It’s that time of the year, the time to start making predictions for next year!
1) Continued growth in mobile views: No surprise here. You can expect the percentage of mobile traffic to your website to continue to rise in 2017. You can also expect your mobile open rates for email marketing to continue to grow next year. Therefore, make sure you properly test all email marketing campaigns to ensure that they not only display nicely on mobile devices, but that they have well-placed calls to action.
2) Content engagement trumps quantity: The key here is defining your approach to produce better quality articles. For example, you’re better off spending time on two blog articles a month that are engaging than 6-8 blogs that just repeat the same old boring rhetoric. Furthermore, you can have a well-written, unique blog that you wrote from scratch about a topic that’s rarely discussed and provides a very unique perspective, but it might be missing the key ingredients that actually lead to engagement. Consider video and infographics to help illustrate the main point of your articles. Speaking of which…
3) Growth in infographics: I’ve stated in the past that the key to a well-written blog isn’t just the copy, but adding photos (patient photos when possible) and breaking up the text can really help improve the presentation. As you can see, that aforementioned link was from a 2011 blog. Well, blogging has evolved since then, and while some of the principals remains, in 2017 you’ll want to start working in infographics into your articles, when you can.
Tell a story using imagery and make sure these images are optimized correctly. The more engagement you get on the page the better rankings you’ll get for both the article itself and the infographics.
4) More live video: Since I lead with an obvious prediction, I figured I’d skip the predictable conjecture that video will grow in 2017. Of course it will, and if you aren’t focused on video yet I encourage you to get on it now. Here are some tips for getting started. Concentrate on continuing to grow your patient testimonial videos. Once you’ve got the basics down it’s time to consider your live video options, such as Facebook Live and Snapchat. Word to the wise: don’t just try to copy Dr. Miami’s SnapChat strategy as his target market likely doesn’t align with yours.
Think about your patient base and what’s unique about your practice that will get people excited. Playing rap music, and singing along, while you operate on a patient likely won’t appeal to your patients! Focus on your USP (unique selling points), your staff, and your expertise. Just don’t expect some huge influx in business as this is an internal, or patient retention, strategy. That said, mixing in some limited-timed, unique offers to Facebook Live or SnapChat followers is a great idea for 2017.
5) Instagram over Facebook?: If you’ve been using Facebook over the past decade as a business owner then you’re well-aware your limited organic reach. In some cases it’s as low as 5% of your total likes. More engagement (comments, likes, shares) of individual posts will likely help increase this percentage, as can posting video, but Facebook is really forcing businesses to advertise.
In some cases, for non-surgical offerings, I’ve seen Facebook ads help generate leads. However, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will give you much more bang for your buck when it comes to organic views from your followers. Yes, it’s annoying to have to login to the app on your phone, just like SnapChat, but you can reach a lot more patients organically on this social network. You can even run joint Instagram/Facebook ad campaigns from the Facebook Power Editor.
6) Growth of brand ambassadors: Sometime in the past decade or so we entered the era of the “Internet celebrity.” These are people who aren’t celebrities in the traditional sense; they’re not in movies, they’re not famous athletes, but merely popular on social media. These people are social influencers because of the enormous reach they have. While many International brands still rely on athletes and move stars to promote their products, you’re seeing more and more turn to these social media celebrities to get the word out.
An aesthetic practice isn’t a global brand (at least most aren’t), so the strategy is different. If you haven’t already, make a list of your VIP patients, and then check out their following on social media. See if they can not only check-in every time they visit your practice, but post about their experience as well. This is free advertising and it’ll likely get a lot more views than your organic posts. You’ll also want to evaluate potential business partners who share a target market, particularly those with a strong presence on social media.
7) Boosted content outperforming traditional Facebook ads: I’ve seen the traditional ads, those promoting a service with a special offer, perform well on Facebook. However, I expect more and more internet display ads to be ignored in 2017. Those that’ll stand out won’t be the banners with offers, but the posts that promote unique content. This is sort of like click bait, but with unique content (and no annoying slideshows) that’s aimed at your target market. Don’t just consider boosted posts for your 2017 advertising budget…
8) AdWords search ads rise from the dead: To be fair, I’ve already started to see this, and I’ve pointed this out in a recent article. Advertisers are getting better at matching their ads to mirror what searchers are looking for, and that may be because Google is more involved in each campaign’s success. Also, these search ads are prompted by a query, as opposed to display ads that show up unprompted.
9) Need for Structured Data the new SEO: Title tags and meta descriptions are still crucial components for internal optimization on any page of your website. However, there’s a new player in town. Structured Markup, or schema, can help search engines better understand the content on the page. More importantly, Google will highlight this structured markup in search engine results.
You can see from the examples below that the structured data is mainly used to better highlight answers to questions, so searchers don’t actually have to click a link in the results. You can find recipes, movie times, sporting event dates, restaurant pricing, and much more. For local aesthetic practices, as you can see by the far right example, you can showcase reviews that are tied to your domain name, which is cool. Keep in mind that this is separate from star rating shown next to a Google map listing; this is for pure organic results with no maps.
So so what’s it going to take to succeed in 2017? Start by ensuring that your external marketing strategy is rock solid. You’ll want a combination of content marketing and advertising to help improve your visibility online to reach new patients.
Next, strengthen your internal marketing. Develop a plan to utilize the best social networks for your target market, as well as implement the best email marketing practices. Last, but certainly not least, focus on growing your online reviews. This will not only help boost your social proof, but also help your SEO.
If you have any predictions of your own please feel free to list them in the comments section. If you need help formulating a plan for your aesthetic practice in 2017 then give TRBO a call at 877-673-7096 x2 or leave us a note here.