While we’re all focused on keeping our families safe and avoiding illness during COVID-19, every practice owner is also concerned with business survival. We are all struggling, but many of us can come back stronger.
It may seem odd at first, but with our professional analysis of current online behavior coupled with your own creative pivots in your messaging, your practice can make great strides during and after COVID-19.
While elective procedures are effectively banned in the United States, demand for surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments are higher than you may think. Many practice owners receive phone calls wondering when they will reopen so they can resume their treatments. Others are selling service packages and shipping skin care products to their now homebound clients.
Anecdotally, we have all seen our own friends posting on social media, daydreaming about the glorious spa day waiting for them on the other side of this pandemic.
People have hope. They see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The question is, will you be there to meet their needs now and in the future? Only if you put yourself out there the right way.
I often preach about the 80/20 rule, which in digital marketing refers to being social 80% of the time and promotional the other 20% of the time. During the pandemic, your 80% “social” strategy should adjust to acknowledge our current reality, provide hope, and inspire your audience to help the community. Your 20% promotional content should be a softer sell and less pitchy, while continuing to acknowledge the Covid-19 pandemic in hopeful ways.
But, what does this look like? Here are some ideas.
For every 10 pieces of content you put out, 8 of them should give freely while 2 should include a solid call-to-action. Here are some examples you can use for your practice. You can also use this to inspire other ideas which may work better for your unique brand.
When we give without asking anything in return, we can expect to see great rewards. By giving without any call-to-action or sales pitch, you can grow your audience and increase valuable brand awareness. Here are some ways you can do that in the age of social distancing:
Support Front Line Workers: Share a post from a close friend or colleague who is on the front lines, or share a personal story of your medical experience prior to your current speciality. I have personally spoken to many aesthetic nurses and physicians who described their prior work experience in the emergency department and intensive care units. Use it to inspire and connect with your audience without any expectations.
Share Free Skin or Wellness Tips: Do you meditate? Film a guided meditation video. Are you an expert in nutrition and weight loss? Do a quick video sharing free tips on the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle while isolating. Teach your followers how to perform a deep cleansing facial at home using products you sell (without a call-to-action).
Share Your Community Contributions: Donating personal protective equipment? Snap a photo and share it! Donating blood? Take a selfie and encourage others to follow your lead. Take a photo of food items before you deliver it to the local food pantry. You are already supporting your community. Showcase your efforts and inspire hope.
Post Inspirational Quotes and Messages: It may seem cheesy, but a well-branded inspirational quote can trigger feelings of hope in those who feel helpless. What do your friends, family, and clients need to hear right now? Do you have a personal philosophy which helps you through times of trouble? Share it.
Be Funny: This is always good advice. Make people laugh and they love you. During a pandemic and a stock market in turmoil, people need laughter more than ever. Find some good quarantine jokes and just roll with it. Do what you’re comfortable with, and make sure it’s on-brand for your practice.
Go Live: Host live question and answer sessions from your practice on Facebook and Instagram. So many people are working from home. Others just have a lot more time to waste on social media. Be there and offer them the distraction they are craving.
Your sales pitch must come after you’ve sufficiently given freely without expectation. We also recommend softer sales language during this time while continuing to acknowledge the gravity of this moment.
Sell Products: People still want their stuff, and they aren’t just hunting down toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Some of your clients and others you have never met have run out of essential skin care products which help them with skin conditions. Be the one to supply it and you could earn new business long after the end of the pandemic. Consider offering discounts or free shipping to help entice quick purchases right now.
“Buy Now, Redeem Later” Treatment Packages: People who are stuck at home want something to look forward to. Give it to them! Offer a discount to purchase today and redeem once you’re open. We have already seen this work wonders for some of our clients. Implemented properly, this can work for you as well.
Generate New Leads: How many people have put off looking for an expert speciality provider like you because they were too busy? They aren’t too busy now, and they are looking for you! Be there! Generate those leads. Consider using Facebook or Instagram ad dollars to help you reach a new audience. Advertising costs have dropped, so it’s the perfect time to start. Offer free phone or telehealth consultations to get the ball rolling. Keep in touch with them and reach out once you are about to reopen to get them scheduled for an in-person visit.
Gift Card Sales: Sell gift cards or credits either as-is or with bonus dollars for gift certificates purchased during your office closure. This is a good way to entice people to buy now and redeem later if they don’t know what treatments they will want.
While your most pressing priority is generating revenue now to support your practice, I do recommend devoting some time and energy to evergreen content which you can use once your doors reopen.
Start a blog. Write more content for your website. Record video content. Take photos for social media. Whatever you haven’t been doing to grow your in-house marketing collateral, do it now. This is a great time to grow that content base to improve your search engine optimization and social media presence.
Jennifer Kilkenny is the Managing Director of Total Social Solutions, an internet marketing agency dedicated to aesthetic and medical practices. She is also the former Director of Social Media Marketing for Girls in Tech, Las Vegas. Jennifer and her team at Total Social Solutions have worked with Terri Ross and TRC clients since 2012, providing marketing support for clients across the country.
Terri Ross can take your business to new levels, whether you’re looking for exclusive private strategy sessions, corporate sales training, or a keynote speaker for the next major aesthetic event. Book Terri Ross today to take the first steps in giving your business the tools it needs to succeed in this incredibly competitive landscape.