Archive for the ‘Media Tips’ Category

Vlogging (Video – Blogging)

Phone image video 35690628_sTaking your blogs up a notch into vlogs is a great way to get your message across online.

With such a face to face (or face to teeth!) profession it’s a great way to let patients get to know you, without having to spend lots of time with them individually.

Not sure what to blog about, let alone vlog?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Your practice New Years Resolutions
  • Tooth Whitening take home kits – show the procedure and emphasise how easy it is
  • A tour of the practice – for nervous patients this can make all the difference
  • Meet the team – make sure everyone has their best smiles on!

You don’t need a professional camera or videographer to take your videos, if you have a tech savvy member of staff they should be able to get a good quality video on their phone – remember you’re not shooting the new Star Wars, just a friendly practice vlog!

If you need help with ideas, implementation or posting of your vlogs then get in touch.

N.B. You will need written consent from patients for them to appear in any of your videos! 

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How To: Create a Practice Event

At the moment we’re helping several clients to create and promote open days. This is a great way of showcasing new treatments as well as building relationships and rapport with patients.

To help you create an event for your practice here’s a list of the things you’ll need to think about:

Your Event Checklist

  • Select a main theme
  • Decide on a special discount for selected treatment
  • Prize draw to win e.g. free tooth whitening
  • Post updates on Facebook & Twitter
  • Create momentum prior to the event
  • Press release sent out to local media
  • Book photographer / ask a team member
  • Print leaflets for local businesses
  • Promotional merchandise ordered
  • Print posters for your windows
  • Patient e-newsletter / newsletter update
  • Motivate staff and assign roles
Need help with your events?

To celebrate our sixth anniversary we’re offering six FREE half hour slots for consultations at Dental Showcase in Birmingham, so book soon to avoid disappointment!

Book an appointment with our lead consultant Steve Davey at Dental Showcase on 23rd & 24th October. Get in touch via email or call us on 0845  287 3051.

How To: Create Affiliate Links Locally

This is possibly the best marketing tip for any business on a tight budget; and it is a great way to encourage patient referrals from local businesses to your dental practice.

What are affiliates?

Individuals or companies who promote your treatments on their website, in their premises or via their newsletter in exchange for discounts on treatments for their customers or referrals from you.

Having a team of affiliates marketing your practice to potential patients is invaluable as the recommendation comes from a person or company that they already know and trust.

There’s no limit to the number of local businesses that you can have promoting your practice.

Interracial business group meeting

We recommend the following local businesses for dental affiliates:

  • Hair salons
  • Florists
  • Gyms
  • Vets
  • Spas
  • Hotels with gym/spa facilities

What do I do?

A cheap and effective way to work with local businesses is to produce a joint venture flyer branded to your practice.

For each affiliate you amend the flyer template to feature their logo (as well as yours), a tagline aimed at their customers and an offer ‘exclusively’ for their customers to use at your practice.

For guidance on practice affiliates simply get in touch via email or call us on 0845  287 3051.

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Are dentists doing enough marketing?

The answer is, many or even most, are not.

With businesses that are classed as SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees), research shows that investment in marketing is often too low and that this hinders growth. Private and ‘mixed’ practices without NHS contracts fit into this category.

Here are some facts about SMEs:

SMEs report that they could raise sales by an average of 15% if they maximise the impact of their marketing effort

The average SME only achieves 39% of their planned marketing activity 

11% do NONE of their planned marketing

1/3 rate their marketing efforts at under 5 out of 10 yet 77% recognise it is important to the success of their business

Reasons for not doing enough marketing: 36% say there isn’t enough money, 21% there isn’t enough time

The average SME spends £23,810 a year on marketing

Every £1 spent on advertising benefits an SME 8 times as much as it would a larger firm

Of course, it’s not solely about making a larger investment to help build a dental business. It’s about spending it wisely through careful marketing planning and avoiding costly mistakes.

For a no-obligation chat about your objectives contact us on 0845 287 3051 for a free initial consultation.

Sources: Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) Advertising Association

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How To: Manage a Door Drop Campaign

A great tool for any local business, door drops can get you in touch with your local community.

1. Who do you want to target? What is your ideal patient type?

We use patient mapping to assess where your current patients live, showing any gaps in your local area to target. Then we run socio-demographic profiles on the local area and target all the areas that fit with your ideal patient.

Marlow Door-drop-spread

2. What will you send?

It’s always a good idea to have an offer as this attracts more patients quickly and improves your ROI (more on that later!). A succinct offer and a strong call to action – your phone number and website – are key to a successful door drop. Keep the design ‘on brand’ and use a suitable image for the offer you’re providing and the audience you’re targeting.

3. Get it printed with a quality and finish that reflect your practice.

Although it’s tempting to go for the cheapest print option to save on costs, you need to think about the kind of patient you’re trying to attract. If you’re looking for high value patients e.g. implant or orthodontic cases you will need to get a quality paper and luxury finish. In fact for all patients it’s still worth investing a little more on your print as it will improve your response and the quality reflects on your practice.

4. What is your Return On Investment (ROI)?

This is where a good promotion or offer comes in, with a simple code to quote when booking or inquiring you can easily keep track of which patients and calls are from the door drop. It’s important to keep track of the journey of these patients, as you’ll need to know how much money they have spent with you to work out the return you saw from the initial door drop investment.

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Remember to keep this information safe for next time you’d like to campaign for new patients, you can create a more successful campaign every time by improving on what worked last time.

If you’d like a successful door drop campaign but don’t have the time to implement it yourself, call us on 0845 287 3051 or email us.

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National Smile Month 2015

NSM Smile Logo BDHF

May 18 – June 18

It’s your time to shine! Promote your practice locally to attract new patients & encourage preventative oral healthcare.

National Smile Month promotes 3 key messages, so make sure your promotions are in line with these:

  1. Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least 1 other occasion with fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend

The aim is to ultimately improve the UK’s oral health.

Dentists across the country will be trying to educate, motivate and communicate positive oral health messages in a targeted campaign to improve smiles around the country.

You could run a Direct Mail campaign to lapsed patients, or a new patient examination discount. You could start an e-Newsletter to your patient list to remind them of key dental facts, your latest cosmetic treatments and any practice news.

Organised by the British Dental Health Foundation, the campaign hopes to raise awareness of important health issues.

National Smile Month will see hundreds of events and activities up and down the UK engage local communities about the importance of a healthy mouth, and hopes to make a positive difference to the oral health of millions of people.

The campaign, which takes place May 18 – June 18, encourages all dental and health professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges and workplaces – in fact anyone with an  interest in good oral healthcare, to join in.

For advice on how to best use this PR opportunity and help your community, contact us.

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How To: Write Practice Press Releases

It’s a great idea to get local PR for your practice as it reminds your potential patients that you are an established and respected dental practice in the community. It also supports your brand and communicates how you help people to improve their confidence and improve their smile. For your current patient list, great PR confirms in their mind that they have chosen a quality practice.

Firstly you need to think about how to get the press excited, you need news that the editor thinks will benefit readers.

New treatments or a new clinician at your practice may be news to you, but not to a reporter who has hundreds of releases about new products and services to read.

Imagine an Orthodontic practice has just added lingual braces to their treatment offering and as part of the launch has decided to offer patients a free initial consultation. Here’s what not to do:

Orthodontic Practice Launches Invisible Braces

(Name) practice, based in (place) is now offering invisible braces. As part of the launch, the practice is offering a free initial consultation……”

You’re more likely to get a story printed and generate interest by changing your headline and first paragraph to focus on the offer and what’s in it for readers.

Orthodontic Practice Introduces FREE Consultation for Invisible Braces

For adults who’d prefer a discrete brace option, (named) practice, based in (place) is now offering the latest in invisible braces. As part of the launch, the practice is offering a free initial consultation……

Before you start writing the release, choose the best angle from the patient’s point of view. If you will be sending your release to various media (local newspapers, dental press, local radio and local blogs) you may have to use different angles for the different media.

For help with a PR strategy or news article writing, contact us.

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To mail or not to mail…

That is the question.

Figures from the Royal Mail* show that more than 92% of direct mail is opened and 48% of adults took action after receiving direct mail last year:

  • 14.2m bought something
  • 10.5m used a voucher or coupon
  • 2.8m tried a new product or service
  • 3m made an enquiry by phone

You are of course looking for patients and referrals, so think about the type of people you are targeting. Are they more likely to respond to a banner advert of a local website, an email or a letter through their door?

Direct mail has an amplifier effect when used in tandem with other advertising channels, so using direct mail can improve your existing practice marketing.

If you’re lost at sea with the amount of options available then get in touch, not only can we help you to decide the best media to put your money behind, we can also help you to implement the most cost effective marketing tactics.

Sometimes all you need is some guidance in the right direction.
Why not send us a message?
Or call us on 0845 287 3051.

*http://www.royalmail.com/node/19353839

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When to use radio for dental practices

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We get asked this a lot. Well, for many practices, it’s a sound business opportunity!

Typically, and in our experience, radio works best for:

  • Practice launches – reaching as many people as quickly as possible to build a patient base
  • Promoting a unique service in your catchment e.g. cosmetic treatments not offered by competitors
  • Communicating convenience e.g. children’s braces without NHS waiting list
  • Promoting an event e.g. practice open day (often at launch)
  • Seasonal offers e.g. teeth whitening for summer and the “wedding season”

Regional radio stations with a good % of local people listening can work really well. You just need a creative advert with a strong message and clear call to action (your phone number, web address or text number)

Ah, my “ideal patient” I hear you say. Everyone should have a profile of who they really want in their practice but that’s a subject for another day.

There are best practices in buying radio advertising or sponsorship and it’s always best to consult a professional marketing company for assistance.

Next time, we’ll dispel the myths of radio advertising, for example it doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact it can be extremely cost effective if you look at the cost per thousand of reaching your ideal patients.

For an initial no-obligation phone consultation with us to discuss your practice future, call 0845 287 3051 or email steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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Marketing. Making it happen!

Some people want it to happen

Some wish it would happen
Others make it happen

To make it happen, you first need a plan, a roadmap if you like. In the same way you don’t get in your car without knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there, it’s the same for building a business.

A business plan supported by a marketing plan that helps you achieve your business objectives is the way to reach your destination, whether measured in income, profit, cases, professional standing within your profession or exit, if you have an exit plan (which is a huge subject in itself).

For help with a business plan and marketing plan from the people in the know, it’s important to work with a specialist marketing agency that knows your challenges, your industry and the roadblocks potentially in your way.

Make 2015 the year you have a roadmap to growth. Contact Steve on 0845 287 3051 or steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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