In the digital age, people choose businesses from search engines, social media, and other online marketing. Yet, many medical practices are far behind when it comes to online marketing, and especially dentists. Dentists may not think their online presence is important, but if you don’t have strong marketing, you may be losing many potential patients. Crystal Clear Digital Marketing can help with online marketing for dentists.
Businesses use online marketing to make their brand and company known. Online marketing is important to draw in potential customers since the vast majority of new customers these days come from online spaces. The number one online marketing tool is a website, and from a website comes a whole group of content marketing strategies. Websites are also a great way to visually display your brand.
Other forms of online marketing involve personally engaging with potential patients through technology. Email campaigns reach out to people and draw them into your website. Social media posts spark conversation and dialogue with potential patients. These types of campaigns may offer a reward for engagement or participation. Mobile marketing is slightly different, helping you reach out to patients over text or phone calls. You can also use paid advertising for your online marketing campaigns.
Why Online Marketing for Dentists?
Online marketing is important for businesses, but why do dentists need it? Like any business, dentists should take advantage of every tool available to them to spread their name and brand.
The buying process contains four steps: awareness, research, consideration, and buying. This is true when people begin searching for a new dentist as well. Online marketing for dentists will make others more aware of your practice. Online marketing can help you spread your message and bring in new patients to your practice.
Advertising vs Marketing
Most dentists are familiar with advertising. You may advertise on the radio, television, and even local newspapers. Marketing is slightly different. Marketing is identifying your patient needs and finding the best way to meet those needs, while advertising is typically a paid promotion of your services.
In simple terms, marketing is the large umbrella term that advertising will fall under. Online marketing for dentists will involve many different forms of marketing, including some paid advertisements. In the digital world, paid advertising in the form of radio, television, or newspaper has slowed. This is because most people choose a medical practice through online methods such as a search engine or social media.
However, online advertising can still be a method to increase awareness of your practice. Awareness is an important step in helping potential patients choose your dentistry. If they aren’t aware that you exist, they won’t be able to choose you.
Ways to Market Online
From social media to email, there are many ways to market your practice online. The forms that you spend the most time on will depend on your brand and consumer base.
For example, if your dentistry specializes mainly in dentures, you may want to market your practice using email or mobile methods. If you are trying to bring in a young college crowd, you may want to focus on building your social media marketing or blogging.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has become one of the most common forms of marketing. According to a 2019 State of Social report, 73% of people who use social media to market their business believe it was somewhat to very effective for their business.
Social media marketing can attract new patients and build confidence in your practice for existing patients. You will also increase awareness of your brand and practice while building patient loyalty and a referral base. Facebook is one of the most popular social media outlets, however, Instagram and Twitter are also very popular, especially for young millennials and Gen Z.
TikTok is a newer social media, with 50% of users under the age of 34. Other sites to consider may include YouTube, LinkedIn, and even Reddit. Deciding on which outlets to use can be tricky, which is why many medical practices rely on social media consultants to get the best results.
Email is still many people’s preferred way of communicating with a business. If your practice has a system that collects patients’ emails, you can communicate with them all using automated software that can send out huge campaigns or even schedule appointment reminders to individual patients.
While many dentists still rely on paper mail, email is faster, cheaper, and more reliable than communicating with patients via snail mail. With email marketing, you can reach out to future patients, contact existing patients, and share education with everyone. Using an automated system, such as the Social Patient Center, makes email marketing simple.
You will be able to send out newsletters, updates, follow-ups, and even email dormant patients you haven’t seen in a while. Newsletters are a great example of email marketing. Newsletters can keep patients informed about updates and news about your practice. It is also a place to educate patients about the best care practices for their teeth. Whether or not you keep a blog, you can use a newsletter to send informative articles to your patient base.
With the invention of the cell phone, marketing entered a new age. Suddenly, people had access to a mobile device 24/7. Mobile marketing refers to any marketing done through a mobile device. This includes making your practice website accessible for anyone using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. With the vast number of people who have access to a mobile device all the time, you will want to make sure your marketing is serving them.
The first step in mobile marketing is to ensure your website is optimized for mobile users. You want to make sure your branding is seamless between the desktop and a mobile version of your site. Your website should also be easy to read and navigate on a mobile device. You may also need to specialize your search engine optimization to make sure your practice will show up on mobile search engine maps. Lastly, using text communication can help you contact and stay in touch with your patients, both existing and future.
SEO is an essential part of online marketing for dentists. When a person types a word or phrase into a search engine, the search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, will analyze the words in a site and list them for the searcher in order of relevance.
Optimizing your website for a search engine is crucial to increasing your awareness as around 40% of a website’s visitors come through a search engine. Boosting your SEO may take time, as it happens gradually and naturally from updating your homepage, creating blog posts, and using keywords strategically throughout your online content.
You can also use search engine marketing, or SEM, for paid placement on certain categories. All of this will drive potential patients to your website, inviting them to call or fill out a form to contact your office. You can then use analytics to track how well you are optimized in a search engine.
PPC, or pay-per-click, marketing is a paid form of advertising that shouldn’t be overlooked. While there are other forms of paid online advertising, such as paid social media advertising, pay-per-click marketing is special.
This is an ad that features on a relevant blog or site that pays the blogger every time someone clicks on your ad. These are most often Google ads. PPC advertising is perfect for dentists because the ads are only placed on sites where users are viewing relevant topics.
For example, someone viewing a blog post about the top ten toothbrushes may see an ad for your practice. When they click on it, they will be transferred to your website to learn more about you. It’s important when using PPC marketing not to go too big, too fast. You want to slowly build up your spending. A great part of Google ads is they allow you to track the clicks in detail so you can analyze what maximizes your reach.
Other Content Marketing
Online marketing for dentists can use other forms of content marketing. Any form of written communication is a type of content, including social media and emails. Your web pages should also contain written content about you and your practice that should be updated regularly to boost your SEO.
Another great content marketing option is blogging. Blogging is a way to keep your website content fresh and communicate with existing and potential patients. Blogging can be similar to writing a newsletter, except a blog article is on the wide internet for anyone to read.
Blogs can establish you as a credible expert in dentistry and build trust with potential patients. Blogging provides a place to explore your voice and capture the personality of your brand. Blogging for dentists will typically mean providing answers to frequently asked questions.
Using Analytics to Track Campaigns
One of the most important parts of online marketing is tracking your marketing campaigns. If you do not track them, you won’t know what is succeeding and what isn’t working. Tracking can help you identify your dentistry’s strengths and weaknesses, but this is where many practices fail.
How It Works
Data to analyze will come in different forms through different campaigns. Most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, offer a way to track the likes, comments, shares, and clicks on a post. Google Analytics can track SEO and Google ads.
Your website host may be able to track statistics for your website to see what pages or articles are most viewed. Most automated email programs can track opens, replies, and link clicks in an email campaign.
Making Sense of It All
Having this many ways to track data and so many numbers to analyze can make anyone feel overwhelmed. This is why most medical practices find it so useful to work with professionals who can consolidate all this data and produce actionable advice. Using a program like the Social Patient Center, for example, allows you to track all that data in one place and organize it.
Get Help With Your Marketing Today
Online marketing for dentists is essential for every practice. You should be using all the tools at your disposal, from social media to blogging to email, but it can be overwhelming when you have seemingly more important things to do–like care for your patients!
If you feel like you are spending more time marketing your practice than actually helping people with your practice, call Crystal Clear Digital Marketing. We can do the work for you so you can focus on what’s important. Contact us today to schedule a virtual consultation.