Dentistry is a wonderful profession. It lets you help people, cure them of illness, and make a living, as well. However, if you don’t know how to market your practice, then you’re not going to be making a living from it!
Marketing has evolved over the years. While at one point a newspaper ad and a few fliers could get you plenty of business, these days that simply doesn’t work. These days, people use completely different tools to find local businesses, dentists included. This means you have to learn how to utilize those tools if you want to properly advertise your practice.
So what kind of tools do people use to find local businesses these days? They use electronic and internet-based tools. They go to their computer and search for what they want. Or they pull out their smartphone and say “Okay, Google” before asking about the type of business they want. If you want them to find your practice, you have to make certain that your business shows up when they search for it. Otherwise, even if they find you, they aren’t going to trust you. After all, if your business were trustworthy, then it would have shown up in the Google search.
Now that you understand how important it is to use the new tools, the question becomes how best to do so. First, let’s take a look at traditional marketing practices. This will allow you to understand what to do differently as you build your new marketing infrastructure. The main traditional marketing tools people use are mail advertising, newspaper and magazine postings, telemarketing, and word of mouth.
Telemarketing is perhaps among the worst methods of traditional advertising. Not only is it more difficult to get phone numbers these days, no one likes telemarketers. The only companies that use telemarketing these days are scam companies. Not just that, but you’ll have to outsource. It’s unlikely you can hire the staff directly. Plain and simple, telemarketing doesn’t work these days. No one pays attention to it.
Mail advertising has a similar problem. People get so many mailers these days that they ignore them. These mailings get thrown away or left on the counter under a pile of other mailings. That’s hardly a good way to get your name out. This method works better than telemarketing, especially if you can put a coupon of some kind on the mailing. People respond well to great deals. However, it’s still not very efficient these days.
Newspaper advertisements can work fairly well these days. People still read newspapers, and it’s possible to get a fairly good number of views. Of course, newspapers are in decline because of several major corporations buying up all the newspaper offices and tearing them apart to make money. This means fewer people are reading newspapers every single day. Even so, this remains a solid method of advertising because people who read the newspaper are seeking the information on their own. You’re not trying to get their attention; their attention is already there. You have to utilize it.
Those are the older marketing tools. So what are the newer marketing tools? The latest tactic in dental marketing – or any marketing, for that matter – is the use of various SEO tactics. Search engine optimization is the process of making your website the top result when someone says “Okay, Google, look for a local dental practice.” This is done in some ways, and we’ll compare them to the traditional marketing methods.
The main SEO tool is the proper use of keywords. When people use search engines, they immediately look for specific words. “Dental practices in Sacramento” is a set of keywords, as just one example. Overusing keywords can cause Google to ignore your site. It’s more important to use keywords well. This is similar to newspaper advertisements. Rather than seeking people out, you’re trying to draw their attention to your ad. They’re already looking for a dentist, you’re just helping them find you first. This is better than taking out an ad in the paper because rather than sharing the same space with every other company, you get to draw all the attention directly to you.
What kind of SEO tactic has replaced telemarketing? Social media marketing for dental practices is the new tool! Social media websites are a great way to build a brand. You may not think your local practice needs a brand, but it does. You can use social media to interact with your clients and build a bond. Brand loyalty keeps the customers coming. Much like telemarketing, trying to be pushy will scare people off. But being open and communicative is always a good idea.
Direct mailings have been replaced with regular content updates. Hire a professional SEO company to create a blog for your website. When you have regular updates to your website, then Google sees your site as more relevant. This is better than direct mailings in the same way social media marketing is better than telemarketing. People are searching for you, not the other way around. Proper use of SEO tactics can help any dental practice stand out!