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dental marketing strategy

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Google’s Newest Tool for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper July 15, 2014

Google’s Newest Tool for DentistsGoogle has introduced a new feature for business owners: Google My Business. You may have noticed a change with your existing Google Places profile. This new tool is meant to replace Google Places, and should make it much easier for local businesses to be found on Google.

Did you know that Google creates a profile for almost every business? It’s true, and even if you have never logged on to a Google platform, chances are good that there is an existing business listing for your dental practice. If you haven’t already, you need to create a Google account and claim the existing listing. Populate the listing with photos of the practice, current practice contact information, and hours of operation. This way, when patients are researching your practice online, they will be able to easily find your practice and all the necessary information they are looking for.

If you’ve previously claimed your Google Places listing, there’s not much you need to do with the new Google My Business. You’ll notice a new layout to the profile page. Simply make sure all the information is updated and correct.

For more details on the new tool, here is an overview from Google. Have you already noticed the new profile? What do you think of Google’s latest update?

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Making the Case for a Modern Dental Marketing Strategy

by Naomi Cooper May 27, 2014

Making the Case for a Modern Dental Marketing StrategyHere on the blog and in conversations with my dentist clients, I talk frequently about the importance of a modern dental marketing plan and the role it can play in reaching new patients and building loyalty with patients of record.

A modern dental marketing strategy includes:

– updating the practice website

utilizing SEO tactics and e-communication tools

– engaging in social media

– gathering online patient testimonials

Sesame Communications, a dental industry leader in digital marketing solutions, recently conducted a national survey of dental care providers to find out what digital marketing efforts they feel are critical to the success of their overall marketing strategy, and the results have just been released.  Click here to see the full report, but here are a few highlights:

  • 82% of dental care providers surveyed state their website is important to practice success
  • 85.5% believe automated patient reminders are important to practice success
  • 96.9% regard their rankings on Healthgrades.com as important to the practice
  • 65.7% consider SEO important to their practice success

These are strong statistics indicating the growing importance of updating a traditional marketing plan by adding in modern tools.

Do you agree with the findings? What have you done to modernize your dental marketing strategy? Share your experiences below!

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Is Your Dental Marketing Plan in Need of a Refresh?

by Naomi Cooper April 9, 2014

Is Your Dental Marketing Plan in Need of a Refresh?What is your plan for sparking new patient flow? If you are still relying on phone book advertising for your dental practice, you might want to refresh your marketing plan.

Sure, phone book advertising still has a place in the marketing plan for some dental practices. If you are targeting seniors, it may still make sense. Keep in mind that as the population ages, eventually you are going to need to shift your strategy to the online world.

Not yet convinced? Consider the following statistics:

With recent stats like these, it is hard to deny the importance of having an online marketing strategy. Updating your practice website, employing SEO tactics and joining social media can help to bring your practice marketing plan into the modern era. And there is certainly no time like the present to get started!

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Dental Practice Branding: 4 Steps to a Winning Online Strategy

by Naomi Cooper April 3, 2014

Dental Practice Branding: 4 Steps to a Winning Online StrategyIt is estimated that the average person sees 3,000 advertisements every day! Your patients need to be able to recognize your dental practice brand. If you’re not iconic, then all of the time, money and effort that went into the message is completely wasted. So, how do you make the most of your dental practice branding strategy? Keep it consistent, and this has never been more important than it is in today’s digital age.

It’s a good idea to take periodic inventory of your online marketing to make sure everything is up to date. In particular, these 4 digital components should work together to form a cohesive brand:

1) Practice Name: This one may sound obvious but it is not uncommon for me to find that a practice’s business cards read “Joe B. Smith, DMD” while its website uses the moniker “Smith Family Dentistry”. One name should be used across all marketing platforms, including your website and online profiles, in addition to your printed materials.

2) Social Media Profiles: It is ideal to set up your dental practice social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) profiles under the same name as the practice. It may seem more natural to set the profiles in the name of an individual dentist, but again, I recommend keeping everything consistent and using the practice name across all properties so that patients can find and connect with the practice as easily as possible.

3) Patient Review Sites: Word of mouth has shifted to the online atmosphere via sites such as Yelp!, Healthgrades.com and Google+ Local. What I find when consulting with my dentist clients is they do not always realize is that these sites often automatically create a profile for your business. It is up to you to log on and claim your practice’s profile on each of these sites, making sure your business name is correct and contact information is current. After you claim your profiles, encourage patients to share their positive experiences so that when prospective patients are doing their online research, they can get a complete picture of what your practice has to offer.

4) Practice Website: Along with having the same name across all online platforms, it is smart to link your online profiles to your website. The homepage of your practice website should include links to your social media profiles and your blog. Likewise, your profiles on social media and patient review sites should also link to your practice website.

Patients are online now more than ever. It’s up to you to make sure they can find you, and that when they do that you’ve made a good first impression. Remember, make it as simple as possible for patients to recognize your practice by name by keeping your branding consistent – online and offline!

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Dental Practice Marketing: Consistency Matters!

by Naomi Cooper March 4, 2014
Dental Practice Marketing: Consistency Matters!Consistency. As dentists, you constantly remind patients of the value of consistency…regular brushing and flossing — and keeping their recall appointments. As business owners, we also intuitively know that consistency matters. So why is it so hard for us to take our own advice?
When it comes to dental practice marketing, consistency tops the list of Must-Do’sI remind my clients time and again that sporadic marketing efforts will not generate the kind of return they expect to get. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter what type of marketing you are doing, you have to do it regularly. Few tactics exist that will produce overnight results. Blogging. Social media. Direct mail. Asking for referrals. None of these activities will give you the results you want to see unless they’re done with consistency.

Still not convinced? Check out this recent blog from the team at Dental Support Specialties to discover what areas of the dental practice could be improved through a focus on consistency. What have you got to lose, besides a few bad habits?

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Goal Setting: How to Achieve Dental Marketing Success

by Naomi Cooper December 30, 2013

Goal Setting: How to Achieve Dental Marketing SuccessAhhh…The beginning of a new year. A time for resolutions and plans, both personally and professionally. It’s relatively easy to come up with a list of new goals to accomplish over the next 12 months, but do you notice a stalemate when it comes to taking the first, second and third steps needed in order to take action to achieve your goals?

You’re not alone. A recent online article from Healthcare Success Strategies talks about the 7 Deadly Sins of Healthcare Marketing and how to identify the roadblocks to productivity. It is a terrific read for dental practice owners, and extremely timely as we enter 2014.

In terms of dental marketing, a common goal I often hear is to “increase social media activity”. This sounds great in theory, but goals should be more specific. How do you plan to increase your activity? What social media sites will you use? How do you define “increase”? A better-stated goal might be: Post 3 times per week to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When stated like this, your action plan is more clearly defined — and more measurable.

Setting annual marketing goals is a necessary habit to keep your dental practice moving forward, but setting short-term, specific objectives to help you reach them is often the first step towards achieving success in marketing.