NOVA MedMarket has been working with local dentists in the DC Metro region for several years, and advising them on modern and traditional marketing strategies. We have examined the latest industry insights from a variety of trusted sources to highlight the trends and tools for dentists to consider in 2015. For a dose of marketing wisdom, consider these trends in 2015 to give your practice an edge this year! Here are 10 marketing trends that are sure to help you achieve your marketing and revenue goals.
1. Think Long-Term
As a busy dentist, it?s easy to see why you?d want to take the quick and easy way out. Those practices that are succeeding today are thinking more long-term. They?re building their online and offline presence with attention and care, which leads to a stronger foundation that can then be built off of in years to come.
When it comes to marketing, nothing should be considered short-term! Think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint! Create long-term goals and come up with periodic and scalable campaigns, and continue to improve and refine them over time through effective measurement.
2. Don?t Just Concentrate On New Patients
Many dental practitioners find themselves focusing on new patients only. The practice becomes so focused on outside marketing and increasing referrals that they stop paying (as much) attention to their current patients.
Research shows that it costs 6 to 7 times as much to gain new patients than it does to retain the existing ones. So while it is important for a growing practice to increase their new patients every month, at least equal time and attention should be dedicated to patient retention. Keep in mind that your existing patients can also be your best referral source for new patients!
3. Efficient Office Processes
There are many tools out there to help practices with marketing automation and patient retention. Many EHR providers allow your front desk to easily setup follow ups, send out thank you notes, help your patient retention and improve front desk daily operations.
The second part to this refers to patient acquisition and retention. Your front desk needs to have a plan for nurturing callers or walk-ins that weren?t ready to commit when they first made contact.?Well-trained staff will take initiatives to follow certain protocols daily. These responsibilities are then reinforced and rewarded during daily or weekly meetings. Make sure your staff understands that a whole team is needed to succeed in growing the practice and maximizing results!
4. Your Website Must Be Mobile Compatible
This has been a major trend in the last couple years and continues to play an important role in 2015. More people today are using mobile devices than they are computers and laptops. There are over 1 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and mobile outranks all other computers by 3 to 1. What does this mean? If you don?t have a mobile compatible website, you?re going to lose the attention of most of your web visitors which could have an effect on your conversion rates!
5. Modernize Your Website
Just having a mobile experience isn?t enough for today?s picky online users. They expect high quality images and videos, optimized content that informs, educates and entertains, and most of all they want to know that you?re the expert in your field and truly care about your practice; which has a direct reflection on how much you care about your patients!
Having a website that looks ten years old, employing a mere ?online brochure? or not having a website at all is going to leave you behind nearly every time.?Also keep in mind that today?s users have a very short attention span, so if your site takes longer than a couple seconds to load, something?s wrong, and patients may not stick around!
6. Content Continues To Be ?King?
One of the questions we get often from our clients is, ?What do I put on my website?? The answer we always give is this, and it?s one of the biggest dental marketing trends of 2015: Give your online visitors all the information they could ever want. Succeed in doing that and they?ll never look anywhere else.
Today?s most successful dentists have a well-stocked?FAQ page that explains much of what people want to know when they walk-in or call. Also, this content will come in very handy when it comes search engine optimization as content is the number one item on top of the list when it comes to search engine algorithms.
7. Online Advertising Is In
Paid online advertising has been ramping up for several years and in 2015, that trend is going to continue. What makes online advertising very attractive to most small private practices is the ease of measurability and affordability.
You can run an effective online ad campaign on a tight budget and evaluate and refine those campaigns in short periods of time. Search engine pay-per-click (PPC) and directory advertising (yelp, zocdoc) are a couple of popular online advertising options for dentists to allocate additional marketing spending.
8. Start a Blog and Keep It Going
Many of the dentists we encounter have a blog, but not all of them keep it up with regular blog posts. Not having a blog is bad. Having a blog where the most recent post was from three years ago is even worse. To keep up with today?s top dental marketing trends for 2015, you should start a blog if you don?t already have one, and you should keep the posts coming indefinitely.
Here?s how it?s done.?The best blogs educate, inform and entertain. They contain case-studies, reviews and testimonials from real-life patients, and they keep people up-to-date on procedures, the latest dentistry news and the goings on within the practice. Not only will your patients love seeing this information on your website and social media pages, the search engines will also consider this fresh, unique, relevant content and will rank you higher than your competitors.
9. Improve Your Online Reputation
Once a new patient finds you, the next thing they all look for is testimonials and feedback from your current patients, before they commit. If you don?t have any reviews at all, or if you have negative reviews ruining your online reputation, you?re not very likely to succeed in today?s digital age.
Research shows that 52% of online users say that online reviews make them more likely to use a business, and 72% of those users trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from friends or family. Have a long-term plan for getting online reviews from your happy patients and don?t let negative reviews scare you away from building a positive online reputation. Make it easy for them to find you by having all your review platform links visible on your website, and consider using in-office communications, emails, and prizes to entice your patients to take the time and write you a good review.
10. Get Help
Many dentists are realizing that they simply don?t have time to follow through with strategizing and implementing marketing activities, or they don?t trust their staff to take on the challenge. Whatever the reason, we recommend that you get help from experts that understand dental marketing and how to help you achieve your marketing goals and identify what?s working and what?s not.?
A dental marketing professional will help your practice succeed by allowing you to focus on providing patient care and assisting you on growing your practice and staying ahead of your competitors.