Marketing strategies and techniques are continually evolving. What works well one year might not do the job so well a few months later. To ensure your dental practice remains successful, you need to stay on top of the current trends. Successful marketing requires a lot of dedication and enthusiasm. If it is all a bit of a mystery to you, here is a quick breakdown of the latest trends for 2016 to get you started. Try a few out of these strategies out and give your dental practice a boost this year.
Build a Brand
Building a brand is the most important thing you can do for your business. Your brand is what sets you apart from other dental practices. In a crowded marketplace, a recognisable brand ensures customers can find you.
For a brand to be successful, it needs to be consistent across all platforms. This means that your logo and any other recognisable practice branding imagery must appear online, on all marketing materials, and be highly visible in your practice.
Your practice website should be unique to you. Some practices adopt generic templates, but this is a mistake. A custom-designed website will do wonders for your brand, so use it to convey your brand message. A customised website engages customers by providing a positive user experience.
Your online reputation follows you everywhere. The majority of customers will search online for information about a dental practice before they commit to making an appointment. It only takes one or two negative reviews to put people off.
The best way to avoid a trail of bad reviews and negative reviews is to provide excellent customer service. If problems arise, deal with them immediately. If patients leave comments online, respond as quickly as possible.
A positive online reputation is a valuable commodity in the online world. Pay attention to what is being said online about your dental practice. Use software to monitor @mentions on Twitter and Facebook. By being super responsive and available, particularly on social media, you are building trust. It shows you care about what patients think – which matters more than you think.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media is massive. Millions of people – including your patients – use popular social media platforms every day. They share the details of their day in Facebook updates and discuss local and global events on Twitter. If you avoid social media, you are essentially avoiding new and existing patients.
Creating social media accounts for your dental practice gives you instant visibility online. A Facebook page is an easy way to build a brand and interact with patients. It provides an informal platform for patients to chat and leave comments. You can use social media to provide practice updates, let your followers know about new services and clinics, or advise them of a change to opening hours. You can also reward your followers with discounts and special offers.
An active social media account will make your dental practice feel more approachable. Customers often find it easier to engage on social media. Younger clients in particular are more likely to post a message on your Facebook page or send you a Tweet than they are to pick up the phone. As long as you moderate the content on your social media accounts, answer questions in a timely manner, and actively engage with your audience, social media is cost effective marketing technique, so make sure you put lots of effort into building a strong social media presence.
Content marketing is nothing new, but the way we produce content has suffered a seismic shift in recent years. Google’s Panda update hammered a lot of poorly written websites and blogs. Whereas it was once OK to churn out illiterate content stuffed full of keywords, this is no longer the right way to do it.
Your content needs to be high quality and customised to your readers if you want to generate organic traffic to your website. There are several ways to do this, but a blog is a good place to start.
Blogs are a great opportunity to show off your expert knowledge and recommendations in a more personal way. You can use your blog to provide useful information to your patients. Talk about new treatments or research, or share your thoughts on relevant subjects. Well-written blogs are more likely to be shared with other readers via email or social media, so you automatically gain extra exposure. Blogging is also useful from an SEO perspective, so you really have nothing to lose!
Video is one of the fastest growing forms of content marketing. People love video content. If you post a video, far more people will click on it than if you posted a regular article. Creating videos is more costly than writing a blog post, but do not overlook the power of video marketing, as it is a worthy investment.
Pay-per-click marketing is the most popular form of digital marketing for one reason only: it gets results fast. Traditional marketing techniques are expensive and difficult to quantify, whereas PPC advertising is cost effective and can be personalised to specific groups of patients.
PPC advertising is an effective way to generate leads and expand your brand. With PPC advertising, you can create highly customised ad campaigns. To make a PPC advertising campaign work harder for your dental practice, you need to know who your target customers are. Use your client database and website analytics to create target lists based on age, interests or previous search history. This will enable you to target specific customer groups.
Google AdWords and Facebook advertising are simple to implement. Choose the keywords that match your budget, create a branded advert, and optimise your landing page to clients. You don’t need to target the most competitive keywords. Instead, try targeting long tail key phrases in your niche, as you may see better results.
You can’t ignore marketing if you want your dental practice to be a success. Try a few of the above techniques and watch your business grow.