Hot Predictions for Dental Marketing in 2018
2018 is here and that means it’s time to kick your dental marketing into gear. Even if what you’ve been doing has worked out great, this is the year to mix it up, take a leap of faith, and try something new.
It can be scary, but the payoff for taking your marketing to the next level is something that can help you reach your business goals before the end of the year and even blow your financial goals out of the water.
Focus on Patient Experience
It might sound oxymoronic to say online and patient experience in the same sentence, but the reality is most of your patients spend a large amount of time online. That why it’s more important than ever before to focus on the online patient experience on your dental website. Learn more about creating a user-friendly website in this article.
Typically the first exposure a patient has to your practice is to your website. Present them with one that’s clunky, unattractive, and difficult to navigate and you’ll be hard-pressed to keep them on your website, let alone earn their business.
From the office to the website, make every patient feel special and appreciated. This might mean offering a private portal where patients can exchange HIPAA compliant emails with you or view test results on your website. Or, it could mean training every person in your practice to greet a patient like they’re old friends.
Local Search Dominates
Keeping your local search listing on Bing and Google is going to play a huge part in driving traffic to your website. With the growth of devices like Alexa, as well as the sheer number of people who own a smartphone, it’s highly likely that potential patients will use local search to find their way to your practice. After all, local search is now the yellow pages of not just today’s generation, but people of all ages.
Once they find you it’s important that they land on a dentist website that is easy to navigate, attractive, and made for them (see the first point above).
Ratings and Reviews Are More Important Than Ever
Today’s consumer is savvier than ever before. So whether a person is looking for a dentist or a restaurant, chances are the first place they’re going to go when looking for a recommendation is to the reviews section of a website or the reviews on a websites local search or social media listing.
Reviews on social media, like Facebook, are particularly important because of how they leverage a person’s peer network. So, let’s say someone had a great experience at your practice. They loved everything about it from the moment they walked in the door to the moment they left. In fact, they loved it so much they left a five-star review on your Facebook page and you graciously responded to show them they’re appreciated.
This public back and forth shows a human side to your practice and is an important part of reputation management. When a person sees that, particularly if one of their friends posted the review, there’s an inherent trust that’s established. As a result, people are more likely to visit your practice due to what can only be called “modern word of mouth”.
Blogging is Critical
Blogging allows you to discuss topics of interest to patients, then share the posts on social media and even through email marketing. As people begin to read the content you create they share it on their social networks.
Over time this content is not only indexed in search engines, but it also makes its rounds on social networks and can drive leads to your practice.
Integrate Personalization Into Your Dental Website Design and Ads
As mentioned earlier, people want to feel special. One of the easiest ways to do this is to personalize various parts of your website and online advertisements. For example, let’s say a person is logged into your website’s online portal. Because they’re logged in you should be able to deliver relevant advertisements to them based off of their history with your practice and customize various parts of your website that otherwise might read more generically.
For example, your homepage might say “welcome [insert patient’s name]” because a person is logged in. It might also change to include a personalized menu. Before doing this it would help to research what your patients would want from personalization and deliver it in such a way that it appears sincere; not like you’re just trying to keep up on a dental trend.
Video content continues to grow in popularity. Why not jump on the trend bandwagon and start creating useful and educational videos for patients that you distribute through your social networks and email campaigns?
From documenting various procedures to sharing tips and tricks, video can be fun, engaging, and most importantly, useful to patients.
Just remember that when you create video 80% of viewers watch without audio, so be sure to add captions. Learn more about video marketing trends in this blog post.