If your goal is to finish out 2017 strong and start 2018 off with a bang, now is the time to start thinking about your marketing strategy. As people begin to look at open enrollment for their healthcare and dental options, they also begin to search for new providers.
By amping up your marketing strategy and designing one that encompasses the bigger picture, you’re helping to create a strategy that will work to increase business and provide you with useful data in the long run to continually tweak your marketing to appeal to your target audience.
But with about three months left in the year it might feel like it’s too late to develop such a strategy. The good news is that online marketing for dentists has changed a lot in the past few years and made it possible to market your practice and see the greatest results in the shortest amount of time.
Focus on Dental Branding
Branding as it relates to your dental practice is best described as the practice of creating an identity for you. This includes more than just logos. Through branding you cultivate a brand essence that tells people who you are, what you believe, and what they can expect from you.
As you build your brand you build your reputation in the community. As your reputation improves people begin to realize they can trust you with their dental needs and are more likely to recommend you to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Social Networking is Key
One of the most effective marketing strategies to attract new patients is social networking for dentists. Social networking leverages the networks and communities of people who already frequent your practice and are fans of your work.
Social networking allows you to engage with patients and get a general pulse of where you stand in the community. Your social network profiles also provide a platform in which you can share useful content with your fans. It’s a place where conversation happens and people feel like they’re interacting with a business, not just being talked at.
Create a Referral Program
Patient referral programs allow you to reward your most vocal and loyal patients for their referrals. By creating a referral program you’re keeping your patients close and utilizing their trust in you to attract new patients.
Referral programs are so valuable because recent studies have shown that people are four times more likely to convert when a friend recommends a service. Additionally, 92% of potential customers trust a company when they are recommended by a friend.
Referral programs can be built through numerous styles. One of the most popular is through a points system. By creating a system in which people accumulate points toward various prizes they’re given incentive to spread the word on their social networks. This gets your practice the most visibility and is an incredibly effective dental marketing technique.
Ask for Reviews
One of the first things people do when searching for a dentist is search online. Once they find a name they begin to look for reviews of a practice to understand what they can expect and whether a practice is right for them.
The more five star reviews you have, the better. High ratings build trust with those looking at your practice as a potential provide and help to increase your rankings in search engines. A reputation management program is an important part of ensuring your online reputation goes untarnished and is always presented in the best way possible.
These programs help to boost the number of positive reviews and, over time, push negative reviews down in search engine results pages.
Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is a non-intrusive, yet effective method for reaching out to existing patients. The most important part of email marketing is building a solid contact list. This starts with dental practices building into their routine asking patients for their email addresses and including a note that tells patients they’re essentially opting in to receiving email communications from the office.
In addition to being able to convey time sensitive marketing messages, you can also offer patients a more personal experience by sending them appointment reminders, inviting them to post reviews, and using email to include them in important events.
If a patient gives you their email address, it is crucial that you avoid spamming them. They gave you their address trusting you wouldn’t abuse it. Now it is up to you to honor their trust and be selective of your use of their email.
Harness the Power of SEO and PPC
Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two of the best ways to marketing your practice online. SEO works as a long-term strategy. We like to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. What that means is that there is a considerable amount of work and time spent up front, but the payout is incredibly valuable.
SEO gets businesses organic leads, which are more affordable and generally higher quality. Learn more about search engine optimization in this article.
Pay-per-click is an incredibly effective marketing method that helps to tackle keywords you might not rank for and keywords that are time sensitive and don’t have time for search engine optimization. Read this guide to learn how pay-per-click can help boost your practice’s dental marketing.