Make The Right Pieces Sing and Your Practice Win
By Dr. Greg Grillo
For some, the online world makes perfect sense. For others, it’s a 1000 piece puzzle that never ends. If you’re not sure how all the parts fit or what makes the gears turn behind the scenes, you’re not alone. But for practice success in today’s world, the digital puzzle can’t be left undone.
The best way to view the digital landscape is to simplify it to the patient’s journey. What must be in place to move a patient from “I need a dentist” to “you’re the best dentist EVER (and I’m sending friends to you)”? They advance from A to B to C to D, and it should be seamless. How you connect those dots determines a large part of your practice success. Here’s how you take four dots, put them together, and solve the digital puzzle:
Dot 1: Prospective patients find you
It’s a big online world out there. But you just have to know where to meet your next patient. Over 7 million searches for dentistry take place every month in Google Maps. And nearly 7 out of 10 searches click within or above the maps for their next move!
If you don’t get your practice in that spot, you won’t be found. You must have accurate business listings , consistent reviews , and top ad placement to stand out and earn the click. You can also introduce lead campaigns to funnel specific patients your way, like those searching for Invisalign®. Once a lead clicks on your practice name, the next piece must be connected:
Dot 2: Those leads engage with your practice
Your brand has a short period to hold visitors when they arrive to your dental website or a landing page. In fact, research shows that visitors form an opinion about whether they’ll stay or leave within .05 seconds! And if they stay for 15 seconds or more, chances are good they’ll stay longer.
Design, content, and imagery that displays perfectly on a mobile device is vital. But you also need engagement tools that give patients an opportunity to learn more. Excellent tools that help engage a patient beyond a quick glance include videos, assessments, online scheduling , and chat features.
Dot 3: Once a patient, they stay connected with you
It’s a competitive world, and every business contends for a share of your patients’ budget–the pull isn’t only from other dental practices. But steady exposure to another dental brand can lead to increased patient attrition in your practice. The average practice loses 17% of their patients every year, so you must nurture relationships and attract new patients.
Strategies that digitally touch your patients between visits pay off. You can send periodic emails that “tease” patients with a summary of an interesting article on your blog. They click and end up on your site, which also helps your SEO efforts. “Dripping” on your patients refers to putting content in front of them on a regular basis. For example, consistent Facebook posts two to three times a week keep your name in front of people. With the average consumer spending over two hours every day on social media, you must drip your brand in front of them for front-of-mind engagement.
Dot 4: As a raving fan, they give referrals and reviews
The last time you chose a service or product, did you check reviews? If you’re like 92% of consumers who say reviews influence their choices, you did. Even more insightful is that a 2018 study found that 40% of consumers would only consider local reviews submitted within the past two weeks. You need reviews , and you need them to keep coming.
Tracking referrals and acknowledging patients that send patients your way plays a critical role, too. Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the primary aims of your marketing efforts, and it takes a systematic, low-effort strategy to blend reviews and referrals to feed your practice growth.
A Solution That Makes You Look Like A Genius
Your practice needs these critical pieces and their underlying components. And all the pieces need clear connections from one to the other. Connecting the dots is the magic that brings the picture together. Learn how you can make your marketing plan run like a Fortune 500 company: smooth, affordable, and stress-free by setting aside some time for annual planning. You can use my Dental Practice Planning Kit to make 2021 your most successful year yet!