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Is Influencer Marketing Worth It?

Influencer marketing for plastic surgeons has become a popular form of marketing because of the results (new patients) you can get from it. It’s kind of like word of mouth referrals on steroids. 

It’s also big business. Fun Fact:  The highest paid Instagram influencer is soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, making $1.6M per sponsored post for his 478 Million followers:

Influencer Marketing for plastic surgeons

It’s become the fastest way to accelerate your presence on social media, as well as reach new audiences who could become future cosmetic patients. 

However, it can also bomb, waste your time and money, and hurt your image so keep reading.

Why Influencer Marketing?

Mass advertising credibility is at an all-time low and has turned consumers into skeptics. It’s disruptive and annoying most of the time, so today’s consumers ignore it. 

They want (demand) authentic creative content from someone they trust and follow who casually directs them to products and services they’ll appreciate. It’s subtle promotion because it’s fun and entertaining.

By the way, for now, Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing for plastic surgeons and all industries because of its high engagement rates and massive audiences so start there.

And note all of those comments generated from the above post. That’s called User-Generated Content (UGC) that good influencers know how to create so it feels authentic and unpolished while promoting you at the same time. 

Influencers Must Fit your Brand

Be sure the Influencer fits your image and values. For example, a plastic surgeon I know was approached by a young woman who was a fitness buff with 500K followers; however, she had purple hair, lots of tattoos and touted a plant-based diet + fitness (vs. liposuction). She was not the right fit for this conservative practice, nor were her followers. 

On the other hand, someone known for their looks like the Kardashians or the Housewives are a great fit for our industry and so are their followers, because they also care about their looks.

Important Metrics to Follow

You won’t know if working with an influencer was effective or not if you don’t track results so here is the main information to know:

# Engagement rate (most important)

There’s a common misconception that macro-influencers (100,000+ followers) are more effective than micro or mid-level influencers (10,000–100,000 followers). While large players have greater reach, smaller players tend to be more niche, have higher engagement rates, and are usually much cheaper.  

# Reach

Reach refers to followers you gained from the Influencer’s posts. Just note how many followers you had before and then after the Influencer’s posts.

# Effectiveness

How much User-Generated Content (UGC) did their posts about you create? And, did the influencer include an identifiable call to action so you can track the response, such as UTMs or affiliate codes to track conversions? Or, did they use landing pages to collect contact information from their followers such as name, cell, email that you could contact outside of social media? 

The higher the above numbers, the more you should be willing to pay for the exposure.

Control the Content

Get everything in writing so expectations are super clear and there are no misunderstandings.

Approve their content before they post just to be sure it fits with your brand and doesn’t hurt your image. 

Better yet, control the content by having them agree to record their visit to your practice. Start with why they are there and the problem they have that you can solve. Then you explain what you are going to do and then do it, making sure the patient is comfortable and pain free. 

The influencer should be narrating their experience.  Now edit the video to make it entertaining to watch, yet informative but also compelling so the followers comment on it and reach out to you.

What Should You Pay Influencers?

This is all over the board and there are no set guidelines for our industry. Typically, the Influencer will offer to do a series of Instagram Stories and in-feed content posts for a fee depending on the metrics below, or for a discount on your services. 

Before you agree on compensation, you want to know, in detail, how much content they will produce and how they will track it. 

So, work with Influencers who have a good handle on their analytics and can show you before/after stats and case studies, just like you show B/A photos to would-be patients  😉

How to Find Influencers

I know surgeons who have set up full web pages just for would-be influencers. The page includes lots of questions for the person to qualify as an influencer. For example:

  • # followers
  • # impressions
  • # case study link clicks of others you’ve promoted
  • What can you provide to help grow my practice?
  • Where are you based?

And have them take a screen shot of their social media analytics to verify their numbers. 

Google influencer marketing for plastic surgeons and tons of websites pop up to pair you with the right influencer for your practice. I personally would only work with an agency with experience in the aesthetic industry since cosmetic patients have specific emotional triggers different from regular consumers.  However, this can be a crapshoot so research carefully and get everything in writing.

Patient Influencers

Since you probably can’t get a Kardashian to be your celebrity social proof, here’s the next best thing.

Your influencers are also your local patients. They may not be a celebrity, but they are happy patients who can authentically relay their experience to other prospective cosmetic patients just like them.

Start with your patients with a strong social media following. Have your staff ask your patients about their social followers in a conversational way or check out their stats on Instagram and Facebook and ask them how they got so many followers. 

Videotape their entire journey with you, or videotape at least a Q&A session with them with compelling questions such as: 

  • Why did you come to me? (the pain they were in)
  • Why did that bother you? (the emotions of the  pain they were in)
  • What was their experience like? (staff was caring, felt well taken care of)
  • How do you feel about your result? (life-changing)
  • Any advice for others considering this procedure? (don’t wait!)

It’s the patients’ stories that are so interesting to other prospective patients who want to experience that story also.

By the way, it’s helpful to have a mix of ages, shapes and ethnicities so prospective patients can see themselves in your patient influencers.

Staff Also Make Great Influencers

Turn your staff into walking/talking testimonials. There is nothing more compelling than a prospective patient seeing another cosmetic patient standing in front of them who has already experienced plastic surgery performed by you.

Your staff can share their story and show off their results in person and online. Have your staff consent to the use of their photos, written testimonials, as well as video testimonials to use on all of your social media platforms and website. 

Your current patients will love seeing your staff stories, comment on them to create UGC so the platforms show your content to even more consumers and that’s how you grow.

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