June 27, 2019
#TBT: FACE Congress
Did you manage to make it to the annual Facial Aesthetic Conference and Exhibition, also known as the FACE Congress, this year? As the UK’s premier scientific conference, FACE Congress has long been one of the highlights of my professional calendar. For clinical information and updates on the aesthetics industry, FACE is a must-attend for anybody in the field, with over 130 speakers from across the globe in attendance. Today, I want to share with you some of the top advertising tips I have shared when speaking at previous FACE Congresses.
Think About Your Budget
Before you think about advertising strategy, you need to think about budget. How much money, realistically, can you spend, and what is the best way to do so? Appropriate budgeting is instrumental to your advertising efforts, and something many neglect until too late. Ensure you plan a reasonable budget for a sustained presence, and not a short burst to maximise long-term success.
Who Are Your Audiences?
In order to effectively advertise, you need to know your audiences like the back of your hand. If you aren’t sure where they get their information from, including what they’re reading and what social channels they’re engaging with, you’ll find it difficult to place your adverts where they will be seen. By focussing activity where it is most likely to be seen by your target audience, you will find the adverts are far more effective at attracting potential clients.
What Are You Communicating?
Think about what you want your audience to know about you. The majority of the time, this will be your USP, or what makes you stand out from the crowd of competitors looking to target the same audience that you are. Ensure you use strong, clearly-defined messages about your clinic that set you apart from competitors. One effective method is to consider your customer’s perspective- for example, what problems they may have, and how you can help. Failure to clearly and concisely explain who you are, what you are about, and why you are different could lose you clients and mean all your advertising efforts have gone to waste.
Having high quality, well-written content is important. However, when it comes to advertising, visual media is far more engaging, with text-heavy chunks of information less effective at hooking audiences to what you have to offer. Invest in good, eye-catching visuals that align with your overall brand to keep your adverts a cut above the rest. This can include bespoke editorial imagery, your logo, patient images, or appropriate free for use stock images, so long as it conveys the right messages you want your audience to know about you and complies with copyright laws.
Think about your own media consumption. How many platforms do you use? For the majority of us, information consumption takes place across multiple channels either at home or on the go, and the same will be true of your target audience. Therefore, it is important to ensure you aren’t putting your eggs in one basket and planning a strategy that branches across a range of platforms, including print, online, and social media. Think about different devices, such as mobile or web, and how formatting your channels can increase your chances of success.
A Call to Action
Providing audiences with information about you is a great way to garner exposure, however without directing their attention towards a clear “call to action”, it is unlikely that this will translate into tangible leads or sales. When placing adverts, you want to make it as easy as possible for your target audience to make contact, and including a call to action is a quick, simple way to do so. Ideally, the action will be channel appropriate and provide a one-click way to book appointments, browse your online store, or get in touch to maximise the chance of audience conversions.
Consistency is Key
Too many marketers put their focus on short campaigns as and when needed. However, there is much to be said for planning long-term, consistent, and sustainable campaigns in place of shorter, high-intensity efforts. This means your visibility remains steady and you have more chance of being remembered and recognised over the long term – which is essential in aesthetics which can have a long customer consideration period before they decide to take action and book into clinic.
Are you tracking the progress of your advert, and analysing how successful it has been in helping you to achieve your goals? If not, how do you know it’s working? Make sure you’re keeping track of key indicators such as how many people are clicking your adverts, opening your email, or following your call to action. This will outline what you’re doing well, and where needs tweaking, helping to inform your future efforts.
Plan in Advance
As with everything, the further ahead you start to look at your options, the more likely you are to find the most effective strategy for you, rather than the quickest and simplest. Planning ahead can even help you negotiate your position and organise discounts where appropriate, such as a price reduction on multiple placements or “free” advertorials alongside paid for ads (in print media), helping you work around any budget constraints.
Don’t Neglect other Avenues
Advertising is a very powerful tool to have in your arsenal, but it is just one aspect that should be forming your overall PR and marketing campaign. It is a way to tell your target audiences why you’re their best option, but don’t forget the power that third party endorsements, your reputation, and PR have in influencing others to help pass on your messages. Plan for a cohesive advertising, PR, and marketing campaign to strengthen your position and raise your profile as much as is possible for the greatest chance at success.