Web marketing for dentists, this unknown. But is it really necessary to invest in online communication? The answer is yes, and in the next few paragraphs I will explain why. But first of all, let's start with the basics.
What is web marketing
I'll tell you right now that web marketing for dentists is not - nor can it be - the solution to all your problems. What it can do is give you a hand in promote your business online, to get more clients into your practice, but only if done well. And "done right," by which we mean, means not improvising.
The quality of the services you offer, customer focus, experience and preparation, those you have to put in. Web marketing, if anything, will help you communicate your potential and expertise to prospective clients.
But what is web marketing for dentists?
It is a set of online communication strategies and tools that are used to attract people interested in the products or services offered. Simply put, it involves speaking in the right way to the right people.
There are several digital channels to do this, but be careful because not all of them are suitable for your needs. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you have to be on every virtual platform to build a good online presence; you don't. We will talk more about this, however, in a moment.
But why promote a dental practice online?
The Web has now become such an integral part of our lives that it affects the choices we make and the lifestyle we adopt. We use our smartphones to do everything from constantly peeking at Facebook to making payments via GPay or Apple Pay.
Everything happens on the Internet now, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak of 2020 and 2021. This catastrophic event made us better understand-if we still needed to-just how completely our existences are permeated by the network, with all the advantages and disadvantages that this entails and can be discussed.
I am not interested in doing that here, I just want to bring to your attention what is the reality today: to have no online presence, in 2021, is simply unacceptable.
The virtual plaza is one of the busiest and most active at any time of the day or night. If you want to find new customers online, if you want to better advertise your clinic, It's time to invest time and resources in curating your digital channels. The good news is that you don't have to do it yourself; you can always get help from consultants who are experts in the field-and in your field, too.
The importance of planning: the marketing plan
To get good results with your communication and get more clients into your firm, you need to plan your moves in advance. There is no room for improvisation in marketing: if you want your strategy to be effective, you will have to study and plan it carefully.
This is precisely the goal of the marketing plan, one Tool that serves to frame and understand the characteristics of the market in which a particular company operates. Once the context is understood, in fact, it will be possible to create ad hoc communication strategies to achieve the set goals.
The first thing to do, then, is to sit down at a table and analyze the scenario in which you work. Try to keep in mind the characteristics and potential of your clinic, and then try to answer each of these questions.
What are the goals you intend to achieve?
Usually increasing turnover is among the primary goals of any business. When drafting a marketing plan, however, you need to be more specific than that, so that you clearly define the actions that will make it easier for you to achieve your goals.
Therefore, it is not a matter of defining general intentions, but rather of draw up a set of SMART goals (an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) that are as specific and measurable as possible. Increasing turnover, for example, is a generic intent, while bringing 5 new clients into the firm each month is a SMART goal.
What are the characteristics of your business?
I suggest you make a good SWOT analysis (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of your dental clinic to identify what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to business development. This analysis is used to take a snapshot of the current situation and to Identify some areas where action is needed To improve the situation of the business.
Who are your competitors? How do they operate in the market?
Understanding how your competition performs is critical to presiding over those areas that may be overlooked by other clinics, but where you could best position yourself.
For example, perhaps your competitors are not very social and struggle to respond to messages and inquiries submitted via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Providing great customer service online, therefore, could score you points over your competitors.
Don't forget to do a careful analysis of the market in which you operate, even and especially at the local level. Knowing the context in which we move is most important for creating consistent communication strategies tailored to your target audience.
Who is your ideal customer?
Speaking of target audience, have you ever wondered who your ideal audience might be? Again, try to be as specific as possible. Is it a man or a woman? What does he or she do for a living? How much care does he or she devote to his or her oral hygiene? What problems does he or she face most frequently? How old is he or she?
These and other questions are useful for Figure out who your ideal customer is, how they behave and what their habits are, both in terms of people care and consumption. In this way you will be able to identify the right tone of voice with which to address your target audience, and how to shape your communication style to meet the needs of potential customers.
How to communicate your brand with web marketing?
Now that you have analyzed the market, framed the target audience and its needs, studied the competition, and understood what your strengths and weaknesses are, you should have the information you need to develop targeted and effective communication strategies. Now is the time to Decide which channels to use, what kind of content to produce (ex: articles, social posts, videos) and which advertising campaigns to plan.
Web marketing for dentists: how to find clients online
Have you laid out your marketing plan? Well, it's time to take action. Remember that the communication strategies you decide to put in place must be Aimed at building your authority and enhancing your reputation In the field.
Why, in fact, would a potential client choose you over another dentist? What is your value proposition, what differentiates you from all your competitors? Your communication should revolve around these issues, but not from a self-referential perspective: try to use the strengths revealed in the SWOT analysis to provide concrete answers to your target audience's needs.
So let's see what digital tools you have at your disposal to find new customers online.
If you still don't have a website, take immediate action. The web page is not only a showcase for your business, but a means for potential customers to find you. How? Thanks to the SEO, especially at the local level.
It is a set of content optimization techniques - but also of the structure of the website - apt to gain you positions in Google search results. The purpose is Gain some organic visibility in a specific geographic area, that is, the one where your dental clinic is located. That is where your target audience is, so you need to act locally to best position yourself.
So try to create quality content to post on your site, such as articles for the blog or service pages, and optimize it for the most searched keywords, perhaps associated with the city in which you operate (e.g., dental implants Piacenza).
Another thing you can do is to open a Google My Business tab which will allow you to place your clinic on the map, just a click away for anyone looking for a dentist in your area. Reviews left on Google My Business help improve rankings, so don't forget to ask your clients to leave their opinion on the board.
LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube
In other words, social media. Most people spend at least 3-4 hours a day on social media: do you really want to miss the opportunity to connect with your potential customers just because you are not active on these channels?
Mind you, however, I am not saying that one should be present on every social network indiscriminately, just to make up the numbers. Quite the contrary. Thanks to the analysis done when drafting your marketing plan, you will certainly have guessed which communication channels are suitable for your audience.
In web marketing for dentists, usually, the most widely used social media are Facebook and YouTube. The former allows you to convey content and, at the same time, provide instant customer service to potential interested parties; the latter, on the other hand, allows you to highlight your expertise in the field through explanatory videos on the main diseases, the working methods you use, and tips regarding daily oral hygiene.
Remember that high engagement on social media is useless if those interactions don't turn into conversions, that is, in patients who decide to enter your practice and avail themselves of your services. That's why social networks make sense only if they are positioned within a well-designed sales funnel, otherwise they risk remaining only ends in themselves.
On the topic of LinkedIn, I would like to point you to the book by Valentina Vandilli "LinkedIn Formula" found on Amazon.
In addition to organic growth tools, such as Local SEO, there are also other means of bringing more traffic to your site: advertising campaigns. I am referring, in particular, to the AdWords ads, that is. Sponsored advertisements that are intended to gain you visibility on Google By highlighting your website.
Before creating a paid ad, however, you need to understand which keywords related to your business are most searched by users (e.g., dental cleaning Rome, dentist Milan, dental implant deals, and so on). Clearly those most used will prove more expensive than the others, and it won't be so easy to stand out from the mass of competitors all targeting the same keywords. The solution? Choose keywords that are as specific as possible, so that you have a better chance of ending up at the top of the list of Google search results.
Doing ad campaigns with AdWords can prove to be quite complicated, which is why I recommend that you contact a professional in the field so that you don't waste your money and optimize the results as much as possible.
Freebies: eBooks and e-mail marketing
Lastly, you might also consider writing one or more mini eBooks focused on a particular topic to be used as freebie, or free content that potential customers who land on your site can download in exchange for their newsletter subscription. A guide to proper daily dental hygiene, just to name one, could be a great example of freebie.
By doing this you will build a database of contacts that you can use for future e-mail marketing campaigns, perhaps related to special offers reserved for new clients or to promote your dental practice's services. Try to use simple language that everyone can easily understand: remember that at this stage you don't have to prove how much you know, but simply answer your clients' questions.
Web marketing for dentists is not an exact science; one must always Monitor results to understand what actions are working and which ones should be discontinued or changed. This is why it is important to set goals upstream that are measurable, precisely to track conversions and the effectiveness of each action.
If you don't think you can do it alone to manage your firm's communications, get a professional in the field to come alongside you and help you understand what actions, channels, and strategies are best suited to your purposes and context. And if you want to learn more about online authority, check out to my resources On the topic.