Want to know the best way to discourage people from visiting your practice? Have inconsistent or worse plain out-of-date info listed on Google, Facebook and other online directories.
In a recent study, BrightLocal.com found that more than 90% of consumers said they are frustrated when they find wrong information in online directories. More than 70% of respondents said they had a negative experience because of incorrect local business information online. They are more more likely to blame the local business than the directory for inaccurate information and stop using a local business because of it. Details matter and the ball is in your court when it comes to making sure information people find out about your practice online is correct, accurate and up-to-date. We recently wrote about the importance of claiming your Google My Business listing and making sure your name, address and phone number data (AKA NAP) is filled out correctly. Click here to read that post.
You can also take these steps:
- Do a search for your business online and reach out to any place where your office shows up and make sure they have your practice info right
- Claim your Google My Business listing and update your NAP info
- Go into your Facebook Business page and fill in all the correct contact info making sure it matches your Google My Business listing
These are just a few basic but vital steps to ensure you are building trust in your practice. So fill out those contact fields on your Google My Business and Facebook pages and make sure they are up-to-date and consistent.
If you want to know more about how to supercharge your marketing and convert more patients, contact People & Practice today for a free marketing analysis, at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New York State Dental Journal, the flagship publication of the New York State Dental Association published our article on marketing to Millennials. The article titled “Meet the New Disruptors: Millennials!” talks about how the dental profession needs to learn to market to a new generation of decision-makers.
There is a new generation of parents out there who are not as easily swayed by the traditional marketing mix. Millennials are fast becoming the most important demographic for your practice, and you need to know how they make decisions and where they can be reached. They’re technological natives, meaning they came of age with the Internet at their fingertips and have always owned some sort of computerized device. And they are not only very comfortable with the latest in computer science, they also expect everyone else to be just as up-to-date as they are, even more so. To understand how to attract millennials as patients, we need to know who they are and what pushes their buttons, so to speak.
You can read the full article on page 11 of the magazine here (PDF).
Don’t take a NAP when it comes to your orthodontic practice on Google Business.
Every orthodontist needs to claim their practice’s business listing on Google. Hands down, that is the most important piece of advice you need to know. You can pretty much stop here if you haven’t done that already. Go ahead and create or claim your business. We will wait.
Done? OK. Great! Your Google My Business listing is vital to capturing local search traffic. Test it out yourself. If you type in “orthodontic office” into your mobile device you’ll probably see results for practices located in your immediate area. According to Google, claiming your listing and updating your info will help your business achieve a better local ranking and enhance your presence in Search and Maps. What better time to capture attention than at the very moment people need it most?
Even if you didn’t create a business listing for your orthodontic office (or offices) one still probably exists. Go and claim all your business locations so you can manage details found in the listings, especially the essentials: Name, Address, and Phone number – or NAP as it is called in Search Engine Optimization circles.
A few additional things to remember to do:
- Verify your location – Helps your business appear in Maps and other Google products.
- Keep your hours accurate – Include special hours for holidays and special events. This is essential for people to know when they can come by or contact your office without getting sent to voicemail.
Add photos – A picture is worth a thousand words – especially on the web. Highlight your friendly staff, interior shots of your office, and patients smiling after they get their braces on or off.
- Reviews – It is very important that you gather positive, starred reviews associated with your practice and interact with customers by responding to reviews they leave. (Click here for 5 things you need to know about online reviews.) Google says that “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
Google’s local search results favor relevancy, completeness, and accuracy above all else. So make sure you enter all of your information.and keep it up-to-date!
Want to know more about how to supercharge your Google My Business listing and convert more patients? Get a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at email@example.com.
Effective digital marketing requires more than just a website and Facebook page. To build trust and increase new patient flow, you must also actively engage consumers online. Below we discuss how you can use digital media to convince potential patients that you’re the right practice for them.
Building trust with potential patients you’ve never met isn’t easy, but it can be done. Potential new patients are savvier than ever, researching practices on and offline before making a decision. Several factors contribute to their decision-making process including your website, online reviews, social media, positive comments, testimonials, a doctor’s referral, etc. All of these sources must convince them your practice is trustworthy and worth investing their time and money.
Where to Start: Building Your Online Reputation
Surveys show 90% of people read reviews before choosing a business. And most consumers read an average of 7 positive reviews before trusting that business—even with a strong star rating. Thus, your first priority should be garnering as many 5-star reviews as possible on Google and Facebook.
Since reviews of your practice carry so much weight, it’s vital to have some control over that information flow. One way to accomplish this is to capture authentic positive reviews in the office. A review capturing service will help boost positive reviews, and limit negative comments—“catching” them before the patient airs their grievances publicly. If a negative comment is posted on the web, you can defend it proactively by buffering it with positive feedback, making a single negative comment look like an outlier.
Next, add video testimonials from patients and/or referring doctors to your website. While written testimonials can be effective, video is much more powerful in building trust. Post these on your homepage and social media so they can be easily accessible with just one click.
Underscore Your Practice’s Unique Value
Authenticity translates into trust—a powerful motivator when making a purchase decision. So, always be authentic. Communicate your unique value to potential patients online with strong educational and interesting content.
Your content should educate them by answering their most frequently asked questions, show you’re an expert and clearly communicate your value over the competition. By using a blog and/or news section, you can organically attract patients to your website who are searching topics of interest. If they like what they read, they’ll follow you on social media and sign up for your email newsletter. Fun posts showing the personal side of your staff and patients, your community and charitable involvement, cool contests and informational content, all build confidence with potential new patients. So, when it’s time choose to a practice, you’re the one they’ll already know and trust!
Ensuring That If You Build It, They Will Come
Unfortunately, potential patients don’t always find you on their own and sometimes need a push. Facebook is arguably the most effective direct distribution channel for online content in the world. Their ads are highly targeted, allowing you to focus on a particular geographic area, age group, or interest category, so they reach the potential patients most likely to respond.
Carefully crafted original educational content is easily converted into ads that will move potential patients from Facebook or Instagram to your website with just one click. This strategy captures attention and creates awareness.
When writing online content, use a natural, friendly tone, as if you are speaking to the patient chairside. Also, make sure that photos and captions are posted by someone familiar with your practice culture to maintain authenticity. Otherwise, potential patients may unfollow you on social media if the posts don’t feel authentic.
Making Social Media Work for You
The primary benefit of social media is its social aspect—the sharing of information and content between your practice, patients, and potential new patients. Social media invites conversation. Everyone becomes part of the marketing process when engaging on Facebook and Instagram, thus exposing your practice to their entire network of online friends and family.
Social media is an integral part of digital marketing and building patient trust. Never let your online presence go stale. Rather, keep it fresh and authentic. Have a key staffer regularly update your website, Facebook and Instagram pages, and your Google Business listing. Remember, active engagement is key.
Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, MBA are founders of People & Practice, LLC, a digital marketing firm exclusively for the dental profession. For more information and a free marketing analysis, contact them at 888.866.DOCS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above article was reprinted with permission from The McGill Advisory, a monthly newsletter with online
resources devoted to tax, financial planning, investments, and practice management matters exclusively for
dentists and specialists, published by John K. McGill & Company, Inc. (a member of The McGill & Hill Group,
LLC). Visit www.mcgillhillgroup.com/newsletter or call 888.249.7537 for further information.
John K. McGill
Publisher-The McGill Advisory
The McGill Advisory is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal or accounting advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Copyright © 2018 John K. McGill & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The right mix can create a marketing masterpiece for your orthodontic practice.
We speak with orthodontists all the time who bemoan the loss of their tried and true referral sources and feel like they are facing the abyss when thinking that the only way to survive is by slashing fees. This is simply not the case. People and Practice has proven that, with the right mix of marketing online, a practice can not only survive it can thrive. You do not have to give up on the high value of service you have been providing to your patients. Your reputation does not have to take a hit in order to bring in new clients. What you need to do is make sure you are communicating why you are worth paying more for and connecting that message to the right customers. That’s where People and Practice excels. We know how to put together a marketing plan that will produce more patient conversions.
Social media leads to patient starts
It’s not just “nice” to have a social media page it’s essential. Studies have found that in the orthodontic industry one of the biggest opportunities for growth has been through social media. It has become one of the most common marketing strategies among practices and reports have shown that social media had a positive effect on new patient starts.
In a survey conducted by the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, 94% of respondents say that they have established a company page on Facebook to support their practice. Among the types of advertising orthodontic practice owners say that they have stopped using are Yellow page advertising, newspaper ads and direct mail – no surprise there. The question is, do you know how to replace these older forms of advertising with a more dynamic and interactive marketing channel like Facebook?
At People and Practice we work with each individual office and optimize a Facebook page to hit the right audience through interactive and shareable content. We support that effort with advertising that is targeted to reach a specific audience in your geographic region – people who are within driving distance of your practice.
Reviews are essential to converting customers
A potential patient won’t even think about calling your office unless they see positive reviews on Google, Facebook or other review sites and they want to see a lot of them. More than half of consumers that were surveyed said that a businesses rating was the most important factor in deciding where to go. The number of reviews was the second biggest factor in decision-making. Not only that, the number of consumers who want to see business responding to reviews is on the rise. And guess what? You cannot rest on your laurels because only 4% of consumers said that they pay any attention to reviews that had been submitted over a year ago.
People and Practice has a proprietary system to consistently capture positive, starred reviews and encourage patients to post them on Google Business and other social media websites. On the flip-side, we are able to head off negative reviews and address concerns before they are posted online.
Content is key to building trust
Trust is has always been an integral part of the transaction. That used to come from personal referrals and trusted centers of influence (dental offices) sending their patients your way. As the business of orthodontics changes we need to adapt to survive. Dentist are offering orthodontic services in-house, Dental Service Organizations are pounding potential clients by advertising low fees and quick turnaround, and mail order orthodontics – it’s a thing now. A practice has to cut through the clutter to communicate its value and build trust in a patient before they even walk in the door. The way to do that is by crafting educational content that positions you as an expert in the field of orthodontics and posts that show the value you and your staff bring to a patient’s experience in your office.
All good things deserve a boost
The greatest content in the world means nothing if no one sees it. Facebook and Google allow targeted advertising to show up in front of the specific audience you want to convert. We these powerful marketing tools to create and audience segment that is centered geographically in your office’s neighborhood and who are primed and ready to interact with the content we help create for you. Before they even walk in the door they have build up trust in your practice because we have served up useful, educational content the is relevant to them, giving them the tools to decide on their own if yours is the practice they want to bring their kids to.
If we build it they will click
People and Practice takes a multi-channel approach to marketing for orthodontic practices. Each strategy will work on its own but we believe that our marketing program is much more than the sum of its parts. By encouraging current patients to share posts about your practice on social media, making sure positive, starred reviews show up online about your office, crafting educational content, and making sure the right people are seeing that content when they need the information the most, we help you put more patients into chairs at your practice.
Want to learn more about putting the power of our marketing program in place for your orthodontist practice? Get a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at email@example.com.
Join People & Practice’s co-founders, Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, MBA, at the 2018 AAO Annual Session in Washington DC for one of two lectures on what works and what doesn’t in digital marketing in the age of technology.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
3:40 PM – 4:40 PM
Orthodontic Staff Program
Room 145 – Street Level
Sunday, May 6, 2018
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Orthodontic Staff Program
Room 145 – Street Level
About the sessions
With the growing prevalence of retail dentistry, solo practitioners and small group practices are at risk of becoming commoditized in the eyes of the patient. If the perception is that the standard of care and experience is the same everywhere why wouldn’t you choose the practice with the most flexible hours and lowest prices?
To avoid being commoditized and forced to compete solely on convenience or affordability you must build trust with potential new patients before they step through your door. That means activating online so that you show up in a positive light when a new patient searches for you, and proactively reaching out to those people who you know would make the best new patients.
This lecture will demonstrate how to accomplish this by solidifying your online reputation, connecting with your current and prospective patients on the media they use, and educating your target audience using the most effective online marketing tools available today.
After this lecture, you will be able to:
- Introduce, educate and build trust with your target audience members through patient education
- Ensure all of your digital and analog “touch points,” or ways a prospective new patient interacts with your practice, are managed
- Activate current patients to market for your practice, serving as brand champions that refer you to friends
To register for the 2018 AAO Annual Session click here.
New data suggests that reviews are getting shorter, positive and social.
A 2018 study published by ReviewTrackers found that online reviews are changing – for the better. Literally, reviews are getting more positive. They also found that people are using fewer characters to get their point across and that review-only sites are not growing as fast as social media and Google. We’ve talked before about how important it is to get good reviews on Google and how social media is the first place many go to find out about your practice. Below we present three of the findings that ReviewTrackers highlighted about the direction online reviews are going this year and how they can grow your practice.
More poetry than prose
Reviews are getting shorter. This is good news. People don’t have to slog through a rambling review to find out what the person wants to say. ReviewTrackers reported that “Reviewers are writing simpler and more to-the-point reviews. The average review has gotten 65 percent shorter since 2010 and is now roughly the size of a tweet.”
How this helps: With the rise of the tweet, people are learning to write succinctly about the businesses they visit. In this time-constrained, mobile world, we just want to know the facts. It also means that the barrier to entry is lower. We can ask patients to write short, factual posts quickly. It also means that people can read more positive reviews about your practice in less time (see point three below).
Rise of social and search
Review-only sites like TripAdvisor aren’t seeing as much growth in reviews as Google and Facebook. In fact, ReviewTrackers reports that Google and Facebook are now the No. 1 and No. 2 for online reviews.
How this helps: People & Practice dedicates its marketing efforts on a client’s Google MyBusiness profile and Google reviews. We also help practices develop and maintain an engaging and robust social media presence on Facebook – including targeted educational advertising. The data supports our findings that these are prime online channels for patient outreach and referrals.
The future is bright
Reviews are more positive than ever before. ReviewTrackers said in its report that “reviews are increasingly shifting from being a place where consumers air their grievances to being a place to recommend businesses after a positive experience.”
How this helps: Positive reviews convert people into customers. Other surveys have shown that half of consumers look for a 4-star rating at a minimum before they choose a business and 73% said that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Reviews are a serious business.
Want to learn more about reviews and reputation management for your orthodontist practice? For a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t think you need a social media page for your orthodontic practice, think again!
Many young parents will research a company on social media before they go anywhere else. They will not search on Google or ever visit your website. They go right to their favorite social media page and start looking to see if you show up doing as much research as possible to find out what kind of practice you run.
If you do not have a vibrant presence on social media then you might as well not exist to an up-and-coming demographic of parents looking for braces for their kids. That’s why you need to roll out the welcome mat on social media and ensure that you list all of your vital information like business hours, contact info, and a button to click if they want to get in touch with you directly. Your Facebook page will allow you to put all this information onto your business page so you need to make sure you’re taking advantage of it and keep the info up to date. (There’s nothing worse than calling a business during its published hours of operation and finding out they’re not open.)
Social media page has gone from superfluous to a super important. Even serving as your first point of contact with your next generation of patients. A social media presence is just as important as having a website and can contribute just as much to patient conversion.
Of course, starting a social media account alone isn’t enough. You must maintain it with a constant flow of engaging content that encourages patients to share with their friends who might be potential clients.
Without a social media page that is enhanced and engaging, you might as well be hanging up a “No Trespassing” sign on your door. You want to dress up your page so that people want to hang around and find out more about your practice.
Want to learn more about how to use social media to convert more people into patients? For a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at email@example.com.
People & Practice is a digital marketing company exclusively for doctors. We help to increase the quality of your new patient calls, encourage current patients to become brand influencers that refer you more and establish strong brand equity for your practice.