Cosmetic and aesthetic medicine is, by nature, highly visual. Images and videos provide concrete proof of what you can offer patients. Potential patients are looking for visual evidence that you can meet or surpass their aesthetic objectives.
Fortuitously, as aesthetics professionals, we have abundant, highly effective visual tools at our disposal that can convince patients to purchase a treatment, multiple treatments or even an ongoing series of treatments. Visual images provoke emotional responses and desire from patients far more effectively than words, turning prospects into conversions.
Here’s our guide to harnessing the power of video, before and after galleries and infographics for your cosmetic or aesthetic practice. By teaching your staff to take advantage of these simple visual aids, you can exponentially increase patient bookings and revenue.
Why Are Visuals So Influential?
Humans are hardwired to make immediate sense of colors and images as a response to our environment. It’s an evolutionary adaptation and one that still dominates our judgment as we move through a fast-paced, information-saturated world.
The most forceful way to cut through the noise and rise above competitors is with compelling visuals. Consumers tend to only retain between 10-20% of what they read BUT when text is accompanied by striking visuals, the absorption rate skyrockets to 65%. Any time you’re marketing a product or procedure, ensure the text is supported with an evocative image.
- Social media content generates 94% more views if it contains an image.
- Infographics grow 12% more traffic, and have 200% more shares than posts without images or infographics.
- Tweets with images get 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
- Facebook posts with images encourage 3.2 times more engagement than those without.
In other words, there’s an abundance of evidence that visual aids attract attention, drive traffic, expand the reach of your brand, and encourage engagement. Quite simply, effective visuals are indispensable to successful aesthetic clinic marketing.
Video Marketing: Today’s Aesthetic Audience Loves Video Content
Video represents an incredibly compelling medium for curious consumers. 64% of consumers are more willing to purchase a good or service after viewing a video. 79% would rather learn about a product or procedure by watching a video than reading about it. According to one survey conducted by Marketing Land, 71% of respondents declared that video conversion rates outperform any other marketing content. Visual marketing is heading increasingly toward video, with one projection forecasting that by 2023, 82.5% of Internet traffic will be video traffic.
Video is uniquely powerful in aesthetics marketing because:
- It can take information that is conceptually complex, and make it immediately accessible and understandable to anyone. A one minute video showing a patient receiving microdermabrasion is infinitely more compelling than a written breakdown of the same technique.
- Video shows potential prospects how specialized you and your staff are. “While videos are intended to educate, they also show prospects that we are nice people that care about education and are, in fact, well-trained ourselves and considered leaders in our specialty,” says Dr. Roberto Garcia of Contoura Facial Plastic Surgery.
- Videos can demystify confusing or intimidating procedures (think invasive surgeries, CoolSculpting, and laser, for example). YouTube has seen a recent boom in the number of live surgeries uploaded that are popular among patients who want to understand the procedure better and gauge how long they may need for a recovery.
- Video translates exceptionally well to social media. Recent changes to social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have seen the rise of video stories and live video feeds. Instagram has also introduced reels which also have a video focus. TikTok and Snapchat are also testament to the power of short, snappy videos. Video means anyone can become a filmmaker and quickly upload and share compelling content. For aesthetic clinics, video offers potential clients a unique insight into procedures that may feel overwhelming.
- Video evokes an immediate emotional response in people, generating feelings like fascination, suspense, fear of missing out (FOMO). The viewer is instantly connected to what is happening on the screen. People make purchases based on emotion, then justify those purchases later based on logic.
How Can Your Staff Use Video to Boost Sales?
There are myriad ways you can harness the power of video to connect with consumers and drive sales.
For starters, if your clinic uses RxPhoto, encourage your staff to show potential patients uploaded video content in the RxPhoto Education Center. Content can be easily accessed during consultations on an iPad so prospective clients can see how a procedure works. If your clinic has very satisfied regular customers, you could ask them if they’d feel comfortable having a procedure filmed live in exchange for an incentive, such as a value add-on for their next treatment. These live videos can also be uploaded into the RxPhoto Education Center.
Use Instagram Live or Stories, or Facebook Live or Stories to film a procedure and share it with your audience. Live video content can drive sales by building anticipation,encouraging interaction with your followers, and showing behind-the-scenes. However, it’s vital to ensure you always comply with HIPAA guidelines and receive consent from clients before any filming takes place.
Video testimonials represent another powerful way to boost sales. Aesthetic consumers feel significantly more confident about purchasing a treatment if there is a visual review or testimonial of the procedure. Educate your staff to ask patients if they’d consider providing a brief video testimonial at the completion of their treatment. These video testimonials can be uploaded to YouTube or placed on your clinic’s landing page. Check out the video testimonials from The Medical Spa at Breslow Center. This spa also offers helpful, insightful videos about patient procedures, patient experiences and patient education.
Before and After Galleries: How to Make Yours Stand Out from the Crowd
Before and after galleries are a unique visual secret weapon for any aesthetics practice or med spa. Few industries have such a specially customized evocative visual aid that can quickly and concisely communicate the benefits of a procedure to prospective patients. Moreover, before and after galleries are the first thing patients look for when checking out a potential med spa or aesthetic clinic. Almost 75% of potential clients would not consider a med spa or clinic that didn’t have a before and after gallery.
Every clinic has its own before and after gallery, but very few are effectively using it as a sales tool. When you capture the real potential of your before and after gallery like our clients do, you can look forward to significantly increasing your revenue.
“Being able to show before and after photos easily has helped me dramatically improve my consultation conversion rate,” explains Dr. Travis Shaw, M.D., a facial plastic surgeon. Aesthetic customers are looking to purchase a better version of themselves, and before and after visuals help convince them that this is possible.
Before and after galleries are indispensable on websites, but they’re particularly vital in the consultation room because they allow your staff to upsell at the point of care. With RxPhoto, your before and after galleries are always at your fingertips, and staff can quickly browse and share them with patients on an iPad. Galleries shared during consultations show patients the benefits of purchasing multiple treatments, targeting multiple treatment areas, and committing to ongoing treatments. They also provide indispensable education about procedures that the patient may be unaware of, but benefit from. In other words, before and after galleries can be game changers for patients who think they want microdermabrasion but ultimately book microdermabrasion and a glycolic peel.
If you want to optimize the benefits from this purpose-made aesthetics marketing tool, your before and after gallery MUST:
- Have consistent lighting, angles, poses, and background color (ideally blue or gray). Identical backgrounds place the visual emphasis on results, not on deviations between photographs. Patients should have the same hairstyle and appearance in photos. RxPhoto’s photo-ghosting feature means capturing consistent before and after pictures is exceptionally straightforward. The before photo provides a baseline, so the after photograph can be smoothly and flawlessly mapped onto it. When different staff members take pictures of patients, chances are they’ll take the photos from different distances. Photo ghosting solves this issue, ensuring the photo distance is identical each and every time.
- Organize your galleries in a targeted way. RxPhoto allows you to arrange your before and after galleries flexibly according to patient age, gender, ethnicity, or treatment type, so the gallery can be used to target patients of a similar demographic. People emotionally respond to individuals that resemble them in age, gender, ethnicity and appearance. If you have a new practice and haven’t yet built up a before and after gallery of your own, use the ones provided by RxPhoto, then add your images as you build your clientele.
- Offer multiple angles of patients. Some procedures, such as dermal filler around the jawline, Kybella sculpting or Botox for crow’s feet, are most revealing in a profile or ¾ angle shot rather than portrait format. Consumers want to see multiple angles to fully appreciate the outcome of a procedure.
Take a look at this example of a visually evocative before and after gallery posted by Pierini Esthetic Surgery and note how the consistency across images makes the improvements pop:
Educating your staff to use before and after galleries to drive sales
Dr. Roberto Garcia of Contoura Facial Plastic Surgery underlines the importance of talking patients through before and after photos. Staff should be able to provide an expert explanation that adds context to the images and use their influence and credibility to persuade patients of the merits of a given treatment.
“We take before and after pictures of every patient when they come in to illustrate what they cannot see themselves in photos. We use this not only as a selling tool but as education to break the aging process down into components so that our patients will have a better understanding of what we are recommending,” explains Dr. Garcia.
Another strategy is to make before and after galleries accessible for patients to peruse in the waiting room. Dr. Douglas Steinbrech, a plastic surgeon at Male Plastic Surgery New York, uses an attractive hardcover “coffee table” book with more than 100 before and after images inside. “The patients love it as they check it out while they are waiting,” says Dr. Steinbrech.
You can also drive sales by encouraging staff members–particularly front of house and experienced injectors–to undergo some treatments offered by the clinic. Your staff then become a walking advertisement with the firsthand experience to explain the procedures they’ve undergone in an authoritative manner. Include their before and after images in your galleries, or on social media as evidence. Patients who can see the physical evidence of treatment on real people are more likely to have an emotional response and be convinced to undergo the procedure themselves.
Encourage your staff to talk to patients about receiving permission to post particularly dramatic before and after transformations on diverse social media platforms. Even better, follow a patient through their treatment journey, as a case study and share it on different social media channels. Try this strategy:
- Send the patient an email checking if they were happy with the service, or asking them to rate it.
- Ask those who were happy or gave a high rating if they’d be comfortable providing a review or feature in a post that you can share on social media.
- Provide incentives in the form of added value: if they share the posts on social media, the next time they come in, they receive an add-on with their treatment.
This before and after post from Perfection Plastic Surgery provides a striking visual endorsement for the benefits of microblading.
As another example, take a look at this before and after gallery from Tru Glo Medspa following one patient’s progress after a year of Juvéderm Ultra Plus XC dermal filler.
By providing more than one before and after image, potential customers can track subtle changes documented visually over a year. This level of detail provides prospective clients with a realistic understanding of how a dermal filler changes the face.
Use Infographics to Boost Sales
Infographics represent an underutilized but highly effective visual marketing tool. Infographics have been proven to increase a consumer’s willingness to read by 80% because they combine text with colors. Infographics powerfully blend catchy visuals with concise, punchy content to boost marketing campaigns. Most importantly, consumers remember what they’ve read on infographics. If you have an idea that you want to remain with the consumer, use infographics to do it.
When it comes to the bottom line, infographics can boost sales by up to 400%! They do so by making complex ideas easier to understand thus helping people move to a point of decision more quickly, so you can also make sales more quickly. Infographics also help to build your brand’s credibility, and enhance shareability–people love to share helpful infographics with friends.
If you’re thinking about making some infographics to educate clients about procedures at your clinic, think about sticking to the following features.
- Minimal imagery
- Bright, evocative colors–but stick to three colors maximum
- Consistent typography to set the tone
Check out this excellent example below, educating patients on the differences between Botox and Dysport.
Share infographics on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In and blog posts on your clinic’s website. Consulting or waiting room walls also represent ideal places to place powerful attractive infographics to engage patients.
Take a look at this breast implant infographic posted by Luna Plastic Surgery on their blog:
This infographic from the prestigious American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery provides patients with a concise overview of surgical lift procedures. The range and depth of information conveyed in this relatively concise infographic are impressive:
The infographic below distinguishes between Botox and dermal fillers, a common tripping point for many uninitiated aesthetic consumers who want to erase fine lines and wrinkles.
The Bottom Line
More than any other industry, those who work in the world of aesthetic surgery and med spas are perfectly poised to harness the power of visual images and videos to drive sales. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and the quality of the aesthetic work your staff carry out is your calling card–so share it!
Visuals present a call to action in a way that words cannot. Creative and thoughtful use of visuals in your social media marketing campaigns and throughout your clinic space not only captures your clients’ attention but also emotionally influences them, creating more conversions. Harness the power of video, before and after galleries and infographics to educate, engage, and drive sales among new and returning clients.