According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2011, about 44% of Internet users rely on the web to help them find medical and dental services. Unfortunately, if your practice's website doesn't have an effective marketing strategy (such as one that utilizes social media, SEO, and PPC), there's a good chance that your potential customers and leads aren't coming across your site in their searches.
Don't think you have time for developing and implementing a dental marketing strategy? Think again. By following three simple steps, you'll be on your way to a more successful marketing campaign.
You've got all your marketing plans lined up: your website is designed to attract potential patients; you've got Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and even LinkedIn profiles for your dentists and hygienists; you're starting to blog to drive traffic to your website. There are a lot of balls in the air, though, and you're starting to wonder how on earth you're going to manage it with a small staff and limited time.
Marketing automation may be the solution your dental practice needs to align your goals and tools and keep your sanity in the process.
The world is changing.
People are communicating more with their fingertips connected to cell phones and tablets. More mobile than ever before, patients review doctors and practices online and cut ties faster if they're not satisfied. Medical marketing is changing, too. Medical practices are reaching beyond their comfort zones to employ new techniques and tools to attract new patients and retain existing ones.
Today’s consumers have become a finicky bunch that want to be educated before they want to engage in an interaction. That mentality is no different when it comes to elective procedures. How many times have you heard your patients say that they have been thinking about having LASIK done for years before actually coming into the office? Studies have shown that one of the greatest hurdles is that many fear the cost of LASIK. They think that it is only for those with a deposable income that can afford the procedures’ high cost.
Ask anyone in marketing and they’ll tell you that “content is king.” SEO tactics of old have been replaced by Google algorithms which can put a website at the top of the golden pile of search results or relegate it to the No Man’s Land (pages four and beyond) of Google search.
You know that you need to keep your website content fresh. And you know that you need to engage your prospects through social media to help. But why on earth do you need to blog to get your ophthalmology practice noticed? Take a look around your waiting room. Ten years ago the ladies would have been knitting, and the men would have bee reading the paper or a magazine. What do you see now? Most likely patients will be on their phone, or even a tablet or laptop. Times are changing.
Often, we hear that referrals are the bread-and-butter of dental practices. I am certainly not knocking referrals. They're terrific and a great example of how customers can champion a business and become promoters. We are HUGE fans of referrals here at Stratagon.
But did you know that there are some other ways where YOU control the messages that attract and keep new patients?