dental internet marketing

Dental Marketing: YOU Are Your Brand

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If you are looking for “an edge” in your dental marketing that will make you stand out from your competition, professional pictures and videos are it. Seeing an image of the dentist upon arrival to the website creates an immediate connection to the practice for the patient. The images on your website are the first items of information that a visitor to your website will process. Around 90% of the information processed in the brain is visual and the brain actually processes images 60,000 times faster than text! This definitely lends some truth to the well known adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

And of course you won’t want to stop with just images. You can further build on that connection with quality professional video. It can be nerve racking to search for a new dentist for any patient, and so the ability to feel like you’ve gotten to know the dentist a little before walking through the door is simply priceless. Check out a professionally branded dental marketing video created for two of our dentists, Dr. Israel Salin and Dr. Dimitri Salin.

Once you have created your professional images and video, you want to make sure to splash them everywhere, your website alone is not enough. You’ll want potential patients to see you everywhere they go… images on yelp, yahoo, all your local listings, facebook, youtube, etc. You’ll also want to play commercial snippets and use your images on banners for re-marketing ads that target users who have visited your site in the past. You’ll want to add these images to direct mail postcards and emails that you send out. When a patient sees you everywhere they look, they will begin to believe you are absolutely the most obvious and best choice in town.

 

Get On Top, Stay On Top and Leave Your Competition Behind

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As a dental practitioner your number one goal is to take care of every patient that comes through your doors by giving them healthy, beautiful smiles however, sometimes there just aren’t enough people coming through the doors. To get more new people into your dental chairs you must have solid marketing strategies. I’m going to assume you aren’t investing in mass-market, big-budget, TV and radio promotion — good glad you’re not wasting your money.   Here’s the question I ask doctors when we meet for the first time; What’s your current strategy and is it based on strong marketing fundamentals?

First, let me say this I don’t believe competition actually exists. I believe you can completely dominate and  control your market place. Dentists that buy in to the approach I’m advocating in this article are going to get the biggest piece of the pie by doing things bigger and better than everyone else. Not just by a little bit, by a lot!

The main thing you need to know is that you can’t just rely on the basics. Sure, working with your existing patients to generate referrals will always be a part of your marketing strategy but it’s just one small piece, and to be honest I haven’t met a dentist yet that can’t improve this part of their business, so the good news is that everything your doing can and will get better! If you want great success you have to appear to be the best right from the get-go. You must have an omnipresence, you must be everywhere and the quality of your brand must stand far apart from everybody else.  The marketing areas you must focus on are:

1. Direct/Outdoor (Postcards, Mailers, Door Hangers, Billboards)
2. Search Engine Marketing
3. Social Media Marketing
4. Internal Patient Referrals
5. Reputation Management
6. Patient Re-Activation

If you ignore any of these areas, you are losing ground exponentially… conversely by doing something in each of these areas you are compounding your gains. If I were to give you the choice of taking 3 million dollars right now or a penny that doubles every day for 30 days what would you choose? The 3 million bucks right? Guess what… I’m taking the penny and here’s why; by day 10 I’ll only have $5.12, but I know that the power of compounding results will get me all the way to $5,242.88 by day 20 and when it’s all said and done I will have 5,368,709.12 over 2 million dollars more than the person who takes the 3M right of the bat. I’m here to tell you that putting together all of your marketing techniques you can stand to see the same kinds of compounding results for your dental office. Why? Because by being everywhere you create the perception that you are the best!

You’re probably thinking that to do all of these things will be expensive, and how can you be sure that you will see a return? I’m not going to tell you that marketing is a sure thing, it IS a gamble and so many dentists have failed by trying just one or two of these strategies, before giving up — because of the wrong approach… and that would definitely make anyone a little “gun-shy”. That’s why if you follow our plan to the letter, we guarantee new patient results! We know that if you do all of the right things, the right way, you will see huge increases in your new business which means more profit.

You need to have a strategy for each one of the six (6) marketing avenues outlined above and it should be comprehensive and work seamlessly with the other five. So, if you’re too busy to sit down and plan all of that out, you can simply hire us to do it for you. If you are looking for an assessment on how you are currently doing in many of these areas, we are providing a comprehensive report card on where you are and where you need to go. If you are interested in seeing this report give us a call today at (323) 285-0016. We look forward to speaking to you soon!

“You Want Me To Do What?!? Give Away My Services? Are You Crazy??!?!”

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Over the years, we have found that dental internet marketing hinges on new patient specials. Yet with every new client that comes to our program, I spend countless hours working to get them on board with the notion that new patient specials are not just needed but critical to growing their business long-term. So I would like to take a minute to discuss some of the objections I listen to over and over again and how I’m likely to respond should you and I ever have this conversation in person.

Client: I really don’t want the kind of new patients that are shopping for a deal
Jessie: You must play to your audience! The vast majority of surfers online are shopping for a deal. This is the current trend in our internet based society. We have gone back to coupon clipping and deal hunting. Why pay more if you do not have to? The dental office down the street that you are competing with has new patient specials and accessible offers out on the web and in print. If a potential patient is looking at several offices online and all have great reviews and a good internet presence, why would they choose the office not offering a deal? After all, most people have a try-before-buy mentality as there is no guarantee that they will like the location, staff, or the dentist, so why not choose the business offering service at the least initial out of pocket expense?

Client: My hygienist makes 40+/hour, her time is expensive so I don’t want to offer a cleaning, exam & x-ray deal
Jessie: If you give no other offers for new patients, this is the one to give! I cannot stress this enough. Patients looking for a cleaning, exam and x-ray are dream patients that will be gold for you in the long run.  The patients who are concerned about their dental health and are making it a continual priority are the patients who will opt to get a root canal and a crown immediately when the problem arises instead of letting the problem deteriorate until they are in pain and have no other choice but to come in and have the tooth extracted. Patients who are actively seeking a cleaning when they have no other underlying issues forcing them to seek out a dentist are the patients you want. Also, cleanings and exams are where you find that a patient may have issues they don’t know about and you’re able to schedule them for a return visit. Not only should you offer new patients a cleaning, exam and x-ray special, you should roll out the red carpet for them and congratulate them on being mindful of their dental health.

Client: You want me to offer too many specials, can’t we just have one new patient special?
Jessie: Again, you must play to your audience! A patient who just broke their denture does not care about a cleaning, exam and x-ray offer. The patient searching for Invisalign or Veneers is not interested in your Implant offer. We make it a point to have one “closing” offer and one follow up “treatment acceptance” offer for each and every major service your office is marketing. If you are running ads and ranking organically for lets say root canals, you absolutely must have a root canal offer and if you are running ads and ranking for the keyword implants you absolutely must have implant offers and so on.

Client: They just come in and take advantage of the deal and never come back…
Jessie: This answer may sound a little harsh and I will admit to saying this more diplomatically for our clients but the truth of the matter is that… “This is on you!” Our job is to get the potential patient through the door and the your job to make the experience one worth coming back for.  In other words, you need to WOW them with your very best customer service and do whatever it takes to make them comfortable in your office. Then, as much as you may hate it, you must offer them a SECOND INCENTIVE to entice them back. Once you have them in the door with a low or no cost incentive for a consultation, you need to follow that up with an additional offer geared towards treatment acceptance. If they come in for an emergency consultation and you determine that they need an extraction, follow that up with an offer for a percentage off an implant. And make sure to provide the patient with payment plan options.  Then and only then will you have cemented yourself as their long-term provider.

If you take nothing else from this read, please take this; The value of a new patient is not merely found in how much they spend during one visit. The value of a new patient that is inspired to become a returning loyal patient, who is committed to their oral health, is found over the potential years they are with you, the friends and family that they refer to your business, and the potential compounding effect of those referrals that lead to other referrals and so on.

Please keep in mind that with our front-loaded, incentive based approach immediate results are not always easy to see, but stick with it. I find that even after hours of discussion, some clients reluctantly agree to offer the incentives we require solely based upon the fact that they are foisted upon them as a condition of our guaranteed results. Over the course of the next several months, while these client adjust to the new way of doing business, we inevitably hear complaints, rebuttals, case studies and other myriad reasons our incentive based approach just isn’t working.  These dentists are looking for ways to be right and so they tighten their grip and shine a spotlight on each and every new patient that comes to them and fits any earlier objection and parade those stories into my inbox, with an unspoken “I told you so!” And without fail, about 3-4 months down the line when patients are flooding in and the numbers game is playing out, I magically stop hearing those objections. By this time in the process we are getting so many awesome patients with the incentives that the occasional ‘dud’ doesn’t even factor in. And in truth, I often have clients who come back to me months down the road with their own great ideas for new and exciting incentives!

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