two men one on the right has money falling from the sky on him one on the left is confused at his computer.

Online Dental Marketing vs. Dental Sales: Do You Know the Difference?

Two Players on the Same Team

Everyone who works for your dental practice needs to have a clear vision of where your business is headed. This ranges from your Office Manager to Dental Assistants and Hygienists, all the way up to you and your online marketing team. A well-oiled workforce will direct prospective patients your way and then convince them you are the person they want to take care of their dental needs. Unfortunately, there are times when every machine needs a tune-up. If team play has shifted to the point where you are receiving phone calls, but still not getting new patients, there is a gap between marketing and sales. The good news is, online marketing can help close that gap and bring the right people through your doors.

Two hands holding puzzle pieces that come together.

Unfortunately, there are times when every machine needs a tune-up. If team play has shifted to the point where you are receiving phone calls, but still not getting new patients, there is a gap between marketing and sales. The good news is, online marketing can help close that gap and bring the right people through your doors.

How Are Marketing and Sales Different?

Two paper heads one red one blue with exchanged pieces in their heads.

Dentists may not have a full understanding of where marketing ends and where sales begin. It all centers around perspective. Sales personnel look from inside the practice and reach out to current and prospective patients. Their main focus is on increasing patient conversion today. Sales is part of your short term strategy. Marketing personnel looks at things from the outside, more as a customer looking in. They seek to form connections with prospective patients and meet them where they are to foster continued growth well into the future. Online marketing is part of your long-term strategy.

Online Marketing Helps Eliminate the Gap Between Marketing and Sales

mind the gap sign

Pre-filtered is the word of the day. Online marketing strategies target your desired audiences, so generally speaking, you are going to receive phone calls from people who are actually looking for your services. An experienced team of online marketing strategists will carefully optimize your dental website and social media accounts so prospective patients find you for the right reasons. It won’t do anyone any good if someone is looking for an oral surgeon in Dallas and they reach an orthodontist in Denver. Let’s look at the particulars of how online marketing professionals can get you and your practice seen and heard by your target audiences in order to eliminate much of the need for the sales pitch to occur.

How Do Online Marketing Gurus Make Things Happen?

man with beard in shirt and tie working on laptop, technology expert guru

First, they understand that your online presence will make or break you in today’s market place. With more people searching for dental providers from their smartphones and tablets, it is essential that you are in a position to be found. Quality websites that are well-connected rank higher in Google and Bing searches, so online marketing gurus build connections that extend their proverbial fingers across the world wide web.

Prospective patients will look at a website and make a snap judgment on the dentist’s demeanor and the nature of the practice. Subtle design differences can cause people to click elsewhere. If your website is difficult to navigate, or overcrowded, say goodbye to patients. Online marketing gurus will ensure your website is not only beautiful but is also user-friendly. Mobile compatibility and speedy download times add to the list of benefits that come when you have a fabulous online marketing team on your side. Their goal is to engage the target audience in a manner that brings them to you.

Add a Tracking Phone Line

man pointing at a phone tracking people that called

That prospective patient with bleeding gums or a chipped tooth knows they need treatment from a dental professional. They will go about looking in one of two ways, either passively or aggressively. Those who are not in a hurry will do a brief internet search and move on. Props to your online marketing team for setting everything in motion because that person is now a member of your target audience and will see your brand multiple times on other sites as your ads pop up. By adding phone numbers (call extensions) and location extensions to your ads, people in your area are more likely to see you.

For the people who actively searched for your expertise, they too will see your ads across media, so a clickable call button should be immediately visible for obvious reasons. Those prospective patients are on the hunt for a great dental practitioner and will click that call button right away if they like what they see. Click through rate (CTR) is increased by approximately 4-5% for ads that include call extensions.

Monitor Performance of Strategies

Cloud showing showing connection of doctor computer and phone.

Common sense tells you that it is imperative to monitor the reports to learn which strategies are living up to your expectations and which need to be revisited. One of the built-in features of a tracking phone number is the ability to monitor performance. If a prospective patient dials from the clickable call button on their mobile device, you have access to those statistics. It does not simply record clicks on the ad. You will be able to differentiate and see which ads generate actual phone calls and which generate website visits. With Google forwarding numbers, call length and call conversions are recorded. Knowing which ads, which webpages and which social media accounts bring in the most calls will allow you to focus your attention on what works best.

Control the Budget

paper peeled back revealing the budget

Online marketing teams are worth their weight in gold. Dentists are, in fact, business owners who are trying to stand out in a competitive field. A completely personalized web presence can make the difference between you and the dentist two buildings over. As you build a relationship with your marketing team, you set the budget for start-up and on-going services. Remember, marketing is a long-term tool to bring patients to your door. The right team will know how to best reach your target audience within your allotted budget. They will willingly change strategies as needed once they determine what works best to promote your practice.

Come Together as a Team

Man excited to be working with the team

We mentioned early on that it is possible your phone is ringing, but the conversions are not following. When marketers and salespeople (those in direct contact with callers) work together, they will be able to connect with more prospective patients. Talented sales representatives can relay information about customer feedback and the general lay of the land. In return, gifted marketers will help increase sales by targeting people who are genuinely searching for services offered by your practice.

Online marketing is an investment you should not go into lightly. In the right hands, the process will be so transparent that you can easily monitor how the marketing strategies are translating into new patients. Make sure your investments are paying off and that your team is willing to make changes to stimulate continued growth.

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