6 Elective Surgery Marketing Must-Dos for 2018 If you own an elective surgery practice – of any specialty – you are probably painfully aware of how competitive the market is for your services. In almost any given geographical area, there can be dozens of surgeons vying for the same patients within a 25-50-mile radius. With so many options for services like LASIK vision correction, BOTOX Cosmetic injections, breast enlargement, rhinoplasty, etc., it is more important than ever to have a strong marketing plan in place. It’s not enough to simply react to drops in your lead counts due to things like unfavorable online reviews or a sudden saturation of marketing by your competitors. You will never be able to gain traction to move ahead if your only plan is one of reaction to events. To be truly successful, your practice needs to have an ongoing strategy to keep your practice – your doctors, your service offerings and your surgical results – in the public eye. That way, if something negative pops up, you will have a strong foundation already in place to respond quickly and tweak your strategies as needed. Fast Track Marketing has helped elective surgery practices brainstorm, implement, track and tweak marketing strategies since 2004. Throughout our 14 years of service, we have learned what works and what falls flat in the world of elective surgery marketing. In looking forward to 2018, our team has identified 6 essential strategies that we think are indispensable for improving your lead generation. With the right people working those leads for you in-house (they may need staff sales training to soar), we feel these strategies will grow your practice’s revenue. Medical Marketing Trends for 2018 #1: Converse with everyone. There are millions of strangers on social media. These strangers – and their friends, co-workers, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings – are potential lifelong patients for your practice. Use your social media platforms to participate in and spark social discussions. Post regularly to your accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. If you only have a Facebook account, consider branching out to other platforms so you can reach a larger population of strangers. The more you post, the better chance your message will be shared, re-Tweeted and linked to by others. Your message has the opportunity to travel farther than you ever imagined. #2: Connect on a first-name basis. People love to be recognized. If you can personalize the email messages you deliver to prospects, you will make an instant connection. It’s hard to ignore seeing your own name online, so those messages have a better chance of standing out in the flood of messages people receive daily. Just make sure your database is accurate; if the names are misspelled or entirely wrong, this tactic will fail. #3: Chat all night long. Thanks to overexposure to blue light from our digital devices (especially before bedtime), more of us are suffering from insomnia. If your sleepless prospects get the impulse to research a life-changing elective procedure in the middle of the night, is your website prepared? People have questions – even sleepy people. If your website is equipped with interactive services such as Live Chat, chatbots, message bots, etc., potential patients will have the power to chat with your practice 24/7. On the flip side, if your site is silent, those sleep-deprived surfers may just move on to your competitor. #4: Market to your community. Most people don’t want to travel too far from home for an elective surgery procedure. By focusing your efforts on local search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, your practice will be more visible to the people in your community. This involves claiming all of the local business listings that are available to you (and making sure they are kept accurate). Your practice should have an SEO expert working daily to ensure that your website content is kept fresh with geographic keywords, your online ads are tagged with local keywords and your website is up-to-date with any algorithm changes being made by Google or other search engines. Because SEO rules change so frequently, this is an ongoing task that cannot slip through the cracks. #5: Capture the moments. It’s been reported that “viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.”1 If you think video is too time-consuming or expensive to incorporate, think again. You undoubtedly have many Wow moments happening in your office on a daily basis. It is easier than ever to create videos of genuine patient experiences that you can share on your website and social media. For example, if a LASIK patient comes out of surgery with the ability to see clearly right away, grab a smart phone or digital video camera and capture that moment on video. Then, upload that video to your website or social media page. It will serve as an immediate patient testimonial that will resonate with other people. You don’t have to wait for Wow moments to occur. Videos can also be used to showcase your doctors’ personalities and help explain how procedures are performed in your office. Live video feeds can be incorporated to show surgeries online, but make sure you avoid any type of gory shots that might make people feel uneasy. Of course, make sure to get written approval from your patients to use their stories for marketing purposes. #6: Mold minds of all ages. When you work in a medical office, you are surrounded by and immersed in your specialty. Sometimes it can be challenging to step out of your environment and remember what it’s like to be someone who needs entry level education on the services you provide. You have the opportunity to be the educator for potential patients, helping them discover why they need your procedures, why your elective procedure is worth their hard-earned money, how it will change their lives and why they should trust your practice. You cannot do all of this in one lump conversation; it takes time – often years – to provide the level of education needed to encourage a person to make the elective surgery leap. By setting up a drip marketing system to continually feed information to prospects, you will position your practice as the expert, answer common questions, help prospects overcome their fears and ultimately drive them to your door. To put an elective surgery marketing team in your corner, contact the experts at Fast Track Marketing. We can help you implement these strategies in 2018 and beyond. Contact Brandi Musgrave at 303-731-2634 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.