Please enjoy this recent webinar we did that helps dentists and their practice staff update their marketing to take full advantage of the digital landscape. Below the video is a full transcript of the webinar.
So, let’s go ahead and get started with the presentation today.
Currently, as we look at the usual efforts of most dentists that we see out there, there are two main ways that they are advertising. And that is usually through the mailers –yellow pages, which can be considered both since they are dropped on the doorstep- and then billboards. Those are two very popular methods of marketing and advertising. But the problem with those, while they are effective in many ways, is they are difficult to track the ROI. Anytime you have an offline form of marketing that is then tied to e-mails, phone calls, or in-office visits, it’s very difficult to identify where they came from. The audience reach, because the way people are now handling outdoor advertising and direct mailers, is that oftentimes the most common recipient for the mailers and for the yellow pages is the trash bin. They are often viewed as junk mail, or I really can’t remember the last time I even saw a yellow page book in our household. Most people are going mobile, we usually Google everything that we need personally, but I know many other households are going that [way]. And quite frankly, they’re very expensive. Lot of resources, we kill a lot of trees to do it; if that’s not your thing to save the trees, that’s okay. If you’re into saving money, then that’s also a downfall. They are very expensive to do; mailers as well as billboard advertising. In addition to that, billboard advertising holds a special place in my heart because, while I do find it very effective, if it’s not being leveraged correctly it can actually be a big negative for you to where you’re actually marketing for your competitors. And I’ll get into that in just a minute.
So this is the current status. So [what] we’re gonna talk about today is creating a holistic marketing strategy that leverages your website, SEO, digital advertising methods, paid advertising, content marketing, social media, and e-mail newsletter. Now, the reason you do want to go towards this is because it’s completely trackable. Every granular activity that someone takes on your social accounts or through e-mail or on your website, you can track and attribute to any type of advertising or digital method that brought them there. The audience is usually captive in digital advertising; if it’s done correctly so the trash bin is no longer a competitor of yours. And if done correctly it is also very efficient, cheap, and it can be persistent and continuous for your potential patients.
So, these are the steps that we’re gonna go through today, and we’re going to give some tips, tricks, and hacks (I guess you could say) on every one of these and what will help optimize each of these. We will start with local SEO, get into content marketing –you know, the buzzword everybody talks about that nobody really know what it does or why it’s there-, social media -the one that everybody knows is important-, PPC, and e-mail marketing.
So, we’re gonna start off with search engine optimization. There’s an old adage that’s as old as search engine optimization, which is about ten years so not that long (well, actually about fifteen now). But, it says ‘where’s the best place to hide a dead body? Well, it’s on the second page of Google, because nobody ever goes there’. And if you’re like me or like everybody else, you really don’t get to that point in your searches. So being optimized to appear within the results with the first three or four is really essential. If you’re searching from a desktop computer there’s something called the ‘snack pack’, and that’s basically Google’s way of saying ‘These are the most important groups you should be looking at.’ They highlight them. Below that, there’s the organic rankings where it shows kinda just the typical search engine rankings. And then you also have the map rankings, which will show the location and a little bit of a brief description. If you flip that to mobile, it kinda leads with the map results depending on the form they’re using. If they’re searching within their Google Maps, Apple Maps, whatever it may be, the map results are gonna come up first and then organic rankings will come up second. In addition to the organic rankings, above those there is the AdWords. And we’re gonna talk about that a little bit as well. But here’s where we get into what I was mentioning about billboards. Billboards are a drive-by method of marketing. You get a very brief instance of touching the client, you have to share your value proposition right away, and if you’re successful in doing it then they need to then act on that message. What rarely happens is while they’re driving, people grab their phones and quickly try and dial the number; rather what happens, and you can put yourself in your own position, is you drive by and you see something that you know you have a pain point for, and it reminds you ‘Oh, that’s right. I need to find a new dentist, we just moved to the area’. Or ‘Oh yeah. We need to schedule that dental appointment’. And when they get back to their computer, most often times what they do is they search ‘dentist’ and then their city. Or, if they have some brief recognition of who it was, they’ll search the brand. But they rarely go straight to the website or write down the phone number because if they’re driving quickly past the billboard they don’t have the opportunity to do that. If they’re stuck in traffic, sometimes they do. But most of the time they don’t. So, if you are paying for billboards, but you’re not optimizing for SEO, when they go to their computers and search ‘dentist in this market’, they’re going to find competitors of yours. Now, the impetus for that search was the billboard, and if you paid for that then you are now helping your competitors. We’ll also get into this with paid ads on how competitors and how you can actually poach some of your competitors’ marketing. I’m a big fan of doing that, personally.
So. Aspects of local SEO. Here’s where you need to have consistent name, address, phone number. That’s called the NAP. Now you might think that that’s kind of redundant, but you’d be surprised at how many negative citations or incorrect citations are out there. On-page optimizations, this is kind of the code that’s on your website, and then reviews. These are the big three that play into your local optimization. Now a lot of people say ‘Well what about link building?’. Well, link building does play a part; however, link building is very hard to do organically for small companies and citations do count as links, and for the most part they can play a major factor and be enough for clients on the local level. Now, when we talk about consistent name, address, and phone number, there are quite a few services if you just search ‘NAP checker’ on Google, you’ll come up with quite a few services that will allow you to basically crawl the web, look for all of the places that have you listed as a business entity, and it will compare your phone number, your address, and make sure everything is consistent. Now there are gonna be times where it’s semantics, this time it’s written ‘South’ the other time it has just an ‘S’. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to Google they want to see that consistency. Oftentimes, you might find that one of your old practices is listed there, or an old location, or an old phone number. If they see these inconsistencies, it does damage you in their view. So to get better rankings you have to keep everything consistent. Once you do a NAP check, which is pretty easy to do, there’s a few services that will do it for free, you can then go and optimize and fix the ones that you know are wrong. Takes just a couple minutes, the results for your local SEO will be significant.
The next one is on-page optimizations. Now, with on-page optimizations you should on your website have a page that talks about the location you are at. It should have the address, phone number, e-mail, all of your contact information right there; if you have multiple locations for your practice, you want to have multiple pages talking about the city, the area where that practice is located. As much as possible you want to use rich snippet highlighting, as well as schema data to highlight these. Schema data is ‘S-C-H-E-M-A, you can search that, it’ll tell you how to put that together, and then your rich snippet highlighting is done in your Google Webmaster tools. Doing those will, again, provide quite a few benefits for your SEO. Alt images, people put up images, they don’t put keywords in those images. If you are a dental practice in Albuquerque, you should probably have some images that talk about a dental practice in Albuquerque. That’s one of the quickest, easiest ones to go after, and most people put images on their website and never think about them again. So those are a couple of quick, easy tips to optimize your local presence. You do it, I guarantee you will see some results from that.
Now, reviews. Reviews are heavily weighted in the search results. Why? Because Google is continuously saying –and Bing and Apple, you know, all the ones that provide search results- continuously say they are in it for the user experience. And to them, a sure sign of a positive user experience is previous users or patients who have had a positive experience. So if they see high ratings, then you are more likely to show up higher in the rankings. So, you want to really nurture those ratings, and the way you do that is you ask for them. And we’re gonna show you a couple techniques to do that, but you want to make sure you’re getting your ratings and getting reviews on Google specifically. To do that, you have to go to Google My Business, create it, claim it, optimize it, that’s the first thing you should do if you’re trying to show up in local search results. Then, you should actively have messages on your counters at the practice; have your practice staff actively ask for reviews: ‘Hey, if you had a great time here, we would really love it if you went online and reviewed it. It helps us immensely, and it would mean a lot to us’. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, in fact it’s encouraged to do that. The other website that is factored into local search with reviews is Facebook. You should be optimizing your reviews on Facebook, they are put there. Now, at the same time, none of these reviews that you see dictate that they have to be about the services they received there. They’re about the business. To that end, you can have employees of your practice go and leave a review on their opinion of working at that practice. I would greatly suggest you do not falsify any reviews, because that can get you into some trouble. But don’t have people go on there and start spamming reviews and saying ‘Oh, I got my teeth shined there, whitened there, and it was great’. But rather, there’s nothing wrong with having your practice staff go in and say ‘I love working here. The staff is friendly, the patients are great, everything about this place is great. I give it 5 out of 5 stars’. That is a completely genuine review, and it will show up, and it’s a great way to kinda seed the tip jar if you are looking to get more reviews. Because people, if they see that others are leaving reviews are more likely to leave reviews themselves.
All right, citations and business listings. These are the other key factor; again, they act as a lot of the links you will get on a regular basis, and they’re incredibly easy to get. As I told you to go and search and look for these NAP –the name, address, and phone number listings- to make sure they’re accurate, you’re also gonna want to notice if they even exist. So some of them will say ‘no listing found, no listing found’. When that’s the case, go in there as quickly as possible and fill in the correct information and make sure that you hyperlink back to your website. That will be a link built for you; it will also be a citation, so another vote for you in Google’s eyes or the other search engines’ eyes. And they’re quite easy to get; now, you might think ‘Oh, I’m on the directories; I’m on Yelp and Yellow Pages’. Well, there’s also HealthGrades, ZocDoc, Angie’s List, there’s a bunch of local citations and then there’s industry citations. So ZocDoc and HealthGrades are a form of industry citation. A lot of groups sometimes forget that their profiles are on there; the more rich content you can put onto your profile, more descriptions, more everything, the better it will be. A lot of times these citation places will just scrape, and it might just be a mess of information on there that they auto-scraped from either your website or another citation they found. So you want to go in and make sure that all the information is correct, that you have many strong calls to action in there, and that the content is not keyword-stuffed, and it’s very naturally-spoken English in there, because that’s how the Google bots and all the search engine bots will crawl it. So spend some time working on your citations; again, you will see a lot of results from that.
So real quick, we’re just gonna do a quick survey question here on SEO and local SEO. We just want to get a quick pulse from theaudience on who is working on it, and then we can compare the individual results at the end. We’re just gonna give that 10 second poll question.
All right, there we go. And again, we’ll share those at the end.
Okay, so. Now we’re gonna go on to Content Marketing. Content Marketing, it is a big buzzword right now, everybody talks about it, nobody really knows what it is, some people think they know what it is, hey it’s blogging. Well, kind of. Really, it’s creating and using relevant content to increase your brand awareness, your patient trust, your social engagement, your website traffic, and your search engine optimization. Now, if you sit there and say ‘Oh, my content doesn’t do that’, well then I don’t know if that’s really technically content marketing, per se. And what we want to really share with you is methods of doing it easily and not killing yourself over it because it is such an insurmountable thing to initially look at and say ‘I have to do this. I don’t have time to do this’. We understand, you and your staff are incredibly busy, you are meeting with patients all the time, and there are a hundred different things that could be done. Is doing content marketing really the most important thing right then? Well, if it’s done correctly it doesn’t have to take up that much of your time. So a lot of people view content marketing as a field of dreams option; wherein if they build it, they will come. But in truth, it doesn’t work that way. You need to build it, promote it, and leverage it in as many different forms as possible.
So, what it helps you do is establish a persona for your practice. Not just ‘Smith Family Dentistry’, but rather Dr. Smith and Gloria the front-end attendant or this dental hygienist or this assistant, they personalize it. It also gives you engaging material to connect with patients outside your website on social media, through e-mail, all these other activities. It does boost and help your SEO if done correctly, and it gives you that extra content to share, as I previously mentioned. So I recently wrote an article on Forbes about this, and I want to just take a few talking points from that. In there, I describe a ‘content radar’, and how people need to develop a content radar. And, what I mean is, most people look at content and, as I mentioned earlier, they view blog posts. But content is all around you, and there are a hundred different opportunities for content. The very quick, easy way of producing content is video; people love to engage with video. Facebook is now at over 8 billion video views per day, and that’s continuing to grow. Engaging with patients with video on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter, is a great way of doing it. But if you think about it, if you have a patient that very apprehensive about getting a procedure, and it’s a little kid, and you show how one of your assistants is phenomenal at engaging with children, defusing their stress, and then having a great time at the dental practice. Or you have this amazing waiting room where kids just lose their minds and have fun. Or you have Cookie Friday, where someone brings in cookies. The thing is, you have that. Does anybody know about it? How hard is it for someone to pull out their cell phone on your staff, take a quick 30 second video of either that patient all of a sudden loving the assistant, showing kids playing in the waiting room, or showing the Cookie Friday, or even highlighting one of the employees there at the practice. Save it, e-mail it to yourself, put it on Facebook, you have content. If you are wondering about what you should be writing for your blog, why not tell the story of a patient who’s given you the rights to use their name, or if they haven’t just call them something like ‘Frank’ or ‘Suzy’, just to protect their name through that. But tell their story; people love to hear those stories about their successes, about coming in never having been to the dentist before and then coming out with a smile after six months of implant work and that type of stuff. If you’re looking for content everywhere, you have your content radar up, it will create itself; and it becomes videos, images of the practice, it becomes blog posts, it can be ebooks. Take three or four of your blog posts and talk about dental hygiene for children, put them into a PDF, and now you have an ebook. And you can print that, get a graphic designer, put it on your front desk, people can take that home, or you can e-mail it. But content is everywhere; if you tell your staff and you build a culture of content within your practice, everybody will be looking for it. Tell your staff, bring them in, have a pow-wow and say ‘Look for those opportunities to pull out the cell phone and snap an image. Or take a video. Or look for a quick little testimonial you can write down. Or a story you can tell.’ That’s the stuff we want to engage with, because again it personalizes you.
Okay, so. We’re just gonna do a quick content marketing poll question. Again, this is just gonna take 10 quick seconds, and we’ll share the results at the end of the poll.
Okay social media is visibility it is one of the greatest channels for referral traffic. If you have a strong social media page what happens on Facebook all the time? someone comes onto Facebook and they say ‘my water just broke’ or ‘my dishwasher is down’, ‘my car is not running’, ‘does anybody have some recommendations of a good XYZ’? Roofer, mechanic, whatever, it gets asked all the time. ‘We’re new in the area does anybody know of a good dentist?’ or ‘Hey we’re looking for a new dentist does anybody know?’ A lot of times people have to either just refe you by name and hope that they take that or they can share the Facebook page right then and there in the Stream with their family and friends. And that’s massive. In addition to that, if you’re able to stay top-of-mind with your patients, they’re then much more likely to refer you to their friends, family, and you are more likely to show up in their friends and families news feeds. So right now only about 11% of your followers are going to see what you are posting that’s Facebook just absolutely contracting their organic reach and really pulling out kinda forcing people to pay for it. But if you can get people to engage with the content -like, share, comment, these types of things- the minute they take that action it now syndicates your post into their news feed for their friends and family; at which point the friends and family will notice it.
Now you might think ‘What’s the point in that?’ ‘Because what are we going to do, do a post about ‘Hey! Dental whitening teeth cleaning for $99, or free x-rays’ always pitching and selling and those types of things, people going to gloss over that. However, if you do a employee spotlight and you talk about one of your hygienists and you talk about their their habits and what makes them tick and why did they get into the dental industry in the first place then that’s going to show up in someone’s feed. And what often happens with those posts that we do for our clients is anybody that knows that individual that comes to the practice will save ‘Oh! Sam is my favorite, he’s great with the kids, he always has a smile for everyone. Love this guy!’ and then all of a sudden their friends see ‘wow, they have a personal relationship with their dentist. Maybe I should look a little closer into this dentist’. And that’s where it can really help sell you without having to sell you.
So some tips on social media. We just talked about blogs, use them. That’s an engagement factor. If you’re writing a blog about the six ways to get your kids to brush their teeth by either getting musical toothbrushes or by making a game out of it or making it a competition or something like that, people will share that. They’ll engage with it getting you those touches and getting you that the engagement with them.
Targeting. A lot of people do not actively use targeting for their paid promotions. Take a blog post, take an employee Spotlight, take a contest or a quiz or something like that and put $5 or $6 behind it (it has to be a minimum of $5). But promote it. But don’t just promote it, and don’t just promote it to people who like you. Promote it to the people that you know are your target audience. If you are a Periodontist, you probably work with the elderly and you do a lot of implants. So don’t target people people from 18 to 65, but rather target people from 55 to 70. And if you know that smokers usually lost their teeth quicker, then that’s more of your audience. On the other side, if you are a pediatric dentist and you target mothers with small children; which is all targetable on Facebook, and you can target within a 5-mile radius of your office as well to make sure that it’s very contextual for them as well.
Mix it up. There was a commercial that recently came out Apple vs the Android and it had those two pianos. One of them was tuned as a normal grand piano; the other one was tuned to every single key had the exact same note. And what you ended up having was this classical pianist sat down and played a beautiful piece; they want to the other one and played it and it sounded like this monotone mess. And it’s the same thing with your messaging, mix it up. Don’t always just grab the latest article and syndicate it on there. Don’t just talk about your next special that you have coming up, those types of things. But rather, as we mentioned, employee spotlights, contests, I talk about quizzes and surveys and your blogs. Micrographics, what are those? Well that’s going to Canva which is a free service, grabbing a great image, and then putting text on it. That stenography stuff where it’s big on Pinterest, that’s very easy to create, it doesn’t take that long, and it gets shared a lot.
Consistency. Also, you want to make sure you do stay relevant on these channels. So you need to have a cadence. Facebook is good for once a day. Twitter you can go about one to four times per day. Instagram and Pinterest are both great options; Instagram you can be one to four, Pinterest really you can pin as many times you want, it doesn’t really fill up their news feed too much. But Instagram and Pinterest are very, very big and they’re not being leveraged correctly by most of the dental industry and it is a channel that is incredibly valuable and it’s also very cheap. You can advertise on both channels but they’re not being utilized a lot so it is kind of the Wild West out there. That’s why I mentioned considering promotions because the organic reach has been stymied so much it makes sense to give 5 to $10 to boost a really cool post that you think would have a lot of engagement. It’s sort of like seeding the tip jar; you know, if people see that there is money in the tip jar they’re more likely to tip. If you can get more people to comment and share on a post with a little bit of paid promotion they’re more likely to continue doing it organically after the fact. And it’s a great way to drive reviews that we had just mentioned. Driving reviews to Facebook and to AdWords. If you can go in Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and just, you know, once a week remind people ‘Hey, if you had a great experience please let us know we would love it if you could leave us a review here’ give a link right to your Google page ‘or go ahead and leave us a review right here on Facebook’. Ask and you shall receive with reviews, that’s the rule.
So real quick, we’re gonna do just a quick poll on social media. We just wanna see social media engagement here. Ten second poll, we will share all these results at the end as well to kinda give you a benchmark against some of your peer group.
Perfect. All right now moving on to paid advertising. Now this has a lot to do more with PPC, online paid advertising. So why do you want to work on AdWords? Well, if you look up here in the top left corner you will notice that it says dentist New York and you have three groups that are being focused nycdentist.com, great URL, smiles new york.com and The Herald Square cosmetic dentistry. There are three opportunities to be number one in Google when people search. First is AdWords, the second is the snack pack this map result right here, and then the third is the organic, which is way down here. Now if you’re showing up in organic, look how far down you are there. That ‘Find a dentist in New York City’ so Zocdoc, which is a citation that we mentioned previously where you should be listed, they are all the way down there almost off the page. So if you’re only optimizing for one of these, the chances are you are missing out on business. So you want to make sure that your maps and snack pack are optimized for, and that your organic rankings are optimized, but then you also want to put some money into AdWords to protect against being pushed down too far.
So, the thing with AdWords is a lot of people don’t like it but it is essential you really want to make sure that the basics are covered. Target your brand. You should have something targeting your brand name this again gets back into if you have a billboard and people see it and here a group that does a ton of billboards is Stonehaven Dental so I see Stonehaven Dental’s billboards everywhere. If I go and search for them, for their brand, they will come up and they’ve also paid for the AdWords for their own name. And you might say ‘well that’s redundant, why am I doing that, they already know me?’ Because any one of your competitors can choose your brand name as one of their keywords and put their ad there. There’s nothing against doing that, the keywords are open source for anybody, anybody can use those keywords. So if you’re actually advertising and you are getting people to search your brand name your competitors can take that opportunity to jump ahead of you and say ‘Hey! Hey! Did you mean ‘Smith Family Dental’ because we are 10% cheaper!’ And that’s where you want to make sure that you are protecting that.
So there’s a lot of factors that will come into how your ad shows up. Mobile-friendliness is massive; you should have an AdWords campaign for desktop and one for mobile. They’re two very different [things]; mobile has less opportunity and less words, it has a smaller footprint and so you need to add that can fit and give a good call to action in a mobile device. So it doesn’t get truncated from your original ad on desktop and you lose your call-to-action to call now or something like that. In addition to that you can also have call ads on mobile, where they see your ad and there’s a little phone right there and they’re on their mobile device and it’s just click on the little phone and immediately connects them to you.
The Conversion Setups; do you have site maps on your AdWords to where it will bring them to your contact page or to the doctor’s page or something of that nature? Are your keywords correctly targeted? As we mentioned you want to make sure you’re targeting your brand names; but you also want to make sure you’re targeting the larger intent keywords of ‘dental practice American Fork’ or ‘dentist in American For’k or something of that nature. However, you can’t be too broad. You need to make sure that you are using phrase and exact match. In addition to that you also want to be having negative keywords on there; keywords that if they show up in the search results you don’t want your ads to be shown. Ads for that are ‘dental jobs American Fork’ or someone was just searching ‘dentist’ in your market and because you have it geotargeted they’re going to show up but it’s just a generalized one, or ‘information on dentists’ or ‘dental degrees’ or ‘dental universities’, ‘dental schools’. All of these things are considered longer tail keywords, but if all you are targeting is ‘Dental’, ‘dentist’ and in that geographic region you’re going to showing up for every school search, every review search, every everything search. So go in there and make sure that you don’t want to show up when people are searching about dental schools, about jobs, about the pay rates of dentists, and that, I mean, there’s so many that you can put in there but make sure those are there.
Strategic Positioning, this is where you manage your bids in order to show up. It’s become more important than ever; Google just recently did away with about five or six additional ad positions, which has made AdWords more expensive because now there’s only three instead of seven and it makes them more expensive because more people are competing for less positions. So pick your battles; find out the times that you feel that people are going to be searching for you and raise your bids during those time periods. Bid for first page, second page, wherever you might want to but manage your bids for that reason. Having great ad copy will help as well; the click through rate on your ads will also lower your cost per click. Google has an algorithm called ‘quality score’ and it takes in all these different metrics; one of them being how many people engage with your ads and then how long do they stay on your site. A great way of getting people to engage with your ad is to ask them a question. So you’ll notice that title that have a question mark in them do better than ones without. So when you’re looking at your ad copy, instead of just giving the vanilla response, the vanilla pitch of your practice, really bring up something that you know is a paying point. Looking for a dentist that practice on Saturday? That’s very rare and there’s a lot more practices are now doing that in order to attract patients. If that’s a value prop of yours put that in your ads and ask it in a question. Time is another one; very few of our clients that we’ve audited and seen have daytime bidding, so if they’re looking for your brand name, you can leave that running any time. Obviously you always want to be protecting your brand name, but if you have mobile ads for a call you should really only have those running while there’s someone there to answer the phone. So you should have a separate campaign that makes sure those run Monday through Friday from 8 until 5. That will save you a ton of money on lost clicks.
In addition to that, there is also remarketing and retargeting. Now whenever someone comes to your site that counts as one touch. The old adage is you need to have 7 touches before your brand name is built with them and before they have recognition. Well one way of doing that is with remarketing retargeting. This is where you put a pixel or a piece of code on your website and this allows you to remain persistent in front of your customers or your patients or anybody that’s been to your site for up to six months. Those that show up in Twitter and Facebook right in their Newsfeed, so it takes up the entire real estate of their Newsfeed, which is incredibly valuable and marketing because they can’t ignore that and it also shows up wherever they browse on the web through AdWords. So the three networks you really want to work on are Twitter, Facebook, and AdWords. Through Facebook, you also get Instagram remarketing, which is great. This works incredibly well for referrals because you are staying top-of-mind with your patients. So it’s great to have your patients in there because if they see you all over the place you’ll always be top of mind. If they’re ever asked you will be the first name that comes to their lips. Helps with branding, awareness, some of your value proposition that set you apart, use the latest technology, you have Sedation Dentistry…whatever you may have find your value props your differentiators and highlight them. And if you say ‘well I mean a lot of other dentists do this so maybe it’s not a differentiator’, are they talking about it? Because if they’re not talking about it then it is a differentiator. If you’re the one talking about it, then you’re the one that people recognize and the one that they associate that with. It is also great for comparison shopping. When people are looking at multiple dentists, if they are going from site to site to site but you continue to come up wherever they go, there is that subliminal messaging of ‘Man! These guys must be good because they’re everywhere’. It’s very very very effective for that purpose. These are easy to set up, you go in and you create these remarketing pixels; you just search ‘remarketing’ ‘retargeting’ on Facebook, on Google, or on Twitter, and it will walk you through the steps to do these it is something that every practice should have.
So real quick, we’re just gonna do another quick poll. And again, we will be sharing these at the end. And this one’s based on PPC, just wanting to see how you compare against your peer group.
Perfect. Now, the final section for us is email marketing. Now, email marketing is both simple and incredibly complicated if you want it to be. A lot of groups like to hand this off, but what it is just phenomenal at doing is driving revenue. It makes you very profitable because emails are free to send and it should be a cornerstone of any marketing campaign that is done online. So, at the bare minimum you should have a newsletter. Everybody should have a newsletter; they’re very easy to set up -you can do one in MailChimp in about 20 minutes- and you can start gathering emails of your patients. If you’re not doing that, that’s something you should start right away. However where they really start to pay dividends are nurture campaigns. Now, these are campaigns that are set up with specific purposes in mind. There are two that we set up mostly for our clients right away: one, a pre-appointment nurture. This is to make sure that people actually show up to their appointments and it’s great. Sometimes they’ll get a text message reminder, certain services offer activities like that; however, getting an email that says ‘Hey, your appointments in one week. We just want to make sure that you’re ready. If there are any questions or you need to make a change, just let us know’. And then the day before there’s one more thing ‘We can’t wait to see you tomorrow we will see you’. Or you can do it the day of and say ‘Hey, today’s the day of your appointment. We look forward to seeing you’. Post-appointment nurtures; once they’ve left, setting one up saying ‘Thank you so much for coming by, we really appreciate it. We would love, if you had a great time, to leave us a review’. Another way of asking for reviews which are critical at every step of the way. So use your post appointment nurtures to follow up. Also you can set these cadences; it’s an ‘if and or’ rule, so I said if a patient shows up to their appointment, then send them a follow-up email. Then wait six months and send reminder email for their next appointment so you don’t have to do these things and you don’t have to schedule them and calendar them…I know there’s a lot of dental software that will do that for you it should be done. It’s very, very effective.
What we do recommend here with your tips and these are very easy to implement is one: you need to personalize them. Do not send them from ‘Smith Family Dental Practice’. You just don’t want to do that; pick an individual at the practice and have them be the face. The doctor’s a great one. Or, have it be the office admin, the office manager, whoever it may be. The spouse of the doctor, it could be anybody. But you pick someone, you put their image in the signature, and you make sure that the email comes from them and it says ‘Thank You. Sincerely, Frank’ or ‘Sincerely, Dr. Phillips’ or whatever it may be. But when you personalize it all of a sudden your open rates go up; people will engage with it more and it helps sell that personal relationship which you are always trying to nurture between you and your patients because that’s what drives more referrals and it creates a stronger bond between patient and doctor and it will keep them coming back. So that’s some quick easy ones and setting up the workflows as well as also personalizing them.
You should be using the content you’re creating elsewhere. So those employee highlights? Put them in the newsletter. The blog posts you write? Put them in the newsletter. Have your newsletter have a structure to it so you’re not always re-thinking it. But what it is is you’ll say ‘every month our newsletter’ or ‘every two weeks’ -whatever your cadence may be- ‘is we open with one of our blog posts, we highlight one of our employees, and then we give three dental tips. We give a way for kids to be able to brush, here’s a song that your kids can hum that gets them up to a minute worth of brushing. Here’s a great new product that we love and endorse. Three tips, and then you give them a call to action: ‘visit us anytime in the next three months for our spring cleaning sale where we do free cleanings on your first visit’. Or ‘refer a friend’ or whatever you may want it to be. But that way it makes it to where the next month it’s just plug ‘n’ play. You know exactly where things are gonna go. Then your patients also learn the cadence of it, and they start looking forward to the tips, and they start looking forward to the employee spotlights and they start opening up your e-mails because it’s not just a ‘Hey, here’s our next special, here’s our next special’. But you give them that Pavlovian response that when they get an e-mail from your practice, they know they’re getting something good and they’re gonna be excited about it.
So, we’re gonna do another poll here in just a moment. But this is an interactive one. We’re gonna turn it over to the team over at [redacted] here as well in just a moment. But we will have a Q&A at the end, where you can chat in any questions you may have. If you have any questions, feel free to begin chatting those in right now, and we will be answering those for you.
So the last poll that we have here is about email marketing. And again, just to compare yourself to your peer group.
Okay. And I will be talking about these results right after the [redacted] team has their chance.
So I’ll now be turning it over to Dan Larson. He is the product manager for [redacted]. Dan? Stage is yours.
Dan Larson: Great, thanks Mike. I’m happy to be here and to have a couple of minutes to talk to you today. Mike and the Foxtail team has done a great job giving us some marketing techniques, some tips and tricks for bringing patients into your practice. I want to talk for a couple minutes today about how [redacted] can help you keep these patients that you’ve worked so hard to bring into your practice. I believe everything your practice does is marketing, from the way that you greet patients on the phone to the look and feel of your practice space to your practice management system. All of these things come together to create an overall impression. And impressions are long-lasting; your practice management system can give your patients an impression both directly and indirectly. And I want to talk about what I mean there. So there’s some aspects of your practice management system that your patients interact with directly. For example, a treatment plan presentation, an appointment reminder, a request to schedule their appointment online or to review the practice. These are examples of things where your software, your patient is interacting directly with that. And each of these interactions, again, builds an impression. So now, there’s also examples of ways your patients interact with your practice management system indirectly, and I believe they do that through your staff. Patients are savvy, and they can really plainly see a well-run practice versus a practice that maybe doesn’t have all their processes in order, maybe isn’t as on-top of technology as they should be. One thing we can really help with [redacted] is we can help you to stay focused on your patients by automating many of the day-to-day tasks that are required to do business. [redacted] can give you a dashboard of your practice so you have up to the second updates on high-level performance of the practice.
On our last slide here, I just want to talk for a minute about some of the specific ways [redacted] can help you stay focused on patient care. The first is a concept that we call ‘GPS’, and if Mike you could go ahead to the next slide. So with GPS, this is different than the GPS that you’re used to with a car, but it is a guidance system. And for us, GPS stands for ‘Goals, Problems, and Solutions’. Now with [redacted] you can clearly see the practice goals, but [redacted] goes beyond that. You don’t have to dig for the information, you don’t have to pull up reports. We service that to you in a dashboard, but we go beyond just reporting those. We’ll show you the specific items that need your attention. These are the problems in the GPS model, these are the problems that prevent you from reaching your goals, such as a patient with unscheduled [unintelligible], or an unconfirmed appointment, or unsent e-claims. But [redacted] doesn’t stop with showing you the tasks that need your attention; it will offer solutions to those problems. Again, so you’re just focusing on those critical things that need to be done that can help you get to your goals.
I also just want to just quickly mention, we’ve recently released [redacted], and we’ve completely re-imagined dental imaging. This isn’t a bridge to [redacted], this is real cloud imaging and this is another example of an impression you’re making with your patients. You’ll be proud to show your imaging solution, and your patients are going to very, very quickly see that you’re on top of technology. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, and this ties back to what Mike was talking about with the importance of patient communication, with [redacted] all of your e-services, whether it’s your appointment reminders, your e-claims and attachments, these are all built right into the system. These aren’t aftermarket products that get bolted on, it’s not a bunch of disparate products. It’s a single, cohesive solution. So, to see how [redacted] is helping practices focus on patient care every day, you can go to [redacted]. We have some great customer videos, whitepapers, and best practices, and you can get more information there. With [redacted] we really believe in creating an incredible staff and patient experience. So, I just want to thank Mike and the Foxtail team for putting on this webinar, for all the great information that they’ve shared. I’m gonna pass it back over to Mike for some Q&A and to wrap up this session.
Mike: Great. Thank you so much, Dan. I appreciate it. Okay so before we go on to the Q&A just to let everybody know the results of the polls so everybody can kind of get a feel on where they stand against their peer groups. Of the attendees, 68% said they were focusing on SEO right now, while 32% are not. 12% have a focus on content marketing whereas 88% do not. On social media, 63% do have a focus and 37% do not. On PPC 32% have a focus, 68% do not. On email marketing 74% do have a focus, 26% do not. As I like to look at these types of things, I like to go where other people aren’t, it’s greener pastures. And I would identify content and PPC as being two big opportunities there. Now we will open this up for Q&A, the ways you can do that are you can raise your hand on the dashboard. You can also type in questions directly into the questions panel and I will go ahead and look through those.
There was a question that was asked specifically on the SEO portion of it when I was talking about the images. Now, an alt-image, the image tags -I said you should have your keywords in your images- that does not mean that you physically type words that appear on the image; but rather, there is a code on the website that is called an ‘alt-image tag’. And it is, basically, the bots cannot read what is in an image. They can’t see the actual picture’s content. They can only read words. So as these little search bots crawl your website, if they see a word and the image is simply the filename that was uploaded -which could be ‘Image4650_Canon’, we see those a lot- in other words, a basic file name that was associated with that image. That’s what Google’s reading. Instead, what you want to do is associate it with, as I was mentioning, a keyword, and your location and what you’re trying to show up for. So if that’s ‘Invisalign, American Fork’ or ‘Pediatric Dentistry, American Fork’ or ‘Pediatric Dentistry, Idaho’ or wherever your focus is. Have those keywords on the images, on the alt-tag images. And that’s in the code of the website. If you have a WordPress plugin or you had a website designer do that for you, it’s pretty easy for them to go in and optimize it. Now, if there are a lot of images it does take a lot of time. However, it can also be searched online as to ways you can get through that.
Now, are there any other questions regarding social media, content marketing, email marketing, PPC, or SEO? I’m happy to answer any technical questions you may have, and be able to help you with those.
Okay, so someone asked about HIPAA in there on social media. So, HIPAA is a big concern for a lot of people. There are certain specific rules that you just have to abide by. But once you fall into those guidelines, it’s not very difficult to stay within them, if you will. So, in the terminology you use, in the disclaimers you have to place. But giving advice…we market for one of the largest medical providers here in Utah, and we went through the wringer on HIPAA with them, to where we had onsite audits where groups had to come in and make sure we were doing all the things right and these types of things. But once we got the guidelines, and we knew that we can’t make certain claims, and have have to make sure that titles are used correctly, and patient information is protected, that’s fine. So, if you want to run competitions where you’re going to have a patient win, make sure that they, upon winning, just sign a quick disclaimer saying ‘I give the rights to Smith’s Family Dental to be able to use my name and my image for marketing purposes’ and then they win the contest. Or, if you are going to use someone’s name, change it. If you are going to give tips, mention that they are tips and not specific medical advice intended to diagnose or treat anything. You just want to be careful; just say within the bounds that you need to. But when you know what the rules are, they’re not that restrictive at all, with HIPAA. You can really kind of work within them without having to worry too much. So you were mentioning, when you were talking about the videos and those types of things. So, videos around the office; again, if you’re showing a procedure, the proper steps need to be taken, and people do need to be aware. Now, if you’re just showing the doctor performing the procedure and nobody else, there’s really not too many issues with that, as long as nobody else is appearing on camera. If you are showing the office environment that is patient-focusing, that is available for anybody that walks in through the door, there are no regulations based on that. So your break room, the front desk, the employees there. They can all be featured in videos, and be able to engage with that.
Now, there was a question by Nicole regarding GPS on [redacted], so Dan. Do you mind just piping in on there? She’s just asking how do you access the GPS in [redacted].
Dan Larson: Yeah, absolutely. So, with [redacted] we want to note that there are both [redacted] and [redacted] so within [redacted] this is a completely separate product. It’s right on the Dashboard of the product. On the Home Screen, you’ll have some of those options that I talked about, where it will show you your unscheduled [unintelligible] or your unconfirmed appointments or your unsent e-claims. So it’s right there on the Home Screen with [redacted].
Mike: Perfect. And then, Rachel, just to follow up on your question. You are wondering just about any staff member. If you do have more staff members looking for content, you do have more lines in the water. But you do have to be careful with that. So what I would recommend is an ‘all hands on’ briefing just saying ‘Hey everybody. We want to start using content a little bit more. Here are the rules: We can’t use patients in the images or the videos if they don’t give permission to us to use them. We don’t want to be showing any specific procedures or any patient-only locations of the practice without prior approval of a senior member of the staff.’ Just make sure you have the ground rules for your team as well.
William, we will be providing a recorded version of this webinar for everybody afterwards, where you can go and view the link. It is being recorded, and you can share it with your staff, as much as you’d like.
Francis, you did have a question about how do you handle a negative review on social media. Great question, lot of people get this. Don’t ignore it. That’s the first thing you have to understand, is do not ignore the review. If you ignore it, it festers. Anywhere you identify a review, the first thing you want to do is respond to it. Every review site will give the owner of that page the opportunity to engage. And it’s always great to put up a comment that says ‘Hey! I’m sorry you had a bad review here. I would love to talk to you about that. Can we give you a phone call?’. Or ‘can you email me here?’. Or, if it’s on Facebook, ‘can we instant message each other?’. Try not to have the conversation in the actual timeline or where the review was left, because that can snowball out of control if it goes negatively. And then they’ll see a big negative back-and-forth. Instead, move it offline, where people can’t see it or keep it on instant messenger where only you and the patient are engaging with it, and fix the problem. Find out what went wrong, get to the root of the matter, make reparations in any way you can; if there’s no way to fix it, there’s no way to fix it. But if there is a way to fix it, do everything you can to fix it. And then at the end, ask if they would be willing to modify their review, because your reputation means so much to you. There’s nothing wrong with that; if you took the steps and you fixed it and they feel comfortable with you now, asking and telling them how important your reputation is matters to people. And they will, for the most part, rescind their review or append their review or something of that nature. And you can turn a negative into a big positive, because if people see that you care enough to engage, and that you care enough to really solve people’s’ problems, that’s a great customer service initiative for you, and it pays off quite a bit.
Okay, so, last quick opportunity for anybody that has any questions out here. If there aren’t, you can always reach out to me at mike @ foxtailmarketing.com I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. Again, that’s mike @ foxtailmarketing.com, if you had a question you wanted to ask offline, or something a little bit more in-depth that you wanted to ask, that is totally fine. There will be a survey right after this webinar, if you want to just stick around and take the survey we would appreciate that. We will be sharing all of this through an email. Thank you, everybody, for attending, we had a great time. Thank you very much.