Preparation at the practice before starting out with SEO, pay-per-click or social media marketing.
Dentists often ask us to undertake “fully outsourced” marketing for them because they have “no resources” at the practice to participate. Whilst we can cover most of the bases for this, it’s actually impossible to carry out fully outsourced marketing for several reasons, and where companies claim to do this, you need to be a little bit wary as follows.
Even where most of the activities are outsourced, there will always be some input from the local team as I’ll illustrate. In fact the most effective campaigns are typically those where activities are shared between the external dental marketer and nominated and trained members of the practice team. This balance of marketing “done for you” alongside marketing “done by you” always tends to work best.
Whilst a good dental marketer will be able to generate numerous high-quality leads for your business, if your business is not set up correctly to receive and process them, then the overall initiative has failed before it starts. Indeed we’ve recently paused two pay-per-click campaigns which were yielding good returns in terms of enquiries but the dentist’s reception team were not handling them professionally; so collectively we agreed to pause whilst the appropriate, proactive staffing was put in place.
So as a minimum, the front-desk team needs to be trained in and receptive to dealing with an influx of new enquiries. This does not simply mean booking new appointments but also being able to use recording systems to try to identify how the enquiries originated. This is essential to help determine how well the various aspects of the marketing campaigns are working, alongside the reporting from the external marketing team.
Additionally, if you’ve embarked on social media marketing, for example Facebook advertising, there must be proactive monitoring to ensure that new enquiries or questions are responded to promptly. Don’t leave it to your marketing team to do this for obvious reasons.
Getting the basics in place to support your marketing initiatives is essential, but to really push on in the pursuit of the best returns, having your team participate in specific marketing activities really is worthwhile. For example, running your own Facebook posts will always be way more engaging and successful than having a third-party try to do it for you. It’s not difficult to see why a third-party cannot understand your business as well as a proactive member of your own team. If you post content which resonates with your target audience, then it will work much better than the generic material regurgitated by most marketing agencies.
Similarly, you need to be proactive with stimulating reviews from your patients on Google and Facebook as well as gathering and publishing testimonials. This “social proof” is essential for building confidence in potential new patients and encouraging them to get in touch.
It’s also helpful if your team can generate personalised blog content to go alongside the content generated by your marketing team. This is because your own content will be much more personalised than your marketer’s content which will likely be more focused towards SEO.
Remember also, that whilst “digital” is a huge part of modern dental marketing, it certainly isn’t all of it. Many of our practices do very well indeed using more traditional mechanisms such as open days, business fairs and even radio advertising – most of this they organise under their own steam and complementary to the digital work we undertake for them.
Whilst it would be nice to think that you can completely outsource all of your practice marketing, in practice this isn’t possible. There is a minimum level of responsibility required within the local team as noted above; even if that is only processing new enquiries effectively and recording data associated with them. However, if you want to take it to the next level, then nominating and training individuals within the team to undertake certain activities where your marketer will struggle, really does bring benefits.
If you are new to using digital marketing to promote your dental practice and would like advice and assistance, why not get the ball rolling by calling the team at Dental Media on 01332 672548? We’re here to help!Google+