Tag

dental practice marketing

video

Dental Practice Marketing: Can You Really Afford to Opt Out?

by Naomi Cooper February 1, 2016

Naomi Cooper Minoa MarketingWord of mouth can only take a practice so far. It’s essential for dentists today to have a modern marketing strategy. If you’re not sure where to begin when developing a strategy for your practice, check out this video & discover the 5 key areas every dentist should focus on…

Blog

Transitioning the Dental Practice: What’s in a Name?

by Naomi Cooper October 21, 2015

Transitioning Your Dental PracticeThere are three basic roads a dentist can take to retirement:

  • Sell their practice,
  • Find associates, OR
  • Reduce office hours and production until they end up closing shop.

One option dentists don’t have is to cross their fingers and hope for the best. It is essential to be proactive and start planning for retirement a minimum of five to 10 years ahead to fully maximize the value of your practice!

Transitioning the practice is a process full of many variables, but dentists nearing retirement age can make this process easier by focusing on one key area of the business ahead of time: Branding.

What’s in a name?

While it may seem logical to leave the rebranding process up to your successor so he or she can do whatever s/he wants with the practice name after taking it over, this is a flawed approach. In this scenario, a potential successor will see no value in purchasing YOUR practice over any other. You need to figure out how to maximize the value of your practice and develop a transferable asset that has a positive, recognizable identity within the community.

Imagine the fictional Dr. Rob Roberts, who is 30 years old and is looking to buy a practice. There are two practices up for sale in town with nearly identical locations, patient bases and facilities.

  • Practice A is named Dave Davis DDS after the long-time dentist/owner. The practice’s website URL is drdavisdds.com and its signage and business cards all reflect the retiring doctor’s name. The practice’s Facebook page and other social media profiles, as well as all of its overwhelmingly positive online reviews, are also all listed under Dr. Davis’ name and worthless to the young dentist, as a result.

Dr. Roberts knows if he is to buy Practice A, the cost of a new logo, internal and external signage, a new practice website and printed materials like business cards and letterhead alone will easily rise into the mid-five figures. Add to that the cost, including the time and energy, of rebranding the practice, building a new website and starting the practice’s social media and online review profiles from scratch and putting the necessary marketing infrastructure into place for this practice starts to feel like a part-time job the new dentist won’t have time for.

  • Practice B, on the other hand, was rebranded several years ago as Harmony Dental Care. Its website needs a simple update to the doctor’s photo and bio page to be perfectly good for Dr. Roberts’ immediate needs. The practice effectively has all of the necessary marketing assets already established in an easily transferable brand, and it’s easy to imagine how much more attractive Practice B appears to Dr. Roberts as a result.

As the scenario illustrates, a potential successor must be able to see themselves benefitting professionally and financially from purchasing your practice. Plan ahead in order to develop a transferable asset that has a positive, recognizable identity within the community. Investing in branding your practice appropriately now will pay off in dividends upon retirement.

For more information on branding and preparing for retirement, including must know tax implications for dentists, click here to read my latest Dental Products Report article co-written by industry expert J. Haden Werhan CPA/PFS.

Blog

Dental Practice Marketing Audit for 2015

by Naomi Cooper December 23, 2014

Dental Practice Marketing Audit Dental practice marketing – it’s a term that encompasses a wide array of activities designed to bring new patients into the practice in hopes of achieving long-term steady practice growth.

It can be overwhelming for dentists with a resolution to implement a marketing plan in 2015, or even for those who have been marketing but are looking to tune up their existing strategy. Here are 5 areas to focus on when building an overall dental marketing plan:

  1. Branding: A dentist’s branding strategy is essentially communicating the reputation of the practice to the community. Make sure your message is on point and sending the message you want it to.
  2. Website: How long ago was the practice website updated? Does it accommodate mobile devices via responsive design? If it was designed even 2-3 years ago, it could be time for a refresh.
  3. Social Media: Do you have active profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter? If so, be sure they contain current practice information and are updated with relevant content on a consistent basis. If you have been hesitating on joining the social media community, consider putting it at the top of your list of 2015 dental practice marketing goals.
  4. Patient Reviews: Sites like Yelp, Google and Healthgrades are all extremely popular with Internet users, particularly those looking for a dentist online. Make sure profiles are updated with current contact and practice information, and be sure there is a sufficient number positive patient reviews for prospective patients to see.
  5. Patient Communication: All external marketing activities rely on internal processes and communication. E-communication tactics utilize email and text messaging for routine patient communication. The entire dental team should also be well versed in asking for patient referrals and online reviews. This may not come naturally to everyone, so verbal skills training is a must.

There are countless other tactics that fall under the dental marketing umbrella, but for those looking to get started, these are five of the most important areas for consideration. And for those dentists who are looking to step up their existing marketing game, making sure these five components of the marketing plan are solid will help take their marketing to the next level in 2015.

Blog

Dental Practice Marketing: 9 Content Ideas for Social Media

by Naomi Cooper September 24, 2014

Dental Practice Marketing: 9 Content Ideas for Social MediaAre you thinking about getting started on a social media plan for your practice? Or maybe you’ve been posting for a while now but feel like your updates are getting a bit stale? Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been participating for years, it can be difficult to keep coming up with ideas of what to post.

Here are 9 types of content that work well on social media:

  1. Links to Articles: Posts about the practice, the doctor, the team, the community, or oral health in general always work well.
  2. Photos: Pictures of the practice, of the doctor and/or team, patient “before and after” shots, team events, or continuing education opportunities. Note: photos require a signed release, so be sure you have written permission from everyone in the picture before posting.
  3. Videos: Shoot videos on a smartphone of an office tour, a welcome greeting from the doctor and staff, patient testimonials, or even the doctor answering patient FAQs. Similar to photos, videos also require a signed release, so again, be sure to have written permission before posting.
  4. Facts & Figures: Consider relevant quotes, statistics, news headlines that you think would be of interest to your community.
  5. Seasonal: The various holidays and seasons are perfect opportunities to share holiday wishes, fun factoids about the holiday/season, or give a piece of dental advice to fit a specific time of year.
  6. Contests and Polls: Great for increasing engagement with your social media audience, you can set up polls just for fun, or offer a prize.
  7. Giving Back: If you happen to be a part of a local group, you can post messages about the cause or link to the cause’s website. Or, if you know of a patient who is very involved, you could ask them about posting their story.
  8. Lifestyle: Social media posts don’t only have to be about dentistry. Varying your posts with healthy recipes, useful technology tips, dental jokes, or info about local community events can keep everyone interested.
  9. Promotional: Social media is a terrific way of spreading news updates about the practice, special offers, info on new procedures, and referral rewards promotions.

No matter what you post, the most important thing to consider is your patients’ perspective! Avoid using overly technical language or posting articles only of interest to fellow dentists. Find out what gets your patients excited about dentistry – personal updates about team members, photos and videos are always a hit. At the end of the day, a clear focus on engagement with your audience – your patients and prospective patients – is the way to go with social media.

Blog

6 Questions to Analyze Your Dental Practice Website

by Naomi Cooper August 6, 2014

6 Questions to Analyze Your Dental Practice WebsiteAccording to Google, 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. It’s important for dental practice owners to make sure their website is easily found when local patients are researching the practice online.

The dental practice website can be a powerful marketing tool; however it cannot be a static one. That is, the practice website needs to be constantly evolving along with the world of online marketing. Keeping up with the latest online marketing trends will ensure that the website keeps your practice at the top of the search engine listings.

I recently came across a very helpful article from the marketing experts at MarketingProfs, titled “Is Your Website Dead or Just Sleeping?”. In the article they outline 6 important elements to energize your website. Here is a quick summary:

1. Is it usable? – A website needs to be easy for users, and search engines, to navigate.

2. Is it responsive? – Traditional website design does not always function properly when viewed on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website incorporates responsive design so that all patients see the best version of your website, regardless of the device they are using.

3. Is it focused? – Your website should be more about giving your patients the information they are looking for, and less about flashy design. Streamlining your website will actually make it more usable and can decrease load times.

4. Is it sociable? – A great dental practice website is engaging to patients. Pictures and video of the dentists and staff help welcome new patients into the practice. And linking the website to social media profiles and online review sites make it easy for patients to share your content and get a full, rounded picture of the practice.

5. Is it direct? – You should have a clear call to action all across your website, along with having your phone number and email address easy to find. Make it easy for patients to get in touch with you.

6. Is it fast? – People are impatient these days. In fact, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Work with your website design team to streamline your website.

If it has been a few years since your website was designed, it may be well worth it to contact your web designer to see if any improvements could be made.  How important do you feel your website is to the success of your dental practice?

Blog

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?