As a dental practice owner or manager you want to make sure you are in the best possible position to attract new patients. One way to do this is to have your digital marketing plan in place.
Marketing online allows you to promote your business for as little or as much money as you want, and it really doesn't require much to get started. Digital marketing can scale with your business if you eventually want to start running ads and campaigns online.
Here are our top tips for creating a marketing plan.
Defining Your Goals
The first step is to define your business goal. A clear goal gives you a point of reference to measure your success against. If you are not having success with the goal you know something needs to change.
An example of a goal you could have is: Have 15 new patients come to you through your dental practice website.
Identifying Your Target Audience
Before you start implementing your marketing plan take some time to identify your target audience. Who will benefit the most from what you offer in your dental practice?
Some questions you can ask yourself in order to help identify your target customer are:
- Understand exactly why a patient visits your specific practice? What do you offer that is of greater value than competing dental practices?
- Paint a picture of the type of patient that visits your practice - are you mainly NHS or private? Do you want to attract patients to come for specific treatments?
- What influences their purchasing choice? What makes your dental practice more attractive than competitors?
The Tools for the Job
Your dental practice website is your company's show-piece. Many small businesses feel they don't need one but you should strongly consider having one designed. It should be a central hub for information pertaining to your business. Modern consumers are more informed than ever and are getting most of their research done online. The website should be easy to use and have a colour scheme that is consistent with your practice branding.
You should always be mindful how your website performs against others in online search engines, like Google or Microsoft Bing. There is a whole field of marketing devoted to this, called Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short). Your website designer should be able to help you with this but it's important you include keywords throughout your website that appease the Google gods. These keywords help your website achieve higher rankings on internet searches which in turn helps increase traffic and brand awareness.
SEO is too big a topic to go into here and we're planning on writing up more in-depth articles, subscribe to make sure you don't miss it!
Content is king
Regular updates to the website help generate more traffic and further increase your SEO. These updates can be simple changes to the website but you should try keep a dental practice blog where you can give your patient's a taste of your company culture, reviews on any dental software you use or give your thoughts on the dental industry.
Email is a great tool for maintaining your relationship with both current and potential customers. There are plenty of free tools that you could use to email your customers and the good thing about email is that it is free, it can be easily measured and it is known to deliver good returns on engaged customers.
One email tool we use is Mailchimp and we've written in the past how you can use it to help automate your practice.
Social Media is an important tool in modern marketing. It can help you reach customers that you may not otherwise see often. Please see our Guide to Social Media.
Measure Your Results
Your marketing plan will only be successful if you review your results regularly. Choose a day or two a month to view your analytics to ensure that your plan is working for your dental practice.
When you view the reports you should be looking for underperforming areas that could be improved or successful campaigns that you need to continue to support. No Marketing Plan is ever finished - remember, they need constant nurturing!
What are some ways you market your business? Let us know in the Dentally forum.