Give Patients What They Want Then What They Need

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At the core of every successful (or unsuccessful) relationship is emotion, as it is human nature to make decisions based on one’s “gut feeling.” While not a novel concept, this idea is worth bringing to light, especially when discussing the patient-doctor relationship.

Your patients are human and the decisions they make for themselves and their families impact real people. In their journey to find a dentist or accept treatment, they may often may go with the solution that “feels right.” Aligning their needs, wants, desires and interests with your specific service, in a way that resonates with them, is how a successful relationship is formed.

This is very clearly outlined when looking at how a product becomes successful. Take, for example, children’s vitamins. A child may need to take vitamins daily to boost their immune system and keep them healthy; however what they want is a treat that is sugary and sweet. From this concept, the thousands of variations of children’s vitamins were born.

By focusing on and truly understanding why your prospective patients tick, your practice will be able to cater to exactly what they want. Once in the door, your practice can then deliver exactly what they need. Many times, the patient doesn’t know what they need or understand the condition of their oral health. As they continue to interact with your practice and see how you have helped them to overcome their obstacles, barriers or challenges, there will be no question as to whether or not they stay loyal, accept treatment and refer others.

Getting them in the door requires giving them what they want. Keeping them satisfied requires giving them what they need.

More than a Feeling: How to Know Your Marketing is Working

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Depending on the type of marketing your practice is doing, results can often be a mix between subjective and objective. Open houses and brochures lend themselves to greater brand awareness, which can be hard to measure, whereas tactics like online advertising and SEO are highly data-driven. Regardless of the types of marketing you are implementing, it’s important to examine the data to ensure it is working, rather than just relying on a gut feeling. Here are three ways to do just that:

  1. Make sure your marketing agency provides monthly reporting. This can come in the form of a PDF or an online digital dashboard, and it’s important that metrics such as calls to your practice, forms submitted through your website and conversions from your online advertising campaigns are included. This data will allow you to see month-over-month how your results are progressing. When mixed with office data, such as how many new patients were seen or monthly production figures, your marketing team can see how the tactics impacted the practice and refine the strategy as needed.
  2. Stay in communication. Communication is key in understanding what’s working and what’s not. “Setting and forgetting” is not a strategy often recommended. It’s important to share information with your marketing team about what’s happening in the practice so that they can move with agility to refine the plan as needed. For example, if the marketing team is seeing dozens of calls to the practice, yet not many new patients have been scheduled, perhaps those calls occurred when the office was closed. In that case, you may want to turn your ads off during that time frame or look into an online scheduling too.
  3. Review long-term results. Some marketing tactics can take longer to produce results than others. While direct mail or online advertising can generate new patients almost immediately, something like social media can progress more slowly. When results occur at a slower rate, it can feel as though something’s not working. However, when you look at more long-term data, you may be able to see a better picture of the results. Social media may not feel like it’s making a difference day-to-day, yet over the span of six months, it can contribute greatly to an increase in website traffic. Give most tactics at least six months before changing gears.

If you are struggling to measure results, contact Big Buzz. We can get you set up with a custom dashboard immediately and identify what’s working and what’s not within your current marketing strategy.

Manifest More of What You Want: How to Create Your Ideal Patient Profile

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When we begin working with a new client, clarifying their goals is priority number one. We want to be sure that everyone on our team, and theirs, is clear as to the direction we’re headed. In doing that, we sometimes hear goals about reducing cancellations, eliminating no-shows or avoiding certain insurances.

As the old adage goes, what you focus on grows.

This is the point where we as your marketing team help you to shift gears. We ask questions like, “What kinds of patients do you want more of?” “Who are your best patients?” “What kinds of procedures do you want to do more often?” When we focus here, the story shifts from worrying about cancellations to envisioning your ideal work day. Imagine how much better life will be when you’re spending time with patients you love performing work about which you’re passionate. That’s the goal, right?

One way to manifest more of what you want is to create your ideal patient profile.

To start, gather information about your current patient base, such as age, gender, zip code. Who makes up your current pool of patients?

Next, think more about those patients. What is their average income? Do they work in similar industries? Are they married or single? This will help to get a feel for who they are beyond the basic facts and figures.

Now, out of all your patients, who are those that you’d want to replicate over and over again? It would be hard to do off demographic data alone, so consider factors such as lifestyle, hobbies, health interests, etc. If you’re an avid outdoorsman who values staying healthy in all areas of life, you likely incorporate that philosophy into your treatment and want to attract patients who also value their overall health. If you are a mom with three children and see the impact early preventive care can have on kids’ oral health, you may be looking to attract more young families, so you can make a greater difference in your community.

Once you’re clear on who your ideal patient is, you can begin to craft your marketing in a way that draws in those types of people. For the health-focused folks, this may mean advertising in local gyms or launching an online remarketing campaign to appear on health-centered websites. For moms, this may mean a Facebook advertising campaign with images of young happy patients, your kid-friendly reception area or fun flavored tooth paste.

Storytelling has emerged as a huge trend in marketing, as people want “the feels” as much as they want the deals.  In order to do this effectively so that you are manifesting more of what you want, document your ideal patient profile and work with your marketing team to implement strategies for attracting more of those types of patients to your practice.

How IT is Different from Marketing

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IT or Information technology is defined as, “the technology of the production, storage, and communication of information using computers and microelectronics”. Marketing on the other hand is defined as, “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. Both are critical parts of business, but they are two very different and separate services.

An IT department focuses on the technological structure of your practice. Its job is to oversee the management of information systems, such as phones, emails, Internet connections and more. The top priorities for an IT manager are data integrity, security, infrastructure management and stability.

On the other hand, marketing focuses on building brand awareness, differentiating the practice in the marketplace and attracting new patients. Marketing may take the form of website development, online advertising and email marketing, and while marketing may utilize information technology, it simply isn’t IT.

When issues arise with your phones or emails, or if your website’s hosting or domain lapse in renewal, these are often IT issues and should be handled swiftly by your IT manager. IT specialists are often engineers with the knack for problem solving these complex technical issues.

On the other hand, when patient numbers need a boost, you need support with social media posts or you acquire a second practice that needs a new website, that’s when you should call your marketing partner. Marketers will put their creativity and expertise to use to get you the results you seek.

Successful practices have both a strong IT team as well as a strong marketing team, as both will lean on one another to ensure your practice is working as efficiently as possible.

Already have an IT department but need help with your marketing strategy? Let Big Buzz do the dirty work for you. We have been serving dental practices across the country for 10 years and have over 50 different marketing tactics designed to bring in new patients today! Contact us today for a free consultation.

How To Set Up and Use Nextdoor To Reach Local Customers

By | Local Marketing

What is Nextdoor?

Nextdoor is a private social networking program specifically designed to leverage the wealth of knowledge that exists in a local community to improve the lives of neighbors.

Some of the reasons local neighborhoods and communities use the Nextdoor app is to:

  • Quickly inform others of a safety concern or break in
  • Organize groups and activities within the local community
  • Find a family dentist that other neighbors trust
  • Find out who the best handyman in town is
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
  • Selling your old lawn mower
  • Finally call that nice man down the street with the community garden by his first name

The Nextdoor app offers a wide range of benefits for you, your neighbors and your community and it’s completely free to use.

Here are some 2018 statistics for Nextdoor:

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2018 Nextdoor Statistics

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How Can I Use Nextdoor For My Business?

On Nextdoor, local neighbors can post suggestions or recommendations to a message board in their community and get feedback from other individuals in their local area.  A business account on Nextdoor turns previous or current happy customers into trusted referrers for your business.

How Do I Set Up A Business Account on Nextdoor?

Step 1: Create your account

Setting up a business listing on Nextdoor is easy.  Simply navigate to the business page setup and select the business option seen below.

From there, search for your business listing by entering the name of your business and the city, state or zip code. If you see your business listing appear, claim it by clicking on the claim button. If you do not see your business, you can set up a new listing from scratch at the bottom of the results page; again, very simple to do.



Whether you have a business listing or not, you will still have to either log into your personal Nextdoor account or fill out the name, email address and password to create a new Nextdoor account. If you use your personal account you can switch between business and personal accounts via the picture in the top right area of the screen.

Step 2: Confirm Your Listing

Once you confirm your listing, you will be prompted with a confirmation number. Nextdoor will send an automated call to the business phone number.  Simply enter in the confirmation number to verify the account and continue on to setting up your business profile.

Step 3: Add Your Business Information

Similar to a business page on Facebook or Twitter, you will only have to enter your information once and requires just a few items about your business.  The first item is your business logo. A 512 x 512 square fits perfectly. The next area is your message. It is important for those visiting your page that you avoid using sales language. Just be warm, honest and welcoming.

Be sure to enter in all the information requested so that potential customers can reach out to you via their preferred method of contact. You can see in the picture below the information requested when creating your Nextdoor business listing. All of this information will be viewable to a potential customer or existing customer for the purpose of recommendations and/or contact information.


Congratulations! You are all set with your Nextdoor local business account. Next, we’ll discuss how to manage your Nextdoor business account to boost local awareness.

How Do I Manage My Business Account on Nextdoor?

Getting Started With Recommendations

Your business dashboard will provide you with a few insights on how to effectively manage your business listing. The first option is your reputation. This is an overview of all recommendations tagged associated with your company page. This includes total recommendations, neighborhood reach, and individuals reached within those neighborhoods. The reputation page also provides you with a few links to push awareness outside of Nextdoor. Since you will most likely be starting with little or no recommendations, you will need to put in a little work at the start to get the ball rolling.

To start, reach out to previous happy customers or existing customers to see if they would mind taking a few moments to recommend you on Nextdoor.  YOU CAN USE OUR FREE EMAIL TEMPLATE FOR GETTING MORE RECOMMENDATIONS.

Use the buttons listed under “To be seen in neighborhoods, share your page to get recommendations” section under your recommendations information.

Once your business profile is complete, post from your individual accounts to your local communities informing them that your business is open and that you want to post information that only benefits the local community. YOU CAN USE OUR FREE INITIAL POST TEMPLATE FOR GETTING MORE RECOMMENDATIONS.

Respond to Comments and Direct Messages

Nextdoor provides an easy place to monitor comments and respond to those who recommend your business. Simply go to the Neighborhood comments section in your dashboard to view a list of all the individuals who have made a recommendation for your business. The comments will have information about the user who recommended you including the location, their first and last name and their message. You will see something similar to the comment listed here.



Take this opportunity to respond with a kind message thanking the individual for recommending your business. Individuals will sometimes send direct messages that will appear in your inbox. Again, be sure to respond in a kind and timely manner.

That’s it! You’re all set with your local business listing on Nextdoor. For additional information, Nextdoor provides a help page including graphics, walk-throughs and tips on how to increase your exposure on Nextdoor.


Nextdoor is a great place to get recommendations for your local business. The more you get the word out about your business, the more referrals you will get. To ensure that you are maximizing your online exposure, take advantage of our FREE ASSESSMENT AND REPORT.





Why You Should Streamline Vendors

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Owning and operating your own business is becoming increasingly challenging. In small businesses such as dental practices, each employee must wear multiple hats. They must be dynamic, flexible and determined. Too, they must manage their time wisely. One of the greatest obstacles testing each of those traits can be managing multiple vendors.

In a small business, time is your most valuable weapon. If your time, as the doctor, treatment coordinator, front office manager, or anywhere in between, is spent connecting with, juggling, managing and communicating with multiple vendors, you are indirectly hindering the growth and success of the practice.

Chances are, as you’ve grown your practice, you’ve engaged with multiple vendors along the way. Perhaps you have an SEO agency, a direct mail house, an ad in the local newspaper, etc. Consolidating your vendors can have an invaluable impact on your business in three main ways:

Clear Billing and Reduced Costs
When dealing with a single vendor, billing is clear, easy to manage and can be tracked each month. Paying one vendor requires less time from yourself and your staff, freeing time (which is money!) to focus on other aspects of the business.

Cohesive Strategy
If you are working with multiple vendors, there are likely mixed strategies being implemented and mixed messages being deployed. Marketing is most effective when it is congruent and cohesive, so utilizing one team of experts to deploy the comprehensive marketing strategy will create infinitely better results.

Improved Customer Service
By working with one vendor, you will likely have one point person. This will allow you get to know one another, learn how you work best together, and set a solid foundation for the most fruitful and successful business partnership. Not to mention, you will always have someone you actually know to call or email, rather than struggling to find a customer service number or remember the name of your current rep. By working with a single point-person or vendor, the service and relationship will thrive.

Finding the right marketing vendor for your practice is no small feat. There are hundreds of dental marketing agencies that can offer a wide array of services, but only a select few that are full-service and can take all of your marketing needs in house.

Consider what it may look like to consolidate your vendors. If you would like support or guidance about what and how to ask, reach out to a Big Buzz expert today!


These 4 Marketing Mistakes Are Ruining Your Patient Flow

By | Blog

1. Failure to embrace a hyperlocal SEO strategy

Where local SEO focuses on cities, districts and regions, hyperlocal SEO gets more granular, focusing on neighborhoods, towns, streets and areas surrounding well-known landmarks. The benefits of embracing a hyperlocal SEO strategy include:

  • A simpler search journey for the patient
  • Reduced competition among other practices in your location
  • High-intent phrases such as “near me” or “near to” are more often paired to hyperlocal locations

2. Missing out on voice and mobile search trends

A Forbes article noted that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, citing a ComScore projection. With the rise of smart home devices and with voice assist technology becoming more advanced, more users are turning to voice search. Local searches are now leading around 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day, 18% of which convert to a sale.  It is more important now than ever to adjust SEO and PPC targeting to capture search phrases associated with voice and mobile search.

3. Following up less than 5 times

In a perfect world, a patient would contact your practice and schedule an appointment after one interaction. Sadly, that’s not always the case. In fact, nearly 80% of sales require five or more follow-ups after initial contact. In a recent report survey by Propeller, they discovered that nearly 92% of salespeople gave up before the fifth try! Getting even more granular, 44% of most salespeople gave up after the first attempt, 22% gave up after just two rejections, 14% after three and 12% stopped after four. That leaves only 8% of salespeople who followed through to the most important touch point for converting a potential patient. The “one-and-done” days of scheduling a potential patient are done.  This is why also why lead nurturing is so important as an internal marketing strategy for new patient increases. According to Propeller, nurtured leads typically resulted in a 20% increase in sales opportunities and tended to spend 47% higher on services in comparison to non-nurtured leads.

4. Focus on vanity stats

Although it’s not bad to monitor and track keyword rankings, traffic sources and engagement statistics, such as bounce rate and time on a website, the most important metrics are those that correlate to actions that result in added revenue to your practice.

  1. The Initial Action (a click) – When a user sees your brand or service do they take an initial action by clicking on the link?
  2. The Intent Action (a conversion) – Once a user performs the initial action, are they compelled enough to perform an intentional action? By intent action, I mean a call, a download or a form submission. In other words, this prospect has shown intent to become a patient of your dental practice.
  3. The Final Action (an acquisition) – Now that you have converted a prospect by getting them to call or submit a form, can you turn them into a paying patient?

Where a keyword ranking or changes in page views may be difficult to measure, action stats are easily quantifiable and relate directly to return on marketing invested (ROMI).

Eager to learn more? We’ve helped hundreds of dental practices just like yours increase patient inquiries.  Contact a dental expert for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. 

Guide to SEO

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Chapter 1: What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing tactic that focuses on increasing your web presence and boosting visibility of your practice’s website in the organic, non-paid areas of online search engines.

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! are powerful forces in driving traffic to websites across the Internet. Because there is so much information housed in search engines, websites can get lost in the cracks or buried below other results. SEO helps to push your website to the top of applicable search results and ultimately increase attention around your services and offerings.

SEO encompasses various tactics, methodologies and strategies, all geared toward improving your website’s rankings, driving traffic to your website, and gaining leverage across search engines.

In its most simplified state, SEO takes into account these three aspects: • The quality of traffic visiting your website
• The quantity of traffic visiting your website
• The organic listings for which your website is appearing

There are many influencing factors to SEO, including, but not limited to:
• The content on each page of your website
• The external links (those not on your website) that are connected to your website • The structure of your website and ability for search engines to understand it
• Alternative text for when search engines cannot read the images on your website • Blog entries
• Online directories

Search engines are constantly switching up their algorithms, which makes keeping up on “SEO Best Practices” a full-time job.


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Using Video to Market Your Practice

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According to Entrepreneur, the average Internet user watches 186 videos a month. People engage differently with video than they do with photos and text. Videos show faces, voices and most importantly, personalities. So just how do you use video to market your practice? We’ve picked our favorite four ways from Entrepreneur to use video to market your practice.


  1. Offer a video tour of your office: Show potential patients what your office is really like by taking them on a virtual tour. Include the doctor and members of the team to showcase the practice’s culture and help bring the practice’s personality to life. Add the finished video to the “About Us” section on your website to break up text and keep website visitors engaged.
  2. Use customer testimonials: Ask your best patients if they will share their experiences at your practice in a short video testimonial. This can help bring authenticity to your reviews and ratings and allow viewers to relate to current patients.
  3. Introduce your staff: Take short videos of your team introducing themselves, sharing their background and giving a fun fact about themselves. Short, unedited videos like this can help bring a realness to your practice that potential patients will appreciate, especially when featured on social media. With video marketing, potential patients can establish a connection with your practice before even stepping inside.
  4. Request to take a poll or survey: Make your “Tell Us What You Think” page more personable by creating a video asking for feedback. Use it to let your patient know their opinion really matters and that you truly value it.


Using video to market your practice is a great way to increase new patient traffic. And it doesn’t have to be complicated! Stay relaxed and encourage comments or video shares which can help build brand awareness. Lastly, include a call to action. This can be directing the viewer to make an appointment, write a review or visit your website.


You don’t have to be a professional videographer either; an iPhone can do the trick. However, if you want something more polished, contact us and we’ll guide you in the right direction!

You’ve Been Burned by Marketing. Now What?

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We often hear from dentists that they are apprehensive to work with a marketing agency because they have done so in the past and have had a poor experience, or as they say, been “burned.” They’ve either lost time, money or sleep from signing on with a less than stellar partner. The answer, while tempting, is not to stop all marketing. The answer is to start marketing smarter and with strategy.

Here are 5 ways to make it happen:

  1. Strategize. Strategy for top marketing professionals often comes in the form of target market research. However, this is often a forgotten step if a practice has different agencies doing different things. Perhaps you have one company handling SEO and another doing direct mail. If neither vendor has taken a deep dive into your target audience and you’re not seeing great results, it may be best to start here. Survey your best patients to better understand why they chose your practice, where they look in the marketplace for other healthcare providers and how best you can encourage them to make a referral. Having this data will allow you to put your marketing dollars in the most effective places with the most meaningful message.
  2. Start small. If that “burned” feeling won’t subside, consider starting small. Perhaps you aren’t ready to dive into a comprehensive 12-month marketing plan but see the value in posting monthly blogs to the website because the majority of your patients reported finding you online. In that case, contract with a reputable marketing agency for content marketing support. They will be able to write the content, post it to your website, distribute it to your database and share it on your social media.
  3. Do-it-yourself. If you want a better grasp on what’s actually happening with your marketing efforts, consider bringing it in-house. We don’t typically recommend that you, the dentist, handle marketing (because you have your hands full!), but rather you hire a marketing coordinator or train someone on the team who can handle this task. With the right training, your staff should be able to handle basic website updates, social media posts, blogging and internal marketing, among other marketing initiatives.
  4. Appoint a leader. Poor marketing performance may be caused by too many cooks in the kitchen and no real chef. When the marketing is distributed among multiple vendors, the dentist and other team members, it can feel cobbled together. To create a more cohesive system that works efficiently and produces results, consider having one person lead the charge. Ideas and approvals will flow through this person, giving the entire practice a clear process for implementing, deploying and measuring marketing tactics. You can always appoint an outside leader, too. Even if you’re not ready to fully dive in with a marketing agency, many have experts on staff who can help you to create a program that runs on time and on budget and keeps the entire team accountable.
  5. Face your fears. When things don’t go as planned, it’s natural to feel fearful. Don’t negate those feelings, process them. Feel the fear in your body (tight shoulders, stomach in knots), then work to move that fear out of the way. Practice yoga, play an instrument, meditate. Calm the mind, and then fill it with all the good things you love about your practice. What’s working well, who is a great team member, how has your work changed someone’s life? All those good vibes will radiate out to the universe and help give that extra push your marketing needs.

We often say that marketing is the oxygen to your practice. So don’t stop! If you’ve been “burned,” take a moment to heal your wounds and get back into the game with the tips outlined above.