Longtime dental professionals are embarking on new territory when it comes to marketing their practices and now, it seems, it’s the younger dentists who have the upper hand.
While dental practices typically don’t share a lot of similarities with companies such as Coca-Cola®, McDonalds®, Nike®, or Starbucks®, today’s competition for marketplace dominance is changing the way businesses approach their customers and compete with competition. Dental professionals are also realizing that the way they engage with their patients is changing.
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These days, your patients are looking for more than just a dentist to fix a tooth or make their mouth pain go away, they want to establish a relationship with you and your office even before they step through the door of your office. Then, they expect you to work to maintain this relationship.
Every time you or someone from your office engages with an existing or potential patient is an opportunity to shape the perception of your practice – and online engagement is just as powerful as meeting one-on-one with somebody. In fact, if somebody can’t find information about your practice online, there’s a pretty good chance they will take their business to the practice on the other side of town with excellent Yelp reviews and active Facebook account.
According to a recent study by Foxtail Marketing, a full-service agency that specializes in digital marketing campaigns for doctors and dentists, dentists without an online presence, or a minimal online presence, have seen a significant impact on their bottom lines.
“With the rise of ratings sites like Yelp and HealthGrades, [dental professionals] were noticing that not managing their dental presence was causing them to lose patients to higher ranked practices,” the agency stated in a press release. “[The] study highlighted that physicians and dentists that took control of their digital marketing and actively worked on it saw ‘significant increases’ in their patient numbers. They also noticed that referrals spiked by being active on social media and engaging with their patients through email.”
The study, which surveyed more than 500 doctors and dentists, found professionals older than 45 were more likely to ignore social media. Furthermore, clinics that had no online presence and weren’t involved in a physician’s network realized a 30 percent drop in patient numbers over the course of two years.
“While the idea that social media and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are important to small businesses isn’t a new theory, it is interesting to note how much it is now impacting both the dental and medical industries,” the release continued. “And it does appear, based on this study, that the younger generations of physicians and dentists have already jumped out to a lead when it comes to their digital presence.”
Remember, the best marketing for your dental practice is always going to be word-of-mouth, so make sure to make it a priority to always deliver top-notch service while working to establish and sustain an excellent brand identity. When your existing patients are happy, they will be more apt to tell their friends and family, engage with your practice on social media platforms and even leave a positive online review, and those actions can be just as valuable as an expensive media buy.
For more tips to help you secure a successful future in dentistry, email Rea & Associate’s Bright Dental CPAs.
By Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)
Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Make sure your dental practice isn’t left behind.