The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is continuing to grow, with the U.S. passing both China and Italy in confirmed cases (that have been reported). As of March 27th, the number of infected Americans is over 86,000. Epidemiologists expect this number to rise.
The economic impact of forcing “non-essential” businesses to shut down has been enormous. Many aesthetic practices have closed their doors and are doing their best to not lay off their staff. These are indeed trying times. However, there is room for optimism among this chaos.
Optimism starts with citizens following orders to social distance, and if that works to effectively curb the spread of COVID-19 then we will see businesses in certain metros start to open in April and May. That may be wishful thinking, but as a business owner, you need to prepare to jump back into sales and marketing with a full head of steam once you’re able to re-open.
Businesses that sit on the sidelines and tepidly get back into their sales and marketing will suffer tremendously in the coming months. A Bain study concluded that companies that struggled post-recession had often “switched to survival mode, making deep cuts and reacting defensively.”
A cost-cutting mentality gives your aesthetic practice the lowest probability of capturing market share and beating your competition when times get better, and they will.
Further Room for Optimism Within the Aesthetic Market: Consumer Demand
There are many ways to measure consumer demand, but we’ll start with the most obvious one for digital marketers: search volume. I noted in an article published earlier this week that search demand for aesthetic terms has stayed strong, staying flat for some terms and only dipping slightly for other terms.
As you can imagine, the hotel, cruise, and airline industries are getting crushed right now because no one is traveling. Search demand has also, not surprisingly, dropped for these industries. You can see this drop off in the 90 days search volume charts below, where I’ve highlighted the last 2+ weeks.
Now, let’s look at some aesthetic terms. You can see below that demand has only dropped slightly, in these examples. In some cases, it has even increased.
These charts highlight that even the aesthetic terms that dropped in search volume did not “bottom out” much lower, if at all, compared to previous 90 days lows.
This obviously doesn’t tell the whole story as we’re looking at just 90 days windows. We’re also only evaluating five terms. However, according to keyword research from ahrefs.com, these five queries alone account for nearly 35,000 searches a month.
Branded terms such as CoolSculpting and Botox are seeing bigger drops in search volume, much to Allergan’s chagrin. Still, we can see that there is a strong search demand for aesthetic terms right now despite the chaos around us.
The Opportunity with Google Ads
Among our clients, the average cost-per-click (CPC) has dropped 47% in the past 7 days, compared to the same time period one year ago. That’s a crazy jump, but one that’s not too surprising. This tells us that fewer aesthetic practices are advertising, which makes sense if you’re closed.
However, if you have a few of the key pieces in place right now, it may be worth considering continuing at least some of your ad campaigns, even if you’re closed. Those pieces are:
- automated lead follow-up processes
- a salesperson to follow up with leads and book…
- virtual consultations: more on which software to use to run these in this article
Demand for many aesthetic procedures, based on search volume, has only slightly wavered while the average CPC for Google Ads has dropped significantly. The hope is that as Americans go back to work and have money in their pockets that that demand will continue to rise but that the average CPC will stay lower.
Why this expectation? As mentioned above, many aesthetic practices will be gun-shy about investing any money into marketing as they re-open. This mentality makes sense as business owners are scared and bleeding money.
However, if this happens you likely will not see the average CPC with Google Ads jump back up to “normal” levels immediately, even as search demand rises, because there’s less competition bidding for keywords. This a huge opportunity for your practice when you re-open.
If you get back in the game early, right when you re-open and before the average CPC goes back up, then you are essentially “buying low” as they say in the stock market world. You couple that with a demand that hasn’t dropped much, for many aesthetic queries, and is expected to rise as more Americans have cash in their pockets, and you have a business opportunity.
In the Meantime, Your Practice Needs to Stay Afloat
While your aesthetic practice is closed, you may be in survival mode, but please make sure you do not neglect your sales and marketing. This means:
- Focus on ideas to generate revenue while you’re closed
- Maximize email, text, and social communication to stay in front of patients and prospects
- Pause your ads, unless you have someone you can pay to follow up with leads and schedule virtual consultations
- Do not neglect SEO, it’s your long play
- Be sensitive to marketing during this time: do not run “Coronavirus promos” or other crass or naive campaigns
Here are some additional resources from TRBO to help your aesthetic practice navigate the Coronavirus chaos:
- 4 Ways Your Aesthetic Practice Can Survive the Coronavirus
- Which Virtual Consultation Software is Best
- 6 Ways to Be Prepared to Re-Open After the Coronavirus Shutdown
- 5 Ways Your Practice Can Generate Revenue While You’re Closed
TRBO Can Help Your Practice Prepare to Re-Open and Capture Market Share
If you would like help with setting up an online store or simply strategizing about your re-opening game plan then schedule a strategy session our growth expert Sonja Vaisz. You can also reach TRBO directly at 877-673-7096 x2.