In theory, it should be easier than ever to advertise a plastic surgery practice. The reach of the Internet, the ease of social media, and an increasing obsession with body image should set the stage for success for virtually all plastic surgeons. And yet, many surgeons struggle to find the right formula to maximize their own marketing. Here are five mistakes that are commonly made by plastic surgeons and how they can be rectified. It’s very possible that you may be making these same mistakes without realizing.

Inconsistent Sales Process

The sad reality of plastic surgery is that the majority of people who request information about your company won’t be customers anytime soon. Many people are simply curious about what their options are, and they’re frequently not ready to take the next step. That’s why you should focus less on generating a high number of leads, and focus more on converting qualified leads that stand a chance of receiving an operation in the near future.

Developing a consistent sales process will do a lot to streamline your approach, not to mention save you time and money. Train your staff to use their time to attract the prospects that trigger certain flags, such as income levels. Tell them exactly what points to hit, what questions to ask and how to close the deal. The more routine your process becomes, the easier it’ll be for your employees to execute. And as they carry out that routine, they’ll identify ways to tweak the process, making your sales process as current and effective as possible.

Using tools like marketing automation and customer relationship management can help you to follow up with prospects as they maneuver through the sales funnel. CRM software is able to identify where each potential customer is located in the funnel, enabling you to issue customized communications that will speak directly to their situation.

Inadequate Lead Generation

The tried-and-true method of accumulating leads through a form on your website has gotten you far, but it’s not the only method of lead generation. The truth is, only a certain segment of your audience – that group of people which is ready to go through with the surgery – will fill out that form. However, to really market effectively to your entire audience, you need to reach all of your potential customers, no matter where they may be on the sales funnel.

One of the biggest challenges faced by plastic surgeons is managing expectations and not leading prospective customers into developing unrealistic expectations. You can do a great service to these individuals – and a great service to your bottom line – by educating these leads about the plastic surgery process. Tools like blogs, eBooks, videos and whitepapers enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and to help your prospects make an informed decision. Show these people how patients have come to you in the past and how you’ve been able to help them. Talk about the ways in which their lives may be affected. Discuss the cost benefits of surgery in comparison with an endless supply of creams and wraps. A more educated customer is not only more willing to undergo a procedure, but they’re also more likely to rave about the experience afterward. That personal recommendation is what will help you attract more customers down the road.

As you issue these marketing materials, your CRM software can show you who’s downloaded your content. You can then use this information to identify your strongest leads, and those prospects should go directly to your sales team to begin your defined sales process.

Paid Search Marketing

Paid search engine marketing has been a staple of plastic surgeon marketers for years, and with good reason. Who wouldn’t want to land atop the search rankings for plastic surgery in their area? It solves two of the main issues faced by plastic surgeons – getting their names out there, and standing out in the face of local competition.

The problem is that with paid search, your place atop the search rankings only lasts as long as you’re willing to pay for the right to stay on top. What’s more, Web users are increasingly savvy to ads, and they know that the top three entries on any search are paid advertisements. To get around this issue, you’ll have to climb the rankings organically.

This doesn’t mean stuffing your content with the keywords for which you want to score with Google. In fact, doing this will bring about the exact opposite result. Above all else, Google rewards quality content that’s relevant to the audience searching for a given keyword. The blogs, videos and eBooks you’ve created for your lead generation strategy will also help you to climb the search engine rankings. As long as you continue to use this content to answer the questions posed by your patients, the search engines will look favorably on your site.

Absence of Video Testimonials

At the end of the day, any marketing technique you employ won’t be nearly as effective as the power of word of mouth. Your content is starting to build the groundswell of support for your company, but you also need to physically show your audience that you’re capable of delivering the goods.

Ninety percent of customers state that video is helpful to them in making a decision. And there’s no better way to show off the results of your surgeries than through video. The possibilities for your video testimonials are endless. Interviews with patients, before and after photos, and insights from members of your staff who worked with the patient are just a few ways you can use video to your advantage.

The real power of these video testimonials can be seen when they’re shared on social media. Anyone who is truly happy with your work will be glad to show off the results. In the process, your patients become your biggest brand advocates, and they’ll essentially do some of your marketing on your behalf. They can sell prospective patients on the reasons why you stand out as a plastic surgeon, and those leads will get an idea of what they can expect from their own surgeries.

These testimonials also give you the chance to pick and choose what parts of the company you want seen online. That is, you have the power to decide what procedures you want people to know about. For instance, if you want to promote your work in breast augmentation, create video testimonials about your previous breast augmentation work and encourage your patients to share those videos.

Investment vs Expense

Marketing is frequently looked at as an expense. However, that’s the exact wrong way to view marketing. Instead of seeing it as an expense, look at it as an investment into your company’s future.

If you don’t have a steady inflow of new patients, your business will be unsustainable. Therefore, your marketing investment secures your status as a leading plastic surgeon. Best of all, using inbound marketing as your platform will help your business to grow exponentially. Every patient you operate on will leave your office with an arsenal of educational tools and iron-clad proof of your abilities as a surgeon, meaning those patients will be happy to help you to build your brand.

Ultimately, the success of any marketing campaign is determined by the company’s return on investment. Thanks to inbound marketing, instead of placing ads in a trade publication and hoping for the best, you can truly see the ROI of your marketing efforts. This allows you to constantly monitor the effectiveness of your campaign, while making any necessary changes along the way.

Need to increase the return on your current marketing? Contact the Plastic Surgery marketing experts at HIP Creative for your marketing blueprint today.