Back in January, we looked at harnessing the marketing power of Instagram – many of you found this an interesting topic, so we’ve decided to look in more detail at how you can use the platform to bring in more clients to your clinic.
Who’s using Instagram and why it matters to your clinic
According to the latest stats (January 2018), women are slightly more likely to use Instagram than men, and the largest group of users currently fall in the 18-29 age bracket.
Apparently, 31% of Instagram users make more than $75,000 a year (that translates to approximately £53,000) and over 80% of users follow at least one business on the platform. In fact, 200 million Instagrammers interact with businesses on a daily basis.
Stats also show that 60% of Instagram users find new products and services on the platform and an impressive 70% take action after looking at a brand’s post.
This offers huge potential to the 25 million businesses that are already using Instagram for social media marketing (a figure that has shot up by 10 million since July 2017!).
Put simply, Instagram is an effective way to reach young, affluent individuals who aspire to the lifestyles of the rich and famous (Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Beyonce each have more than 100 million followers).
Marketing your clinic on Instagram
Beauty and fitness brands dominate Instagram with 43% of businesses within this industry already visible on the platform.
Within that category, 65% of the top cosmetics brands, 63% of the top beauty brands, 43% of the top skin care brands and 16% of the top weight loss brands have a presence.
Your clinic’s core message is that you help people to look and feel great, which fits perfectly with the visual and aspirational focus of Instagram. And as we can see, you’ll be in good company.
Our top seven Instagram marketing tips:
We’ve put together some of our top tips for marketing your clinic on Instagram:
1. Set up your Instagram business profile
Your first step is to set up an Instagram business profile. Using a business rather than personal profile gives you access to key insights into how your posts are performing so that you can refine your Instagram strategies moving forwards.
You can also promote posts and create advertising via a business profile.
2. Add a logical URL to your profile
Instagram is different to Facebook and Twitter in that you can’t feature active links in individual posts. Instagram is more about building brand awareness and encouraging brand searches (i.e. where people include your clinic name in their Google search) than driving direct traffic to your website.
You can, however, include a URL in your profile bio. Our advice is to choose a URL where it would make sense for people to arrive on your site from Instagram.
Some leading brands choose to feature the link to their main blog page or to their main services page. Others change the URL on a regular basis so that it always takes visitors to the most recent blog article.
It’s worth experimenting with different URLs to see which ones attract the most attention. Linking to your latest blog is a great strategy – then you can tell your followers that the link is in your bio.
3. Write a bio
Speaking of your page’s bio, it’s important to complete this as it will always appear at the top of your Instagram profile.
Ideally, your bios should be consistent across all social media channels, giving the same core message.
With Instagram, you only have 150 characters to play with so you have to be strategic about what you say.
Our advice is to try to feature the keywords that describe your clinic, as well as the main hashtags that sum up your business (more about this below), and a URL linking to your website.
Although based in two very different industries, here are some great examples of Instagram-savvy bios from Search Engine Land and ASOS below:
4. Plan your content
It isn’t enough to decide to market your clinic on Instagram – you need to have a strategy.
The most important step is to understand who you want to reach. It might be appropriate to target a segment of your audience, such as 20- to 30-year-olds, with a message about preventing skin ageing rather than more invasive/restorative treatments aimed at an older age group. Or you could target people who are getting married with aspirational posts about beautiful wedding day smiles.
The next step is to plan out the content you’re going to post.
Popular post types on Instagram include:
- Practical/actionable ideas – you could post pictures of skincare products that people can use for specific problems, or ask people to post their own pictures of how their skin looks post-treatment
- Inspirational quotes/messages
- Photos of people your clients admire
- Behind the scenes/a day in the life of your clinic photos
- Posts that promote good causes
- Shoppable posts where people post ‘sold’ in the comments to agree to being contacted about buying a specific product
- Stock images/crowd sourced images from other sources
- Ask the audience – a question posed on top of an image
- Offers and promotions (just not all the time!)
- Throwback posts
- Humorous posts
- Event/inside the clinic posts
- Topical posts that tie into news stories or special dates on the calendar
- Instagram Stories – these are a single post or series of posts that are visible for just 24 hours but tell your followers about a specific event, day or topic – you can post as many pictures as you want without fear of bombarding people’s feeds because all of the ‘Story’ images will appear together
5. Use hashtags
We briefly mentioned hashtags in our last blog but it’s a point worth repeating.
Marketing research shows that Instagram posts featuring at least one hashtag in the description attract 12.6% more engagement than posts without any hashtags.
Hashtags help to signpost to Instagram what the picture you’ve posted is about so that, when users search for that particular hashtag, Instagram is able to return all of the images that include it in the search results.
Hashtags like #coolsculpting #fit #fitnotfat #beautiful #skincareroutine #confidence #inchloss and others can all help your content to be found.
If you’re not sure what hashtags to use, a good starting point is to check out your competitors’ Instagram profiles, then enter the hashtags they’re using in the search bar to see what kind of content comes up.
We also found a brilliant list of common social media hashtags over on Stylecaster.com – you might be able to use ones like #FOTD (Find of the day), #HTH (Here to help) or #TBT (throw-back Thursday) to get people talking.
6. Pick your filter
Apparently, 60% of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter on every post so that their followers begin to recognise the brand ‘look’ in their feeds.
So far in 2018, the most popular filters worldwide are Clarendon, Juno and Gingham. It’s worth experimenting with your look – Valencia, Normal and Brooklyn are all popular for nature shots, while Kelvin, Valencia and Nashville reign supreme for fashion/lifestyle brands.
7. Experiment with when you post
The top brands on Instagram publish an average of 4.9 posts per week but you will need to figure out what works best for you and your audience.
Overall, the best time for engagement on Instagram is 5pm on Wednesdays but every audience is different.
Our advice is to try posting at different days and times and keeping an eye on the metrics Instagram provides about how people are interacting with your content. You can always tweak when you post to fit your audience.
Instagram is about building brand awareness
If you can build brand awareness of your clinic using Instagram, you should see an increase in web traffic and enquiries over time.
Evidence shows that 70% of consumers look for known retailers in searches so, if someone has seen your clinic on Instagram, they are more likely to click on your listing in a search result page.
One story that illustrates the power of Instagram is that of fashion retailers, Fashion Nova. At the beginning of 2017, they were able to rank number one for the keyword ‘fashion’ and achieve high page one rankings for phrases like ‘jeans’ and ‘denim dress’.
What SEO experts found is that Fashion Nova have 9.5 million Instagram followers.
These people had been seeing their content on the platform, then heading to Google to search for ‘Fashion Nova jeans’ and other items.
In the end, Google decided that so many fashion searches contained the name Fashion Nova that the company should rank highly for generic fashion search terms too. This enabled them to rank alongside and compete with household names like Levi’s and H&M.
While we can’t promise you 9.5 million followers, Instagram represents an exciting opportunity for you to tell potential clients about your treatments and products. You can show people what your clinic is like or how good they will feel post-treatment. You can create a conversation with your audience in a visual, engaging way on a platform that is growing at a staggering rate.
What are you waiting for?