Common Dental Marketing Mistakes
Before they come to us, many of our clients are focused on one thing: helping their patients. Marketing is somewhere on their to-do list, but it’s hard to prioritize everything while you’re growing your practice, treating your patients, and running a business. This can result in dentists—or their front desk clerk—making easy, common dental marketing […]
Before they come to us, many of our clients are focused on one thing: helping their patients. Marketing is somewhere on their to-do list, but it’s hard to prioritize everything while you’re growing your practice, treating your patients, and running a business. This can result in dentists—or their front desk clerk—making easy, common dental marketing mistakes.
We want to help dentists avoid falling into these “cavities.” (See what we did there?) Our founders Andre and Eric share a few ways your marketing efforts may be working against you–and how to avoid them. From not wanting to collect reviews to overlooking marketing tactics that are already working, there’s a lot of room for easy oversights. Their main takeaway after years of working with dentists: there are a lot of ineffective marketing practices out there, but if you’re aware of them, you can save time and money.
“We tried X marketing strategy but it didn’t work in the past.”
It’s easy to get discouraged after one failed Facebook ads campaign. Especially if you’ve spent more marketing dollars than usual to generate traffic to your website. But we can’t stress enough the importance of not writing off a strategy because it didn’t work once (even more so if it was implemented by someone without a marketing background). There are many reasons a campaign might flop. Marketing is often a holistic process, and any number of variables can influence the results you see.
Anyone with a cell phone can post a dental contest or a picture of your office decorated for St. Patrick’s Day on Instagram and Facebook. At the top of the list of common dental marketing mistakes is assuming that the low barrier for entry means that anyone can execute an effective and well-planned social media strategy. Another reason for the failed campaign might be your approach: hit-or-miss experimenting before a strategy has time to yield results. Patience, along with time, is key. We also often find that dentists are not tracking and analyzing their marketing campaigns, so they don’t have the data to make judgment calls on what tactics are working. Before ruling out a strategy, remember that a lot of work and planning goes into making a marketing strategy successful.
“What if someone posts a negative review?”
There’s an old saying that goes, “No news is good news.” Some dentists subscribe to this line of thinking and try to avoid collecting reviews from patients. However, 94% of healthcare patients using online reviews to evaluate providers. You don’t have time to play hide and seek with your patient reviews. Reviews make your dental business legitimate. Not only do people care that you have reviews, but they also care about the quantity and the ratings of those reviews. Even if it makes you nervous at first, train your staff to ask for patient reviews.
After you’ve removed Nancy’s wisdom teeth, ask her if she wouldn’t mind filming a patient testimonial video. (Maybe wait until the happy gas has worn off.) The Google My Business stars, the glowing testimonials on your dental website, the wordy Yelp reviews—it all matters. Reviews build trust and loyalty when patients see that other people are going to your practice and are leaving thoughtful feedback. Of course, no one wants a bad review. Many dentists are worried about grumpy patients ruining their reputations. But receiving a negative review doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you respond correctly.
“We have a dental website, but we need to build a new one from scratch.”
Building a new website is almost as exciting as buying a new car. You’ve upgraded to a new level of performance, speed, and artistry. You can’t wait for everyone to see your shiny new toy. But what if that 2022 SUV doesn’t have your old car’s seat quality or dual climate control system? Sometimes we can overlook aspects of our marketing that are already working. We see this across the board with dentists ignoring strategies that are effective. Most often it concerns their dental website. Nothing is wrong with wanting to give an old website a modern makeover. But if you’ve had the website for a couple of years, more than likely, some of it works. Make sure you know what’s working before revamping the entire thing.
Use a tool such as Google Analytics to analyze the behavior of your site. How many users are visiting a particular page? What content are users engaging with? Which landing pages are converting? You can go a step further and create heat maps to see which areas of the site patients are interacting with. By tracking user behavior and noting the information that is attracting them, you can learn what type of marketing works best for your practice. So your website’s visuals are generic and look like Windows XP. That doesn’t mean that some elements don’t already work. Or that engineering an entirely new website out of the gate would help you generate new patient leads.
“We’ll let the dental marketing agency handle everything.”
Understandably, many dentists treat working with a marketing agency as something automatic. But for marketing to work well it has to be collaborative.
A marketing agency’s job is to help the dentist find and amplify their voice. We collaborate with the client and empower them to share their message to their target audience. We record the patient testimonials and take office photos and headshots. But the dentist has to be on video and give a narrative about who they are and why patients should choose them. This personalized, hand-in-hand approach is what humanizes your brand. Generic is boring. Only you can fill in the blanks about your story to make your dental website landing page sing or to add a remarkable quality to your social media posts. What’s your dental practice’s “wow factor”? What do you as a dental professional hold true? What do you want patients to gain from a visit with you? Every Zoom call and in-person meeting with your marketing agency make a world of difference in establishing your brand identity, getting clear on your mission, and attracting patients whose values align with that mission.
Avoid these Common Dental Marketing Mistakes
In conclusion, the strategies that cost the least can have the best results when executed by someone who knows what they’re doing. Collecting, curating, and highlighting patient feedback of root canals you’ve performed increases your revenue and the number of appointments you book. Optimizing your marketing is not about throwing out everything and starting from scratch, or letting a marketing agency take the wheel without you even hopping in the passenger seat. Don’t spend time and money on common dental marketing mistakes. If you’re looking for a collaborative, data-driven approach to marketing, get in touch with us today.