Some products and services will only ever appeal to a certain segment of the population. However, for savvy marketers and practice owners these apparent limitations can be an opportunity. By knowing your niche, you know the audience you are trying to reach – now you have to figure out how to reach the consumers you want.
For example, plastic surgeons often want to attract patients considering a specific procedure. Naturally, one of the most common goals of the marketing campaigns implemented by these practices is to perform well in search results and appeal to women thinking about breast augmentation. This is no surprise: Breast augmentation has been the most-performed plastic surgery procedure in the United States for almost 10 years in a row.
However, despite its popularity, profitability, and presence in the national consciousness, a very small percentage of the population actually undergoes breast enhancement. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 286,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in 2014. The World Bank estimates the American population last year nearly reached 319 million.
But don’t despair if only about .09% of the populace purchases the service you offer. The potential audience is still substantial, and successfully reaching even just a few patients can benefit your practice immensely.
So how do you find success in online marketing with a small niche like breast implants? Read on to find out how you can start putting a breast implant campaign into action.
Strategies for Specific Keywords
Think hard about the terms you want your practice website to rank well for when a prospective patient searches for information about breast implants. Be sure to consider similar terms people use for this surgery, such as “breast enhancement,” “breast augmentation,” “breast enlargement,” etc. Also think about more specific terms and phrases searchers might use as they move from consideration to decision, such as “what breast implant size should I get” or “how long does breast implant recovery take.” These are called longtail keyword terms, and they provide another avenue for identifying and providing valuable information to consumers.
Next, think about your target locations. While you might be open (and even eager) to have patients coming to your office from throughout the country, the local community should be your first priority. Search engines like Google are becoming better and better at personalizing search results for users based on many different factors – physical location is one of the most important.
If you track the performance of your website using a tool like Google Analytics, you can see how pages with content on breast implants are performing. You can also see what queries are bringing users to your site by syncing your Analytics account with Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).
Finally, compare your website’s performance in search engine results for the target keywords you’ve identified against the performance of your competitors’ websites. If your competitors consistently outrank you, look at their websites to see what yours might be lacking. If another plastic surgeon on page 1 employs user-friendly Web design, keeps the website updated with fresh content, maintains an active and engaging social media profile, has numerous reviews, and takes other steps to set the practice apart online, you might need to think about how to accentuate your own online presence in order to compete with your rivals in the local marketplace.
Attracting an Audience with Social Media
There is no greater tool for connecting directly with potential patients than social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a plethora of other platforms make it possible for you to tap directly into the interests and activities of the people you want to reach.
How? The best first step is to make sure your profile is complete. Each social media site generally provides tips on information you should include – follow all of those suggestions, then go the extra mile to personalize it.
Once your profile is complete, start posting content that resonates with the users you’re trying to target. Experiment with posting at different times of day, different days of the week, and different types of posts and content you share. You don’t need a set number of posts on any given platform to be successful – experimenting is the best way to figure out what works for your business. Then, test the experiment by leveraging the power of each individual platform’s insights or analytics tool to understand what times your users are online.
And be creative, unique, and genuine. For example, did you know that in North America August 24 is Go Topless Day? While we certainly wouldn’t recommend readers test the acceptability of this practice in the eyes of local law enforcement, this strange observance is a topic plastic surgeons who perform breast augmentation can leverage on social media – the subject is novel and interesting, relevant to services performed by your practice, and is likely to catch the eye of social media users who have an interest in plastic surgery.
If you have multiple social networks set up for your practice, you can also cross-promote posts from one account to the others. For example, if you share a post from Google+ with your followers on Facebook and vice-versa, you have the opportunity to broaden your viewership on both platforms.
One word about reviews and online comments:
Social networks like Facebook and Google+ have functionality that allows users to review a business directly on the profile page, and many users take to social media to post comments about products and services. Online consumers trust word of mouth and reviews much more than pitches directly from a business, so it’s important to have a lot of reviews on your social platforms from happy patients.
Social media networks are a great venue to promote positive reviews, and you’ll likely get more referrals if you’re able to create more buzz around your practice. However, in the event that you receive a negative review on one of your social media profiles, attempt to resolve the situation gracefully and in a timely fashion. Handling a dissatisfied customer with poise and understanding will only enhance the image of your practice online in the eyes of potential patients comparing your work to that of your competitors.
Designing and Building a New Website
Your website should reflect the image you want your practice to project, including the logo, color scheme, and other imagery throughout the site. However, as important as it is for the look of the website to be indicative of you and your practice’s “personality,” it’s also vital to make the site inviting and easy to navigate for users.
User-friendly websites have a clean visual design with a clear flow that brings users to the information they want quickly. Ideally the site will contain call-to-action elements that entice a reader to continue moving through the site and eventually call your office phone number, email you, or fill out an online contact form explaining their interest in breast implants.
Plastic surgery is a visual medium, so you’ll also want to make sure users are able to see pictures of results from prior procedures, not just read about them. Before and after galleries are some of the most-visited pages on many plastic surgery websites, so it’s very important to have quality images of some of your best breast enhancement cases for visitors to review.
Also, take another look at your Google Analytics account to see what type of device the majority of users are on when they access your website. If you see that your site receives a high amount of traffic from users on mobile devices, it might be worth investing in a responsive website that dynamically adjusts the user experience to fit any device type.
Earlier this year Google announced an algorithm update designed to boost the rankings of sites with mobile-friendly design. If your competitors’ websites are mobile-friendly and your site is not, you could be at a significant disadvantage in local search, especially if a substantial number of visits to your website come from mobile devices.
Structuring Your Campaign: What’s in a Website?
In the past, domain names with a direct connection to the keyword a user enters were heavily favored by search engines. You might have performed a number of face and body procedures at your plastic surgery practice, but you might have needed a standalone website on breast implants to compete for this coveted keyword.
Although domain considerations are still important in search results, search engines have become smarter with subsequent updates used to determine rankings. Many plastic surgery practices now have inclusive websites with content on all of the services they perform, including breast implants, and they are able to rank on page 1 for many procedure-specific keywords.
A single website for your practice as opposed to sub-websites focused on specific practice areas has several advantages. First, you can invest your money and time into one site rather than spreading your budget too thin across multiple domains. Second, you solidify your identity and authority in the eyes of visitors: A user can see at a glance that you perform breast augmentation, and he or she can assess your complete bio and even view alternative procedures if breast surgery turns out not to be a viable option.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you won’t have to split up the keyword list for your campaign across multiple websites. You also will not have to risk competition between your breast implant mini-site and your primary practice website.
Obviously there are many different aspects involved in a successful niche marketing campaign. The steps above should help get you started, but it’s important to be persistent in your efforts. Getting keywords for a competitive term like breast implants to rank well in search takes time and effort, but the investment you make in the Web presence of your practice can lead to significant returns.
By Adam Rowan, Content Specialist at Page 1 Solutions