Dentists and dental clinics are pivotal in today’s society just as much as doctors and hospitals are. They take care of our dental hygiene and more. They help us smile better. They help us look better and they very well help boost our personal health and lifestyles. As much as they are taking care of us, they are not taking care of themselves, to be precise, their business. We are talking about marketing here. Yup!
Digital marketing has the capacity to improve every organization, regardless of the nature. To get more clients and build up the brand, companies must use the latest proven strategies to reach out to their prospects and clients so as to ensure they stay ahead of the game and keep competitors at bay. Unfortunately, we don’t see it happening as much as we want to, thus we want to give some free tips on how dentists and their organizations, can improve their businesses by trying to inculcate these few steps into their overall marketing game plan.
1) Professional Website
Since everything is online, potential clients want to see what you are made of. This is typical today as everyone wants to go to your website to see your services and what kind of clinic you are running. To have a site which is not user friendly or with tabs which does not work or even worse, an ugly looking site, will just be a BIG NO NO! Ensure your site is coded well and looks aesthetically pleasing just like how we want our teeth done as well. Test that it loads fast and that it is view-able in all browsers. You can use nice pictures of your clinics and also have testimonials of clients flashing their pearly whites too. They could be even glorifying your services.
Don’t use “WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE” tag lines as they are so useless. Use special offers, promos and enticing propositions to ensure that you get their attention. A website can do wonders if you know how to market it. Sadly, it is not done right. Some just place promotions without showing the value of it and it gets diluted. Promos have to be done properly otherwise it may be construed as being too aggressive or as another form of cheap marketing. A Brand must pull and push properly to ensure it maximizes its impact.
2) Responsive or Mobile friendly
We still see websites which are not responsive which means it does not turn out well in smart phones. Remember that everyone carries a Smartphone and if they want to go for a quick clean, they will either ask a friend or Google you. If your friend refers you because you are a client and this potential client goes to your website and it looks bad, it will have an adverse effect on him/her and it will put the potential client off because your website does not show the details properly as compared to your competitors who have mobile ready website which adapts to mobiles and tablets easily. So instead of winning them over, you lose them.
3) Search Engine optimization (SEO)
My tooth feels bad or perhaps I want to go for some teeth whitening because I want to have a million dollar smile ala Tom Cruise. I immediately GOOGLE and look for dentists on the first few pages. I look through them and choose one and book an appointment. Where is your clinic? Oops! You did not optimize your website so you are nowhere to be found, while your competitors did and are in the 1st page and are getting a huge clean bite(no pun intended) of your market share. SEO is crucial and companies are spending thousands of dollars every month to ensure they rank highly so that whenever people look for dental services, their website comes up and they get easy sales from those searching them on search engines. Forget yellow pages because it is dead and dusted. SEO is a must have ammo in your marketing arsenal.
4) Search engine marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is similar to SEO. SEM is a paid search or otherwise known as PPC ( pay per click) . It is like an ad which appears on the top of search engines when you search on certain keywords like “dental clinic” or “dentists”. So, whenever someone clicks on your ad you pay a few dollars depending on a few factors like competition, quality scores etc. So companies like Google, Yahoo and Bing etc have systems which allow companies like yours to advertise and book a spot for visibility. It is a fast method to actually get clients. The problem is that SEM agencies or dental agencies that do it are doing it in a wrong fashion. They create ads and do not have a proper messaging or proposition and send their clients to their home page or an inner page or worse still, we have seen clicks which lead to an invalid page! Even certain landing pages which we have seen created by these so called “experts” are atrocious hence the conversion is bad which means out of every 10 or 20 persons who click on your ad, only 1 or 2 of them will book an appointment or make a call. This is traffic wastage and it can be rectified if they just knew the psychology of people. It is not just paying for ads and hoping and praying someone clicks on them. There is more to it in doing adwords or any other form of ads on Search engines. So what will work?
One needs to have a good copy as well as some neat tools and a proper landing page to ensure the conversion increases for you to get more leads. Certain scrupulous agencies are unaware of these methods yet they pass off as great SEM agencies and milk money from their clients. These clients are kept happy because they get something rather than nothing. 3 customers are better than no customer. The truth is they could have got more clients if their strategies are in place. However, being conditioned with their marketing agency they will stay with them rather than switch to another who can assure them more leads. Sentiment has no place in business. Choose what works.
5) Booking system and Notifications
A booking system will aid in boosting your productivity and customer loyalty. An application can help send reminders to prospects as well as send them birthday cards, offers and promos. It is far cheaper to market to an existing client than to get a new one. But more often than not, this is not being done. It will be good to have an online booking system where your clients can come and chat with you as well as book an appointment for an array of service which they are keen in. It automates and increases productivity and helps in customer satisfaction. This will reduce operating costs and you can channel those funds to other areas to improve your business. Management software can help in boosting customer satisfaction. It can be in the form of mobile app or even an online booking system. Statistics have shown that if clients have downloaded your mobile app, chances of them switching to a rival company is slim because they will be quite comfortable in using your app. Thus, it will prevent them from switching to another provider just because of the inconvenience the whole process takes, unless your app does not serve the client’s purpose and is just a pure crappy one. Apps can send reminders and also promos and dental tips via push notifications which can help keep your Brand in your client’s head and increase customer loyalty.
6) Content is King
Everyone now knows more about a lot of things than 20 years ago due to the availability of free information online. People understand more about dentistry than ever before because of the boom of the internet. People love to consume information and a very important tool for your marketing is to have lots of relevant content in your website. It can be in the form of a blog or even just white papers and articles. Ensure that you give away very good amount of information which can help your potential client. This will give them the impression that you know better than anyone else and they will come to you because they may see you as an authority. If you can share information which can help them, they will want to use your services because you have made them feel a bit more comfortable than a guy just showcasing his services and sticking promos all over. “Stickiness” as what we call it is a huge factor. Have content that sticks and get your marketer to write relevant articles. Google loves content heavy sites, hence will boost your SEO rankings too. You must have at least a minimum of 500 words for good impact. So go do some writing…but don’t rattle about the whole experience that goes into pulling that molar off though. Ouch!!!
7) Social Media
Content is part of an overall strategy and in today’s world, you need to be social because that is where the crowd is. Your potential clients are out there. They are waiting for you to touch base with them and to pull them in with your special unique services. You may have the best product or a great team of dentists but if they don’t know you, then it is as good as you dreaming of hiring Bill Gates as your office boy. You must have a strong presence in social media platforms like FB, Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram,Youtube etc. The more you share, the more you gain. Running contests, promos, special offers and giveaways are some examples which you can use to gain a loyal following. You can create special content on your channels and share it with your audience. Remember that giving is gaining. If you do it right, you can definitely boost your business and build a great Brand. Many great brands use social media to gain more audience and to build their brand. To not do digital marketing is suicide in today’s context.
8) Test to Improve your ROI (Return on Investment)
We recently spoke to a dental clinic’s marketing manager recently and she doesn’t know which their best source of ROI is. They are unable to know which marketing campaigns they did and which gave them the most success and the worst results. So how can they possibly improve? They are also unable to tell if they have optimized their strategies and did any A/B testing. Ignorance is bliss but it can be fatal when you are running a business. A business can truly improve only if we know how to test and analyze properly. The onus is on the company or agency to keep on testing to see what works and what can work better. There are a myriad of strategies which can be deployed on social and online marketing and the results can come but which are the winning ones are what we need to find out so that we can bank more on that. This will help reduce the expenditure on those ineffective channels so as to reduce your marketing costs whilst boosting ROI.
Review your marketing now!
These are just 8 tip of the iceberg techniques and there are many more which can be implemented to boost your dental practice’s revenue and brand equity. Any dental agency can get more clients by implementing the above strategies as these are proven methods. We wish more companies can adopt digital marketing to get more clients for their business and not stagnate because your rivals are working with marketing agencies and consultants to get more clients which means they are stealing your market share. The digital era is here to stay and to say that “we are comfortable with our marketing efforts “is tantamount to being negligent and we all know what happened to Blackberry, Nokia, Palm and Kodak don’t we? They did not know what hit them and you won’t too if you are not keeping up with the changes of the tech world.
Visiting the dentist every year constantly helps keep our gums and teeth in great shape and so does constantly working on your marketing strategies. Leave it alone or think that you are doing a great job and you will see it rot…and I am not talking about our teeth here. Get an expert in to assess your marketing strategies and you will have a bigger and brighter smile.