Skilled practitioners want everyone to appreciate the work they do, and before-and-after photos can work wonders. But, remember that patients are interested in personal benefits, not clinical process. For external marketing materials, use images that illustrate positive outcomes and benefits and save the clinical pictures for colleagues.
We are often asked about using "before-and-after" photos in advertising materials. Here's the short answer: Outcome photos and "before-and-after" photos, often are terrific. "Work in progress photos" (e.g., surgeries), almost never.
Outcome photos (afters) work very well, especially when you say "actual patient."
Before-and after photos can also be very convincing, if there is an obvious benefit in the "afters."" (We can't tell you how many unimpressive photos we have seen for procedures like microdermabrasion and IPL treatments.) It is ok to style the patient in the after photos, as long as the styling doesn't appear to be the only difference.
One more thing - oftentimes the before can be too unattractive, so use care.
"During" photos are not only unappealing to prospective patients, they are downright scary. Maybe we should be asked more often because we frequently see brochures, websites and other external audience materials that include painfully scary photos. (It is sometimes reasonable to use them carefully as part of informed consent while you are there in the room.)
Almost every type of healthcare specialty and sub-specialty practitioner is tempted to display their skills, experience and handiwork as part of their marketing message. Surprisingly, this isn't limited to cosmetic and appearance-directed services in orthodontics, reconstructive dentistry, plastic surgery and the like. The question of "before, during and after" images also comes to us from unlikely medical corners such as gastroenterology and general surgery.
If you are tempted to use patient or medical condition photos on your website, brochures, or in your healthcare organization, hospital, group or practice-the wrong images will do more harm than good. If you're in doubt, call us for a second opinion.
Here are some general guidelines in selecting appropriate photos.
Properly used, outcome photos can be effective support for a positive and persuasive marketing message about weight loss, dentistry, dermatology, cosmetic and plastic surgery, medical spas and medispas.
There are many visual elements in brochures, websites, posters, signs and other tools of healthcare advertising, and this just scratches the surface. First-class marketing materials will put your best face forward.