You need more than SEO in this market; it should include a comprehensive, multi-channel approach.
When we started our firm four years ago, we were an SEO only Digital Marketing shop. I would pontificate that organic traffic is pure, has the best conversion rates and as Google accounted for 76% of web searches last year. Therefore what I was saying four years ago, still holds true today. But Google also earned close to $37 billion last year in PPC alone. The reason is that there are now only nine spots on Google organic search and marketers and companies alike do not want to invest in SEO or simply want to cut the line. Makes perfect sense as this is the reason why Google has a license to print money through their Pay Per Click Program.
With that being said we stuck to our guns and only promoted SEO as the primary tool for promoting online. That was only up to two years ago as we started seeing a lot of noise. I know it may sound obvious to most now, Social Media was never really a client attraction tool. It was fantastic for awareness, but at first, we didn’t find social media visitors to our sites as interested as our SEO traffic from a conversion standpoint. We considered a conversion an actionable step, either an email, phone call or physical visit.
Then Instagram grew to over a half of billion users. Also, Snapchat came on the scene like a bat out of hell. I recently interviewed the infamous Dr. Miami in his office as his Snapchat account, @therealdrmiami boasts close or 2 million views a single post. He can cut through SEO, PPC, and even traditional TV by having a direct relationship with his audience. He came in second in the Shorty Awards just behind DJ Khaled as he has close to 8 million views daily. What is fascinating about Dr. Miami as he is a Gen X’er pitching to mostly millennials. He does so in their voice, and he provides them with quality content as he grows his audience as a result.
Up north in NYC, it’s a different story. Although Plastic Surgery is widely accepted, it’s still conservative regarding its promotion. Gotham Plastic Surgery comprises of Dr. Philip Miller and Dr. Douglas Steinbrech; each takes a different approach to social media than their colleague in Miami. Dr. Miller who specializes in Facial Procedures will share “Rhinoplasty reveals” which is when a patient sees their nose for the first time after surgery. Although it still is swollen, it provides an often an emotional response for the patient and Dr. Miller alike. Although he admittedly struggled with being more open with his life on social media, he now proudly shares his desk with his dog Cooper as that appears to have garner engagement which is on par with his patient centric content. Dr. Miller was one of the first Plastic Surgeons in NYC to use SEO as a primary tool, but has adjusted with the times and now employees social media to connect directly with current and prospective patients.
His business partner Dr, Steinbrech, who focuses on Male Plastic Surgery, likes to have his work speak for itself. Although he is occasionally sharing some great words of wisdom, he leads with before and afters of his work, so his patients know what to expect from a results perspective. Although promoting Plastic Surgery to men and women are very different, the platforms remain the same, specifically leading with Instagram and Snapchat. Dr. Steinbrech has dedicated accounts for his male focused NYC and his Male Plastic Surgery LA office. Although there is only a handful of Plastic Surgeons that devote the majority of his practice to male aesthetics, there is still a lot of noise to cut through from a promotional perspective. Although he is not ready to abandon PPC and SEO, Social Media has become a core marketing channel for his growing practice.
There are many actionable items and learnings from these three very different surgeons:
1) Content is still king, but produce content that is congruent to your business. Although your competitor may be a bit more cavalier with their content, you should create content that fits your brand story/message.
2) Live in your clients head. If you’re a Gen Xer and you want to target Millennials, produce content that will resonate with Gen Y. Don’t know what they want, simply ask them over your social media channels, and they will answer if they see fit
3) If you haven’t already, Instagram and Snapchat accounts you should create and post almost daily. They are simply too big to ignore. Especially for visual industries such as fashion and even food.
4) Although SEO should still be a primary channel for promotion, do not ignore Social Media and even PPC as clients can be recruited many different ways.
Plastic Surgery is a personal decision and mostly private, but we can learn from these three separate approaches to marketing on social media.
Image Source: Google Images