Everything in today’s world is becoming digital – and currently, there are over three billion people with access to the internet across the world, and this number will keep on increasing because of technological advancement and cheaper digital gadgets. The internet growth is even faster; with over half of the world population being active on the web this year.
With this information in mind, the internet is a goldmine for businesses looking to improve their marketing strategies – provided you use it right.
The process is a little challenging – building up patient growth at your dental practice. If you want to see growth, a dentist will need to take full advantage of their digital presence. There are a number of ways this can be done;
Creation and optimization of a website
The UK has 1.98 million SMEs that do not have a website. This alone is costing them a combined £343 billion every year. It is important to have a website because it is going to help when it comes to branding, communication with prospective patients, for example a patient seeking a dentist that offers dental reconstruction can easily find them online. The website can act as the ideal central point, where the dentist can answer questions asked by patients, updates on their dental practice, and also booking of appointments. Online presence has become a must – with the right content and SEO, your practice will be able to get the recognition it deserves.
Social media has become a must for any company looking to bridge the gap with the public. There are different forms online marketing can take; organic posts to Facebook and Twitter, direct emails, blogging on your website and blogging on LinkedIn pages. A social media strategy can take time, but the results you will be able to get when done right is monumental, and can make a lot of difference for your business. There are different platforms you can use, and they are all free and you can easily set them in a short period of time. Companies also pay for the different advertising options – which can be very effective on some social media platforms, which gives you a chance to tailor your practice to a specific audience.
A SWOT analysis
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is important to do an analysis of your business and focus on areas that you struggle with. Sometimes just sitting down and doing an analysis of your practice can be the first step you take to improve it. What can you do to retain patients and also increase referrals?
Reviews and patient referrals
One of the most effective ways of increasing a patient circle is through referrals who you have treated. They become talking and walking billboard for your work. When you are done treating them, try asking for feedback then tell them that you want to expand and if you are happy with the treatment you got, let other people considering treatment know about you and your services. You can also ask them to leave a review or testimonial. Get consent to use them for your marketing campaign. Google reviews should be part and parcel of your marketing plan. At the end of the treatment, make sure you ask them if they can leave a review. There was a recent survey done by Podum which showed 93% of consumers said that online reviews affected their decision to purchase and that 60% of them were looking at the reviews every week.
Make use of your network
Having marketing strategies in place is good but one of the most important things is having a network of supporters. Try reaching out to them so you can use their influence to grow on your own. People tend to put more trust in recommendations they get from a friend, and you should take full advantage of this information. Using word of mouth marketing is a good idea – ensure the network shares the content you put it out and gets the word out for you.
This can sound like an old-fashioned approach, but you will be able to see great results when you use text messages. You should try to keep a personalized line of communication with the patients because it shows that you care about them and their well-being. Having this list will also help when you need to promote and brand awareness, especially when there is a major occasion coming up or some changes in the practice. This can be a little challenging because you don’t want to overwhelm the recipient but you also want to maintain your brand awareness. You should make sure you get their opt to receive the information (this applies to emails and postal too).
These are some tips that will help a dental practice grow – it is a good idea to keep up with the latest trends and take full advantage of one of the most effective tools – the internet. Marketing can be a little challenging, but once you get it right, you will see some great results.
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