The downsides of automated, outsourced marketing systems
Dentistry is a busy profession and even more-so now that pandemic restrictions are lifting and patients head back to get the check-ups they’ve missed or to complete treatments started a while back. Understandably, dental business and their managers are looking for ways to streamline processes whilst still remaining effective and this includes how practices run their various marketing channels.
The drive to automation
You don’t have to look far to find dental marketing agencies offering “all done for you” marketing packages incorporating everything from organic SEO to paid social media advertising. To many, this may sound very attractive; simply sign the contract, pay your £2k per month (and often more) and let the third-party company get moving on your behalf. But is this really the best way to go in the quest to be a dominant force in your local market, or do you need a more sophisticated and personalised approach?
Let’s take a look at what can work well via third-party services and also the areas where strong participation from the practice team is needed for best effect.
I’ll begin by saying that full “done for you” marketing packages aren’t the optimal way forward, both from effectiveness and a cost perspective; but why is this? Here are the main areas where those type of packages fall down:
- Lack of personalisation – most dental marketing agencies are pulling the same content from their libraries and using it on multiple different websites. This becomes very generic and is particularly obvious on social media where visual presentation I key to engagement. The same old images and strap lines appear again and again and it just doesn’t cut it with users.
- The effects above are exacerbated by marketing agencies automating as many processes as possible, so for example using automatic posting tools to distribute content via their client’s social media accounts – extremely repetitive and of limited value.
- Copied or minimally adjusted blog content – we see lots of dental practice blogs where it is obvious that the blogging is being done by an agency rather than a local team member. These types of blogs are characterised by minimal content, regurgitated themes and sometimes even copied from elsewhere. High-quality blogging is an excellent tool to provide useful information for patients and also for SEO, but not the type of minimalist material noted above.
- Generic newsletters – agencies also re-use newsletter content with only minimal tweaks; all rather bland and very probably consigned straight to the recipient’s email trash bin.