This dental marketing expert Jackie Ulasewich noticed she hears a lot of the same questions from her dentist clients. She thought it would be easy to share and answer them here to help make the task of marketing easier for all dental practices.
You went to school to become a dentist, not a bookkeeper, office manager, or marketer. But as you’ve probably already heard, marketing is necessary to maintain and grow your practice. While I cannot help you navigate your way through bookkeeping or running an efficient office, I can demystify some of the most commonly asked marketing questions.
Q: How often should I blog?
A: Blog as often as you want, ideally twice a month, but be consistent. Blogging provides you with opportunities to educate your patients about dental health, inform them of your expertise, remind them of the services you offer, and instill confidence in you as their dentist.
Q: Which digital marketing channel works best?
A: Each digital marketing channel serves its own purpose, so what you choose to use depends on the goals you set for your practice. Facebook and other social networking sites help with brand awareness and building lasting relationships with your current patients. Email campaigns allow you to target patients with specific needs, such as dental implants. GoogleAds and remarketing help you attract new patients. Blogging allows you to show off your know-how to patients. The best marketing campaign, however, incorporates all of them because they work most effectively together.
A: Yes! Branding isn’t just for Nikon, Nissan, and the NFL. Promoting your brand helps you communicate the personality of your practice. Even more important, though, is that marketing sets you apart from the competition.
Q: How can I get results fast?
A: Marketing your practice is a marathon, not a sprint. Some dental marketing efforts produce results faster than others, but a solid marketing strategy takes time. A targeted email campaign, for example, could take several months. First you have to identify the patients you’re targeting, next you have to determine what is preventing them from following through with treatment, then you have to draft emails to send at predetermined intervals, and finally, your efforts will yield results. A Google pay-per-click (PPC) campaign might quickly bring in someone who wants to take advantage of your Zoom! Whitening offer, but it takes time to assess the efficacy of the campaign as a whole. Using multiple channels is best, and doing so helps you maintain your relationship with current customers while simultaneously growing your practice.
Q: Can using Facebook really help my practice?
A: Facebook is invaluable when it comes to building a lasting and trusting relationship with your current and prospective patients. Websites tend to be more formal, while Facebook allows you to share your true personality with patients. When they see you post pictures of a staff holiday party, videos of you hugging an adorable pediatric patient, or funny dental trivia questions, it reminds them that you’re human, not a drill-wielding demon who can’t wait to get them in your chair. Without Facebook, you’re the person who pokes and prods their mouths twice a year. With it, you’re a trusted health-care provider who is there for them year-round.
I know that your focus is on your patients, as it should be. But I also hope that answering your frequently asked dental marketing questions might make marketing your practice a little less intimidating. As for the bookkeeping and office management, we’ll leave that to someone else.