Dental Premarketing: Finding Success for a New Practice

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The marketing strategy for any successful new business should begin well before the doors open, and a dental practice is no different. It may go without saying, but don’t expect positive results from announcing yourself to the world on opening day and expecting excited new patients to flood in. It’s crucial to hit the ground running with the momentum you have accumulated prior to your grand opening.

It’s important to develop a web presence, since it’s the only presence you can have before the doors have opened. Construct a website that looks professional and functions well, especially on mobile devices. Consumers increasingly use mobile devices to conduct online searches, and without a mobile-friendly site, search engines are less likely to feature your practice in top search results. Even if your site does show up, consumers likely won’t move forward with a practice whose website appears shoddy and dysfunctional. Make sure you build your website with an online scheduling system, which will be helpful both before and after launch. As mentioned above, hitting the ground running is crucial, and an online booking system can help you do just that by filling appointments ahead of time. To help fill appointments before the doors open, consider offering discounts or incentives to patients who pre-book.

Next, construct social media pages to gain visibility and drive traffic your website. Focus your social media efforts around your ideal patient persona by setting up pages on platforms they’re more likely to use. If you’re looking to attract retirees, don’t rush to make a Snapchat page. Instead, focus on Facebook. Create promotional content that speaks to their wants, worries, fears and obstacles, framing your practice as the one that truly understands their needs. Then run that content as a targeted ad campaign. Facebook makes it very easy and straightforward to target your desired target audience.

Don’t forget to plan for opening day! A ribbon cutting ceremony can be fun way to announce your presence and help ingratiate your office into the local community. Who doesn’t like a party? Find your local chamber of commerce and talk to them about how to plan and what to expect. You can even use it as an opportunity to schedule new patients or hand out discounts and offers for future visits.

Following these tips will help position your new practice for success. Stay tuned to our blog for more industry insights.

The Rise of Big Data

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You’ve probably heard the phrase “big data” being tossed around over the last few years, especially as it pertains to marketing. Before you begin tuning it out as just another useless buzzword, consider another popular phrase: “data-driven.” It’s a driving force in marketing, focused on using large collections of data to speed up processes and remove the clouds of human bias and indecision. Data-driven processes can be hugely helpful to businesses hoping to free up time for important tasks and functions. These processes utilize sets of data so large they require computer assistance to be understood, hence the phrase big data. Big data is changing the way practices can target and reach patients.

An extensive survey conducted by McKinsey & Company revealed 4 main areas of data analytics’ impact:

  1. Improved generation of leads. Big data allows enormous sets of potential patients to be analyzed in the blink of an eye. It does so with a degree of specificity that would take a human weeks or months of work to match. The data provides a 360° view of potential patients and examines a multitude of factors that can reveal the degree of quality they possess as leads. This can remove a large portion of the guesswork from lead generation.
  2. Improved pairing of deals and patients. Not only can big data analyze how likely a prospect is to become a patient, it can apply its skills to examining the behavior of current or past patients. Analyzing buyer behavior can reveal a treasure trove of analytics that can help businesses see the big picture. What’s more, one firm was able to study data related to the behavior of their own salespeople and use it to improve training procedures.
  3. Increased patient lifetime value. In addition to converting prospects into patients, big data can also help drive existing patients to schedule routine appointments. Relying entirely on human sales can lead to missed opportunities to sell patients on related services since they don’t have expansive customer data on hand the way big data systems do. Big data can devise and execute “microcampaigns,” or small sales pitches targeted towards specific patients based on their individual behavior and habits. Not only that, big data can increase patient retention because it can recognize patterns and behaviors indicating they may be unhappy and reach out to them much more proactively than a human could.
  4. Efficient transactions. This ties in to programmatic advertising, which utilizes big data to make efficient sales and purchases of ad space. These capabilities can help practices secure local advertising in the blink of an eye, specified to their budget and the parameters they set for the campaign. For instance, they can focus advertising efforts on certain geographic locations from which they’d like to attract new patients.

Big data is becoming less of a trend and more of a staple with each passing day. Stay tuned to our blog for more industry tips and insights.

Developing Your Ideal Patient Persona

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Meet Theresa. Theresa is 44 years old and lives in a quiet suburb. She is a CPA at a successful accounting firm, where she earns $85,000 a year. The firm also provides full medical and partial dental coverage. She is married with two children, ages 10 and 12. She considers herself a ‘foodie’ and enjoys exploring local cuisine, constantly combing through local publications and food blogs for restaurant reviews and announcements. Bonus points if they have a good wine selection, as she considers herself an amateur sommelier.

As she’s gotten older, she has begun experiencing more oral health issues. Her enamel has begun to wear away, accelerated by years of rich food and wine. To make matters worse, her teeth have begun to yellow, making her feel self-conscious. She meets with most of her big clients face-to-face and wants her smile to be as spotless as possible.

There’s one more important thing you should know about Theresa: She’s not real.

Theresa is an ideal patient persona (IPP), a tool used by dental practices to help focus their marketing efforts and target the people they’d like to serve as patients. Practices can build an IPP by conducting interviews with their best and favorite patients, allowing them to repeat continued success. A practice might also like to transition into serving a new type of patient, in which case they can construct an IPP based on the characteristics of the patients they’d like to attract.

Theresa has partial dental coverage, which will help get her in the door, while helping the practice earn more when she pays the remainder of her bill out of pocket (which is not a problem thanks to her stable income). Due to her client-facing work, she might also be inclined to pursue non-essential cosmetic procedures like teeth-whitening or veneers. She also has a husband and two children, whom she may refer if she is pleased with the work she receives.

She sounds like a great patient, but how can the practice reach her? They can start by advertising with the local publications and food blogs she reads to find the restaurants she visits. The more comprehensive an ideal patient persona, the more targeted a marketing approach can be. And the more targeted a marketing approach is, the less money is wasted throwing strategies at the wall to see what sticks.

Stay tuned to our blog for more industry tips and insights.

The Importance of Reviews in the Digital Age

By | Blog, Local Marketing

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the world is more connected, and consumers have a louder voice than ever before. This is largely positive for businesses and consumers alike. According to Think with Google, most reviews are 4-5 stars and written with the intent of altruism rather than revenge. They also note how even bad reviews provide an opportunity for businesses to engage with customers and potentially foster goodwill for their brand. Reviews can be especially valuable for dental practices because of both the high cost and high personal stakes for prospective patients.

Below we’ll explore some important things to know about online reviews.

Where people look for reviews.

This may not come as a shock, but Facebook is a huge resource for business reviews. With 2.27 billion monthly active users as of September 2018, the site has an absolutely massive audience, creating a big opportunity to get eyes on reviews of your practice. Yelp is another well-known review site that may sometimes get overlooked by those in industries outside of food service. ZocDoc is a popular site for connecting patients with medical professionals covered by their insurance. They also allow patients to leave reviews, so it’s a great place to generate positive visibility for your practice. Healthgrades is another patient/doctor pairing site that offers reviews. Angie’s List is a prominent resource for reviews, and while it’s not specific to the medical field it’s a trusted source for many consumers.

How to ask for reviews for your practice.

It may seem self-explanatory, but the best way to approach getting reviews is simply to ask. Otherwise, patients have no way of knowing you seek them. What’s more, even if the patients themselves use reviews while researching products and services, it may not register to them how important reviews can be to the success of a business. DentistryIQ recommends asking while the patient is still in the office, and their positive experience is fresh on their mind. Once their procedure is finished and they’ve gone home, they may not give much thought to dentistry until the next time they need it. Try and avoid asking every single patient to leave a review every visit, but rather consider the patients with whom you or your front office staff share the best rapport. Not only will they be easier to ask, but there’s a greater likelihood they’ll have something positive to say. DentistryIQ also advises providing WiFi, or even tablets, to remove obstacles and make it as easy as possible for patients to leave a glowing review while they’re still thinking about their great experience at your practice.

Keep these strategies in mind and you’re sure to be generating good reviews in no time! Stay tuned to our blog for more industry tips and insights.

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.

Conclusion

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.