If you have worked in orthodontics or dentistry for many years, you will have noticed a definite shift in the way practices and their services are marketed. Gone are the days where full-page adverts in newspapers or a catchy radio jingle were optioned as the pinnacle of marketing.
How Has Dental Marketing Evolved Over Time?
In their place we have social media platforms, search engine optimization, targeted advertising via paid pop-ups, and more. To learn more about how dental marketing has evolved over time and what this means for the future success of your practice, read on.
What Is Dental Marketing?
Dental marketing is made up of many components and virtually every interaction between a patient and your orthodontics practice can be considered marketing. From the way in which your staff responds to calls and emails to the services you offer and your online presence – all of it markets your practice.
It is the combination of all these elements that helps retain existing patients, obtain new ones and grow your practice through genuine referrals, enhanced visibility, and a reputation for being a leader in your field.
Why The Evolution Of Marketing Matters To Your Practice
Ensuring you understand current marketing methods and how they can benefit your practice is important for a couple of reasons.
- It ensures your investment in marketing is not wasted. That money that you set aside for marketing needs to work hard for you! Selecting an outdated or ineffective marketing practice is good money and opportunity wasted.
- You’re more likely to reach your target audience and meet your business growth and profitability goals as a result. Positioning your marketing where it will be seen by the right audience
Ignoring advancements in marketing and expecting your practice to either maintain its position or continue growing is detrimental, to say the least. Even your most loyal patients can be wooed by practices elsewhere with shiny new targeted marketing and special offers.
Giving marketing the same attention you give to your ongoing training in new orthodontics advancements is highly advisable and can ensure your services remain sought after.
Old Vs New Dental Marketing Methods
Broadcast, push marketing and print marketing are two somewhat outdated or less effective dental marketing strategies. With the emergence and continual evolution of the digital marketing space, older marketing methods can fall flat with more modern audiences.
Old school marketing was primarily about throwing the net wide and connecting with as many people as possible. The hope was that at least a handful of these would become loyal patients with little to no ongoing interaction past that initial ‘buy-in’ or selection of your practice as their preferred one.
Conversely, as The Small Business Chronicle (Chron) points out:
‘“Flip the Funnel,” author Joseph Jaffe acknowledges a basic tenet of new school marketing: there is high value in cultivating a loyal customer base and keeping it engaged with continued communications.’
Or more simply, cultivating ongoing relationships is seen as more beneficial as this generates genuine leads through referrals and recommendations.
Four Ps Vs. Six Cs
Traditional marketing has always been focused around the four Ps, namely; product, price, placement, and promotion. All value proposition aspects which were easily advertised through more basic marketing methods. This business-centric approach while not entirely unsuccessful, leaves out one very important aspect – the customer, or in the case of your practice, the patient.
This is where the six Cs then emerged – they include contact, connection, conversation, consideration, consumption, and community. This approach recognizes that it is not enough to simply have your patient be aware of your practice and what you do, there needs to be a dialogue and meaningful interaction for optimal success.
This evolution to a customer-focused approach aligns perfectly with what digital marketing can offer.
What Does Modern Dental Marketing Look Like?
So if newspapers and push marketing are out, what is in? Effective, current digital marketing strategies for orthodontics include:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Placing high-ranking keywords relevant to your field and the services you offer is one of the best ways to get your website noticed. Optimizing your website ensures that should someone Google ‘orthodontist near me’ for example, your practice is better positioned to be up top and grab their attention.
Google My Business (GMB)
Claiming your Google listing and ensuring it is accurate, engaging and SEO optimized means that in both the Search tool and Maps you are a standout. This is ideal for targeting local markets also.
Special offers, appointment reminders, birthday wishes, holiday greetings – text reminders help connect you and your patients. It demonstrates professionalism and commitment to your patients, keeping them dedicated and engaged.
Demonstrate your expertise with a monthly newsletter that discusses topics relevant to your patients and keeps them up to date with the latest news. This makes patients feel they are a valued part of your practice and helps keep you at the forefront of their minds.
Social Media Marketing
This doesn’t have to mean paid ads. Create great content and post on your own pages, include videos about procedures, common concerns, your team, and more. Personalize your practice and make it fun, this puts people at ease and more likely to contact you when they require your services.
How HIP Can Help
If you feel your practice and its marketing strategies have been left behind, don’t stress! The expert team HIP is a leader in orthodontics marketing and growth strategies. We help you build the business you want and support you to meet your patient and profitability goals.
It is never too late to change the way in which you market yourself and the sooner you begin, the sooner you can see the results. Forgo the stress and hassle of trying to manage your marketing and practice simultaneously. At HIP we work with you to create the ideal marketing strategy that suits your budget and expectations.
Begin taking advantage of the evolution in dental marketing today and witness the change for yourself, call HIP on 833.975.2592 to get started.