshop to disguise that tattoo or zoom in to show someone’s cheeks rather than their whole face)
- Use a professional photographer if possible – the images will look so much better
- Use your brand colours or designs in your before and after photos so that people can’t forget which med spa created such a wonderful transformation
- Use images directly relevant to the service you’re promoting and the audience you’re trying to attract.
Action: Decide on a service you’d like to promote, create some before and after images for it, and share them to your socials with a call to action like ‘book now’.
Strategy 2: Engage your audience
According to the Digital Report 2021, among the top 10 reasons people use social media include finding funny or entertaining content (reason 2) and researching new products to buy (reason 6).
That’s a great opportunity for med spa marketing. Engaging your audience involves getting them to like, share or comment on your posts. It helps build a sense of connection with your brand, increasing the likelihood of someone choosing you when they decide to pamper themselves.
Engaging content includes:
- Special offers
- Voting on a few options
You’ve got many options here as a med spa. You could list the benefits of a particular treatment then ask people to vote on what it is. Then comes a follow-up post where you reveal the answer, explain a bit more about the procedure and encourage people to book.
Your social media pages also give you a chance to show your team’s expertise or your brand’s personality in many small ways. So include photos of your team putting up the Christmas decorations, celebrating a birthday, or sharing tips on how to prepare for a particular cosmetic treatment.
Action: come up with 3 ideas for engaging social media content and try them out. What worked? What did you learn?
Website design & branding
Does your hairdresser’s hairstyle look terrible? Does your dentist have bad teeth? Does your French tutor mangle the language of love?
Those flaws undermine their credibility and lessen your trust in them.
The same is true in your industry. As a med spa, you’re trading on people’s desire to be beautiful and their need to feel revitalised in a world that saps their energy.
You’re selling beauty, refreshment and vitality. It’s hard to do that successfully if your branding is tired and your website is dated.
Strategy 1: Refresh your branding
Your business evolves over time and your branding periodically needs refreshing to reflect those changes and to maintain a fresh look.
Sometimes a rebrand involves subtle tweaks to your logo. At other times, it involves rethinking your whole business model and niching down to better serve a particular client group.
Here’s how we helped the Adelaide Centre for Advanced Dentistry to articulate their brand.
Action: Look at your branding with fresh eyes. Does it reflect who you are as a business right now? Does it hold its own or have an edge when compared to your competitors? If not, consider a brand refresh – which also gives you something great to share on social media!
Strategy 2: have a separate page for each type of service
You need to look at your website from a user’s perspective. You might think of all the different services you offer and be tempted to list them all on one page because you’re involved in each one and you think of them as being in the same category.
But your clients don’t think like that. They start from a different basis, such as looking critically in the mirror one morning and thinking it’s time to do something about those crows’ feet. That leads to a search for ‘anti-wrinkle injections’ or ‘Botox’ and Google tries to present them with some relevant local listings.
Google does not want to take this searcher to a generic services page featuring everything from dermal fillers to chemical peels. That wouldn’t be particularly relevant and the odds are that the user would quickly bounce off the page rather than keep scrolling down to the section on dealing with lines and wrinkles.
However, if you had a dedicated page for anti-wrinkle treatments, Google would be more likely to present it in response to a search enquiry. And the searcher would be more likely to find the information relevant to their needs, read the whole page, then explore other parts of your site.
Action: Map out a new website hierarchy that lists a different page for each of your services or, at the very least, groups them by type. Once this is done, submit your new site structure to Google Search Console so it can index your site properly.
Strategy 3: Revitalise your website with online bookings
(Yes, there’s an extra strategy for your website because it’s your most important advertising tool.)
We’ve already talked about the importance of a user-friendly site structure. And your refreshed branding will also flow through your website in your choice of colours, words and logos.
But vitality also means action. How easy is it for users to take action on your site? The goal of your website is to convert viewers into clients. That means you need them to book an appointment – and you need to make it easy to do that when the mood strikes.
You’re in a luxury business. Most cosmetic treatments are done from choice and will create a dent in the budget along with a lift in the spirits. That means many clients may have a ‘Should I/shouldn’t I?’ dialogue going on internally. Advertising works on a model of attention, interest, desire, action. If your website has successfully moved clients through those stages then it’s vital that they can take action immediately. Make them wait until tomorrow morning to call you and their desire will undoubtedly cool.
So you absolutely need an online booking system. If you get a good one, you can tailor it to each treatment type or length of appointment.
Online booking enables clients to take action when their desire is high, resulting in increased bookings. And even if they subsequently cancel, you’ve got their email address which you can use for other forms of marketing.
Action: if your website doesn’t allow online bookings, then investigate the platforms available to you and choose one.
We’re big believers in the power of digital marketing but we also encourage you not to neglect offline options. They work quite well in med spa advertising.
Strategy 1: Encourage customer loyalty with a reward voucher
You put a lot of effort into gaining a new customer. Now you’ve got them, you need to keep them. A huge part of that is about the wonderful experience and results you give them when they come to see you.
Then it’s about encouraging a return visit. You can do that with a good, old-fashioned discount voucher for their next appointment. You can add a sense of urgency by setting the expiry date within 2-3 months of their first visit.
Strategy 2: Print ads in high-end magazines
You provide a luxury service. Your ideal clients are probably enjoying the good life in other areas too. Think about where they might shop, eat or go on holiday then consider taking out print ads in the relevant magazines. You might target local or regional lifestyle magazines, high-end shops, the Qantas Club or luxury local resorts.
Action: Profile your typical customer. Think about where that person shops, eats, relaxes or what they aspire to. Then think about magazines they might read and take out a print ad in the relevant ones.
Blogging & content marketing
Content marketing is a way of connecting with your customers by sharing your expertise. Think about the kinds of questions they ask when they phone up or have their first treatment. Those are ideal topics for content marketing.
You can write blogs or make short videos explaining different treatments – how to prepare, what to expect on the day, how to boost results, at-home skin care routines that work, the best treatment for laughter lines, the difference between Botox and a dermal filler. The possibilities are endless.
Content marketing helps to position your med spa as an expert provider of beauty treatments, a place where people experience renewal and refreshment, where they know they’re in safe hands.
Strategy 1: Develop a content plan
Content marketing needs to be done strategically. So sit down and map out about 3 months’ worth of content ideas. Some will be big and some small. You might plan some brief videos, some social posts and some blogs or downloadable resources that will take a bit more time to produce. Pay attention to seasonal events or special health weeks that might interest your customers.
Strategy 2: Put your plan into action
Now you’ve written your plan, schedule regular time to write your blogs and social posts. Aim for a conversational tone, similar to the way you explain your services to clients in person. Once you’ve written your blog, get a colleague to check it, then upload it to your website and promote it on your socials.
Action: Grab a coffee and write your content plan for the next 3 months. Then set aside regular time in your schedule to create the content (or outsource it to a capable agency like Splice Marketing).
Hopefully that’s given you a few med spa marketing ideas that you can put into practice straight away. Now’s a great time to get ahead of the competition and woo back some customers who are more than ready for a bit of pampering.