In this very competitive marketplace, your medical spa not only needs to offer state-of-the-art products and services, but your marketing also needs to stand out above the crowd.
You allocate money toward your equipment, your staff and your space because you know you’d go out of business if you didn’t, but do you have the same mindset toward your medspa marketing budget? Depending on how long your business has been around, and how successful your marketing efforts have been in the past, you should be allocating anywhere from 12–20% of gross (or projected) revenue for a marketing budget. It’s up to you on how quickly you want your business to rise to the top!
Small businesses obviously don’t have the luxury to spend oodles of money on marketing, but there are some basic “givens” that every company, large or small, needs to put money and effort into to achieve any kind of success in their marketplace.
If you’re just starting up, you would be wise to have funds set aside specifically for establishing your brand. $4,000 to $7,500 will get you a full, comprehensive brand package from an experienced, reputable boutique marketing firm that includes:
- A dedicated marketing team who will learn about you and your vision
- Peer analysis of your closest competitors’ branding and marketing efforts
- Persona identification of your ideal client(s)
- Logo, tagline design and development
- Set basic brand guidelines to be followed for all marketing materials
- Brand roll-out complete with stationery and company collateral design
These marketing/branding professionals will work closely with you to make sure all the nuances of your unique brand are covered.
Too many times medspas try to “cut corners” for these start-up efforts, and end up having to start all over because their “little or no budget” brand just doesn’t work. Your dollars are well spent to have professionals develop and run your brand through their stringent marketing gauntlet to ensure its success.
Unfortunately, when it comes to their website, a lot of medical spas either have a:
- “Me too” mentality — I’ll just look at how other medspas have done their websites, and I’ll do the same thing; or
- “If I build it, they will come” mentality — as long as I have a web presence, it really doesn’t matter what it looks like.
I know, I know, you’re thinking, “well, there are plenty of free DYI website sources that I can put together in a weekend, and I’ll be up and running!”
If it sounds to good to be true…
Your company’s website is a crucial extension to your brand. It doesn’t make sense to represent yourself in your potential customers’ eyes as a successful, attractive business with a dynamic brand, and then disappoint them with a less-than-adequate web presence when they jump on the internet to check you out.
Price can vary dramatically, but a custom-branded Wordpress website can cost between $4,000 and $8,000, depending on the size and complexity. Ideally, the same marketing firm that helped you develop your dynamic branding will also have the digital design talent to seamlessly continue your brand through to your website.
Your website is a staple in your marketing toolbox, and content is the lifeblood for that website. Content, at a minimum, consists of:
- Engaging pages within your site
- Educational, informative white papers/infographics/videos/etc. offered through your blogs
The more you introduce new content on your website, the more you increase your chances of rising to the top of search engine lists. The brass ring for every medspa is for someone to type “Medspa near me” into a Google search, and your website appears at the top of the list (without having to pay for that ranking!)
For around $500, an experienced content writer can craft and post two blog posts per month on your website. You will need to participate in order to provide subject and topic ideas, but once a blog topic calendar has been established, all the writer needs from you is bulleted outlines for business-specific terminology.
A lot of business owners think that marketing and advertising are one in the same thing. In actuality, advertising is just one of the things that fall under the marketing umbrella. Advertising focuses on a particular product or service that attracts attention of potential and current customers, and comes in various forms, including:
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
All of these methods are viable ways of reaching people, but when planning an advertising strategy, you need to go back to your persona and choose the best advertising vehicle that speaks directly to them.
While “outbound” efforts are still successful for many industries (outbound= “traditional” advertising—print ads, radio, direct mail, etc.), this approach’s main objective is to reach a large number of people at the same time (whether they meet your specific persona's criteria or not).
“Inbound” promotes your business to a pre-identified target audience that has already shown interest in the same or similar services (blogs, social media e-mail, content generation, etc.).
Outbound advertising is more expensive than inbound when it comes to cost per person to reach, and the return on investment is very hard to measure. One outbound advertising campaign can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on how long your campaign runs and where the ads are placed.
Inbound is much more cost effective, in that:
- You get a much bigger “bang for your advertising buck”
- Results are measurable through inbound automation platforms
- Your brand and message is connecting with the people who really are interested
To establish a basic inbound marketing/advertising program can cost as little as $500/month. (Warning: you can hire your neighbor’s “internet-savvy” son or daughter to write a blog or two and send out a few tweets and Facebook posts on your behalf—but you’ll get what you pay for!)
Back to the boutique marketing firm who already knows you, your business, and your brand (because they helped you develop it)—a firm worth their salt will include inbound marketing strategy and implementation in their suite of services. A comprehensive ongoing inbound program includes blogging, social media outreach, directed “calls-to-action,” lead nurturing and tracking, and analytics of all efforts. Cost for a tech-savvy firm to manage your inbound efforts start at approximately $3,000 per month (tiered pricing “packages” are offered depending on how involved you want the professionals handling your marketing to be on a day-to-day basis). Again, the name of the game is ROI.
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
- 50% of all mobile searches are conducted to find local results—61% of those searches result in a purchase (Search Engine Watch)
- 54% more leads are generated by inbound tactics than traditional paid marketing (HubSpot)
- Companies that have successful lead nurturing efforts generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% less cost (Forrester Research)
Last, but not least, don’t forget about the timeless art of networking. There are multiple events in your community that allow people to get to meet you personally—the face behind your business. Handing someone a business card with a personable smile is a huge marketing opportunity.
Take an hour or two each month and check out upcoming events in your surrounding community where you can expend a few hundred dollars and a couple hours of time to set up a professionally branded space with some samples of your product offerings, and gain exposure with one of your target audiences—people right in your own neighborhood!