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 If the visuals are outdated, poor quality, or unappealing, potential clients may click away before they get past the first page.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 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.
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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.
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