4 Dental Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
By: Matt Gartner
Marketing for Dentists can be a little tricky. It’s a different market, a different audience, and not the type of crowd that come with fanfare and excitement. Restaurants, clubs, online companies and the like can easily build huge followings that are really excited to give them business.
Let’s face it, as necessary as it is to take good care of your mouth and teeth, a good portion of the population fear visiting a Dentist. Hard to get excited about something you’re afraid of, right?
Because of this some Dentists find it hard to stand out and take advantage of the Marketing techniques that other businesses are booming with. The result is failed marketing attempts that are held back by common issues and shortcomings… Or, in some instances a complete lack of any type of marketing.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Make sure your practice avoids these four dental marketing mistakes to get the most out of your marketing and advertising efforts, both online and offline.
1 – Trying to be everywhere is like being nowhere
A common belief is that you need to be a part of every social network out there. Everyone else is doing it though?!? Yeah, some are, but it’s completely unnecessary and will turn into a time sink that doesn’t pay off.
The key is choosing the best social media platforms for your practice. Facebook and Twitter are standards for every business, beyond those I wouldn’t recommend investing your time any further. To dig a little deeper I would argue that Twitter is also not a necessity for you; sure you could make it work…
Facebook is like the new version of forums, most potential customers will check your Facebook page to see if it’s:
- Active (regular posts by you or your staff)
- Has people interacting on it (comments, likes, shares)
- Professional looking (a page header related to your Practice & nicely formatted imagery for posts)
In the marketing world we call it Social Proof. In short, people like things that other people like. They are more likely to give you their business if others are doing so.
Another tip for this which sounds simple at first, is actually huge. Consistency! Choose a posting schedule and stick to it. People like knowing how/when/why/where the next article is coming. Missing a single day could cost you a portion of your audience.
Now, I’d also add in Linkedin. It’s growing fast and is made up (mostly) of professionals and people LOOKING for professionals.
2 – Old Fashioned Marketing
Do ads in the local paper, fliers, billboard, signs, “lumpy packages”, and the like still work? Yes to some degree. The problem is that they are quickly losing ground to digital marketing.
A quick example of why is tracking and targeting: You have no real means of tracking how many eyes are landing on your ad. You’re putting your money on the “word” of the provider. Just because 10,000 cars drive passed your billboard it doesn’t mean that every one of them will notice or pay attention to your ad.
People are becoming “ad blind” where their minds are now so used to seeing traditional ads and billboards they’re now filtering them out at the sub-conscious level.
And targeting… Why spend $2,000 for an ad that may be seen by 10,000 people, of which only 100 are interested in your services. When with digital marketing you can zero in on your audience with laser precision.
$2,000 for 100 views from your target audience or $2,000 for 10,000 views.
3 – Ghost Towns
You’re busy (rightfully so) and this makes it very easy to neglect your social media presence. I’ve worked with so many Practices lately that have set up their Facebook pages, Twitter, and Linkedin profiles… Then, life got in the way.
Getting them up and running is a great start, but you can’t leave it there. Most Dentists have long and busy daily schedules leaving them with no time to be at their PC’s taking care of these pages.
In the past, you could get your phone number listed in directories, create an ad for a newspaper or magazine, and just wait. That’s no longer the case. The Internet has led people to expect updates from companies on a fairly regular basis, dentists included. Marketing has become a much more dynamic process. You should post to social media regularly, your ads should be constantly rotated, your website should be updated with new content at least monthly, and you should update your print marketing materials occasionally as well.
4 – Not getting REVIEWS!
This rolls back into the Social Proof that we talked about earlier. People want to hear from others, they WANT to like what others like.
A seemingly small change that can have a massive impact on your business is getting more of your patients to give you reviews. This builds the social proof and increases the amount of trust a customer will have in your office, and they can also help increase your local search visibility.
Not to mention build your local reputation which should always be a goal.
Patients who have a negative experience, even through no fault of you or your staff, can and will take to the internet to criticize you. Having positive reviews to back you up will cancel that bad review out in the minds of those reading them.
Some of the steps you can take to do this are:
- An email follow-up using a service like Survey Monkey. Or a direct email asking about their experience and offering a coupon in exchange for a review. Trust me when I say that this review will outweigh the cost of anything your offer them (within reason!)
- Handing out feedback cards or sheets directly to your patients
- Asking them directly. Noticeably satisfied customers can be easily approached by your staff. Do something simple like send them a link to your website where they can leave a review, or hand them a card with the web address.
Just be creative and remember you won’t get a review from them if you don’t ask.
If you’re interested in seeing the exact blueprint that my clients are using to get serious results, send me a message Mattg@f1digitalconsulting.com .
Thanks for Reading,