What comes to mind when you think about marketing a dental practice? Do you think of postcards, TV commercials, phone books, or radio ads?
If so, you’re among many people. These were all common forms of dental practice marketing in the past. In the last 5 years, though, the marketing landscape has changed dramatically with the advancements of technology.
The world is changing
Society is blocking out traditional marketing techniques. We use DVRs to avoid commercials, ignore telemarketers with the help of Caller ID and the phone book is used to steady the dining room table. Our brains have also begun to automatically block out ads on the internet.
What’s more is that shopping has quickly changed from “in-line” to “on-line” and researching went from libraries to E-books using Google, social media and blogs.
Research by the Content Marketing Institute reports 8 out of 10 people consider themselves to be blog readers. They also reported that out of all time spent online, 23% is spent on social media sites.
So with all these changes to how people consume media and research services, what’s a dental practice to do when they need new patients?
The Answer is Simple: Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is different from traditional marketing. This type of marketing focuses on creating content (such as blog articles, social media posts, and emails) that your prospective patients and current patients love. By doing so you are able to attract, convert, close and delight customers.
For more information about what inbound marketing is, please visit HubSpot’s blog.
Why Should You Practice Inbound Marketing?
- Outbound techniques are expensive & less effective. When you are creating and sharing content that is interesting and relevant to your patients and prospective patients, your marketing will be that much more effective. What’s more is that you can also save money by doing so. According to Search Engine Journal, prospective customers acquired from inbound marketing techniques cost 60% less than prospects acquired from traditional marketing. The cost of paying a company to write articles for your dental practice on average is substantially less than the cost of TV ads or mailed brochures.
- Patient referrals aren’t just in-person conversations anymore. With smart phones, tablets and computers becoming more and more portable, we are connected now more than ever. People are simply not communicating human to human anymore. They are texting, emailing, and using social media to communicate. Inbound Marketing grants you to access to where these conversations are happening (social media and web searches) and allows you to be a part of them.
- Search engines (Google in particular) favor Inbound Marketing. When you play by the rules set forth by search engines, especially Google, you’re more likely to show up on the first page of the search results, which in turn means more people will visit your website. The good news is that Inbound Marketing inherently abides by these “rules,” allowing you to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. PETA Disclaimer: No birds were harmed in the publication of this article.
- Patients also favor Inbound Marketing. Have you ever had someone explain something complicated to you and when you try to explain the same thing to a friend, it gets jumbled up? The same thing is likely happening when your patient goes home to tell their spouse what treatment they need. By explaining disorders, treatments, and techniques on your blog, your patients can properly explain what is going on to their spouse and feel more at ease with your treatment plan.
- It can help differentiate you from other practices. As a Dawson Dentist, you understand much more than your average dentist. Your website, social media, emails, and blog articles are a great way to share your knowledge and educate your patients. And by doing so you are also differentiating your services and practice from the average Joe Schmoe dentist down the street.
Don’t Take it From Us
We have seen this type of marketing work first-hand for dental practices through our faculty members and students. We have seen it not only bring in new patients, we’ve seen it bring in patients that are a better fit.
This marketing technique is just one of the many topics discussed in our course, Implementing Complete Care Dentistry. For more information on this course, please click here.
Have you tried blogging or actively using social media for your practice? We’d love to hear your experience.