Why Social Media Ads are Important
Social media has become one of the most prominent ways to directly connect and engage with others on the internet.
As a research analyst in a department of over 20 years of dental marketing experience, we see that the research is clear in regards to social media advertising. The data shows businesses that connect and engage regularly and effectively have been rewarded with new customers and more often earn repeat business. With a powerful platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, you can post original content that is important to you and your practice and target a very specific audience while doing so.
Dentists looking to gain more attention can and should use these platforms as a tool to help increase patient retention. Although there is a rapid increase in ad dollars spent on this site, there is still a lot of paid advertising value to be had and is still a better alternative than using traditional advertising methods.
If you or your practice are not using social media, specifically Facebook, you are missing out on opportunities to get known and stay in front of a niche audience.
Why don’t more practices use Facebook and other social media more frequently to find a business?
First, it can be difficult and time-consuming to do so. Most of the time on the job is done actually operating and working in the business, leaving less time to work on the business. However, even though this may be true, there should be no excuse for not having at least one person on your team focus on what Facebook can do for your brand.
Type of Facebook Ad Example
Facebook is a hybrid platform. This means that they are not just known for specializing at one thing, like photos for example, but can be used to post videos, blogs, photos, create Facebook groups, fan pages, and even live streams along with paid business advertisement capabilities.
The challenge is Facebook constantly updates its algorithms in order to tailor to what people prefer to see. Here is a recent update that Facebook integrated into its paid advertising system that dental practices need to take advantage of:
Facebook launched a new update that allows advertisers to acquire analytics data from places that previously allowed you to protect certain information, for example, if you use a search engine like Safari. This data can help dental marketers better target or re-target potential patients and track conversions for their practices more precisely.
Why is being able to have this data important? Because research has shown that if you run an advertisement, you can see which people engage with it and which people do not. If you run a re-targeted ad to people who almost converted but ended up not, your chances of landing them or taking action in the way that you want to increase significantly. Also, with the data that you are given, you can see what kind of person was interested in your advertisement and create another paid advertisement that is more tailored to this person. The more personal an advertisement, the better of a chance you have at getting someone’s attention and interest. This could lead to more traffic to your website and more importantly, an increase in scheduled consultations/appointments.
Advertising on Facebook Today
Getting started on Facebook advertising is not the easiest task for a dental practice to do. There are a lot of what-ifs and questions as to whether the money being spent on paid advertising will be the right allocation of profits. All of these concerns are valid. However, you should know that simply setting up a Facebook page for your business and posting once every couple of weeks will not lead to the type of conversions you or your practice need to get to the next level.
Hiring a reputable Facebook page manager can be a great way to ensure your practice sees results. And depending on the type of niche your practice might be in, whether it be specializing in Invisalign, dental implants, traditional braces and the like, an increase in two to three clients a month can not only cover the costs of hiring somebody to manage your Facebook but can also lead to more profits.
Essential SEO Optimization Strategies for Dentists
SEO Defined and its Importance
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the method of being able to increase traffic to your website using free or natural search results on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Many people have heard of SEO optimization but not many people know how to take advantage of it. In this post are a few ways to have you and your practice become more aware of Google’s expectations if you want your practice to get found and get picked organically.
First, it is important to note that I want to talk about Google because mostly everybody’s attention is on Google. Other platforms like Yahoo and Bing have minimal market share and attention compared to Google. Google owns upwards of 90 percent of the market share in search engines and is the number one searched site in the world. As a dental marketer, having the ability to gain attention to this search engine is essential for gaining traffic to your website. Because Google is such a massive company, they are consistently trying to update its search ranking algorithms to provide the most pertinent search results for the millions of people who use their platform daily.
SEO Expert Essentials to Know
Google realizes that an ever-increasing number of people are using their smartphones to search on the internet rather than a standard office computer. With this data, Google is increasingly looking at the mobile version of your website page to help with ranking in the search results page. Meaning, if you are in the dental marketing industry, there is not one reason your company’s page should not be mobile friendly and have a sleek interface for potential customers who want to visit your site.
If you aren’t investing in this, then you will be losing out on organic traffic because:
- You will be ranked lower on Google searches and;
- People do not want to stick around on your website if it is hard to navigate through. Google wants to reward those who take time investing in their appearance because Google knows that this is what matters to its consumers.
Authority SEO Rankings
Google is using the mention of your company in its search algorithm. Meaning, how you engage online, and how people talk about your practice, actually matters how high you rank. Google sees this as the more you are mentioned, the more you become an “expert” at whatever it is you do. It learns that when enough people mention your practice, whether it be on Google reviews or other places, it becomes labeled as something real and influential. Once it learns this, it has a better picture of who you are and the authority you have in whatever specialty your practice resides. This could affect your rankings, bottom-line.
This may all seem intuitive but how many practices are actively trying to take advantage of this? To make the most of this, start mentioning your brand name online whenever possible. Secondly, being able to drive people online and incentivizing them to mention your name is important and can help with ranking as well.
Website SEO Rankings
Page speed has long been a ranking tool for search engines in their ranking process, specifically for desktops. Now, Google is using mobile page speed as a ranking factor. This is because it turns out, nobody wants to click on your website only for them to be stuck waiting for your site to load for a long time. The faster you can show up on people's devices, the better for your practice.
Going forward with your practice, it is important to take these SEO tips into account when looking to increase patient retention. These are the new fundamental concepts and techniques to keep in mind. Without this and looking to improve and perfect these aspects, it is difficult for Google (the number one searched site on the internet) to recognize you as an authoritative and trustworthy dental practice.
In dental marketing and digital marketing as a whole, it is essential to understand that being everywhere is a necessity. You need to be everywhere in order to continue to gain new levels of success. Your goal is to get attention. Attention wins. Attention allows people to know about you. The bottom line is you cannot expect people to choose your services if people don’t know about your services, to begin with. These organic search tips are a great way to start taking action to more frequently getting found and picked today.
How to Create and Execute on Full-Proof Dental Marketing Strategies
Organic Social Media Content for Dentists
Dentists need to be active on social media. End of story. This sounds simple but why should they be and what should they do? They should because, to this day, there is still an astonishingly low number of dentists that really push their brand and awareness through the gifts of social media. Meaning this is a great way for you to get ahead of your competition. You can use social media for free and, if you’re good and want to accelerate awareness, can use paid resources on these platforms to build a campaign.
Below is a list of the essential social media platforms that all dentists should be on and what each does.
Instagram mostly specializes in photo and video, which is to appeal to people’s visual sense. It is usually used to showcase work or short clips up to a minute long. On this app, it is preferable to use high-quality photos for better deliverance. Instagram usually requires at least one post a week containing the original content, a promotion, etc. Also somewhat recently, the app added live streaming, IGTV, and disappearing story capabilities to compete with other social media platforms.
Facebook is a hybrid platform. This means that they are not just known for specializing at one thing, like photos for example, but can be used to post videos, blogs, create Facebook groups, fan pages, or even share content and live stream.
LinkedIn is for providing more professional updates, blogs, and videos. This is a good way for people to keep up with your brand and your reputation. More business updates and less personal updates live on this platform. Also, expect in the near future more people to use this platform to push their brand as this is where more and more people are starting to gather and set their attention.
Twitter is most notably used for finding news, trends and is best for providing bursts of content - meaning you can post a lot without having to worry so much about others being annoyed with it. This platform is also good for providing continuous updates for your brand and for testing strategy, messaging others, or to push a big sale.
Now that you know what each platform is for, what comes next? Get on a content posting schedule.
Getting on a Content Schedule
Posting content to each social media platform and getting on a content schedule is what every practice that’s trying to maximize attention should be doing and should be done liberally. Here are some examples of what this may look like using the most effective social media platforms for dentists:
- Create a Facebook Page
Creating a Facebook page allows your practice to be centralized and allows people to keep track of events, schedules, fundraisers, look at photos, video, and much more.
- Posting Photos and Videos Regularly
There is an increasing amount of photos and videos that show up on a typical person's Facebook timeline. Posting a photo or video content and leaving an open-ended question as a caption can be a way for people to engage with you and your practice.
- Do Giveaways
Provide real incentive to share your content, like your page, and more by offering giveaways to your customers who like a post, share a post, and tag 3 friends in it for example.
KEY: The bigger and more "unpractical" the giveaway, the more incentive people have to participate which up your chances of increased traffic.
- Post blogs, articles, and share other useful content
Posting blog pieces on your page have little fixed dollar amount ROI but can provide a great way for people to consume original content and associate with your practice more regularly.
- When new and repeat patients come into your office in person, ask them to join your Facebook group that delivers information and updates focused around everything central to your practice and what you do best.
This will allow people to continue to associate you with high-quality professionalism and allows you to stay in front of your most valuable patients long after they have left your offices.
- Post before and after pictures
Posting high-quality photos showing real, tangible results is good for giving people a reason as to why they should check out your practice
Posting pictures that show, for example, an Invisalign procedure and how the success you had shown your ability to provide satisfying results regularly.
- Upload 1-minute videos that show the personality of your practice
Do an interview-style approach with your fellow colleagues. Ask them basic questions that allow genuine responses. People will be more comfortable with the practice because they have a much better idea of who works there.
This makes your business more authentic and people can start to get to know you without having been to your office yet.
- Increasing your network and build your followers list
You can increase your network by utilizing hashtags and reaching out through engagement on other people's content.
- Show Exclusivity
Give people exclusive looks at things that you may be doing to expand your practice.
Give people an interesting tutorial of how a specific procedure is done that people might not have known about before to create curiosity and excitement.
- Post updates about the business
- Use trends on the discover page to link to what your practice can offer
Using a trend and connecting it with your brand is a good way to reach other people and for other people to access you.
- Post polls to get people to engage and give feedback
Twitter allows you to take a poll which is a good way for you to get people's opinion on something
- For example, you can write a poll that says: "What kind of giveaway should we offer as a holiday special?" then provide three or four options.
- This is an easy way to find out what consumers care about and helps you stay engaged with a community.
- Make sure you use Twitter to stay synchronized with your other social media platforms and other marketing
- Offer discounts (like Facebook)
Like Facebook, you can offer discounts and giveaways to people when they like and retweet your post.
- YouTube is the 3rd most searched website on Google, meaning millions of people use this site daily to consume video content
- Build long-form content
Building long-form content that has also been posted on other social media platforms are good to expand your reach on all platforms
Linking your videos to your website or other social media sources is important
People will watch 8, 10, 15-minute videos on YouTube that they might not want or be able to watch on other social platforms
Don’t be afraid to mess up and don't get discouraged by seemingly low engagement and followers when first starting out. It takes time to build a following and a reputation but it is worth it.
Again, the main use of social media is to engage with people in ways that might not be possible going through paid internet traffic. When you engage with people, you become more real. You become less robotic and less calculated and instead become more authentic. People value real. People value authenticity. The more real you become, the better chance you have at attracting business that was previously not reachable. People will be able to associate you with