A guest blog from Rockwest Dental’s Amanda Duffy
Is digital dental marketing your primary strategy for connecting with new and existing patients? If not, perhaps it should be. With the increased use of technology in our lives, dental clinics embracing digital marketing are connecting with patients via websites, social media, email, and search engines. Those that aren’t connecting in this manner risk being left behind. So it is crucial you develop a robust strategy if you want to grow your business.
Digital Marketing is defined as initiatives focused on electronic devices. Some digital marketing is highly effective and can deliver better, more targeted results than traditional methods of marketing.
Digital Marketing SEO: Emergency Keywords
Fundamental to successful online marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These days, SEO is not a niche concept. Many businesses with an online presence understand the importance of keywords to elevate their search engine rankings. SEO also helps in targeting the right customers at the right time. But which keywords should you target?
An easy way to get high-intent patients with an immediate need is to use words such as “emergency” or “urgent”. Using these keywords as part of your SEO and creating a page for emergency services, you are much more likely to come up in search results when potential patients are looking for emergency dental care.
If you offer emergency care, ensure your landing page makes it easy for a client to contact you. Provide a clear “call to action.” For example, use a button that calls your emergency appointment line as opposed to directing a user to online forms. But if you don’t answer or make it easy for them to contact you via phone, you may find the patient has gone elsewhere. This kind of patient is in a rush and time is of utmost importance. Even worse, they may leave a bad review on Google.
Read more about getting your dental practice noticed by new patients:
Nuts and Bolts of Dental Marketing
Measurable Digital Marketing Results
One problem with traditional dental marketing is determining how many people see it. This is hard to quantify with an advertisement in a local newspaper or a billboard. Even if they do see it, you have no way of knowing whether people have retained the information. Additionally, how do you know whether the information has prompted them to contact you? In effect, it’s not easy to tell whether your ads are working.
With digital marketing, real-time analytics tell you how users are interacting with your website or other online marketing efforts. You can analyze what content is popular. You can track how long people are on your site, whether they share content, and track their movements across your site. It’s easy to tell what’s working and what’s not in terms of bringing in leads, so you can target your marketing budget effectively.
Digital Marketing can be Very Targeted
Identifying your ideal patients will allow you to target them specifically, which a successful marketing campaign aims to do. The advantage of digital marketing over traditional methods is that there are all manner of tools that allow you to measure how popular the pages are on your social media accounts, website and blogs. Knowledge is power and if you know what people like, read and share, you can tailor your messages and content to them specifically.
Because digital marketing allows you to be more precise in who you target, they become much more effective. You will be showing ads or publishing content to people who are already interested in your services. Using multiple channels, including social media, email and website content, you can increase your interactions and engagement with your target audience. This will help you to nurture leads that will boost new client numbers and retain existing clients.
Dental marketing includes both inbound and outbound strategies. While you will need to use both, inbound marketing is more effective. It engages directly with potential patients who have already found your content—effectively leading them to your business.
Outbound marketing tends to be more traditional with advertisements, flyers and sales calls. With this form of marketing, you will need to compete with other businesses to find potential patients.
Digital marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing. The costs for a direct mail campaign soon add up. Compare the design, printing and postage costs of sending out a leaflet to sending an email. For any business, keeping an eye on your bottom line is crucial, so digital marketing wins hands down.
There isn’t much in this life for free, but there are many sites where you should list your business. Not only are the listings free, so you can generate some publicity for nothing, but they are crucial in terms of social proof and can help your search engine rankings.
There are dozens of sites where you may want to list your business, but the first one you should claim is the Google My Business listing. Google is the most popular search engine and the first place people turn to when they are looking for a dentist. Also, many dental clinics are connecting with patients on Facebook. Make sure you have a Facebook page and ensure several of your team are administrators. Responding to queries and comments in a timely manner is key to your campaign’s success.
Digital marketing is currently the most effective way of promoting your dental clinic to new and existing patients. If you haven’t formed a marketing strategy that includes digital yet, it’s time to upgrade your outdated strategy.
One thing you must remember is to make sure your team knows about your new digital marketing strategies. Your staff need to know how to handle leads and deal with them quickly. Otherwise, only checking email once a day will allow your lead to make an appointment at another dental clinic before you’ve read their email.
Lean about how small changes in your approach to serving your patients can result in massive changes to your profitability in our free training event “Dental Practice Excellence: 3 Steps to an All-Star Practice.” Sign up today!