Category Archives: Web Marketing

Four Things Your Dental Practice Should Be Doing on Facebook

Your dental practice is on Facebook. You are trying to stay abreast of best practices, and tie your offline and online marketing plans together into a cohesive whole. But are you really leveraging Facebook to the fullest extent possible?

In 2016, these 4 methods can help you increase your practice’s online presence, and give you an actual return on investment when it comes to the time and money you are spending on social media marketing.

Go Back to Basics

Your Facebook Page is best leveraged when it is complete. Does your practice page have:

  • A completely filled out “Page Info” section, including a short and long description?
  • A tagline that evokes the image you want your practice to have?
  • A beautiful cover photo that matches the rest of your branding?
  • A call to action, encouraging visitors to call your practice?

Making sure your Facebook Page is always correctly updated and kept looking fresh is one of the first steps towards success.

Show, Don’t Tell

If there is anything that is certain about social media, it is that nearly every platform is making the shift to be more visual. Sharing images of your practice, your team, and your patients (with permission, of course) can be the single greatest thing you do on Facebook this year.

Visual content already makes up the best performing posts on Facebook; in fact:

  • Posts with images receive 94% more views than posts without. [1]
  • People retain 65% of what they see online if it is accompanied by an image, compared to 10% of text only posts.[2]
  • Infographics get shared on social media 3x more than other kinds of content. [3]

Facebook makes it easy to show instead of tell.

Start Paying to Play

While Facebook’s early appeal was that you could build a large organic online following for your practice with only a time investment, everyone knew eventually the platform would monetize. Facebook’s Power Editor allows you to:

  • Run campaigns to raise brand or local awareness, or increase website clicks and conversions on your practice website.
  • Target audiences based on location, age, gender, interests, and familiarity with (or no knowledge) of your practice.
  • Tailor campaigns to your budget, and test campaigns or ads against each other for effectiveness and ROI.

Stay on Top of Changing Best Practices

Finally, stay abreast of the latest news from Facebook regarding potential marketing options and preference given to types of posts. Things changed significantly in 2016, including a continued shift away from organic views, a battle between text and visual content (visual won), and better Facebook Ad experiences, including an updated Ad Manager and a comprehensive Power Editor.

In 2016, things will change yet again, with plans in the works for:

  • Live streaming video (great for real time updates when your practice team is participating in community events).[4]
  • Instant Articles. This tool is still in beta, but dental practices may soon be able to take advantage of it to publish fast loading informational content that loads instantly on mobile – the device of choice for more people every year.[5]

Follow these four steps to increase your practice’s reach, visibility, and conversions in 2016. Facebook can be one of the most powerful online marketing tools at your disposal, but only if you commit to using it to your advantage. Start revising your strategy today and see how much better 2016 can be than last year.

[1] Blog post about visual content. KissMetrics website. Published August 2015. Accessed February 1, 2016.

[2] Article about Facebook content trends. Social Media Today website. Published December 2013. Accessed February 1, 2016.

[3] Blog post about visual content trends on social media. Published February 2015. Accessed February 1, 2016.

[4] Article about Facebook Live Streaming options. Forbes website. Published January 2016. Accessed February 1, 2016.

[5] Article about Instant Articles. Instant Articles FB website. Published November 2015. Accessed February 1, 2016

Your Dental Practice & Facebook Ads

Whether you are an old hand at Facebook, or are just getting started, Facebook ads appear to be here to stay. The rise of paid content promotion was fast and emphatic; between July 2012 and July 2013 alone, paid reach increased by 221%. Since then, many practices have seen their ROI dropping, and new-to-Facebook practices have found it harder than it might have been a few years ago to establish a foothold.

Allocating some of your digital marketing budget may be the answer, but simply throwing money at Facebook won’t magically solve everything – like any other marketing tactic, you need a plan. The first step is understanding why paid social is worth the time and money.

What about Organic Reach?

Previously, many dental practice owners found it easy to maintain an organic presence on Facebook by dint of high quality content creation and interaction. With the advent of pay-to-play social, some balked – “Wasn’t social media supposed to be the great free branding platform?”

Facebook rules have changed, however, and paid social is here to stay. The sting of the cost of promoting posts is mitigated, however, by the fact that (compared to traditional advertising strategies) Facebook ads are still relatively inexpensive – and can be remarkably effective.

  • FACT: Facebook ads are the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions ad in history, averaging around $0.25 per 1,000, which is only 1% of the cost of TV ads.
  • FACT: Paid ads are far more likely to result in action than simple views, and lead to direct results such as a potential patient calling your practice, requesting an appointment, or otherwise converting.

Facebook Ads in 5 Easy Steps:

There are five steps to effectively using Facebook’s post promotion option.

  1. Research. Your practice’s brand, your dental niche, and topics of interest to your patients should generate keywords you can use in your ads. FACT:  Buzzsumo is an excellent comparison and research tool; use it to search social media for mentions of your target keywords, and filter directly them through Facebook. This will show you what is working and what isn’t among competing practices in your area.
  2. Create. While sharing great content is fine, you also need to be bringing smoothing original to the table. Consider making short videos; after all, more than 50% of people who use Facebook every day in the US watch at least one video daily, 76% of people in the US who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook, and videos alone accounted for 80% of all interactions on Facebook in December 2014!
  3. Target. Facebook’s “Custom Audience” feature (great for subtly reaching out to patients you haven’t seen in a while) lets you use email lists to either create a custom audience, or to exclude them if you want to reach out to a fresh, new audience using a New Patient promotion.
  4. Budget. While “promoting” a post via Facebook’s Ad Manager is a little more complex than simply “Boosting” a post, the former method makes up for its complexity by allowing you more control when it comes to targeting.
  5. Measure. A 2013 HubSpot survey revealed that 34% of businesses either cannot or do not calculate their inbound ROI at all! What are they thinking? Facebook hosts a handy conversion tracker on-site, so you can see exactly who has interacted with your ads!

Once you have these five steps figured out, all you have to do is rinse and repeat for winning Facebook Ad strategies that create a positive impact on your practice. From there, move on to other platforms that have instituted a paid social model – Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms are close on the heels of Facebook and you can adapt your strategies for each platform. Pay-to-play shouldn’t be the end of your social media involvement, just a new chapter in your practice’s marketing direction!

Honesty: How Providing Quality Content Will Grow Your Practice – Part II

In our last blog post, we looked at how being honest and transparent pays off for dental practices by being open with patients and instilling trust for the dentist.

We touched on the idea that patients first and foremost are worried about how much dental care will COST –  making honesty and transparency about that specific topic extremely important.

We also explained that even though your patient may think cost is a tremendous factor in their final decision, you can’t run your dental practice based on adjusting your cost to match the competition. Instead, you have to adjust the patient’s thinking – by showing them that cost isn’t as important a factor as VALUE. You close the deal by showing them exactly what kind of value they get by choosing your practice rather than the cheaper dental center down the road.

The best way to address this? Your content.

The content you create and share online is one of the fastest, most effective ways to disseminate information about your practice. You have plenty of opportunities to show how honest and transparent you are!

Answer as many Questions as Possible

Start with your website and your blog. You can answer a LOT of questions with clear, comprehensive posts! Listen and brainstorm. Think of the most asked questions you hear from your patients and prospective patients, and create a list of headlines that address those questions.

  • ŸWhat is … ? Many patients may have been told they need a specific kind of procedure, such as a root canal. You can answer questions about different types of treatments with articles such as “What is a Root Canal?”
  • ŸWhy does … ? Other patients my question why a certain procedure may be advised, such as sealants. Answering the question “Why does my child need sealants?” gives you the opportunity to explain the procedure’s benefits as well as what parents can expect for their kids.
  • How much … ? Once again, the cost question. Of course you can’t give an exact price without seeing a patient, but it should be no problem for you to answer “How much is a wisdom tooth extraction?” with a range of fees. Many dentists AVOID this discussion entirely. When was the last time you purchased something without asking about the fee? Patients don’t have a ‘dental budget’ so anything above $0 is an unplanned expense. People don’t buy what they don’t understand. More importantly, people don’t accept treatment without asking about the fees. It is a reality of dentistry. Accept it. Your website should provide basic information and your team should be experts at both answering fee questions and explaining value. It’s crucial to success.

Present Your Practice as the Answer

You can also consider other keywords to target by imagining what a prospective patient looking for dental care might “Google”. Incorporate these into Call to Action (CTA) headlines then reel in patients with your reasons why you are the best and can provide them with what they want and need:

Ÿ  Finding a Board-Certified Periodontist in Atlanta, Georgia for your Dental Implants

Ÿ  Choosing An Experienced Boston Pediatric Dentist for your Child

Ÿ  Find a New York, NY, Cosmetic Dental Practice Offering Conscious Sedation

Presenting you and your practice as the answer is easy when you tell people what they need, then show them that YOU are the who, how and where they are looking for!

Address your competition

If you’re in an area with a variety of other dental providers (and most of you are), a potential patient is likely to do research comparing your practice to others. Get a step ahead by mentioning your “competition” on your blog and/or your social media posts. Many dentists express concern about the rise of “corporate” dental chains, but do little to clearly outline the difference their practices’ offer using their digital channels. You don’t have to be ultra negative – just find something you offer that they don’t and point that out. If you don’t want to mention them by name, that’s fine – a Facebook post that emphasizes the difference between “you” vs. “them” can get the point across without slinging mud.

Does your current dentist pamper you? We will! Our fresh coffee and tea bar is always available – you don’t even need an appointment, just drop by East Cobb Dental Group on your way to work and we’ll top you off!

Ÿ Looking for a dental practice that listens to YOUR concerns and creates customized treatment plans instead of taking a cookie cutter approach? Our open door policy means you can always schedule a free consultation with no obligation – and don’t forget to drop in to one of our Google Plus Hangouts every Thursday evening from 6-8 PM EST as Dr. Jason answers all of your dental care questions.

Answering your patient’s questions honestly (and in great detail) is the number one thing you can do to grow trust for your practice. It really is the best policy!