Fifteen years ago your website was the only tool you needed for successful online dental marketing. The site acted as a nice supplement to your traditional marketing efforts, driving some potential patients to your practice, but traditional marketing ventures yielded the highest returns. In modern dental marketing your website is a core component of your online strategy, but it must be supported by other digital marketing techniques and support tools in order to reap results. There are numerous tools available to strengthen the impact of your online investments, but these four are the most crucial.
- Social Media: Billions of people worldwide use social media as their primary means of communication and as a source of important information. The allure of a social media presence for your practice is that it is a place where your patients do your marketing work for you. They share your posts about teeth cleaning techniques, or “like” your online page of monthly discounts. Others within that patient’s social network see and are exposed to your content, without any additional expense on your part. Since the members of that patient’s network tend to fit the same persona as the original patient, your marketing is targeted directly at the kind of patient you want to attract.
- Inbound Marketing: Traditional “in your face” marketing strategies put your practice before an audience and hoped to evoke a response. Over time consumers became jaded to these techniques, so the return on paper and media buys declined. Inbound marketing utilizes the natural curiosity of patients to drive them to your practice. Adding blog posts that deliver relevant content to your patients and potential patients creates a lead-in that attracts traffic. If you have a robust inbound marketing strategy, when someone searches for “denture care”, your content appears near the top of the list of results in their search engine. They read the content and respond to your call to action at the bottom of the post, which leads them to your site. Inbound marketing is most effective when paired with a social media campaign that posts the links on your social media pages so they are easy to see and disseminate by your existing patients.
- Mobile Solutions: A growing number of people use mobile devices as their primary method of browsing the internet, and a lack of mobile support alienates those consumers. Older websites are not optimized for mobile content, and potential patients are turned away because of their inability to see your page. Your dental marketing program should also include app support, which is a cost effective way to increase total clicks and overall impressions on potential patients.
- Pay Per Click Advertising: Many practices have not done well with this component. This takes a specific strategy based on what you need. If you just want “dentist this area” then you will probably need to focus on just that keyword. You may only be able to afford this keyword but having campaigns put together that use other successful keywords that don’t have as much competition might be a better strategy.
- Conversion Support: This is where too many dental marketing campaigns fall apart is in the follow through. You generate the leads you want through your marketing programs, but your front office staff lacks the training or tools to convert those leads into paying patients. Staff efficiency trackers enable you to assess the performance of your staff when they handle inquiries into the practice and determine where the roadblocks are that derail conversion. Using this information, you can target training to those staff members who need it the most, and write a script that will help the front desk transition inquiries into patients.
Online dental marketing requires a multi-faceted approach where the website serves as the core of the strategy, but is supported by a system of other tools. The diversification of your online marketing campaign will bring a greater return on your investment and increased efficiency in your marketing dollars.