You need to invest in marketing. Marketing is a great way to increase production, get new patients, and build relationships with your current patients. If you are not sure if you need to invest in marketing, here are 12 reasons why you should invest in marketing.
So, You Should Invest in Marketing if…
You don’t have a marketing plan.
Step one, get a marketing plan. If you don’t have one, then you need to invest in marketing. A marketing plan is a great way to make sure your marketing goals align with your business goals. A marketing plan helps you identify your target audience, your competitors, helps you understand your brand, and helps set strategic, measurable goals. Also, it aligns the whole office and staff on what specials will be running and what to expect.
Your office production has slowed.
Most practices have experienced a decrease in production. However, if you are experiencing a decrease in production year over year, it is time to stop and make improvements. The same goes for those practices that have plateaued. If you are currently on a plateau, it is safe to say you are about to hit a decline. So, think about adjusting your marketing plan. Marketing is a great way to get your name out there and get your practice in front of new patients.
Your schedule isn’t filled every day.
In order to maximize your office revenue, your schedule needs to be filled every day. A great way to ensure your schedule is full is to invest in marketing. Create a referral program. The majority of patients come from referrals. So, if you aren’t asking your patients for referrals, start! It is a no-cost/low-cost marketing tactic. Utilize your patient communication systems. Set up appointment reminder texts or emails. Send promotional emails to your patients. If you have inactive patients, try to get them engaged again. There are a lot of easy marketing strategies you can do in your office.
You are losing patients.
If you are losing patients, you are doing something wrong! There are a lot of reasons you may be losing patients. Maybe the patient doesn’t see the benefit of moving forward with treatment, can’t afford treatment, or feels like their expectations weren’t met. We constantly see office staff just let the patients go. Don’t! If they don’t see the benefit of moving forward, create pamphlets and brochures around the services they need. Show them how the treatment will help. If they can afford treatment, create in-house payment options. You can create a Dental Saving Program and promote it on your website, in your office, and on social media.
Furthermore, You Should Invest in Marketing if…
You don’t know your office demographics.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say, “Everyone has a mouth, so everyone needs a dentist.” This is not the case. Your office has a specific demographic. Whether it is women, aged 25-54 or men, 65+, your office has a specific set of people who you should be targeting. If you are just targeting “everyone who has a mouth” you are wasting valuable marketing dollars. You can log into Google Analytics and pull all of this information. It can tell you gender, age, interests, location, market segments, and more. Therefore, knowing who to market too lets you know what images to use in your marketing pieces and what sort of wording to use on your pieces. This is valuable information that every office needs to know!
You have a lot of outstanding treatment plans.
According to The New Dentist, “the rate of treatment plan acceptance foretells the outlook for your practice.” That is why it is really important to convert those treatment plans. One way to help convert these treatment plans is through lead nurturing. In the marketing world, we use marketing and communication to build relationships with potential patients by listening to their needs and providing information and answers. For instance, let’s say their treatment plan is for a Dental Implant. You should follow up with an email providing them with a flyer or article on dental implants which provides them with more information. The next week, you can send them a video of what they can expect when getting a dental implant. Finally, send them a special offer or discount off the procedure. There are many ways you can nurture your leads with marketing tactics.
You aren’t building relationships with your current patients.
You should always maintain your relationship with your patients. Patient communication systems are the best way to do this. You can send your patients emails or even e-newsletters. Keep them informed about changes in the office, highlight an employee a month, or do a special offer for Free Whitening. And, you can also target specific people. Maybe try an email to patients who have not been seen in the office in two years (inactive patients). Or, send information on a specific service to people who came in for that service and didn’t go through with treatment. You can create a loyalty program. There are a lot of marketing tactics that will help you build and maintain a great relationship with your patients. Also, don’t forget to thank them!
You don’t have a referral/review program.
You have to focus on getting referrals and reviews. Reviews are extremely important to people who are searching for a dentist. Those reviews can make you or break you. 88% of people look at reviews before buying or making a decision. You need to ask every patient to leave you a review. You can even create review cards with information on how to leave a review. And, ask your patients for referrals. It is as easy as saying, “We love having you as a patient. We would love to see your friends and family!” You can create referral cards for patients to hand out. Or, you can create a referral program. For instance, the patient who refers the most people at the end of the year wins a cruise. This is a simple marketing approach that is little to no cost.
Finally, You Should Invest in Marketing if…
Content on your website hasn’t been updated.
Fresh content on your website is crucial – especially in the eyes of Google. Google has web crawlers, known as “bots”, who scan your website every day. These bots are indexing your website based on the content on your website. When you don’t add new or fresh content on your website, you won’t ever rank or move up in rank within Google searches. So, if someone searches for a dentist and you are on page two, you will continue to stay on page two, and possibly get pushed to a lower rank. It isn’t about the quantity of new content. It is about the quality. The easiest way to do this is by adding a blog.
You aren’t putting out engaging content.
Whether it is a blog post or through social media, if your content is not engaging then you are missing valuable opportunities to reach new patients. Look at your social media sites. How many likes or shares are you getting on your posts? If it is little to none, then your content is not engaging. So, you need to interact with your audience. Share photos of your office and staff having fun. Take pictures of your patients holding funny signs. Share before and after images. Hold contests and giveaways. Be sure to always link back to your website or use a tracking phone number.
Your competitors are outranking you in search engines.
If your competitors are outranking you, you need to step up your marketing game. There are several things you can do to help improve your rank so that you can show up on page one in search engines. We talked about adding content by creating a blog. You should also optimize your website through Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a great way to add localized, keywords and phrases to your website so that your website will appear when people are searching. Also, you can invest in Pay-Per-Click. PPC is a great way to get in front of potential patients who are searching in your area.
You are getting a lot of traffic or impressions but you aren’t converting.
Finally, You can spend a lot of money getting people to your website or ad, but if they aren’t filling out a form to request an appointment, then you are wasting money. First, you need to know your demographics. If you aren’t targeting the right people, then they will not convert to a patient. Second, take a look at your website. Is it user-friendly? Is it mobile friendly? Are the images on your site up-to-date and match your demographics? All of these items need to be updated. Last, if an ad is what brought them to your website, was the ad compelling enough? Any offer needs to be eye-catching and something that your patients or potential patients want. Will it benefit them? Really think about what you are offering.
What marketing tactics are you struggling with in your practice? Tell us in the comments section below!
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