In this article, I’ll explain what inbound and outbound marketing are, which is best for dentists, and how to track return on investment for your dental website marketing strategy. I’ll also discuss how to track ROI from investment to profit, so you can determine whether your website is truly working for you, or if it’s a money pit.
Outbound marketing involves sending out your message to a broad audience, in hope that some who notice your message will need your service or product. It’s broad and risky and, usually, quite pricey. While you can target a demographic to a degree (zip code, income level, age for direct mail, for instance), you’re still relying on chance that a person who needs your service or product will see and respond to your advertisement. Think of it as taking a megaphone to the park and standing on your soapbox, then announcing your practice and services. Outbound marketing is initiated by you to attract patients.
With inbound marketing, potential patients look for you. You create a hub (your website) that’s packed with information about your services, products, philosophy of care, location…and more. When people are looking for answers to questions or particular services or products, they can find your hub of info. At this hub, you have the chance to offer your best sales pitch. If that pitch is good enough and proves that you can meet the potential patient’s need, he or she will call you and become an actual patient. Though you create the hub, inbound marketing brings patients to you. The information on your hub will ensure that only those seeking you will find you – so you are not shouting out to a crowd, you’re inviting interested people to call you. Th seekers are pre-qualified. You know they want what you’ve offered at your hub; that’s what drew them to you.
Outbound marketing is accomplished through:
- Direct Mail
- Print Ads
- Newspaper Column
- Radio & Television
- Billboards, etc.
Inbound marketing strategies include:
- Website SEO
- Blogs (with an SEO strategy)
- Videos (optimized properly)
- Paid Ads (SEM)
- Content Marketing (articles on third party sites)
- Link Swapping/Backlinks (only from reputable sites)
- Social Media Marketing
- Reputation Management Marketing
- e-News and e-Blasts
- NAP Citations & Local Listings
- Recall Visits (digital)
- Patient Testimonials (on- and off-site, videos and text)
- Patient Education by Your Team (videos, web articles, blogs, talking to patients)
- In-Office Promotions (digital)
- Referral Incentives (where allowed)
Measuring ROI in Dental Marketing
Inbound marketing is more affordable, measurable, customizable, and profitable, in almost all cases – IF your marketing strategy is solid. A solid strategy starts with dental website marketing.
A weak strategy, or no strategy, is a sure recipe for failure. Return on investment, known as ROI, is essential to any wise business person who’s making decisions about marketing investments. You need to look at the profitability that others like you have seen from similar efforts, and if you intend to engage, you need to establish a system to record information and data for analyzing your own ROI.
For instance, every single person who calls your office should be asked how they learned about you. This data needs to be logged by anyone who answers the phone, every day and with every call, with no exceptions. You should also make sure that data is recorded in the patient’s file, so you can determine the profitability of different marketing efforts. If Joe Blough saw your billboard and called, then six months later invested in full mouth reconstruction, you need to know that the billboard paid off and that it may be a wise investment in your future marketing plans. Likewise, if you send out a direct mail piece and get 20 new patients, but no one comes in for recall and you do not have any cases accepted for treatment from this group, then either direct mail itself or the offer on your mailer needs serious consideration before you reinvest.
Data tracking is essential with all marketing, but it’s a bit easier with dental website marketing. Google Analytics, a free tool that plugs into your website, provides a wealth of data about web traffic, click throughs, and demographics of visitors. E-newsletters and e-blasts usually have a data-tracking feature that shows you which email addresses opened, shared, or opted out of your mailer. Of course, from this initial data, you have to take the handoff and continue tracking until cases are closed to see the actual profitability of your marketing investments.
Why Call Identiwrite Creative for Help with Dental Website Marketing?
First of all, we know what we’re talking about. You can see from this article, and the statistics and information at www.identiwrite.com, that we research and stay on top of dental website marketing. As an Identiwrite Creative client you’ll have full access to our knowledge, and we’ll apply logical strategies to your marketing efforts. We don’t rely on what worked 12 months ago to work the same way today. The Internet moves too fast for an old strategy to work for very long. The one strategy that holds its ground is content marketing – or copywriting.
Not many companies offer completely original, plagiarism-checked, keyword-rich copywriting for dentists and physicians, because it’s a tedious job that takes a lot of time and skill. Google, however, treasures original content. Think about it: Google is built on information. If you provide good information, Google is earning from your work – and the search engine doesn’t have to pay you! Google will reward you, though, with high rankings for targeted keywords.
So, in addition to knowing the latest and most effective trends in dental website marketing, we do the hard work to earn high rankings that will endure the test of time. Perhaps most importantly, we track the data. Each month, we look at our clients’ traffic and keyword rank (for targeted phrases) to see what’s working, where improvement is needed, and what is wasting our time. We then revisit our clients’ strategies – every month – to adjust the content management plan. We’ll alter titles, links, metadata, length of content, page structure, and topics to maximize the knowledge we acquired from the data, so we continually see improvement toward page one, position one rank and higher traffic!
I’ve worked for companies that sell, sell, sell and do no data analysis and strategy revision. Sure, they hook up Google Analytics and may have a skewed proprietary software to relate data, but they don’t truly take that data and rework their clients’ strategies. Why on earth do they collect the data in the first place? Because automated data acquisition, particularly if done with proprietary tools, can look impressive. It implies that efforts are being made to ensure strategies are working. But what you assume is not often what’s really happening.
If you’d like to discuss your website SEO plan or blogging and content management, call me, Shauna Duty, owner of Identiwrite Creative on my cell phone at 940-395-5115. You won’t get my assistant. She’s busy working! You’ll get me, and we can pull up your website and start strategizing. If you prefer, text me at that number or email [email protected]. Visit us online at www.identiwrite.com, and sign up for our monthly newsletter, which is packed with great dental marketing tips.