Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

How To: Get the most out of Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+ are sites visited by thousands of people every day.

By creating a profile on each of these sites, you will build new opportunities for potential patients to find your practice, as well as increasing traffic to your website.

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Any type of local business that uses social media will almost always see a significant increase in monthly website traffic – and all it costs is a little of your time (or your dental nurses, or reception staff…).

By creating and sharing good content and interacting with your patients online you will build your reach to their friends and family. The internet is the first place people look to for answers if they have a question, so make sure you’re there when they need you!

If you have any questions about where and what to post, get in touch with us and our Social Media expert Graham will be more than happy to help.

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On the 12th day of Christmas…

…You should have your 2016 Marketing Plan ready!

It’s that time of year when businesses, including dental practices, have the ambition to make the New Year their best year ever.

All too often though, it never really happens and one of the reasons is that the practice doesn’t have a business plan and almost certainly doesn’t have a marketing plan with clear objectives.

It is, of course, important to plan and set targets in terms of patient income, cases, referrals and Patient Plan memberships if you have a scheme in place.

A dental practice business plan should at the very least cover the following topics:

  • Practice vision
  • Objectives – growth, acquisition, exit, new partnership…
  • Practice strengths and weaknesses
  • The financials e.g. 2-3 year financial projections, with breakdown in treatment mix
  • Supplier services & costs e.g. supplies, sundries
  • Practice and equipment maintenance
  • Team development plans – clinical training, personal development training, recruitment, practice management
  • Marketing – external support, such as Smile Marketing, and internal responsibilities
  • Success criteria i.e. what does success look like?

So don’t leave “your best year ever” to chance.

For a  no-obligation consultation with Steve Davey call 0845 287 3051 or email us.

Weihnachten Bordüre, extra breit

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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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New App ‘Facebook at Work’ Launched

Now that Facebook has a firm hold on billions of users personal interactions they are expanding into the workplace, so contacting your colleagues with notes, articles and files will be as easy as messaging your friends and sending photos. Facebook state:

Facebook at Work is a tool for co-workers to communicate and collaborate in a professional environment on Facebook.

This new app has been recently launched to ‘pilot partners’ (selected businesses) for testing.

Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook at Work is for internal communications within your practice, not to connect with other businesses or your patients. This new app could eliminate the need for endless emails, calls and notes with the overall usability of Facebook enabling staff to collaborate like never before.

Most importantly photos of you at the weekend won’t be visible from your work account. Phew!

Your personal and work accounts are separate but you can log in using the same username and password, making it easy to switch between accounts.

The app set up is done by your practice, then you can open employee accounts which will already have name, job title and work contact info. You can personalise your account with profile picture, cover photo and other details without changing your personal account.

So what could this do for your dental practice?

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When you need to let all the dental nurses know about a change in routine you can tag them in a post on your page and they will all receive it to their phones. If you have some news about the practice you can post it on the news feed for everyone (including your social media manager) so they can share this news with your patients.

There are hundreds of possible ways to use this new app, in our opinion anything that improves communication in your practice should be welcomed with open arms!

Do you think ‘Facebook at Work’ could help your practice staff keep up to date? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

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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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On the 12th day of Christmas …

…You should have your 2015 Marketing Plan ready!

It’s that time of year when businesses, including dental practices, have the ambition to make the New Year their best year ever. All too often though, it never really happens and one of the reasons is that the practice doesn’t have a business plan and almost certainly doesn’t have a marketing plan with clear objectives.

It is of course important to plan set targets in terms of patient income, cases, referrals and Patient Plan memberships if you have a scheme in place.

A dental practice business plan should at the very least cover the following topics:

  • Practice vision
  • Objectives – growth, acquisition, exit, new partnership…
  • Practice strengths and weaknesses
  • The financials e.g. 2-3 year financial projections, with breakdown in treatment mix
  • Supplier services & costs e.g. supplies, sundries
  • Practice and equipment maintenance
  • Team development plans – clinical training, personal development training, recruitment, practice management
  • Marketing – external support, such as Smile Marketing, and internal responsibilities
  • Success criteria i.e. what does success look like?

0018649Christmas mouse on mouse computer santa hat winter no background

So don’t leave “your best year ever” to chance. Do talk to a specialist dental marketing agency for advice and guidance.

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

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Double Your Practice Income in 2015

Dental practices with a clear business plan will be able to make the most of the improving economic climate, and greater consumer confidence.

Whether it be increased take up on adult orthodontics, “teeth-in-a-day” (a.k.a. All on 4 or All on 6), whitening or other cosmetic dentistry. Smile Marketing are ready to help you succeed in 2015.

Why take our word for it? Here’s what our client Joe Dwyer, Sunlight Orthodontics, had this to say after Smile helped with Marketing Planninglocal promotionsGDP marketing and joint venture promotion.

“I have been very impressed with Smile Marketing. Prior to working with them, we had tried to find our own way through the marketing minefield and had wasted much time and money. With the help of Smile Marketing, we have implemented a more professional and effective marketing strategy which has seen the private gross of the practice more than double. The service is excellent. They are approachable and always available for advice, responding to questions with a speed I have not experienced with any other company I have worked with, marketing or otherwise”… “I would recommend Smile Marketing to anyone who has ever wondered whether practice marketing can be effective. With Smile Marketing, it can.”

Give your practice the ultimate Christmas gift, a clear roadmap to increased income in 2015. Smile Marketing has a range of special packages for helping ambitious practices to thrive and grow.

Call or email for an initial no-obligation phone consultation with Steve Davey to discuss your practice future. 

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