Having a solid marketing strategy is absolutely crucial in today’s web-driven world!
Are you looking to attract new patients to your dental practice? If your answer is yes the timing has never been better!
I’m about to reveal to you a step-by-step strategy you can easily implement into your practice. These are the very tools I use in my own business to create a marketing strategy for my clients.
There are so many amazing marketing tools available which means it has never been easier to purposely drive more traffic to your business.
So regardless of what area of dental you’re in whether it be cosmetic, pediatric, surgical, periodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, or orthodontics this is a great marketing path for your practice!
The crazy-cool thing about the strategies I am about to share with you is not only are they effective but most dental practices aren’t using so it’s a great way to not only stand out in your space but to crush your competition.
First off, let’s not fool ourselves there is a reason why your competition isn’t using these marketing strategies. It’s a lot of work!
Now, this stuff is my JAM, it’s what I love to do! I live it, breathe it, study it, and read about it every day to stay on top of it because it moves just that fast – but I realize you’re probably thinking YUK!
You don’t want to spend your time thinking or reading about this stuff. I get it!
But the truth is, the reward for learning about these strategies and then actually implementing them into your practice has an extremely high reward!
This step-by-step process is the very strategy I use in my own marketing practice and has a proven track record of success.
Before any successful marketing a little bit of thinking needs to take place.
So here are the ways we start out just about any marketing strategy or before anything tangible gets done or created.
We need to know what our marketing efforts are expected to accomplish before we can create a solid strategy so we need to answer some questions.
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 1. Identify Your Goals and Objectives
- Growth Discussion – Are there parts of your practice that are under-marketed, or you feel people aren’t properly educated about?
Does a potential or even existing patient know everything you offer in your dental practice? What makes your practice different? How good are you and your staff at creating a great patient experience? If you say we ROCK at it, that’s awesome, how do you articulate it in your marketing efforts?
Do you offer whitening? Free cosmetic evaluations? Sedation during complex procedures? Restorative dentistry?
Some dental practices are branching out and even offering things like Botox injections.
Cosmetic dentistry is a huge (high revenue) booming market!
January 22, 2016 — More than a quarter of responding dentists reported making $2,500 or more each time a patient comes to the office for a cosmetic procedure in a new American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey.
An additional 40% of respondents stated that they made more than $1,000 per cosmetic patient visit, and 10% of the respondents reported that their revenue from cosmetic procedures alone was more than $1 million annually, the AACD noted in the survey report.
(Now these numbers do seem a little high to me so don’t shoot the messenger, I didn’t create them. The point is the revenue opportunity for cosmetic dentistry is growing fast.)
- Competition Study – Look around at how your competitors are marketing their practices, what can you learn?
When was the last time you took a really good look at your competitors? How are they doing at social media? Do they get good reviews? How are they positioning their practice differently from you? Do they come up first in top Internet searches? Are they advertising on Google? Do they have a good presence on Facebook?
- Demographic Study – Decide on a target market and area of demographics to be marketed to. Geography and demographics have a large impact on a dental practice.
If you choose to locate your dental practice in a lower income area whereas the education level isn’t very high selling higher end cosmetic procedures could be difficult. They may not be able to afford any procedures their insurance doesn’t cover.
Although you should never turn down a patient of any age or status it’s important to at the very least choose your ideal target and create marketing that’s aimed at them. What is their age and income level? How will you reach them effectively? Are you sure your location matches the target patient you’re seeking?
- Marketing Expense Study – Evaluate all marketing investments and decide if they are serving the business properly.
Investing money to market your practice is necessary and smart! However, it’s important on a regular basis to review all investments to make sure they’re actually worthy of your dollars.
It’s a good idea to keep a running list whether you’re advertising in a local directory or Yellow Pages online and at the very least once a year review. If you’re going to invest money into marketing efforts it’s imperative you’re able to attach to results acquired. Additionally, this is why it’s so important to make sure you always ask new patients how they heard of you, you need to know what’s working.
- Search Equity – How much search equity is available for your market?
The bottom line is people search for your services online. The question is how much search equity is available in your area and are you getting any of it?
There is a tool called the Google Keyword Planner whereas you can type in a query to see how many people search for it within a 30 day period.
See the example below whereas I searched to see how many people search for dentist, Seattle Wa.
As you can see this research provides a general idea of how many people search for a dentist in Seattle Washington in 30 days. You’ll also get an idea of other keywords and searches along with how hard the competition is to rank on page 1 and a suggested bid if you decide to do Google Ad Words.
We also use a tool called SEMrush, see below data received after we typed in one of the top ranking dentists for the phrase dentist Seattle Wa.
You can see how it shows the top organic keywords and then who the main competitors are for those keywords. This is great information!
You’ll want to see where your practice ranks in top searches. The important thing is to make sure your search is clean and accurate. To do this make sure you’re logged out of any Google accounts.
You can also do a search incognito, see how to find the window to do your search below. Now just type in your city and dentist to see what you find. Make a note of where you rank in the top search and what other competitors share the page with you.
Note: So many times I have had a business owner tell me a certain business isn’t their competitor. Here’s the reality, if they are taking up space in one of your top searches guess what? They ARE your competitor. 🙂
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 2. Online Check Up
It’s time to take a look and make sure your current and future patients experience a consistent experience with your practice online. Social media is very important! It’s an opportunity for you to communicate directly with your target market.
Social media also drives traffic to your website and your business! As mentioned before social media is a great opportunity to stand out in your field because so few dental practices are doing a good job at it.
First off take a look at your Facebook page. Is it optimized fully? Facebook is the most powerful marketing hub on the Internet! You can now add call buttons, links to all your services and so much more! Make sure when a patient visits your Facebook page they have a positive experience. It’s also important to make sure you share good information regularly and you respond quickly to messages and reviews.
It’s imperative to make sure you’re monitoring what people are saying about your practice online. Getting great reviews online is a part of ANY marketing strategy regardless of what type of business you have!
Make sure you have someone monitoring all social media websites at all times.
Yelp is important because it is emerging as the leading consumer review site for many types of businesses and it currently receives high priority from Google Search Engine results.
Make sure that you’ve claimed your listing on Yelp and it’s filled out completely and correctly. You’ll also want to make sure you look at your reviews on a regular basis.
At least once weekly we do a sweep for each client for new reviews. First of all I do this because I want to respond quickly, but I also don’t want my client to find it before I do. 🙂
When we find a negative review on any website we inform the client ASAP and ask them how they want us to respond.
Internet marketers like me never used to pay Bing much attention but they’re growing rapidly and causing folks in my circle to sit up and take notice.
According to the latest numbers, comScore reports that Bing’s share of the search market grew more than Google’s this past April. To be exact, Bing’s market share rose by 0.2% while Google’s dropped by 0.2%.
Quoted from an article on Search Engine Journal’s website: Bing recently stated that 25% of its searches are voice search, which immediately calls to mind its integration with Apple’s Siri, but for these numbers comScore is counting strictly desktop searches.
Bing now has a Business Places and it’s important you claim yours and fill it out correctly.
It’s also a good idea to look for your practice on Bing to see where you rank. Go through the same process you went through for Google.
A crucial piece of any marketing strategy is online citations and no we’re not talking about something like a traffic ticket – I’m talking about something good actually! Loosely defined, any time someone mentions your company on their website, that’s a citation.
You might also call it a reference or a mention, but in SEO-talk it’s a citation.
Some examples of citations might include a listing on an online phone directory or the member page of a chamber of commerce or other industry association.
If your business sponsors a charity and they list you as a sponsor on their website, or you make a presentation at a local college and they list you and your company to promote the event, those are also citations.
Truth is there are tons of obscure websites out there and their entire money-making strategy is based on creating half-cocked listings for your business so you can find them and contact them to fill them out right and when you do guess what? Yep! They hit you up for advertising.
Bottom line: A local citation is any mention of a local business out on the web, with or without a link.
The key is to make sure every time your business is mentioned online all the information is consistent, correct, and if it is it can give you some huge SEO brownie points!
Moz has a tool I absolutely adore! They will tell you the best local citations by category.
According to Moz the most important citations for the dental industry is listed in the graphic below. You should look yours up for each one and make sure its filled out correctly.
Google Business Places
I saved this one for last because it’s just so huge! Your Google Business Places is the centerpiece to any local online marketing strategy.
If you do a search for your category before organic results appear you’ll see Google Business Places and now the default is ONLY 3 positions! You have to click a drop down to bring in more. Online marketers like me refer to this as “Google’s Snack Pack“.
See below a search I did for dentist Seattle Washington.
As you can see only 3 positions are shown to the searcher and if you want to see more you have to click More Places. I decided to perform this same search on mobile so you would see how different it looks (see below). Notice the call button which the searcher LOVES.
I performed the exact same search query but notice in mobile my return is almost completely different.
There is a reason for it! First and foremost the algorithm is different for desktop versus mobile.
This is because Google has done updates to the algorithm to give more weight to mobile search versus desktop. That is because more people use their handheld for searches more than their desktop.
I could write an entire book on this very topic because it is so vast and complex! Variables are constantly changing because of updates Google makes to their search structure. These updates and changes are made to accommodate our search behaviors.
Here you can find a local search guide written by Moz so you can truly see how complex it really is. It may scare you a bit. 🙂
Now, let’s move on and talk about how you can make sure your Google Business Places ranks well because if it does your revenue will increase.
How can you make sure your Google Business Places ranks?
First you need to make sure you’ve claimed yours. If you have duplicates, choose the right one and destroy the others. Then make sure all of your information is correct.
Your Google Business Places should be filled out until it’s 100% complete.
10 Business Signals to Help You Rank in Top 3 Organic Positions on Google Business Places
Signal 1: Keywords in your business title. EX: Smith Dentistry – Dentistry is the signal keyword.
Signal 2: The category in which your business is listed under. EX: Category: Dentist
Signal 3: The location proximity to the person conducting the search is a large indicator. When you’re setting up your Google Business Places make sure your proximity is set properly if it’s too broad you’re likely to not turn up in searches close to you.
You can choose either a certain number of miles, list of regions by city or county, or by zip codes.
See example graphic below.
Signal 4: External Locations – Google is looking for volume and consistency so create as many business citations for your practice as possible. (We just covered this up above so go back and read that section so you remember what citations are and how to create them.) Remember, the number one factor is consistency! Make sure every citation is correct.
Signal 5: On Page Signals – Have your title, address, phone number, links to multiple social media profiles all imbedded on your business website. Make sure everything you’ve entered on your business website is exactly the same as what you have on Google My Business.
Signal 6: Link Signals – Internal and external links going to and from a website.
First and foremost your website should have great content. If other websites link to and share your content that is a great signal to Google your website is relevant and popular.
Google wants to give the searcher relevant and popular content, always remember that!
The way Google determines that is if people are sharing it and linking to it, that makes you recognized as an authority.
You should also get rid of bad links. This is why you should be using tools like Google webmaster because it will identify bad links connected to your website and you can go through the process of getting rid of them. Any links not relevant to your industry and location should be eliminated as soon as possible.
Signal 7: Review Signals – This is a huge one! This is simple!
The more positive reviews across more websites means a higher ranking on the snack pack. First of all respond to all of your reviews! Thank people for the good reviews and do your best to make sure bad reviews only happen off-line. When you have a bad review give the person a phone call and negotiate with them to reach a conclusion then ask them to remove the bad review.
The best way to deal with this is to be proactive with customer service and when you see someone has had a bad experience address it right away. People are more likely to leave a review when they’re pissed off than when they’re happy with you – it’s just the way it works.
My team uses a service called SurveyLocal and it works beautifully because every week each customer (patient) is sent an email to give feedback on their experience.
They are simply asked the question would you recommend Smith Dentistry? If they say no they are then sent to another platform whereas they are asked some questions and then the info is sent to the business owner so they can address it. But if they say yes, then whatever social media profile they are logged into at that time they are automatically sent to and there they leave a review. It’s a fantastic service!
Signal 8: Social Signals – This is Facebook likes, Google followers, Instagram… you name it! This is why businesses need to be active on social media.
Signal 9: Mobile and Behavioral Signals – Google is keeping track with how people interact with your Business Place. If you start outperforming your competition in organic search Google will recognize it and bring you to a higher position in the snack pack listing. Constantly be creating great content (blog posts for example) so that people are clicking on it and engaging with it. Over time this impacts your signals and you’ll start to see better organic results.
Signal 10: Personalization – Great content, good graphics, and continuously update your website!
So as you can see a lot of this takes place outside of your Google Business Places! It’s not as hard as you think to dominate in your area because most dental practices only have the placement by default.
If you’re creating a purpose-driven marketing strategy you’ll have a great edge over your competitors. (This is true in most situations but not all.)
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 3. Do a Website Audit
I’ve already mentioned your website several times through this process.
Here are the things we’ve already talked about to keep in mind:
- Search Equity: In step 1 we talked about determining your search equity which should have given you a great insight regarding keywords to integrate throughout your website as well as writing great content around them.
- Google Business Places: In the Google Business Places section we talked about how your website structure overall impacts not only showing up in the snack pack section but your organic ranking overall.
- Bad Links: We talked about using Google Webmaster Tools to make sure you don’t have any spammy links connected to your website. If you find you have bad links connected to your website there is a process you go through called Disavow Links you can click here and the process is pretty straight forward.
I could literally write an entire book on process of building a proper website alone but instead I will give you a light education and a bullet list of things to focus on. (I stress this is a light education. I am not going to give you SEO training at this juncture it is too complex.)
Just FYI I’ve been doing online marketing consulting for 6 years and I have NEVER had a client come to me with a decent website. They are usually always structurally crap and need serious work. I don’t look at websites the way an owner would – pretty doesn’t score any brownie points with me. I’m a profitability strategist so if the website doesn’t rank and bring in leads it’s rubbish in my book regardless of how visually attractive it is.
But the good news is we can usually get it ready to rock and roll with some good tweaks and without having to change the design. 🙂
I’m going to take you through the process we perform when we get a new client:
The very first consideration is MOBILE! The world isn’t going mobile IT IS MOBILE. So take out your handheld and check out how your website looks. Don’t just look at your home page, navigate your entire website as you would if you were the searcher. Make sure every page works well and document what needs work.
The next thing I always want to know right off the bat is does the website rank for the top search equity that’s available. I immediately document where the site is in the search in an excel spreadsheet and then we keep up with it over time as we progress.
Grade the Site
The next thing we do is run it through a website grader. It’s not a perfect process by any means but it will tell us any big problems there may be with the site right off the bat. You also want to make sure your loading time is good.
Hierarchy and Structure
The next thing we do is look at how the hierarchy of the pages are built which is usually completely overlooked. When you take away colors, fonts, graphics, and images, a good site design is really about a great structure.
When I look at a website I see it minus all the things I just mentioned, I look past all of that right to the bones. The way Google indexes your website is impacted by the order of your pages in your navigation.
You have your home page, a few other pages, a contact page but there are other pages that are what I call the money pages which are were built for Google and talk about your services and products.
This is another topic that can get pretty deep, click here for a more in depth read on this topic. Once I analyze a site’s structure I will make notes on changes etc and record the information into a spreadsheet check list.
Analyze Each Page
It’s ideal that each content page have at least 400 words or more of unique content geared toward a great user experience. In other words, not a bunch of text stuffed with keywords or obviously written by someone who doesn’t speak good English.
We will put each page into a spreadsheet and decide what needs to be done and make notes of it. Then when we’re going back to do the work that’s needed we have a checklist.
Once I write out how we will restructure the site I then decide on my money pages. These are pages with longer content that is written around a high traffic keyword I have chosen to be part of our strategy. These would be pages on a specific service that have search value and you can refer back to your keyword traffic for more information about that.
SEO Structure and Rich Snippets
The next thing we do is install a plugin and create a search snippet for each page because most websites don’t have this done properly. This part is complicated but you can click here if you want to read more about that process.
The best thing you can do to make sure all these things are taken care of is to purchase and install a local SEO plugin from Yoast for your WordPress website and it will take care of this for you.
Yes, you will have to set the plugin up after you install it and make sure all the pages are appropriately set up but this plugin is worth its weight in gold. Just incase you’re that person wondering why I didn’t mention meta tags you can read this blog post to find out why – Google does NOT use meta tags in web ranking, that is a very old SEO technique.
Map & Driving Directions
Driving directions create a great user experience for someone looking for your business. Having them in a text format as well as an embedded map with landmark pictures is a great way to increase the user experience since it also adds an embeddable map.
You can get instructions here on how to embed a local map on your website.
Make sure you have the appropriate payment and insurance information on your website – that is just one less question people have to ask you.
There is some other criteria involved but remember this is a light education not a full 101 course. This is actually enough information to create a great website that is super-charged for ranking on the Internet.
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 4. Query-Based Advertising
If you did your research you probably couldn’t help but see some dentists are advertising their business using Google ads.
I remember years ago before I got heavily involved in online marketing I used to think Google paid ads were tacky and there was no way people clicked on them.
Guess what? W-R-O-N-G! They do click on them! As a matter of fact I have clients that if it weren’t for Google ads they actually wouldn’t have much of a business.
Here’s the magic question, should you do this for your dental practice? The answer is probably yes. I help a client to make this decision based on several different factors that I won’t get into in this tutorial. Instead let’s talk about the impact a Google ad can have on a dental practice.
See the image below for the ads running for the desktop performed search dentist Seattle Washington:
Here is the mindset to consider, if your practice isn’t listed on page 1 of an organic search query that means you’re missing out on potential new patients.
If you reference back to when we did the search equity for a dentist in Seattle it was about 2,400 searches a month give or take. That’s a number that can’t be ignored. So the question is do you want a piece of that action?
Here’s another consideration, 4 ads came up for this particular desktop search so how does a searcher choose? This is a question I get asked a lot.
Here is my answer: Never over-estimate a searcher, they don’t think about it very hard at all. If they recognize a dental practice they’ve heard of they will probably click that one, if not they just click the first one usually.
So this may not be good news for the guy at the bottom of this popular search right?
Perhaps and let me tell you what we do about this and why it ROCKS to work with a small boutique business like mine because we study EVERY client so closely and we don’t just do what is quick and easy for us. (We’ve found large agencies don’t spend near the time we do studying and perfecting this process for results!)
Most of the dentist practices that placed these ads did it themselves, someone like me didn’t do it. So what does that mean? They are sticking to the basics.
That means there are a ton of opportunities off the beaten path and that is where we build our strategy. So bottom line I will probably go for a smaller search and dominate that instead of being in a sea of fish. Got it?
Now let’s talk about another side to this equation. We’ve also talked about how mobile and desktop queries vary which means your results from desktop to mobile are going to be different. That is because Google now gives a different algorithm to mobile and gives much more clout to it.
Let’s take a look at this same search query on a mobile device:
Notice how all the returns are completely different? Also notice how the directions and click-to-call buttons are clear and convenient? This alone makes this marketing medium ROCK. These ads are a relatively new asset to Google and they are called Nearby Business Google Ads for mobile search.
Consider all the information I’ve given you regarding Google ads if you have a budget that allows it’s definitely something you should consider.
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 5. Content Creation
Earlier you learned what your search equity looks like, hopefully you also noticed some other things people search for that are related to dentistry.
Creating great content is an awesome way to show leadership in your industry. I can tell you with power not many dentists use this marketing strategy and the ones that do – aren’t doing it very well, so this is definitely a great way for you to stand out from competitors.
We use content for a few purposes:
- We create great blog content that helps to make the website a valuable resource and we will share the content we write on our social media channels which brings traffic to our website.
- We use it to create educational email newsletters for patients.
- We also use it in our sales funnel process. (You’ll be learning about this soon.)
Your content needs to be interesting and educational but it also needs to be in line with your services and your search strategy.
For example, if you want to create a campaign aimed at new patients you’ll want to consider how does someone first decide to see a new dentist?
Is it because they need a cleaning? Perhaps they’re considering the whitening process for the first time? These are the things you’ll want to write about and align it with a service or even a promotion you have.
We use a couple of different tools to help us create a fantastically structured content strategy.
First of all we go back to the Google keyword tool and do a few look-ups to see what types of words and phrases people search for in relationship to your products and services.
This research is very different from a keyword strategy search in that now we’re looking for general topics people are most interested in when it comes to dentistry.
Just to give you an example I simply typed getting veneers (no city or state I just wanted an idea on topics people searched for versus search equity) into the Google Keyword Planner.
So here you can see the search equity of certain phrases which gives you ideas of what people search for and how you can relate it to content topics. (There was a ton of returns I cut it off at the ones you see here so ideas are endless.)
Here are some content topic ideas I get from this research:
- Lumineers Versus Veneers What is the Difference?
- Details on Teeth Whitening Methods
- Whiten Your Teeth to Look Younger
- Porcelain Veneers Before & After
- How to Have the Perfect Smile
- A Great Smile Gives You Confidence
I can keep going! My clients always tell me they are amazed how well and quickly I come up with topics. Truthfully, this is just how my brain works. I am a parallel thinker, all you have to do is give me a group of words and I can come up with a ton of ideas.
We also use a great tool called BuzzSumo that tells us types of articles on a topic and how many shares it got which lets us know what is popular so we can also think of ideas around that. I need to mention this tool isn’t free, it has a monthly fee.
This is where I really get nerdy because I love doing this type of research! Hey before you even THINK of making fun of me, you like drilling on someone’s teeth! 🙂
I want to share with you some gems I found using BuzzSumo.
Below is a Teeth Whitening Kit Offer that has gotten over 15,000 shares! They used Click Funnels and the majority of the shares are from Facebook which tells me this was a sales funnel which is GOLD to find! You’ll understand more about this in the next section.
This is something I am really excited about I will be using this idea to create a sales funnel later!
The return below is a Youtube video that got almost 3,000 shares and when I looked at the video it was very simplistic and could easily be a different topic and the effect could be duplicated. (I will be showing you a video that we create for our clients in a later section.)
Here is a another great find about gum disease, notice that it got almost 10,000 shares. Are you really digging this research? Great stuff huh?
Now here is the interesting twist about being a great content creator – hardly no one is great at it and they really aren’t even trying which means it’s easy to be a ROCK STAR. Trust me I know this.
But one of the greatest things you can do as a content creator is put your audience or your reader first. The sale is always the secondary thought.
Yes I said the sale is a secondary consideration!
Trust me, if you do it this way you’ll write things that interest the reader and you will be a thought-leader in your space!
When people trust you guess what else they do? They buy from you!
Also, don’t always feel you have to hit a topic right on the head instead just talk in general terms about topics that interests people. I always try to be parallel in my thought process when I am creating content for example “How Your Diet Impacts Your Teeth” or “Having Healthy Gums Can Help You to Avoid Some Cancers” you get my drift right?
Then always close with some sort of offer.
Your blog posts should be at the very least 400 words but the more the better. To optimize your blog post for search engine you’ll want to use the keywords you’re trying to rank for in your blog posts.
When you create content you’ll want to share links to it on all your social media channels especially Facebook and Google.
This will create traffic to your website which in turn creates new patients!
You’ll also repurpose this content for a later step in our marketing strategy, which is your email newsletter.
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 6. What are Your Special Offers?
We’re about to discuss the lead funnel process so it’s a good idea to decide what some potential special offers will be. Your offer is going to be based on your marketing strategy and your objective.
Are you focusing on getting new patients? Are you focused on cross-selling services to existing patients? Promoting a new service? Or perhaps ALL which is excellent!
You also want to pay attention to what you think is popular with your audience so you get the best response. (In a later section I will tell you how you can put your finger right on the pulse of your audience by using email marketing.)
Do you recall in the previous section in my content research I found evidence of a sales funnel article on Teeth Whitening? I decided I would create a special offer for my sales funnel around that idea.
The objective of my example sales funnel is to attract new patients.
I decided my special offer would be around Venus White Max Teeth-Whitening System because it’s a rather popular service and it will attract new patients.
The offer will be a gift certificate for $400 towards the whitening procedure making the cost of the procedure only $150. (The cost of this product varies greatly from city to city. This was based on a dental practice I found in Seattle WA.)
Notice the language I used, I called it a gift certificate versus a coupon or special promotion. Over time I have learned wording is crucial to creating a successful offer and the words gift certificate have a higher perceived value which gets a better conversion rate.
So now we have a great idea of what types of content we can create and we have come up with our offer it’s time to start talking about creating a lead funnel.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Every step we’ve taken in determining our marketing so far is leading up to creating a sales funnel for your dental practice. But first I want to make sure you really understand exactly what a sales funnel is.
The proper definition of a sales funnel is a marketing system. It’s the “ideal” process you intend your customers to experience as they go from Prospect to Lead to Customer to Repeat Buyer.
How your funnel operates depends on the marketing objective. However, the purpose and end result no matter what the objective is always the same – growth and revenue.
The amazing thing about the digital revolution and all the amazing tools now available such as social media, paid query advertising (Google ads), email marketing and Facebook ads is they make the sales funnel process amazingly dynamic and PROFITABLE much faster.
Now let’s move onto the first step of our funnel which is attraction. How will you draw a prospect into your funnel?
Easy! You talk about something they are interested in!
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 7. Creating a Sales Funnel
I want you to think of how moths are attracted to light, that is how you need to think about your prospective customers – you want to draw them to you.
This process isn’t about calling out random sales messages which in my book is selfish selling and a technique I do not teach nor endorse.
Instead, I want you to think about being selfless and creating things that attract your customer because its something they are interested in or need.
Funnel Step 1. Attraction – The Entry Point
How are we going to attract your new patient? Remember earlier when I did research on types of content heavily shared and popular around various dental topics? That is the information I will use to create the first point of my funnel which is where the prospective patient first enters.
My offer is going to be a Venus White Max Teeth-Whitening System as we determined however my prospective patient won’t learn about till later in the funnel. However, I want my to set my offer up properly so my attraction piece will be a blog post on teeth whitening because as we determined lots of people are interested in that topic.
I want to keep all the pieces of my funnel cohesive and related to each other.
I will write a very educational blog post and the title will be Whiten Your Teeth to Look Younger, who doesn’t want to look younger right?
I will then set up a Facebook ad to run traffic to the blog post.
If you’re wondering why Facebook ads its because 80% of the population is on Facebook and they are active multiple times a day!
Not only that but Facebook has amazing targeting opportunities whereas you can laser in right on who you want to see your ad! You can choose your target market by location (city and/or zip code), age, gender, education level, interests or behaviors, even financial status!
Not only is it extremely effective but it’s inexpensive which we will talk about more when we get the conversion section. There truly is no other platform to get this type of engagement with your target market.
Here is what my ad will look like. (This is fictitious and designed for educational benefit only.)
This is just a mock up Facebook example to give you an idea of what it would look like.
Also I want to mention, notice that the people in this photo are middle-aged. That is because for this particular funnel this is the age group I am trying to attract. The reason is they meet the financial demographic I am looking for, they are interested in and can afford cosmetic dentistry and usually have children as well which is a bonus.
I find not enough business owners take the time to think their ads through and attract their target market properly.
When they click through to this ad they will come to a blog post that educates them on how to keep a great smile which will create a look of youth and vitality as they age. The blog post is purely educational NOT salesy.
Funnel Step 2. Retarget – Attract Warm Leads With An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Okay this is when your funnel starts to get interesting!
Everyone that clicked on the ad and visited your blog post will be tracked with a pixel (a piece of code) that is placed on your website when you start your ad.
After a time frame you’ve determined, typically 30 days or so, you will place a second ad using the information tracked by the pixel that will retarget everyone that clicked through to your blog post. They are already familiar with your practice so this makes them a warm lead.
This Facebook funnel campaign is small and simple – but very powerful. It’s also just one example of the many many ways a sales funnel can be set up.
This type of marketing is extremely effective and affordable however it takes constant measuring, testing and monitoring. We monitor all of our client ads daily!
We also like to launch multiple ads at once and see which images and copy gets more conversions so it’s definitely not a set it and forget it type thing. But as mentioned the reward is high.
I know of one case study that ran a campaign very similar to this one and considering the cost of the ads and a $400 ad spend over 30 days the cost of conversion was around $14 per sign up. The ad led to 23 new patients in the first 30 days with a $700 average lifetime value.
When I see results like this and dentists using tools like Groupon to get new patients it makes me sick to my stomach!
I personally think Groupon is a terrible way to get people in the door. These types of people are generally always looking for the next best deal and not looking for permanent dentist which defeats your purpose because you’re sure not making any money with Groupon with them taking half!
I’ve also heard that some dental state boards are designating Groupon deals as “fee-splitting” which could cause you all kinds of trouble you just don’t need!
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 8. Email Marketing
I can talk about how powerful email marketing is for hours and hours! I can’t say enough about it! I am so shocked that more businesses don’t use it. Then the ones I do see using it – they’re doing it all wrong!
As your sales funnel progresses you can enhance the investment you make in Facebook ads to grow your list by staying in touch with your audience via email. If you grow your list – you grow your business!
You create patient interest and loyalty when you put them first and your sales second. What I mean by that is play the role of the educator. Express a genuine interest in the oral health of your audience by sharing content with them that helps them in some way. Then of course follow up the email with a call to action that is somewhat an afterthought.
When you write a good blog post you can repurpose the content and use it in your newsletter as long as its fitting to do so.
Earlier I hinted around about a great tool that has the ability to put a finger right on the pulse of your patient to find out what interests or concerns them the most – that would be email marketing!
When you send out a newsletter wait a few days and then go back and read your reporting. You can see how many of your patients opened your newsletter, who read it multiple times and who clicked through. Over time you’ll start to identify trends with your patients and see which topics they respond to the most.
This is marketing research at it’s finest! Priceless!
If you’re wondering what platform to use we use MailChimp for our client’s newsletters and love it. It’s very user friendly and free until you get 2,000 email addresses. It’s a great value and I recommend it whole-heartedly!
Creating a Marketing Strategy: Step 9. Video Marketing is Now and the Future
I shared this in an earlier section when I was doing research this was a very simple video and over the past few months it has had almost 3,000 shares which is huge!
Videos should be considered a very important part of every marketing strategy!
Our brains are hard-wired to love images. Since early 2007, the internet has seen a 9900% increase in the usage of visual information.
Our brains are much more attracted to images than text. People can recall 20% of what they read, 10% of what they see, but 80% of what they see and do which is why video is off the hook!
Right now there are 100 million hours of video being watched on Facebook every day! as a matter of fact 96% of consumers find that video helps them to make purchase decisions.
It doesn’t have to be fancy either!
There are tons of resources out there to make videos for your dental practice in a snap! There are also tons of resources to get great graphics and stock footage to make your videos look even more interesting.
If you look at the video from the article research I found that I mentioned earlier you’ll find it’s not that fancy at all yet it got a ton of shares!
We use a platform called Animoto to create great video files for our clients.
Here is an example:
So I have shared with you every component of a great marketing strategy for your dental practice! A strategy that if carefully constructed will grow your practice faster than you could ever imagine! If you have interest in working with someone like me I would love to have chat with you!
My marketing practice is small and intimate! My clients LOVE me! Not only that but I have a plan for every budget.