If you have to think about your last spend on practice marketing, you’re probably not implementing best practices for 2019. The truth is that modern dental practices require constant marketing and multiple activities across different channels, which is something that busy dentists and office managers usually don’t have time for. So how do you differentiate your practice from the competition? The solution is to use online tools and automation to “work smarter, not harder.”
Now this is not to say that you should abandon traditional advertising, like direct mail, if it works for your practice. However, if you’re not also leveraging online tools and building your online presence, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with new patients and engage with both current and inactive patients.
Here are 5 ways digital marketing can help your practice grow, with insights from the practice marketing experts at Henry Schein One:
1. Understand which tactics work best for you
Digital marketing offers a distinct advantage over traditional advertising in that it offers real-time insights. It can shed light on who is interacting with your website and social media ads and how often. Having this data can help you understand which tactics work best for your dental practice and where to invest your marketing efforts and limited budget.
2. Leverage automation
You don’t have to constantly be at the controls to market your practice. Online tools exist that can help your efforts. For instance, email marketing campaigns and social media posts can be scheduled far in advance. Automated tools also exist to request patient referrals and reviews and to update your business listings.
3. Communicate with your patients
Digital marketing is not just about casting a wide net for new patients; it’s also about retaining existing patients and effectively recalling them for treatment. Emails can remind active or inactive patients to get in touch. After they make their appointment, automated text messaging can provide the extra push that can help reduce no-shows. After the appointment, surveys can be sent to patients that ask for their feedback about their visit.
4. Build patient loyalty
When your staff is freed from routine manual tasks like phone calls and text messages to confirm appointments, they can focus more on patient outreach and interaction. Going that extra step—like wishing your patients a happy birthday via email or asking how they’re doing while they’re waiting— can go a long way in building patient loyalty.
5. Manage your online reputation
According to reputation.com, a majority of new patients, 82% choose their healthcare provider based on the online reputation of the practice. It’s important to discover your rank on Google search, see if your online business listings are accurate, and see how your practice reputation compares to the competition. Encourage your patients to review your practice by emailing them a link to a survey or to Google reviews.
Practice marketing doesn’t require juggling multiple engagement platforms—remember: “work smarter, not harder.” In fact, if you’re a Dentrix user, it’s smarter to combine online technologies into one integrated solution that works with your practice management software. That’s what Practice Marketing from Henry Schein One offers: more mileage from your marketing budget with online tools that automate many marketing activities, such as email campaigns, online reviews, and website optimization. It’s all one integrated platform that works with Dentrix.
It’s important to ask yourself these two questions:
1. Do you have a clearly defined practice marketing plan with a budget?
2. Is your marketing plan designed to achieve the revenue goals of your dental practice?
If you’re unsure, you can take a free online Practice Marketing Assessment to help you find any weaknesses in your plan. Visit https://henryscheinone.com/dps to take the assessment.
After, you will have the option to discuss results with a Henry Schein One practice management specialist. Both the assessment and consultation are free of charge, and they offer an opportunity to discover which marketing campaigns aren’t working for you and what new tactics should be added to your marketing plan.