For this week’s article we are joined by Shen Chao, a dental blogger who shares his top online marketing tips to help boost your practice.
It is no secret that marketing plays a vital role in the success of any business, including your dental practice. It not only helps you put your word out, get new patients and repeat the old ones but also helps you build your name over a period of time. With the time spent by an individual online rising day by day, digital marketing landscape is taking new shape and cannot be ignored. An online user could well be a potential patient you are targeting. So how do you reach out to them? We share some tips.
Identify Your Target Audience: Carry out a SWOT analysis of the dental care services you offer and identify how you are positioned. Once you are done with the exercise, define the profile of an individual you would target – gender, age, their dental need, location etc.
Build Online Presence: There are two ways you can consider to build your online presence – website and social media.
a) Website: Start with a basic website and make it more elaborate as you expand. Include a home page and some support pages that help your visitors to understand more about you. Choose an engaging design and features that are easy to understand, provide details about your services and your contact details, imbibe CTAs (Call to Actions) and keep your navigation simple. In short, keep it for the users and facilitate them to find the information they are looking for. With many users accessing websites on their phones, investing in building a mobile-friendly (responsive) website is the call of the hour. Including a blog on your website and updating it regularly could be a good way to provide fresh and relevant content to your audience.
b) Social Media: It is a now part of daily lives and has immense reach. Join the right social media sites depending on what platform dental industry and your target patients use - Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. Create your profiles, provide regular updates, share content that your audience seeks and grow your network. A lot of these platforms allow you to roll out campaigns and advertisements as well.
Explore and Use Search Marketing Techniques
Most web users resort to search engines to look for information they want. It is, therefore, important to be present on the result pages of Search engines – first page being the target. There are two ways to achieve this – Organic and Inorganic. Organic(unpaid) means using the SEO techniques to optimize your website for search engines. Inorganic (aka PPC, pay per click) means purchasing the ad spaces that search engines reserve for the paid results. Depending on the audience you are targeting you can limit the scope of the advertisements by say Geo-location of the user or the device used to access the website.
Use Email Marketing
Email campaigns are a great digital marketing effort to reach out to your existing and prospective patients. To execute an email marketing campaign, you will need to define the goal of the campaign (for eg. patient referral bonus for the existing patient or offer discounts to prospective patients without dental insurance) and the database of the email address of the people you want to send out an email. You can collect the email addresses of the people either by asking them or via a form on your website. Gauge the message, content, links, tone and frequency of the emails so that your subscribers welcome the emails and click through the links in them.
Encourage Patient Reviews
Encourage your existing patients to write positive online reviews on local directories, google reviews or on social media platforms about your dental services. Provide appropriate response to negative reviews if any and take corrective action to address the grievance. This will help you win the confidence of prospective patients to make their first visit.
Incorporate these digital ideas or even a combination of them into your dental marketing plan and you will well be on your way to success.
As a dental blogger, Shen Chao posts regularly at www.joshuahongdds.com. He knows how content marketing can be effectively used to drive more traffic and frequently shares tips and insights into a wide variety of dental problems. All his posts are informative, updated, and well-written.