Think Social Media is for kids? Think again. The average age of users on Facebook is 34, so if you’re trying to connect with potential patients you need to use all the tools available.
Not convinced? Social Media usage in 2014:
- 89% of 18-29 year olds
- 72% of 30-49 year olds
- 60% of 50-60 year olds
- 43% of 65+ year olds
Facebook is still the biggest social media channel, for every hour spent online in Britain 13 minutes of it is spent on Facebook.
Not sure what to post?
Follow us on Facebook for images and links to share with your patients.
One of the best things you can do on Social Media is get involved, a great example would be to get the whole practice to take on the #icebucketchallenge.
First set a date and time, then tell everyone – online and offline – to come and watch. Make sure you stand by a company sign or the front of your practice, mention your practice and nominate some other local businesses. Once you’ve all been soaked in ice cold water post the video online and include the donation link – remember to donate yourselves too.
Why not contact the local papers with photos and an editorial, or ask them to post the video on their site or Social Media? Ask all your colleagues to share the video on their personal profiles several times. Finally make sure you share the videos once your nominations have completed the challenge (linking to their social media pages of course).
This is just one example of the many things you can do to get your page more likes/followers. We particularly recommend anything for charity or that involves the local community.
If this all seems a bit too much to take on, contact us about how we can help with your PR and Social Media, call 0845 287 3051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facts from JeffBullas.com
We’re all used to hearing about the world moving into the digital age, but there’s a strong tendency to assume that means we should all be moving away from offline media.
Whilst Facebook marketing, blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have all become very important as part of your media mix and have a strong role to play in driving visitors to your website, offline media such as direct mail, posters, flyers, door drops and postcards can all work brilliantly in driving potential patients to your practice website.
But remember, if it’s direct mail for example, the copy is king. Great dental copywriting is vital to achieve the results you desire such as a low cost per acquisition if you are looking for more patients or maximising your recall if patients are waiting a bit longer before returning for their next check-up.
As with all media, from Pay Per Click (Google Adwords) and E-Newsletters to bus shelter posters and advertising boards on ferries, an enticing message and a strong call to action (your website address, phone number, Facebook link, email address, etc) make all the difference and can do wonders for the visits to your website.
If you need help with your offline marketing or website get in touch, as here at Smile Marketing we’re experts in all things marketing, exclusively for dentists.
Start your marketing when you have plenty of patients.
This may seem backwards but you have to remember, you are not marketing for today’s patients, or even tomorrows, but for your long term patient numbers. When you have enough patients you’ll have the money to invest in a marketing campaign as well as enough time for the campaign to take effect before you need the patients to start booking themselves in.
Don’t leave your marketing until you are lacking patients.
By then you may not have the budget to produce a high quality campaign and by the time the effect can be noticed in your patient list it may be too late. Save yourself the worry of letting your patient list deteriorate. Keep your practice healthy by getting a Free Smile Marketing health check today, reinvest your practice profits in your marketing to ensure a profitable practice future.
Get in touch on 0845 287 3051 or email@example.com.
The standard tactic for orthodontists, endodontists, implantologists and other specialists trying to build a referral base is to host an event based on learning and offering CPD.
To ensure events are a success, it really is important that your event reflects your practice brand and values. It’s worth brainstorming ideas with the team so the event is memorable and potential referring dentists feel it was not only a good use of their time but was also enjoyable.
After all, it’s about building relationships and events can be a great springboard for these to develop – IF they are carefully thought through.
But your event doesn’t have to involve CPD. In fact some of the most memorable events we have organised or attended are not educational at all.
Other tactics that have worked well for our clients include:
Get to know practice managers & receptionists in referring dentists. Their influence cannot be underestimated – they probably refer as many patients as the dentists!
Ensure your staff know what to tell your potential referrers – and a little thank you card will always be appreciated.
Sponsor: Not the obvious dentist night out but a new local chocolatier held a tasting quiz and our client supplied a bottle of logo’d champagne as a prize. It was a full house!
Memorable: If your nurses do some training at another practice, why not send a thank you. A nice card and some cakes from a local shop for example. Yes, goodies again!
For other great marketing initiatives to build referrals, call 0845 287 3051 or contact us.
The Personal Touch
No two practices are the same! They are a unique combination of your brand, range of treatments, premises, locations, what your patients are like and the personalities of your staff.
Your practice is one of a kind.
So why should your marketing be any different? We’ll talk through what you’d like to achieve and how to get there, creating a unique proposal especially for you.
As a full service agency we don’t just offer marketing, we can help your business grow with new revenue streams. Our recent initiative (initially for practices in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset) is to offer our clients* up to £3,000 worth of clinical training at multi-award-winning Devon Dental Centre of Excellence, one of the leading specialist referral centres in the South West.
If you’re thinking of offering dental implants, this is your opportunity to team up with a renowned Implantologist who has placed well over 1,000 implants. Restorative training consists of 6 monthly sessions and includes “live observation” of real cases using state-of-the-art technology at Devon Dental in Ashburton, just off the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth.
For more information on marketing and FREE* restorative training call us on 0845 287 3051.
*subject to terms and conditions
Finding it hard to attract new patients cost effectively? Many practices are, if this includes you then it’s crucial that your dental practice has patient retention initiatives in place. First you need to divide your patient list into:
- Patients: had treatment in the last year
- Dormants: last visit 1-2 years ago
- Lapsed Patients: 2 years+, you’re well and truly off their radar!
To encourage patients back in for an appointment you can use reactivation and recall, it’s not as complicated as it sounds! Here’s a few insights from our experience:
- What you write, email or text your patients should be different according to which segment they’re in.
- Contact dormants with meaningful updates (new treatments, practice news, birthday card, voucher – whatever it takes to gain an appointment) this will definitely bring patients in.
- Don’t give up on lapsed patients. Test trying to win them back and by test I mean, take a sample, say 50 or 100, and contact them then measure your reactivation activity(calls, letters, emails) and see what works best.
- Contact your patients regularly. Maintain and build your relationship with them. After all, a happy patient is an advocate and a source of referrals for your practice
Patients from your own database are always the easiest route to fee income for your dental practice. For a review of your patient management policies and procedures, contact us.
Clients Devon Dental Centre of Excellence and sister practice, Plymouth Dental Centre of Excellence (Craniomandibular Clinics Ltd), are celebrating winning the respected ‘Dental Awards 2014’ ‘Team of the Year for the South’ for the second year in a row!
The Dental Awards, an opportunity to showcase “the best in the dental profession”, took place on Friday 6th June 2014 to celebrate at the glittering, black-tie ceremony, taking place at the exclusive Lancaster London Hotel.
Both Devon Dental and Plymouth Dental have undergone an extensive investment programme of modernisation and re-development over recent years. They offer a highly impressive level of clinical expertise, specialist treatments and the outstanding patient care you’d expect from ‘back-to-back’ award winning practices.
Marketing in the “digital age” isn’t just about email, texts and social media. A recent campaign for a dental practice promoting implants achieved a three fold ROI (return on investment) within one week of a six-sheet bus shelter poster campaign.
You are of course building awareness, but the real acid test is the response – in this instance, high value cases. The keys to success are:
- Position: sites where heavy traffic is always slow moving
- Creative: simple designs that stand-out
- BIG call-to-action: telephone number and web address – Call us now!
Of course, mentioning when the posters are going up in a Tweet or Facebook post won’t do any harm!
Call Smile Marketing on 0845 287 3051 or email us and we’ll help you achieve your goals.
Private dental practices, like many types of business, have traditionally set a marketing budget for say 12 months, if they have money reserved for patient recruitment and internal marketing at all. But putting a sum aside for marketing is really coming at it from the wrong starting point. The starting point is looking at the notion of buying patients.
The key question is: “how much am I prepared to pay for a new patient?”. If it’s a dental implant case worth say £2k, are you prepared to pay £100 for that patient, or £200 or £250? For general patients, who start with a £50 or £75 consultation and then go on to become a regular over 3 – 5 years, what are those patients worth to you and how much are you prepared to invest in each one?
The point of this is that once you have worked out those numbers, it’s easier to determine the best strategies for finding those patients, the media to use and the return on investment to plan for. And as new patients or referrals come into your practice, you can decide whether to increase or decrease the numbers of patients you are buying.
With this change in mindset, there’s a much clearer focus on what you are looking to achieve from any marketing investment and really helps practices to avoid making costly mistakes.
If this approach appeals to you, contact us for an initial chat about finding more patients for your practice.
You may wonder what relevance branding has to a dental practice, I mean it works for Disney and Google, but how can it be applied to your dental practice?
Firstly it is appreciating what a brand is – it’s a set of associations that people make with a company, product or service. Branding is the way organisations harness, generate and control these associations in order to improve their business.
Having a brand for your practice will create a difference in people’s minds between you and your competition, whether that be for patients locally or potential referring GDPs.
A brand adds value to your practice and people see a well branded service as better quality, so worth paying more for. Your challenge is to ensure your patients have an emotional attachment to your brand, as their friendly dentist for example, and that will then be applied to all your treatments and patient plans.
‘We like to think of ourselves as rational human beings but there is no escaping that the way we think and act is triggered and shaped by our initial emotional response’ Du Plessis, 2005
Are you a specialist in Endodontics, Periodontics or Orthodontics? Your brand doesn’t have to be based on your practice, your brand can be based around you as a Specialist.
Remember, once you’ve created your brand it isn’t set in stone. Disney and Google update their branding every few years to keep the brand current whilst retaining the existing brand associations.
For a no-obligation initial chat about branding for your practice, contact us on 0845 287 3051.