Dental Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Dental Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

With 199,486 dentists working in the dentistry field as of 2018, being competitive to attract more clients is a crucial responsibility of your dental practice. The average retirement age of dentists is increasing, which means more of your competition is sticking around longer.

1. Having a Weak Website

You need a dental website that looks visually pleasing and is functional. If the visuals are outdated, poor quality, or unappealing, potential clients may click away before they get past the first page. Making the website pretty only gets you so far if visitors can’t find the information they’re looking for.

A well-functioning website is one with easy navigation where patients can clearly find the info they want immediately. It also loads quickly and is secure.

Updating your website regularly also helps. If you haven’t changed anything in years, potential clients may wonder if your practice is reliable and current on other things, like dental techniques.

2. Not Understanding Your Target Audience

Who are your typical dental clients? Your marketing strategy should change depending on your target audience, whether you’re a pediatric dentist, orthodontist, or general dental practitioner. If you cater to low-income families, your marketing will look different than a cosmetic dentist targeting wealthier clients.
Fully understanding your target audience helps with your branding, which is the image you create through your graphics, wording, and all other portrayals of your business. Including your branding in your marketing to fit your audience makes it more effective. Your clients respond better to marketing when it appeals to them or addresses their pain points.

3. Missing Out on Social Media

Social media connects you with current and potential patients in ways you can’t achieve with a website alone. You interact directly with the people who follow your page, which builds a relationship that makes your dental practice different than the competition.

You can also use social media channels to have your loyal patients spread the word about your dental practice. Seeing engaged followers, likes on your post, and shares of what you post builds a positive image of your dental practice.

Social media also allows for stronger industry relationships and cross-promotional opportunities. If you specialize in pediatric dentistry, you might share information or a post made by a local orthodontist. Building those relationships and sharing referrals can help grow both businesses.

Trying to use all social media platforms takes too much effort and often isn’t effective. Choose social media platforms that match your target audience best to maximize your time. Master one or two platforms to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

4. Ignoring Local Search Potential

Your online presence is only effective if people can find you. Search engine optimization helps people find you through searches. SEO incorporates complex factors, including keyword usage, formatting, and quality of your content.

As a service provider, you want to attract local traffic. Massive web traffic doesn’t help grow your business if visitors aren’t local and won’t use your dental services.

Including local keywords and clearly incorporating contact information into your website helps Google figure out where you’re located. This allows you to show up when people search for local dentists.

5. Failing to Adapt Your Strategies

Dental marketing strategies change frequently. If you stick with the same dental and orthodontic marketing strategies, you’ll get left behind.

Incorporating several different marketing strategies helps broaden your appeal. Content marketing, such as blog with helpful dental information, can draw in more web traffic. Email marketing lets you communicate directly to current patients and prospects.

You don’t have to use every possible strategy, but being open to new options can make your marketing more effective. Working with a marketing company that specializes in helping dental practices can help you stay on top of the latest marketing techniques.

6. Not Managing Your Online Reputation

Word of mouth is changing from telling your neighbor about your experiences to blasting your opinions all over the internet. One unhappy patient can drag your dental practice’s online reputation through the mud. But online reviews also help SEO, which makes your dental practice easier to find.

Your online reputation can affect a potential patient’s decision on using your practice. Statistics show that 90% of people go online to look for reviews on businesses. Online reviews hold as much credibility as personal recommendations for 84% of consumers.

One or two negative reviews may not hurt your reputation too much, but be aware of repeated complaints and negative feedback. Monitoring your online reputation can alert you to issues you need to address in your practice.

Increasing the number of positive reviews you have can help overshadow one or two rogue negative reviewers. Providing the best customer service increases the chances of positive reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied patients to leave positive reviews for your practice.

If you decide to address negative reviews, keep in mind HIPAA regulations and patient privacy. You can’t reveal any personal information or anything related to the care received. You can post a general response acknowledging the situation, but word it carefully and avoid an emotional response or an escalated argument with the unhappy reviewer.

7. Ignoring Data

Trying all the latest trends in dental marketing doesn’t help your business if you don’t analyze its effectiveness. Not every strategy works the same for every dental practice. Simply using various strategies doesn’t mean you’re implementing them effectively.

Google Analytics helps you see your web traffic to see if your marketing campaigns are working. Looking at the sources of traffic and which pages on your site visitors use can help you focus on the most effective practices and improve those that aren’t as effective.

Effective Dental Marketing

Effective dental marketing makes your practice more visible with potential clients. When done well, it establishes you as a local expert in the dental field.
But simple marketing mistakes can turn away potential clients or make your practice difficult for prospects to find. Since your area of expertise is dentistry, you may not even realize you’re making common mistakes.

Improve your Digital Marketing Strategy Today

Strong dental marketing keeps your practice competitive and helps you attract new patients. Plan a well-rounded marketing strategy to reach prospects via different avenues. If you’re ready to improve your dental marketing, explore our services for more details of what we offer.

Drive Leads with Paid Search

Digital advertising, such as PPC, can be an excellent way to help your business stand out in a crowded marketplace. Contact us today to discuss how PPC can help small businesses like yours!

Organize Your Social Media Strategy with a Content Calendar

Organize Your Social Media Strategy with a Content Calendar

Organize Your Social Media Strategy with a Content Calendar

Written by Allison Cooper, Project Coordinator

Managing social media can be a little daunting at times. Algorithms seem to change as soon as you’ve mastered the previous one, best practices vary from platform to platform, and learning the types of content that your target audiences engage most with can take a while to nail down. 

There’s a lot to consider here and different accounts will be fueled by different strategies – but we all have one common goal – to create engaging content that pleases our target audiences and encourages them to take action – whether that be a like, a follow, purchasing your product, or giving your brand a shout-out.

After you set a few key goals that you want social media to accomplish for your brand, it’s time to put some strategy behind it, which is where content creation comes into play. It’s great if you have awesome ideas for content, but if you have no way to get organized enough to make it actionable, it’s likely that your efforts to wow your audience will fall flat. The key to getting an organized social media strategy is planning ahead with a content calendar.

So, What Can a Content Calendar Help You Accomplish?

Content calendars can make it easier for you to plan social media content in advance, whether that be on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Let’s take a look at three benefits of using a content calendar!

  1. Plan ahead. Using a content calendar can help your team start looking ahead at key dates such as holidays and events that will be important for your brand to capitalize on. This can make it easier to devise a strategic plan for social media campaigns.
  2. Post with consistency. By mapping out your posts ahead of time, you’ll never be without ideas. Putting a content calendar together will make it easier to avoid writer’s block and will encourage more consistent posting across platforms.
  3. Save time. Because you’ll be planning content in advance, it’ll save you a lot of time throughout the week. If you set a day each week or month to plan out content, you’ll be able to use your time more effectively. You’ll know in advance what content is being published and you won’t be drafting posts as you go, which will take a lot of pressure off you and your team. Better yet, you won’t be worrying about deadlines cause they’ll already be met!

Content calendars are also a great way to keep track of the types of content you post and posting frequency. By having access to a week or month’s worth of content in front of you, it’s easier to identify the types of content performing well or poorly. From here, you can see if you need to change up your content strategy, and plan out next week or next month’s content accordingly. Having a broader view of your social media posts allows you to more easily flag types of posts that you want to repeat, and if you set up your calendar efficiently, you have a platform to organize this into a content repository.

Make Your Content Calendar Work for You.

To create your calendar, there are a few different routes to go, and some companies have special applications to help you build your calendar and organize posts. For an accessible solution, Google Sheets or Excel are perfect tools to create a streamlined system that works for you. At Harris and Ward, we create monthly and weekly views in Google Sheets and separate these views into different tabs. We place broader content ideas in our monthly view and draft the actual posts in our weekly tab. If your content moves through a line of approval, Google Sheets is also a good system for sharing between team members.

While there are best practices for creating a content calendar – you can certainly customize it for what works best for your respective social accounts, posting frequency, business model, and much more. In a world where best practices change so frequently, it’s beneficial to have a system in place to plan ahead and make changes quickly. For the social media manager, a content calendar makes this possible. 

What If I Still Don’t Have Time for Social Media?

Social media offers an easy way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products/services. But, there’s no question about the commitment for business owners — strategic social media takes dedicated time and effort. Unfortunately, that’s not a luxury most small business owners have. So, if you find yourself lacking the resources to develop your own content calendar or you just aren’t sure how to begin, contact us today to learn more!