As a dental professional and entrepreneur, running a world-class practice is often more than a full-time job so I wouldn’t blame you if you feel there’s no time in your day to focus on marketing your business.
But what if I were to tell you that, by marketing to new prospects and nurturing your existing patients with effective retention strategies, your practice can be back in the game in no time and help you earn more and work less?
In this day and age, digital marketing strategies for dentists are essential to get the word out to reach new patients, enhance your profile and reputation and basically, let people know how exceptional your dental services are.
There are numerous ways you can approach the idea of marketing and promotion.
Some things you can even do on a shoestring that won’t cost the earth like opening up social media channels so your patients and prospects get the opportunity to feel part of your practice community.
You can hire a writer to create exciting and compelling blog articles for your website that talk about the latest innovations in dental technology you might offer at your practice. This lets patients know you have your finger on the pulse and offer cutting-edge services that perhaps your competitors don’t.In a recent podcast, I shared 10 key marketing tactics and practical shoestring marketing tips that you can apply in your practice today to ensure that your books are always full that might help you get some ideas.
However, this will only take you so far, and the time will come when you have to start looking at investing a little more money and time in marketing if you really want to scale your practice.
Businesses in Australia are choosing to invest in digital media as the #1 option for their advertising and marketing campaigns with the total spend for businesses across the country forecast to increase by 61% in 2021.
There are so many marketing services and agencies out there that can help your dental practice grow and scale, but what should you be looking for when you are shopping around for digital marketing services to get the perfect balance between value for money and getting what you need?
Enlisting the help of a top-notch digital marketing agency can skyrocket your practice to success, but before you take the plunge and start any conversations, there are some steps you need to take before making any decisions.
Here are 4 crucial things you need to check before subscribing to a marketing service.
#1 Know what you want first
Before opening communication channels with an agency about their services you should take a moment to have a clear idea of what you are looking for.
To work successfully with any marketing agency and even more importantly, to avoid being taken advantage of or wasting your time and money, you need to cover TWO specific areas.
What services do I need?
What kind of patient am I trying to attract?
Although you don’t need to be a marketing expert, having a grasp of what type of services you want to perform and the ideal patient you want to attract will give you a good starting point.
Most agencies will ask you right off the bat, what are you looking for so if you go in with some ideas for the table you have more chance at getting the right strategies and services they have to offer you.
Here are some points to consider to help you develop a brief you can present to the agency
- Who your ideal patient is – targeted marketing vs brand. Do you already have this patient in your practice?
- Value of a new patient initial visit and initial treatment plan
- Know what your cost of acquisition should be at a maximum. Preferably less than the initial visit fee
- Set some goals. How many new patients are you trying to attract, how many do you attract now? Is this goal reasonable?
- What kind of digital media services will you need help with? Social media, blogs, email marketing and automation etc
#2 Will your team be ready when the new patients start coming in?
The whole point of spending your hard-earned money and time launching marketing campaigns and paying an agency for their services is to attract more patients, fill appointment books, increase revenue and scale your business.
Your team need to be up to speed with the marketing services you have in place and know how to handle the increase in patient calls, emails and enquiries that will come flooding in once your marketing efforts start showing results.
Your Front Desk Team are going to be key in this area, they need to be a confident, productive and well-organised team that can easily factor in the increase of new patients to their internal system.
One final thing to check on this note is, do you have retention systems in place to keep the patient in the practice? By checking and tweaking a few of your systems before subscribing to a marketing service you can avoid adding unnecessary stress and pressure on your team.
#3 Does the Agency align with your own values and core beliefs?
So you have your shortlist of possible marketing agencies to work with and are ready to have a chat about the services they can offer your practice. Here’s one vital thing you need to consider.
Marketers can be a bit full-on sometimes and their values and techniques might not be a match for how you want to operate. Choosing the right digital marketing firm that represents you the best way possible is an absolute must.
They have to convey your brand message and core values the way you want to, and that has to be established from the start to avoid any issues later down the line. After all, as a healthcare provider, protecting your reputation is of utmost importance.
Ask to see their portfolio of work with previous clients, do your research and check them out online and read reviews on sites like Trustpilot or Glassdoor.
#4 Compare the services on offer and look at the small print
When it comes down to it, you need to subscribe to a service that meets your needs and your budget, so certain key factors can help you make that final decision.
By creating your own pros and cons list, you can make sure you are choosing the best marketing service for your practice needs.
Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Features: What is the unique benefit that the service can offer you? Do they stand out against the others on your shortlist? Make sure you are getting the best value from the features of the service.
- Pricing: Does the price fall within your reasonable budget from basic package offer to top tier services? You should only pay for what you need now with the option to upgrade later, make sure you factor in your ROI when you are assessing the value each new patient can bring to the practice.
- Support: How much do you need to be actively involved in the marketing process? Do they offer you more than basic customer support when something goes wrong? What are their satisfaction guarantee policy and cancellation processes?
- Longevity reputation: How reliable are they? Is this new service a start-up or do they have an extensive portfolio behind them? Look at who they have worked with in the past and do some research, check what people are saying about them online.
- Past Results: Can they show you some of their actual results and successes from past clients? Do they have data to show you as an example of what they have been able to achieve for others? eg conversion rates, email open rates or split test results from campaigns.
Digital Marketing services are absolutely essential for any practice to scale and reach high-level profitability and right now is the perfect time to reach out and let people know what your practice has to offer.
If you’d like to contribute to this conversation and have anything you’d like to share about your experience with marketing services, please feel free to leave a comment below!
We recognise that the COVID-19 crisis has hit dentistry hard.
Practices have had to adapt to the rapidly changing environment the pandemic has brought with it. They have had to pivot to create opportunity out of adversity.
It has made us rethink everything, reassess and realign our hopes, our dreams and our teams!
That includes one of the essential teams in your practice that are on the frontline every single day, your Front Desk.
Now is the time to focus on building a strong Front Desk Team who will be your frontline key workers post-pandemic as you see patients returning to your practice.
In our Savvy Dentist Virtual Front Desk Heroes Workshop we will share tried and tested systems that will help Front Desk team members adapt and excel to become more confident and organised, more productive, more satisfied and less stressed.
In the virtual workshop we will show you how to:
- Hone in on communication and appointment booking frameworks
- Build confidence and create a connection within the team
- Help your team get aligned and working together through easy to follow systems
Click the button below to secure your spot on our workshop
Front Desk Heroes: The Ultimate Blueprint for Front Desk Success on Saturday 6th June 2020 from 9AM – 4PM