You’ve probably already heard about Reels. They are short-form videos accompanied by music that have been taking over the internet and Instagram! Similar to Tik-Tok, Reels can be shared with friends and followers and discovered while browsing the app.
For people looking to use Instagram Reels as a new way to build a following, Instagram has revamped its Explore page to create a specific landing page for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through. This allows you as a dental practice to engage with your followers even more!
Are you intrigued? Well, to simplify things for you, I’ve created this Behind the Scenes video or tutorial on how to create great and engaging reels for your dental practice. I’ve also added a couple of examples in there…
Have you just started with aligning your website, social media channels, online patient reviews, and Google Analytics?
If so, then you’ll really benefit from using our FREE guide to social media for dental clinics.
We’ve taken many of the tactics we’ve used with our own dental clients and have compiled this detailed guide for you, where you will learn about:
How to decide which social media platforms are right for your practice.
Why Google My Business is so important to set up properly
How to plan your content & what your social media policy should include
How to analyze your effort and how to measure the ROI of your social media marketing
What are the Top 3 Instagram Mistakes that Dentists are making right now...And how to avoid them? That’s a question I’ve been getting quite a bit lately.
If you’ve launched social media for your dental practice, you probably know that it requires a good effort from your part and your team as well. So why continue making costly mistakes that will hamper all your efforts?
And, let’s be honest, more often than not, Social Media for Dentists is put on auto-pilot, which can have a negative impact. Why not pause for a minute and take a look at what’s been done and areas where you can improve?
In this week’s video I’ve identified the top 3 mistakes that dental practices are making:
If you’re a dental practice owner working to improve clinic flow efficiencies, the patient experience and increase treatment plan acceptance, you’ve probably looked into marketing your business with social media. This is both prudent and protects your long-term interests.
The global dentistry is projected to grow to over $60 billion by 2024 due to increased awareness of the importance of oral health — meaning there will be more patients and opportunities, but also more competition.
Social media marketing is an effective way to attract the eyes —and teeth— of potential patients. The first question many dentists ask is, “Does a dental practice really need social media?” Much like flossing, the answer is always a resounding “Yes!” and it should be committed to daily (more on that later).
Need some more convincing? NP Marketinghas gathered some facts for you to sink your teeth into. Discover our strong, strategic reasons why your dental practice needs social media marketing now.
>>If you’re just getting started with social media for your dental practice, or you want to start converting followers into new patients, take a look at our Social Media Starter Kit for Dentists:
Influence is important
Evidence shows social media marketing if managed correctly, can be a great tool to increase brand awareness and influence purchasing decisions. In fact, 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referralsand, of those, 78% say that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases.
Build credibility and trust
Establishing credibility online is the same as it is offline: be genuine, consistent and open. By using a social media channel like a Facebook or Instagram page, you can develop a reputation and build relationships before even have met a patient.
Not sure where to start? Try using the knowledge you have to educate patients about new procedures and treatments, and provide your unique insights on them. This is an opportunity for you to open wide, so to speak, and additionally offer a perspective into your practice, its team and expertise while also showcasing your unique services.
If you’re comfortable with video, you could also try uploading a short clip (30-60 seconds) talking about a treatment. For instance, you can create a video on dental implants, pair it with related informative social media posts. Fill the minute by exploring questions like ‘Who is an ideal candidate for dental implants?’, ‘What does the procedure entail?’ or ‘What are common myths about the treatment?’
Video is a great social media marketing tactic for dental specialists like oral and maxillofacial surgeons as it delivers information that is both unknown and pertinent to potential patients. As for the accompanying posts, these could include before-and-after dental implant treatment pictures or use text overlaid onto an image to provides quick facts.
Establish an authoritative brand voice
If one of your social media marketing goals is to become an authority on the latest dental practices, technologies and trends, it takes time and consistent posting on social media. The benefit? You’ll slowly build patient trust and credibility from peers, who will validate your insights via engagement.
Step one is having a continuous flow of content on your social channels, such as:
Talking about the latest dentistry technologies
Sharing educational articles written by industry experts
Showcasing how new technology or treatments are offered at your practice
Sharing pictures of your team communicating with a patient (a sort of in-action picture of what a patient can expect)
Every dental practice needs a continuous flow of content to build a brand voice that differentiates it from the competition. This means being consistent in scheduling posts on social media channels and focusing on content that reflects your brand and the interests of your followers. The payoff will start with metrics like reach and engagement, but can quickly grow into conversions like new patients and bookings.
Harness the power of word-of-mouth
Retention of patients is critical; research suggests that a patient, on average, will generate close to $900-$1,000 per year in billings for a general dentistry clinic and will stay with the same practice for about 10 years, not to mention the referrals they bring in. That’s a lifetime patient value of approximately $10,000. With a figure that large, establishing a strategy to retain current patients via social media marketing becomes no laughing-gas matter.
What’s the best way to retain current patients?
Stay at your patients’ top-of-mind by keeping in touch with them — social media marketing makes it creative and easy as 1-Tooth-3! For instance, you can communicate about new treatments that are being introduced to the practice so that your current patients learn more about your dental clinic, you can do anything from Facebook and Instagram contests to simply answering all questions or comments left on your dental practice’s channels. A quarterly e-newsletter sharing interesting current events and health tips is another effective way to keep in touch.
What about attracting new patients?
For new patient acquisition, what you are trying to achieve on social media is influencing the purchasing decision of a new patient, which is where word-of-mouth becomes pivotal. If your content is strong, patients will engage with it through likes and shares of your posts on their family and friends’ accounts, which increases your reach (a.k.a. influence). We’ll talk about driving engagement and why high-quality, consistent content is essential to that goal in a future blog post.
Paid campaigns: Put your money where your mouth is with
Paid campaigns can help dentists reach patients in a cost-effective way, across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. These also empower dental marketers to use different targeting tools to reach new audiences quickly.
Monitor and manage your online reputation
Dentistry practice patients place a lot of trust in online reviews on Facebook, Google and RateMD, among innumerable other platforms. Statistics show that people trust online reviews almost as much as peer reviews. For the health of your dental practice’s brand, you need to monitor online reviews and manage your online reputation by scheduling time and preparing responses for all comments and reviews — both positive and negative.
Do I really need to answer negative comments?
While it’s about as fun as pulling teeth, it’s probably more important for dentists to answer negative comments than positive ones. In doing so, you’re working to resolve an issue with not just one disgruntled patient, but also showing potential and current patients your professionalism and care for everyone’s experience. Check out our blog posting on managing your online reputation to learn more.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for dental practices that requires finesse and planning. Your current and potential patients are on these platforms and you should be too. If you need guidance putting together the right strategy for your dental practice, please reach out to Nathalia Porras Digital Marketing today. Our experienced, expert team will help you see the benefits of social media marketing for dental clinics that’ll get you smiling in time.
Digital marketing 101: Developing your brand’s online tone of voice
Nike, IKEA, Apple — think of your favourite brands and how they communicate with you digitally. Chances are you associate them with a specific style, personality and words (or, wordplay). This is a brand’s online tone of voice and developing a familiar one is essential for organizations of all sizes, across all industries.
A brand’s online tone of voice should be executed consistently across digital communications, whether it be website content, social media and blog posts, newsletters, case studies, video scripts and more. It is an opportunity to humanize your company, form an emotional connection and trust with existing and new clients, prime them to make desired decisions and keep them coming back. One study shows 56 percent of customers will stay loyal to a brand they feel “gets them”, while research by Cohn & Wolfe indicates 91 percent will recommend or buy from a brand they perceive to be authentic.
Take electric toothbrush subscription start-up quip, which targets young consumers who appreciate innovation and good design. On its homepage, the headlines are simple and clever like “Designed with every mouth in mind” and “Love at first brush”, while its Facebook includes copy like “Our new retail packaging was designed with high-quality paper and curves that fit into the palm of your hand for a premium feel.” Founded in 2012, it already has over 1 million subscribers and is using strong branding to disrupt the market by making its pedestrian product (toothbrushes) appear design-focused and desirable.
Remember, when it comes to online writing, it’s always better to reinforce your brand than to be bland. Not sure how to develop your company or practice’s tone of voice? The experts at Nathalia Porras Digital Marketing have put together these handy tips so your brand can not only walk the walk, but talk the talk.
1. Find out who are you talking to
Step one is identifying who your target audience is. An easy way to do that is by looking at who your current customers are — research shows 65 percent of your business will come from them. Either through client files, a survey or personal observation, gather key data like their age, gender, areas they live in, interests and hobbies, language, income and use this to develop an ideal persona that you speak to consistently.
Once you have this ideal customer persona or avatar, you can tailor content you create based on its presumed behaviour, values and perceptions to increase the likelihood of positive reactions. For instance, if you are dental practice in Montreal, you may find you are speaking mostly to 53-year-old francophone women with a median income of $96,000 a year who enjoy going to Florida in the winter.
2. Become fluent in your brand’s way of speaking
Once you know who your ideal customer persona is, you can choose your words wisely. This involves developing a style and personality for your business, and this should also be informed by your brand values. Start by creating two lists of adjectives: one describing ‘who you are’ and the other ‘who you are not’.
Consult with your organizational leadership and employees to ensure your voice also aligns with your overall values. From there, you can develop a persona for your company informing how it speaks to customers digitally so that it consistently feels and sounds like it’s coming from the same person — shaping everything from the words and cultural references used to the tone to repurposed third-party content chosen. Using the Montreal dentistry practice example again, chances are this business will want to sound professional, authoritative and knowledgeable (think: avoiding casual online language like “LOL”), while still being compassionate and empathetic.
While life is always easier if you have a professional copywriter on staff, many small businesses can handle their own digital communications. Pro tip: only say what you need to say and reread everything multiple times to avoid errors.
3. Change your voice, change brand perceptions
Want to shift the way people perceive your brand online? It doesn’t have to be as painful as pulling teeth! Simply create a positioning map and make sure your brand’s voice is aligned with the new perception that you want your target audience to associate you with.
As with any good digital marketing plan, the key is to test, test, test! The cycle of execution followed by evaluation is as essential as daily flossing. After you have developed a persona for your target audience as well as your brand, test out your online tone of voice by doing a couple weeks of social media posts using it.
Review those social media posts and see which performed best. Can you spot a pattern among those that resonated with your target audience? If so, use that to develop best practices, whether it be post length, humour, content style or even emoji use. Going back to the dental practice example, you may find posts with a play on words like, “Here are five facts about dental implants to sink your teeth into” perform better than more bland options like, “Five facts about dental implants”.
5. Create a style guide
Once you know who you are speaking to, have established your brand’s personality and figured out what’s working, collect it all into a style guide. This should map out and describe all of the above so if you need to go on holiday or leave the organization, someone else can continue connecting with audiences using the digital tone of voice you created. Ultimately, it is about maintaining brand consistency and customer relationships. As additional support, you can create something called a moodboard, which is a visual representation of your brand’s image. Here’s an example:
Whether you are a dental practice or a boat rental service in the French Riviera, the above tips on establishing your brand’s online tone of voice should serve as a guide for your digital messaging moving forward. Want some additional assistance? Contact Nathalia Porras Digital Marketing today and our expert team’s experience will ensure you see exceptional results.
What is online reputation management and why is it important?
A brand’s reputation has always been either its greatest strength or weakness. That hasn’t changed in the digital age, however, the tools of measuring, maintaining and managing it have. There’s no reason to be afraid or anxious, so long as you’re aware of online reputation management.
Online reputation management is the monitoring, communicating and (limited) control of what people are saying about a professional or personal brand on digital spaces. Think: customer reviews, social media comments and the like. The key is having a plan for how and what to communicate, both for positive and negative feedback.
We all participate in this reputation economy, whether it was hunting for a restaurant with over four stars on Google or writing a scathing review after a poor customer service experience – it happens and it matters. In fact, 67 percent of customers are influenced by online reviews. As more people search digitally for research, it’s important to establish both a digital presence and control over the message being transmitted.
This doesn’t just apply to cafes and car dealerships, either. According to one study, 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. With the three most sought out topics being: Specific diseases, treatments or procedures, and doctors or other health professionals (in that order).
What platforms should you monitor for online reviews?
Online reputation management means scouring a variety of sources, many of which are industry specific. Some of the most popular platforms whereby one would find reviews are: Google Reviews, Facebook, RateMD (for doctors and dentists), TripAdvisor (for spas, restaurants and hotels) and Yelp, alongside all other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
What your review responses say about your brand:
No matter their length, negative comments always speak volumes to potential customers. They are not losses – they are learning opportunities. First and foremost, it is paramount to answer to all comments and reviews. Why? Because you’re both responding to the reviewer and communicating to a whole audience of potential and existing customers who will see your reaction.
One study by BrightLocal found that 89 percent of customers read local businesses’ responses to reviews. It’s essential to learn how to react appropriately and unemotionally to negative feedback, especially in the open; 48 percent of complaints are aired via public forums like Facebook, TripAdvisor, Twitter and RateMD. Additionally, your presence on the world wide web is as important as word of mouth, with 80 percent of consumers saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
What you should say to a negative online review:
Some handy online reputation management tips are:
Respond quickly – ideally, within an hour
Show empathy, compassion and warmth (read: no matter how frustrated you are)
Stay on the same social channel
Respond twice, but no more than that
Also, make sure to always respond in your brand’s tone of voice. For instance, if you’re a ‘cool’ brand, use the lingo and vocabulary that your target audience associates with being hip. By contrast, a more serious brand should avoid that language and speak professionally.
The first sentence of your response must acknowledge the feedback you are receiving. A more professional example could be:
Thank you for reaching out and sharing. We are very sorry to hear this and will do our utmost to sort it out right away.
A cooler brand might say:
That sucks, sorry to hear that. We try to do our best, but we’re not perfect! (Who is, right?)
Here’s what not to say to a negative online review:
If you’re a doctor or dentist, never talk about a patient’s file in any detail. The biggest online reputation management mistake we’ve seen is a medical professional responding back to a disgruntled patient by practically reading the whole clinical history publicly, minus the name. Remember your goal is to neutralize the reviewer and show potential and existing customers that you do care, sometimes make mistakes and you’re ready to take action to rectify the situation.
Also, ensure you have someone on your team who is able to manage customer satisfaction issues. For example, if an unreasonably disgruntled client requires the case to be escalated, you can offer your teammate’s email to take further steps.
Stay calm, cool and compassionate
The only way to placate a negative or angry reviewer is to remain level-headed. We know that’s easier said than done, so we have put together an example as a guide.
I found this orthodontist on Google and had a terrible experience! The support staff were great during my consultation, but the orthodontist herself did not seem to know what she was doing, couldn’t help me and was just being “honest” about her lack of experience. What a waste of time and money! Also, she said she would follow up about my case and I never heard from her. Thank goodness there are other good orthodontists in this city.
We are very sorry to hear you were disappointed with your experience at our clinic. We aim for every consultation to be positive and informative, and strive to deliver the best service to each patient. We would be grateful to speak to you and learn how we could have done better. Could you please DM us here or email us at email@example.com with your phone number and a good time for us to call you?
Thank you for sharing your feedback and we look forward to hearing from you.
The Teeth team
What are the benefits of answering online comments?
Besides the aforementioned reasons for answering reviews (i.e. potential and existing customers seeing your responses), there are a number of supplementary points for addressing comments online – both positive and negative.
It increases your customer advocacy and retention
Neutralizes unhappy customers, or can even make them happy
Gathers insights for your business
Differentiates you from competitors
For online reputation management, it is essential to have a plan for responding to comments —both in terms of content and consistency— and to make sure someone on your team is prepared to deal with complaints. If you’re a doctor or dentist, claim your RateMD profile along with those on other sites like Google Review, TripAdvisor and Yelp. On social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, set up business pages so you can maintain, monitor and manage comments.
Then, remember to continuously monitor the channels for reviews. Depending on the size of your business, set up a schedule that makes time for it either daily or weekly. After that, develop a bank of approved answers and a brand tone of voice. Feel like you need a hand with online reputation management? Reach out to us anytime – our expert team is here to help and has experience in dental and orthodontic practices and much more!
I am someone who says, ‘you gotta dream, you gotta go after it and you gotta get it done’.
My name is Lea El Houssami and I am the most recent addition to the NP Digital Marketing team as the Social media coordinator.
A few months ago, I had the immense displeasure of going through the job hunting process – the stress of finding a career, a company to support you, and a position from which you can grow; the pressure was on.
As you can see, I have decided to join NP Digital Marketing, a four-year-old Digital Marketing startup, under the leadership of Nathalia Porras. Throughout my entire job selection process, I was very struck by Nathalia, her accomplishments, and the potential I could see in learning from her – can you sense abit of a girl-crush?
I recently sat down with Nathalia, decided to turn the tables, and to interview her about NP Digital Marketing’s journey, female entrepreneurship, family, and more.
Can you please start by telling us more about how NP Digital Marketing came to be?
In a nutshell, I leaped into entrepreneurship after doing my MBA.
About 13 years ago, after completing my Bachelors of Commerce, I pursued a job opportunity in Dubai. Back then, Facebook was only 2 years old, there was the talk of eBay just starting, I think we were still on our first iPhones, and the digital stratosphere was nowhere close to where we are today.
My first job was in advertising, and while we were working on such big campaigns, there was no talk of digital marketing at all – it was unbelievable!
I knew I wanted to be in Marketing and I felt like I needed creativity to be a part of me or surround me even if I wasn’t a creative person myself. Marketing had a way of enriching my life, so once I had that exposure in Dubai, I knew I wanted it to be my long term.
I decided to return to Montreal, began working in Communication and Fundraising for the McGill Faculty of Dentistry. I kept looking for that one thing that was gonna make me happy in the long term. I had a sense that it was digital marketing because I could tell that the marketing industry was going to continue evolving, and I wanted to be a part of that.
However, I came to the realization that I did not have the experience or the knowledge needed to make that leap.
That is when I took matters into my own hands. I decided to quit my job, take the GMAT, and start my MBA. It was scary – especially considering that I had two young boys at home and I wanted to stay married! [laughs]
That year was pivotal. I took the time to study and to understand what I wanted to do next. In my quest of conviction, I researched the market, the industry trends, and I traveled to Australia to meet founders of numerous digital marketing startups that have made it big – I wanted to cover all my bases.
When I graduated, that’s when I took the leap into entrepreneurship. That was the moment I decided that I wanted to start my own business.
So who is Nathalia Porras exactly?
I am a very very driven person. Every time I am handed a project, I am always thinking about how we can complete this, not only successfully, but in a manner that exceeds expectations. I do not believe in being mediocre, nor in saying ‘I cannot do this’. There is always a way to accomplish your goals, that is what always keeps me going.
In the beginning, I had no clue how to do Google AdWords, anything website related, or even social media! Everything I would see, I would go home and learn. I am someone who says, ‘you gotta dream, you gotta go after it and you gotta get it done’.
Make a plan and go ahead and do it.
When did you decide that NP Digital Marketing will become an agency?
It actually just became an agency on its own. At the start, it was just me, myself, and I. I was focused on consulting and strategy, nothing more. However, by the time I got my third client, people started asking me if I could do more. Yes, they wanted my strategies, but they also wanted someone to implement and execute them.
Since I did not have any resources, I knew that I had reached the point of capacity and that I now needed to bring someone to help me. I think that was the point when it turned into an agency – and I began thinking of it as one – it was no longer just me.
What do you consider the strength of NP Marketing, or yourself more specifically?
NP Marketing’s biggest strength is our ability to create strategies that tie things back to the client’s main business goals and objectives. That it is our competitive advantage; from my experience so far, I have not seen any other agency asking a client about their goals and creating a strategy that is designed to accomplish these goals.
We clearly reflect the goals in the strategy and bring it into execution. Our strategies are more than simply having a beautiful image, but knowing how is this going to get our clients more patients, and how is that going to be changed into a monetary value.
Another strength I have is my network and my ability to foster it. I have a strong background in Dentistry because of my previous work with McGill and the faculty of Dentistry. Therefore, I knew every dentist that graduated from McGill, as well as how they worked, they thought and what their needs were.
And if you could pick one thing to improve as you grow?
At the moment, I believe that we must be constantly be pushing the creative boundaries. My vision is for NP Marketing to be the combination of a consulting company and a creative agency so that they are not in silo but cohesive and married to one another.
At the moment, I know we have strategy under our belts but I want the creative to be on par with that and even surpassed it, if possible.
What would you describe as your philosophy of running a business?
Trust everyone you work with and let them be independent. I cannot stress how important it is for me to be able to empower those that I work with. I do not want them to feel like they cannot bring new ideas to the table, and I am certainly not a know-it-all. My goal is to bring the best team together and to bring the best out of each person.
My philosophy is to find each team member’s strength and aid them in channeling it while finding their weakness and helping turn it into a strength.
There are a lot of opposing mentalities on this, but I believe that you must always aim to surround yourself with the best people possible. You cannot avoid hiring certain individuals because you want to be the best person on the team – you need to bring on the leading candidates because the better people you hire the better the company.
In that case, what do you need to see in a candidate to know if they are best?
To start, you need to look at the candidate that has all the qualities of the position you are looking to hire for. ‘Best’ might not be the ideal word to describe their characteristics – I prefer to use ‘Potential’. You need to be able to find someone with that potential to grow, to be strong, and to learn.
No one is perfect, which is why a ‘wanting to learn’ and an ‘I’m going to figure this out’ attitudes are key to look for when building your team. It is all about thinking three steps ahead and knowing you have the ability to tackle any challenge that may come your way.
What is one word that you would use to describe your ideal team?
When you are not running NP Digital Marketing, what do you do?
Can I say nothing? [laughs]
Let’s see… At the moment, I’m watching a Spanish TV show called Velvet. I also love podcasting, I am actually a massive podcasting fanatic, and I love spending time with the family. What primarily takes up the majority of my time, however, is planning the next family trip.
I start planning trips for the family the moment we step off the plane from the previous one! I love spending as much time as possible with my husband and our children, and our little trips have become so important to me.
Oh, and I keep telling myself that I need to go to the gym.
Can you give me an example of a typical day at work, as well as a typical day at home?
At work, I kick off my day by checking HootSuite to see what kind of content is going out that day and if I notice anything that’s not okay or needs to be changed. Then I head over to Wrike, to see my to-do list of things for the day, who has me booked for the day, and which tasks or deadlines need to be worked on.
Then the time just flies!
Between monitoring and responding to questions – thankfully, we have a lot of proposal writing nowadays so a lot of back-and-forth on proposals – or going out to meet clients, I barely have room to breathe and the day just slips by.
At home, our Saturdays are usually dedicated to various activities that the kids have, whether it be ski school, piano lessons, basketball, or anything in between.
Once these activities are done – and my kids are absolutely exhausted! – we head back home to cook and have a relaxing afternoon where we watch a movie or going to our friend’s house for some wine or paella.
Sunday afternoons are usually reserved for the larger family, my sister and my parents, where we all get together for some family time with lots of wine and lots of good food!
If I can describe who I am, I would say I’m a foodie. I absolutely love food. My husband and I have been exploring a lot of new restaurants here in Montreal, but not the bigger known snobby restaurants. I like to explore the underground new restaurants, they are so many hidden gems around the city that not much people know about!
Does having children who are old enough to understand ‘what daddy does’ or ‘what mommy does’ affect the way you set goals or values?
To be honest, my sons are like my little motors. There are no better motivators in the world. They definitely affect the way I am as an entrepreneur and as a manager. Although they are boys, it is very important to me that they have a strong female role model in the house.
They understand the concept of working hard – funny enough, they actually cannot fathom the idea of someone not working .. ‘What do they do then?’. I want them to see that you are never more than an arm’s reach away from your dream, but that you need to dedicate your efforts to achieve it.
In my house, nothing gets half-assed, whether it be studying for the kids or working for us adults!
Going back to NP Digital Marketing, can you elaborate more on why you have focused specifically on dentistry and the dental world?
Dentists in my point of view, are still in an infant stage in terms of their marketing. They have just begun to evolve and see the business opportunity that is social media marketing, or any other type of digital marketing.
Apart from the fact that I had a very strong network of dentists, I saw that there is a potential in the market where NP Marketing can help these dentists grow while growing alongside them ourselves.
Another other reason from my side was the strength of the healthcare industry as a whole. As one of the only solid industries, that actually constantly grow regardless of other market trends, healthcare is definitely a market that I want NP Marketing to expand into.
Which brings me to my next question, do you see yourself staying in Dentistry or do you want to change focus as you grow?
Both. I do not think that they need to be exclusive of one another. Right now we are experts in dental marketing in Canada – but I want that to become ‘the experts in North America’ or ‘the experts worldwide’, eventually.
However, I also would look to expanding into Healthcare marketing, and the most natural next step for us would be private healthcare, so Surgery, Optometry, or even Veterinarians and Dermatology. Any Healthcare sector that requires a push of marketing to get new clients for the services is a potential on our radar.
It’s also important to remember that, while we are the experts in dental marketing, we have also had film and animation clients – TeleFilm and Toon Boom Animation, from the get-go, so that is definitely another route we can go down.
In a world of such large online connectivity, dental practices that are to remain competitive, need to have an established digital marketing strategy that involves social media, online reputation management, search engine optimization amongst other.
Conventional wisdom is that health-related services need only minimal investments in marketing their practices. No amount of advertising or blogging can make anyone ‘need’ a health service. After all, as our highest priority in life, when such services are needed they are sought out by patients, aren’t they? And since health is at the essence of survival, there’s little risk in such services going out of business, right?
There is a certain logic to that thinking but, in reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Consider that we don’t apply that same thinking to the food industry, or to clothing or real estate. Would anyone expect a grocery store to not advertise because we all need food? Of course not
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Let’s take a dental office as an example. Having a successful dental practice requires a good balance of traditional and digital marketing tactics but the shift to digital is here and it is real. While professional referrals will always be a major means of attracting new patients, consumers have become accustomed to seeking out information online before making most purchase decisions.
In the digital era we are particularly prone to scouring online reviews, treatment information, and more online. To not have a presence in this sphere can be a huge detriment to your practice. After all, imagine searching for a doctor online not getting not a single result. What kind of impression does that give you if no one has anything to say about this doctor, or that their only presence is a yellow pages listing? It doesn’t quite inspire confidence, does it?
“72% of online seekers said they looked online for health related information, including Doctors and Dentists as the top searches”
YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION AND CAN YOU MANAGE IT? SHOULD YOU?
For the second question, ‘YES!’ You should definitely manage your reputation online and offline. Word-of-mouth and customer testimonials are just impactful online as off, only when they are available to the world, they can influence so many more people. Encouraging patients to leave reviews on sites like ratemd.com or your Facebook company page is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your online reputation. Particularly for health-related matters that patients might be anxious about can a plethora of positive reviews give them confidence in contacting you for services.
Online reputation management however goes beyond securing good reviews. It also involves the image you portray and what you have to say. Being honest is critical here; for example, if you have pictures of a beautiful office on a well-designed website and you haven’t had any renovations in 25 years, customers will feel deceived even if your surgical skills are top-notch.
As well, being active commenting on the latest issues and developments in the field show that you are engaged and up-to-date with the best-in-care practices. If you want to learn more on how to create a digital marketing strategy, particularly on social media and your website, you can refer to our blog post on How to Create a ContentMarketing Strategy.
WHAT SHOULD A DENTAL PRACTICE DO?
SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
Unfamiliar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? In short, it’s a means of getting your website(s) to rank higher in searches, i.e. to appear on the earliest pages of Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It’s pretty evident how this benefits your practice (how many of us click past two pages of Google results?), but how does one actually engage in SEO? By being active in a multitude of avenues online (websites, blogs, social media) and generating strong, relevant, and shareable content.
There are a number of proven tactics that help with maintaining a higher SEO ranking, be careful though, as these tactics are continuously evolving and it might be wiser to delegate this part to digital marketing professionals.
Some of these tactics include the following:
Including clear on site meta-descriptions
A continuous inflow of relevant content via blog posts, video and more (i.e: a functional content marketing plan)
A search-friendly url link structure
A mobile-optimized webpage
Making sure all Alt descriptions are filled in appropriately for all images
APPLY A COHERENT SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Before launching your dental practice into a social media frenzy, take some time to create a plan for your social media content. Set-out some objectives, and decide which platforms are best suited to your practice’s goals. Not allsocial media platforms are suited for all dental practices.
Decide on your target audience, and accordingly pick the online tactics that make most sense.
MAKE USE OF PAID ADVERTISING ON BOTH INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK
Facebook & Instagram paid advertising are affordable tools for small to medium size businesses to advertise to very specific groups of people, and to build an online presence in a relatively short period of time.
Of course there are other platforms where to advertise such as Twitter & LinkedIn, but Facebook (which owns Instagram) has some of the most sophisticated options in targeting. Don’t forget to make use of the Facebook Pixel in order to track campaign results
PUT TOGETHER A CONTENT MARKETING PLAN
A content marketing plan helps you define the tone, voice, frequency and topics to be shared, curated and created on your online channels. In essence, it is your online brand guidelines
GET YOUR ANALYTICS GOING
One of the greatest advantages of online marketing is the amount of data that we as marketers are able to collect. Make sure to have GoogleAnalytics on your website. Use all thisdata to understand which tactics are working best, and adjust those that do not seem to be giving the best results.
“Take some time to plan your social media strategy. Choose carefully which platforms you will be using for your practice. You need NOT make use of all existent social media platforms out there”
Understanding the key components that make-up the digital marketing ecosystem, and how these interact with one another is an essential part of a digital marketing strategy. -Nathalia Porras
The digital marketing ecosystem is conformed of all digital and social assets that make-up a brand online. The interaction of these assets- be it a website, a Facebook page or an online ad, should all be aligned with a product’s brand- in an ideal world!
However, in the real world there is only a fraction of these so-called digital and social assets that are owned and managed by a company or brand- the remaining assets can be in fact managed and influenced by fans or non-fans. Before a marketer launches its digital marketing strategy, it is important to understand the relationship between paid, owned and earned media.