In the last two blogs of this series, 100 Stats to Help Market Your Practice and The Big Marketing Round Up: Tracking, Analytics, and ROI, you learned about the statistics that show why Internet marketing for dentists and physicians is essential in today’s hi-tech marketplace. You also found out how to track analytics at no cost, so you can evaluate ROI and actually make a profit from your marketing efforts. Today, I’ll show you the top channels for digital marketing, including some important details about promoting your practice through social media, so you can find a strategy that will truly get you more new patients.
The Knockout Combo
- The top four channels for increases in digital marketing spend last year were email marketing (61% of marketers increasing spending on this channel), social media (49%), mobile marketing (40%), and SEO/PPC (38%). (Relevate)
There’s a reason these channels are popular – they work, when correctly executed. I suggest that all dentist offices seeking new patients invest in an email newsletter or email blasts, at least quarterly. Promote your newsletter on social media, archive them on your website, and of course deliver them to all of your patients’ email addresses. Be sure the newsletter includes something people will keep – like a recipe, brushing chart for kids, or emergency dental tips. Also include links to share the newsletter across social media outlets.
In addition, you need to complete (not half-way complete, but fully complete) online profiles for your practice on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. If you use Twitter, that’s fine, too. However, if you’re never going to tweet, skip it.
Your website must, must, must be mobile friendly. If it is not, Google will penalize your search ranking. Also, from a functionality standpoint, people who access your site online will be frustrated and consider you a relic, if your site is not mobile ready.
SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click advertising) can be wise investments, as well. Organic SEO costs nothing, except the time to make sure your website is optimized for search, which includes all metadata, original content, and a connection to Google Analytics, with sitemap submission. Incoming and internal links are a great add-on for search.
Pumping Up Social Media
- 91% of millennials (aged 15-34) are on Facebook. (Infinit Datum)
If you want to do business with young adults, you need to have a business page on Facebook. You might never receive direct business from your Facebook profile, but you need it, nonetheless. It’s free, so why not?
- There’s an average 45% increase in engagement when a LinkedIn post contains a link, a 50% increase in comments when a post contains a question, and a 98% increase in comments when the post contains an image. (DMR)
- Even though Facebook is the most important social network to marketers overall, LinkedIn is the top choice for B2B marketers—41% say it’s the most important network they use. (V3 Broadsuite Blog)
I recommend LinkedIn for everyone, even dentists who obviously do not sell to businesses. Why? Because patients are on LinkedIn, conducting business every day. This particular demographic is gainfully employed, for the most part, and eager to succeed, so fresh breath, good health, and a nice smile are important to them. Post your blogs to LinkedIn, and answer some questions in the QnA section, in your area of expertise, for additional no-cost promotion.
- 80% of Pinterest users are women, and they account for 92% of all pins. (Link Humans)
- The most popular topic on Pinterest is food, which accounts for 57% of all pins. (DMR)
Dentists deal with health, and recipes are excellent for promoting healthy living. On Pinterest, you’ll find a ton of women who are active and – according to research – make their family’s decision about which dentist they’ll use. My dear dentist, they are sitting ducks, from a marketing perspective.
Google+ & YouTube
Not many humans engage actively on Google+, compared to Facebook. However, Google owns Google+ and YouTube, so setting up accounts on both of these channels, and engaging for a few moments a month, could help your SEO. Again, it’s free, so why not?
Sorry, guys, but Twitter rarely works at all for dentists. In over a decade of working in dental marketing, I’ve seen one tweeting dentist who actually made it work for her, but she personally tweeted ten or more times a day. IMHO, it was good for retention and PR, but not an effective use of time to gain new patients.
Do You Need Help Finding More New Patients?
An optimized website, SEO, newsletters or email blasts, and social media –you probably can’t handle it all, and honestly, you may have no desire to do any of it. But, you do want to grow your practice. That’s what keeps Identiwrite in business. We provide these and other online marketing services to dentists who want to hand off the marketing to experts who know the ins and outs of the industry.
To talk with me, Shauna Duty (owner of Identiwrite), call 940-395-5115 or email her at [email protected]. I’ll review your current online marketing efforts and help you come up with a practical, affordable plan to move onward and, more importantly, upward, in growing your practice.