Finally, the end is in sight! That’s the feeling among both clinics and clients, after the government announced its new ‘roadmap’ proposal for lifting lockdown – with the ‘open date’ for aesthetics falling on 12th April.
As one of the leading aesthetics digital marketing agencies in the country, we know that having a strategy in place is essential for any time of year, and were proved right when predicting it would be even more so during the pandemic. We’ve seen many of our own clients managing unprecedented demand for their aesthetics treatments, as people battle to book around changing restrictions, and even under lockdown, there’s been a surge in interest around fitness, wellbeing and aesthetics. Now that the consensus is that we’re coming through the other side of coronavirus, the drive for self-treating and ‘need’ for treatments is thriving, and many have been saving instead of spending post-Christmas.
As the tide turns and 12th April looms closer, the competition is even tighter than ever, and all clinics are in the same boat – so it’s more important than ever to be first during this transitional time. That’s why our team have put together 10 clever tips for your clinic, helping you bounce back and maximise your profit in what we all hope is the twilight of the pandemic.
1) Communicate when you’re open
Aside from sharing the good news, some of your clients may not be aware about when your sector can re-open following lockdown – so be prepared to shout about the date. Even though there’s a couple of months between now and 12th April, you can still drum up interest and take bookings for the future. One of our top tips is to consider opening at weekends or evenings – even if a temporary measure, it could help with the initial rush of bookings.
2) Attract with an offer
Even luxury brands know how – and when – to spin a promotion. Not only can it help usurp your competition, but it can also enhance your clients’ loyalty, especially when it might have been some time since their last visit (or your last communication with them). Communicating your offer over email is a great way to get the word out, as it’s cheap, quick and trusted.
3) Prioritise popular treatments
It might be winter now, but it won’t be when lockdown lifts, and your clients will no doubt be looking ahead to the summer holidays – even in February. Find your focus by making a list of the treatments that are most popular (and profitable) between April and June, as these are what you should target come opening. If your clients respond well to any skin campaign or treatment promotion, then put together a ‘welcome back’ offer that’s relevant to the treatments that are popular at this time of year.
4) Get Google optimised
Google doesn’t care about covid. If you don’t put the time, money and effort into your organic (website) SEO during the coming weeks, you’ll be paying for it later, as around 70% of clicks are spent on these rankings on Google’s search results pages, and it’s likely you’ll have slipped down the list during closures. Even if you’re still in good standing, your competitors will soon be turning up the heat with their own campaigns, and you’ll be left playing catch-up.
5) Advocate paid ads
Set up your advertising campaigns to reach clients immediately and aggressively before you open. Consider all avenues by implementing targeted, paid ads on both social media and Google. While Facebook is the leading social media platform, some of your clients may not be using any social media day-to-day, so a dual-pronged approach ensures no-one is missed.
6) Engage with email
Even if you’ve managed to touch base with your clients now and then during covid, it’s important to continue to do so. This helps keep your clinic and treatments fresh in their minds, and can drive loyalty, as clients won’t feel forgotten. It’s especially important to keep your clients updated during the transition, especially if any measures change or disruption is experienced. Outline your opening times for the future (and now, if different), plus any changes to your booking process, and offers you might be running. By being proactive now, you’ll reap the benefits later.
7) Take payments in advance
It’s now a waiting game until 12th April rolls around, and your clients may book early with your clinic, only to go elsewhere or change their minds when the time comes. It’s also possible that you’ll have so many bookings, that some of your clients may have to wait longer for their treatments. Secure your appointments for later by encouraging a deposit or advanced payment now, helping to catch up on, and bank more, business.
8) Optimise your website
Your website is a digital version of your clinic and needs to be up-to-date both in the run-up to reopening, and on the 12th April itself. Ensure you tick off the basics – pricing, opening hours, new treatments – or consider an all-out revamp to stay one step ahead of your competitors. For example, you could incorporate an online booking and/or payment facility. In other words, now is the perfect time to picture where you want your clinic to be.
9) Consider an estore
Even though lockdown will end, there’s still a way to go yet – and there’s no 100% guarantee the government won’t lockdown again (or come up with a similar system, like last year’s tiers). In addition, some of your clients will have got into habits like shopping online, or are more open to online practices that centre around your clinic, such as making bookings or payments. An estore can also target those who may not feel ready to venture out for an in-clinic treatment, but who might be open to trying skincare products from the comfort of their homes.
10) Budget’s the word
As a new financial year looms, and the government’s budget is announced next week on 3rd March, it’s key that your clinic is prepared for the inevitable increase in corporation tax. However, investing in your business can help reduce your overall tax bill, as marketing is tax-deductible – so it could be the perfect time to market the treatment you’ve always wanted to do, while making some tidy savings along the way.
This year has been one of winners and losers, where we’ve proved that if your clients can’t book with you, they’ll go elsewhere. Loyalty has been pushed to the limit, and while many businesses have boomed, others have braced themselves for a huge loss of custom.
Whatever the case, now’s the time to get back on track – because even if an unexpected twist (a new strain, a jump in cases) does occur, we’re armed with adjustable vaccines, greater data, and more determination than ever before. And, because with Cosmetic Digital, you have the experts on your side to help keep your clinic profitable.
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