5 ways to get it right in 2021
Your practice reflects your values and vision; it’s a brand story that your community sees online. But what do people think when they hear your name mentioned at the coffee shop? Brands can take on a mind of their own. You can’t dictate what people think, but you can help steer the direction with digital tools. Regardless of size, the best brands proactively guide their reputation, and we must, too.
In our high-contact profession, the way we care for patients in the operatory holds the most story-telling weight. There’s no better way to establish trust, communicate empathy, and prove our skills than in the office. But the same message should carry through every contact patients have with our practices, including online.
Here are five way to help manage our reputations in dentistry:
Count Your Stops.
Many patients rely on local search to find healthcare providers. The data shows that consumers search for dentistry at least seven million times monthly. They may see our brand across multiple checkpoints, so we need to make sure our practice listing and branding are consistent across the landscape. Patients get confused by inconsistent or outdated information, and it reflects on our brand. At least 100 different sites list our practice information, including Healthgrades, Yelp, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo.
Local SEO calculates our online reputations into mysterious search algorithms. We may give warm towels and pain-free treatment, but Google considers many more factors to assign an online reputation. We must use a trusted marketing team to help us remain digitally consistent.
Check Out The Big Picture.
Our business listings help boost local SEO, but consumers absorb the impact of our total digital presence. You may be surprised to learn there are over 75 social media channels, but Facebook and Instagram are primary focus points for dental practices. Polishing our appearance on these channels bolsters visibility and connects us to our target demographics.
Our website anchors the center of our online brand, and most patients end up there before visiting our practice for the first time. From design to page load times, key pieces work together to help us tell our story. And it needs to work flawlessly: More than half of mobile consumers that experience a poor mobile website carry their perception over to the business. So, mobile-optimized sites aren’t just a nice option–they’re mandatory. We must engage with marketing teams that understand how to blend all the pieces for the unique niche of dentistry.
Actively Engage With Patients.
On average, people spend 142 minutes a day on social media, but they often scroll quickly through posts. While users see our posts, they don’t frequently comment or share. Try to create posts that encourage patients to make a comment or give their input. During graduation seasons, ask “If you could give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?” is an example of a post that may draw engagement.
In a post-pandemic world, patients want more contactless ways to engage with businesses. We need a clear strategy that offers communication channels that work together. Plus, our teams appreciate greater efficiency and the ability to serve patients even better.
While Google’s formula for SEO is cloaked in mystery, online reviews significantly impact our ranking. We need to nudge our current patients to help us step ahead of local search competition. And the impact from reviews won’t fade anytime soon: 91% of millennials say they trust reviews even more than their closest contacts.
The best opportunity to gather a review from a patient is immediately after their appointment. A 5-star review starts with first-class treatment and a simple invitation to share their experience. While they’re welcome to jump on any forum, Google and Facebook are stalwarts that most prospective visitors will explore.
Be Your Community’s “Go-To” Dentist.
Patients sift through a barrage of media every day, including inaccurate health information. We can help add value to people’s lives with well-designed campaigns. Accurate blog posts, updates on our profession’s new techniques, and concise email workflows help build trust with wary consumers.
Marketing in the digital space involves steady exposure, also known as “drip” marketing. Someone may not need a dentist today, but they may need one two months from now. Or their neighbor will ask if they know a good dentist. If you’ve established value with consumers, even non-patients, you’ll be at the top of their minds when they thinks of dentists. If they check reviews, your website, and your Facebook page and find consistent branding and messaging, you’ll probably be their obvious choice.
Put It All Together.
We like to think that patients never forget us, but everyone’s calendars are full, and worries are higher than ever. We simply have to stay in front of them to keep our story alive in their minds. Brands that commit to consistent, classy forms of engagement build awareness and authority with consumers.
Dentistry’s not a one-time purchase, and healthcare relationships take consistent effort. The best teams align with experienced resources that know the landscape, strategies, and tools to make our stories live in today’s competitive world.
What’s your plan in 2021? Consider a FREE assessment by the MethodPro team to get a customized strategy designed for your unique story. Click HERE to learn more!