July 23, 2018
By Janis Peiser
It’s the middle of summer—we’re already halfway through 2018. Are you where you want to be in reaching your revenue objectives?
Strategic planning is essential to achieving the financial objectives of your dental practice. Think about it—like any other businesses, the dental space is highly competitive. It’s understandable that the day-to-day responsibilities of running your practice can take your eye off your growth objectives. That’s where an ongoing marketing program comes in.
The success of your practice relies on your ongoing ability to attract potential patients and retain those you already have. Fortunately, the arsenal of marketing tools at your disposal continues to grow, allowing you to combine traditional and digital marketing methods. Remember, you want to make it easy for people to find you and then when they do, provide enough information to schedule an appointment.
This may sound all-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, perhaps you already send postcards to patients to remind them of their next appointments. Congratulations, you are already marketing your practice by making sure your patients show up. What if you took this concept one step further with a blend of marketing tactics?
Given great advances in digital marketing, direct mail may sound old school. But is it? Direct mail works, and it can be a profitable investment. There is a time and place for email marketing, but these days our in-boxes are cluttered with messages. People are juggling emails, Facebook and Instagram with tweets and texts. Recent studies show that 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. Consider sending direct mail to a specific demographic of prospects at least quarterly.
What message is your website delivering to your audience? Does your practice look inviting and personable? Is it responsive in design on all mobile devices? Make sure your site is quickly loading so you don’t lose a prospect to another practice. Do you have testimonials from satisfied clients that you can include on your site, in direct mail and in other marketing channels?
Video drives user engagement, so consider incorporating video messages from you and your team on your website as well as video testimonials. Studies show the average user spends 88 percent more time on a website with a video. Additionally, Practice Builders listed videos as a top dental marketing trend in 2018 and predicts that nearly 65 percent of potential patients visit a healthcare office website after watching a video. The nice thing is that you no longer need to engage the services of a production company to shoot video. Animoto and Videoscribe are two tools that allow you to create your own videos.
If someone searches for a dentist in your area, does your practice come up in the top 10 results? If not, you’ll need to consider a combination of paid digital advertising (Google pay-per-click, etc.) and organic search optimization by writing regular content (blogs, e-books). You also want to rank for certain keywords important to your practice and any specialties you offer. Google AdWords lets you target prospects at specific times of the day. For example, if your call-to-action message is to call your office, you would want to set your program to run during office hours.
Be sure to check that your online listings contain accurate contact information, hours, services and staff information. Reviews have grown in importance so engage satisfied patients to write favorable online reviews on sites like Google and Yelp. Do you have a Facebook business page? While the perception has long been that it is solely for social messaging, Facebook has one of the highest engagement rates of any social network, so it may be time to change your thinking.
Whether it’s a digital monthly newsletter or a column you author for a traditional print publication, consider opportunities to stand out as the leading expert. Be sure to share copies of published articles with your patients—remember, their referrals are one of your top sources for new business.
By now you’re probably saying, sounds great—who is going to do all this? If you don’t have the time yourself, consider designating a staff member or freelancer to run your marketing program. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll see your business grow.
To learn more, contact the dental CPAs at Goldin Peiser & Peiser.
Note: This content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.