In this article we’ll take you through:
With the new year upon us, now is a great time to sit down and review your dental marketing strategy to ensure that your practice is set for success in 2020.
However, we understand that marketing can be overwhelming. Especially when it comes to the ever-evolving digital space.
Online consumer behaviour is changing at a dizzying speed, with consumers looking for more personalised content and instant access to information.
As a Dentist or Practice Manager, it’s important to evolve with these changes to stay top-of-mind in an increasingly competitive marketplace. To help you set your business up for success in 2020 and beyond, we’ve collaborated with some of Australia’s top Dental marketing experts to compile five marketing strategies you should incorporate into your 2020 marketing strategy.
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1. Create Engaging Videos
Video marketing is by far one of the most important trends in the digital marketing space. Videos are the preferred way that your patients want to learn about the services you have to offer.
Why? Because videos can show your patients the personality and value of your brand in an entertaining and engaging way. And with Generation Z being the first generation to have never known a world without the internet, it’s crucial that businesses keep up with the trends of this new generation.
Video marketing is a great way to showcase the faces behind your practice, your personality, and demonstrate to your patients that you’re a human, friendly, caring group of people – a practice that patients will want to come back to.
69% of Australians believe video content will grow to dominate the Internet within the next five years
According to Carolyn Dean, author of ‘Fully Booked – Dental Marketing Secrets for a full appointment book’, videos can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy.
“Videos are a valuable asset as they show people the dentists behind the practice, letting patients connect with the human side of your practice. Potential patients will be more comfortable calling your office. Online videos increase credibility and authority. When visitors to your website can see that you are knowledgeable about your specific services and issues with dental care, they will view you as the authority and one that they can trust. With YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world, uploading your videos onto your website and YouTube and then optimising them to ensure high rankings will drive more traffic to your website.
I recommend that you consider both. A professionally produced video to show an office tour and practice introduction will help to present a professional practice. Meanwhile, self-made videos could be made for practice updates and staff or specialist interviews.”
Meaningful content matters
To create video marketing content, it needs to be meaningful. People don’t want to see long, rambling videos that ultimately don’t tell them anything. They want short, sharp, engaging content, that provides entertainment and value at the same time.
30 seconds might sound short, but a 30-second video that has an important message, and is delivered in a friendly – even fun – way will engage your audience better than any letter ever could.
Keep it simple
It doesn’t have to be about the latest developments in medical science. You could shoot a video that’s as simple as introducing your staff, or talking about your opening hours. Yes, you could talk about changes in the medical industry – but make sure it’s relevant to your patients and easy to understand.
You could talk about upcoming social events, fundraising, and instructional guides. Find out what your patients want to know about, and start filming.
Keep it real
It might sound daunting for some, but creating video content doesn’t have to be hard. The key thing is that it’s honest, and real.
Unless you’re filming a paid advertisement, use real staff from your practice. Show your audience the real people behind the practice.
And, you don’t need the latest high-end video equipment. Filming directly from your smartphone is completely acceptable This is the way that most people consume this content. In fact, most of the latest phones have the option to shoot in 1080px or 4K quality which looks and feels professional on any device.
And if you want to take your videos to the next level, there are some great free tools available:
- Adobe Spark: Simple video creation, powerful editing, and marketing abilities all in one.
- Slidely: Create videos, and picture slideshows and collages, and mix them together with music from your library.
- Videolicious: An easy-to-use video and animation platform that’s perfect for new users and experienced videographers alike.
- Magisto: Create and edit videos that are specially-optimised for different social platforms. Comes with built-in music options.
- Powtoon: Create your own animated videos, whether for digital marketing purposes, or staff presentations.
- Lumen5: Video program that converts blog post content into video, and provides a storyboard for you to follow.
2. Generate and Manage Online Reviews
Gathering positive reviews online isn’t a new concept. However reviews will become increasingly important throughout 2020 with more people than ever relying on reviews when choosing a dental practice.
Research shows that 91 percent of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations and over 57 percent of consumers will only consider using a business if it has 4 or more stars. Your digital reputation may now be just as important – if not more important – than your real-world reputation.
How you respond to review also matters. Around 89 percent of consumers will read business’s responses to reviews, so it is crucial to respond to reviews whether they are positive, negative or even fake.
Dental practices should stay on top of their reviews, and respond as professionally, politely and quickly as possible. Monitoring reviews across multiple platforms takes time, but it’s critical to monitor these so you’re aware of everything that’s being said about the business.
Negative feedback deters many consumers from choosing a business, so replying to these give readers the context needed to understand poor feedback. Responding to reviews gives you the chance to share your side of the story and show potential customers what you are really like as a business.
Tip: How to Reply to Google Reviews
Perhaps the most important platform for managing online reviews is Google My Business. Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps. When setup, it allows you to display your business to people searching for your services in your area.
- Click the three horizontal bars in the top left-hand corner to choose your listing.
- Click “Manage reviews.” Once you find a review you’d like to reply to, click “View and reply” and type your response.
3. Utilise Geo-targeted Advertising
It can be tempting to take a “scattergun” approach to digital marketing efforts, targeting as many people as possible with your online advertising. While this approach can certainly reach a vast number of people, most will not likely be interested in visiting your practice or booking an appointment – resulting in wasted ad spend.
Keep it local
The best way to get fast results in your area is to use geo-targeted advertising. ‘Geo-targeting’ may sound like something out of a NASA handbook, but it’s simply a way to restrict your ad audience to a certain geographic area (also known as a geo-fence). It is the best way to regionally direct your message, and can be a powerful tool to maximise ad efficiency and improve ROI.
According to Perception Agency founder and dental practice owner, Kaine Harling, the most effective platforms that offer this functionally Google Ads, Instagram, Facebook ads and tools such as HealthEngine’s featured listing for your postcode search (and surrounding suburbs) that target your web browser’s location.
Kaine explains that geo-targeted ads not only give you prime position for people searching on Google, but also prospective patients in your local area.
“Those using a smartphone that have their location settings on (most of us!) living or frequently visiting the area surrounding the practice are also caught in the geofence, resulting in a much warmer and accurate approach to generate quality leads”
4. Find Your Online Voice
Content marketing for your dental practice allows you to create multiple touchpoints with your patients by providing valuable information between appointment visits. In 2020, content marketing will continue to be a main-stay and for good reason. It’s the most effective way to keep your patients engaged with your brand, even when they don’t have an appointment.
An often overlooked component of content marketing is your brand “voice”. A brand voice describes your practice’s personality. It’s consistent and usually doesn’t change.
Jeff Gladnick, the Founder and President of Great Dental Websites (GDW) explains:
“The content you create should celebrate your “voice” so patients get to know you and your practice and start to distinguish you from other dentists. If you have a sense of humour that carries over to your chairside manner, use that same humour in your social media and blog posts. If you are more educational and calm, let that shine through in your content by giving tips or explaining causes of common problems.
Don’t force a voice just because you think it’s what the patients want or because it’s how your competitors are communicating with their patients. As the industry becomes more and more oversaturated, you need to stand out to attract loyal and like minded patients.”
How do you create an authentic brand voice?
Enforcing a brand voice across all of your content marketing may feel daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a quick exercise to help your define your voice.
Exercise: Describe your brand voice in 3 words
If your brand was a person, how would you describe its personality to someone? On a whiteboard or piece of paper, jot down some of the traits that you think best describes your brand. For example:
Create a brand voice chart
From this list, choose three characteristics that best define your brand. To solidify your brand voice it can help creating a simple brand voice chart. This can be used as a reference point for staff in your business involved in creating or publishing content.
Draw up a table which Includes three rows for each of the main traits you identified, accompanied by three columns – a brief description, do’s, and don’ts.
|Knowledgeable||We are thought leaders in the dental space.||Be informative, clear and concise||Use too much slang or obscure references
Be too casual
|Caring||We’re here to listen to our patients needs and concerns||Be empathetic and understanding||Disregard messages or comments from concerned patients|
|Passionate||We are here to make a difference to the lives of our patients and give them confidence||Use strong verbs
Support accomplishments of others in the industry
|Use jargon or overpromise|
To save time, we’ve created a handy template. Just print it out and fill out your details. When you are crafting your next Facebook post or email newsletter, refer back to your brand voice chart to ensure that your messaging is consistent and on-brand.
Get your free brand voice template
5. Automated Email campaigns
Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for marketing your business, and will continue to be so in 2020. While newsletters and one-off campaigns still have their place in your overall email marketing strategy, the future of email marketing involves automatic email campaigns that trigger after a certain amount of time has passed or user actions.
Why? Because automated emails are timely, personalised and relevant to prospects and customers. The result is a higher volume of clicks, website visitors and ultimately more business for your practice. Did we mention that by automating your workflow, you’ll also save plenty of time too!
Since email automation works on a basic trigger and action system (when x trigger occurs, send this specific email or series of emails) you are only limited by your imagination.
One example of an automated email is a simple welcome email to people who subscribe to your email newsletter.
People who have visited your website have clearly shown interest in your services. It’s a great idea to encourage these visitors to subscribe to your email list so you can stay engaged with them even if they aren’t ready to book straight away.
Asking a website visitor to subscribe to your list requires very little effort on their part and offers your practice to keep them engaged with valuable information such as tips and tricks, promotions or news.
Once a website visitors has subscribed to your list, you can then use an automated email campaign to welcome them to your list and offer a special subscriber-only offer or deal that incentivises them to make a booking.
In our example above, we have sent a congratulatory welcome email to practices who have listed their basic profile with HealthEngine, along with a relevant article we think they’ll find useful. (As a side note, click the following link if you’d like to list your free profile).
There are a number of great email automation platforms including:
- Mailchimp provides email marketing, ads, landing pages, and CRM tools to grow your business on your terms.
- Hubspot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software
- Active Campaign is an Integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM platform.
Bonus: Grow Your Practice With HealthEngine’s Patient Connect
HealthEngine is Australia’s home for healthcare with more than 3.6 million Aussies visiting HealthEngine every month.
Patient Connect gives you the ability to connect with the millions of patients who’ve chosen HealthEngine to help them find, connect, and engage with their preferred providers and practices.
For practices, it lets them fill their books by leveraging the 63% rise in the total number of dental bookings and massive 40% increase in the number of new patient bookings per dental practice.
For the average dental practice on HealthEngine, this means the delivery of 6 new patients per month – a strong return on investment especially when you consider the lifetime value of a patient.
The best part is that HealthEngine’s range of products integrate seamlessly with your existing practice management system thanks to our partnerships with a range of dental PMS providers including Henry Schein One, Centaur and Praktika.
Discover how HealthEngine can help you connect and engage with your patients here.
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