3 Online Marketing Tactics Dentists Can Use in 2018

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Over the past 10 years serving the dental industry, online marketing has been a top lead generating tool for countless Big Buzz dental clients. Over the years, the types of online media have changed, ranging from SEO and online advertisements, to Snapchat filters to YouTube advertising. What’s next for 2018? Read on to find out what online marketing tactics you should pay attention to in the coming year.

1. Real-Time Content. You’ve likely heard of content marketing, and you may already be doing it. Perhaps you’ve been working off an editorial calendar that your team created in January based on your ideal patient/target persona. The content you’ve created has served a great purpose in educating your audience and providing your website with fresh content.

Take it up a notch: Implement real-time content into your strategy. Instead of just writing about brushing techniques or the benefits of implants, write newsletters and blog posts about current events, evolving technologies, and new services you offer. Your patients will get that much more out of your correspondence if it impacts and relates to their lives now.

2. Native Ads. Native ads are a type of paid advertisement that naturally flows with the user experience and blends in with the platform on which it is posted. An example of native ads is sponsored content on a website. The content may look like an article, but it’s really a paid media placement.

Why this is important now: If you are a specialist or CE provider and are looking to reach other dental professionals, consider writing thought-leadership articles that show your expertise, offer true value to the reader, and seamlessly blend into a respectable media source to build trust.

3. Deeply Personal Social Media. Social media is definitely something you’ve heard about before. More likely than not you have a Facebook page that you update every so often when someone remembers. That may have been your strategy (or lack thereof) last year, but this year, we want you to really engross yourself in it!

Personalize that page: The best dental social media pages are those that feature real, authentic images of the doctor, patients, office activities, and more. Those posts get the most interaction from patients so that conversations can be had. The point of social media is to be social. Stop posting only on holidays and appoint someone on the team to capture the true essence of what your practice is all about. Authenticity will shine through and potential patients will be able to connect with who you are on a much deeper level.

Guest Blog: Life Saving Dentistry – A Letter to Patients

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By Cheryl Frazier, RDH

Executive Coach Dallas/Fort Worth, Fortune Management 

In our business, we live by a schedule. Everything from budgeting to payroll is projected through that schedule. Trying to take care of our patients the best we can requires time, time that we carefully allot via the schedule. The schedule tells us the health of our practice, cancellations being the death of us. Helping our patients learn the value of keeping their dental appointments is always a challenge. You might recognize the scenario below:

Ring, Ring, Ring

“It’s a great day here at [Your Dental Office]. This is LuLu. How may I help you?”

“Hi, LuLu. This is Busy Betty. Hey, I have an appointment today that I need to cancel.”

“Oh, I hope you are ok! What’s happened?”

“Oh, nothing. I’m fine, but my hair guy has an opening, and I have got to get these roots done!”

Pause

“Lulu, are you there?”

I have been in the dental field for over 20 years and have heard many reasons for canceling an appointment. Some reasons are valid and warrant understanding, but others leave the dental team scratching our heads. Excuses that range from hair appointments to tee times, come in every day, but they all come down to one thing: priorities. If your priority is your hair, then the choice to cancel your dental appointment is easy. But if you knew what I know, that your dental health is directly related to your overall health, the choice to keep your dental appointment would be easy.

I love my hair guy as much as the next girl, but I have to ask, has your hair stylist ever saved your life? Would it surprise you to know that your dental hygienist can? I know, it sounds dramatic, but did you hear about the dental hygienist in Oklahoma City who noticed jaundice in a little girl’s eyes and saved her life? It’s true. Her mother states she almost cancelled the appointment, but thanks to their attentive/intuitive hygienist, a tumor was discovered.

Not every appointment will be that heroic, but every appointment is an opportunity to have your oral health evaluated and a screened for a number of health concerns. According to the ADA some of the diseases that can be identified at your routine dental visit include diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, oral cancer, lymphoma, as well as decay and periodontal disease.

While it might seem like a buff and polish to you, your registered dental hygienist provides a wide range of services at every appointment. Because your mouth is the opening to your body, accessing your health via your dental care needs to be a priority. Reviewing your health history assists us in properly assessing other findings we might see. X-rays help us see bone levels and density as well as areas in between the teeth that cannot be seen by just looking. A prophylaxis is preventing gum disease and when gum disease is present, then a scaling or periodontal maintenance is the active therapy needed to prevent the disease from progressing. Assessing your bite, or the way the teeth function together can help prevent problems such as TMJ years down the road. All of these screenings and treatments are being done in that one appointment.

Your dental team is a group of healthcare professionals, trained, tested, and licensed both on a national and state level. Our priority is your oral health, but we can’t help you if you don’t come in. Keeping your dental appointments helps you maintain a healthy mouth, which in turn can lead to a healthier life. When given a choice to keep or cancel your next dental hygiene appointment, think about keeping it. It could be life-saving.

Cheryl Frazier, RDH Graduated from CNCC in 1996 and has worked in a clinical setting for over 23 years. Along with working in the clinic, she has lectured for CPS Magazine on Team training for Invisalign, and is now an Executive Coach with Fortune Management. Cheryl can be reached at PerioMtx@gmail.com

The Dangers of Duplicate Content

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Having quality content on your website is extremely beneficial in boosting your search engine rankings because that text tells the search engines what your website and its specific pages are all about. Search engines interpret the meaning of your web pages by looking at the text and keywords. If you want your website to appear for searches related to that text and keywords, you need original, quality content. When creating content, be sure to avoid duplicate content (content that is the same on multiple pages, or content that is the same as that on another website) as you run the risk of being penalized by Google’s Panda Algorithm. Panda, first launched in February 2011, penalizes sites for duplicate, shallow or copied content, and spam-like content stuffed with keywords.

Why does original content matter? Not having original content can cause a drop in rankings, therefore leading to a drop in website traffic. To provide users with a positive search experience, search engines limit the number of sites they show with the same content, forcing them to choose which site is likely to yield the best results for the user. Additionally, failing to feature unique content can lead to a penalization from Google, and once you’re on the search engine’s bad side, it’s hard to recover.

To avoid being hit with a Panda penalty, ensure your content is well written and contains no grammatical or spelling errors. Also be sure to include fitting keywords or phrases that help answer the questions for which users are searching. For example, including keyword phrases such as “the best kinds of tooth restorations are implants” can be beneficial for someone searching for “the best kinds of tooth restorations.” Make sure content is relevant, valuable and hearty in substance.

If you have already been hit by a penalty, it all comes down to identifying which version of the duplicate content is the “right” one. If there is content on the site that can be found in multiple locations, it is important to insert a canonical tag, which tells search engines a specific URL is the original copy of a page. The best way to do this is to set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the original. Not sure how to handle this? Ask us for help!

Be sure all content you create is quality, original and full of substance. If you’re doing this, you are setting your practice up for SEO success!

Three Books That Will Make an Impact in Your Practice

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2018 is quickly approaching and that means hard-to-keep New Year’s Resolutions are just around the corner. Perhaps this year, you can divert from the traditional “lose 10 pounds” and instead commit to reading books that will make a lasting impact in your practice, far past next year. Here is a short list to get you started:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

If your plan for next year is to create a bigger, better practice and to grow your team, consider reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This classic is the foundation for which many personal and professional growth books are based. Read, understand and absorb the seven habits of Stephen R. Covey, and you will be primed for greatness in 2018 and beyond. Plus, these habits apply to work and life, making it a great read for anyone in a leadership role, be it a business owner or a parent.

Think and Grow Rich

If your plan is focused on creating wealth, read Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich. Another true classic, this book provides everything you need to get into the mindset and practice of creating wealth for you and your practice. This book will help you to identify everyday behaviors and thought processes (both conscious and unconscious) so that you can consistently shift them to those of abundance, opportunity and success.

Why Can’t I Hire Good People?: Lessons on How to Hire Better

If staffing and team retention was a challenge this year, consider reading Beth Smith’s book, Why Can’t I Hire Good People?: Lessons on How to Hire Better. Smith clearly outlines how to hire powerful and passionate individuals who are a perfect fit. The right team will put your patients at-ease, help your practice to achieve more success and allow you to feel fully supported by a qualified staff.

BONUS:

If your 2018 is about attracting more patients, try KABOOM!: The Method Used By Top Dentists for Explosive Marketing Results. Request a FREE excerpt here.

 

 

Practice Management vs. Practice Leadership

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By Brian Passell, PhD / Executive Coach and Managing Partner

There is a significant difference between practice management and practice leadership.

Practice managers help the staff to feel good while the staff performs tasks to get the job done. It’s about getting tasks done with enjoyment. Practice managers can manage the practice when it is stable, but they have difficulty when circumstances are changing, as leadership is required

Practice leaders possess internal stability on a hierarchy of factors – environment, behavior, capability, beliefs & values, identity, and connection to something beyond self. Practice leaders create bonds to these factors thereby providing stability for others to follow. They believe that what they do moment to moment is an expression of who they are. In essence, leaders lead! Practice leaders know that to change your life you must change your questions. So practice leaders facilitate change of focus and open access to new resources.

Great practice leaders possess these qualities:

  • Beliefs – develop strong core beliefs and “To thine own self be true!”
  • Optimism – be a problem solver, not a problem maker; believe there are solutions.
  • Courage – take action in the face of fear.
  • Preparation – do your homework; “luck” is where opportunity and preparedness intersect.
  • Teamwork – be humble and know that you can get others to help with success.
  • Communication – people who can influence others can move the world; get good at it by practicing all the other qualities.

Also, practice leaders know that when placed in charge, they must make decisions. They know how to make decisions even if they don’t have sufficient information to make the best decision. Why? Because they recognize that a decision is needed to be made, and their responsibility is to not hold things up.

Practice leaders are not afraid to make decisions in their practice because they hold the belief that there is no such thing as failure, only results. In addition, they are strongly guided by a commitment to, “Do the right thing!” namely, to do what’s right for the patient, what’s right for the practice, and what’s right for their team, in that priority.

Where to Put Your Marketing Dollars: Indirect vs. Direct Marketing

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There are over 50 marketing tactics that a dental office could deploy and it may be difficult to know for sure which tactics are best. Marketing typically falls into four categories: brand/awareness, traditional, online/digital and internal. More simply put, marketing can be either indirect or direct.

Indirect marketing may include things like SEO, social media, or patient appreciation events. These activities are a softer sell, and often reach people who may already know of your brand. For example, let’s say you are running SEO on your website. If someone is searching online for a dentist near them, your practice may appear in the search listings and they may visit your website, along with four to five others.

Direct marketing includes things like online advertising and direct mail. These activities speak directly to consumers’ needs and wants with more of a hard sell. For example, if that same online user from the SEO example is searching for a dentist near them, they may click on an online ad first. That online ad will go to a custom landing page that explains the patient’s first visit, introduces the dentist, and describes the new patient special. The messaging on the ad and landing page will be much more direct and targeted than what is written on your website and will likely attract a more intentional customer.

This is not to say that only direct marketing tactics are the right ones. Awareness or indirect marketing is extremely beneficial, especially if you’ve recently rebranded, moved to a different location, hired an associate, or know that word-of-mouth is a big driver of new patients.

How do you know what’s right to do then? Ask the people. We say time and again that no one knows your practice story like your happiest patients. Ask your patients how they heard about you, what stood out most about you, what made them stay, etc. They will light up with enthusiasm and gratitude about how you changed their life for the better, and you can then put those messages to market using the media they (and their friends and family) pay attention to most.

Ensure you are running the marketing tactics that make most sense for your practice, your goals, your budget and your target audience. Need help? Contact a dental marketing expert today.

What’s In It For Them? Use Your Team to Reach Your Goals

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As a dentist and business owner, you are capable of reaching your goals, whether they include attracting more new patients, increasing online reviews or growing the cosmetic side of your practice. However, it doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Having a strong team behind you not only allows you to focus more on dentistry, it also helps you to reach your goals in a more effective, efficient, and enjoyable manner.

Here a are three ways to do this:

1. Incentivize: Incentives can be a great way to encourage team members to work harder and stay motived. Once your team is fully motivated and engaged with the practice goals, the whole office can begin to reach its full potential. It is important to use incentives as rewards for stellar performance, not acknowledgment for status quo efforts. Together as a team come up with reachable goals that will be rewarded when met. For example, if the goal is to increase referrals each month, give the staff member who asked for the most a gift card to their favorite restaurant. When the staff feels appreciated and reaps the benefits of reaching the practice’s goals, they will work harder to achieve them.

2. Celebrate Wins: This is important no matter how big or small the win is. While it is nice to celebrate a big win, they are often only occasional. The celebration of a small win can have the same positive effect as the celebration of a big win. According to The Harvard Business Review, small wins can increase people’s engagement in the workplace and also their happiness while at work. Celebrating small wins evokes a sense of pride in an employee’s work making them want to create that feeling again by winning more. Small, but continuous steps forward by an entire organization result in larger goals being met or even exceeded.

3. Provide Feedback: Feedback lets your staff know how they are doing and allows for improvements to be made. Without feedback your staff has little to no idea how they are performing, which hinders progress towards your goals. When employees are provided with constructive feedback, the result is greater efficiency, higher functionality, and increased productivity. The staff is also happier because they have a clear picture into what they are doing correctly and what they can work to improve on. Constructive criticism is just one part of feedback though. Be sure to provide praise for actions that help the team to reach the practice goals. Reinforce those actions and you will see them multiply.

In the end, using your staff to help reach your goals will help more than just you; it will create a team that is excited, happy and motivated to work towards something bigger than themselves.

Create a Practice Manifesto and See Production Rise

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We’re approaching Q4 and the New Year is just around the corner. Are you on track to hit your goals in 2017? Have you even thought about your goals for 2018? If you feel a bit in the dark about where you stand, we have a starting point that will either revitalize your end-of-year strategy or jumpstart your 2018 production goals: create a practice manifesto.

What is a practice manifesto and why is it important?

A practice manifesto is similar to a mission statement in that it acts as you and your team’s guide for treating patients, living fulfilled lives, and achieving profitability in your practice. It is the compass from which each decision is made. It is the platform from which all care is delivered. Your manifesto may be written down, it may be verbally communicated, or it may be a series of images that visually represent your message. The important thing is that you have a manifesto and that each and every team member understands its meaning and is on board with putting it into practice on a daily basis.

In Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he tells a story of visiting a hotel that amazed him with its employees’ level of customer service and anticipation of customers’ needs. As he peered through the back door to the kitchen, he saw a sign that read, “Uncompromising, personalized service,” and when he asked one of the managers about it, the manager whipped out a full written mission statement that the entire hotel chain adhered to. Everyone who worked for the hotel believed in the idea of “Uncompromising, personalized service.” That was their manifesto, and it emanated out of every customer interaction.

Similarly, in a dental office, your manifesto may culminate in the idea of “Superior and Distinguished Care” or “Enduring Relationships, Lasting Confidence.” The core idea in your manifesto should be what permeates throughout your dental office. It is the feeling that each staff member puts forward and the differentiator that crosses each patient’s mind.

How does this increase production?

Once you have a manifesto, one that radiates throughout the practice, your employees and even your marketing (especially your marketing!), your ideal patients will flock to your office. The patients you desire value what you value. They want to receive the kind of care you offer. And more of your ideal patients means more productivity and more profitability.

Enlist a branding expert to help your office create a manifesto that will produce real results. Speak with a member of our team today.

 

 

Big Buzz Partners with Fortune Management

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Big Buzz, the nation’s third largest dental marketing agency, is pleased to announce a partnership with Fortune Management, a leading consulting firm serving the dental industry.

Fortune Management is committed to helping doctors and their teams turn dreams into reality. Big Buzz draws from more than 50 possible marketing solutions to craft the right strategy for each practice, resulting in higher patient numbers, production, and overall fulfillment.

Both Fortune and Big Buzz offer complimentary assessments, educational content and lectures to assist dentists and teams in growing their practices.

Jennifer Sims, Office Manager for Tafolla & Rikli Family Dentistry and a client of the two companies recently said, “Our practice has been working with Big Buzz and Fortune Management for a number of years now. We have greatly benefited from their expertise in marketing and practice development, and we appreciate the natural synergy between the two companies. As a result of the partnership between Big Buzz and Fortune Management, our practice is soaring to new heights!”

For additional information, please contact Nina Somps at (720) 350-4484 or nina@bigbuzzinc.com.

6 Ways to Leave a Positive Impact on your Practice, Your Patients, and the Dental Industry

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Leaving a legacy is a goal that most dentists aspire to meet. In the day-to-day throws of dentistry, it can be easy to slump into a routine and neglect the purpose of your work: to improve the lives of others. Follow the tips below to guarantee a positive impact on your practice, your patients, and your industry.

  1. Prioritize your patients. The relationships that you foster with your patients will help build trust, increase comfort, and make it more likely that they will refer others to your practice. Listen to your patients. Ask them open-ended questions and really make them feel heard. Remember, their health is in your hands, and that is so important. With positive doctor-patient relationships, satisfaction will increase all around. You will feel fulfilled practicing dentistry, your team will be busy and excited, and your patients will feel respected and valued. Not to mention, a positive relationship between a doctor and his or her patient often means more successful treatment.
  2. Take continuing education courses. Never stop learning. Staying up-to-date with dental technology and keeping your skills and your mind sharp will keep you more engaged in the practice, as well as improve your reputation as an expert dentist. Dentistry is always changing and evolving. Don’t get stuck in a familiar rut.
  3. Empathize with your patients. Empathy is simple in thought, but difficult in practice. As a dental professional, you know that a filling is an extremely simple procedure. Your patient does not. Step into his or her shoes and let them know that you hear them, that you understand their concerns, and that you’re on this journey with them. Empathy establishes trust and esteem. Trust and esteem translate into positive outcomes and satisfied patients.
  4. Invest in marketing. Marketing your practice is a surefire way to attract more patients and grow your reputation in your community. Depending on what your practice needs, marketing can get you more referrals, better online reviews, smoother team communication, etc. The list is extensive. Marketing will ensure that your practice will be successful long after you leave it.
  5. Act on your ideas. Have you ever had an idea to make a process more efficient? Perhaps you heard of a technique that will yield higher success rates? Share this at your study club. A great way to really make a name for yourself within the dental industry is to create something that benefits others.
  6. Give to something you care about. Whether your gift is money, time or labor, generosity will always be appreciated. It will also boost your practice reputation and brand awareness. Volunteer with groups that provide dental services to those less fortunate, provide toothbrushes to a homeless shelter, donate to research. Charity is key to improving the lives of others while you build your legacy.

We have #4 covered for you. Click here for a free marketing plan.