In today’s digital environment, knowledge is accessible for everyone faster than ever.
Being a successful dentist is no longer sufficient in order to run a successful dental business.
The dental environment is more competitive and requires additional technological skills.
Patients want to know more about the medical procedure they are about to have, and spend a substantial amount of time online weighing their options. As a dentist, you are required to deliver the most relevant information to patients.
That’s why digital marketing is a mandatory step to promote your practice in your effort to increase business volume. It requires you to join the digital transformation, and share your knowledge with others.
So what is the right process for digital marketing
for your practice?
Here are the 5 most important steps you need to take;
Step 1: Updated website
Whether you have a website already, or only still considering it, you must have a website.
An up-to-date website is the key for success in digital marketing and a trusted source of information for your customers. This is where you – the dentist needs to provide useful information, referrals to other sources of information, and ignite a good call to action.
Your website should be accessible and user-friendly, rich with relevant content and with added value to the users or patients. Examples of content are your practice services, types of treatments, dentistry articles, blog with cases and more.
Your website should have some method of communicating with your practice, and it is important that your website will be optimized for mobile and tablet use.
* Generally, if you don’t have a website, my best recommendation is to build one using an open source system e.g. WordPress - it will allow you to upload and update content conveniently and easily enrich the website with additional features. Another option is using WIX platform.
Step 2: Promote your site in search engines
If the first step was performed correctly, and you've built your website properly - this second step will be much easier for the digital marketing process.
Your website must be found in search engines (such as Google and Bing) and appear as one of the first search results. The first appearing results include relevant search words which the patient typed for his inquiry.
Usually, potential patients looking for medical procedure information on-line, are willing to spend a minimal amount of search time, and therefore will not look beyond the first few results of websites in their search.
The bottom line: your website should appear in front of your potential patient eyes immediately and provide the most relevant information in a way that will reduce the patient concerns about the medical procedure and encourage him/her to contact you.
Step 3: Be active in the social networks
Over the last few years, social networks have gained momentum and have become a main player in strengthening a brand and influencing public opinion. More and more clinics and dentists become active in social networks in order to keep a close relationship with their customers.
Here is a nice example:
Dr. Rich Constantine, DDS from the ‘Constantine Dental Clinic’ (https://www.facebook.com/pg/greenvillescdental). You can see that he is very active and “fresh” in the social networks, and has tens of thousands of followers that he regularly updates in viral and innovative content.
You can and should promote your content through social networking, as these are great platforms to deliver your messages to your followers and direct patients to new developments and clinical solutions.
Step 4: Engagement - Personal contact with the customer
Think about how hard it is to bring in new clients to your clinic, the amount of resources and effort needed for this. At the same time, it’s much easier to preserve clients using your existing costumer’s data base at your clinic.
All you need is a personal relationship with your customers.
So, what does that mean?
Customers love personal attention and therefore content with a personal dedication is quickly becoming the standard of care. Using a personal reminder (via Email, SMS etc.) before the appointment is a good way to start.
Using your costumer data base, you might also want to send them a greeting message for their birthday. It is very important to follow up with your patients, review and ask them for the level of service they have received and their satisfaction level. Stay open minded for criticism and focus your attention on negative reviews.
Step 5: Sponsored ADS
Many digital platforms are offering sponsoring ads as a customized marketing solution for businesses. Use sponsored Google AdWords and social network campaigns (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc.) to appear in the top places in the search engines (as we established in step 2) and to be exposed to a more targeted audience and promote your marketing messages.
I recommend that you prepare a strategy and workplan with a digital media manager that contains budget, the marketing messages you want to promote, and look for the most suitable platform to reach the relevant customers.
In conclusion, digital marketing gives you an opportunity to be exposed to a new audience on one hand and to promote relevant content for your clients on the other hand. Using advanced analysis capabilities can help you measure the effectiveness of these marketing efforts than any other marketing platform and at relatively low cost.