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The practice of dentistry isn’t what it used to be, and neither is marketing your practice.
Consider how many solo or group dental practices are in your market today compared to even five years ago. Unless you’re in a rural area, the odds are that you’re facing a lot more competition than than you used to. And if corporate dentistry is making inroads in your market, you’ve got an even tougher challenge.
All of your competitors are advertising where you do: in your newspaper(s), on radio and/or TV, on outdoor boards, in your new dental prospects’ mailboxes via direct mail, and especially online.
And this at a time when absolutely everybody is exposed to more information, every day, than at any time in human history. There’s a lot of “clutter,” in marketing lingo, and you have to break through that clutter to even be noticed.
But once you have achieved that breakthrough – which often requires a heavy marketing investment – why should your dental prospects choose you over any other competitor?
Today, dentists are assumed to be clinically competent, and gentle, and available. If you try to “sell” your prospects using those three attributes, you’re just another face in the crowd. And if you sell on price, the corporate practices will eat you alive due the economies of scale they enjoy.
If you’re unhappy with the results that your marketing is bringing, the missing element may be differentiation. Being seen as different than your competition, in a way that engenders patient trust in you to solve their dental problems, is what will make you stand out and get you more new patients.
That’s breaking through the clutter. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
You position yourself as the dentist of choice via the content you put online, the content you offer for free on your website, the testimonial videos and doctor videos you post, and the likes, shares, retweets, and favorable comments that your social media presence garner.
Taken together, those constitute social proof that you are likeable, approachable, and expert. And say what you will about corporate dentistry, the fact is that it’s faceless. In fact, the same patient may never see the same dentist twice in really busy corporate practices.
The corporate shops can’t compete against a dentist who establishes positive relationships with his or her dental prospects. And neither can your individual and group competitors unless they invest the time and energy to follow the same path.
The goal of your social media presence should be to influence your prospects to visit your website because that’s what virtually every new patient will do before choosing a dental provider. Your website has to “close the deal” that your online presence initiated.
Establishing a strong, relatable online presence doesn’t take a lot of your marketing dollars, but it does demand a lot of content. If you’re a dentist who loves to write, or who has staff people who enjoy it, you may be able to keep feeding the content machine.
If not, it’s time to turn to the professionals to help you break through the clutter and attract the patients you want. You’ll want to choose a firm that specializes in dental marketing, because understanding what motivates people to choose a dentist is very different than what leads them to choose a new vehicle.
For more information on attracting the patients you want, visit smartboxdentalmarketing.com.