The Ultimate Guide to Dermatology Marketing
This Guide Examines Over 14 Unique Dermatology Marketing Channels. We’ve Divided It Into Two Sections: Digital Marketing Ideas & Traditional Marketing Ideas. These Channels Work Together Toward The End Goal Of Driving More Patients To Your Dermatology Practice!
Dermatology Practice Marketing
Whether you’ve just opened your dermatology practice or whether you’ve been in practice but want to bring in more patients, it can be daunting figuring out how to let everyone know you’re the best resource for the care of their skin. Today, the best ROI for your marketing dollars needs to incorporate a mix of both digital and traditional marketing strategies as part of your overall dermatology practice marketing plan.
By reading this guide, you’re already ahead of other practices. This guide is full of dermatology practice marketing ideas, examples, and strategies to ensure you’ll have a steady stream of returning patients and new patients coming through your office door.
Digital Marketing for Dermatology Practices
No matter how long you’ve been tending to your patients’ skin, today if you’re not fully engaged in the digital marketing world, you’re missing the best resource for keeping your current patients and converting potential new patients. It all starts with your dermatology website. That’s your first interaction point in today’s world. From there your digital marketing includes active social media pages, informative blogs, email campaigns, multimedia content, and consistent directory listings across the web. Online marketing is a must for a healthy dermatology practice bottom line
Dermatology Website Design
Your website is your key to success. It’s the place where new patients get their first experience with your dermatology practice. What will their first impressions be? Your site needs to be a showcase for the skills, treatments provided, and attentive staff that sets you apart from other dermatologists. It’s imperative that your website works seamlessly on a laptop or an iPhone, clearly conveys your practice’s brand in the digital world, and makes it incredibly easy for a patient to contact your office with a question about a spot on his or her skin or to schedule an appointment. It goes without saying, but your website is worthless if you don’t have fast, reliable web hosting, as well.
Who are you going to trust to help navigate this digital marketing world? You should start with a digital marketing firm that has specific experience designing sites for dermatologists. You’ll need an agency that understands different conversion strategies for the procedures you specialize in. And your dermatology website isn’t complete without certain design features — before and after galleries, animations of procedures, informative blogging, and strong calls to action to help patients move from curious interest to making an appointment.
Dermatology Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It may seem obvious, but Google and the other search engines have a single goal: to deliver the most relevant search results as quickly as possible. To do so, Google weighs various factors to determine if your website is relevant to the query, is trustworthy, and if it deserves to rank highly in organic search returns. The key is optimizing your dermatology practice website so that you can rank highly for the procedures and treatments you specialize in.
How do you help this happen? Create and provide original content about your key procedures to your digital marketing firm. This type of content can be optimized to help your dermatology practice move up in search returns. The best place to start is to think about your top five procedures and the top five most common questions you get from patients. Write these down, along with the top three benefits for each procedure, and pass them on to your firm.
Local Dermatology Directory Listings
Listings used to be so easy — the Yellow Pages. Today there are hundreds of online directories out there. Your employees surely have better things to do than spend days making sure your information is consistent across these directories. But if you don’t, the inconsistencies guaranteed to be out there confuse search engine algorithms. They assume one listing with “Suite #” and another with “Ste” and another with “Office #” are different businesses. Having consistent NAP — name, address, and phone — information ensures that search engines and patients have correct information. This consistency across the web instills trust, helps bring patients to your dermatology practice, and is crucial in your SEO marketing.
Your dermatology practice needs to work with a digital marketing firm that can handle your directory listings, making sure they are consistent everywhere they appear.
Dermatology Reputation Management
These days everyone is a reviewer, and these online reviews have become crucial for converting potential patients. Reviews often serve as the first impression when a potential patient is looking to find a dermatologist. Responding and engaging with these reviews doesn’t cost a dime in media dollars, but it pays off both in patient loyalty and search. You need to have an office routine to encourage patients to submit reviews and to respond to reviews that have been posted. But it’s hard to be constantly vigilant. How can you know when every new review has been posted?
That’s where reputation management software comes in. Your digital marketing firm needs these tools that alert you when a new review is posted. This software also needs to help you generate reviews from your happy patients. Advice Media has review management software that does all of that, and then some.
Dermatology Social Media Marketing
Social media has moved from a peer-to-peer vehicle for sharing photos to a necessity for every business, dermatologists included. Many potential patients look at a medical practice’s social media presence when weighing whether or not to become an actual patient. When your practice is active on social media, it shows patients and potential patients another side of their dermatologist and your entire staff. This builds trust and loyalty.
But for social media to be effective, you must post consistently. As with managing myriad directories, creating posts may not be the best use of time for you and your staff. It’s worth considering having your digital agency handle your social media profiles and regular posting to take the burden off your staff while still keeping your social media visitors engaged.
You may not be a fan of social media on a personal level, but it’s important for your dermatology practice to have a presence on these platforms. You need a process to ensure regular posting and interacting with posts from visitors. This can be an area where your digital marketing agency can really help. After all, if there’s one rule with social media, it’s that infrequent posting makes for infrequent visitors who never return.
Dermatology Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
If you’ve followed trends in organic search, you know organic results are showing up lower and lower on the page, and there are fewer listings on those SERPs (search engine results pages). That’s because Google and Bing want more pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Pay-per-click advertising means that your dermatology practice only pays when a user clicks on your ad and is directed instantly to your website. With PPC ads, you truly get what you pay for, as you’re only paying when a user hits your site.
Once visitors click through to your site, they need to find robust, engaging content and beautiful website design so that they push deeper into your site. This increases your ROI. There are different SEM ad types, and they require different strategies to optimize your ads to generate leads. It can be somewhat confusing; that’s why you need a dermatology marketing firm to manage your SEM.
Text ads (the paid returns atop the search engine results page) and display ads (ads on the right side or across the entire top of regular webpages) are the two most common search engine ad types. Unlike text ads atop search engine results pages, display ads show up on pages of websites where the visitors match the qualifications you set up. For instance, a display ad could show up for your dermatology practice when a person visits an acne product website.
The key here is to first choose your overall SEO strategy before setting your SEM campaign and budget. This optimizes your website to ensure your budget is efficient and your ad quality scores are high.
Medical Spa Email Marketing
Many dermatologists don’t think about email as a way to market their services. Actually, email presents a great way to remind patients to have their skin checked or to tell them about any new products or skin rejuvenation treatments you may be offering. If you add in a referral program, email can also bring in lots of new patients. If you’re going to handle your practice’s email marketing, you should choose your email marketing platform based on how easy it is to use and the price. How much you’re charged is dictated by the frequency of your emails and the size of your list.
Sending out one email per month is about right for dermatology practices. This email could include a monthly special, skin care tips, new products or treatments (such as Eskata for seborrheic keratoses), and information about your referral program. That referral program needs to offer something to a current patient who refers a new patient, something like a free skin rejuvenation treatment or a high-quality anti-aging serum. Your staff needs to collect these email addresses and manage your email list. To do this you should have a connected form that directly links your website to your email marketing software.
Your dermatology practice website needs a blog. Regular blog posts can drive traffic and potential patients to your site, provide regular content to link to on your social media pages and in your email messages, and are important for SEO for your site. The bots that are continually crawling your site view blogs as new content, and new content helps your site rank higher in organic search.
These blogs should be informational in tone, providing value to both current and potential patients. Posting needs to be consistent, usually one post each month. What should your blogs say? Each post should focus on a single treatment or procedure performed at your dermatology practice. These should be informational, not fluff; they can help position your practice as the dermatology experts. For instance, a blog post could detail your new Fraxel fractional laser treatment or what to look for in a sunscreen.
Generating blogs can be difficult for dermatology practices. Many farm out these duties to freelance writers, or your digital agency should be able to provide this content. By doing so, you ensure your blogging is consistent and the quality is high. Plus, if you have a topic you want to add, you can still do so.
Traditional Dermatology Marketing
We can all get caught up in the digital world, but there is still an entire world of “traditional marketing” out there. You know them as newspaper ads, radio spots, billboards, direct mail, even TV. Unlike the PPC ads described above, with traditional marketing you pay for the possibility of your target audience seeing or hearing your ad. You may buy an ad in a local lifestyle magazine whose demographics match your clientele for some of your skin rejuvenation treatments. Some potential patients may see and read your ad, but there’s no guarantee. That is quite different from paid search ads in your search engine marketing campaign. In that world, users click on your ads and you only pay when they do.
At Advice Media, we believe there is a place for traditional advertising coupled with digital marketing as described above. To make these traditional media cost effective, you need a process to track their effectiveness and ROI, which isn’t always easy. We have options for doing this by directing specific media to specific landing pages or to certain distinct phone numbers. Still, traditional media can be frustrating due to the unknowns and the cost of creative production.
Traditional marketing has been on the decline and will continue to decline for these reasons. That’s why your dermatology practice needs to focus as much as possible on digital marketing options.
Dermatology Business Development
You think of your dermatology practice as a stand-alone business, and you’re not looking to add partners. But if you think of partnerships not as additional names on the door but as associations, you can benefit from them. As a dermatologist, you probably don’t perform facelift surgery, but you can recommend a first-rate plastic surgeon to your patients. That plastic surgeon can then recommend you for skin cancer screenings that he or she doesn’t handle.
You can get creative here; go beyond purely business referrals. You could offer to partner with the local high school for acne education and solutions. Your local newspaper is always looking for content, and you could write a free story on how to know if a mole is dangerous or harmless. In smaller markets, the local TV stations are usually desperate to fill content, and they can be open to doing a story on a new skin rejuvenation treatment you’re offering.
These associations are endless, and they can help build a network of interrelated businesses and non-business entities. A great way to come up with possible associations is to first identify your ideal or typical patient. Then get your whole staff together, along with your dermatology digital marketing firm, to brainstorm creative options for reaching this patient. This can have the added benefit of your staff becoming invested in growing your dermatology patient base.
Dermatology Referral Program
Patients who’ve been referred to your practice are the best — they’ve already heard about what a great dermatologist you are. To encourage word-of-mouth marketing your practice needs to develop a referral program. The benefits should go both ways. Maybe the existing patient who has referred the new patient will receive a free dermal filler treatment or a discount on any treatment you offer. The referred patient could receive a free exfoliating lotion from Obagi at the conclusion of his or her first appointment. A referral program is a great way to reward your best patients for spreading the word about your dermatology expertise.
Having an open house or other event is a great way to create interest outside of your day-to-day skin care services. These events can correspond with a new location, an office remodel, as a reward for your loyal patients, or simply as a yearly open house. Events can seem like a chore during the organization phase, but your patients will appreciate these events and they can attract new patients.
When planning an event, think again about that perfect dermatology patient. Maybe a “Summer Skin Survival Tips Night” could be perfect on a spring evening before beach or pool season. Offer discounts on skin care products. Have a drawing for an IPL photofacial or a traditional facial. Think of what would appeal to that ideal patient of your practice. You’ll want to have catered food, activities, maybe demonstrations of a new procedure such as laser hair removal, prizes, promotional branded items with your logo and practice name on them, and office tours with staff members.
We recommend dermatology practices hold an open house once each year. That way you’ll learn a bit each year about successfully hosting these events, and your patients will begin to look forward to the event each year.
Dermatology Community-Building Events
We all want to feel we’re part of a community; that includes your dermatology practice. Community-building events are a way to build visibility, while helping the community in some way. These are great for adding new patients and to reinforce for your existing patients that they’re giving their business to the right dermatologist.
You could offer free skin cancer screenings at a local community fair. At back-to-school night you could offer an acne workshop on dealing with this universal bane of the teenage years.
Community-building events show that you value being a part of the community and that you’re willing to give back.
Dermatology Speaking Engagements
You’re an expert on the human body’s largest organ, the skin. As such, your knowledge has value out in the skin care universe. You want to build your presence as an authority on the skin, and there is no better way to do that than speaking at a trade show or industry gathering. Attending these symposiums and continuing education conferences is important for staying abreast of changes in the dermatology world. If you do have the opportunity to speak or present at one of these events, be sure to take photos and video, if possible. This makes great content for your website, social media platforms, and in a newsletter or monthly email.