Digital marketing consultant Adam Hampson explains effective ways to market your clinic’s new machine to optimise enquiries online
With the rise in the popularity of non-surgical cosmetic procedures and industry growth,1 there comes a rise in new machines and technologies. Taking on some of the latest in aesthetic technology is extremely exciting for an aesthetic clinic and the decision to purchase or upgrade is often reactive; it performs well, or better than others, so you invest in it.
But, if you’re not marketing your new technologies at the right time or in the right way then you risk missing out on precious patient interest, engagement, enquiries and appointments. So, let’s explore effective strategies for marketing your new machine or device in the digital and online setting for optimum engagement. This article will focus on digital marketing efforts in the pre-launch period, although you should continue to market the technology after that.
Having the latest and greatest machine at your clinic/business keeps you ahead of the curve, a forerunner in your local aesthetics community, and a trusted source for new treatments. However, unless you have marketed your new device prior to its launch and introduced it into your clinic through a pre-launch campaign, your patients won’t even know about it and certainly won’t be excited about it. Even if you are in your trial period with this machine and using it on a willing patient before taking bookings for it, it’s still useful to market it as ‘coming soon’ to your clinic so that there is some form of expectation when you do decide to launch it. Planning ahead by at least a month is important when introducing a new machine and failing to do so could detract a lot of wind from beneath your new machine’s wings. This is because you need this time for your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and keywords to take effect and rank in a search engine.
One of the most common mistakes is to launch a new machine without implementing a carefully thought-out digital marketing strategy behind it.2 Without marketing your machine properly online, you’re not introducing it to the combined worlds of new and existing website traffic early enough to garner fresh interest.
The key to planning and successfully implementing a pre-launch strategy is to create an expectant atmosphere around this machine that is new, exciting and, most importantly, relevant to your target patients
Most brands and companies will already have a pre-prepared marketing toolkit for those who invest in their machines to use. Depending on the company, these might include things like case studies and statistics, as well as licensed before and after images, other promotional imagery and branded graphics. These are useful when marketing during your machine’s pre-launch because you may not have this organic content yourself, but you can still provide valuable patient insight into the machine’s capabilities and possible treatment outcome.
When you implement a strategy before the treatment is launched, you effectively stir the pot and entice enquiries, or at least engagement with this new machine. You can then hit the ground running, so to speak, with potential enquiries and introductions when the machine is launched.
Digital platforms such as social media, your website and blog are ideal places for marketing your new machine. By combining these, you have the potential to reach new traffic and convert those already trusted in your services to a new treatment course. The key to planning and successfully implementing a pre-launch strategy is to create an expectant atmosphere around this machine that is new, exciting and, most importantly, relevant to your target patients.
When you introduce a new device, you should firstly ensure it is showcased on your website around four weeks before you launch. This could take the form of a banner on your home page that is complete with a product photo and language invoking that this machine is the machine for the selected treatment, and an exciting ‘coming soon’ cliff-hanger (Figure 1). Personalise this approach with a solution to a problem this machine treats or pose a rhetorical question related to this problem area, such as ‘do you have stubborn cellulite?’ This will lead your website traffic’s thought processes into how this new machine could benefit them, and potentially lead to further investigation and enquiries.
This teaser banner can include a URL link that takes the individual to a full treatment page dedicated to your new machine on your website and/or blog posts regarding it. This is where, through engaging copywriting and carefully chosen images, you can cultivate more of an understanding of this new treatment or machine. Break this down into key information; present a short and engaging title that encapsulates the machine’s unique selling point. Short imperatives such as ‘restore lost volume’ or ‘reintroduce a natural glow’ are suggestive of treatment outcomes before your traffic is even aware of the procedure. Follow this with the areas or conditions this machine targets, and frequently-asked questions. This prepares your potential patient with all the information they need to decide whether they are interested in the treatment or not, and signing off your blog posts with a call to action to contact you provides a real-time potential for enquiries.
Remember that for your new device to be successful on your website you need your website to be well-positioned on search engines. This provides you with a ‘base’ of traffic to communicate your new machine to. The aforementioned web content should contain search engine-friendly attributes like keywords and satisfactory page lengths to positively contribute to your SEO.3 For keywords, you need to place yourself in your traffic’s (or potential patient’s) shoes; they might not know the technical name or brand for a treatment but know they would like the effects and results of it. For example, if the treatment provides the results of a ‘non-surgical facelift’, use this phrase as a keyword, rather than its full treatment name that your potential patients wouldn’t recognise or even know yet. By using these accommodating phrases in your copywriting and other targeting techniques, consumers searching for treatments that deliver their desired results are more likely to find your website and engage with your content.4
Social media is exceptionally useful at reaching and converting your audience who already have experience and trust placed in your clinic. Your followers, especially those in your local area, likely know of your services and are usually already acquainted with your treatments, so engaging them with a new machine is paramount.
Curate a careful content campaign by utilising the marketing materials that may have been provided to you from the company or create your own. Use stock images, your brand colours, text, and your logo to provide an info-graphic, for example.
To build trust in your brand and the new machine during pre-launch marketing, include photos of you and your team during and after their training to showcase professional development
New machines mean new training, and this is ideal for social media interaction. In order to build trust in your brand and the new machine during pre-launch marketing, include photos of you and your team during and after their training in order to showcase professional development and the perceived skills necessary in order to use this machine. Letting your following see the faces behind this new machine to learn who will be carrying out the treatment is likely to boost their trust in your brand.5 Photos with the industry leader, trainer, or even machine branding in the background coupled with smiling faces and certificates work well on social media, and your patient base will reward you for it.
When adding a new machine or treatment to your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to act pre-emptively and proactively rather than reactionary. Build the suspense, interest, and prestige of the machine before you launch with an event, open day, or treatment taster offer and you increase your chances of attracting enquiries and conversions.