Cosmetic Dentistry Marketing: Doing It RightJune 18, 2014
The need for better cosmetic dentistry marketing has increased with the public’s awareness, as well as our industry’s need to develop better services. Because of the flood of information on the internet, your average new patient is more aware and educated concerning the aesthetic options available today from a dentist. As a result, a higher quality cosmetics dentist is being requested.
Cosmetic Dentistry Marketing Actions
1. Develop A Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
The first element to any successful marketing initiative is to develop a strategy. Most cosmetic dentistry marketing strategies fail because they are never formally written into a plan that can be executed. Although this process can be challenging and take some type to develop, it is your first crucial step to bring about marketing success. It has been found in numerous studies that goals that are written down and more likely to be achieved.
“Marketing strategy includes all basic and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives.” – Wikipedia
A very common practice is to seek the assistance of a professional marketing firm or strategist to help you develop your comprehensive marketing plan. By seeking such help, you ensure that no marketing opportunity is missed. These types of professionals have access to multiple resources and much know-how that will assist you to develop a unique marketing program that your practice can execute, all within your budget and abilities. Another key feature in your marketing program is to truly establish a clear-cut brand that communicates, instills confidence and creates long-term patient loyalty.
2. Attract The Ideal Patients
One of the most common mistakes in cosmetic dentistry marketing is to attempt “shotgun marketing.” In other words, trying to appeal to everyone in your area. There are different types of people who seek cosmetic dentists, so it is crucial that we determine the demographics of who exactly is purchasing these types of services. Often, we can assess you past sales for buying patterns and personas.
“In marketing and advertising, a target audience is a specific group of people within the target market at which a product or the marketing message of a product is aimed at. For example, if a company sells new diet programs for men with heart disease problems (target market) the communication may be aimed at the spouse (target audience) who takes care of the nutrition plan of her husband and child. A target audience can be formed of people of a certain age group, gender, marital status, etc., e.g. teenagers, females, single people, etc. A combination of factors, e.g. men aged 20–30 is a common target audience. Other groups, although not the main focus, may also be interested. Discovering the appropriate target market(s)and determining the target audience is one of the most important activities in marketing management. The biggest mistake it’s possible to make in targeting is trying to reach everybody and ending up appealing to no-one.” – Wikipedia
One it is established who we want to reach with your cosmetic dentistry marketing strategy, we now must figure out how exactly we are going to reach and engage your target audience. We must do so effectively and within your marketing budget. A popular method is to obtain through various mailing list brokers the addresses of local households within a certain mile radius of your practice that are affluent or fit the appropriate age demographics.
Another effective method is to place targeted ads on social media channels, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The paid advertising opportunities are quite advanced, as well more precise, than what existed with general advertising in the past. But along with these new, complex opportunities are additional skill-sets and knowledge required to do it right. Understanding all of the ways a dental practice can attract new patients with social media requires expertise and persistence.
3. Leveraging the Power of Public Relations
Positioning your practice as the cosmetic dental expert in your community is a fantastic method to attracting ideal patients to your dental practice. The whole trend with content marketing is to develop free information that informs, educates and engages the right people without hard selling or pushing them. Rather, you become the one that offers rational, easy-to-understand answers to their critical questions. This can be accomplished quite professionally and creatively. Common methods are educational videos, newsletters, blog articles, brochures and FAQ pages.
Any type of goodwill and publicity that features your core strengths, as well as your commitment to provide high quality cosmetic dentistry to your community, will always become a positive force in your overall cosmetic dentistry marketing objectives.
“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!” – Bill Gates
“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson
4. Have Multiple Channels To Attract New Patients.
One of the gravest mistakes that you can make is to depend on only one or two methods to forward your cosmetics dentistry marketing program. At The New Patient Experts, we have identified nine separate marketing channels to reach, engage and convert interested individuals into new patients. These methods are not only some of the most powerful online marketing methods we know of, but we also offer other effective methods to conduct grassroots marketing that reaches people and turns them into new patients.
The solution to building a multimillion-dollar dental practice is simple when you conduct your marketing correctly. Mix up your mediums by hitting targeted patients through multiple channels. While one way may not reach certain audiences, other methods most likely will. No one can predict how each person will respond to certain media or not. Some people love social media, some do not. A few may actually look froward to special offers in the mail while others do not. The key is to reach people with multiple marketing channels. Over a period of time, you reach the people who intend to with multiple methods being employed.
“Nine in ten small business CEO’s when surveyed indicated technology and keeping up with technology are critical success drivers. Your business needs tech savvy people who can help you create, build out and maintain a digital footprint. Digital has replaced traditional marketing and to be successful, your business must be proficient in advertising across a mix of media platforms, social media and mobile.” – Huffington Post (6/3/2014)
5. Everyone is a Part of the Marketing team
If marketing is only up to the doctor, the office manager or some outside firm, you are missing out one of your best opportunities to develop an effective cosmetic dentistry marketing program. Branding your practice is much more than a logo or a brochure. How you front officer personnel great people, welcome them and help them is a crucial promotional action for your practice. You want to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that reflects your professionalism and mission statement as a dentist. Whatever your specialty is, ensure that the tone and friendliness opens the door to more referrals. People refer dentists that they feel are friendly, professional and ease tensions. Make sure that each and every patient that walks in through your front door is treated with hospitality.
Patient referrals, as you already know, offer the best potential to bring your best cases to your cosmetic dental practice. Most doctors and practices treat referrals on a “reactive” basis. In other words, they react to servicing them when it happens. Most practices are not that proactive in creating opportunities to grow their referrals. We know of three extremely powerful referral marketing programs that dramatically increase referrals.
“When you have a fully functioning referral marketing strategy in operation, you can predict approximately how many referrals you can expect and what quality they’ll likely be.” – Entrepreneur.com (9/12/07)
6. Internet Marketing
Your cosmetic dentistry marketing program is not complete without comprehensive internet marketing. By now, most dental practices posses a fairly upscale website. The next key to your cosmetic dentistry marketing plan is to constantly enhance the user experience of your website. Is your site exciting enough to bring current patients back and enticing enough to capture new patients? Is your website user-friendly, easy to navigate? Can patients book appointments and contact your front desk? These are other points are crucial when conducting online marketing.
Most websites are, in truth, static online brochures. Very rarely are they interactive. And now, Google wants to see that your website is publishing content and sharing your content via social media. Those websites that are interactive, producing content and sharing that content consistently, will inevitably rank higher on those search engines. O course, this results in more visibility for your practice and thus more new patients on a monthly basis. Your cosmetic dentistry marketing program must include the creation of educational and helpful content.
“The absolute most important factor to your page rank is the content on your site. If your content is original and useful, it will draw more visitors than a page with poor content. Creating good content is no simple task, and involves a lot of different factors. You should be updating your website regularly with new content. Websites that stagnate and do not stay current will drop in the ranks. If you’re writing a blog, try to update at least once a week at the minimum.” – WikiHow
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another important factor when developing a comprehensive cosmetic dentistry marketing program. Essentially, you need to make sure that when someone searches for “cosmetic dentist” in your region, that your practice’s site appears near the top of the search engine. This is best accomplished by a combination of strategic key word usage, demographic research and location associations with popular search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! There are literally hundreds of SEO firms that you can work with to help with your online marketing. So, do your research diligently to find an online marketing agency that knows and understands the nuances of cosmetic dentistry marketing.
Another key action to dominating online search marketing is to include other actions that will link people to your website. Below is just a small sampling of crucial actions that you must include as part of your cosmetic dentistry marketing actions:
- Claim & verify your local listings on all well-known directories, such as Yelp.
- Optimize your listings for powerful SEO keywords and phrases.
- Eliminate duplicate listings and content.
- Increase positive reviews and embed them on your website.
- Create customized geo-specific directories, optimizing them around the best search terms.
Why is Local Search Marketing Important? Seventy-percent of consumers searching online are shopping for local products, services and cosmetic dentists. With mobile smart phone usage now booming, businesses and dental practices should expect to increase and further reinforce the importance of local search marketing.
7. Building Strategic Alliances
Obviously, your dental practice is not the only office in your community that is marketing to attract aesthetic-minded patients. Creating mutually beneficial, cross-promotional opportunities with other area businesses and doctors can help you develop some of your best paying new patients. There are dozens of opportunities that can be created. One of them is to co-sponsor community events or workshops. It’s a great way to increase visibility among your mutual clientele.
One the most powerful and cost-effective marketing methods for your practice, as well as any small business, is building strategic alliances with other businesses and organizations. Through strategic alliances your practice can improve its competitive positioning and gain entry to new markets. A strategic alliance is defined as:
“Agreement for cooperation among two or more independent firms to work together toward common objectives. Unlike in a joint venture, firms in a strategic alliance do not form a new entity to further their aims but collaborate while remaining apart and distinct.” – BusinessDictionary.com
When You Want Help With Your Cosmetic Dentistry Marketing Efforts
Feel free to contact The New Patient Experts to help you develop a comprehensive cosmetic dentistry marketing program that will dramatically increase the amount of new patients you are seeing each month.