Marketing Strategies
Marketing Strategies
My aim is to help you acquire more patients, do more business with patients you already have, and to teach you how to do more work, more frequently, with these same patients. We do this through time and field tested proven strategies.
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Gormazca
Gormazca

Do You Want More Patients?

Do You Want More Patients?

10/9/2017 3:05:57 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 77
It goes without saying, but without a steady stream of patients, your practice will die! So, if you’re looking for proven strategies for attracting new and better patients keep reading.  


 What you’re about to read is not a collection of platitudes and theories that only function under ideal circumstances (like a greenhouse orchid). Everything you’re about to read has been field tested and absolutely works; so let’s get started…

You took the time and effort to find an office space, secure a business loan, build-out space to meet your needs, set up phones lines, set up the equipment and hire staff.  Doesn’t it make sense that you should take just as much time and effort to that tells the world “Hey I’m here, and I’m ready to meet your needs?”

There is a universal truth that applies to every business, but as a dental professional, you know that there are three ways to grow your business. First, acquire more patients. Second, do more business with the patients you already have. Third, do more work more frequently with the ones you have. 

Depending on when you graduated from college, business and any courses relating to business growth may be far back in your rearview mirror. Therefore, many dentists don’t have the business skills needed to build on their patients’ portfolio.

Even though may be a while since learned much of this information, all dentists worry about low patient attraction.

Additionally, you also have to keep in the forefront of your mind activities such as your continuing education responsibilities, investment in new equipment like management software for your appointments, managing your front and back office needs, your financial management, etc.  Now you have to remember that you can't overlook your promotional obligations? 

Maybe it’s because you have too much on your plate, but your clinic’s promotion can never be an afterthought. Perhaps it’s assumed that when the time is correct, you can just go out and buy advertising space; and, those people know what to do to create a winning ad.  And before you know it; your phone will begin to ring with new patients wanting to do business with you.  Unfortunately, reality works differently than that.

However, attracting patients, converting prospects into patients, and maintaining them for long-term business relations and referrals requires a solid game-plan! 

As with any strategy, some fundamentals must be adhered to; for example, before you can think about techniques, tooth extraction, biomechanics, and physiology, with must perform triage! The same applies for your practice’s promotional regimen.  Every piece that you put out MUST have these elements: A headline, a sub-headline, it must appeal to your patients’ self-interest (aka, “What’s in it for me?”), have a specific offer, and provide testimonials.

Just as important as any one of these principles is the building of your brand (that one unique feature that separates you from everyone else).  For example, if your practice specialty deals with working with elderly patients, infants, and children, dental implants, reconstructive services, or trauma care, that is how you will brand yourself!

You MUST think long-term.

Address staff consistency and continuity. After you make sure that all staff members are on the same page, that morale is high, and you have a positive atmosphere, never lose sight of the fact that a dental office is often a place that causes anxiety for many patients.

Hence, an essential part of your branding should involve taking steps to ensure a positive, drama free, calm environment; then focus a lot of your advertising on that very fact.  It would also be a fantastic idea to create brief two-minute videos featuring patients raving about their positive experience that began the second and walked in your waiting room all the way to the dental chair and continued through the setting up of their next appointment.

Small details make a big difference!  

Draw more patients into your dental clinic by offering attractive promotions.  Offer a discount if your new patient has seen another dentist in the last couple of months.  Consider enticing new patients to use your service with a diagnostic consultation with a free first visit or cleaning.  These are just a couple of examples; keep in mind that at all times your building your brand.

If all this is new to you in your practice, you want to ensure that your entire team is on the same page with your unique vision.  Consider having periodic off-site teambuilding meeting --- this is an excellent tool for motivating your staff and maintaining quality control.

There are scores of marketing studies that demonstrate that most advertising (95% in fact) targets new patients that have never used your service before. That means that only 5% of your advertising money goes to your most lucrative segment of the market.  Conversely, the probability of selling to an existing patient (or, all those people who have had endodontic treatments before, for example) is 60-70%, while the likelihood of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%

So, let me show you how to get started.  First, you need to do a patient inventory.  Begin to sort out the type of patients that you see.  Initially, sort out all your patients according to the procedures that you're performing for them.  As an example, you may discover that the bulk of your patients see you for dental implants, and the next highest number (on a percentage basis) is for bonding, followed by bridges and root canals, and so on.

You will now focus on the highest concentration of services to perform.  You will brand yourself according.  
Therefore, your brand marketing from this point forward will be as “Dr. Jones, the dental implant specialist in the county.”

Now that you have these essential elements in your medical bag, you need to determine how you will let the world know you are open and ready to do business.  Today especially, you have more marketing and advertising options than ever before --- the most powerful and cost-effective opportunities lie with social media.

Once you decide you are going to implement social media to drive your promotional platform, your next step requires that you determine which provides the best fit for ideal patient demographic. This is no small feat either.  You will find you have many options, but an abundance of choices doesn’t guarantee a correct solution.

According to Knight Castle Marketing, “Having the right social media platforms drastically increases your business’ online presence, and in today’s market more and more people are turning to their computers to find the right product or service for them. Social media is a great way to increase traffic to your website, market your business and sell, however before jumping into creating ten new accounts with different platforms, consider which platforms best suit your business.”

As we discussed three paragraphs ago, your patient inventory will prove quite vital at this stage. Use that information the right social media platform. You will also want to go a bit deeper and figure out the age of your average patients as each social platform has a stronger pull, depending on age.  Then, go one step even further, figure out the primary language of the patients of your practice (this will also become important as you create patient satisfaction testimonial videos that you will use to attract new patients and encourage current patients to return for additional services).

Note, according to the Pew Research Company, today, more than half of internet users (52%) use two or more of the social media sites measured (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) compared with 42% who did so in 2013.  Let’s explore some of your options:

Facebook - Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to:  a) store information, pictures and videos to share with each other, b) have online conversations by posting messages and responses.
Facebook is by far the most popular. 

•    In September 2016, Facebook reported that it had 1.79 billion people using the site each month around the world.  As one of the most used social media platforms in the world, it is something you should consider using to market your business online.  
•    Highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm. (Source: Bit.ly blog). Post regularly, however always try to include imagery, videos, and relevant articles. 
•    71% of adult internet users/58% of the entire adult population. Pewinternet.org
•    93% of Facebook users say they are Facebook friends with family members other than parents or children. Pewinternet.org
•    58% say they are connected to work colleagues. Pewinternet.org
•    Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes. (Source: Infodocket.com).  
•    42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or essential to their business. (Source: State of Inbound Marketing 2012).  
•    Facebook users are 76% female (out of 100% of all women) and 66% male (out of 100% of all men). *zephoria.com.

Twitter - Twitter is another one of the most used social media platforms in the world, where people all around the globe post news and information every second. It is a great social media platform for sharing ideas, connecting with consumers and posting up-to-date information about your services.  

•    The number of Twitter users 317 million.  
•    Estimated total number of Twitter registered users 1.3 billion.  
•    Daily Twitter users 100 million.  Average number of followers per Twitter user 208
•    19% of online adults age 18-24 have used Twitter.
•    20% of online adults age 25-34 have used Twitter.
•    10% of online adults age 35-44 “    “     “    “
•    5% of online adults age 45-54  “    “    “   “
•    4% of online adults age 55-64  “    “    “   “
•    2% of online adults 65+  “    “    “   “
•    35% of Twitter users live in urban areas
•    9% live in rural areas
•    10% of internet users in households earning more than $75,000 tweet
•    76% of Twitter users use the internet wirelessly

*Information provided by PEW Research Center.  

Instagram - Instagram is a mobile, photographic based social media platform, where people share images about their services. As Instagram is a mobile social media platform, people share images on the go. Instagram can be used creatively to market your business through innovative design, eye-catching photography and creative use of copywriting.

•    26% of adult internet users/21% of the entire adult population.  
•    53% of young adults ages 18-29 now use the service, compared with 37% who did so in 2013.  
•    Besides young adults, women are particularly likely to be on Instagram, along with Hispanics and African-
Americans, and those who live in urban or suburban environments. Pewinternet.org

The critical point about this medium, always remember to include relevant hashtags (#) in your photographs description.

Youtube - Youtube is the most significant video sharing site in the world with 1 billion unique visitors each month. Video content is dominating the internet with businesses creating unique videos to market their business. Youtube as a social media platform is a fantastic way to share your video content and sell your services through visuals.

•    The average number of unique YouTube users per month in the U.S. = 167.4 million. 
•    Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute = 400 hours 
•    Percentage of U.S. internet users who have a YouTube account = 58.2%

Youtube.com

To get the most out of this platform, engage with your network and followers and encourage sharing and commenting.  Also, since you already use YouTube, then you know the power of video for marketing. Periscope, launched in 2015 by Twitter, is a small but mighty version of YouTube with a twist – the videos feature live streaming, not produced materials.

LinkedIn - Linkedin is a professional social media platform where businesses can share their professional blogs, content or advice with other professionals. It is a practical networking site where your business can find and develop leads and market your product or service.

•    28% of adult internet users/23% of the entire adult population. 
•    The site continues to be particularly popular among college graduates, those in higher-income households and the employed (although the increase in usage by those who are not employed to 21% from 12% in 2013 is notable). 
•    College graduates continue to dominate use of the site. Fully 50% use LinkedIn, a 12-point increase since last year. 
•    It is the only platform where those ages 30-64 are more likely to be users than those ages 18-29.  Pewinternet.org

Use your Linkedin page to showcase your professional work – add articles for your business, photographs, and links to your website and social media sites.

Social media is an essential tool when marketing your business online as it offers you a worldwide network of professionals, customers, and patients. 

Additionally, there may be real benefits by exploring lesser-known social media sites which can help you expose your brand to new audiences. Sites like Reddit appeal to young males. The Pew Research Center confirms an audience 400,000+; and 49% of which are between the ages of 18 – 24 and 35% are between 25 – 34, 46% are employed full-time, and 33% report some college and 35% reported having Bachelor’s degrees.

If your brand targets the 25 and under crowd (Millennials) then Snapchat may be the perfect option for you. With more than 100 million daily active users, Snapchat is simply too big to ignore, Sharing pictures without commitment (snaps disappear in 24 hours) and creating unique stories appeals to the site’s teen massive demographic.  

If you are involved in your community, then you may benefit from this image-driven powerhouse called Geofilters.  This platform makes it easy to reach users in a designated area; they also allow you to put your specially created brand or filter right on shared snaps. 

As you can see, it’s a crowded marketplace, and you have a lot of options; but, so do your potential patients. You MUST do everything in your power to stand out!  Through your brand, you must become slightly famous.  This is the exact opposite of mass marketing.  It’s not about being all things to all people, but being a mini-celebrity to the right people.  It’s about targeting your market and developing a reputation as a great resource, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and close-at-hand authority.

Visibility is a cornerstone of every business strategy, and it begins by placing your core marketing message in front of as many of your targeted patients as possible.  However, your message must compel with a strong headline; it must attract enticing message (WIIFM), and must present a better offer than anyone else in town!

Finally, I acknowledge that this is a lot to absorb, especially if this is new to you.  I would like to help!  
My business partner and I have been directly responsible for many highly successful content marketing campaigns for several professional practices.  Also, we would like to extend to you or your selected staff members, our proprietary 10-minute Content Strategy Audit Session (i.e., blog posts, social media campaigns, magazine articles, website content, patient newsletters, etc.).
 






StevenVonLoren Marketing Strategists
From the desk of Claudio Gormaz, co-founder of StevenVonLoren Marketing Strategists, Personal e-mail: gormazca@gmail.com, 951.294.2274, Amazon Author ProfileFacebookGoogle+InstagramLinkedInTwitter.
 
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