What are your New Year’s resolutions for your practice in 2017?
Maybe it’s updating the image of your practice to keep up with the changes in marketing in the last few years. Perhaps you want to defend against growing competition from the corporate dental practice that opened up down the street. Or do you just want to beat 2016’s production numbers?
Whatever your goals are, it’s important you avoid common mistakes if you want to achieve your goals in the new year. That’s why we’ve gathered 10 of the most valuable online marketing lessons and tips from the more than 100 different dental practices we worked with in 2016 (and links to more resources).
Here they are:
#1. Have a defined brand position
You have to be crystal clear on what you want your brand to stand for and make sure that comes through in every aspect of your practice – from your marketing, front office staff, office decor, pricing, and service. Trying to be everything to everyone is a prescription to fail. This Brand Worksheet can help.
#2. Know your ideal patient
The key to a marketing budget with positive ROI is to be selective in targeting only the right patients. You have to know their needs and what is most important to them in order to design a marketing message and patient experience that will make them raving fans and patients for life.
#3. Keep your website up to date
Your website is your virtual front office. For most new patients, it is their first impression of your practice. If it is broken or out-dated, what does that tell them about you?
#4. Be proactive in managing your online reputation
One of the biggest mistakes we see is dentists who don’t respond to (or even monitor) online reviews. You’ve worked too hard to build your practice to have a few negative reviews tarnish your reputation. Plus, positive reviews increase your ranking in search engines, impact which listings get clicked on, and affect patient decisions.
#5. Have Professional Photos taken of your practice and team
High quality photos and videos bring your practice to life for potential patients. Nothing creates a better first impression and positive professional image than good pictures. Avoid generic stock photography or cheap snapshots.
#6. Have a compelling offer
Look around. Chances are you have a lot of competition within just a few miles of your office. Most markets are competitive. Many doctors make the mistake of not providing a compelling call to action for new patients to give them a reason to call you today.
#7. Introduce potential patients to you practice with Facebook advertising
Facebook is a very important tool, but not the way you may have been told. Posting on Facebook is a waste of time and money. But Facebook advertising is a very effective way to reach prospective new patients and get them familiar with your practice.
#8. Be active in the community
Being active in your community and giving back pays dividends in many ways – with both your staff and patients. Word of mouth and referrals are the best marketing you will do. Pick a cause that is connected with your brand and ideal patient and make a difference.
#9. Claim the top local directories
You wouldn’t open an office with no sign on the building or out front, would you? How would people find you? If you don’t have accurate directory listings, that is exactly what you are doing online. And be sure to periodically review the information to be sure it stays accurate.
#10. Shoot some short videos for your website
A couple short videos can go a long way in helping your website connect with people. It doesn’t have to win an Oscar. Don’t over-think it. Just be real. Consider making short (less than 1 minute) videos as a “welcome” on the homepage, a little detail on “meet the Dr.”, and “what to expect as a new patient”.
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Corporate dentistry is threatening the existence of independent dentists. At Bullseye Media, we’re committed to helping you fight back and thrive. Since 2006, we’ve helped over 300 independent dental practices become more successful through better digital marketing and websites. Corporate practices aren’t unbeatable. For a free resource on brand positioning, ideal patient personas, or a complementary marketing assessment, give our dental marketing team a call at 214-491-6166 or visit us at www.OnlineDentalMarketing.com/fightback.